In Case You Missed It: Justin Seagrave’s debut “Between Lives”

If a story is a thread, and a song is a woven web, Justin Seagrave's debut Between Lives is a museum-quality tapestry. Exquisite attention to production detail meets Seagrave's tender vocals and refreshingly honest songwriting style. Seagrave, an LA-born child of artists, studied classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory before taking off for 10 months of European travel to hone his street-playing and free-roaming skills. The result of these two educations is a sound at once orchestral and whimsical. The five folk songs settle easily on the ear, washing over like low-tide on a summer beach. Yet when you [...]

By |September 21, 2018|Tags: |

Annie Bacon: Leaving San Francisco, where music and home became one

Bay Bridged Editor and longtime San Francisco musician Annie Bacon left San Francisco for Michigan weeks ago. In this essay, she says the goodbye she needs to say to the city and community that she loved and that loved her right back. Even though I am not a native San Franciscan, I am third generation Run-Away-To-San-Franciscan. My great uncle John came here in the 1930s as a merchant marine, lived a bachelor’s life of plenty, but when he died he was buried back in Rhode Island. Roughly 35 years later, my mother came here, yes, with flowers in her hair. [...]

By |August 23, 2018|Tags: |

‘Life on Hiatus,’ a multimedia work at PianoFight this month

Life on Hiatus explores the lives of four characters whose everyday existence has been interrupted. What does it mean to have your life interrupted? Does it mean to have an expected trajectory upset by trauma or tragedy? To collapse under the weight of ideals? Is it a real life interrupted or just the life that was sold to us by clever marketing firms throughout our childhood? A new collaboration between four artists, Life on Hiatus, will examine these questions through four storylines: a college student facing astronomical student loans, a recently homeless veteran suffering from PTSD, a career-driven woman who [...]

Rogue Wave celebrate 10 years of iconic album with 3 Bay Area shows

Oakland-based Rogue Wave is headed through the Bay Area for three shows starting in Santa Cruz tonight. The indie rock band, which Zach Rogue built out of the ashes of the dot-com bust, dabbles in emotional and musical dualities: joy-pain, loud-quiet, melody-chaos. They are celebrating the 10th anniversary reissue of their seminal Asleep At Heaven's Gate, which SPIN hailed as “a make-or-break manifesto that often trumps indie-rock’s big-leaguers.” Catch them at one of their three Bay Area shows: Rogue Wave, Business of Dreams Moe's Alley May 9, 2018 8:30pm, $18 Rogue Wave, Dear Boy The Independent May 11, 2018 9pm, [...]

By |May 9, 2018|Tags: |

They can’t take the spirit from Van William’s heart

Singer-songwriter Van Pierszalowski has started three bands in the past decade: Port O'Brien, an indie-folk favorite of the Bay Area in the late aughts; the power-pop group WATERS, technically still a band; and his current solo work as Van William, which brings the lyrical and poetic intimacy of Americana together with those powerful pop melodies and hooks. Thursday night he'll be at the Independent promoting Van William's debut album, Countries. Through these years, much has been said about Pierszalowski's relationship to place — specifically, Alaska. Port O'Brien is the name of the Alaskan bay where his parents met, and the [...]

By |May 1, 2018|Tags: |

Review + Photos: The Family Crest + Goodnight, Texas rile up Great American Music Hall

The Family Crest (photo: Kate Haley) Last Thursday night, Great American Music Hall was a home-grown happy zone for hundreds of eager audience members and longtime fans of the Family Crest. Just a few days earlier, the band released The War: Act 1, their first major release in four years, and the crowd was riled and ready to celebrate. The Family Crest is a dynamic band with a catalog of dynamic songs. The rich, atmospheric indie rock geography of each song was well supported by trombone, cello, violin, bass, guitar, drums, synths, and flute. Singer Liam McKormick's gorgeous and versatile voice [...]

By |April 18, 2018|Tags: |

Lostboycrow croons at Cornerstone Berkeley next week

Electro-pop/R&B crooner Lostboycrow makes his way to Cornerstone Berkeley next week in support of his newest EP, Traveler: The Third Legend. Traveler is a three part journey. The First Legend and The Second Legend, released 10 and 5 months ago respectively, have each garnered tens of millions of streams, and widened Lostboycrow's scope as an artist on the rise. Lostboycrow's music is as appealing for its seductive R&B groove as it is for its danceability. Add to this a general sense of mystique about the artist himself, add a comprehensive pastel-synthwave-Fabio aesthetic, and it's hard to tear away your eyes [...]

By |April 10, 2018|Tags: |

Jesse Ray Smith releases single “Easy on Me” off debut solo album

For Jesse Ray Smith, music has always been a catharsis from the heaviness of life. Far from creating escapist bubblegum, however, Smith leans into meaning with a full and open heart. His brand of Americana is earnest and uplifting, an open hand reaching through the inherent melancholy of the genre, while his voice rings with echoes of Chris Stapleton and Bob Seger. He recently released "Easy on Me," the first single off his upcoming solo debut Yolanda Station. The Marin County-born and raised Smith is owner/manager of Gulch Alley music studio in SF, which organizes the Gold Rush summer music [...]

By |April 5, 2018|Tags: |

Premiere: “The Mighty Echo” by the Family Crest

Of the thousands of new songs that have come across my desk in the past few months, few have been so surprisingly grand as The Family Crest's newest track, "The Mighty Echo," and few have moved me so immediately. The track opens with pulsing piano and singer Liam McCormick's clear-toned vocals before exploding into a perfectly realized expression of the oft-misused "baroque folk" moniker. Deliciously musical (for theory geeks, the song trades 3/4 and 5/4 bars throughout most of the song), "The Mighty Echo" has a context. Its forthcoming album titled War: Act I, is an opus. From its opening [...]

By |April 4, 2018|Tags: |

Premiere: Brian Belknap is “Bearing Witness”

If you've ever taken public transit in San Francisco, you've almost certainly seen one-man band Brian Belknap doing his "broke-down folk, junk-country blues, and gut-bucket gospel" thing. He's taken the sound into the studio to create a full-length album, In Lieu of Flowers, and today he's sharing a gorgeous rendering of "Bearing Witness." The tremendous musical ability required to pull off a one-mand band is matched by Belknap's excellent songwriting. He's honed it over the years living and playing in New Orleans and San Francisco. It's the latter city that is the centerpiece of the "Bearing Witness" video as Belknap [...]

By |April 3, 2018|Tags: |
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