Last November, we went deep into the mind of alternative songwriter and longtime Sonoma County local John Trubee who’s spent a lifetime making music on the fringes of popular culture. Since the early 1980s, Trubee and his band the Ugly Janitors of America has challenged the masses and expressed an outsider view of a sick sad world with hilariously avant garde lyrics and sophisticated rock and roll melodies.
Living a self-prescribed heretic lifestyle in Santa Rosa, Trubee regularly records albums of material, yet he rarely performs live. So, it’s exciting to hear that Trubee will be emerging from his hideout and playing with the Ugly Janitors of America live, on the radio.
Stanford University radio station KZSU hosts the Ugly Janitors of America tomorrow night, Wednesday, Jan 20, for an in-studio performance that’s being billed as “Nifty Space Music & Outasight Surprises for the NOW GENERATION!”
Tune into the station via the world wide web at 9pm PST to hear Trubee and his cohorts get weird and wild. Unfamiliar with Trubee’s irreverent rock and roll? Get a taste by clicking on the box below.
Trubee Records can be found at johntrubee.com. To contact John Trubee about anything, email [email protected] or send snail mail to PO Box 4921, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. Trubee reliably answers all inquiries.
Prolific rock and roller Ty Segall just can’t stop. In addition to playing in excellent garage rock outfits like FUZZ and Sic Alps, Segall’s massive solo output has been a wide array of experimental hard rock.
This month, Segall releases his tenth solo record, Emotional Mugger, on Drag City. It’s a super fuzzed out and darkly glammed collection of awesome weirdness. And you can hear it now, before it’s Jan 22 release date, by clicking on the link below, via NPR.
Ty Segall will be in the North Bay next week as well, blowing the roof off the Arlene Francis Center on Sunday, Jan 24, with his new full band the Muggers. Details on that show, which marks the final concert hosted by Sonoma County’s Pizza Punx, are here.
Formed in 2001, Toronto hardcore punk rockers Career Suicide have carried a heavy brand of old school ’80s punk ethos to underground acclaim. Yet, the band has been rarely seen in the last five years and guitarist Jonah Falco has gone on to great heights as a member of the experimental punk band F*cked Up.
Last year, F*cked Up went on their own hiatus, and Falco has come back to his rough and rowdy origins with a revamped Career Suicide, including a new album in the works, their first since 2006. Last November, the band released “Cut and Run,” the first single off the so-far-untitled upcoming album. It’s an intense two minutes of razor-sharp riffs and pounding drums that prove the band still has a Hell of an edge.
Career Suicide are also embarking on a world tour that takes them from Bakersfield to Tokyo. And right in the middle of this tour, the band is bringing the amps and axes to Santa Rosa for a concert this Saturday, Jan 16, at the Arlene Francis Center.
Hosted by the saucy kids at the Pizza Punx, this eardrum-buster of a show also features Bay Area punks Culture Abuse, Ruleta Rusa, Ex-Youth and Abusivo. Tickets are ten bucks at the door and is open to all ages.
This is actually one of the last two shows the Pizza Punx are hosting under that name, as the moniker is being laid to rest in the new year. Some of the punx will still be booking shows as Shock City, and some will be taking on a new venue project simply known as Funhouse. Stay tuned for more details on those developments. In the meantime, listen to Career Suicide’s “Cut and Run” below and turn it UP.
We’ve been a big fan of Sonoma County indie pop outfit Lungs and Limbs for the better part of a year, following the four-piece electronic wiz kids as they built their own studio, self-recorded their debut EP, Lifelike, and self-released it last November.
Now, the band is trying to take things to the next level and looking for allies to help them reach it. Lungs and Limbs plan to tour extensively in 2016, taking their hook-laden rock to new locales; and they’re also looking to record a new album by year’s end, but they need your donations to get the show on the road.
For one more week, Lungs and Limbs is hosting an Indiegogo campaign where they’re offering swag and show tickets in exchange for a couple of bucks to get the band in gear. You can visit the page here. Lungs and Limbs’ next show is on Saturday, Jan 23, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol, with Horses Heaven, Charley Peach, and Become The Villain. Get a listen to Lungs and Limbs below.
David Bowie, the Starman whose musical career spanned six decades and touched countless fans, died yesterday, Jan 10, peacefully surrounded by family after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
As the world reacts in shock and dismay after losing the one-of-a-kind pop star and musical auteur, words don’t seem enough to convey the utter void left in his loss. So, I’m spending the day instead being immersed in the rock and roll bliss he left behind for the world. Here are five essential David Bowie songs to get lost in.
I don’t know why, but when I read the news this morning, the first thing that came into my head was Bowie’s whispering at the beginning of “Queen Bitch,” the first Bowie song I can remember hearing and remember playing endlessly. It’s been stuck in my brain ever since.
I could have made a list of just the spacey songs Bowie recorded in the 70s and as Ziggy Stardust, from “Life on Mars” to “Starman.” I’m listening to them all today, but for some reason “Space Oddity” is the one that is making me cry. Truly, the stars look very different today.
“Let’s Dance” is a classic. This song and Bowie’s “Modern Love” always make think of being a child listening to the radio in the 1980s. Hearing it now takes me back to that feeling of innocence and wonder. Brilliant.
Born out of a jam session between Bowie and rock legends Queen, “Under Pressure” is officially one of Queen’s most popular songs, though Queen guitarist Brian May told Mojo magazine in 2008 that, “David took over the song lyrically. It’s a significant song because of David and its lyrical content.” I couldn’t agree more.
Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, came out just two days before his passing. It’s been confirmed by producers to be Bowie’s farewell opus, as the songwriter apparently knew his end was near. That makes the lyrics and content of his final video, “Lazarus,” all the more potent. The autobiographical dirge opens with the line “Look up here, I’m in Heaven” and ends with a chorus of “Oh I’ll be free, ain’t that just like me?”
Rest in Peace, David Bowie.
News of Motörhead frontman and rock and roll legend Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister’s death last week was a blow to metal fans everywhere, who loved Lemmy for his voracious musical chops and irreplaceable personality.
Though there can be little comfort after losing such a titan of rock, fans will be able to give their respects and celebrate Lemmy’s life tomorrow, as Motörhead recently announced his funeral will be streamed live on Youtube Saturday, Jan 9, at 2:30pm PST.
“We want you ALL to be a part of this memorial service… So wherever you are, PLEASE get together and watch with fellow Motörheadbangers and friends. GO to your favorite bar, or your favorite club, make sure they have access to an internet connection and toast along with us. Or simply invite your pals around and celebrate Lemm’s life at home.”
The Youtube link to Lemmy’s memorial service and celebration is here. There is also a Facebook page where fans can share their Lemmy-inspired stories and art.
Subtle lo-fi songwriter Bill Callahan, who spent 15 years making music under the name Smog before venturing out under his birth name, opens the 2016 concert season at Sonoma’s hippest winery venue, Gundlach Bundschu, next month on Feb 24.
Fans of Smog and Callahan (who I count myself among) have long been obsessed with his sonorous baritone vocals delivered over sometimes dreary, sometimes groovy and often minimalistic instrumentation. Since the late ’80s, Callahan has operated with a singularly artistic vision, infusing his poetic songs with heartbreaking and revealing storytelling lyricism.
For the upcoming February concert, co-presented by (((folkYEAH!))), the songwriter is slated to appear in Gun Bun’s historic century-old Redwood Barn, recently restored to its former glory. Carpooling is encouraged, and dressing in warm layers is a must! Tickets to this intimate, one of a kind concert are available here.
Below is a video of one of my favorite Smog tracks, “Hit the Ground Running.”
Heading into its fourth year, the North Bay’s big and bold BottleRock Napa Valley music, wine and food festival has announced the lineup for 2016, taking place on May 27-29, with headliners the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder and Florence + the Machine.
Also confirmed are the Lumineers, Death Cab for Cutie, Lenny Kravitz, Walk the Moon, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ziggy Marley, Grouplove, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Gogol Bordello, Cold War Kids, Buddy Guy, Jamestown Revival, Ozomatli, the Pimps of Joytime, the Pharcyde, Langhorne Slim & the Law and many others.
North Bay and Bay Area talent will also be on display once again this year, with festival favorites Moonalice appearing, as well as Diego’s Umbrella, Royal Jelly Jive, the Deadlies, the Iron Heart, Anadel and more.
Fans of the massively popular Red Hot Chili Peppers will be glad to hear that the flashy funk rockers, who’ve been relatively quiet since releasing their last album in 2011, spent last year back in the studio and are gearing up for a massive 2016, including a top spot at BottleRock.
Soul and Motown legend Stevie Wonder last year proved he was still one of the most in-demand singers and performers today with an extended, sold-out North American tour, Songs in the Key of Life, a stage adaptation of his ambitious 1976 album of the same name.
London’s longtime indie rock sensation Florence + the Machine round out the headliners for BottleRock 2016 with their own, artful baroque pop fronted by the stunning voice of lead singer Florence Welch.
The rest of the BottleRock 2016 lineup includes Iration, MisterWives, Atlas Genius, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, Andy Grammer, Houndmouth, The Struts, The Joy Formidable, Shovels & Rope, X Ambassadors, The Orwells, Coleman Hell, The Suffers, Kaleo, Monophonics, The White Panda, San Fermin, Alina Baraz, Nothing But Thieves, Particle, The Score, Fantastic Negrito, Mike Stud, Son Little, SOAK, Until The Ribbon Breaks, Black Pistol Fire, New Beat Fund, WATERS, Deap Vally, Jamie N Commons, Greg Holden, White Sea, Bird Dog, Machineheart, Secret Weapons, Roses Pawn Shop, Ivan & Alyosha, The Moth & The Flame, X Alfonso, Taxes, Happy Fangs, Panic is Perfect, La Misa Negra, Guardian Ghost, Strangers You Know, HEARTWATCH, The HELMETS, Anadel, Bey Paule Band, Silverado Pickups, Grass Child Gypsy, Olivia O’Brien, 92 South, and the Napa Valley Youth Symphony.
BottleRock Napa Valley takes place May 27–29, at the Napa Valley Expo, 575 Third St., Napa. Tickets go on sale Jan 7.
San Francisco soul swingers Royal Jelly Jive just crossed the finishing line in their ongoing fundraiser for their upcoming sophomore album, “Dear Mr. Waits,” which means not only will we get a new collection of the group’s groovy gypsy rock soon, but the band will be able to take the show on the road for a 2016 tour.
That’s great news, obviously. Today, the jiving jellies share a sneak peek at the upcoming album with a live studio recording of their first single, “Story,” featuring special guest Marty O’Reilly, of Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra.
Recorded at the always excellent Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, the single, “Story,” is a slow burning and sultry dirge, featuring harmonizing vocals from Royal Jelly singer Lauren Bjelde and O’Reilly set against dusty vintage guitars and jazz rhythms. Click on the link below to watch the studio recording. Royal Jelly Jive perform on New Year’s Eve at the Big Easy in Petaluma. Details for that show are here.
Psychedelic North Bay post-rock trio the Vibrating Antennas has a new head trip of a music video for their single “The Tourist,” off their upcoming sophomore LP, State of the Art, due to be released on Jan 8 from Melotov Records.
This darkly stoner rock dirge is a swirling shock of soaring grunge guitars, strained screaming vocals and a killer thumping bassline; and it’s been on repeat in my browser since the video’s release last week. Lyrically following a medicated loner adrift in Sonoma, “The Tourist” sees the Vibrating Antennas maturing into a spellbinding band unafraid to go into the darkness and bring it back with them.
This month, the band embarks on a West Coast tour and plays in Santa Rosa on Jan 9 with other local rockers the Down House and Red Wood, who are releasing their split 7″ and JRR Tallcan, whose new EP, “Smile,” is also fresh off the presses. Check out the video and get over to the show, details are here.