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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve seen the massively-long 1984 film “Amadeus,” you know a few things about classical Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You know he had a shrill laugh, you know of his extensive collection of powdered wigs, and you know that the young musical mastermind died before he could finish his “Requiem Mass.” And, while that film took equally massive artistic liberties, the story of Mozart’s most infamous unfinished work still captivates audiences worldwide for it’s musical wonders as much as its mythical background.
While Mozart died with the Requiem very unfinished, fellow composer Franz Xaver Sussmayr, who was an assistant to Mozart and reportedly discussed the work with him before his death, offered a completed version of the Requiem that has long been the closest the world has gotten to Mozart’s masterwork. This weekend, the long-standing Sonoma Bach Choir, led by retired Sonoma State University professor Robert Worth and joined by the Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, will present an interesting dual concert titled “Mozart Requiem: The Story of a Masterwork.” The ensemble will tackle first the Requiem just as Mozart left it, before returning to the full work as completed by Sussmayr.
Before each of the two weekend performances, Worth will present a pre-concert talk that fully explores the controversial history of, and compositional significance to the Requiem. The Sonoma Bach Choir performs the masterwork on Friday, Nov 20, at St Andrew Presbyterian Church, (16290 Arnold Dr, Sonoma. 8pm, $15-$25) and then again on Sunday, Nov 22, at St. Vincent de Paul Church (35 Liberty St, Petalum. 7pm. $15_$25). Pre-concert talks begin 35 minutes before each performance. Tickets and details are here.
Sonoma’s 1955 are a sauntering garage rock trio who excel at slick throwback riffs, addictive hooks and smart songwriting. Formed in 2012, the band is made up of Sasha Papadin (lead vocals, guitar), Kieran Maloney (drums) and Dane Gaffney (bass); and their musical output thus far has been defined by high energy and hot licks.
This week, 1955 unveiled a new music video for their hand-clapping, toe-tapping single, “Glory Days.” Set in the sweltering heat of Palm Springs and directed Papdin’s brother William, the video is inspired by the visual aesthetics of one of the band’s favorite movies, “Sexy Beast,” and shines with a sunny, ultra-cool vibe that matches the colorful tune perfectly.
Currently on the road, the band plays Los Angeles tonight and San Francisco on Nov 20. Get the details here.
The Last Poets are rightly called the godfathers of hip-hop. Formed in the late ‘60s and still very active today, the spoken word group first put rhythm to their politically-charged poems in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement, inspiring a generation to use their voice and their words as tools of social justice.
This weekend, the Last Poets appear in a daylong spoken word workshop, showcase and performance at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, as a fundraiser for local radio station KWTF. In the Bohemian this week, we profiled the group and spoke with founding member Abiodun Oyewole by phone from his home in Harlem. Here is our full interview.
Bohemian: How did you first get into poetry and form the Last Poets?
Abiodun Oyewole: I got into poetry because when I was a teenager in high school, I had a liking for older girls, and when I was 15 I started getting into writing poetry to win the favors of some of these ladies.
I remember my teacher had given us an assignment to write sentences with new vocabulary words. I went to my teacher, Mrs Carpenter, and I said, ‘If put these words into a poem, can I get an extra credit?’ and she looked at the words and said, ‘If you can put these words in a poem together and make sense, I’ll give you two extra credits.’ So that was the time I wrote a poem seriously. When my teacher read the poem, she looked at me and ‘You are a poet, I don’t know what you’re going to do with it, but you have quite a gift.’
I started getting into poetry seriously when they killed Dr King. Dr King was killed April 4, 1968. And when King was killed I really kind of lost my mind, because I felt it was such an insult to black people. He was representing us, and he was nonviolent. I just felt totally offended by that.
I had a friend named David Nelson, and he made mention of the idea of starting a group of poets that would be from different walks of life, and would be an example to black people as to how much we need to come together. No matter what our particular persuasions in life are, we have the same foot on our necks, and we need to unify to get the foot off.
Brooklyn punk rockers The Nuclears are a power pack of long hair, leather jackets, cool shades and good times. Their blistering throwback punk riffs and blazing guitar solos make them an instant hit at clubs around their native New York City, and tonight the the Nuclears are cranking up the amps at the Forestville Club as part of a national tour.
The group’s last album, 2014 album, This is How We Party, gives Andrew WK a run for his money, with a blend of positive vibes and great songs that flash back to the Ramones and Stooges while keeping things fresh and fun in the here and now.
Hopefully, the Forestville Club has plenty of Rolling Rock beer stocked for the show tonight, when the five party animals that make up the Nuclears get loud and rowdy, 6250 Front St, Forestville. 8pm. $5.