Can’t wait until October to have a Halloween party? Neither can Los Angeles garage rockers Isaac Rother & The Phantoms, who roll into Santa Rosa on Wednesday, July 13, for a spooktacular show that kicks off their ‘Haunting the West Coast’ summer tour. Specializing in a throwback ’60s sound akin to Bo Diddley and Screaming Jay Hawkins, Rother’s larger-than-life onstage personality perfectly matches the group’s off-the-wall punk rock aesthetics.
Joining the Phantoms on July 13 are Oakland-based indie rock innovators O.C.D and Santa Rosa’s gleefully experimental Secret Cat. Boys and Ghouls of all ages are invited to dress up and enjoy Halloween in July on Wednesday, July 13, at Atlas Coffee Company, 300 South A St, Suite 4, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $5. Get a preview of Isaac Rother & the Phantoms’ unspeakable horror below.
It’s been awhile since longstanding Santa Rosa punk band Ashtray has been on stage in their hometown. Almost five years in fact. In the meantime, there’s been babies born, changes of scenery and side projects for the group, led by vocalists Sarah-Jane Andrew and Dave Wiseman. Next week, July 8, Ashtray makes their return to Sonoma County with a show at Annie O’s Music Hall in Railroad Square, presented by the Nor Bay Pyrate Punx.
Also on the bill is Sacramento punk legends the Secretions, who themselves are celebrating their 25th anniversary of playing loud and fast with leather jackets and spiked hair, as well as Sonoma County punk bands the Quitters, Speed Wobble and Kitten Drunk. Like Ashtray, these bands all play an old school punk rock in the veins of the Ramones and Black Flag as well as a funky blend ’90s punk-ska rock akin to Operation Ivy.
This show is one of several concerts this summer being booked by the Nor Bay Pyrate Punx. The nonprofit group is actually one of 44 united Pyrate Punx crews/chapters/collectives in the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, Indonesia and Australia. You can get more info on the punx here. Click below to hear Ashtray’s album “White Sugar is the Devil.”
This Monday, July 4, a full lineup of young punk rock bands hits the grass at Doyle Park in Santa Rosa for a day of loud tunes and good food to celebrate America’s 240th birthday.
“A Day in the Park” will feature Oakland rockers Sterile Mind, Santa Rosa band Hellbomber, all-female North Bay punks Kitten Drunk and Santa Rosa sludge rock outfit Amnesia, though the local crowds will also get a rare chance to see two bands from Bogota, Colombia–Dead Hero and Final–as they tour through the states this summer.
Dead Hero is a four-piece band playing a classic, riff-heavy punk that recalls late ’70s ripped jeans, big hair and big noise. Final boasts aggressively bold and furiously fast hardcore punk that nails down a darkly double-timed sound.
A Day in the Park will also have barbeque courtesy of Knife for Hire and will run throughout the afternoon on Monday, July 4, at Doyle Park, Santa Rosa. Music starts at noon and admission is free. Donations are requested for bands and food.
Get a listen to Dead Hero’s latest 12″ Antisocial, below.
Still reeling from the news of this weekend’s mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, many across the country are mourning the lives lost and asking how they can help the families and survivors, from donating blood to supplies to money.
With a massive two-year anniversary show already in the works for this Friday, June 17, the variety performance series North Bay Cabaret has joined the massive movement to help those in need and announced that the show will now act as a fundraiser for the Pulse Victims Fund, a crowdfunding campaign that will distribute funds among the victims and families. In addition to the event’s eclectic lineup of dancing, live music and spoken word performances, the Cabaret will hold a raffle to raise proceeds for the fund.
This two-year anniversary show will feature Santa Rosa’s alternative folk ensemble the Crux, slam poet and spoken word artist Jamie DeWolf, nationally touring poet Joy Young, belly dancing, burlesque, standup comedy, interactive games and more. North Bay Cabaret hosts their bold and exciting night of antics on Friday, June 17, at Whiskey Tip, 1910 Sebastopol Ave, Santa Rosa. 7pm. $10-$15. Get pre-sale tickets here.
Anyone who wants to contribute items to the raffle can send a message to [email protected].
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taking place in the cultural heart of Santa Rosa, last year’s inaugural Railroad Square Music Festival, presented by the North Bay Hootenanny, was hands down one of 2015’s best days of music in Sonoma County. With two stages of bands belting out folk, rock and country music and wild acts from performance art groups like Circus Maximus, the free-admission and all-ages event perfectly captured the freewheeling, laid back and friendly way most people around here like to live their life.
Now, the Railroad Square Music Festival is in the planning stages for round two, set to take place once again in the historic square on Sunday, June 5, 2016. And the first wave of acts has already been announced.
Slated to appear at this year’s fest are the Easy Leaves, Royal Jelly Jive, the Dixie Giants, the Bootleg Honeys and John Courage; an eclectic blend of traditional country, gypsy jazz, New Orleans jazz, Americana and rock and roll. And that’s only the ones we know about so far. To stayed tuned to the happenings with 2016’s Railroad Square Music Festival, check the website here. To see highlights of last year’s event, click on the video.
Seattle punk band Violent Human System is ok with you just calling them VHS. It helps that the acronym harkens back to a vintage, primitive design, much like way the gritty four-piece makes their music. After a handful of self-released 7″ records and EPs, VHS signed to Seattle-indie label Suicide Squeeze last year and are releasing their debut full-length, Gift of Life, later this year.
This week, VHS is taking their dark, rowdy and infectious punk rock on the road for a West Coast tour that lands them in Santa Rosa this Saturday, Feb 20, for a show at Atlas Coffee Company. Joining them on the bill is excellent experimental Oakland post-rock band Teal and Santa Rosa’s own doom-synth scamps Service. This one’s going to be a blast, so get down to Atlas Coffee early, doors are at 6:30pm. $6. 300 South A St.
Below, listen to VHS’s new single, “Wheelchair,” off the upcoming Gift of Life. You can pre-order the album here.
Santa Rosa indie power trio The New Trust have been a staple of Sonoma County music going on 13 years now, formed by Velvet Teen bassist Josh Staples, guitarist Sara Sanger and drummer Julia Lancer. From their 2003 debut release, “We are fast-moving motherfuckers. We are women and men of action,” which saw the band as a four-piece outfit with guitarist Michael Richardson (Benton Falls); to their latest full-length, 2013’s “Keep Dreaming,” which found the band recording with studio legend Steve Albini, the New Trust has kept up a frenzied pace and sharp sound, the best of which is on display in their new cassette-only release, “These Motherfuckers: The Best of Decade One.”
Available now online and at the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa, the cassette boasts 27 tracks and over 80 minutes of music. Side A is composed of 15 of the band’s most beloved songs. Side B switches it up with rarities, B-sides, demos and live recordings to offer a fully rounded listening experience. There’s no downloading this album, so if you’re a die-hard New Trust fan, you’ll want to grab a copy of this cassette and dust off your walkman.
Below, click on the 2003 music video for “All Things Are Moving Toward Their End,” the opening track of the cassette, and marvel at how young these kids looked. Here’s to another decade of The New Trust.
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.