Can’t wait until October to have a Halloween party? Neither can Los Angeles garage rockers Isaac Rother & The Phantoms, who roll into Santa Rosa on Wednesday, July 13, for a spooktacular show that kicks off their ‘Haunting the West Coast’ summer tour. Specializing in a throwback ’60s sound akin to Bo Diddley and Screaming Jay Hawkins, Rother’s larger-than-life onstage personality perfectly matches the group’s off-the-wall punk rock aesthetics.
Joining the Phantoms on July 13 are Oakland-based indie rock innovators O.C.D and Santa Rosa’s gleefully experimental Secret Cat. Boys and Ghouls of all ages are invited to dress up and enjoy Halloween in July on Wednesday, July 13, at Atlas Coffee Company, 300 South A St, Suite 4, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $5. Get a preview of Isaac Rother & the Phantoms’ unspeakable horror below.
It’s been awhile since longstanding Santa Rosa punk band Ashtray has been on stage in their hometown. Almost five years in fact. In the meantime, there’s been babies born, changes of scenery and side projects for the group, led by vocalists Sarah-Jane Andrew and Dave Wiseman. Next week, July 8, Ashtray makes their return to Sonoma County with a show at Annie O’s Music Hall in Railroad Square, presented by the Nor Bay Pyrate Punx.
Also on the bill is Sacramento punk legends the Secretions, who themselves are celebrating their 25th anniversary of playing loud and fast with leather jackets and spiked hair, as well as Sonoma County punk bands the Quitters, Speed Wobble and Kitten Drunk. Like Ashtray, these bands all play an old school punk rock in the veins of the Ramones and Black Flag as well as a funky blend ’90s punk-ska rock akin to Operation Ivy.
This show is one of several concerts this summer being booked by the Nor Bay Pyrate Punx. The nonprofit group is actually one of 44 united Pyrate Punx crews/chapters/collectives in the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, Indonesia and Australia. You can get more info on the punx here. Click below to hear Ashtray’s album “White Sugar is the Devil.”
This Monday, July 4, a full lineup of young punk rock bands hits the grass at Doyle Park in Santa Rosa for a day of loud tunes and good food to celebrate America’s 240th birthday.
“A Day in the Park” will feature Oakland rockers Sterile Mind, Santa Rosa band Hellbomber, all-female North Bay punks Kitten Drunk and Santa Rosa sludge rock outfit Amnesia, though the local crowds will also get a rare chance to see two bands from Bogota, Colombia–Dead Hero and Final–as they tour through the states this summer.
Dead Hero is a four-piece band playing a classic, riff-heavy punk that recalls late ’70s ripped jeans, big hair and big noise. Final boasts aggressively bold and furiously fast hardcore punk that nails down a darkly double-timed sound.
A Day in the Park will also have barbeque courtesy of Knife for Hire and will run throughout the afternoon on Monday, July 4, at Doyle Park, Santa Rosa. Music starts at noon and admission is free. Donations are requested for bands and food.
Get a listen to Dead Hero’s latest 12″ Antisocial, below.
After more than a decade of playing a crowd-pleasing and foot-stomping brand of folk rock, Sonoma County songwriter Arann Harris is hanging up his hat and guitar, apparently for good. Harris performs a farewell concert this weekend, June 4, at McNear’s Mystic Theatre in his hometown of Petaluma.
The word from Harris is that he’s giving up a life on the road to focus on his family and work at Windrush Farm. Founded by his mother, Mimi Luebbermann, the working sheep farm produces quality wool fiber and educates the public about farm life through classes and camp events.
While it’s understandable, it’s no less a huge loss for Sonoma County’s music scene. Harris has long been a regular figure at the North Bay’s best events as well as its many clubs and venues, both with his own Farm Band and alongside fellow songwriters like David Lunning, Frankie Boots and others.
For this final concert at the Mystic Theatre, Portland blues duo Hillstomp and veteran solo performer Sean Hayes join Harris in what’s expected to be a blowout party. Get details on tickets and more by clicking here.
Best of luck, Arann. Thanks for the music and the memories.
Best known as the co-founder and frontman of 1970s rock band Ambrosia, Pack has performed at BottleRock for the past two years. For 2016, the Napa Valley resident and multi-platinum selling artist takes to the train for two consecutive “After-BottleRock Wine Train Hang” shows where he’ll play his classic hits while the train rolls through the valley.
Joining Pack for both nights are wines from Far Niente, Silver Oak, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Gargiulo Vineyards, and Casa Piena; all of whom collaborated with Pack on his 2014 “Napa Crossroads” album. Also joining Pack on Saturday, May 28, is indie rocker Robert Schwartzman, lead singer of the band Rooney, who also appeared on “Napa Crossroads.”
The vintage Napa Valley Wine Train picks up passengers for these concerts at 10pm on May 27 and May 28 at the Wine Train’s Pop-Up Restaurant and Bar while the train is parked by the 3rd Street festival gate. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Get tickets here.
Drummer, songwriter and producer Narada Michael Walden is the man behind more than 50 Number One hits, working with everyone from Mariah Carey to Jeff Beck with great acclaim. Last year, Walden released his latest solo album, Evolution, a funky and soulful collection of tunes that harken back to the musician’s origins with joyful energy.
Released on his own imprint, Tarpan Records, the new record features special guest musicians including Nikita Germaine (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan) on vocals, Frank Martin (Tuck & Patti, Jose’ Neto) on keyboards, Angeline Saris (Gretchen Menn, Zepperella) on bass and vocals and Matthew Charles Heulitt (Zigaboo Modaliste) on guitars.
This Saturday, May 21, the Marin-based Walden brings his latest evolution in music to Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley for a power-packed concert with Martin, Saris and Heulitt on hand to help him perform classic hits and new songs alike in a passionate night of music. If you haven’t heard Evolution yet, click on the video below to hear the title track. Tickets are available here.
Last week, BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival broke the news that it had already sold out all three days of its fourth annual fest, taking place in Napa May 27 to 29. For those who’ve missed out on the event, there’s now a ray of hope, as the fest has announced a week of aftershows taking place in and around Napa Valley.
The lineup of artists appearing at various venues range from songwriter Michael Franti to comedy duo Cheech & Chong to classic hip-hop group the Pharcyde to gypsy punk ensemble Gogol Bordello; meaning there’s something for everyone. There will also be pre-fest shows on Thursday, May 26, and a post festival performance by Rodrigo y Gabriela on Monday, May 30, at Uptown Theatre.
Check out the full list below, and grab tickets to these concerts at bottlerocknapavalley.com.
Returning to the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds on Saturday, August 6, the Petaluma Music Festival once again brings an enormous array of talent to three stages for a fun-filled day of music that benefits music programs in Petaluma’s public elementary and secondary schools. This year’s festival boasts its biggest lineup to date with an incredible roster of local and regional musicians.
Headlining the festival is prominent California songwriter Jackie Greene, best known as a former member of the Black Crowes, as one half of the Skinny Singers duo and for his own prolific solo output. Greene is a North Bay favorite, often selling out weeklong residencies at venues like Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley and playing alongside legends like Phil Lesh at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael.
Speaking of North Bay favorites, masterful guitarist and songwriter Steve Kimock will also play the Petaluma Music Festival, and he’s bringing friends. Best known for founding ’80s jazz rock fusion band Zero and now living in Sebastopol, Kimock this year unveiled his latest solo album, Last Danger of Frost, an experimental blend of Eastern and Western melodies. He’s also recently debuted his latest collaboration, KIMOCK, a duo with his son John.
Also on the bill for the Petaluma Music Festival are Bay Area veterans the Mother Hips, David Nelson Band, Moonalice and Mark Karan. The festival fills out the rest of its lineup with Northern California musicians David Luning, Kingsborough, Highway Poets, the Sam Chase, Joy & Madness, Saffell, MoeTar, the Melt and the Grain.
This past weekend, April 15-17, some 28 bands and hundreds of fans came together for Sonoma County’s inaugural Next Level Showcase and Conference, with two days of music and a daylong seminar covering the business of creativity all aimed at helping local musicians get the information and assistance they need to take their music to, well, the next level.
Organized by the folks at Creative Sonoma (a program under Sonoma County’s economic development board) as well as the North Bay Hootenanny and Second Octave (both local promoters and event producers), the Friday and Saturday showcase took place at Arlene Francis Center next to Railroad Square, and the Sunday conference commenced down the block at Chop’s Teen Center.
In short, the two-day showcase was a fun-filled inspiration to anyone who’s a fan of North Bay bands, with a variety of genres and styles on display. Friday featured several folk acts alongside indie rockers. The crowd cheered along with harmonious groups like Rainbow Girls and emotionally-resonating rockers like Manzanita Falls.
Pop band Lungs and Limbs got a dance party going in the classroom stage, one of three performance spaces that featured bands, and the eclectic Oddjob Ensemble closed out Friday with a fantastic performance that included horns and accordions a plenty.
Saturday was a decidedly louder affair, what with experimental noise rock outfit Antiphony blasting the small saloon stage to pieces as the evening’s opening act.
Other spirited Sonoma County bands, like the quirky and solid Secret Cat, reminded the crowds that you can be both silly and sensational, and several San Francisco acts showed up as well, like Travis Hayes & the Young Daze, who were joined onstage by Petaluma singer Emily Whitehurst of Tsunami Bomb and Survival Guide fame.
Taking place in the cultural heart of Santa Rosa, last year’s inaugural Railroad Square Music Festival, presented by the North Bay Hootenanny, was hands down one of 2015’s best days of music in Sonoma County. With two stages of bands belting out folk, rock and country music and wild acts from performance art groups like Circus Maximus, the free-admission and all-ages event perfectly captured the freewheeling, laid back and friendly way most people around here like to live their life.
Now, the Railroad Square Music Festival is in the planning stages for round two, set to take place once again in the historic square on Sunday, June 5, 2016. And the first wave of acts has already been announced.
Slated to appear at this year’s fest are the Easy Leaves, Royal Jelly Jive, the Dixie Giants, the Bootleg Honeys and John Courage; an eclectic blend of traditional country, gypsy jazz, New Orleans jazz, Americana and rock and roll. And that’s only the ones we know about so far. To stayed tuned to the happenings with 2016’s Railroad Square Music Festival, check the website here. To see highlights of last year’s event, click on the video.