Tumbleweed Wanderers Headline Oakland’s Starline Social Club // Friday April 8th

Oakland’s own Tumbleweed Wanderers play their first hometown headlining show in over three years on Friday, April 8th.

Tumbleweed Wanderers, who released one of the best Bay Area albums of 2015 in June, have managed to sidestep the Oakland spotlight as of late. They’ve opened up for big names like Jackie Greene and Greensky Bluegrass but consistently avoided the headlining slot in the East Bay.


Now they’re back for a big jamboree at Starline Social Club’s upstairs ballroom, and joining them are Steep Ravine and Papa Bear.

Jeremy of TW + Steep Ravine
Jeremy of Tumbleweed Wanderers with Steep Ravine. Do I smell the sweet bouquet of collaboration?


Steep Ravine’s style of bluegrass takes the traditional idiom and turns it sideways, combining complex jazz chords with beautiful sweeping melodies. They are seriously talented musicians who put on a thoroughly enjoyable show (in the past, they’ve covered “I’ve Just Seen A Face” *cough* Ihopethatsonthesetlist *cough*)


Opening up the show is a solo set by Papa Bear, whose dynamics ebb and flow, moving from big loud blues to delicate acoustic melodies. Papa Bear is especially known for bringing guest musicians up to the stage, allowing another talented songwriter to lead the band and sing a song. But whether or not he decides to share the stage, expect a surprising amount of sound from this charismatic performer.


For advance tickets (save $2.00!!): http://bit.ly/1V5qqOX.


Starline Social Club


Oakland CA 94612

APRIL 8, 2016

Doors 8pm, Show 9pm
$15 adv / $17 dos



Hey! Rosetta! Hey Hey Rosetta! [REVIEW] November 2nd at Brick and Mortar

After a particularly smashing weekend of local music Halloween madness, I was excited to have an evening of dastardly decompression at Brick and Mortar Music Hall with Hey Rosetta.

And while this blog doesn’t typically showcase touring talent, I thought it fitting to make an exception for these accomplished Canucks, who I first saw locally at the Rickshaw Stop back in 2011.

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Hey Rosetta is incredibly tight band that goes from heartfelt melodic whispers to distorted guitar explosivity at the drop of a hat. Singer/songwriter Tim Baker leads the group back and forth between these two extremes, and their swelling sense of dynamics is remarkable to behold live.

Yes, all seven of them did fit on that tiny stage.

One part rock band and one part micro-orchestra, Hey Rosetta includes multi-instrumentalists Romesh Thavanathan, Kinley Dowling, and Mara Pellerin, who play cello, violin, and french horn respectively.

Each of them also plays keys and sings, and so their show was something of a musical ‘musical chairs,’ as band members shuffled around on stage and settled into a slightly different configuration for each song.

See! All seven of them on that tiny stage.

Celebrating their 10 year anniversary as a band and their excellent new album Second Sight, Hey Rosetta returned in November 2015 to a warm and enthusiastic crowd. Their set focused primarily on their new record (Soft Offering for the Oft Suffering, Harriet, Kid Gloves, Alcatraz) as well as favorites from their 2011 album Seeds (Young Glass, Welcome).

Local trio Scary Little Friends opened up the show. Their combination of tight vocal heavy surf-rock, which oscillated from rhythmically driving to light and instrospective, was a welcome addition to the line-up. As were Hey Rosetta’s tourmates Yukon Blonde, who play a sort of freewheeling-Americana-meets-synth-rock. All in all, I had a great Monday night. And with Hey Rosetta’s music in your eardrums, this too could be your reward. This could be it.

Watch Hey Rosetta’s 2010 La Blogotheque performance, which was filmed in what appears to be a parking garage with a view of the TransAmerica pyramid (???) below:


A Spoonful of Honey Helps The Medicine Go Down


“I’m feeling belligerent” said California Honeydrops singer/guitarist/trumpeteer Lech Wierzynski during their first set on Friday at the Fillmore.

Lech came on stage with an attitude, determined to get people dancing – even if it meant bossing everyone around. Last night’s show, part of a two-night stint at San Franicsco’s legendary fruit-sharing Fillmore, celebrates the release of the California Honeydrops’ new album A River’s Invitation.

The Honey Jug Band
The Honey Jug Band


The “Honey Jug Band,” a stripped-down version of the Honeydrops & friends dressed as hillbillies in overalls, opened the show. Their set featured enough junky pint-sized instruments to make an Antiques Roadshow fan salivate. Think washboard, guitar and horns, as well as the harmonica (played by Josh “The train’s a’roarin’ in!”Howell), and the infamous soul tub.

And what’s a jug band without an actual jug! Though Pete Devine looked like he was sippin’ down moonshine mighty fierce, he was actually playing the jug (as a percussive instrument) with his mouth. Watch a short clip below:

The @cahoneydrops took to it at The Fillmore last night. Here's an instrumental, part of their set as the "Honey Jug Band."

A post shared by Van Goat formerly Bear Lincoln (@vangoatband) on


Other great moments included George Jones’ The King is Gone, Pumpkin Pie (the dirtiest kid-friendly song there is), and when each member of the band jumped off the stage, one-by-one, to play their instrument among the crowd.

Lorenzo points it out during the Honeydrops' second set.
Lorenzo points it out during the Honeydrops’ soul/funk set.


The Honeydrops emerged for their second set after a sweeping costume change, from ‘podunk’ to ‘mo’funk.’ Ditching their barefeet and overalls for bellbottoms and suede jackets, the band kicked the energy up with their full electric set.

Highlights included Wilson Pickett’s Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You & an extra-long version of their “hit When It Was Wrong (which Lech insisted was a cautionary tale about the importance of ‘communication’ in a healthy relationship). But the most powerful moment of the night was when they brought Freddie Hughes, an Oakland soul legend, to perform his Top 20 R&B hit from 1968 Send My Baby Back. Flying around the highest highs and slinking to the lowest lows, Hughes and his voice delivered a truly wonderful performance.


A California Honeydrops live show is a real party, more so than any other live concert I’ve attended. And the closer you are to the stage, the more you feel it. And that’s the only troubling thing about a Honeydrops show. It is fun – so fun – but the feverish spirit of the room, if you’re not totally into it, can feel evangelical.

It’s the same “lose yourself in music” release you’d get from an EDM show, but for a live music crowd. Visceral, communal, and undeniably fun.

So if you’re lucky enough to be reading this article on 9/12/15 before their second show at the Fillmore, I would strongly recommend dipping into your piggy bank to catch them tonight. Otherwise, keep your ears to the ground: their full tour dates are listed here: http://www.cahoneydrops.com/tour-dates/



How was your high school prom? Good? Or lame? Did you wear a corsage or tuxedo, and have your very own grand entrance? Did one of your rebellious teenage friends spike the punch? Were you unexpectedly voted prom king or queen?

But let’s be honest… Wasn’t something missing? Didn’t you feel that, I don’t know, the DJ should have played the Imperial March at least once? Like it could have used at least one sandworm chandelier hanging from the ceiling?  Or that someone should have been dressed as Plavalaguna from the Fifth Element?

Well friends, you clearly feel the way I do. So this Saturday, a special treat of an event is happening at San Francisco’s own Pianofight. Presenting….



SPACEPROM. Space. Prom. Prom from space. Prom in space.

The 4th annual Space Prom will be “a groovy party of hit classics from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s.” Featuring live music from The Y Axes (whose members Devin and Alexi are celebrating their birthdays in conjunction with this show) and the fabulous Bent Knee (on tour from Boston). DJ MacFergus also takes the stage.

Best of all: tickets to Space Prom are FREE. FREE! Costumes are highly encouraged, check out music and videos from both bands below and don’t miss out!

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=501934510 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 tracklist=false artwork=small]



Saturday, July 18th

Pianofight. 144 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94102


Music by:

The Y Axes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAPYhU8aI8A
Bent Knee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-FXsZEq_ro
Guest DJ MacFergus!

Y Axes
The Y Axes

Stream Wicked Man’s New Single “Soil Leaking Water”

Wicked Man
Wicked Man


Wicked Man writes music that digs under your skin. On paper, this group combines elements of jazz and math-rock with processed guitar and eerie melodies. So, it’s not exactly pop music.

But you may be surprised by how catchy their new song “Soil Leaking Water” is. Both the vocal melody and groove are rock-solid, that’s what initially kept me coming back for more. And with repeated listens, new layers and textures are exposed – ones that didn’t reveal themselves after the first play. Very cool.

As 1,600 Soundcloud streams within 10 days of its release demonstrates, it’s clear that others feel similarly. Check out “Soil Leaking Water” below:


Wicked Man‘s new single Soil Leaking Water is a slithering, subterranean song that grooves harder than anything they’ve ever done. It’s also weirder, darker, and heavier than their previous Fingerships EP.

Their sound combines Max Denny’s syncopated drumming with Andrew Kunz’s haunting keyboards with the strangely plucked guitars and raspy vocals of frontman Yonatan Tietzz. Comparisons to Alt-J barely scratch the surface of this trio.

Just you think the song starts to make sense, it switches into a twisted 3/4 beat and then disappears completely.


Wicked Man in focus
In focus

Wicked Man plays the Legionnaire Saloon with Bourgeouis Speedball and El Elle on August 21st. More info available at their website Wicked-Man.com

TONIGHT, THURSDAY 5/28 ~ OIM Tape Release with Waterstrider + Guy Fox + Nyx at Leo’s in Oakland

Catch the Bay Area’s own Waterstrider tonight at Leo’s in Oakland as they fill your ears, eyes, and esophagus with sweet shaky grooves.


I really can’t speak highly enough of Waterstrider’s debut album Nowhere Now; its textured and vibrant sounds jump around from song to song, with many moving parts including hypnotic drums, deeply textured synths, and the cruising-altitude vocals of singer/guitarist Nate Salman.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3090991127 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=ffffff tracklist=false artwork=small]


But this show is not just about Waterstrider, or Guy Fox or Nyx for that matter. Because tonight, Leo’s Music Club in Oakland celebrates the release of the OIM Records compilation tape. This release, which is volume 1 of hopefully many more, is a brand spankin’ new comp organized by the newly founded Oaktown Indie Mayhem record label – which brings together a wide swath of talented local musicians on a singular awesome release.

A list of the artists included on the compilation is below:

Waterstrider – http://waterstrider.bandcamp.com/
Yassou Benedict – http://yassoubenedict.com/
Foxtails Brigade – http://hungryflies.org/
Nyx – http://nyxnyxnyx.bandcamp.com/
French Cassettes – http://frenchcassettes.bandcamp.com/
Lila Rose – http://lilarosemusic.com/
Perhapsy – https://soundcloud.com/perhapsy
Emily Afton – emilyaftonmusic.com
B. Hamilton – http://bhamilton.bandcamp.com/
Jennifer Johns – http://www.jennjohns.com/
Big Tree – http://bigtreesings.com/
El Elle – https://www.facebook.com/elelleFOREVER
Whiskerman – http://www.whiskerman.com/

Waterstrider’s contribution to the OIM release is “Frayed,” the video of which is composed of about 40,000 photographs. Watch it rightchere:


Leo’s Music Club

Thursday 5/28

21+ $10 at the door

Doors: 8pm Show: 9pm

First 50 people through the door get a free copy of the OIM Records compilation tape.


Leos logo

On Lila Rose’s WE.ANIMALS

Album Cover

If you weren’t already convinced, Lila Rose’s music defies conventions. And as evidenced by Stefan’s review of her fantastic album release party at The Independent, Rose puts on a hell of a live show.

Part pop, part electronic, all centered around Lila’s strong vocal delivery – Lila Rose’s WE.ANIMALS is rich and heavy album. Daniel Garcia provides sparse production that recalls The XX and James Blake, deliberately blending electronic elements with guitars, strings, and layered vocals.

But the substance, the ‘meat’ of this record, is a subject many of us find uncomfortable. Lila Rose wishes us to re-examine our place in the world and our relationship with the creatures whose planet we co-inhabit. WE.ANIMALS is dark, serious, and necessary – definitely worth a listen.


Frinj + Travis Hayes + K-Low at Amnesia – Friday, May 1st

Catch the indie/folk quartet Frinj live at Amnesia this Friday, May 1st as they premiere music from their brand new EP. Check out their (particularly goofy) Crowdfunding video, and watch as they traverse through many world languages with incredible ease. And listen to their first single Wild Child below:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=4173862925 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
A band with strong ties to Balanced Breakfast and the local San Francisco music scene, Frinj is poised for big things. But most importantly, the group doesn’t take themselves too seriously – so Friday’s show promises to be equal parts heart-tugging singer/songwriterism and zany humor.

Local singer/songwriter Travis Hayes also takes the stage on Friday. A talented musician who was recently showcased at Noise Pop in San Francisco, Hayes also knows a thing or two about combining accessible melodies with the task of entertaining a crowd (as evidenced in the sincerely-rendered Dude-Ranch of a cover song in the Soundcloud link below):

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Las Vegas Rapper K-Flow also hops aboard this fun show at Amnesia in San Francisco. Friday, May 1st. Doors open at 9. Show starts at 9:30. $10 cover, 21+