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Don’t Get the Band Back Together

Posted by on Jul 7, 2012

Reunion tours are out of hand, yes, but that’s a longer rumination for a longer day. Let us simply enjoy this story of Harley Flanagan, founding bassist for seminal New York hardcore band the Cro-Mags, who last night—apparently because the band was playing at Webster Hall without him—bit and stabbed the current members. The Age of Quarrel, indeed.

100 Rock Riffs

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012

My favorite music genre changes on a daily basis. When someone asks the seemingly simple question, “What kind of music do you like?” I find myself befuddled, and often reply with whatever I was last listening to, whether that was Wu-Tang, Stevie Nicks, Beethoven, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, John Cage or Orbital. I actually feel flustered trying to answer the question.

But Rock may have solidified its status as my fave with this video:

To be able to play all those riffs in one take it amazing, but what truly impresses me is the fact that I know every single one of those songs by hearing a couple seconds of one instrument playing them. Not every genre can claim that—try playing “name that tune” with dubstep. Rock is a truly unique modern style with its combination of catchiness and badassery.

Johnny Ramone, ‘Commando,’ and the Endurance of Ramonesiness

Posted by on Jul 5, 2012 3 Comments

By Sara Bir

Johnny Ramone’s posthumous autobigraphy Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone fired up the second wind of Ramones fandom I’ve been yearning for. The book came out in April, but in a frugal move that I think Johnny would have approved of, I put a copy on hold at the library and waited it out.

Have you ever loved a band so much that you reached a bodily saturation point, whereupon listening to their songs felt unnecessary? There was so much Ramones flowing through my bloodstream I couldn’t absorb any more. I didn’t put my Ramones albums away, though for quite a few years I seldom played them. But simply thinking of myself as a Ramones fan (albeit one in hibernation) brought me soothing relief during low periods. If nothing else, I believed in all things Ramonesey, something that goes beyond a shelf of records and a gazillion performances and four guys (seven, actually) wearing leather jackets. I knew my auditory need for the Ramones would return someday, along with a renewed sense of pleasure, and it was Johnny’s book that did it.

Johnny is not my favorite Ramone. In a band of guys who are hard to love, Johnny is the hardest to love. He was the every-scowling tyrant, practical to the point of being unfeeling. The man we see in Johnny’s interview segments of End of the Century: Story of the Ramones appears to carry little sentimentality for his Ramones years, nor compassion for the difficulties of his former bandmates. I was anxious to read Commando, for fear it would only reinforce this image. (more…)

Live Review: El-P and Killer Mike at the Regency Ballroom

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 2 Comments

“This song is about Ronnie fuckin’ Reagan. I have an extreme detest for Ronald Reagan because I was alive when he was president, and fuck what Fox News says, it wasn’t that great of a time, and he wasn’t that nice of a guy.”

The rant could have come from a D.O.A. or Verbal Abuse show, but nope—it was Killer Mike, who peppered his set in San Francisco Friday night with similar remarks about burning banks to the ground, staying active in the community and fighting the cops. Many know Killer Mike from his Drive-inspired, nine-minute video for “Big Beast,” or for his appearances on Outkast records, but his politics have grabbed the attention of everyone from NPR to Davy D, and they took center stage at the Regency Ballroom. (more…)

Interview: David Rodigan at Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012

Performing a brilliant vintage set in the late-night dancehall at last weekend’s SNWMF was infamous London reggae selector Sir David Rodigan. A classic, articulate British sort in his early sixties, Rodigan has the intonation and inclination of a musical elder. With a successful radio career that spans three decades on London’s premier radio stations, the selector holds a position in the U.K.’s Radio Academy hall of fame and an appointment to the Order of the British Empire. It has been said an endorsement from Rodigan can launch an artist’s career worldwide.

Yet, it is clearly obvious the man has seen his life’s work, and that of other traditionalist dubplate selectors, dismantled by a new generation of unoriginal club DJs. Rodigan’s reactions to this crude regurgitation of artist’s samples shows just how detrimental predictability is to the creative balance of the genre.

While speaking to the press at this year’s Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Rodigan was candid about the current landscape of today’s selector sound. (more…)

In News

Sign Up for the 24-Hour Band Contest!

Posted by on Jun 27, 2012

For this year’s NorBay Awards held on July 14, we here at the Bohemian are premiering an exciting new experiment: the 24-Hour Band Contest.

Here’s how it works: You sign up for the contest. You tell us your name, the instrument (or instruments) you play, your experience level and practice space situation. All ages and all experience levels are welcome.

Then, on July 13 at 6pm, we’ll meet at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa. We’ll pick names randomly, assembling bands made up of complete strangers—a singer, a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist, a singer, a keyboard player, a horn player, an accordionist, a rapper, a kazoo player… anything goes!

The bands will then have 24 hours together to get to work in the practice space, writing two original songs and learning one cover song, and returning to perform the very next night at the 2012 NorBays on July 14 at the Arlene Francis Center! Prizes will be awarded to the winning band.

Are you in? Of course you’re in. Sign up by clicking here!

In News

Treasure Island Festival 2012 Lineup: The XX, Girl Talk, M83, Best Coast, Public Enemy, Araabmuzik, Grimes, More

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012

The Treasure Island Festival lineup for 2012 was just announced, and it includes The XX, Girl Talk, M83, Best Coast, Public Enemy, Araabmuzik, Grimes, Gossip, Toro y Moi, Ty Seagall, Los Campesinos, Imperial Teen and many, many more.

See the poster below, and prepare for sunsets over the Bay from the Ferris wheel while “VCR” billows across the field. Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, June 27, at 10am.

 

Drum Tech Dies in Radiohead Stage Collapse

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012

The Toronto stage where Radiohead was scheduled to perform collapsed and killed on member of the band's touring stage crew.

The temporary roof collapsed over Radiohead’s stage in Toronto June 17, killing a member of the crew and injuring three others.

Radiohead’s drum tech Scott Johnson was pronounced dead on the scene when investigators were able to get to his body through the wreckage at 8pm. The stage had collapsed hours before, while fans were still lining up outside the gates.

“I want you to know, he’s not coming back.” So sings Thom Yorke on Radiohead’s “Knives Out,” a somber tune full of sadness on Amnesiac. The Flaming Lips dedicated the song to Johnson before playing it to a group of fans who had gathered at the Toronto concert the same day after the Radiohead show had been cancelled. “Peace be with their hearts tonight,” said Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne.

Who is at fault, what happened and the ramifications of the accident are all yet to be determined, possibly mired in insurance investigations for years to come. (more…)

Live Review: Rossini Stabat Mater

Posted by on Jun 18, 2012
Dan Earle directs the SR Symphonic Chorus.

What makes a Stabat Mater so special? Is it the holy text? The seriousness with which composers undertake the task? Whatever it may be, the Santa Rosa Symphonic Chorus and Santa Rosa Chamber Orchestra plucked every string in both chambers of the heart this weekend with their rousing performance of Gioachino Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa.

Rossini’s version of the sacred text, which dates back to the 13th Century as a somber hymn about the Sorrows of Mary, is powerful in a very Rossini way. At first, it might be surprising to know Rossini even composed a Stabat Mater (it was to me, at least). But the Romantic composer known for wild operas like the Barber of Seville and William Tell (think The Lone Ranger theme) was known for memorable melodies and dramatic crescendos stayed true to the feeling of the piece. (more…)

Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock

Posted by on Jun 14, 2012 One Comment

I spent the nineties swimming in a pool of indie rock, dousing myself with all things Matador, Kill Rock Stars and K Records. I still love indie rock, whatever that term even means in the days when new music sprouts from every corner of the internet, most of it independently produced by bedroom musicians, but to me it just means something with the pluck and spirit of music made from the heart. Yo La Tengo has been doing this for over twenty years, since their start in late 80’s Hoboken, New Jersey, as a pet project of married couple Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan. They’ve put out albums continuously since then, which is why I can footnote my life by YLT albums. (more…)