Bruno Ferrandis to Depart from Santa Rosa Symphony

Posted by: on Nov 24, 2015 | Comments (0)

photo credit: Clay McLachlan

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.

O+ Festival Takes Over Petaluma This Weekend

Posted by: on Nov 5, 2015 | Comments (0)

Rainbow Girls

Mixing music and art with wellness, the O+ (O Positive) Festival hits downtown Petaluma this weekend with spirited concerts, art exhibits and community togetherness. The idea behind this fest, which also takes place annually in Kingston, New York and Chicago, Illinois, is that participating artists, musicians and volunteers exchange their contributions in return for wellness services from art-loving doctors, dentists and other practitioners.

Run by local Petaluma business and gallery owners, the O+ Festival kicks off on Friday, Nov 6, with a concert by Bay Area garage jazz band Invisible Cinema, happening at the Prince Gallery. It continues through Saturday with live art and all-day shows taking place around Putnam Plaza in downtown Petaluma. Slated to perform this year are local favorites like Lauren Ashley Brown, Royal Jelly Jive and Rainbow Girls.

Festival goers will need to have a O+ wristband to enter the Kick-Off Party and concerts at The Big Easy. Outdoor events in Putnam Plaza and American Alley are free and open to the public. This year, wristbands will be complimentary but with a suggested $10 donation.

For more information, click on the festival’s website here.

Phil Lesh is Battling Cancer

Posted by: on Oct 19, 2015 | Comments (0)

Photo by Stuart Levine

Grateful Dead founding member and Terrapin Crossroads owner Phil Lesh announced late last week that he has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.

Lesh made the announcement on the Terrapin Crossroads website, stating he was diagnosed early in October and that he has spent the last several weeks being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Fortunately, Lesh indicates that the tumors in his bladder were not aggressive and that recent surgery to remove the cancerous tissue has been so far successful. From the venue’s website, Lesh writes:

I am very fortunate to have the pathology reports show that the tumors are all non aggressive, and that there is no indication that they have spread.

So thanks to my local doctor Cliff Sewell, and the incredible team at the Mayo Clinic, all is well and I can return to normal activities in two weeks from my surgery.

Obviously, this prognosis is encouraging news, though Lesh will have to cancel his two upcoming shows with Chris Robinson, originally scheduled for Oct 24 and 25 at Terrapin Crossroads. More info and the complete statement from Lesh can be found here.

Our thoughts are with Lesh and his family, Get well, Phil!

Lucius Teams with Lagunitas

Posted by: on Oct 6, 2015 | Comments (0)

Brooklyn indie pop group Lucius has been steadily rising through the musical ranks ever since their 2013 album Wildewoman shot to tops of many critics’ lists with infectious melodies and the stunning harmonies of duel vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig.

Last year, Lucius performed at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma as part of the brewery’s Summer Concert Series. Apparently, that experience was so good that the band has been looking to work with Lagunitas again. Today, Lucius announced they’re teaming with the North Bay brewer for a tour. From their website:

“Since playing a memorable show in Lagunitas’ backyard last summer (which ended with an an audience-sourced video that captured the last song of the night), Lucius x Lagunitas has been thinking of ways to recreate that same communal feeling.

So, here we are, thrilled to announce that next month, just before Thanksgiving, Lucius x Lagunitas will team up for a week of shows in the Pacific Northwest. All tickets sales will be donated to a local nonprofit in each city.

The four-date tour hits Washington and Oregon before it concludes at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma on November 21. The concert will be a benefit for the theater, and will boast beer sales for 21-and-over attendees, something rarely done at the venue. Tickets go on sale Friday and more info can be found here.

Click on the video below to watch that crowd-sourced video from last year’s show at Lagunitas and hear why Lucius is one of the most enchanting groups performing today.

Meet the Last Audio Cassette Factory

Posted by: on Sep 4, 2015 | Comments (0)

If you’re a record collector, you’ve probably read that there are very few vinyl pressing plants left in the USA today, causing massive delays for popular releases on vinyl. But, if you’re a cassette tape collector, you may not know that there is only ONE factory still making analog, magnetized cassette tapes for music.

When all the other manufacturers moved to CD replication in the 1990s, the National Audio Company held on tight to their tapes, even buying out their former competitors’ equipment. With a major re-emergence in the last decade of cassette-only music labels and album releases from independent musicians everywhere, this Springfield, MO, plant is busier than ever.

Learn all about National Audio Company in this cool little video from Bloomburg Business and relive the salad days of the Walkman.

Audrey Auld Passes Away at 51

Posted by: on Aug 11, 2015 | Comments (0)

photo by: Stacie Huckeba

Marin singer-songwriter Audrey Auld-Mezera died at her home in Stinson Beach after a battle with cancer on Sunday, August 9, surrounded by family and friends. She was 51. Auld was a beloved figure in the North Bay country music scene, a gifted lyricist and vocalist who was generous with her time and talents.

Born in Tasmania, Auld spent most of her music career living in Marin County, until she moved with her husband Mez Mezera to Nashville in 2007 to be a part of the music business there. Though she was never far from Marin, returning often to perform and visit with friends. Diagnosed with cancer last year, Auld returned to her “American home” as she called it to spend her final months in the North Bay.

In the wake of Auld’s passing, the community has praised her music and her character. On the KRSH’s weekly Monday night program ‘Evening Muse,’ host Robin Pressman spoke of Auld’s ” irrepressible and radiant” spirit; and she echoed those sentiments in an email to the Bohemian. “Audrey’s smile entered the room first, followed closely by her laughter, and then that sassy Aussie accent. And she used her joyous nature to help others,” said Pressman.

Auld built up an impressive resume of music over the course of 11 albums and three EP’s on her own Reckless Records label. Her last album, Hey Warden, especially highlights her authentic and generous personality. Released in November of 2014, the album was recorded with inmates at San Quentin Federal Prison, a passion project for the songwriter who had lead workshops and offered performances at the institution since 2006. Her ability to connect to others, no matter the circumstances, and to positively impact those around her will be remembered as fondly as her music.


Brothers Comatose Host “Comatopia” Music Festival

Posted by: on Aug 3, 2015 | Comments (0)

San Francisco string band the Brothers Comatose are beloved in the North Bay and beyond for their stirring original tunes and striking vocal harmonies. Formed four years ago by siblings Ben and Alex Morrison, the band imbues their traditional roots folk music with an infectious and accessible modernity that’s been drawing in crowds young and old alike. Already a mainstay on West Coast music fests and a headlining act in California, the Brothers this year have decided to take things to the hills and host their own festival in the Sierra Mountains. They’ve dubbed it “Comatopia.”

Taking place throughout the weekend of August 14-16, Comatopia is billed as a string summit at the Sierra Valley Lodge in Calpine, CA, about an hour north of Truckee. Joining the Brothers are a cavalcade of other Bay Area and North Bay folk, rock and jazz acts, giving the fest a versatile sound.

Comatopia kicks off on Friday, Aug 14, with headliners Hot Buttered Rum String Band joined by Steve Poltz and the Easy Leaves. Saturday, Aug 15, sees the Brothers Comatose headlining with support from the Sam Chase, Dixie Giants and Steve Poltz once again. Sunday, Aug 16, includes an All Star Bluegrass Jam in the afternoon with all the players taking part and getting down in the picturesque setting.

Comatopia takes place August 14-16 at the Sierra Valley Lodge, 103 Main Street, Calpine. $25 and up. 503.562.7051. Tickets are available now, with optional VIP, camping and room packages.

Cat Power, Bonnie “Prince” Billy Headed to Sonoma

Posted by: on Jul 28, 2015 | Comments (0)

Cat Power; photo by Austin Conroy

The musical minds running Gundlach Bundschu Winery are at it again, working with Bay Area concert curators (((folkYEAH!))) to bring the best in indie-minded bands and songwriters to Sonoma Valley. Today, the two partners announced a pair of new shows, with Gun Bun welcoming Cat Power on Wednesday, September 2, and Bonnie “Price” Billy on Sunday, September 27.

Enigmatic singer and songwriter Cat Power, aka Chan Marshall, has evolved from a lo-fi punk singer to an acclaimed and eclectic songwriter in her 20-year career. Her most recent album, 2012’s Sun, was praised for its passion and pop sensibility. This summer marks the famously introspective artist’s first live dates since announcing she gave birth to a baby in late April.

Bonnie “Prince” Billy

Bonnie “Prince” Billy is the stage name for songwriter and occasional actor Will Oldham. Since 1998, Oldham has released the majority of his musical works under the pseudonym, crafting a traditional roots rock and Americana folk with a gutsy, avant-garde approach that always satisfies. His latest LP, 2014’s Singer’s Grave a Sea of Tongues, exemplifies Oldham’s willingness to bend the rules by acting as a covers album to his own previous material with rollicking reworkings and stark new translations of his older tunes.

These two shows are in addition to Gun Bun’s already highly anticipated upcoming concert with Seattle grunge legends Mudhoney and the excellently loud San Francisco garage rockers Fuzz, featuring Ty Segall. That show is scheduled for Friday, October 16.

Tickets for Cat Power go on sale Friday, July 31. Bonnie “Prince” Billy tickets as well as Mudhoney tickets are available now.

Soul Asylum Switches Up Venues

Posted by: on Jul 20, 2015 | Comments (0)

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.


Say Hello to “New Music Fridays”

Posted by: on Jul 10, 2015 | Comments (0)

photo courtesy of The Last Record Store

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.