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!
“This ain’t jazz rap, this that spaz rap,” Ritchie with a T angrily spits into the mic on “Oh Sh*t!” the opener off Injury Reserve’s 2016 debut album Floss. For the Arizona hip-hop trio, the line is a tongue-in-cheek response to the often-repeated observation that the group shares superficial similarities with legendary jazz rappers A Tribe Called Quest. While all members admit to the inspiration, the similarities end there. Injury Reserve works in a bizarre realm of hip-hop, and hardly sounds like any other contemporary group— let alone one from the Golden Age. In a 2017 interview with Complex, Injury Reserve they spoke candidly about their sound — and all three members claim Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is their biggest influence — but their unique style comes from the mere fact that “Phoenix doesn’t have a hip-hop scene,” Ritchie claims. The group found themselves at house shows playing alongside EDM DJs and punk bands in equal number, seamlessly fitting into every niche to be found in Phoenix’s music scene. Through the internet, Injury Reserve’s unusual yet innovative style found a passionate and growing fanbase, and the group’s new EP Drive Like It’s Stolen shows the group’s unmatched potential. - SF Weekly
Taking an unusual path to success for a modern jazz trio, Brooklyn-based threesome Moon Hooch has gone from subway busking to viral videos to headlining major venues across the country.
Formed in 2010 when drummer James Muschler met woodwind players Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen while they were attending the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, the three musicians started creating the kind of kinetic, danceable grooves that would get them noticed on NYC subway platforms.
Click HERE for the rest of KPIX / CBS SF Bay Area's preview!
John Oates (of awesome '80s band awesome Hall & Oates) brought Americana-blues-roots music to the Great American Music Hall Sunday night for a country showdown of excellence. Sharing the stage with the cream of the crop from Nashville, the GAMH had the pure delight of listening to some incredible musicians playing together. Living legend Sam Bush shredded the mandolin, bringing the energy up with his choice of sweet songs and remarkable, distinct playing. Guthrie Trapp performed stellar solo shakedowns with fire-fingers melting his guitar into a righteous howl, while Paul Franklin played the pedal steel guitar like a champ — never imposing, but always arousing.
Jam-packed with old-school songs of yesteryear, the show varied in tempo with country-crooner-swaying tunes to jump up and move-grooves. John Oates shared stories along the way and dropped a classic from the '80s, revealing "Maneater's" beginnings, before playing a rendition of how he first envisioned it.
John Oates with the Good Road Band's album, Arkansas, dropped earlier this year. Go give it a whirl and get lost in a time before Elvis.
Click HERE for The Bay Bridged's photos!
The cryptic Midwesterner's first album in six years, Screen Memories, takes his baroque absurdism and applies it to lush synth-pop orchestration.
“Your pets are gonna die / Gonna die,” John Maus sings on “Pets,” one of the darker tracks on his darkest album to date, Screen Memories. Coming more than six years after 2011’s We Must Be the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, it solves the Gordian knot that has plagued Maus since the mid-2000s beginning of his musical career: People don’t always know when and if he’s kidding.
Click HERE for the SF Weekly article!
25-year-old Myles Parrish has been top-charting in the pop-rap scene for more than three years now. The Bay Area-born singer-songwriter is best known for his work years ago as a duo with Kalin White called “Myles and Kalin.” That ran its course in early 2016, and since then Myles has released the youthful, energetic mixtape Vomac and toured alongside house-name rappers Hoodie Allen and Luke Christopher on the recent “Hyphy Holidays Tour.” (For those who don’t know, “Vomac” refers to the name of the street that Parrish grew up on as a kid in Dublin, Calif.) On the introductory track of the same name, he raps about where he came from and where he is now, hoping his listeners also walk in the direction of their dreams and pursue what they love. Each track has a kick-back-and-relax feel alongside themes of reflection and an appreciation for the challenges and payoff Parrish has received during his career. The road ahead is only becoming brighter for him as we continue to see both his fan base and album listens across streaming services grow. - SF Weekly
Darius Koski is best known as the guitarist and songwriter of the legendary punk band Swingin’ Utters. He is also a solo musician and has released a new album titled “What Was Once Is By And Gone” on Fat Wreck Chords.
The new record features an eclectic mix of songs including the albums’s eighth track “Soap Opera”.
“Soap Opera is basically a song meant for some melodrama playing in my head. It’s one of my attempts at movie score type or writing. I’m just glad I pulled it off, and it pretty much came out the way I’d envisioned it, so just that little success makes it my favorite – for today at least,” Darius Koski stated.
Growing up, Darius Koski played the violin since the age of 5, and he got his first guitar when he was 15.
“I’d played violin since I was 5, and finally wanted to learn guitar, since I listened to just about everything but the classical music I was playing for my whole life up to that point. My dad bought me a guitar from a downtown Santa Cruz shop when I was 15 or so. It was a pretty awful, black Yamaha strat style guitar. I still have it,” Darius Koski reminisced.
During the Swingin’ Utters tour Darius Koski will be doing double shifts opening for his own band.
Click HERE for the rest of the Cornwall Seeker interview!
Baby Huey and Chasta are back with another episode of the Weekend Bone Planner giving you all the best bay area rock shows for this weekend.
Including these 3 shows here at Slim's:
The Living End (Fri. 9/15)
Sacred Reich (Sat. 9/16)
Venom Inc (Mon. 9/18)
Hey Lumineers fans, check it out: KFOG is bringing The Lumineers to Slim’s on Monday, May 22nd for a very special invitation-only acoustic performance! Wanna go? Just listen for the cue-to-call Monday – Friday (5/1 – 5/5) between 7am – 6pm. When you hear it, be the 10th caller into the studio at 1-800-300-KFOG and you’ll win 2 tickets to experience An Evening With The Lumineers! We’ll be giving away tickets every hour except the 9am hour during the contest period. Courtesy of KFOG and The Lumineers! Get the full rules here. Brought to you by Wente Vineyards!
On April 1, 2016, Chris Purkea released Back in the Ring. She left her home base of Portland, OR and embarked on a tour with her band that found them crisscrossing the United States and Europe playing over 70 shows in less than a year. Now, one year later, Chris is heading out for a string of U.S. tour dates to celebrate the upcoming April 2017 release of her new live CD / DVD combo, which was recorded during the Back in the Ring release tour at Jammin Java in Vienna, VA.
Chris’s elegant emotionality as a vocalist, and her flair and immediacy as a lyricist have garnered her favorable comparisons to Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, and Patty Griffin. She’s earned accolades from such distinguished taste-making outlets as The New York Times, Paste, Magnet, Billboard.com, and The AllMusic Guide. She’s shared the stage with such diverse and esteemed artists as Dar Williams, The Lumineers, The Cowboy Junkies, Gregory Alan Isakov, Martin Sexton, and Ani DiFranco. Along the way, Chris has remained fiercely independent, selling over 50,000 albums through her own label, Sad Rabbit Records.
Tickets are still available for her show at GAMH on Thurs. 4/20 - with Mothers Fathers Sisters Brothers!
C.W. Stoneking is a born entertainer. Dressed in all white, he emerges onstage in a black polka-dot bowtie with slicked-back hair, looking like a blonde Pee Wee Herman with hand tattoos. Surrounded by a full band complete with a horn section and sexy backup singers in spangly outfits, Stoneking flashes one of his signature showstopping smiles and grabs the mic. He talks and laughs and jokes with the audience, telling tales of voodoo and vaudeville, African tribal mythology and the history of yodeling, in his strange Australian/American drawl.
The showmanship is disarming, but when he starts to sing, Stoneking’s voice is nothing like anyone could have expected. It is low and scratchy and woeful. It is Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Bukka White, Big Bill Broonzy. It is the blues, as if packed into a time capsule and siphoned all the way here to 2016.
Born and raised in Australia’s remote Northern Territory, Stoneking learned to love music from a very young age, thanks to his American schoolteacher father, a fan of 1920s and 1930s blues. The genre provided a welcome alternative to the ’80s pop music that dominated radios at the time, and young Christopher (as Stoneking is known to family and friends) consumed it voraciously and from every angle: gospel and ragtime, calypso and hillbilly, boogie woogie and hokum, Chicago and Memphis and Mississippi Delta. By the time he entered adolescence, Stoneking had taught himself to play the banjo, the guitar, and a prized vintage dobro from 1931—the same instrument that classic blues legends of that era used to play.
By 13 he was performing with local bands and busking around town, developing his skills as both a serious musician and a lighthearted performer. In 1998, after moving to Melbourne, he privately released a self-titled album of covers and started a band called C.W. Stoneking & the Blue Tits. The band broke up less than two years later after the death of mandolin player Charlie Bostock, but Stoneking soon went back to playing solo, doubling down on his classic early blues sound.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, a town steeped in classic country music and the culture that surrounds it, Robert Ellis has been performing since his teens. Now at the ripe old age of 27, the singer/songwriter and guitarist can look back at a career that already spans over a decade, starting out in 2005 under the moniker Eyes Like Lions. In many ways, Ellis’ musical journey is a classic tale of growth, of experimentation, of creating and dismantling the various identities that we all create and dismantle as we mature.
But one thing is clear: Ellis is better now than he’s ever been. His latest album, the boldly eponymous Robert Ellis, is a clear indication of a young musician coming fully into his own, finding a solid sense of identity and basking within it, allowing for all the discordant parts of himself to float and settle. The self-produced record is number four for Ellis, one that critics have called “his finest work to date.” With the help of his trusty lead guitarist, Kelly Doyle, who has been recording with Ellis since 2011’s breakout LP Photographs, and a variety of other musical collaborators, the album incorporates Ellis’s signature country-folk sound with a wide variety of instrumental experimentation, from MIDI keyboards and ambient noise to synths and string sections.
We're so excited to be spending not one - but TWO! - nights with Shannon & The Clams and Sonny & The Sunsets! You can catch them in action on Wed. 12/30 with Musk and Fried Hell, and on NYE with Dirty Denim! Tickets for both shows are still available - get them soon!