If you’ve seen the massively-long 1984 film “Amadeus,” you know a few things about classical Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You know he had a shrill laugh, you know of his extensive collection of powdered wigs, and you know that the young musical mastermind died before he could finish his “Requiem Mass.” And, while that film took equally massive artistic liberties, the story of Mozart’s most infamous unfinished work still captivates audiences worldwide for it’s musical wonders as much as its mythical background.
While Mozart died with the Requiem very unfinished, fellow composer Franz Xaver Sussmayr, who was an assistant to Mozart and reportedly discussed the work with him before his death, offered a completed version of the Requiem that has long been the closest the world has gotten to Mozart’s masterwork. This weekend, the long-standing Sonoma Bach Choir, led by retired Sonoma State University professor Robert Worth and joined by the Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, will present an interesting dual concert titled “Mozart Requiem: The Story of a Masterwork.” The ensemble will tackle first the Requiem just as Mozart left it, before returning to the full work as completed by Sussmayr.
Before each of the two weekend performances, Worth will present a pre-concert talk that fully explores the controversial history of, and compositional significance to the Requiem. The Sonoma Bach Choir performs the masterwork on Friday, Nov 20, at St Andrew Presbyterian Church, (16290 Arnold Dr, Sonoma. 8pm, $15-$25) and then again on Sunday, Nov 22, at St. Vincent de Paul Church (35 Liberty St, Petalum. 7pm. $15_$25). Pre-concert talks begin 35 minutes before each performance. Tickets and details are here.
The Last Poets are rightly called the godfathers of hip-hop. Formed in the late ‘60s and still very active today, the spoken word group first put rhythm to their politically-charged poems in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement, inspiring a generation to use their voice and their words as tools of social justice.
This weekend, the Last Poets appear in a daylong spoken word workshop, showcase and performance at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, as a fundraiser for local radio station KWTF. In the Bohemian this week, we profiled the group and spoke with founding member Abiodun Oyewole by phone from his home in Harlem. Here is our full interview.
Bohemian: How did you first get into poetry and form the Last Poets?
Abiodun Oyewole: I got into poetry because when I was a teenager in high school, I had a liking for older girls, and when I was 15 I started getting into writing poetry to win the favors of some of these ladies.
I remember my teacher had given us an assignment to write sentences with new vocabulary words. I went to my teacher, Mrs Carpenter, and I said, ‘If put these words into a poem, can I get an extra credit?’ and she looked at the words and said, ‘If you can put these words in a poem together and make sense, I’ll give you two extra credits.’ So that was the time I wrote a poem seriously. When my teacher read the poem, she looked at me and ‘You are a poet, I don’t know what you’re going to do with it, but you have quite a gift.’
I started getting into poetry seriously when they killed Dr King. Dr King was killed April 4, 1968. And when King was killed I really kind of lost my mind, because I felt it was such an insult to black people. He was representing us, and he was nonviolent. I just felt totally offended by that.
I had a friend named David Nelson, and he made mention of the idea of starting a group of poets that would be from different walks of life, and would be an example to black people as to how much we need to come together. No matter what our particular persuasions in life are, we have the same foot on our necks, and we need to unify to get the foot off.
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.
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.
The devastating Valley Fire that swept through Lake County last weekend, and continues to burn, has leveled entire neighborhoods and left tens of thousands of people homeless, displaced and in need of basic supplies like clothing, food and shelter. It’s a heartbreaking story, but the community in the North Bay has been quick to act with relief drives and fundraising efforts and that include a number of concert events. Here’s a few coming up this week and next:
September 17: Coffee and beer cafe Brew welcomes local musicians Cory Oleson, Charlie Davenport, Andrew Maurer and Francesco Catania with local artists auctioning off their work and proceeds from sales and beer going to relief efforts in Lake County. 555 Healdsburg Ave, Santa Rosa. 7pm.
September 20: HopMonk Tavern is hosting a collective of Sonoma County artists, promoters, and event producers in presenting an all-day benefit concert and silent auction. The lineup is still TBA, though it’s sure to be a killer bill, with all proceeds benefitting Valley Fire relief. If you can’t attend but still want to donate, you can do so here. 230 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol. Noon. $20.
September 26: The Phoenix Theater is putting together a rocking night of local acts including Bad Boy Eddy, State Line Empire, LuvPlanet and Faith & Bullets. A raffle and silent auction come with this show as well, and again all proceeds are going straight to those in need. 201 Washington St, Petaluma. 7pm. $10.
These are just a few of surely dozens of such shows happening for this cause. If you know of one, throw it into the comments, and if you can, please help our neighbors in need. Don’t know where to start? Go here.
I’m a big fan of the podcast “Onstage with Jim & Tom,” hosted by Phoenix Theater music promoter Jim Agius and founder Tom Gaffey. Each week, the two sit down with a North Bay band or musician of note and chat about everything from tours and relationships to record collections and scary movies. It’s always a great conversation, especially when music veteran and wordsmith Gaffey heaps praise upon the guests in lovingly extended passages.
This time around, Jim and Tom welcome to the show Santa Rosa shoegaze outfit the Down House. The band talks about what it’s like having two couples in a band and the state of the North Bay hardcore scene before plugging in and performing a couple of tunes.
The Down House is made up of Casey Colby (Spirits of Leo), Cody Sullivan (Sabertooth Zombie), Sarah Sullivan, Sarah Davis and Chloe Connaughton. Gaffey calls them evocative right off the bat and the band proves why by the end, playing their dark and stylish Joy Division-inspired post-punk.
Listen to the episode below, and catch the Down House when they play the Phoenix Theater on Sunday, Sept 27, alongside State Faults, Lil Dowager and SPELLS.
Bauhaus bassist and Love and Rockets founder David J has spent a lifetime touring the globe and rocking venues from Belfast to Beijing, selling out stadiums and small clubs alike and perfecting a moody repertoire of indie, goth and new wave tunes. With a recent memoir and appearances in the North Bay, David J has been on our radar lately, and now the iconic songwriter is playing a special solo sh0w in his most intimate setting yet, a living room in Petaluma on Friday, September 11.
Yes, the living room show has become an increasingly popular alternative for touring indie bands and artists over the last decade. Usually, its an event suited for underground acts who have a core audience in any given city but can’t muster the numbers to convince a bar to host them.
Recently, David J has gotten into the movement, buoyed by the positive experience that cuts out the middleman and connects his music directly to the fans. For this show, David J will be bringing his acoustic guitar to an undisclosed house in Petaluma (addresses are provided upon purchasing tickets) and performing his wide array of hits, both from his days in Bauhaus and Love and Rockets as well as his solo material. Grab tickets here, and get a taste of what’s in store by watching the video below.
Over the last year, the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma has risen from the ashes of a spotty concert history and is bringing a slew of exciting and immensely popular bands to the historic venue, courtesy of booker Jim Agius.
This last summer, the venue sold out for 90’s alternative act Neutral Milk Hotel, and in the last month, news of concerts from a variety of acts, like hardcore punks the Misfits and scene-shaking reggae band The Green, have further boosted the Phoenix’s standings in North Bay music purveyors.
Oberst first burst onto the national music scene as the wunderkind behind Omaha-based Bright Eyes. He has also played in hardcore acts like Desaparecidos and, since 2008, has produced several acclaimed albums under his own name.
M. Ward rose to prominence as a solo artist in the Portland, Oregon music scene at the turn of the century before teaming up with actress and vocalist Zooey Deschanel for the poppy indie duo She & Him. His alt-country styling and deep drawl make him an instantly recognizable voice.
Both Oberst and Ward are also part of the Monsters of Folk super group that’s been on-again-off-again since 2004 and also features Jim James from My Morning Jacket.
As if these two powerhouse performers were not enough, the Felice Brothers are opening the show, offering up a country-tinged rock that was born busking the subways of New York City.
Conor Oberst and M. Ward perform on Thursday, Oct 1, at The Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington St, Petaluma. 8pm. $30. 707.762.3565.
Get ready to celebrate Halloween twice this year, as the classic horror punk band the Misfits are scheduled to make their way to the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma on Friday, November 20.
The show is sure to sell out, so you’ll want to grab tickets when they become available tomorrow, Aug 5, at 10am.
An eerie entity since their formation in 1977, the Misfits are known for their dark, raging live shows complete with handcrafted instruments, painted faces and intense visuals. Currently on their 2015 “Static Age Revisited” world tour, the band is celebrating their classic debut album Static Age, recorded in 1978 and released as singles and EPs, but unreleased in its entirety until 1997.
This year, the Misfits are playing Static Age all the way through on stage, as well as a full set of the band’s fiendishly frightening catalog of classic and current material. This year, the Misfits’ line up has gone generational as founding member Jerry Only (bass/vocals) is joined by his son Jerry Caiafa Jr on guitar and Eric “Chupacabra” Arce on drums.
Misfits play on Friday, November 20, at the Phoenix Theater, 201 Washington St, Petaluma. 8pm. $25. 707.762.3565. http://www.thephoenixtheater.com
The 6th year of the Rivertown Revival, the local, arts-based, community festival that highlights the Petaluma River and all of the amazing artists who call our county home, takes place on Saturday, July 18.
This year’s party includes an art boat race and parade, floating art barges and an all-day festival which highlights local music, art, food and drink and over 40 fabulous local vendors. The Rivertown Revival is sure to be 2015’s most unique and creative summer festival. The music lineup is, of course, packed; with several stages and tents offering up something for everyone, even the kids.
The lineup features Marshall House Project, Corner Store Kids, David Luning, the Crux, Royal Jelly Jive, Circus Maximus, the Dixie Giants, Sally Haggard, and so many more. For full details check iout the Rivertown Revival web page here.