New Sensations in the East Bay: Gravys Drop (band), Vitus (venue) & The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal (series)

There is something happening in the East Bay (but we don't know what it is). There are new venues, new bands and a new music series! Here's a small taste. Effective immediately every 3rd Thursday, Bezerkeley's Starry Plough will host The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal, bringing local bands that focus on music from Greece, Turkey, Armenia and beyond. Last Thursday's kick-off bash brought Disciples of Markos, Zoyres, and Janam. February 16th will feature Balkan brass band Inspector Gadje plus Radio Istanbul and Gramophone & Dynamo. BBB organizer Dave Murray with Disciples of Markos playing 1930s Greek hash den ditties Zoyres playing [...]

Review/Photos: Japonize Elephants, Zoyres, Killbossa @ The Rickshaw Stop 8/25

Oakland’s Killbossa is a 7-piece that plays beefed up Tropicália standards (60’s era Brazilian music with a political bent). The vocals are clean, the backbeat hard, and the guitar a bit grungy. The bassist and guitarist brought some heat, it seems that when they are practicing Tropicália they are running through Rage Against the Machine songs in their basement. The band is on-point, they play tight until they fall into a free-form section where the divergent sums equal a strong whole; all the players were endlessly capable. They play standards in such an inventive and original way that I longed [...]

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