Q&A: Greyboy Allstars (Playing Thurs. 3/15 & Fri. 3/16 at GAMH with The Mike Dillon Band)


Initially formed as the backup band for DJ Greyboy, The Greyboy Allstars are comprised of some of the most talented players on the scene today. After recording the groundbreaking 1994 album Freestylin for the famed DJ, saxophonist Karl Denson, guitarist Elgin Park, keyboardist Robert Walter, bassist Chris Stillwell and drummer Aaron Redfield didn’t want the project to end, so decided to turn it into something long term. Well, that was almost 25 years ago and the band is still playing and going stronger than ever.

In fact, they have a new studio album in the works and a handful of high profile tour dates including a two-night stint at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco next week on Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16. We reached out to Robert Walter to find out what it’s like to be in a band for 25 years, how they manage to balance all of their busy schedules, and what the craziest thing is that’s happened to them at a show.

Click HERE for Music in SF's interview!

Albert Hammond Jr. Goes In Utero (Playing Tues. 3/6 with The Paranoyds at GAMH)


It’s quite possible that Albert Hammond Jr. holds the distinction of being the first musician ever to be inspired by a fingernail.

In November 1979, his mother was rushed to the hospital, suffering a miscarriage. While that baby, Francis, was born too premature to live, Albert arrived five months later. The one-time Strokes guitarist and solo artist had always known this part of the story, but it was only last year that his aunt informed him that when he was born, so was a fingernail — the one piece of his twin to greet the world alongside him.

Francis Trouble, Hammond’s fourth solo record, is due out on March 9 from Red Bull Records. It is named in honor of the twin he never knew, and reflects his reaction to receiving a truly surreal revelation.

Click HERE for the rest of SF Weekly's preview!

CBS SF Talks To Earthless Guitarist Isaiah Mitchell (Playing Thurs. 3/1 at GAMH)


One of the most celebrated modern psychedelic rock bands, hard-rock power trio Earthless has been expanding minds and dropping jaws with their intense live shows ever since first coming together in San Diego in 2001. Formed by celebrated drummer Mario Rubalcaba (veteran of such bands as Hot Snakes, Rocket from the Crypt, Black Heart Procession and Off!), former Electric Nazarene bassist Mike Eginton and gifted guitarist Isaiah Mitchell (Nebula, Howlin’ Rain, Golden Void), the group got its start with an improvisational approach to heavy instrumental psychedelia that nodded to the jam-oriented grooves of Cream, Jimi Hendrix and live Led Zeppelin as well as the explorations of modern Japanese psych purveyors like Acid Mothers Temple and more obscure ’70s riff alchemists like Dust and the Groundhogs.

Click HERE for the interview!

Teenaged Grace VanderWaal sings beyond her years (playing Tues. 2/20 at Slim’s – SOLD OUT!)


Suffern, New York singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal has never had a past-life regression — in fact, she’s not even sure what one is. But chances are, this prescient, ukulele-strumming 14-year-old — who started writing songs at age three, won season 11 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” at 12 and composed or co-wrote every song on her soulful 2017 debut, “Just the Beginning” — has been through the world before. Her raspy, seasoned style on intricate tracks like “Moonlight” and the anti-authoritarian “Sick of Being Told” has the self-assurance of some vintage vaudevillian vet. “I’ve never had a regression, but I can truthfully say that I don’t bond very well with other 14 year olds,” she says.

Click HERE for the SF Examiner interview!

Drive-By Truckers Refuse to Peddle Dixieland Mythology (Playing Wed. 2/7 & Thurs. 2/8 with Lilly Hiatt at GAMH)


At last year’s Country Music Awards — an event long famous for gaudy outfits, oversized cowboy hats, and ever-escalating displays of mindless patriotism — Sturgill Simpson made news for busking outside the Nashville gathering and telling anyone who would listen that “Donald Trump is a fascist fucking pig.”

That Simpson was able to perform that act without being physically accosted — a low bar, undeniably — is a testament to how outsider voices are increasingly more tolerated in the insular and conservative world of country music. Acts such as Simpson, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and Miranda Lambert have been loath to regurgitate the company line preached by the genre’s standard-bearers.

While country music has always had its brand of anti-establishment figures (a legacy that includes Townes Van Zandt, Merle Haggard, and the genre’s pioneer, Hank Williams) this latest cadre of interlopers seem to trace their lineage to one group in particular — Drive-By Truckers.

Click HERE for the SF Weekly's interview!

Alan Doyle going strong post-Great Big Sea (Playing Fri. 1/19 at GAMH with Donovan Woods)


For longtime fans of Newfoundland combo Great Big Sea, frontman Alan Doyle has some good news and some bad news. On the upside, he has a rollicking new solo effort out, his third — the Bob Rock-produced “A Week at the Warehouse” — which captures Great Big Sea’s kinetic Celt-rocking spirit. On the downside, when the band’s original member Sean McCann left in 2013 after two decades, he and co-founder Bob Hallett discussed amicable ways to continue without him. “We couldn’t come to an agreement so there was nothing left to do but move on,” says Doyle. “So it’s all good, everybody seems to be quite happy doing what they’re doing, and the door is still wide open.”

Click HERE for his interview with the SF Examiner!

Breakout band Wallows kicks off headlining tour in SF (Playing Wed. 1/24 at GAMH with Hazel English – Goldenvoice Presents)


There’s an ease that comes across when you talk with Wallows, the Los Angeles alt-rock trio fronted by “13 Reasons Why” star Dylan Minnette. As befits friendships that have lasted since school days, there are inside references and attempts to crack each other up. If there are nerves about the band’s launching its first nationwide tour — as the headliner, no less — they’re nowhere to be seen.

“It’ll be the first time we’ll be playing a show knowing that tomorrow we’re going to have to drive 10 hours to another city,” says Cole Preston, the band’s drummer. “But I think all of us, more than nervous, are really excited. We’ve all been friends since we were pre-pubescent booger weirdos, so it’s about time we all pile into a van.”
Click HERE for the SF Chronicle interview with the band!

Dirtybird’s Justin Jay Is Back, This Time With A Band (Fri. 11/24 at GAMH)


Dirtybird’s Justin Jay has predominantly been a solo DJ. From what started around as a group of friends jamming out, his band has morphed into a full-time musical endeavor. He spoke to SF Weekly about his newfound love of choir and opera, the Tame Impala reference on the cover art for his new album, Home, and the differences between touring as a DJ and as a member of a band.

Click HERE for the SF Weekly's interview!

Kishi Bashi On Turning Pain Into Art And His Secret Love For Smooth Jazz (Playing Sun. 11/19 at GAMH – SOLD OUT!)


Kishi Bashi doesn’t go into things lightly. On his latest album, “Sonderlust,” the classically trained violinist and Berklee College of Music alum combines his love of jazz, funk, electronic pop and psychedelic rock, coming up with a complex meditation on a particularly difficult period of his life. Having toured with left-field acts like Regina Spektor and Of Montreal, the 42-year-old musician (born Kaoru Ishibashi) is used to working on the fringes, and in the five years since going solo with 2012’s “151a” he has built up his own cult following. He spoke to us during rehearsals at his home in Athens, Ga.

Click HERE for his interview with the SF Chronicle!

Q&A: Patterson Hood On Drive-By Truckers’ Angry Political Anthem “The Perilous Night” (Playing GAMH on Wed. 2/7 & Thurs. 2/8)


Like many of us, Patterson Hood is mad as hell and has been for a while now. The Drive-By Truckers co-frontman has spent the past year-plus watching the rise of Donald Trump and all its attendant consequences with horror and frustration. Yet even coming off an album as overtly political as 2016’s American Band, for months he struggled to put his feelings into words. And then white supremacists marched through Charlottesville and murdered a counter-protester, and the president had the gall to say there were some “very fine people” among their ranks. Very quickly after that it all came pouring out.

The resulting song is called “The Perilous Night.” It’s a raucous barroom rocker with pessimistic lyrics expressing the frustration many of us have felt while watching so many Americans — including people we love — bend over backwards to justify the unjustifiable. The Truckers started performing it on tour immediately. Now, on the first Election Day since last year’s debacle, they’re releasing a studio version as a reminder to get out and vote.

Click HERE for the rest of the Stereogum article!

Lebanese Icon Yasmine Hamdan Comes to Great American This Weekend (Sun. 11/12)


Yasmine Hamdan — appearing at the Great American Music Hall on November 12 — is a Lebanese icon. Known internationally for her enchanting, emotionally and politically-charged pop music, Hamdan blends her Arabic roots with her former musical life as half of the indie electro-pop duo Soap Kills. Rising out of the rubble of a nation ravaged by civil war, Soap Kills was one of the first bands of its kind in the Middle East.

Hamdan continues innovating. Between performing her song “Hal” in Jim Jarmusch’s gorgeous Only Lovers Left Alive, collaborating with Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, and writing an original soundtrack for Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous’s play Rituel pour une métamorphose, Hamdan is consistently creating new sounds with a piercing lyrical poetry, all while singing in Arabic and not conforming to the global music standard of English.

One has to wonder: At what point will we start calling Hamdan simply an icon?

Click HERE for her interview with The Bay Bridged!

Torres Explores Sensual Pleasures On ‘Three Futures’ (Playing Fri. 10/13 at Slim’s)


Mackenzie Scott, the Georgia-bred artist who records and performs as Torres, set a high bar for herself on her new third effort, the synth-bubbly “Three Futures.” Raised in a strict Baptist household, the Tori Amos-inspired singer, 26, wanted to explore sensual pleasures – visual, olfactory and otherwise — in skeletal tracks such as “Greener Stretch,” “To Be Given a Body” and “Tongue Slap Your Brains Out,” which sounds painful (but isn’t, in her arcane lexicon). “It’s a great thing!” she says. “I’m a foodie, so it’s like, ‘This food is too good!’”

Read her interview with the SF Examiner HERE!

Liars Performance and Interview on KALX – Tues. 10/10 at 1:30pm!


Join DJ ((echoplex)) on Tuesday, October 10th @ 1:30PM for an in-studio live performance and interview with shape shifting art rock band, Liars!
The band's latest album, TFCF (aka Theme From Crying Fountain), is the first release for mastermind and lead singer, Angus Andrew, without long time members, Julian Gross and Aaron Hemphill.  Rest assured, Andrew continues the band's ever intriguing journey into the unknown with an impressive release born from deep within the Australian bush.
Take a listen HERE!

Q&A: Bad Suns Add Inspiration to Elbow Grease on the Road (Playing Wed. 10/11 at GAMH)


For Los Angeles new wavy indie rock band Bad Suns, the difference between a debut album and a sophomore LP comes down having the tenacity to learn from your experiences and make the appropriate tweaks.

“Having the first go-around certainly helps a lot,” frontman Christo Bowman said. “Putting out the first record [and] touring it was all such a whirlwind, and we were kind of just taking it as it came to us each day. We were really figuring it out. It seems obvious, but with the second record it was very helpful [to] take all that we had learned … for a smoother ride; embellishing what we could do and taking things to the next level. As opposed to ‘How do we barely scrape by?’ the goal now is, ‘How do we put on a great show every night?’”

Bad Suns, who headline the Great American Music Hall on Oct. 11, came together in 2012 and made a splash with their 2014 debut, Language & Perspective.

Click HERE for RIFF Magazine's interview!