Bay Area alternative indie band Picture Atlantic possess a rapid fire rock and roll sound that harkens back to the festive pop of British Invasion bands while repping an authentic West Coast brashness.
Recently, the band released the quick, acerbic and memorable “Billy Banker,” the second official single off the upcoming full length album, Assouf, due out October 21.
Take two minutes out of your Friday to hear the high-energy single below, and head over to Silo’s in Napa tonight to see the band perform with Napa natives and fellow indie rockers Anadel. The first fifty in the door even get that sweet show poster to take home.
North Carolina’s the Avett Brothers, aka siblings Scott and Seth Avett, have been making lovely harmonic country folk music since 2000, when they were still in college and high school, respectively. With a slew of critically beloved albums–including this summer’s masterfully emotional True Sadness–and a reputation for rollicking and heartfelt live shows, they’ve become one of the biggest ‘indie’ acts touring today.
And if their show last night at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center is any indication, their hard-working ethics and dynamic musicianship is a strong as ever. The band played a high soaring set of music from their entire 16-year catalogue in the beautiful Weill Hall, with the back wall open and fans packed on the lawn. Folks sung and clapped along for the two-hour set that saw the brothers power through dozens of their best songs.
With no opener, the band came out strong with an instrumental opener complete with kazoo solos. Backing the banjo picking Scott and guitar slinging Seth is bassist Bob Crawford, cellist Joe Kwon, violinist Tania Elizabeth, pianist Paul DeFiglia and drummer Mike Marsh. The ensemble offered lots of selections from True Sadness, though they also reached back to the earlier works and gave every member of the group a chance to spotlight their talents.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the Avett Brothers play live four times now over the last few years, from the fields of BottleRock Napa Valley and under the columns of Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, to an intimate theater in Visalia, and last night’s performance stood out for it’s eclectic mix of song selections and juxtaposition of hushed acoustic and all-out electric power. At one point, Seth took his guitar into the crowd for a blazing rock and roll guitar solo, and Tania Elizabeth damn near stole the show with an amazing violin performance that sounded like a full assortment of stringed players.
Congrats to whoever is booking the shows at the Green Music Center. They’ve got a great ear for music and a great taste for a wide range of acts. For a list of upcoming concerts there, click the link.
Patsy Cline would have been 84 this week. The legendary country star and Hall of Fame vocalist was born September 8, 1932, in Winchester, Virginia. In her brief 30 years on Earth, Cline would become one of the most recognizable voices in country music and would achieve crossover success with hits like “Walkin’ After Midnight” and her iconic version of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy.”
Cline was killed in an airplane crash in 1963, though her memory lives on in generations of fans and fellow performers who keep her voice alive. One of those performers is Santa Cruz-based Carolyn Sills, whose vintage country combo is a 2016 Ameripolitan Award nominee and Academy of Western Artist nominee for Western Swing group of the year.
This weekend, the Carolyn Sills Combo revisits Patsy Cline’s classic catalogue of tunes with authentic honky tonk sounds and swinging energy. The group gets up to the North Bay on Sunday Sept 11, with a birthday bash celebration at Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Ave, Mill Valley. 4pm. $15. 415.388.3850.
Santa Rosa folk-punk band Buck-Thrifty has been around less than a year, and though their new album is titled “The Slacktivist,” the band is anything but slackers. Already, their bluesy and swinging brand of music has put them on the North Bay map. With the new record, these young bucks are taking things to another level.
This week, Buck-Thrifty unveils “The Slacktivist” with a show in Sonoma. Joining them on the bill is an eclectic lineup that includes Oddjob Ensemble and the Timothy O’Neil Band. Below, check out a live performance video of the band playing “Sweatin’,” featured on the new album, from a house show last April.
Buck-Thrifty gets the crowds dancing once again on Friday, Aug 26, at Rossi’s 1906, 401 Grove St, Sonoma. 7:30pm. $10. 18 and older. 707.343.0044.
Knights are so hot right now, from Game of Thrones fandom to sword and sorcery video games and comic books that abound. Tonight, local troupe North Bay Cabaret commences with their second annual Hot August Knights burlesque and variety show featuring shining armor and damsels in distress.
This medieval affair features live sword fighting, sketch comedy, acrobatics and several sideshows from a bevy of local talent. Local DJs keep the beat going with a late night dance party, and costume contests and photo booths get the crowd involved. Dress up and show up tonight, Aug 19, at Annie O’s Music Hall, 120 Fifth St, Santa Rosa. Doors at 7pm, 21 and over only. $15.
Now in its 5th year, summer concert series Live at lagunitas is for lovers, especially when Portland, Or, folk pop band Blind Pilot plays an intimate and emotionally resonant concert at the Petaluma brewery’s LaguMiniAmphitheaterette. That was the case last night, as couples and friends cuddled close while the sun dipped behind redwood trees and the harmonizing six-piece band wowed with their infectious music.
Blind Pilot closed out the first leg of their summer tour, playing in support of their brand new album, And Then Like Lions, which came out just last Friday. The band played a perfectly balanced setlist of both the new material and the best selections from their last two albums, 2008’s Three Rounds and a Sound and 2011’s We Are the Tide. Seeing as how it’s been five years since Blind Pilot’s last release, And Then Like Lions is a welcomed record for fans of the band who’ve patiently waited while singer-songwriter Israel Nebeker and the rest of the crew honed the new music.
Marin-born and New York City-based songwriter Peter Murray, of the duo John Heart Jackie, opened the show with a solo set that burned slowly and showcased Murray’s melancholy lyricism and forlorn delivery to good effect, though the crowd was still in conversation mode, sipping on beers in metal pint glasses (Lagunitas has done away with plastic cups) and catching up with friends.
By the time Blind Pilot took the stage, the sun was setting and the breeze was cooling the crowd, bringing them in close to the stage to sing along with the band’s effortless pop melodies. Seeing a band of this artistry, up close and personal in a relaxed setting like the LaguMiniAmphitheaterette, is a special occasion. I can’t wait to do it again next week, when Brooklyn indie rockers Parquet Courts play the next Live at Lagunitas show on Tuesday, Aug 23.
Earlier this summer, the Bohemian profiled Sonoma County folk songwriter Frankie Boots, the front man of Frankie Boots & the County Line, whose new album, Leave the Light On, is awash in dusty Americana charm and soulful melodies.
While Boots is known to many for his acoustic affirmations, this week he unveils an altogether louder electric sound when he plays in Forestville this month with his new outfit, Frankie Boots & the City Limits. The new trio promises to shred the stage at the old school Forestville Club with punk rockers Bucc Nyfe and high energy project Sharkmouth in a show dubbed “Louder Things,” a play off the great new Netflix series “Stranger Things” (hence the awesome show flyer designed by Boots himself).
This is an awesome lineup of Sonoma County bands, and at five bucks, it’s a steal of a show. Don’t miss Frankie Boots & the City Limits when they play on Friday, Aug 12 at the Forestville Club, 6250 Front St, Forestville. 8pm.
San Diego electro-funk big band Vokab Kompany is hot off the release of their 5th studio album, The Good Kompany Record [Instrumentals], and is performing this weekend at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol as part of their summer tour.
Led by vocalists Rob Hurt and Burke Baby, the eclectic ensemble has successfully gotten the party started for the last 10 years by blending elements of hip-hop, soul, electronica and pop and
Their latest album, an instrumental version of their fourth studio effort (simply titled The Good Kompany Record), is an eclectic testament to the myriad influences and styles the group is capable of mastering in an effortless collection of beats.
Listen to the instrumental album below and catch the Kompany when they perform on Friday, July 29, at HopMonk in Sebastopol with Los Angeles funk stars Soluzion.
It’s been a Big Sur tradition for six years, but the Woodsist Festival, co-presented by Woodsist Records and (((folkYEAH!)))) announced today that they have been forced to move the location of this year’s musically diverse fest–scheduled for today and tomorrow, July 26 and 27–to Love Field in Point Reyes Station.
The culprit is the out of control Soberanes Fire, which has burned more than 19,000 acres in the Big Sur area of Monterey County. With camping a big part of the Woodsist experience, Love Field–a longtime home for the popular Far West Fest–is able to provide. A free campground space is being offered to all ticket holders who won’t have time to book a hotel in west Marin County with less than a day’s notice.
The 2016 Woodsist Festival boasts a lineup headlined tonight, July 26, by Brooklyn’s lauded indie rockers Woods (Woodsist record label and festival founders), along with songwriter and former Kurt Vile & the Violators guitarist Steve Gunn, veteran folk songwriter Michael Hurley and others.
For tomorrow night, July 27, songwriter Tim Presley’s solo project White Fence leads a pack of performers that also includes former Modern Lovers frontman Jonathan Richman and more. Below is a copy of the full statement posted today on (((folkYEAH!))) and a full lineup. Tickets are still available here.
At the turn of the century, in the era of pop punk and emo waves of genre rock that pulsed through the collective teeneage conciosuness, Hey Mercedes was one of the biggest bands out there. Formed from the remains of ’90s emo-core outfit Braid, Hey Mercedes combined smart syncopated beats and heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics for a pop-tastic run of well-received albums.
Disbanded since 2005, Hey Mercedes have reformed and are currently knee-deep in a cross-country tour playing their 2001 debut full-length album, Everynight Fireworks, in full. This week, Hey Mercedes welcomes Sonoma County indie rockers the Velvet Teen for three shows in California. They play in West Hollywood at the Troubadour on Thursday, July 21; in San Francisco at the Bottom of the Hill on Friday, July 22; and in Santa Ana at the Constellation Room on Saturday, July 23.
The San Francisco show at the Bottom of the Hill will also feature San Francisco garage-pop band Cocktails, who are playing a record release show for new album, Hypochondriac. Click here for more details. And click below to hear some of the Velvet Teen’s latest album, 2015’s excellent All Is Illusory.