The Well Known Strangers turn the tide of uncertainty

(photo: Penni Gladstone) Words by Carolyn McCoy By now the story is commonplace: That of how our lives stopped, changed course, and went off on the wackiest path imaginable. One year later, many folks continue to do what they can to create normalcy in the face of complete uncertainty. For Bay Area band The Well Known Strangers — drummer Mick Hellman, singer Amber Morris, keys player Austin DeLone, guitarists Rob Anderson & David Noble, and bassist Joshua Zucker — this scenario began to play out with the recording of their five-song EP release, King Tide, last year. “Just days before [...]

Ask The Staff: What do you want your First Concert After to be?

(Ceremony and Perfume Genius: Estefany Gonzalez. Lizzo: Ian Young.) As chroniclers of the Bay Area's live music scene, we are obviously so, so excited for concerts to come back. Well, kind of — some of us have some trepidation about the speed at which live events are announcing their return, considering that, though case numbers have fallen dramatically, we're still in an active pandemic. But that doesn't mean a number of us haven't been daydreaming about what the perfect first concert to see after this is all over (or at least mostly over) would be. So we asked the staff: [...]

Kayatta Patton drops new video with the “Sweetest of Ease”

Ever since she picked up a trumpet in third grade, North Bay rapper/producer/poet Kayatta has been making a name for herself as a soulful and engaging performer. Born in West Oakland, Kayatta Patton found inspiration in musicians like A Tribe Called Quest and Ms. Lauryn Hill, influences that resonate on her debut album Beautiful and Messy, which dropped over the summer of 2020. And while obviously there are social and political themes woven throughout Kayatta's verses, her newest video "Sweetest of Ease," filmed and directed by Anthony Jimenez, is an introspective look at her own personal journey. Check it out [...]

By |March 26, 2021|Tags: |

Katie Knipp goes back to ‘The Well’

(photos: Phil Kampel) Words by Carolyn McCoy By now, most of us have a serious case of the Lockdown Blues. But there is hope! Almost like a homeopathic dose of the blues to cure the blues, Katie Knipp’s latest release, The Well, is just the antidote for the overall hell we are experiencing right now. Last year at this time, Knipp was climbing the Billboard Blues charts, in which she shared honored space with other masters like Buddy Guy and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. She was also flying high on a nod from the Grammy Association by almost acquiring a nomination [...]

By |March 18, 2021|Tags: |

How the Bay Area can do better for Black musicians

Author Adam Hudson plays an open mic in Benicia. Words by Adam Hudson While the San Francisco Bay Area prides itself on liberal multiculturalism and progressive politics, racism and segregation in the region are more real than people like to admit. And you can see that even in the music community.    For seven years, I played in an all-nonwhite alternative rock band called Sunata; two of us were African-American (myself, the drummer, and the bassist) and one was Indo-Fijian (guitarist/vocalist). We stuck out in the Bay Area rock scene. Even though rock music originated in the Black community, rock music [...]

By |February 18, 2021|Tags: |

5 Bay Area Albums You May Have Missed in 2020

Words by William Wayland As I write this, nationwide deaths from COVID-19 are expected to surpass 600,000 in only a few months. We’re close to a year without live music and it’s just hard to watch shows on Zoom. I applaud everyone who's trying but it’s just not the same. Right? Is it just me? All of this makes it hard to hear about new releases, so I’ve compiled a few from Bay Area artists that have helped me get through shelter-in-place so far. This isn’t a “Best Of”, it’s just a few words about local music you may have missed because [...]

A 2020 Favorite: Kyle Stringer’s ‘House Plants’ project

Words by William Wayland The next time you find yourself in the middle of a global pandemic, sheltering in a tiny apartment — missing friends, family, and your former life — try spinning House Plants to feel a little more grounded. House Plants is the eponymous title of Kyle Stringer’s solo effort and self-released debut album. Stringer is usually out of the spotlight, laying down bass lines for Oakland’s Milk for the Angry or, before that, Kansas band Narkalark. Here he steps to the front of the stage (figuratively speaking) with echoes of Alex G, Flaming Lips, Toro Y Moi, [...]

“Music is Magic”: PSDSP go analog with ‘Luddite’

By William Wayland and Carolyn McCoy PSDSP is a band with an uneasy relationship to technology. Ask singer and guitarist Eli Carlton-Pearson how he feels about digital technology and he doesn’t hold back. “Fuck the internet, fuck tech, fuck Google, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Instagram. Fuck all the greedy-ass shady-ass businesses commodifying our minds, replacing innate wisdom and intuition with cheap skills, replacing cultures with trends, shortening our attention span to the point that the greater issues, the heritage of our problems, of our solutions, is incomprehensible because it’s too many characters long or too many seconds long.” However indifferent their [...]

By |September 24, 2020|Tags: |

Review + Photos: Soul Ska Livestream at A Backyard in San Anselmo

Soul Ska livestream (photo: Carolyn McCoy) Words by Carolyn McCoy At this point in time, most of us are experiencing a bit of the Lockdown Blues. Even though it seems we are coming out of it, we are entering back into a world that has changed drastically. It is sad to say that the music scene in the Bay Area is in a state of a significant overhaul, with massive shutdowns and closures of all music venues, bars, and clubs. Most of us have not gone to a live show since mid-March, and bands and musicians are struggling to find a [...]

By |June 22, 2020|

10 local Black arts programs you can donate to today

At The Bay Bridged, we believe music and art doesn't just provide a relieving distraction from a weary world — it can also be a powerful tool for those seeking change, justice, and equality. In light of recent events, we've started a list of arts organizations that provide space for Black art in the Bay Area. Since one of the fastest ways to speed along the search for justice and equity is to give money directly to the communities you want to support, we've chosen 10 that accept direct donations. There are, of course, organizations that serve more urgent needs [...]

By |June 1, 2020|
Go to Top