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California Roots Music & Art Fest to Plant 800 Redwoods

Posted by: on Aug 12, 2016 | Comments (0)

Hosting tens of thousands of music and art lovers in Monterey for the last seven years, the California Roots Music & Arts Festival has grown to become one of the most popular fests in the state. Now, Cali Roots is giving back, partnering with the Redwood Forest Foundation to introduce 400 limited Redwood Passes for next year’s festival. Two redwoods will be planted for each Redwood Pass, resulting in a total of 800 new redwood trees.

“The Cali Roots movement is about developing and sustaining our community and that involves protecting our environment,” says festival co-founder Dan Sheehan in a statement released this month.

In addition to ongoing composting and recycling efforts the festival makes every year, the new program aims to help further reduce carbon emissions through the planting of these trees. California’s redwood forests are the biggest source of natural carbon removal in the state.

The Eighth Annual California Roots Festival will take place at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center, memorial day weekend 2017. Cali Roots will begin artist announcements for the 2017 festival in October.

Listen to Emily Jane White’s New Single, “Frozen Garden”

Posted by: on May 13, 2016 | Comments (0)

Singer and songwriter Emily Jane White’s mysterious new album, They Moved in Shadow All Together, is already out in Europe, but fans here in the states have had to wait patiently to hear the latest from the darkly experimental Oakland-based artist and Fort Bragg native.

Until now, as White this week unveiled the lead single from the new record, “Frozen Garden.” The song is a lush and melodic journey through dense layers of instrumental textures, with White’s voice acting as a guiding light breathlessly leading the listener ever deeper into the tangled brush.

They Moved in Shadow All Together will be released in the US on June 10 through Talitres Records. Get your copy by clicking here.

Donate to the Upcoming Musical Instrument Drive

Posted by: on May 5, 2016 | Comments (0)

 

Got some spring cleaning to do? Have an old trumpet or guitar or even a tambourine taking up space in your closet? Now’s your chance to de-clutter and help a student in need at the same time. The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is hosting a Musical Instrument Drive this Saturday, May 7, at Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa, where students from across Sonoma County will perform while any and all instruments are accepted for donation, to go to the Luther Burbank Center’s Music for Schools program.

The program’s mission is simple; provide instruments to kids who otherwise could not afford one. Since it’s widely known that musical education is an important aspect to a well-rounded education, this outreach program is important.

Music for Schools relies on instrument and cash donations (for repair) to place instruments into the hands of students from low-income families. This weekend’s drive is one of the program’s major donation days, and local students who have already received these gifts will be on hand to display their talents. As an added bonus, anyone who donates an instrument will get a box of See’s Candies Springtime Truffles (while supplies last.)

The full performance schedule is  below, for more details, click here.

Next Level Grants Now Available for Musicians

Posted by: on May 2, 2016 | Comments (0)

Last month, the Next Level Showcase and Conference introduced Sonoma County music lovers to an array of local musicians and bands, and introduced those musicians to several industry professionals and insiders who led a daylong symposium revolving around the business of music.

Now, Next Level is in full swing of its second phase, a grants program where five Sonoma County musicians can each win $2,500 to help them in their musical endeavors. These grants will be paired with ten hours of one-on-one consulting with industry experts to help encourage the most effective use of the grant funds.

Under the direction of Creative Sonoma–an arts program with the county’s economic development board–and in association with the North Bay Hootenanny, Next Level’s grant program is made possible by a donation from the Hewlett Foundation. Grant applications, due June 6, are available now online.

Later this month, Next Level is holding an applicant Q&A session on Tuesday, May 17, at 1pm, at the Creative Sonoma offices, 141 Stony Circle, Ste 110, Santa Rosa. Applicants can call into the meeting as well, 707.565.8996.

BottleRock Announces Aftershows

Posted by: on Apr 27, 2016 | Comments (0)

Michael Franti plays at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley on May 26.

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.

Prince’s Passing Signals the Rapture

Posted by: on Apr 21, 2016 | Comments (0)

Prince at Coachella in 2008.

Today, April 21, legendary songwriter, singer, guitarist and music icon Prince died at his home in Minnesota. The Purple One was only 57. Millions of fans worldwide are in mourning, stunned by the latest loss in a 2016 that has seen too many entertainers go too soon.

In a year that began with the death of David Bowie, a year that has also taken monumental musicians like Lemmy, Merle Haggard and A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg as well as stars of stage and screen like Alan Rickman and Garry Shandling, Prince’s untimely passing confirms what I already believed to be true. 2016 is the Rapture.

We’ve long been led to believe that the Rapture, the biblical end-times event where good souls depart for the Heavens while the wicked remain behind, would be an instantaneous one. Yet, evidence is starting to pile up that it’s a gradual ascension, and now the forces of good can include Prince in their swirling legions.

Of course, that’s not an actual or literal theory of mine, it’s just that this year has simply seen too many great and inspiring figures leave us forever. Truly, this is what it sounds like when doves cry.

 

A Look Back at Next Level

Posted by: on Apr 18, 2016 | Comments (0)

Santa Rosa’s Manzanita Falls show off some new songs at Next Level on Friday, April 15.

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.

Sonoma County folk veteran Kevin Russell (second from the right) brought his So-Called Friends with him to perform at Next Level.

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.

Secret Cat balanced high-energy and tight grooves at Next Level on Saturday night.

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.

Petaluma’s Emily Whitehurst shares the spotlight with San Francisco alt-rocker Travis Hayes at Next Level.

BottleRock Napa Valley is Sold-Out

Posted by: on Apr 14, 2016 | Comments (0)

We are still six weeks away from the fourth annual BottleRock Napa Valley, yet today festival promoters have announced that all passes have officially sold, meaning that those who snoozed on this getting tickets to year’s event indeed lose the chance to grab them from the festival itself.

While it’s not necessarily surprising that BottleRock sold out, what with musical headliners like Stevie Wonder and an array of culinary masters once again slated to appear in downtown Napa, May 27 through 29, it does seem like this year’s tickets went faster than ever, solidifying BottleRock’s stake as the largest and most popular music event in the North Bay.

For those who waited too long, your only hope now is to go online in the dreaded secondary ticket market. Fear not, though, as BottleRock has teamed up with Lyte, a ticket exchange platform that allows fans to buy or exchange tickets for sold-out events. Fans looking for BottleRock passes can visit uselyte.com/bottlerocknapavalley.

Huichica Music Festival Announces Dates & Lineup

Posted by: on Mar 3, 2016 | Comments (0)

Set upon the rolling hills of Sonoma’s Gundlach Bundschu Winery, the annual Huichica Music Festival has been a refreshingly intimate and eclectic gathering of hot indie bands and performers from the Bay Area and beyond. This year looks to be no different, as the fest has announced its most extensive lineup yet for two days of music, food and wine taking place Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11.

Headlining the festival is Los Angeles psychedelic rockers Mystic Braves, who cast powerful spells on their brand new album, Days of Yesteryear. Also taking a top spot is popular party band Dengue Fever, blending Cambodian-influenced rock and roll and danceable indie pop.

Huichica organizer Eric D Johnson will be taking the stage this year with his newly reformed melodic indie rock band Fruit Bats. Another major player in this year’s festival is longtime New York electronic act Silver Apples, fronted by the enigmatic Simeon since the 1960s.

I could go on. Seriously, this lineup is stacked with awesome acts. The full lineup can be found below. And don’t forget that several food vendors and plenty of libations will be on hand for a complete weeknd experience. Check out tickets and get more details by clicking here.

Dan Hicks Passes Away

Posted by: on Feb 8, 2016 | Comments (0)

The 2016 avalanche of legendary musicians passing on from this mortal coil now includes Bay Area figure and Mill Valley resident Dan Hicks, leader of the long time laidback roots and western swing band Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks, who died on Saturday, Feb 6, at his home. He was 74.

The cause of death is reported as liver cancer, according to Hicks’ widow Clare. Though he had been battling the disease for some time, Hicks and his outfit still regularly toured around the North Bay and beyond, performing in Napa last December and scheduled to perform at Throckmorton Theatre next month.

Born in Little rock, Ark. and raised in Santa Rosa, Hicks was a contemporary of classic rock icons like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. And though he may not have sold millions of records, his toe-tapping revivalist roots country rock was a popular staple of North Bay music lovers for over 40 years. He will be missed.