Torres Explores Sensual Pleasures On ‘Three Futures’ (Playing Fri. 10/13 at Slim’s)


Mackenzie Scott, the Georgia-bred artist who records and performs as Torres, set a high bar for herself on her new third effort, the synth-bubbly “Three Futures.” Raised in a strict Baptist household, the Tori Amos-inspired singer, 26, wanted to explore sensual pleasures – visual, olfactory and otherwise — in skeletal tracks such as “Greener Stretch,” “To Be Given a Body” and “Tongue Slap Your Brains Out,” which sounds painful (but isn’t, in her arcane lexicon). “It’s a great thing!” she says. “I’m a foodie, so it’s like, ‘This food is too good!’”

Read her interview with the SF Examiner HERE!

Liars Performance and Interview on KALX – Tues. 10/10 at 1:30pm!


Join DJ ((echoplex)) on Tuesday, October 10th @ 1:30PM for an in-studio live performance and interview with shape shifting art rock band, Liars!
The band's latest album, TFCF (aka Theme From Crying Fountain), is the first release for mastermind and lead singer, Angus Andrew, without long time members, Julian Gross and Aaron Hemphill.  Rest assured, Andrew continues the band's ever intriguing journey into the unknown with an impressive release born from deep within the Australian bush.
Take a listen HERE!

Q&A: Bad Suns Add Inspiration to Elbow Grease on the Road (Playing Wed. 10/11 at GAMH)


For Los Angeles new wavy indie rock band Bad Suns, the difference between a debut album and a sophomore LP comes down having the tenacity to learn from your experiences and make the appropriate tweaks.

“Having the first go-around certainly helps a lot,” frontman Christo Bowman said. “Putting out the first record [and] touring it was all such a whirlwind, and we were kind of just taking it as it came to us each day. We were really figuring it out. It seems obvious, but with the second record it was very helpful [to] take all that we had learned … for a smoother ride; embellishing what we could do and taking things to the next level. As opposed to ‘How do we barely scrape by?’ the goal now is, ‘How do we put on a great show every night?’”

Bad Suns, who headline the Great American Music Hall on Oct. 11, came together in 2012 and made a splash with their 2014 debut, Language & Perspective.

Click HERE for RIFF Magazine's interview!

Catching up with San Cisco: Guitarist Josh Biondillo on the Aussies’ The Water (Playing Mon. 8/28 at GAMH)


San Cisco may be a west coast band, with a name that could pass for a tourist’s abbreviation for San Francisco and an upbeat Californian pop sound, but the quartet actually calls the west coast of Australia home.

The quartet will be touring its new album, The Water, up and down the U.S. west coast later this month and RIFF chatted by email with guitarist Josh Biondillo about the similarities, his band, and the new album.

Read on HERE for RIFF Magazine's interview.

John Craigie’s Troubadour Tale (Playing GAMH on Sat. 11/11 with The Sam Chase)


Written all over his album reviews, Wikipedia page, and his own website biography, the word “troubadour” is used to characterize folk musician John Craigie. The frequent use of this description is understandable. “Troubadour” aptly emphasizes the vivid storytelling that appears in Craigie’s music, though it evokes a rather antiquated image of a wandering poet that fails to capture the lively nature of Craigie’s performances. In his most recent album, No Rain, No Rose, Craigie alternates between stripped-down acoustic guitar and a full instrumental band to supplement his lyrics, whose topics reveal Craigie’s perspective on everything from past lovers to more abstract concepts, like what it means to find home.

Craigie has released eight albums — including two cover records —and has toured all over the country, but this summer marks the first time he is performing with fellow acoustic artist and friend Jack Johnson. Before his show at the Greek Theatre this week, SF Weekly spoke with Craigie about his transition from teaching math to pursuing music, living and working with his folk singer friends in Portland, and trying to write songs that are neither painstakingly forced nor lazy.

Click HERE for the SF Weekly's interview, and pick up your tickets for Sat. 11/11 soon!

Bea Miller Gets Colorful In 2017 Album Releases (Playing GAMH on Mon. 6/26 w/ Latitude)


Maplewood, N.J.-raised, Los Angeles-based actress, singer-songwriter Bea Miller has adopted an intriguing record-release strategy. The former “X-Factor” contestant issued her full-length debut “Not An Apology” in 2015, but this year she’s putting out a series of color-coded EPs: “Chapter One: Blue,” “Chapter Two: Red” and the upcoming “Chapter Three: Yellow.” “I have synesthesia,” she explains. “It’s essentially when you can see music in color. So ‘Blue’ is the songs I wrote when I was feeling sad and lost, ‘Red’ was written when I was going through a stage of empowerment, and I’m writing ‘Yellow’ right now, about the light at the end of the tunnel.”

You were raised by two showbiz moms. How cool was that?

It’s been awesome having two moms. I grew up in a town where everyone for the most part was very accepting, and there were a lot of LGBT families there. So I’m lucky to have grown up where I did, because there are a lot of places in the world where people are still having problems with things like that. And I was lucky to have experienced something that was different, kind of outside the box. Plus, having two bad-ass moms that didn’t take s— from anybody has helped me become the person I am.

So you weren’t afraid to recently call out electronic duo The Chainsmokers on Twitter, saying they only made music to meet models. Which was hilarious.

Yeah. And a lot of people just took that too seriously. A lot of times I’ll say things like that, and people get kind of angry with me. But I think a lot of people actually agree with me, because it is kind of hilarious that these two guys who are very frat-boy-ish are so successful in a very feminist world — it’s interesting, to me, that they can get by with this.

What sexism have you witnessed in the music business?

Well, if you’re a guy in music, you can be anything. You can be cute, you can be weird, you can be any style of human being, and as long as people like your voice, they’ll listen to you. But if you’re a woman, unless you’re really beautiful, like a model, you’ll have a hard time finding success. I’m not model-beautiful, like a Rihanna or a Selena Gomez, but I’m also not super weird, either. And so far, I’ve struggled with that. And I feel like a lot of women have that problem, where they have to over-sexualize themselves or do things that are weird and different. I don’t feel good about that, and I tweeted about it. I mean, you don’t see guys running around, shaking their asses in music videos! - SF Examiner

We Miss Barry Zito On The Mound, But He’s Back With Music! (Playing GAMH On Sun. 5/28)


Barry Zito is coming back to the Bay Area and you have 2 chances to see him. Barry has been busy writing and recording songs and he's performing them at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Sunday May 28th. On Monday May 29th, Memorial Day, Barry Zito returns to the field at AT&T Park for pre game festivities and a San Francisco Giants salute to the military.  I had the good fortune to talk to Barry and you can hear that interview and his music here... - Teri King / 96.5 KOIT

 

Planet Booty And Flynt Flossy Play SF, A Match Made In Funk And Dance (Wed. 5/24 At GAMH)


Oakland electro-funk trio Planet Booty and R&B internet phenom Flynt Flossy and Turquoise Jeep are playing San Francisco May 24 in a show that is sure to light up the dance floor.

This lineup at the Great American Music Hall is the perfect pairing of two feel-good bands whose music spreads funk-soul joy and whose contagious butt shakes make everyone dance.

“They are high-energy, interactive with the crowd, and make people feel positive,” Planet Booty frontman Dylan Germick said of Flynt Flossy and Turquoise Jeep. “Those three things right there, that’s a match made in heaven for us.”

“It is going to be a really fun show, full of dancing and laughing and grinding.” - Carla Bova / The Bay Bridged

Read the full article HERE!

Kiefer Sutherland Rocks New Role As A Music Act (Playing GAMH on Thurs. 5/4)


Kiefer Sutherland never meant to start a side hustle as a rock star. But with the release of his debut album, “Down in a Hole,” the 50-year-old star of ABC’s “Designated Survivor” finds himself playing for bigger audiences every year. This summer, Sutherland and his band will appear at major festivals like Stagecoach, the country music mega festival on the same grounds as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio (Riverside County) and Bourbon & Beyond in Louisville, Ky. How does the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor make the transition to the world of tour buses and dive bars? We (SF Chronicle) spoke to Sutherland during tour rehearsals.

 Q: You were originally going to give the songs on your album to someone else. How much convincing did it take for you to do them?

A: I am really aware of the negative stigma attached to actors doing music. I never wanted to partake in it. One of my dearest friends, Jude Cole, and I recorded a couple of songs, more or less as demos to see if anyone would be interested in a publishing deal. But after Jude listened to them he said, “These songs are clearly yours. You should do them.” I said, “Absolutely not.”

Q: What made you come around?

A: We finished recording and went out to dinner. A couple drinks in, it sounded like a good idea. Really, it was two things: I really loved the way he produced the songs. I also really liked playing those songs live.

Q: Do you have to fight the acting urge when you’re onstage?

A: As an actor, I felt playing live I would have an edge because I had done so much stage work. I was completely wrong about that. It was almost the opposite. When I was up on stage and I would explain where I was and why I wrote a certain song and I quickly realized how personal it was. As an actor, I had characters to hide behind. At a certain point, you just give in and realize you’re going to open up in a way you never have before.

Q: You have a nice little late-period Bob Dylan thing happening with your voice. Where did that come from?

A: It’s a really interesting question. It’s the voice I’ve got. Out of all the things I was least comfortable with was my voice. Do I have the greatest range? No. But I’m going to take advantage of the 12 notes I got.

Q: You’re playing a couple of music festivals this year. For someone who usually gets top billing, is it weird seeing your name in the smallest font size on the poster?

A: If it’s even on the poster! To have been invited to some of places we have been, I’m really humbled by that. I’m not trying to sell a billion records. I’m not trying to play stadiums. I like that after the show whatever preconceived notions you may have had fall by the wayside. On a creative level, this has made me more satisfied than I have felt in a long time.

Aidin Vaziri is The San Francisco Chronicle’s pop music critic. Email: avaziri@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @MusicSF

Kiefer Sutherland & Rick Brantley Play GAMH on Thurs. 5/4 - tickets are still available!

David Crosby On Finding His Happy Place Without CSN Or Y (Playing GAMH on Sun. 4/30)


David Crosby is alone again following yet another fallout with his partners in harmony, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash (and sometimes Neil Young). Having once taken 21 years between solo albums, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame double inductee (once with the Byrds, once with Crosby, Stills & Nash) is now prepping his third new release is three years, “Sky Trails.” The rock album follows last year’s acoustic collection, “Lighthouse,” which was produced by Michael League of Snarky Puppy. Crosby, 75, spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle  from his home in Santa Ynez.

 Q: You go two decades between solo records and now you’re on a roll. What’s going on?

A: I don’t know. I can’t get my act together to do it on a regular basis. I think the main thing is I left CSN. It was a great band — we did some great work — but it wasn’t a happy thing. It got to a point where we didn’t like each other, and you don’t want that to spoil music for you. Getting out of there opened the floodgates for new material. I’m at a very good place in my life.

Q: I’m happy to hear that, because it took a lot of years of suffering for you to get here.

A: Me, too. The suffering was mostly my fault. Getting out of it and getting here, I finally realized I was given this talent and I shouldn’t have been wasting time screwing around. I should have been working this whole time.

Q: Your voice sounds out of this world on “Lighthouse.” What are you gargling with?

A: Truthfully, I just don’t know. I can hear it, too. There isn’t any reason I should be singing well, but I am. I think, “Wow, I better use the s— out of this while I got it.” Which is what I’m trying to do. I think it’s a great record. It’s completely different than the “Sky Trails” record, which is the next one.

Q: Are you totally shredding on that one?

A: It’s definitely electric. There’s horns, keyboards, lead guitar. The rehearsals are going extremely well. I was singing “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” yesterday and I’ve got my eyes closed. We get to the end and somebody starts applauding and I turn around and it’s Paul McCartney. He and his entire band are sitting there on our couch because they were rehearsing next door. He said, “Play us another!” It was a great affirmation.

Q: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. When you look at the state of the country, do you feel like it all amounted to nothing?

A: I don’t think it was for nothing. We did manage to stop the Vietnam War, and we did some good work for civil rights. Music is a great tool for propagating ideas. Ideas are the most powerful thing on the planet. Underline that. I think this abysmal mess in Washington and these disgusting people infesting government are going to inspire some really good art.

Tickets are still available for An Evening With David Crosby & Friends at GAMH on Sun. 4/30!

Nature And Falling In Love With Synthesizers: An Interview With R Beny


Bay Area musician Austin Cairns aka R Beny is a true ambient wizard. To be honest, I only discovered him about 6 months ago thanks to his fantastic Youtube channel, but he's been inspiring the modular synth community for some time now. His debut album 'Full Blossom of the Evening' was one of the best surprises of 2016 (I listed it as #3 in my Best Albums of 2016 list) and a wonderful glimpse into his hypnotic ambient world, reflecting on nature and emotion. For those new to R Beny's music, his music is a powerful, mesmerising mix of sounds that layer and mingle, harmoniously combining, disassembling, and submerging into one another. Fans of Stars of the Lid, Oval and Tim Hecker will absolutely love R Beny.

In this interview R Beny talks about how Nature plays a big role in his creativity and how falling in love with synthesizers helped him recover his creativity after hitting a wall creatively and quitting making music for nearly a year.

Click HERE for his interview with That Special Record, and be sure to head to GAMH this Sunday (April 16) to see him open for Bing & Ruth!

Chuck Prophet On KQED


San Francisco singer and songwriter Chuck Prophet has been entertaining audiences for decades. He talks to KQED’s Marisa Lagos about his new album, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, and the tension between gentrification and the arts in his hometown. He closes the interview with a performance of one of his new songs, “A Bad Year for Rock and Roll.”

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express + Cocker Power perform at GAMH on Sat. April 15!

The Bay Beat Vol. 8 – Call Me Ace talks moving to the Bay, his artistic growth Out the Wilderness


Bringing The Bay Beat back with a brand new interview!

Benjamin Cohn: Can you introduce yourself for anyone who may not know?
Call Me Ace: What’s good everybody! Call Me Ace - I got what you need, check me out! Haha.

BC: How long have you been in the Bay Area and what has your impression been so far?
Ace: I moved out here in summer 2014 to get my MBA at UC Berkeley, and I’d be lying if I tell you I ain’t love it here! Most my family and friends are still out East, so that part’s tough. But this weather man…also, just the fact that everybody’s mad laid back here. Being here also has given me more exposure to new experiences, lifestyle, and people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I can’t complain at all.

BC: Where did you grow up? What are some of the biggest differences and similarities to California?
Ace: I grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, man, which is much more like Oakland than it is Berkeley. So when I go to Oakland I get that small feeling that I’m back home. And of course, what you see going on in parts of Oakland you also see happening back in Bridgeport, too. The biggest differences I’ve seen though would be the slang, attitude, and music styles. The Bay is it’s own unique bubble – I’m still learning about it.

BC: You took 5 years off from making music. You’ve said that you aren’t picking up where you left up but rather starting over completely. Why is that distinction important?
Ace: Back in the day, even though my nickname had always been Ace, my stage name was “Tha Pyro” - a “fire spitter,” as it were, haha. When I look back on what I rapped about though, while there were small glimpses of deep content, despite my thinking that I was being different, I was really just rapping about the same ol’ things as everyone else, maybe just with bigger words or a more detailed rhyme schemes.

Coming back now into music, I’m starting over. I’m not bringing old “Pyro” tracks into my track lists (even though with some searching, you could definitely still find some of that stuff online). Instead, it’s a new leaf, new mindset, new perspectives. I’ve grown a lot in those 5 years – my life is literally not the same as it was in many different ways. That’s why I’m saying that my goal isn’t to pick up where I left off or try and make up for “loss time.” For me, this isn’t just a whole different chapter. It’ s a whole different book. A sequel, rather than just “chapter 26.” That’s how I’m treating my resurgence in hip-hop.

BC: How does it feel to be back? How has the reception been?
Ace: It feels great man! People that knew me back then called me Ace anyway, so the name change wasn’t crazy, and they love the music still which is great. People that didn’t know me before are also feeling the vibes and songs I’m putting out too. I’m still someone who cares about what I’m saying and how, and that’s what’s been receiving the most positive feedback. That’s the gift. People also have given me great feedback on how I speak about various aspects of my life, from my past experiences to my faith. It makes things much realer for the listener, allows them to engage with me more, and, in a sense, make it feel like we’re having a dialogue about it all. Definitely inspires me to make more.

BC: 5 years later, you must have a much different view about a lot in regards to music and the music business. What do you hope to achieve this time around?
Ace: Oh for sure – being in business school also helped to give me a more professional perspective about how to engage in the music world. From having my own label – Light Armor Music – to not taking shortcuts around high-quality music. I definitely understand and appreciate the business side of music much more than when I was a 19-20 year old just trying to write, record, and throw in the blind.

At the same time though, I’m not doing this to become famous and make a lot of money. I don’t need to make music to put bread on the table. I don’t have to depend on my art as my “one shot to having a successful life.” Not having that burden is very freeing. It allows me to really be an artist, to express myself the way I want, and use my gift in the way that I feel called to do. I love to entertain, encourage, and inspire, and that’s what I intentionally hope to achieve this time around.

BC: And lastly, can you tell us about your upcoming project? The Out the Wilderness series, why did you call it that? What is this project all about?
Ace: Yea man. From a logistical standpoint, the Out the Wilderness project is a monthly series of track releases, and at the end there will be a final full project available. Conceptually, “Out the Wilderness” means two things to me: 1) simply, five years of “not creating” has been somewhat of a wilderness, so making music is coming out of that environment, and 2) moving from New York/Metro Area to the Bay Area and leaving my friends and family behind has made these past couple years also feel like a different type of wilderness in a way. Now though that I’m about to graduate from business school, get married, and start a new career, there’s just this huge sense of transitions and new phases that I’m experience in this season. This project is me expressing all of that.

BC: Thank you for your time! Any final/last thoughts you want included?
Ace: I’m a fan of real support and conversations, so if you’re feeling the music and want to stay up-to-date with me, please join me newsletter (http://eepurl.com/bYii1b) and follow me on the Instagram (@acexpatt) and Facebook (Call Me Ace) And we can stay connected!