Singer and songwriter Martha Davis has fronted some form of her seminal new wave band, The Motels, since first forming the group in 1971 in her hometown of Berkeley, CA. Originally, under a few different names, the group adopted the moniker of the Motels after landing in Los Angeles in 1975 with a record contract from Capitol.
Over the next decade, the Motels would hit the Billboard Chart Top 100 over and over again with hits like “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.” Davis lead the group though various lineup changes with her sonorous and melancholy voice over darkly pleading synths and edgy guitars, giving the tunes an unmistakable and alluring hook.
Over the years, Davis has re-formed the group time and again, and in 2013, the band was re-branded with a permanent name, Martha Davis and The Motels. Possessing a voice still as effervescent as it was 40 years ago, Martha Davis and the Motels perform at City Winery Napa tonight, July 27, with their timeless melodies and irresistible charm in tow. Tickets are still available, so don’t miss this chance to re-connect with an old favorite or discover a classic group for the first time.
City Winery Napa is located at 1030 Main St, Napa. 8pm. $25-$35. 707.260.1600.
Last Saturday, the idyllic Santa Rosa Junior College neighborhood got a little jolt of of rock and roll with the 6th annual Lion Awake Productions Backyard concert. Taking place at a private residence on Slater St, the concert featured four local favorites performing on the deck and crowds of up to 150 people hanging out on the large lawn.
Kicking off at 4pm, the show opened with young Sonoma County band Parcivillian mixing a fresh blend of rock and blues with a dash of folk thrown in via their fiddle player. Next up was popular local rockers Kingsborough, who impressed with their tight rhythms and free-wheeling attitudes. Powering through their own high-energy original tunes and dedicated covers of classic party songs alike, Kingsborough really got the party going.
Along with the music, the house show featured a delicious taco truck parked on the curb offering up spicy carnitas tacos and sumptuous chicken burritos. After scarfing down on some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had, it was time to enjoy the perfectly-pitched sounds of the T Sisters and the grooving beats of Lazyman.
Hailing from Oakland, the three harmonizing T Sisters, Erika and twins Rachel and Chloe, were joined by mandolin master Andrew Allen Fahlander and standup bassist Steve Height and crowded on to the deck for a sonorous mix of traditional gospel folk tunes. Honestly, they didn’t even need the microphones, their vocal power is so great they could have sung to the whole block without any electronic amplification.
By the time the sun set, headlining act Lazyman was ready to rock. Fronted by Sonoma County songwriter Steve Pile, the band capped off the concert with their eclectic rock that’s singularly dedicated to having a good time. With cooling temperatures and gusty winds, Lazyman kept the crowd lively and laid-back all at the same time.
Sometimes, you have to go looking far and wide for a juicy story. Sometimes, the story comes to you. Such was the case when the Bohemian’s office received a full-page press release from a candidate for the office of Sheriff…in Virginia.
Remember, we cover the North Bay in California, so the discrepancy in location piqued our interest. Then, independent candidate Chris DeCarlo’s claim that, if elected Sheriff, he would arrest Virginia elected officials who accept bribes and charge them with treason and sedition got our attention. And his offer to “Watch the rap video Democracy Rides Again on Youtube” REALLY got our interest.
Yes, it’s an actual rap video and yes, as far as we can tell, it’s real. I don’t know what DeCarlo’s chances are of getting elected, but he just made a classic campaign video for all time. Personally, I’m pulling for him. Watch out, fat cats! There’s a new Sheriff in town.
New Jersey punk rock band Titus Andronicus have always been as ambitious as they were aggressive in their fiery punk revelries. Fronted by songwriter Patrick Stickles, the band is no stranger to concept albums, producing a Civil War themed record in 2010. This month, though, the band is taking things to a whole new level with the forthcoming release of The Most Lamentable Tragedy.
Clocking in at over 90 minutes and packed with 29 sprawling tracks, the group’s latest self-described “rock opera” is poised to become one of the most challenging and talked-about records of the year. Thematically the band says the new record plays out like a piece of long-form fiction. From a press release they describe the plot:
TMLT concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in deep despair. Following an encounter with his own doppelgänger (an enigmatic stranger, identical in appearance though opposite in disposition), long held secrets are revealed, sending our protagonist on a transformative odyssey, through past lives and new loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the thing to destroy him.
That’s some heavy stuff right there. The Most Lamentable Tragedy comes out on July 28. Below you can stream the new album via NPR, and in September you can see the band when they perform at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma.
Huh. Today in totally unexpected news, aging alternative rock group Soul Asylum just switched up venues on their upcoming concert scheduled for Sunday, July 26, from the Uptown Theatre in Napa to the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma.
Last week, the Bohemian covered the band’s current tour and upcoming album, and front man Dave Pirner even volunteered to do an over-the-phone interview that was in every way positive. It seems odd that Soul Asylum and co-headliners the Meat Puppets both pulled out of Napa “for financial reasons,” according to an Uptown box office employee. Translation: not enough dough to play the show.
Theoretically, they believe they can make more money in Petaluma, but does that venue really offer a larger crowd? Seems Napa’s small population and relative isolation (due to really only being accessible by long and windy one-lane roads) has bit their live music scene in the butt once again. Weird.
The 6th year of the Rivertown Revival, the local, arts-based, community festival that highlights the Petaluma River and all of the amazing artists who call our county home, takes place on Saturday, July 18.
This year’s party includes an art boat race and parade, floating art barges and an all-day festival which highlights local music, art, food and drink and over 40 fabulous local vendors. The Rivertown Revival is sure to be 2015’s most unique and creative summer festival. The music lineup is, of course, packed; with several stages and tents offering up something for everyone, even the kids.
The lineup features Marshall House Project, Corner Store Kids, David Luning, the Crux, Royal Jelly Jive, Circus Maximus, the Dixie Giants, Sally Haggard, and so many more. For full details check iout the Rivertown Revival web page here.
Zodiacs in Petaluma continually puts on eclectic live shows, and tonight they’re going strictly indie rock with a free jam-packed lineup of some of the most exciting young bands in the area.
Headlining is Santa Rosa rising stars Girls & Boys, past winners of the Bohemian’s Norbay Music Award, who have quickly impressed audiences around the Bay Area with a moody swagger and soulful pop jams. Their music has already hit the waves of television and film, and with a new album on the way, the band are preparing for a massive tour later in the year.
Next up are power rockers EagleWolfSnake out of San Francisco. I last saw this band perform at this year’s BottleRock Music Festival in Napa and they bring an infectious ebullience to their sets. Dedicated to spreading that joy to their audience, this young band is the most likely to get everyone jumping in unison at the show tonight.
That’s only if Lungs & Limbs doesn’t do it first. Led by the alluring voice of Karina Rousseau, the spirited ensemble describe themselves as Pink Floyd meets the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Based on their shiny demo songs, it’s hard to argue with them.
Opening the show is a personal favorite of mine, the impassioned rock group Manzanita Falls. In their few years together, the group has already faced and overcome adversity and now they’re set to head into the recording studio to follow up their debut release, Vinyl Ghost.
Zodiac’s is located at 256 Petaluma Blvd North, Petaluma. Tonight’s show starts at 8:30pm and is FREE!
Yo La Tengo, the Cure, and total world destruction; these are a few of my favorite things. Which is why this new video from prolific New Jersey rock band Yo La Tengo seems almost too good to be true. The long-time trio of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew are known for their unbelievable ability to play ANY song by request, and their upcoming covers album, Stuff Like That There, tackles classic songs by everyone from Hank Williams to the Lovin’ Spoonful and re-works their own tunes, culled from a 30-year career in music.
Set for release at the end of August, the album also features a demure cover of popular ’80s hit “Friday I’m in Love” by British new wave icons the Cure. And now, Yo La Tengo present that song’s bizarrely hilarious official video. It’s a tale of woe, as singer Georgia Hubley wanders the streets collecting nicknacks while an invading force of extra-terrestrial hearts pummel mankind into the stone age. I love it!
Los Angeles singer/songwriter Jake Smith has spent the last decade roaming the wilds of America’s clubs and venues under the moniker the White Buffalo. Through his wanderings, Smith is more like a lone wolf, stalking up and down the highways of America and slinging his hearty acoustic roots rock. Tonight, he returns to City Winery in Napa for a solo performance that will feature a slew of new songs from his forthcoming album, Love and the Death of Damnation.
Recently, the White Buffalo announced that pre-orders of the new record are available with plenty of bonus goodies thrown in to sweeten the deal, like behind-the-scenes looks of Smith making the record, alternate versions of his songs and more. Smith’s new music has also been the subject of an ongoing online documentary series from Ernie Ball capturing his songwriting and recording in an intimate studio space. Check out one of webisodes below and head to Napa tonight to catch a glimpse of the White Buffalo for yourself.
City Winery Napa, 1030 Main St, Napa. 8pm. $18-$22. 707.260.1600.
In America, records came out on Tuesdays. That’s how it had always been, for the last 26 years at least. But, this week, many vinyl seekers may have walked into their favorite brick and mortar record store and found the ‘new release shelf’ conspicuously empty. Beginning today, the record industry is changing their new album release day from Tuesdays to Fridays in a move meant to synch up international markets.
“Its something people are a little confused about,” says Josh Staples. Working the counter at Santa Rosa’s Last Record Store, he says many people think it’s strictly a digital situation, but the new release day affects vinyl and CD sales too. Overall though, he’s not worried about any long-term effects.
“I think its going to be a good thing,” says Staples. He explains the move will actually ease shipping costs for the Last Record Store and that soon “New Music Fridays” will become as easily accepted as “New Music Tuesdays” was back in 1989.
With that in mind, the albums that had to wait an extra 72 hours to come out today, July 10, range from metal-heads Cradle of Filth to Sitar performer Anoushka Shankar. Stop by the store today and get your hands on those sweet end-of-the-week records.