I won’t lie to you. This photo is not from the Swedish, but from a recent show at Oakland’s Uptown. It was my first Emily Jane White show, it was great and I really tried to get to the Swedish on time. Parking was a nightmare, and I missed her. Ode to Sentience, her third album, is due out this May. Learn from my mistakes and be on time to her next show! She already has four spots listed for South by Southwest if you happen to be in Texas next month.

Another Oakland based outfit, Dreams, was taking the stage when we arrived. Luckily this was a Bay Bridged sponsored show and the stellar bartenders (including John Vanderslice) were very generous with the booze. The horrors of parking soon faded as Dreams and Trumer filled my head. Rich, soulful lyrics over a tight jazz combo made the Swedish feel more like an intimate jazz club. The band is currently recording with said barkeep at his Tiny Telephone studio. One of these recordings, “With You” includes background singing from none other than Thao Nguyen.

How nice to sip beer in the Swedish. What a fantastic venue. While in my Dreams-state, I got a dozen photos of the lights. Check out Dreams on March 17th at Bottom of the Hill.

Will Sprott brought all sortsa special guests. Mastermind behind San Jose’s Mumlers, Sprott has been popping up ‘solo’ more and more. For tonight’s show, he assembled a trio of background singers and a maestro of vibraphone. There is still a mighty Memphis soul sound, Mumlers but more stripped down; it’s a little less joyful but more potent. Will returns to the Bottom of the Hill on March 20th with Sweden’s Loney Dear and Oakland’s Yesway.

Jolie Holland and company looked super classy. The violin and lap steel sounded great. The packed house of fans for the sold out show seemed pleased. Maybe I’m still bitter that she moved away from San Fran, but she needs to turn down the Lucinda Williams vocal thing a notch or three. Her fourth album, Pint of Blood, is in stores now. It is supposed to be loosely based on Neil Young’s masterpiece Zuma. I don’t get it.