Steven Short

Reporter/Producer

Steven has been with KALW News since it’s beginnings in 2004. His history, art and public interest stories have won awards for Breaking News, Feature Writing and Explanatory Journalism. Some of his reports have aired nationally on NPR.

He is responsible for The Source, a recurring feature on the origins of Bay Area place names. He also researches most of the listings for the Crosscurrents local music calendar and compiles the weekly online Cannabis News Round-up.

Ways to Connect

Benny Velarde

Mar 27, 2012

The music you’re hearing is by Benny Velarde. Velarde has played with just about every jazz great in the Bay Area, from Tito Puente and Cal Tjader to Vince Guaraldi and Lalo Shifrin. Velarde receives the Beacon Award from SFJazz this Saturday, March 31, marking sixty years of performing. The show takes place at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center Forum, starting at 8 pm.

Pins of Light

Mar 26, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Pins of Light

 

San Francisco band called Pins of Light might remind you of Motorhead or Mothers of Invention. Or maybe they have a Pink Floyd vibe? They’re one of those bands that are hard to classify – which means they’re original!  

They’re celebrating the release of their new album on Friday (March 30) at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco, starting about 9pm.

Bay Area beekeeper Marina Shoupe is a member of the San Francisco Beekeepers Association, and she’s one of two women in the group who remove unwanted beehives. The process is known as “extraction.” Shoupe told KALW's Steven Short about the first time she had to answer a call for extraction. She ended up getting way more intimate with bees than ever before.

Terry Riley

Mar 21, 2012
http://www.flickr.com/photos/smcdesign/5625786106/sizes/z/in/photostream/

The music you’re hearing is by acclaimed composer Terry Riley. Riley is considered one of the founders of the Minimalist movement of the 1960s, which has influenced such diverse musicians as Philip Glass and The Who. He’s performing a benefit concert for The Old First Church in San Francisco on Friday, March 23, starting at 8pm.

The personal trials and political tribulations of San Francisco County Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi are getting plenty of attention at present, but county jails are in the news for another reason. California prison realignment is shifting inmates from state to county facilities, which are receiving $1.2 billion to help with the transition.

Haunted by Heros

Mar 20, 2012
Photo courtesy Moon Dog Creations

The song you’re hearing now is being played by the band Haunted by Heroes, from Pacifica. Known at present as “the world’s youngest rock band,” these little dudes aren’t much taller than their guitars. You can see them Saturday March 24 when they’re the opening act at the legendary Fillmore. Music starts at 9 pm. That’s probably past the bedtime of these eleven-year-olds… but it is a Saturday.

Music: Mondo Loko

Mar 19, 2012

The music you’re hearing is by Mondo Loko of Berkeley. Perhaps you heard them last summer at Ashkenaz, where they had their first public performance. Now the group brings its version of Samba Funk and Samba Rock to the Cigar Bar & Grill on Montgomery Street in San Francisco this Thursday (03.22). Music starts at 9:30pm.

The Black Brothers

Mar 15, 2012
Photo courtesy of www.black-brothers.com

This song sounds Irish – and it is. But the Black Brothers, who perform it, live in the Bay Area. Brother Michael is a lecturer at San Francisco State University, and brother Shay has a weekly Irish show in Berkeley.

This Saturday the Black Brothers will be at the Larkspur Theater, in Larkspur, for St. Patrick’s Day!  Their performance begins at 8pm, following a documentary about Irish Step Dancing. 

Governor Jerry Brown and the California Federation of Teachers are expected to announce a compromise on competing state tax initiatives by the end of today. The new joint plan would raise the state sales tax by a quarter percent, down from a half percent in the previous proposal. It's a bit late in the signature-gathering season to put forth a new proposal, but sources at the Teachers Federation expressed optimism about the effort.

Even Taylor

Mar 14, 2012

The song you’re hearing is by Even Taylor of Oakland. Her blend of melodic folk music and the occasional pop-rock cover will make you think, laugh, and maybe play the kazoo – if there are enough to go around.

She's playing a cozy concert this Friday, March 16 at Matching Half Café in San Francisco, starting about 8pm. 

The Band Sage

Mar 13, 2012
Photo courtesy of thebandsage.com

KALW believes in zigging when other stations are zagging. So instead of an Irish band for St. Patrick’s Day, we’re suggesting the island rhythm rock of The Band Sage - which you're hearing now. They’ll be singing and swaying at 19 Broadway in Fairfax on Saturday, March 17. Music starts at 9pm. And it’s still OK to wear green.

 

 

The Band Sage

Mar 13, 2012
Photo courtesy of thebandsage.com

KALW believes in zigging when other stations are zagging. So instead of an Irish band for St. Patrick’s Day, we’re suggesting the island rhythm rock of The Band Sage - which you're hearing now. They’ll be singing and swaying at 19 Broadway in Fairfax on Saturday, March 17. Music starts at 9pm. And it’s still OK to wear green.

Roem Baur

Mar 7, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Roem Baur

Roem Baur has a very distinctive voice. Now from San Francisco, he started singing as a boy in a small-town church in southern Texas. He’s playing a free show this Saturday (March 10) at the Apple Computer flagship store, near Union Square, at 2pm. Then he’s heading back to Texas – this time to sing at the South by Southwest festival in Austin. 

Magik*Magik Orchestra

Mar 1, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Magik*Magik Orchestra

The Magik*Magik Orchestra of San Francisco is a modular orchestra, and very open to collaboration. They’ll be collaborating with conductor John Kennedy on Saturday (March 3) at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco as part of this year’s Festival of New Music, presented by Other Minds. There’s a panel discussion at 7pm, with the concert starting at 8pm.

Beatles Karaoke

Feb 29, 2012
photo credit: Terry Lorant

The vocalist you’re hearing is Dana Harnik, participating in the monthly all-Beatles karaoke night at Café Royale on Post Street in San Francisco. Note that this is no “follow the bouncing ball” laser-disc performance. Joshua Raoul Brody, of the band Tango Number 9, plays live piano to match each singer’s style. The next event takes place Monday, March 5, and the first Monday of every month. Music begins about 8pm, and a book of lyrics is provided.

 

The practice of fracking on oil wells near Taft, California has been approved by the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. Fracking – the practice of injecting steam underground at high pressure to break up porous soil to release oil – had been banned within 150 feet of any wells known to be seeping oil...

Emeryville, best known for big box stores and a movie complex, currently has something San Francisco lacks: a poet laureate.

One would expect San Francisco, home of the beat poets of the fifties, to have the position – and it does, but the term of the previous poet has expired. This will be remedied soon; candidates interested in the post have two more days to file.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Perhaps you’ve been to an art gallery or museum exhibit where you didn’t... fully understand the artist’s intentions. You know: “My kindergartener could do that” syndrome. Scottish philosopher David Hume put it this way: “When objects of any kind are first presented to the eye or imagination, the sentiment, which attends them, is obscure and confused; and the mind is, in a great measure, incapable of pronouncing, concerning their merits or defects.” [Of the Standard of Taste, 1757] 

Dan Hicks

Feb 23, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Dan Hicks

You’ve probably heard of Bay Area music mainstay Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. But have you ever heard them perform live? The Chronicle says of Hicks, "So few truly original figures exist in pop music that Dan Hicks should be a national treasure."

He has a big 70th birthday celebration at San Francisco’s Davies Hall in April, but you can hear him in a more relaxed show tomorrow (February 24) at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, in Livermore, starting at 8pm. 

Zodiac Death Valley

Feb 16, 2012

The music you’re hearing now is by Zodiac Death Valley. This San Francisco band calls themselves “the loudest folk band in the world.” You can judge for yourself on Saturday (02.18), when they take the stage at The Independent in San Francisco.

Alma D

Feb 15, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Alma D

 The Wall Street Journal has recognized a Bay Area band called Alma Desnuda – or just Alma D to their friends for their innovative business practices, but they’re also passionate about philanthropy. Plus, you can dance to their music! They’re taking the stage at the intimate Boom Boom Room in San Francisco on Friday, starting about 10pm.

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/livenature/2556769885/

Everyone acknowledges that San Francisco is different. Maybe that’s why there are so many songs about the city by the bay.  So many, in fact, that it’s perhaps the only city in the country – and maybe the world – with not one, but two official songs.

Buxter Hoot'n

Feb 14, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Buxter Hoot'n

You might have heard of Butxter Hoot’n band last month on another KALW program: “West Coast Live.” The East Bay Express says their unique song writing, and tight-knit performances make Buxter Hoot’n “an experience not to be missed.” You’ll have the opportunity not to miss them this Thursday (February 16), when they take the stage at The Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco, starting about 9pm.

photo: Courtesy of The NAMES Project

The AIDS quilt has come home for a visit.

Considered by organizers to be the largest participatory art project in the world, the AIDS Memorial Quilt began spontaneously on San Francisco’s Market Street a generation ago, when gay rights activist Cleve Jones asked people to create quilt panels memorializing loved ones who had died of AIDS-related causes.

That was in 1987; today, over 91,000 individuals have been memorialized on more than 5,800 quilt panels, each the symbolic size of a coffin (3 X 6 ft.).

Robin Yukiko

Feb 13, 2012
Photo courtesy of http://www.robinyukiko.com/fr_title.cfm

The music you're hearing is by Robin Yukiko of San Francisco. She credits her voice training and piano style to her father, who drilled her on music mechanics every day on their trip home from school.

She'll be playing on  Thursday, February 16 at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco, beginning about 8pm. 

Photo: courtesy of HonoringOurHistory.com

There’s an 18-wheel truck in front of the San Mateo County History Museum today. No, the museum isn’t moving -- the truck itself is a museum. It contains an interactive traveling exhibit on World War I, which is only on view today, until 4pm.

Zoe Boekbinder

Feb 8, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Zoe Boekbinder

For many years Zoe Boekbinder had a recurring dream about being Princess of the Moon, and that lightness is reflected in her music.

She’ll be performing at Studio Querqus, a visual & performing arts exhibition space in Oakland, this Friday (February 10). 

Blind Willies

Feb 7, 2012
Photo Courtesy of Blind Willies

Do you know the way to famously reclusive Bolinas?

If so, and you stop in at Smiley’s Saloon this Friday, you can hear the Blind Willies. This Bay Area band says its music is “gospel revised by thieves, pimps, poets, losers, children, and malcontents.” They also play the blues.

Music starts about 9pm . But remember, this is Bolinas, so be patient. 

Andre Thierry

Feb 6, 2012
Photo courtesy of Dear to My Art Photography

It's not quite Mardi Gras yet, but you can get in the mood Tuesday, February 7th when Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic come to town.

They're one of three bands on the bill at the Elbow Room in San Francisco. Music starts about 9pm.

Foolproof Four

Feb 2, 2012

San Francisco's Foolproof Four describes itself with an equation: multiply blues by jazz, add rock, divide by country, and subtract half the band (as well as most of the drum kit). You can hear them live at Thee Parkside in San Francisco tomorrow, February 3, starting about 9pm.

 

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