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Les Claypool Helps Out a Fellow Fisherman

Posted by on Jun 20, 2013

Les Claypool’s soft spot for fishermen extends beyond his 1991 ballad “John the Fisherman,” an epic tale of oceanic adventure from “Sailing the Seas of Cheese.” The Primus frontman is playing a benefit concert with his Duo de Twang at Lagunitas Mini Amphitheater Tuesday, June 25.

It’s a treat to see Claypool in such a small venue, and Lagunitas is a great place to see a band. Good beer, good food and an inviting atmosphere make for a memorable experience. And this time, it’s for a good cause. On March 1, local fisherman Ted Frank’s 36-foot boat, Yardbird, sank in 60 feet of water just outside Bodega Bay. He had let his insurance lapse because of recent hardships, and was left with a huge salvage bill, a totaled ship and no way to earn a living. It’s hard enough to make money as a commercial fisherman, but setbacks like this make it almost impossible.

That’s where Claypool comes in. He’ll be slappin’ da bass (a dobro bass, at that) at 5:45pm, with dinner beginning at 4:20pm. Bad Catahoula is also playing, as well as other musical guests. Tickets are $50 for the concert or $75 for dinner and concert. Lagunitas is located at 1280 N. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma.

This video is great. First of all… Larry Lalonde has purple hair. Secondly, dig that Mike Patton haircut on Les (or did Mike have a Les Claypool haircut?). And can you spot Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett?

California Roots Festival Highlights: An Interview with Thrive

Posted by on Jun 15, 2013

Thrive guitarist Aaron Borowitz. Photo by Kathryn Gleason

After several times trying to connect with Santa Cruz reggae rockers, Thrive, I had all but given up on our scheduled interview. It was Day 2 of Cali Roots and text messages aside, I figured there wasn’t much hope linking up with all the activity going on. Until that is, I ran into lead singer Aaron Borowitz hanging out backstage covered in a bunch of ladies.

Thrive has performed at every California Roots Music & Arts Festival since it’s inception. They have been representing their adopted Santa Cruz and now managed by festival co-producer Dan Sheehan, the band is touring non-stop. Thrive just dropped their new album Relentless, so I wanted to find out what its been like on the road.

Bohemian: Tell me about Cali Roots, are you enjoying yourself?
A.B.: Everyone has been really nice and everywhere I go people are smiling back at me.

How did you feel about your show?
Oh man, it was so awesome. That was one of the funnest shows I’ve ever played, personally. Not necessarily the musicality of it, but the vibe in the crowd.

Did you see a difference within the crowd? There are a lot of people up here from So Cal.
Yea, I see a difference in the people, but I see a connection in the message. It’s positive and everyone just wants to chill, no bad vibes, no fighting. (more…)

California Roots Festival Highlights: Tribal Seeds & Friends

Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 2 Comments

San Diego reggae band Tribal Seeds are rising stars in the landscape of California roots music. They have sharp, inspiring verses, solid stage presence, and vocals that melt. Both lead singers, Steven Jacobo and newly added E.N. Young, have that hypnotic, echoing vocal style similar to Harrison Stafford of Groundation.

With so many one-dimensional skank rhythms tying up the airwaves, it’s refreshing to hear a band that embraces melodic bass lines and off-the-wall keys. E.N. Young’s melodica performances practically steal the show. As was the case at California Roots Music & Arts Festival along with bringing up Rebelution’s lead singer, Eric Rachmany, Adam Taylor from Iration, and Kyle McDonald, singer/guitarist for Slightly Stoopid to sing “Vampire”, all while smokin’ a giant spliff.

Tribal Seeds are touring nationally with Slightly Stoopid and Atmosphere this summer. They play the Greek Theater in Berkeley July 19th.

Ever heard of Bulldog Media from Windsor? You have now – and you’ll most likely hear a lot more of them in the coming year. With 15 Bulldog Media crew members at Cali Roots Fest 2013, they were by far the most influential media presence on the ground. Check this Day 2 compilation video from five different “Bulldog” angles during Tribal Seeds’ “Vampire”.

BIEBS… IN…. SPAAAAAAACE

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 One Comment

Is it just me, or does Justin Bieber always look like he just pooped on the carpet and he's weally, weally sowwy?

Justin Bieber is headed to space. One can only hope he stays. Reports say the Canadian pop star and notorious annoying teenager is booked on one of Virgin’s forthcoming rocket-powered space flights. He will reportedly be flying with Sir Richard Branson, king of the cool rich people. We can only hope he fulfills his duty to the world and takes Biebs on a space walk. A long space walk. Off a short space pier.

It’s not that Justin Bieber isn’t contributing anything to the music world–there are many people getting paid as a result of his celebrity. Bodyguards, Ferrari salesmen, social media story spinners, hair mousse manufacturers, paparazzi–some good paychecks result from this guy. But it might have run its course. Maybe Branson can hire Biebs’ ex-cronies to help him cross dress when he loses another bet.

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Spends Quality and J. Kendall Album Release Party

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013

Sonic Bloom members, lyricist Spends Quality (nee Spencer Williams) and saxophonist-turned-vocalist J. Kendall dropped new three albums on Williams’ independent label CFO Recordings in April, and they are hosting an official SoCo album release party at Hopmonk Sebastopol this Friday night. You can read about it this week’s Bohemian.

There are three more music videos in the works, but check this brand new vid from Time Piece‘s title track. Filmed under the Redwoods and out along the coast, you can’t get much truer to Sonoma County than this. Represent.

CFO Recordings triple album release party is this Friday, June 7, at Hopmonk Tavern. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 9pm. $10–$15. 707.829.7300

Party People and Electronic Dance Music

Posted by on Jun 4, 2013


How the music scene saved Las Vegas casinos from certain doom

Vegas casinos may remain to be the epitome of grandeur and lavish lifestyles, but many people are unaware of the fact that most of the city’s gaming establishments had already closed down several years ago.

An article posted on The Kong List revealed that many casinos in Vegas have already experienced a slump, with annual revenue losses climbing from 5% in 2007 to 20% by the end of 2010. These figures had also been set to increase, if casino operators hadn’t decided to bring something new to the table. Thankfully, two casinos – the Encore and the Wynn – have taken the risk of reinventing their facilities, and serving as examples to other casinos in Sin City who were struggling to get back on their feet.

A report by The Press of Atlantic City revealed that a growing crowd of younger guests had been seen coming to the casinos not to play per se, but instead, to party. Gone are the days when senior citizens dominated casinos, as hordes of young and energetic guests have begun flocking to the gaming establishments’ nightclubs. With EDM being one of the most popular genres for younger people, Encore and Wynn have decided to play the music in their nightclubs, and lure even more young guests through their doors.

Bringing in the younger demographic is a tactic that many gaming operators are currently adhering to. Recognizing the sudden appeal that zombies have had on young adults, even InterCasino, the longest running online casino website, has released a zombie-themed slot game called Zombie Rush. Online casinos, having the option to alter their games as they see fit, have built a presented a noticeable challenge to land-based casinos, with the industry becoming worth more than $21 billion in 2008. This has prompted casinos to begin looking at other avenues to lure in more patrons, and music seems to be doing a great job of keeping them entertained.

Both the Encore and Wynn casinos seem to have become quite successful from their venture, with their inclusion of EDM allowing the two casinos to garner around $200 million in revenue from their nightclubs. With the success of EDM nightclubs, operators seem optimistic about the future of their casinos. And with the rising popularity of many international EDM DJs, casinos will be able to capitalize more on this venture in the coming years.

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California Roots Festival Highlights: Day 1

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013

Like most up-and-coming writers, our day jobs often get in the way of multi-day festivals. We write all week to get in free, drowning at our crappy jobs to pay the way once we get there. We spend the entire weekend running between bands, posting iPhone photos to social media, and trying to finagle free meals. We do it for the love of live music. We do it because we wouldn’t have lives if we stayed home all weekend. So it was nothing new that a crisis at the office resulted in missing most of Friday. But rolling into Monterey County just after 9pm, I was able to park and get to will call before headliners, Rebelution, even took the stage. At least I’d made it for that.

Unfortunately, Murphy’s Law always lays it down in the most critical of situations. The girl in the ticket booth had no idea who I was, much less who the media organizers were. So there I was, with a line of pre-party-drunk VIP ticket holders waiting behind me while I frantically searched my emails for phone numbers. Thankfully, and one of many reasons why Moore Media shined all weekend, the head organizer returned my text to confirm we’d meet at the artist gate in five minutes. Sort of running along Fairgrounds Blvd., and without wanting to show up sweaty and out of breath, I paused for a few seconds to pull myself together. Luckily I had my two trusted travel partners, Jameson and his lady Ginger, who proved once again essential allies as I journeyed clear across the 20 acre property.

By the time I arrived at the gate, Rebelution was already on stage. Looking out on the crowd, there was no way I was gonna mash through nearly 10,000 fans already up against the railings. It was literally a sea of bouncing heads and puffs of smoke. Fortunately, for those who can afford it, music festivals have turned to offering VIP ticket holders access to backstage areas. For an extra $100, you can hang out with artists and media and stand in side-stage balcony boxes high over the crowds. It can be an awesome opportunity to enjoy the bands while keeping a drink in your hand, but nothing beats being smashed up against railings watching your favorite singer drip sweat down the mic cord. [Read more after the break]

Rebelution - Photo by James LeDeau Photography - www.facebook.com/jamesledeauphotography

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Treasure Island Festival Lineup Announced

Posted by on May 28, 2013


We’re already knee-deep in music festivals, so why not mention another one? San Francisco’s Treasure Island Festival announced its 2013 lineup today, and it features a couple big names and a whole bunch of small ones.

Thom Yorke’s “side project,” Atoms For Peace, is the main draw, with the illustrious and versatile Beck as the co-headliner. Also featured are: Animal Collective, Major Lazer, James Blake, Little Dragon, Sleigh Bells, STRFKR, Tricky and a host of others. This two-day fest takes place this year on Oct. 19 and 20. Traditionally, one day is devoted mostly to electronic acts and the other to indie rock.

Two-day tickets are on sale Friday, May 31, with one-day tickets probably becoming available soon thereafter. For both days, one ticket is $130, and it goes up to $150 as the festival nears.

In News

Summer Festivals: California Roots Festival – SOLD OUT

Posted by on May 23, 2013

Happening this weekend, (and officially SOLD OUT, although Craigslist and Facebook have got plenty of resales if you are inclined) the California Roots Music and Arts Festival has become the biggest thing to hit the tiny town of Monterey since the aquarium opened. The fest started out as a one-day show by a guy with a clothing brand. In just four years, producer Jeff Monser has nurtured Cali Roots into one of the most solid music gatherings on the West Coast. This isn’t roots music – this is pure Cali-style roots rock reggae with big names that include Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Matisyahu, and Katchafire plus 40 other bands. A live music feed is available on the Cali Roots website, so if you aren’t going it will be just as fun to crack a Pabst and sit around the apartment complex pool all weekend.

One of the really great trends in music festivals are their zero-waste efforts. Cali Roots is striving to become a zero-waste event by manning normal trash stations with volunteers. Instead of the barrels overflowing with mixed up garbage, staff with be educating concert-goers on how to separate organics and recyclables from landfill products. Monterey’s “Offset Project” works with vendors to provide only compostable and recyclable food ware and when the event is done, all food materials are locally processed and sent to vineyards and golf courses as compost. Good music, good deeds – we can smoke to that.

California Roots Festival, Friday May 24th – Sunday May 26th, Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairground Rd, Monterey. $50-$150, www.californiarootsfestival.com (no phone)

In News

Rock The Bells 2013 Lineup Announced

Posted by on May 16, 2013

Hip hop’s biggest music festival just announced the lineup for its 10th anniversary tour featuring some of the industry’s most classic names and a ton of newcomers making huge waves on the scene.

Artists include Southern boy Big K.R.I.T., Kendrick Lamar’s crew Black Hippy, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Common, Curren$y, Tyler the Creator, rap’s most prolific socio-political commentator Immortal Technique, Talib Kweli, Tech N9NE, and of course Wu-Tang Clan.

Unfortunately, some of the really great artists like Kid Cudi, Common, Jhene Aiko and E-40/Too $hort will only perform certain dates, but for a baseline price of $89 (top ticket prices go up as high as $240, and that’s not including VIP) we can’t get too greedy. My guess, and I got five on it, is E-40 will hold down the Bay Area show. But I’m still hoping for a Kid Cudi appearance.

Check this week’s live announcement with Indiana-born, NYC-bred Supernatural (also performing), who set the world record in 2006 for the longest continuous freestyle rap at the Rock The Bells Festival in San Bernardino, CA. He rapped for 9 hours and 15 minutes. Holy shiiiit.