The Damn Fanatics, by David Herschorn
Photo by David Herschorn

Twenty Fifteen has come to an end. Over the last 365 days, I've heard a lot of amazing new music and experienced loads of epic performances. In addition I’d like to give a shout-out to all the new friends I’ve made that go to shows ... you are amazing. Can we also take a moment to pour one out for our homies that had to move in order to afford their rock and roll lifestyles? (pause) Thank you! Finally, I would like to assure all of the music fans and perhaps some of the skeptics in the Bay Area that “OUR SCENE IS NOT DEAD!” (Goonies never say die!).

The other day The Bay Bridged asked me to guest blog on their site. I like to promote shows, create community, advocate the local music scene, so they thought I’d have a favorite band of 2015. At first I was excited!!! Then the excitement started to fade ... I suddenly realized I had to choose my favorite band from a list of acts that I consider friends. Slowly I wasn't as excited about writing this fluff piece. In fact I almost turned down the opportunity. However, in the end I decided it was my responsibility to music fans to have an opinion ... I decided this was an offer that benefited the scene, I realized I couldn't pass it up. I also said a few prayers, “Dear God, please help my friends that have bands that I didn’t choose forgive me, and still be my friend!”

So, without further ado ... my favorite band of 2015 is: The Damn Fanatics. This choice comes on the heels of the fact that they just released their first album on Spotify. I chose them because they’re a baby band in San Francisco that is about to blossom. I think you’ll love them for their raw energy, danceability, and pure excitement. Not only is the band theatrical on stage, but they are musically talented as well. However, if sounding good and promising a fun time is not enough for you ... I’ve provided an additional 5 reasons I chose them:

  1. The Damn Fanatics played my rooftop birthday party. It was a rowdy gathering that also included Doug Tiemann, Travis Hayes, Friends w/o Benefits, Beautiful Machines and Kiwi Time.
  2. The lead singer Andy Strong works at venue called PianoFight. For months before it opened he was advocating its existence. When it did finally open, they offered to host the music project I co-founded, Balanced Breakfast. With their support Balanced Breakfast has had the space to grow from 25 people a week to 40+.
  3. The Damn Fanatics drummer Cameron co-founded a group called Coffee and Catchup that loosely follows the format that Balanced Breakfast created. They also meet at PianoFight - he is responsible for booking me to DJ one of their parties and my biggest event to date with 200+ people in attendance.
  4. The Damn Fanatics always dress up for their shows. At one of the shows the keyboardist Matt Grandy dressed up as a unicorn. After the show he loaned me the unicorn head so I could surprise a friend for her birthday. The unicorn head completed the theme of the party!
  5. The final reason is ... they just released their first album on Spotify and you can listen to it now!

Take a listen and let me know what you think! Also I’d love to know which Bay Area band is your favorite for 2015. You can respond in the comments below.

The Damn Fanatics, by David Herschorn
Photo by David Herschorn

Stefan Aronsen runs SF Intercom and co-founded Balanced Breakfast. He is passionate about design, technology, and the future of the music industry.

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