If I told you Bo Diddley, Weezer, and the Go-Go’s were performing under the same roof you’d think I’d lost my mind. Well, there’s a long-standing Halloween tradition that allows for the next best thing—Bay Area bands doing costumed cover performances.
What is it about Sarah Bernat–with her Janet Jackson headset microphone and chainsaw-buzz guitar–and band mate Alex Lukas playing a labyrinth of synthesizers that’s so damn special?
The night before our meeting, I saw Wax Idols' Hether Fortune at The Lab in the Mission. We were both attending the Goth Prom where it crossed my mind to introduce myself as the guy who was supposed to interview her the next day at Philz Coffee. I figured that was too weird, so I didn’t.
If third time’s a charm, then this year’s incarnation of the Burger Boogaloo should be no exception to that rule as the festival expands with its biggest event yet. Set in its new digs, the outdoor Oakland oasis that is Mosswood Park, the lineup spans some five decades of spectacular music (if they’d landed Ronnie Spector as rumored, Total Trash Productions—the show’s bookers, would have had the 60s covered too).
Last month The Mantles issued their second full-length album, Long Enough To Leave (Slumberland Records), followed by a “fun as hell” record-release show at Oakland’s White Horse Tavern. They’ve played both sides of the Bay (band members live in Oakland and San Francisco), and will hit up the East Coast for the next couple of weeks to tour. We talked to Michael Olivares (vocals, guitar) and Matt Roberts (Bass) about recording with Kelley Stoltz, how two band mates got “hitched” during the process and what they think of the term, "60s revivalists."
It seems there’s no rest for the weary for some Bay Area musicians who are working hard to make their dreams come true.
I asked Thao Nguyen point blank, ‘Why is Valerie Bolden sentenced to life without parole?’ I didn’t expect that she’d give the reason, but wanted to ask partly out of curiosity, and also as an exercise in asking difficult questions. But her answer tapped into the type of person she is; one that promised herself as a sociology major that she would use her music to draw attention to things she considers important.
Around Christmastime last year, a well-respected member of the Bay Area music scene, Ursula Boots (aka Ursula Rodriguez), who's done time at Bottom of the Hill, Amoeba Records, the SF Bay Guardian and also KUSF, was a victim of a fire that tragically displaced her from her long-time Mission residence. Adding insult to injury, her possessions were stolen from her car in the 20 minutes she had to collect her belongings from her fire- and water-damaged apartment.
100 Records Vol. 3 is the final installment of Sonny Smith’s art project that has produced nothing but an abundance of creativity over the past three years. The 100 Records Project has lived up to its name as Smith took on the arduous task of assuming aliases of musicians he made up, recording a bunch of songs, and commissioning visual artists to provide the sleeve designs for each release, which were used in his exhibit.
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