Blues Lawyer releases “Scenic Route” on…a postcard

“Who knows where we’ll be in ten months,” Blues Lawyer thought when pressing plants told them they might have to wait almost a year to release their new single, “Scenic Route” on 7” vinyl. The Oakland band looked for a way to put the song out more quickly and, after rejecting “all that extra plastic” of cassette tapes, Elyse Schrock (drums/vocals and also videography) and Rob I. Miller (vocals/guitar) from Blues Lawyer were looking into flexis (remember those thin plastic promos that came in music magazines?) when they found a manufacturer that could press on postcards. Not only did this [...]

By |August 3, 2021|Tags: |

Review + Photos: Scruff of the Neck USA Showcase at Rickshaw Stop

MAYYA (photo: William Wayland) Bands are allowed to come out and play again, and I hope we never forget this new appreciation for live music that everyone is feeling. After over a year of bands trying some form of livestreaming from their bedroom, Scruff of the Neck, an upstart music company out of Manchester, UK, put on their first-ever ticketed show in the United States and one of the first live shows this year at Rickshaw Stop on Friday, July 16th. They tapped into an eclectic mix of Bay Area bands and musicians, including MAYYA, Kevin Pesto, Uncle Chris, and [...]

By |July 28, 2021|Tags: , |

5 Bay Area Albums You May Have Missed in 2020

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 you were sitting on [...]

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

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, and Tame Impala. Though [...]

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

Additional reporting by 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 social [...]

By |September 24, 2020|Tags: |

Premiere: Milk For The Angry’s new video, “Skin and Bones”

(photo: Chris Johnston) Additional reporting by Sosha Young Milk For The Angry’s super-stoked garage rock style comes from Kyle Stringer on bass, Jackson Langford on guitar, the ecstatic drumming of just-turned-21-year-old Cole Bailey and the maniacal lead guitar and vocals of Dana Lindström, the band's driving creative force. On a song about the primal pull to party, Dana's electric mischief moves like the monsters in all of us. When the drums start clicking and this potion’s flowing, you can't help but get swept up in the band’s catalytic enthusiasm just as you would at one of their live shows. Dana [...]

By |May 26, 2020|

Review + Photos: Luna, Everyone is Dirty at the Independent

Photo by William Wayland Words by Sosha Young On Friday, February 7, Luna and Everyone is Dirty played to a sold-out crowd at San Francisco’s best-sounding venue, the Independent. I grew up on the East Coast listening to Luna songs and meditating on the lyrics. Now I’m an Oakland girl who dances at a lot of Everyone is Dirty shows. In the 1990s, Luna was the pub-rock band in New York and so many cool college towns of the Northeast. Now, Everyone is Dirty fills a similar role for the West Coast scene. Call me a romantic, but I [...]

By |February 11, 2020|Tags: , |

Best of 2019: William Wayland’s favorite photos

Angelo Moore (photo: William Wayland) In 2019 I saw the documentary Bad Reputation and decided I better check out Joan Jett. I even got in a fight with her tour manager before the show. He decided there wouldn’t be any photography at the concert and everybody with a camera got kicked out. Except me. I guess he decided that the guy who could give it back as good as he got deserved to stay. A memorable show, and Joan Jett rocked it, but the photos didn’t make my best of 2019. I got to see Burna Boy, whose new album has been nominated for a Grammy. But [...]

Review + Photos: Soul Ska celebrates five years

Soul Ska (photo: William Wayland) If you’re reading this and you don’t know Soul Ska, that’s partly by design. The band was never interested in blanketing the Bay Area or selling a lot of records. They’re selective about where they play and they put in the effort to build up an audience, returning again and again to create a loyal following before staking out new territory.  The strategy must be working because Soul Ska shows consistently sell out. That’s what it was like on Friday, November 15, when the band celebrated their five-year anniversary at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. There was a line around [...]

By |November 21, 2019|Tags: |

Review + Photos: Tyler Childers at the Fox Theater

Tyler Childers (photo: William Wayland) Here’s something I didn’t realize until last Friday. Tyler Childers is a heartthrob. The guy who stands at the microphone like he just got off a backhoe makes his lovesick fans swoon. And that makes sense. Even with its share of whooping and hollering and falling-down drunk into the arms of the Oakland Police Department, what I saw mostly at The Fox Theater was couples with their arms around each other singing the words to every song (and taking videos, of course, to prove that they were there). Just as Bruce Springsteen can’t be separated from [...]

By |October 25, 2019|Tags: |
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