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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!