Lauren Ruth Ward explodes onto Cafe du Nord stage

Grungy '70s psych-rock singer Lauren Ruth Ward just released “Water Sign” from her forthcoming album, Volume II ahead of her US tour jumping off this month. On the 19th of March the Baltimore singer plays Cafe du Nord (presented by Noise Pop, so you know it’s solid) and it’s sure to be a funky splendid time. The single’s accompanying video (shot by Dylan Doornbos Hayes) is a funny trip with a hint at the some of the antics Ward gets up to on stage. She’s a charismatic performer with a pleasingly unique voice that’s hard to pin down. For fans [...]

ZOLA, Emily Afton and Sandu Ndu play Cafe du Nord

This Thursday Noise Pop and Everything Ecstatic presents an evening featuring a couple of Bay Area prized possessions. Featured artist ZOLA (San Francisco) is a blend of of folk-pop, jazz, soul, and indie-pop with a very singer-songwriter vibe. This is her album release show, with full band and full energy — watch out for that finger picking. Also on the bill is Oakland delight Emily Afton, whose synth-pop heat is impressive and energetic. She has played to massive crowds in the past couple of years and we're excited to see what she's bringing to Cafe du Nord's intimate stage. ZOLA, [...]

Sour Widows premiere with “Tommy”

“It’s like the anti-single,” says Sour Widows' Susanna Thomson. She tells us that the track is a bit of an outlier from the rest of their forthcoming, self-titled EP. “The rest of the EP is really not poppy at all.” The single “Tommy” is a Weezer-influenced, gentle alternative song with an I-want-to-sing-this-while-I-walk-alone kind of way. It’s catchy without being too poppy. It’s got a fine, fine guitar solo. Some of the lyrics are so good you wish you’d have thought of them yourself. Of course, it’s not just the lyrics, but their delivery. To get a sneak peak of Sour [...]

Music and…: Five Ways to Think About the Crackdown on SF Venues

In the midst of enjoying a series of sold-out, locally-headlined shows during last week's Noise Pop festivities, there was just enough of a gap between bands, drinks and good times for me to have a real downer of a realization: if the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has its way, many of the great venues hosting Noise Pop shows would be put out of business. Places like Bottom of the Hill, Cafe Du Nord, Slim's, and the Great American Music Hall. Chances are pretty good that if you've been to see a show recently, you've been to a [...]

Feature & Giveaway: Loquat Residency at Cafe du Nord Thursdays in May (Part 1 of 2)

Next week Loquat begins a month long residency at Cafe du Nord playing every Thursday in May. Different supporting acts, set lists, DJs, and guest performers promise to make each night of the four part concert series a uniquely excellent time. Loquat - "Sit Sideways" To commemorate the beginning of the series, we had lead singer Kylee Swenson give us a preview of what's in store for the first two dates. You can read that interview below. We are also pleased to be giving away two tickets to each of the shows on Thursday, May 7th (with Head [...]

The latest on the ABC and local venues: why promises of change aren’t enough

A Bay Bridged reader tipped us off to this post over at the Chronicle's City Insider blog, the latest in the paper's coverage of the ongoing conflict between the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and some of the City’s best venues, including Bottom of the Hill, Cafe Du Nord, the Great American Music Hall and the DNA Lounge. You can find our previous posts about this issue here and here for more background, but here's a quick recap: the ABC, charged with issuing and enforcing alcohol licenses throughout the state, has been challenging the liquor licenses of a number [...]

Must-read Chronicle story on the ABC and SF live music

Via The OCMD, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an absolutely astonishing story this weekend about action by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control targeted at some of the City's best venues, like Bottom of the Hill, Cafe Du Nord and the Great American Music Hall. This early sentence should get your attention: Those venues could be forced to close, owners say, if the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, better known as ABC, continues to impose rules that club attorneys argue are legally questionable and often unrelated to booze or safety issues. It's not uncommon to hear about a [...]

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