Photos: Jazz Mafia’s “Birth of the Cool” at the New Parish

Jazz Mafia's “Birth of the Cool” (photo: Jon Bauer) In celebration of Miles Davis' birthday (May 26, 1926), Jazz Mafia performed their own versions of selections from Birth Of The Cool at the New Parish in Oakland. It was the first live show since the pandemic began at the New Parish. The performers were: Adam Theis (Trombone and Bass Guitar) Henry Hung (Trumpet) Joe Cohen (Alto Sax) Tommy Occhiuto (Bari Sax) Colin Hogan (Keyboards) Henry Plumb (Drums)

By |June 2, 2021|Tags: |

FREDDIE bashes back with new single, upcoming performance at Oaklash

After a year that prompted artistic development and activism, Bay Area resident FREDDIE is back  and ready to shake it all off with a scorched-earth new single, "BASHBACK!".  With a run time of just over one minute, 30 seconds, the track runs at a fast clip to match, showcasing FREDDIE's bombastic, rowdy assembly of hip hop and rap with pop vocal stylings. With its blink-and-you'll-miss-it bars and themes of over-policing, anti-capitalism, and queer reclamation, the song feels like the perfect protest to soundtrack Pride month in 2021. To celebrate, FREDDIE is debuting the single as a headliner at this weekend's [...]

By |May 28, 2021|Tags: |

TONG anatomize the patriarchy on ‘MAN’

Photo by Parker Simon The Greek word apocalypse typically conjures up thoughts of a violent destruction or a catastrophic end. Yet, the word itself translates literally to: an uncovering, a reveal, a parting of the veil. It is in this context that San Francisco three-piece band TONG ponder the apocalypse on their new album MAN, out now. MAN is a particularly heavy song cycle by most standards. It sounds at home among the likes of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Ty Segall's discography. Corporeal imagery is sung in unison with heavy riffs; Parker Simon's gnarled basslines [...]

By |May 17, 2021|Tags: |

Love Jerks have an “Out of Body” experience in new video

Love Jerks at Filoli Garden (all photos: Patric Carver) Some people are in a band, some people are a band. Love Jerks, which is married couple Rebecca Garza-Bortman (formerly of Happy Fangs) and Bryan Garza (Scissors for Lefty), definitely are a band. The duo released their debut album Million Movies in 2018, and were on a steady climb to dominate the Bay Area rock scene until the pandemic hit. Their sound is a heart-and-soul rock sound that makes all songs sound anthemic. Combine equal parts pre-Private Audition Heart, DEVO, the Strokes, a dash of Rush (without such a Dungeons-and-Dragons focus), [...]

By |May 10, 2021|Tags: |

Bluegrass Pride announces 2021 Porch Pride festival lineup

Bluegrass Pride, the Bay Area's frontier nonprofit whose mission is to uplift and center LGBTQ+ musicians and creators in roots music, has announced their 2021 lineup for Pride Month. Now in its second year, the virtual festival and fundraising event will take place all month long in June. The month will feature performances by folks like Lavender Country, Rainbow Girls, Gangstagrass, Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Jake Blount, and Sunny War. Beginner players have a chance to join a jam session as well. In the COVID-19 era, vital discussions and hunger for equity and visibility in the arts has bubbled to the [...]

Experience Shadow Basket’s new single, “Thunder”

Santa Cruz-based folk and indie rock outfit Shadow Basket released their new single "Thunder" on April 24. "Thunder" is an artfully crafted song weaving an extremely strong vocal performance, rich harmonies, intricate guitar work, unique composition, and evocative lyrics. Beginning with a nautical field recording and comprised of stridulating crickets and the lulling hush of waves ebbing and flowing, an impressive fingerpicked guitar invites you into an oneiric fable where Jacey LaManna sings: Backed into the corner is an eight legged master / I am one of many eye / She built a strong line between actual walls that keep [...]

Reisender re-emerges with new album, ‘Fmly’

Today, San Francisco's Reisender releases Fmly, their first since their 2016 debut. To celebrate, they've released the video for their latest single, "Naked Eyes," as well. You might already have heard that Reisender started with a busted mandolin copped at a flea market in Germany ("Reisender" is German for "traveler"). The mando has always been present in Reisender's repertoire, but on Fmly, bandleader Paul Conroy leans even further into synth-fueled pop sounds. However, this time there seems to be a drop of darkness added. But honestly, aren't we all feeling that these days? (The plague masks also feel appropriate for [...]

By |April 23, 2021|Tags: |

Mae Powell makes bitter sweet with “Fuck I.C.E.”

They say that ignorance is bliss, but that's only true for the ignorant. Those who are suffering because they have been marginalized, disenfranchised, and discriminated will still exist wether we're aware of their stories or not. That's why it's so important that we continually reach out to others, spread consciousness, and take action. San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Mae Powell, addresses this with her new single, "Fuck I.C.E." On the surface, "Fuck I.C.E." sounds like the perfect music to roller skate to. It sounds like summertime and soft-serve ice cream and sun-drenched beaches. It's smooth with these very ropey guitar hooks that [...]

By |April 19, 2021|Tags: |

Live Event Alert!! ‘Stop Making Sense’ with Andrew St. James

I've already told the story of how the first time I saw Stop Making Sense I leaned over to my dad in the theater halfway through and said "Dad, can we go? This is so boring." I've come to appreciate David Byrne and co. over time, and if you haven't yet you're really missing out on great live performances. As we slowly transition to live music, Fast Times is offering us the chance to at least view some from behind our windshields. Andrew St. James will open the night's proceedings with a live set, followed by music videos from local [...]

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 [...]

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