Sonoma County folk group Rainbow Girls are making some of the North Bay’s most heartbreaking acoustic harmonies these days. Last spring, they drove this hardened reporter to tears during a performance at the Next Level showcase in Santa Rosa, and they continue to do so with their new batch of tunes, set to be released on the upcoming album American Dream early next year.
Such is the case with “The Folk Singer’s Contract,” a wistful rumination on a tangled web of a relationship. The above video of the song was recorded live along the New Orleans waterfront on a recent trip. Supported by gentle waves in the background, the trio shows off their vocal chops and emotional resonance on the new song. Just be prepared to grab a tissue for your tears.
In January, Rainbow Girls are taking the new songs on the road for a “Backwoods Tour” with soulful folk singer Caitlin Jemma that takes them from Bolinas to San Diego. Click here to see their upcoming dates and keep your eyes and ears peeled for news of American Dream‘s release.
Petaluma folk-rock quartet Trebuchet are finally out of the studio and ready to start unveiling their new sophomore album, Volte-Face, due out early next year. First up, Trebuchet premieres the album’s lead single, “A Confession,” which finds vocalist and songwriter Eliott Whitehurst delving deep into family memories and bringing back with him a questioning spirit.
Bolstered by harmonies from drummer Paul Haile, keyboardist Lauren Haile and bassist Navid Manoochehri, Whitehurst’s newfound lyrical longing is brought to life with slow-building acoustics expanding into a mellifluous choir. If “A Confession” is any indicator, Volte-Face looks to be a mature and introspective reckoning of an album.
Listen to the new single below, and see Trebuchet play a release show on Sunday, Dec 11, at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. That show also features new Bay Area band Mare Island, featuring members of Loma Prieta and The New Trust, and all proceeds will go to a benefit fundraiser for the victims of the recent Oakland warehouse fire. Next week, on Dec 18, Trebuchet plays their annual “A Very Trebuchet Christmas” concert in Petaluma, featuring them and several other North Bay acts performing Christmas covers and more.
On Friday, Dec 2, a devastating fire broke out at a concert happening in a Warehouse-turned-arts space known as the Ghost Ship in Oakland. As of this writing, at least 36 victims have been found in the wreckage and many more people are still missing.
It’s a gut-wrenching tragedy for the community in Oakland and the entire Bay Area, the largest fire-related disaster of this kind since the 2003 Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island. And it’s still unfolding.
In the wake, many are already placing blame and pointing fingers, but at this moment, help is needed most. There are several ways you can do your part to help relief efforts and the families of those lost.
Online, there are already crowdfunding campaigns up and running to help victims and their loved ones. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts has started a donation page, and the Oakland A’s and Oakland Raiders are throwing into a fund as well, each matching up to $50,000. There is also a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the approximately 20 people who lived in the warehouse space.
In addition, there are several concert benefits taking place in and around the Bay Area. On Wednesday, Dec 7, evocative indie songwriter Kimya Dawson is headlining a two-show night of music and film screenings at MidSummer Studios in Emeryville. And in the North Bay, the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa is hosting a night of music and art on Friday, Dec 9, with performers including Rags, Horders, Secret Cat and others showing their support for the Oakland community.
Earlier this month, North Bay guitarist Jason Wright showed up in the Bohemian’s recent cover story about heavy metal band Skitzo. Wright, who played with Skitzo frontman Lance Ozanix in Sonoma County metal act Oden Sun before joining Skitzo, is a performer full of thunder and lightning, shredding and thrashing on stage and on record.
So, it took this reporter by surprise when Wright revealed he was an accomplished flamenco guitarist as well. His identity as a “Guitarrista” shows another side to Wright’s technical prowess and natural musical sensibilities. Here, discover Wright’s flamenco chops with the video for his recent single, “Mendocino,” featuring flamenco dancer Olivia Gonzalez-Cruz.
Last summer, Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma hosted its fifth annual “Live at Lagunitas” concert series, featuring a wide array of hot and up-and-coming indie acts. Deer Tick, the Growlers, Con Brio and others were among the highlights of the season, and now you can look back on the fun with a bunch of new videos.
Up top, rollicking outfit Deer Tick answers some personal questions while concert footage overlays selections from their set. Below, Lagunitas crafts a music video from when surf-inspired garage band the Growlers performed the classic hit “Mama Said” to an adoring crowd at the brewing company’s “MiniAmphitheaterette.” There’s plenty of other videos on Lagunitas’ site, so click over and relive the memories.
Well, how do you like that? Metallica is still at it. The band offers their first new album in eight years, “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct,” on Friday, Nov 18.
If you’ve stuck with Metallica this long, you’ve probably heard talk about how the band is returning to its thrash metal roots in the new album, recorded at Metallica HQ in San Rafael. Though this is the first record to not feature songwriting contributions from guitarist Kirk Hammett since he joined the band in 1983. Apparently, Hammett lost his phone at an airport that had all his music and couldn’t get new material together in time for the album. Take that story for what you will.
Either way, the whole thing seems strange. From the glitchy ’90s font on the album’s cover, to the official(?) music video below that shows the band playing in fluorescent-lit practice spaces and riffing in office chairs, the new album seems show the group’s age while still trying to revel in the kind of disaffected youthful angst that Metallica surpassed over 25 years ago .
Listen to the album’s third single, “Altas, Rise!” and look out for Lars Ulrich’s over-the-headphones headband as you wonder what else could be in store for us when Metallica drops “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” this week.
Dark and drenched in reverb, the experimental indie rock coming from new Sonoma County trio the Drought Cult mixes engrossing hooks and fuzzed-out psychedelics for a lush dreamscape of sound.
Featuring long-time North Bay rockers–Francesco Echo on guitars and vocals, Jef Overn on bass and Anthony Vaccaro on drums–this is a new incarnation of music from the trio, who originally got together under Echo’s name earlier this year. Now armed with a forlorn edge and undercurrent of gloom, the Drought Cult have released their debut EP, Moon Lust, on bandcamp.
See the band live for the first time this weekend, as they join fellow Sonoma County rockers Manzanita Falls and San Francisco soul rock outfit Doncat for a show on Saturday, Nov 12, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol. Copies of the Drought Cult’s EP will be available at the show, and you can get a listen right here, when you click on the player below.
Santa Rosa singer and songwriter Charlie Davenport is the man behind indie-folk outfit Rags. In contrast to his earlier full band setup, Davenport goes solo on Rags’ new album, Tilted Shrine, performing and singing a collection of introspective acoustic numbers alone, often in a single take, and straight to tape.
Reportedly, Davenport wrote much of the album out in the wilds of Salt Point State Park, along the coast north of Fort Ross. And that’s the scene where the music video for Titled Shrine’s first single, “Love II,” takes place. Directed and edited by Jim Agius and Timmy Lohdi, the video recreates the trek that Davenport would embark upon and reflects the song’s wistful and patient sound. You can get Tilted Shrine here.
Oakland singer-songwriter Jessie Antonick is an emotionally resonant artist, and her output under the moniker Pony Hunt reflects her personal journey with creative flair and nostalgic sweetness.
Pony Hunt’s debut album, Heart Creak, plays like a long lost jukebox of ’50s and ’60s pop imbued with forlorn heartsick and soulful sounds. Released this month, Heart Creak is already receiving rave reviews.
Hear for yourself when Pony Hunt performs an album release show on Saturday, Oct 29, at the Last Record Store, 1899 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa. 2pm. Free.
Petaluma’s retro soul collective the Highway Poets have been jamming in the North Bay and beyond for several years now, racking up three Bohemian NorBay Music Awards and many other “best of” accolades along the way. A dynamic live band who push the boundaries of rock ‘n’ roll, folk, indie and soul music, the band is currently prepping to record their first professional studio album and they’ve kicked off a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds necessary.
The band promises the new album will be a gritty and sophisticated collection, a modern blend of rock infused with classic influences and diverse feel-good vibes. With a little help from friends and fans, the Highway Poets plan on making this record the right way in a decked-out studio, produced with the best engineers and equipment available.
Click on the link here to go to the band’s Kickstarter site and throw them a few bucks to get them in studio. Donation perks include copies of the album and production credit, meaning that this is a great chance to both pre-order the album and help ensure it gets made at the same time. There’s also a chance to appear in an upcoming music video, backstage meet-and-greets and more, depending on your donation. Don’t delay, help the Highway Poets now.
The Highways Poets perform next on Saturday, Oct 29, at Kokomo winery, 4791 Dry Creek Rd Healdsburg. 5pm. 707.433.0200