raphi gottesman - virtual access cover

You may not know the name Raphi Gottesman, but chances are you have seen him in action.  He has played drums with Sonny & the Sunsets, The Fresh & Onlys, The Black Swans, Fishermen Three, A Carnival of Hours, Jack Lewis’ Awkward Energy and he currently drums with Odawas.  Odawas has a new record, Reflections of a Pink Lasercoming out on June 2nd. See Russell’s great interview with them for more info.

Raphi is also a very talented guitar player.  His solo debut Ballad of the Sad Cafe came out in 2011 and his latest work, Virtual Access (embedded below) is hot off the press!  Gottesman’s music has been featured in several movies, including the award-winning soundtrack for the 2011 documentary film The City Dark.  It makes sense: his solo recordings are instrumental, mostly guitar, drums and keyboard, and perfect for a movie soundtrack.  Looping guitar sounds are frequently encountered and the effect is pleasantly trance-inducing.

Raphi is a big fan of Richard Buckner and there are moments where the music goes that direction, sounding perfect for sitting on the porch with a nice cold drink.  The lack of vocals makes the music far less depressing than Buckner’s, which is nice.  Yo La Tengo created a great soundtrack for the Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy movie, Old Joy, and Raphi’s songs have a similar feeling: a river, trees, open space and plenty of room to do nothing for a change.

Raphi is about to embark on a West Coast tour, and before he heads for Oregon and Washington, you can catch him in SF on Sunday, June 8th with Odawas at a benefit bash for Mutiny Radio with Dirty Denim and The Five Eyes.  Raphi returns home to Oakland on Saturday, June 21st with a solo show at Chabot Space & Science.  What better place for a summer solstice party curated by The Octopus Literary Salon?!  The evening will include two more Oakland favorites:  Yea-Ming and the Rumours (Yea-Ming of Dreamdate fame) and Legs (their first show in over a year).