Dirtybird’s Justin Jay Is Back, This Time With A Band (Fri. 11/24 at GAMH)


Dirtybird’s Justin Jay has predominantly been a solo DJ. From what started around as a group of friends jamming out, his band has morphed into a full-time musical endeavor. He spoke to SF Weekly about his newfound love of choir and opera, the Tame Impala reference on the cover art for his new album, Home, and the differences between touring as a DJ and as a member of a band.

Click HERE for the SF Weekly's interview!

Kishi Bashi On Turning Pain Into Art And His Secret Love For Smooth Jazz (Playing Sun. 11/19 at GAMH – SOLD OUT!)


Kishi Bashi doesn’t go into things lightly. On his latest album, “Sonderlust,” the classically trained violinist and Berklee College of Music alum combines his love of jazz, funk, electronic pop and psychedelic rock, coming up with a complex meditation on a particularly difficult period of his life. Having toured with left-field acts like Regina Spektor and Of Montreal, the 42-year-old musician (born Kaoru Ishibashi) is used to working on the fringes, and in the five years since going solo with 2012’s “151a” he has built up his own cult following. He spoke to us during rehearsals at his home in Athens, Ga.

Click HERE for his interview with the SF Chronicle!

Q&A: Patterson Hood On Drive-By Truckers’ Angry Political Anthem “The Perilous Night” (Playing GAMH on Wed. 2/7 & Thurs. 2/8)


Like many of us, Patterson Hood is mad as hell and has been for a while now. The Drive-By Truckers co-frontman has spent the past year-plus watching the rise of Donald Trump and all its attendant consequences with horror and frustration. Yet even coming off an album as overtly political as 2016’s American Band, for months he struggled to put his feelings into words. And then white supremacists marched through Charlottesville and murdered a counter-protester, and the president had the gall to say there were some “very fine people” among their ranks. Very quickly after that it all came pouring out.

The resulting song is called “The Perilous Night.” It’s a raucous barroom rocker with pessimistic lyrics expressing the frustration many of us have felt while watching so many Americans — including people we love — bend over backwards to justify the unjustifiable. The Truckers started performing it on tour immediately. Now, on the first Election Day since last year’s debacle, they’re releasing a studio version as a reminder to get out and vote.

Click HERE for the rest of the Stereogum article!

Lebanese Icon Yasmine Hamdan Comes to Great American This Weekend (Sun. 11/12)


Yasmine Hamdan — appearing at the Great American Music Hall on November 12 — is a Lebanese icon. Known internationally for her enchanting, emotionally and politically-charged pop music, Hamdan blends her Arabic roots with her former musical life as half of the indie electro-pop duo Soap Kills. Rising out of the rubble of a nation ravaged by civil war, Soap Kills was one of the first bands of its kind in the Middle East.

Hamdan continues innovating. Between performing her song “Hal” in Jim Jarmusch’s gorgeous Only Lovers Left Alive, collaborating with Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, and writing an original soundtrack for Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous’s play Rituel pour une métamorphose, Hamdan is consistently creating new sounds with a piercing lyrical poetry, all while singing in Arabic and not conforming to the global music standard of English.

One has to wonder: At what point will we start calling Hamdan simply an icon?

Click HERE for her interview with The Bay Bridged!

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!

Jukebox the Ghost to bring spirit of Queen, Halloween to San Francisco (Playing Fri. 10/27 at Slim’s)


“I trick or treated longer than I should have,” admitted Ben Thornewill, keyboardist of Jukebox the Ghost, in an interview with The Daily Californian.

“I remember one time, walking down the street in a full puppy dog costume that I had for no good reason, and a neighbor friend of mine who was a year older opened the door with his girlfriend next to him.” He was 17. “I thought, I should just die now.”

These days, Thornewill has traded puppy dog ears for a Freddie Mercury mustache. And on Halloween, you won’t catch him trick or treating — instead, you’ll find him on stage, tickling the keys to everybody’s favorite Queen songs.

Jukebox the Ghost is a trio from Brooklyn whose power pop balladry can be at times lighthearted, other times existential (or even apocalyptic, à la first album Let Live and Let Ghosts). Its fan base is dedicated, if modest. The band has never cracked the mainstream, but its appeal lies more in its consistently good pop rock music throughout the past 11 years, and of course, in its wicked streak of humor.

This sense of humor is how Jukebox the Ghost’s annual HalloQueen concert series came to be.

Click HERE for the rest of The Daily Californian's article, and be sure to pick up tickets for Friday's show with Vandella soon!

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!