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 [...]

Local Book Release: ‘In Defense of Ska’ by Aaron Carnes

Do you like ska? More importantly, would you admit to liking ska? Ska, a music with a delightfully checkered past, started Jamaica in the 1950s, moved across the pond to the UK for the 2-Tone revival, and then enjoyed some commercial success in the late 1980s and 1990s. Everyone I knew in the 90s owned a Clueless soundtrack purely for track 10: "Where'd You Go" by The Mighty Mighty BossToneS. Though ska had a slow-burn rise to widespread popularity, its exit was quick...and brutal. In recent years, ska has been the butt of many jokes, and this brilliant art form [...]

By |April 12, 2021|Tags: , |

Cold Moon searches for meaning in new video for “Simpleton”

We've all probably felt like the main character in Cold Moon's new video at some point in our lives. Directed and filmed by Timmy Lodhi, "Simpleton" is the first single from the East Bay group's upcoming album What's the Rush and shows a man in the grips of a full-blown identity crisis. Your late 20s/early 30s can be awkward period, one defined by the pains and discomforts of outgrowing one's own identity from the inside out. We all have this unspoiled image of who we want to be, and achieving that identity can be one of the greatest thrills in [...]

By |April 9, 2021|Tags: |

‘Making Ways’ returns with Shamir, Nada Surf

Remember Rob and Making Ways? Rob Goodman is a local artist and music fan (and a former writer of ours, and someone who still occasionally lends us his artistic talents). In addition to the day jobs we all have here at TBB, his side projects have often revolved around music — namely a robust library of concert posters. For a while, we were helping get the word out about his podcast, Making Ways, which covers "the intersection of art and music" — previous guests include industrial designers, children's book illustrators, and musicians like Heather D'Angelo of Au Revoir Simone. Like [...]

By |April 8, 2021|Tags: |

Review + Photos: Jazz Mafia’s “Future Standard” at the Pod Patio

Jazz Mafia's “Future Standard” (photo: Jon Bauer) Jazz Mafia’s “Future Standard” explores the world of current pop music through the lens of the jazz musician. This tradition of reshaping popular songs goes back as far as the roots of jazz: A popular song gets reimagined by musicians outside of the pop genre (in this case, incorporating improvisation), which then gets recorded, sampled, and incorporated into the next generation of pop music...and a cycle is born. Thus the music of Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish & Little Dragon (etc.,) are the standards of the future. Tune in (for free) to Jazz Mafia Tuesdays [...]

By |April 8, 2021|Tags: |
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