Song Premiere: “Fireflies” by The Minnesota Child (Playing Thurs. 2/1 at GAMH)


The Minnesota Child is the moniker of Oakland, California-based, multi-faceted musician Ethan Buckner. His songs channel classic songwriters like Paul Simon and Justin Vernon, while not giving into overt nostalgia. Instead, The Minnesota Child transforms indie folk into something new, something larger and more immersive for their listeners. The production on “Fireflies” is lush, adding a sweet, delicate feel to their thoughtful instrumentation. The Minnesota Child is just getting started with “Fireflies” and it will be exciting to see what’s next for the inspired folk mastermind.

““Fireflies” is a call to remember that we all have the strength to get through whatever life in these crazy times throws at us. It is so common to feel broken, isolated, and alone, despite living in a time when we supposedly are more connected than ever. “Fireflies” is a reminder that we are actually not alone, that many have dealt with similar challenges before us, and that we can find our way in the darkness”, states Buckner.

The Minnesota Child will be releasing a new EP, titled Fireflies, on February 1st. - The Big Takeover

 

New Year’s Eve plans? Here are 14 awesome options in the Bay Area (don’t miss Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven at GAMH on 12/30 & NYE!)


Get ready for a double dose of David Lowery, as the accomplished singer-songwriter-guitarist leads both of his best-known bands — Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven — into the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco for a two-night stand, Dec. 30-31.

It will be good to hear Camper Van motor through such indie gems as “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon” and, of course, “Take The Skinheads Bowling.”

But it should be even better to catch Cracker crank up “Low,” “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)” and other rockers. We just can’t get enough of Johnny Hickman’s lead guitar work. - San Jose Mercury News

Songs of Praise and Generosity from a Beloved Bay Area Institution (Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Ensemble Performs Christmas Eve at Slim’s – 2 shows!)


The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir’s December concerts are a Bay Area holiday tradition with a lot to say about why we love it here. The choir welcomes people of all faiths, colors and gender to sing the gospel of praise and generosity. The choir just got back from a tour of the South where they joined the San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus for concerts raising money and awareness for LGBTQ equal rights — so these holiday shows should feel like a triumphant homecoming. LeVar Burton, former host of the PBS series Reading Rainbow, emcees the concert Dec. 2 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. They’re also doing two shows with the San Francisco Symphony, one with the Oakland Symphony, another show at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, and capping it off with a Christmas Eve show at Slim’s. - KQED The Do List

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!

Track Premiere: Cannibal Corpse, “Red Before Black” (Playing Tues. 11/14 & Wed. 11/15 at Slim’s)


We haven’t had a chance to dive into the lyrics of the title track from Cannibal Corpse’s new album Red Before Black yet, but we would like to imagine that Corpsegrinder and crew are suggesting that red, and not black, is the most brutal color of all. Cannibal Corpse know a thing or two about being brutal — this is the band that popularized death metal and once named an album Kill (all other bands should just stop trying; that is THE definitive death metal album title, QED) — so perhaps we should listen to them and just start wearing all red all the time instead of black. Black is so boring anyway!

MetalSucks is pleased to premiere “Red Before Black” to the world today.

Take a listen HERE!

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!

Phoebe Bridgers On World Cafe (Opening for Noah Gundersen at GAMH on Thurs. 11/9)


Phoebe Bridgers has one of those voices that can make a rowdy arena crowd go silent and then leap to its feet. I saw it happen when she joined Conor Oberst on stage this past summer at the WXPN XPoNential Music Festival. I can't imagine many people in the crowd knew who she was before they heard Conor invite her on stage for a duet. By the time she was done — standing ovation.

No surprise that when Ryan Adams heard Phoebe sing, he invited her to come to his studio the very next day and ended up producing her debut EP Killer, which came out in 2015. Apparently, that involved being showered with a lot of snacks from 7-Eleven, and being gifted a guitar that Phoebe still uses — in fact, it's the one she's using for our session to play songs from her debut full-length album Stranger In The Alps. She starts us off with a live performance of "Motion Sickness."

Click HERE for her NPR performance!

SoCal Stoner-Rock Pioneers Return To San Francisco (Fu Manchu Play Slim’s Tonight – 11/7)


Along with fellow late ’80s and early ’90s East Coast heavyweights Monster Magnet and Palm Desert heroes Kyuss, Southern California quartet Fu Manchu helped foster the downtuned, psychedelic style of heavy stoner rock that rose to popularity during the 1990s and remains influential to this day.

While the Orange County band got it’s start in the mid-1980s as a hardcore punk outfit called Virulence, a number of personnel changes would lead to a shift in sound that incorporated elements of classic rock, metal and proto punk that nodded to everything from Hendrix and Black Sabbath to Blue Cheer and the Stooges. With longtime guitarist Scott Hill taking over on lead vocals shortly after the band changed it’s name to Fu Manchu and released it’s first single in 1990. Hill quickly developed into a commanding frontman, leading the group through the recording of several more singles before they produced their debut album No One Rides For Free in 1994.

Click HERE for the rest of the CBS preview!

Midnight North Adds Bob Weir To Guests Including Phil Lesh For San Francisco Show (TONIGHT – Fri. 11/3 at GAMH)


Tonight (Friday, November 3), Midnight North will play a guest-filled hometown show at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. A number of guests had already been announced and now Bob Weir has been added to the list of those expected to sit-in.

Midnight North had previously performed a handful of times with Grateful Dead band mates Phil Lesh and Bob Weir and both will be on hand tonight. Other confirmed guests include Mihali Savoulidis and Ryan Dempsey of Twiddle. - Jambase

Rock harmonies of Midnight North come to SF for final tour date (Fri. 11/3 at GAMH)


This is not your parents’ jam band.

In fact, Midnight North isn’t a jam band at all. But they’ll be hard pressed to avoid being viewed as one, having emerged from the fertile Marin County scene centered around Terrapin Crossroads, the restaurant, nightclub and concert venue founded by Phil and Jill Lesh of Grateful Dead fame.

The club was originally envisioned as a gift to music fans of central Marin and a place for Phil to perform as he began cutting back on touring after decades on the road. It has since grown into an incubator for up-and-coming North Bay talent. Numerous local acts have benefited from this arrangement, but none more than Midnight North, who play the Great American Music Hall on Friday, Nov. 3.

The San Francisco show is the final stop in a busy summer of touring highlighted by an appearance at this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. The old hippies have passed the torch to the next generation and Midnight North is poised to attain national prominence.

Click HERE to read the rest of the San Francisco Chronicle's article!

On ‘Murmuration Nation,’ Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers Goes Solo (Playing GAMH on Sun. 11/5)


Emily Saliers is perhaps best known as one half of the Indigo Girls. She's been performing with Indigo Girls' other half — her musical partner, Amy Ray — for over 30 years. And while that collaboration is still going strong, Saliers is now trying something new: putting out her first solo record.

Murmuration Nation, which comes out today, maintains the earnestness that Indigo Girls fans might expect — but it also borrows from some surprising genres, like R&B and hip-hop. Saliers spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about what inspired this record, and how it feels to strike out on her own at this point in her career.

Click HERE to listen to / read NPR's profile!

Noah Gundersen Ponders On The Modern Existential Crisis With ‘Dry Year’ (Playing GAMH Thurs. 11/9)


“Dry Year” is a gut-wrenchingly honest and confessional view at thoughts that make up an existential crisis in today’s age. With a melancholic stripped-down acoustic guitar Noah vulnerably asks questions like, “are these my feet going through the motions/ are these my feet learning how to dance?” showing us the balance of dwelling in the mundane while still trying to inflict change. The culmination of all of these thoughts and observations leads up to the one of last lines, when Noah sings “tell me where all of this is going to?” As you listen to this song, you begin to ask your own questions or just realize that you have the same ones as he does, which is one of the many reasons we love Noah Gundersen so much. - The Wild Honey Pie

Take a listen HERE!

Red Fang Return To Rock Slim’s (Sat. 10/21)


Over the course of more than a decade, Portland, OR-based quartet Red Fang has established itself to be one of the most talented, hard-working bands in heavy rock. Since first coming into wider recognition with the release of their eponymous Sergeant House Records debut in 2009 — and the viral Dungeons-and-Dragons inspired video for “Prehistoric Dog” that featured the beer-shotgunning band clad in 12-pack armor battling wizards (it’s been viewed over four million times on YouTube) — Red Fang has earned a sizable international fan base with its relentless touring schedule.

Click HERE for KPIX CBS's preview & catch them in action this Sat. 10/21 with Once and Future Band & War Bison!

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