On Baghdad by the Bay, March 29th; Interview with My Parade and Bonnie and the Bang Bangs

29 03 2012

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My Parade
My Parade is from Oakland California. Formed by singer song writer Grady Hord, who hails from the southern United States, and lead guitar player Don Valle, a Bay Area native, the music is deeply rooted in southern blues and west coast garage rock. The result is a celebration of classic tones, guitar heavy rock n roll, and lyric based song writing. The band is rounded out by Colie Sutter on bass guitar and Steve Herbowy on the drums. All are from different walks of life, brought together by the joy of playing music.

Bonnie & the BANG BANG
Bonnie & the BANG BANG is a force you soon won’t be able to ignore. They are a breath of fresh air in a sea of musical derivatives. With simple song structures, cutting lyrics, rich bluegrass textures and grooving rhythms, their sound is cleverly pop, a fresh take on the folk aesthetic.

Their live show is formidable. The music sweeps in like the cold waters of a slow flood. The tension rises and soon you find yourself up to your neck in the rhythm. Tom Baugh is the glue. His piano and synth leads rip through the warm fabric of guitar, banjo and mandolin played deftly by Jake Dineen. Joe Warren is a rhythm section onto himself. With deep, sometimes effected acoustic guitar, a kick drum and a high hat, Warren’s double duty in Bonnie is an impressive feat. You won’t be able to keep from swaying from side to side and bouncing on the balls of your feet. The experience is exponentially better when you know the words and can sing along.

The lyrics are subtle and thoughtful. Patrick James Stiles can build on an image or an emotion, arresting the listener’s attention and leading them through the corridors of a haunting dream. His narratives are gripping, and although his darker themes are sometimes explicit, the melody is always catchy. You might find yourself humming some of his lyrics the next day.

Bonnie & the BANG BANG have the tools to take the indie music world by storm. They are taking the steps and climbing the ladder of the Bay Area music scene at a rapid pace.

On Baghdad by the Bay, March 22nd; Interview with Penelope Houston, Animal Lore, Sorry Ever After

22 03 2012

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Penelope Houston
Penelope Houston’s seventh studio album On Market Street was incubated for seven years and recorded in seven months at the San Francisco Bay Area’s prestigious Fantasy Studios. The award-winning singer/songwriter who cut her teeth in the legendary punk band The Avengers has turned to tales of revenge and forgiveness, of love both sanctified and illicit.

Animal Lore
Animal Lore is a four-piece indie band from San Jose, California. The band consists of Joseph Choe, Ben Troung, Nick Troughton, and Thomas Arballo. Their music is derived from a broad spectrum of sounds. Influenced by a wide range of different artists, Animal Lore weaves intricate layers of sound with a myriad of instruments and subtle changes in melody.

Sorry Ever After
The music of SorryEverAfter comes from a not so dark, somewhat spacious place that combines a strangely hypnotic blend of gritty feedback laden guitars and a locomotive back beat that bolsters a sweet layer of vocal harmonies. The sum total is a blissed out mix of succinct and heartfelt musical blasts that have you feeling the heat of the sun even on the darkest of days. Unhinged? Not even close. At the heart of it all is Lynda Mandolyn, a Detroit-born, San Francisco-based singer and songwriter whose guitar and voice breathes life into every song. The approach is heartfelt, infectious, like bare wires clinging to a distinctive swagger–never too light for sane. SorryEverAfter gives hope to the idea that not all good intentions come from happy places. There, they’ve said it. “We’re based on happy times–seventy percent of always”.
Along with fellow indie rock vets Christa DiBiase (guitar,vocals), Erica Liss (bass), and Mike Cloward (drums)–they have decided to forget the past and forge a new future that doesn’t kick around the notion of poetic interpretation. The band’s intimate chemistry creates a controlled chaos — loud and rumbling, with multiple instruments never fighting to be heard as much as it can be smothered by emotion running the length of your spine. It’s all about the dynamics and how the group has gelled and how it has become a remarkably powerful ensemble. Stack up their favorite records and it makes for a fairly eclectic library.

On Baghdad by the Bay, March 15th; Interview with Water Strider and DRMS

15 03 2012

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Water Strider
Ranging from melancholic and dreamy to foot-­‐stomping revelry, Waterstrider fills their songs with sincerity, sadness, and joy. Sweeping three part vocal harmonies and addicting African guitar licks abound. This is music you hear while exploring a windy beach or stumbling out of a tangled forest into a fire dance of magical creatures. The band formed and produced their first EP, “Constellation”, while living in a co-­‐op in Berkeley, California. With a virtually non-­‐existent budget and a bedroom for a studio, they recorded their four-­‐song EP, Constellation, by themselves. They are now in the process of recording their first full-­‐length album.

DRMS, a newly-formed collaboration fronted by Emily Ritz of Honeycomb and Yesway and led by keyboardist Rob Shelton of The Moanin Dove, melds multiple genres into a pulsating rhythmic psychedelic pop juggernaut. The ensemble’s sound has been described what would happen if Billie Holiday was selected to perform in an electro-afro-pop infused band curated by David Lynch. DRMS is scheduled to release their upcoming album in Spring 2012.
True to its supergroup status, DRMS boasts an all star cast of some of the Bay Area’s best musicians, with resumes including a wide range of projects, from Magik*Magik Orchestra to Thao and Mirah. In addition to Ritz and Shelton, the group features Andrew Maguire and Geneva Harrison tag-teaming the vibraphone and various percussion instruments, Jesse Cafiero on bass and lap steel guitar, Jake Nochimow on drums, and Zach Rubin-Rattet handling the guitars.

On Baghdad by the Bay, March 8th: Interview with Tumbleweed Wanderers, Seeking Empire, Erin Brazill and the Brazillionaires, The Crazies Will Destroy You

8 03 2012

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Tumbleweed Wanderers
Jeremy Lyon and Zak Mandel-Romann formed Tumbleweed Wanderers in March 2011. Sharing a mutual admiration of the “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” and Fleet Foxes “Ragged Wood” the two left college to pursue music full-time. They recruited keyboardist Patrick Glynn, whom Zak had played with since he was ten, drummer Daniel Blum, whom Jeremy met when he was sweeping the floors of a recording studio, and singer / banjo player / guitarist Rob Fidel, whom Jeremy met at an open mic on the first day of college at UC Santa Cruz. Young and energetic, this group will get you rocking and dancing the night away. The Wanderers are reminiscent of Dylan, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Simon and Garfunkel. Their voices and instruments bring a youthful freshness mixed with old soul wisdom.

Seeking Empire
Seeking Empire is a San Francisco rock project featuring bay area musicians Nikki Aclaro and Alan Kao (Mud) Phil Pristia (Phantom Kicks) Paul Thomas (Good Charlotte) Cary LaScala (The Lovemakers). Debut album produced by Paul Thomas. It started over two years ago as a meeting amongst friends. We quickly realized that it was more than just a side project and have been working hard ever since. With three sold out shows, we hope to make March 10th a fourth!!

Erin Brazill and the Brazillionaires
I was born and raised in Mendocino, California and was fairly entrenched in music, community theatre, and writing poetry from a young age, and there was always a fiddle or a banjo around the house for after-dinner family jams. I studied classical piano and voice as a child up through college, as well as literature and creative writing. After college I moved to San Francisco and worked in jazz clubs in North Beach in SF bartending, booking bands, immersing myself in jazz and writing constantly, feverishly, and glamorously with great beatnik flourish, filling little notebooks with florid lines and flowing, sparkling prose, treasuring those little journals stashed behind the bar.

In the past five years I have been lucky enough to play with a group of very talented, creative and generous people who have stirred and blended their musical gifts and ideas into my music. We play original compositions that I have written, reflective of my time in San Francisco, my rural child hood and travels, and my experiences with friends and loved ones. We primarily focus on our original tunes, though we do throw in a few well-loved or unusual covers here and there.

The Crazies Will Destroy You
The Crazies Will Destroy You is a high-energy power-pop band from San Francisco. Not ones to stare at their shoelaces, the Crazies hop about enthusiastically and sing about the lives of other people with conviction.