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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.

After Illness, Merle Haggard Will Perform in Santa Rosa

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

 

Yesterday, a flurry of rumors surfaced that country music legend Merle Haggard had cancelled his upcoming appearance at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa due to illness. Well, now the good news has come in that Haggard’s recent bout with double pneumonia will not keep him from the stage and his recovery is such that his show is BACK ON!

Haggard’s management released the following statement this morning-

The Merle Haggard show scheduled for Feb. 10, 2016 in Santa Rosa, CA will now take place as originally planned.  Mr. Haggard received some medical care earlier this week, responded positively to the treatment and looks forward to seeing his fans next Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.

It’s great news to hear that Merle is healthy and ready to play. Tickets were temporarily put on hold yesterday as the venue monitored Haggard’s situation, though they should be back on sale by the end of the day today. Call the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts box office at 707.546.3600 with any questions.

 

BottleRock Napa Valley Single Day Lineups Announced

Posted by: on Feb 1, 2016 | Comments (0)

The photo says it all. 2016’s BottleRock Napa Valley now has a lineup set for individual days throughout the three-day weekend, taking place May 27-29. Stevie Wonder headlines on Friday night, while Florence + the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers round out the headlining spots on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Single day tickets go on sale tomorrow, Feb 2, at 10am. For more info, visit BottleRockNapaValley.com.

 

Jake Ward Pens Open Letter to AFC Vandals

Posted by: on Jan 25, 2016 | Comments (0)

Last night, at the otherwise awesome Ty Segall show in Santa Rosa, someone decided to tag the brick bathroom walls at the Arlene Francis Center with spray paint. It was a destructive and costly act, and one that local promoter and concert booker Jake Ward took offense to. Here, Ward writes and rants on why this vandalism is harmful not only to the venue, but to the Santa Rosa music scene overall. It’s a real and powerful wake-up call, and one that is worth reading in its entirety.

Well this is frustrating. Last night somebody vandalized the restroom of the Arlene Francis Center. I’m not even gonna address what they wrote, but I will say a couple things.

One, this is why we can’t have nice things. We live in a town where people complain about a lack of venues for cool music and art happenings, and yet when one of our few beloved local institutions for hosting events opens its doors to hosting an all ages rock show, someone goes out of their way to disrespect the space. How can we complain about the scene when we have no respect for it?

Two, this is brick. Brick is extremely porous. Spray paint on old brick does not come off easily. The only full time operators at AFC are in their 60s. Are they expected to clean this off? There’s also no surplus funds at this space to buy special cleaning products. This was super rude *and* destructive.

Three, this is not a punk venue, this is a non profit community center. The morning after the show this happened at, the classroom was rented out for a weekly event called Mini Music where parents bring their toddlers to learn to sing. There are all sorts of important political, educational, and arts activities happening at this space. Who really thought this was a place that deserved to be vandalized like this?

Listen to Become the Villain’s New Single, “Slip Away”

Posted by: on Jan 22, 2016 | Comments (0)

Sonoma County songwriter Neem Wood mixes together shimmering electronics, soulful guitars and heartfelt lyrics for a compelling, emotional blend of indie rock and pop under the name Become the Villain.

Wood has a new album due to be released this weekend with a show at HopMonk in Sebastopol, and he has a preview of his latest work in the form a new single, “Slip Away,” that’s available to listen to right now.

Stylistically and sonically sophisticated, “Slip Away” features Wood’s soaring vocals and dark percussions with strong pop hooks and a cathartic chorus. Click on the track below; and catch Become the Villain tomorrow, Saturday Jan 23 at HopMonk, with other local luminaries Lungs and Limbs, Horses Heaven and Charley Peach. Details are here.

Lemmy’s Funeral Will Be Live Streamed

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

News of Motörhead frontman and rock and roll legend Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister’s death last week was a blow to metal fans everywhere, who loved Lemmy for his voracious musical chops and irreplaceable personality.

Though there can be little comfort after losing such a titan of rock, fans will be able to give their respects and celebrate Lemmy’s life tomorrow, as Motörhead recently announced his funeral will be streamed live on Youtube Saturday, Jan 9, at 2:30pm PST.

From the band’s website: 

“We want you ALL to be a part of this memorial service… So wherever you are, PLEASE get together and watch with fellow Motörheadbangers and friends. GO to your favorite bar, or your favorite club, make sure they have access to an internet connection and toast along with us. Or simply invite your pals around and celebrate Lemm’s life at home.”

The Youtube link to Lemmy’s memorial service and celebration is here. There is also a Facebook page where fans can share their Lemmy-inspired stories and art.

RIP Lemmy.

Bill Callahan Coming to Gun Bun in Sonoma

Posted by: on Jan 6, 2016 | Comments (0)

Subtle lo-fi songwriter Bill Callahan, who spent 15 years making music under the name Smog before venturing out under his birth name, opens the 2016 concert season at Sonoma’s hippest winery venue, Gundlach Bundschu, next month on Feb 24.

Fans of Smog and Callahan (who I count myself among) have long been obsessed with his sonorous baritone vocals delivered over sometimes dreary, sometimes groovy and often minimalistic instrumentation. Since the late ’80s, Callahan has operated with a singularly artistic vision, infusing his poetic songs with heartbreaking and revealing storytelling lyricism.

For the upcoming February concert, co-presented by (((folkYEAH!))), the songwriter is slated to appear in Gun Bun’s historic century-old Redwood Barn, recently restored to its former glory. Carpooling is encouraged, and dressing in warm layers is a must! Tickets to this intimate, one of a kind concert are available here.

Below is a video of one of my favorite Smog tracks, “Hit the Ground Running.”

 

Scott Weiland Has Died

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

Reports have come in that Scott Weiland, former lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots and current frontman of Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts, was found dead last night on his tour bus in Minnesota. His official instagram account posted the following statement:

Scott Weiland passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts. At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott’s family be respected.

It’s still unclear what the cause of death is. Weiland and the Wildabouts performed last year at BottleRock Napa Valley and was scheduled to return to Napa this month with a show on Dec 19. Weiland was born in San Jose  and lived in Southern California. He was 48 years old.

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.