Honky-tonk Whitey Morgan fuels with alcohol (Fri. 11/30 at GAMH with Alex Williams)


Outside of old “Leave it to Beaver” reruns and Boston police reports, one rarely hears the name Whitey these days. But grizzly singer-guitarist Eric Allen, a native of Flint, Mich., had his reasons for choosing the name Whitey Morgan for his honky-tonk stage persona in 2005. Whitey was his basketball nickname at his mostly-black elementary school (he took it in good humor) and Morgan was the last name of his late grandfather, who changed his life when he willed him his guitar and vintage country and Western record collection. “Let’s face it — Eric Allen is just not a very good stage name. But Whitey sounds like some kid from the ‘50s, some knucklehead from down the street,” says Morgan, who fronts the bluesy band The 78’s. Their fourth album “Hard Times and White Lines” was released in October.

Click HERE for his SF Examiner interview

John Waters’ Gift To San Francisco: Demented Holiday Cheer (Thurs. 11/29 at GAMH)


“I’m a vaudeville performer,” says Waters. “I do my job, which is to go out into the world, observe unfathomable behavior and report back to the great unwashed public, my audience.”

This year, “A John Waters Christmas” returns to the Great American Music Hall on Nov. 29, and like his friend singer Johnny Mathis’ holiday performances, Waters’ Christmas show has become a perennial favorite. - San Francisco Chronicle

Read more HERE

 

KT Tunstall making new albums and movie music (Fri. 10/19 at GAMH with Maddie Ross)


With her U.K.-chart-scaling 2016 comeback “KIN,” Scottish folk-rocker KT Tunstall understood how far she had come since her punk-fueled 2004 debut “Eye to the Telescope.” And she trusted her instinct, which — after divorcing bandmate Luke Bullen — made her leave her home in London for California’s Venice Beach and take Skywalker Ranch courses in film scoring. Those led her to her new sixth album, “WAX.” The cinematic effort includes the “Telescope”-evocative single “The River,” co-produced by Franz Ferdinand’s Nick McCarthy. She suddenly saw that it was part two of a trilogy dealing with the spirit, body and mind. “In my 20s, I thought I knew everything, and in my 30s, I was anxious, because I realized I don’t know anything,” she says. “But in my 40s, it was like ‘Aha! I see you now!’ and none of it mattered anymore.”

Click HERE for her interview with the SF Examiner!

Soundwaves TV #9 – Slim’s Pickings


Soundwaves returns to TV with a weekly dive into the Bay Area’s rich music scene. Hosted by Chasta, Soundwaves TV features music videos, live performances, guest musicians, DJs, and influencers from all four corners of the Bay.

This week, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the venerable music venue Slim’s in San Francisco. Chasta welcomes Dennis Juarez, the club’s operations manager and dirt is spilled! Some great stories are told, including the time time Prince announced a spontaneous appearance, and everything went crazy!

Watch HERE

Nivek Ogre’s ohGr playing ‘Tricks’ (Wed. 8/15 at Slim’s with Lead Into Gold + Omniflux)


You can read a lot into the title of “Tricks,” Nivek Ogre’s bracing new political treatise from his Skinny Puppy side project ohGr. Tricks were what helped elect a game show host to the highest office in the U.S. They also were played on an unsuspecting America by alleged Russian manipulation of social media, where the nation’s narcissistic people posture and preen. “I’m just amazed by these smokescreens, and a lot of the album deals with logical fallacies,” says the Calgary-born iconoclast. “But now there are two parallel lines of truth that will probably never intersect again. And I’m the biggest conspiracy nut in the world, but we’ve crossed a threshold.”

Click HERE for his interview with SF Examiner

Jimmie Dale Gilmore sings the blues with Dave Alvin (Fri. 7/27 at GAMH with Jon Langford’s Four Lost Souls)


Honey-throated alt-country singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore knows how strange it sounded in theory for him to team with gruff rockabilly growler and ex-Blaster guitarist Dave Alvin for “Downey to Lubbock,” their new YepRoc collection of duets on mostly vintage-blues covers. But in practice, it made sense.

“It turned out that Dave and I had a whole lot of repertoire in common,” says the Austin native, who hits San Francisco with Alvin this week. “He’s a few years younger than me, but we both had been into the exact same music back when we were learning how to play.”

Click HERE for the SF Examiner interview!

Donna Missal breaks out with ‘Keep Lying’ (Tues. 7/24 at GAMH with King Princess – SOLD OUT!)


Donna Missal was a toddler when her renowned record producer father Steve Missal closed up New York shop and moved his family to suburban New Jersey, where he planned to quit the business. But old habits died hard. “My dad just couldn’t get rid of his great old equipment, so he built a full-fledged recording studio in our basement, where I grew up making music and singing with him, and by 4 I was already making full albums for my grandparents,” says Missal, 27. Despite never taking stardom seriously, she’s about to release her soulful Harvest debut disc “This Time.” She owes it all to one track, the current single “Keep Lying,” which changed her life.

Click HERE for the SF Examiner interview!

Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips enjoying life in a yurt (Playing GAMH Sat. 7/21 with Megan Slankard & The Wreckage) – SF Examiner


At 47, Glen Phillips is both startled by and pleased with his career longevity. When the Santa Barbara native formed alt-rock outfit Toad the Wet Sprocket in 1986, he was 15, and was 17 when the group signed to major imprint Columbia. He had no idea it would last. But Toad is as vital as ever. The band is on a sprawling tour even as its leader pursues a parallel solo career (he released “Swallowed By the Now” in 2016) that includes musical collaborations and film and TV soundtrack assignments. “Plus, I’ve been living through a pretty wild couple of years, too,” he says.

Click HERE for the SF Examiner's interview!

SF Sonic: Interview with Jello Biafra


Jello Biafra, founder of seminal punk band Dead Kennedys and one of the most influential figures in the Bay Area music scene, burst into the spotlight in 1978 when he unleashed his quivering voice and biting social commentary on the masses with the release of “California Uber Alles,” followed by “Holiday in Cambodia,” on the band’s own label, Alternative Tentacles. His frantically dramatic and maniacal stage presence, coupled with the sardonic humor he used to convey the sheer truth of his words, solidified him as an instant punk rock legend. After four albums with Dead Kennedys, and subsequent collaborations on over a dozen more with bands like The Melvins and D.O.A., he is now three albums deep with his current band, Guantanamo School of Medicine. Known as much for his political perspectives as his outrageous stage antics, Jello is a sought-after speaker well-known for his spoken word art and revered for his notoriously tongue-in-cheek – but legitimate –1979 campaign for San Francisco mayor at age 21.

Just days away from his 60th birthday, Jello spoke with SF Sonic about the importance of voting in local elections, just how the 2016 presidential election was rigged, how the right could be on the verge of legally rewriting the Constitution, and how “staying mad” is the key to lasting idealism.

For his birthday, Jello put on a terrific show at the Great American Music Hall. The photos here are from that show. (Photos by Raymond Ahner)

Click HERE to read SF Sonic's interview!

CBS SF Talks To Brownout’s Beto Martinez About New Public Enemy Tribute (Catch their tribute to Black Sabbath – Brown Sabbath – here at Slim’s this Fri. 6/22!)


The instrumental counterpart of celebrated Grammy Award winning Latin groove ensemble Grupo Fantasma, Austin, TX-based band Brownout has been cultivating a reputation for both fiery live performances and the gritty funk sounds heard on such releases as Homenaje and Aguilas and Cobras that mix heavily fuzzed-out guitars with percolating percussion and intricate horn work reminiscent of ’70s heroes like Mandrill and War.

During a residency at an Austin club, Brownout decided to dedicate certain nights to covering the material of specific artists including a rendition of James Brown’s classic blaxploitation soundtrack “Black Caesar” and an evening dedicated to the music of heavy metal godfathers Black Sabbath.

CBS SF recently spoke to guitarist Beto Martinez about making Fear of a Brown Planet (their recently released tribute to Public Enemy), Brownout’s plans to retire its popular Brown Sabbath guise and plans for new original material. The talk happened just ahead of a string of Bay Area concerts by the band that will showcase both the Public Enemy covers (in Santa Cruz and San Jose) and their funky, horn-powered versions of Black Sabbath’s bruising catalog (in San Francisco and Sacramento). - KPIX CBS San Francisco Bay Area

You definitely don't want to miss this Friday's show! Money Chicha will be getting the night started, and tickets are still available. Read the interview HERE!

Alexis Taylor: A Block off the Old Chip (Playing GAMH on Sat. 6/9 with Annie Hart)


The history of Fleetwood Mac is such a maelstrom of addiction, bankruptcies, and bitter lovers’ spats that it’s hard to pin down exactly what led to their early-1980s hiatus and subsequent limbo. But it’s safe to say that after Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and Stevie Nicks released solo albums in 1981, the overall band had an increasingly challenging time holding things together.

Although Hot Chip’s precision beats sound rather different from Fleetwood Mac’s brand of dad-rock, the acts share one trait in common. They’re multipolar projects whose respective members have embarked on solo careers only to return to the mothership, and for Hot Chip co-frontman Alexis Taylor, a piano-centric independent career is now four albums strong. While Beautiful Thing, released in April, is certainly not a Hot Chip record — based on its dramatis personae alone — it bends back toward the source. Taylor’s unmistakable, affect-less voice can give listeners the false impression that he’s an art-school scenester having a laugh, but Beautiful Thing is set up as a vehicle for his unabashed love of pop schmaltz. It’s very circa-1980 Paul McCartney, with the synths that open “Oh Baby” sounding like the ex-Beatle’s “Temporary Secretary” before diving right into Wings territory.

Click HERE for the SF Weekly's interview!

Alice Glass now solo, seeing herself and music more clearly (Sat. 4/28 at Slim’s with Zola Jesus + Pictureplane)


Near the end of a 20-minute phone call from Los Angeles, Alice Glass, the former frontwoman of the electroclash band Crystal Castles, goes quiet. She says she has been feeling “a little bit frazzled” throughout the interview.

(That’s only been occasionally apparent with a few hesitant pauses and asides like “Does that make sense?” or “No, wait …” or “I’m just trying to put into words ...”)

“I really didn’t do a lot of interviews before,” Glass says. “It’s just something I really want to do more of because I remember reading different music magazines and things when I was a kid, and it made me really interested to learn about new music.”

Given the circumstances under which she left Crystal Castles, that sentiment has a deeper significance: Alice Glass has found her voice, and she’s ready to use it.

Click HERE for the rest of SFGate's interview!

Q&A: Gene Evaro Jr. (Playing Slim’s on 4/13 with Handmade Moments & Brett Hunter)


Groove Soul artist Gene Evaro Jr.’s signature brand of folk electro-funk is making its way to Slim’s in a few days. The show is just days after the release of his third LP Like it’s 1965, which sees him blending Paul Simon folk songs with some deep funk from bands like Sly & The Family Stone. We wanted to learn more about this hot artist, so we reached out to him to talk about how he describes his music, what his main influences are and whether living in the desert has an impact on his music.

Click HERE for Music in SF's interview!

The Rise of Soul Ska: Celebrating the Release of “Propaganda” at GAMH on Fri. 3/23


The hottest band in Marin right now?

That just may be Soul Ska, a nine-piece, multi-racial musical collective launched in 2014 by keyboard player Jonathan Korty, one of the erstwhile teenage musicians who formed the popular instrumental funk band Vinyl in Mill Valley in the 1980s.

Soul Ska headlines the Great American Musical Hall on Friday night, celebrating the release of “Propaganda,” a debut album with seven original songs recorded at Allegiant Studios in San Anselmo and produced by David Simon Baker, who has also worked with ALO, Jackie Greene and Mother Hips.

The last time Soul Ska played the Great American they opened for the English Beat, one of the British bands that sparked the ska revival in the 1980s and ’90s. Since then, Korty says, “We sold out every show we did, including Sweetwater, a Rancho Nicasio barbecue and a bunch of festivals, including the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. It’s been a great three years. For a band coming out of Marin, we’re one of the few that can headline the Great American right now. We’re definitely on the rise.”

Read the rest of the Marin IJ's article HERE.

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