Eight Belles Release New Album, Play the Last Record Store

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015

photo by Kelley Larson

Folk and Americana duo Eight Belles is made up of Michigan-born and longtime Bay Area-based singer Jessi Phillips and Sonoma County native songwriter and guitarist Henry Aloysius Nagle. The pair met in 2010 and first made noise in 2012 with their debut album, “Girls Underground,” hailed as a vividly beautiful country rock record.

Now, Eight Belles is back in the spotlight with a new self-titled album on Saint Rose Records, a recently premiered music video and an upcoming record-release show at the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa on Saturday, Dec 12, at 2pm.

Even with their impressive debut, the new self-titled record proves to be an even stronger effort, with Phillip’s lovely voice sounding like a mixture of Patsy Cline and Carol King, and evolved melodic arrangements performed with a full band of popular Bay Area musicians.

To get a taste of the new album, Eight Belles offer up a music video for their single, “The Old Life,” that matches their timeless country folk with enchanting  black-and-white visuals, click on the video below to watch.

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This weekend’s release show at the Last Record Store will feature the pair playing in an intimate setting, with Sonoma County songstress Ashley Allred opening. Vinyl and CD copies of the self-titled album will be available. The show starts at 2pm and is free.

In News

Soulfly Lands in Petaluma

Posted by on Dec 10, 2015


If you’re a fan of  hardcore metal, you ought to know the name Max Cavalera. The Brazilian-born guitarist, singer and heavy metal icon has been in the business of melting faces and blowing out eardrums since he formed the infamous Sepultura back in 1984. His signature four-string guitar riffs and shamanistic growl have influenced countless acts in the last 30 years, and today Cavalera continues to innovate with his eclectic heavy metal band Soulfy, playing tomorrow, Dec 11, at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma.

Sine 1997, Soulfly has explored highly spiritual themes with biblically heavy music. Their latest, 2015’s Archangel, is their most focused to date. Streamlined songs pour from the band on their tenth full-length, incorporating seemingly divisive elements such as grind and thrash metal into their sophisticated arrangements. Veterans of the genre, Soulfly prove again and again that they can take hardcore metal in any direction they choose.

Sonoma County Metal & Hardcore presents Soulfly tomorrow, Dec 11, at the Phoenix Theater for an all ages show that also features local acts Thought Vomit, Vile Riot Villains, Trial By Combat and Trecelence. 201 Washington St, Petaluma. 7:30pm. $20-$22. Tickets will be available at the door.

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In News

Watch the Velvet Teen’s Recent Homecoming Show in Full

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015
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Onstage with Jim and Tom has long been one of my favorite podcasts and video series, focusing on local music and the historic Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, run by hosts Tom Gaffey and Jim Agius. The series incorporates interviews with local bands and live concert films, and this week the project unveiled their most ambitious concert feature yet.

Last summer, recent Norbay Music Award-winners the Velvet Teen released their long-awaited and exceptional indie rock album, All is Illusory, and toured the US; capping the trek with a massive show at the Phoenix Theater on August 22. To top it off, the Onstage film crew was there to capture the whole darn thing.

Edited by Agius and mixed by Greenhouse Recording Studio co-owner and engineer Paul Haile, this is a clean, clear and professional production that goes beyond simple recording and stands as a full-on film. And the band has never sounded better, captured here in their element, playing for the hometown crowd.

If you saw this show last summer, relive the good times. If you missed the show, now’s your chance. It’s well worth a watch.

In News

Scott Weiland Has Died

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015


Reports have come in that Scott Weiland, former lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots and current frontman of Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts, was found dead last night on his tour bus in Minnesota. His official instagram account posted the following statement:

Scott Weiland passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts. At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott’s family be respected.

It’s still unclear what the cause of death is. Weiland and the Wildabouts performed last year at BottleRock Napa Valley and was scheduled to return to Napa this month with a show on Dec 19. Weiland was born in San Jose  and lived in Southern California. He was 48 years old.

Ezra Furman Plays Santa Rosa Last Minute

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015


Garage rock and glam pop songwriter Ezra Furman is a fierce and fearless indie music maker who’s been gathering steam for his irresistible tunes and infectious personality. His most recent release, “Perpetual Motion People” is as groovy as it is restless, as personal as it is catchy. And, Furman has also been making headlines lately for identifying as gender fluid. We last wrote about Furman’s awesome cover of the Replacements song, “Androgynous,” and we’re happy to have another excuse to highlight some amazing music once again.

That’s because, this week Furman is playing a last minute concert on Saturday, December 5, at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa, as part of a west coast tour. With Furman’s star shining brightly and musical momentum perpetually gaining speed, this might be the last time anyone will get to see the songwriter in such an intimate setting as this, and the rest of the lineup is fully stacked with local wonders. Music from the Corner Store Kids, Don Kennemer and Plastic Ghost joins a masked performance art piece by Quenby, comedic antics from Be The Clown, a gallery of works from local artists and Lagunitas beer on tap.

This is one not to miss. The show happens on Dec 5 at Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St, Santa Rosa, 8pm, $12 suggested donation.

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In News

Say Hello to Big Kitty

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015


Tennessee-born songwriter Clark “Big Kitty” Williams has cultivated a fringe following for his idiosyncratic folk and country ditties that are equally humorous and harmonious. Two months back, Williams trekked from the blue mountains of his longtime home of Chattanooga, TN to settle in the Gravenstein apple orchards of Sebastopol. And he’s brought his music with him.

Williams has already played a few gigs around town in the last month, and this week he’ll be at Jasper O’Farrells on Thursday, Dec 3, from 6pm to 9pm. If you’ve never heard Big Kitty’s music, click on the music video for his song “Little Man” below, and head over to the show tomorrow to welcome Williams to the North Bay.

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In News

Get Ready for Record Store Day

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015


Since 2007, Record Store Day has been the biggest celebration of the unique culture and tight-knit community of independent record stores around the world. Happening this year on November 27, better known as Black Friday, Record Store Day is a more than just a shopping sale, it is a chance for artists, store employees and customers to come together and share their love of music.

Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are available exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances.

In the North Bay, local favorites like the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa and Bedrock Music & Video in San Rafael are hosting their own Record Store Days with lots of exclusive albums and special edition vinyl.

Some of the highlight releases includes Like A Puppet Show, a 2x LP Picture Disc from actor John Malkovich, photographer Sandro and composer Eric Alexandrakis that finds the thespian reciting passages from “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave” and features such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Ric Ocasek, Dweezil Zappa and others.

There’s also a 10″ vinyl from the Arcs, a collaborative project from Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys that pairs him up with the likes of Dr. John and David Berman of the Silver Jews. The Arcs vs The Inventors, Vol. 1 has reportedly been in the works for some time, though it sees its first light on Record Store Day, as will dozens of other titles. See the full list here and support your local record store on Friday.

In News

Bruno Ferrandis to Depart from Santa Rosa Symphony

Posted by on Nov 24, 2015
photo credit: Clay McLachlan

photo credit: Clay McLachlan

Santa Rosa Symphony board president Sara Woodfield recently announced that music director and conductor Bruno Ferrandis will end his tenure with the Symphony when his contract expires at the end of the 2017-2018 season.

Ferrandis, only the fourth musical director in the Symphony’s 88-year history, plans to pursue an international role as a guest conductor.

Of the decision, Ferrandis said he hopes to conduct more opera, collaborate with contemporary composers and travel the world. He also thanked the community in Sonoma County for their “fabulous faith and support for the Santa Rosa Symphony over so many years.”

Highlights of Ferrandis’ time with SRS include the Symphony’s move to the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall in 2012. Also, in 2013, the Symphony was awarded an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, in recognition of Ferrandis’ balance of traditional classic repertoire with newer works.

Woodfield also announced the Symphony’s board of directors will begin an international search for the next music director, with finalists conducting five of the seven classical concerts in the 2017-2018 season before Ferrandis leads the orchestra for the final two concerts, both of which are sure to be filled with personal favorites and emotional works.

In News

Matt Bauer Sings in Sonoma

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015


New York City songwriter Matt Bauer just released his latest, Dream’s End, an enchanting album of orchestral folk and acoustic rock. And he’s celebrating with a west coast tour that wraps in Sonoma this weekend.

In the tradition of old-fashioned folk laments and murder ballads, Dream’s End is a head trip of lyrically fragile and musically melodic songs, like the lead single “I Am Trying to Disappear.” While Bauer assembles a more sonically diverse palette for this conceptual effort, it’s his emotional depth that again lays a strong foundation for his striking and often stark arrangements.

On Sunday, November 22, Matt Bauer will be in Sonoma, performing at a house show. Write [email protected] for details, and listen to “I Am Trying to Disappear” below.

North Bay Cabaret Goes For Bro

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015


The monthly North Bay Cabaret always brings a new, distinct flavor to their ongoing variety shows, incorporating themes that range from Renaissance Fairs to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks in their imaginative array of burlesque dancing, live readings, standup, acrobatics and more.

This weekend, the Cabaret busts out the tanning spray and tank tops for their upcoming “Brovember” event that features everything from a special beer pong burlesque to a “bro” puppet show, fashion show, fire dancing, slam poetry and music.

Recent NorBays Music Award winner DJ Beset is the special guest in the Vinyl DJ Dance Room, and San Francisco’s Riflefeet bring an electronica backdrop to the main room. As always, the entire thing is hosted by the ultimate “Bro,” Jake Ward.

Now, remember haters, this is a satirical show, so bring a sense of humor when you “bro down” with the North Bay Cabaret on Friday, Nov 20, at Whiskey Tip, 1910 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $10. 21 and over. Details and lineup are here.