Eclectic, intimate and indie to the max, the annual Huichica Music Festival is building on its reputation for being the coolest two days of music in Sonoma with its most packed lineup yet. Hosted by songwriter Eric D Johnson, winemaker Jeff Bundschu and the indie collective (((folkYEAH))), this year’s Huichica festival boasts songwriters and bands who span the indie rock spectrum performing on June 9 and 10 at Gundlach Bundschu Winery.
Headliners include Los Angeles garage rock outfit Allah-Las, who mix sunny melodies and surf rock sensibility, and laid back indie pop band Beachwood Sparks, who are recently back in the saddle after a ten-year hiatus. Veteran songwriter Dean Wareham will be playing solo versions of the coolest tunes from his former band Galaxie 500, and celebrated alternative-folk songwriter Robyn Hitchcock offers a lifetime of acclaimed music. Other acts range from the throwback hippie psyche rock of Heron Oblivion to the kaleidoscopic California folk-rock of GospelbeacH.
With two stages of action on Friday, June 9, and a full four stages of sound on Saturday, June 10, this year’s Huichica is the most expansive yet, with plenty of food truck and beer and wine to make for a weekend to remember. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, Feb 25, at noon PST. Click here for more details. The full lineup is below.
Last October, the Bohemian profiled Santa Rosa’s young and gutsy post-punk band Acrylics, who had recently signed to Iron Lung Records and were preparing a new 7-inch record for release in early 2017. Well, that record is out now. Part of Iron Lung Records’ single series, the new vinyl release “Despair” offers a lightning fast look into the band’s jolting guitars and blasting rhythms.
Side one contains the downtrodden titular single, “Despair.” If that sounds a little bleak, don’t worry, side two features the song “Reassurance,” with a head-banging groove sure to lift you out of the doldrums. The new release is limited to 300 hand stamped copies, so don’t sleep on picking up this 7-inch. Listen to the track “Despair” below and stay on the lookout for more from Acrylics, who are rumored to be putting a full-length LP together this year.
Just last Spring, Sebastopol-based songwriter Frankie Boots and his band the County Line released the lush, laidback Leave the Light On, a full-length sophomore album that saw Boots rising to new rustic heights both musically and lyrically.
Now, Frankie Boots is back with a new solo record, Pagan Ranch, and he debuts the record’s lead single, the beautifully melancholic “Everything We Ever Knew,” here on City Sound Inertia. Listen to it now.
Boots recorded Pagan Ranch straight-to-tape at Gremlintone Studios in Santa Rosa with producer and musician John Courage. The record features Courage on several instruments, as well as Dan Ford (the Ironsides) on drums, and Kevin Carducci (Easy Leaves), and Alison Harris and Katie Phillips (Bootleg Honeys) on backup vocals.
The new single and album is bittersweet news for Boots’ North Bay family, as the songwriter is releasing Pagan Ranch right before he moves to New Orleans at the end of this year. The record will be available at the upcoming Frankie Boots farewell show this Friday, Dec 23, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol. Click here for more details on the show.
Sonoma County experimental band OVVN is an undeniable and unapologetic force of noise on their new LP, “I Love Myself And Want To Live,” out now on San Francisco-based label Don’t Look Down Records. The four-piece outfit, fronted by vocalist and songwriter Ethan Jayne, has been steadily gaining momentum with several self-released EPs over the last few years, and this debut full-length, full of droning metal riffs and feedback squals that travel unpredictable sonic paths, is an intense one-of-a-kind rock and roll experience.
Matching the aural edginess, this darkly-tinged music video for the album’s single, “Sores,” offers a gritty and mysterious vignette paired with ominous shots of the band playing live for an effect like that of an old Nirvana music video on quaaludes–in a good way.
OVVN (pronounced own) will be performing as part of the upcoming Last Record Store 33 & 1/3 Anniversary Party in Santa Rosa. For more details on that show, click here.
Last summer, Sonoma County indie pop outfit the Velvet Teen released one of the best albums of their career, All Is Illusory, and celebrated with a tour of Japan. Luckily for us, they brought along talented filmmaker Timmy Lodhi of Khan Videos to shoot footage and set it to music.
Now, that footage accompanies the All Is Illusory song “You Were the First” in a frenetic and fun music video. Shot in black-and-white, the video captures the band as they navigate Japan, play in front of the dedicated fanbase they’ve built there, and eat lots and lots of Japanese delights. Seriously, it looks like these guys scarfed down a ton of street food on that tour. Watch for yourself, below.
Petaluma folk quartet Trebuchet have a new collection of harmonious music for you, just in time for the holidays. Rivers Out of Streams is a collaborative effort between the band and and the Santa Rosa Young People’s Chamber Orchestra. Filled with string arrangements and melodic wonder, this new release expands the group’s already lush acoustics into a swell of symphonic joy.
You can order Rivers Out of Streams on the band’s site here. It comes as a 10″ vinyl and includes unlimited streaming of the record online, which is good because you’ll want to listen to this one again and again.
Back in July, I spoke with Santa Rosa indie folk rockers Rags about their DIY approach and upcoming debut album. That record, Grounding, finally has a release date of November 13, and today the band unveils “Piece Together,” their first music video off the album.
“Piece Together” is a beautifully melancholic acoustic dirge. Singer and songwriter Charlie Davenport’s rhythmic riffs are buoyed by the swelling cello of Jiordi Rosales, while the drums and bass of Zak Garn and Travis Hendrix fill out the spaces in between the group’s stirring vocal harmonies. Directed by Jim Shoop, the visuals here are hazy, hypnotic and intensely intimate.
Rags are celebrating the long-awaited release of Grounding with a show on Nov. 13 in Santa Rosa. Details are here.
Santa Rosa guitarist and songwriter Francesco Catania is a bit of a musical chameleon, able to rock a melodic soul jam as easily as a post punk anthem. He’s been seen playing alongside local favorites like John Courage, and recently went on the road with Arizona garage rock duo Burning Palms.
This weekend, Catania dusts off his gold cape and shiny shoes to show a different side of his musical personality when he performs under his solo electronic outfit Frances Wolfe. An ongoing project since 2013, Frances Wolfe allows Catania to go deep into his inner cosmos, producing synth and reverb-soaked atmospheres that blissfully explore ambient sounds and abstract melodies for a down-tempo chill wave head trip.
In anticipation of a new EP this fall, Frances Wolfe has released his latest single, “Portrait.” The tune wanders in and out of a trippy guitar riff as building feedback menacingly encroaches and Catania’s voice floats like an out-of-body experience. Listen to “Portrait” below:
On Sunday, Aug 2, Frances Wolfe performs at the Arlene Francis Center as part of an eclectic showthat also includes face-melting jazz from InOverOut, rock and roll from Sleepwalk Sunday, dreamy punk from Plastic Ghost, groovy pianos from Saffell and more. 99 Sixth St, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $5-$10. For more details, click here.
Noah Benjamin Lennox is best known as a member of experimental indie rock group Animal Collective, and under the pseudonym Panda Bear, Lennox has evolved considerably as an electronic artist with a pitch perfect penchant for expansive melodies in his sampled beats. This week, Panda Bear released his fifth solo album, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, to universal acclaim; and today at noon tickets go on sale for Panda Bear’s upcoming concert at Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma on April 16. This is a great chance to see the indie star in the intimate setting of Gun Bun’s newly restored Old Redwood Barn. Click here to grab tickets to the show, and watch the official video for “Mr Noah,” the first single off the new album.
Napa’s Comfort Slacks released their official video this weekend for “Biscuit on My Six,” and it’s highly suggested you watch it. This band makes catchy, fun music that’s so irreverent it’s hard not to find something to love in each song.
In this video, see if you can spot the following: Shake Weight™, a judge, weatherman, a toaster that has the word “cooking” hand painted on it, Etch-a-Sketch™, a man getting a haircut, wine in a coffee mug, a comically large “cigarette,” plastic He-Man™ toy, gold hotpants, underpants that fit four people at once.
The video, which is a genius riff on a local morning television talk show, dares the viewer to contemplete: What’s your favorite type of biscuit? Blueberry? Dog? Gluten-free? Whisker? Sweet? Buttermilk?
It’s a great video, but I have to say I’m a little disappointed that this isn’t an actual show. I’d watch it every morning.