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.

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The sounds you’re hearing now are from San Francisco’s Nice Guy Trio. They use elements of many styles, including calypso and klezmer, to create their own unique form of jazz.

You can hear them for free at a midday show on Thursday (09.06) as part of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Garden Festival. These outdoor events start at 12:30pm.

(CourthouseNews.com)  // Harborside Health Center’s landlord in San Jose is asking a federal judge to stop HHC from growing or storing marijuana on the property, saying that they thought it was legal to operate such a dispensary when they originally leased the space. The move is an attempt to prevent the U.S. Dept. of Justice from seizing the property for harboring illegal activities.

You might be a little perplexed when you listen to this song; could it be the musical stylings of The Lemon Hammer? Is that the sound of Berkeley boy Alexis Harte? Well, we’re not sure. But we know this much: Alexis and the band play folk and blues, and they’re taking the stage at the 60th annual Sausalito Art Festival on Monday September 3rd – that’s Labor Day – at 11:15 am.

You might be a little perplexed when you listen to this song; could it be the musical stylings of The Lemon Hammer? Is that the sound of Berkeley boy Alexis Harte? Well, we’re not sure. But we know this much: Alexis and the band play folk and blues, and they’re taking the stage at the 60th annual Sausalito Art Festival on Monday September 3rd – that’s Labor Day – at 11:15 am.

Paula Frazer began singing in the church choir, where her father was a preacher. Her mother taught her piano and introduced her to the worldly music of George Gershwin and Billie Holiday.  She credits them, along with rocker Nick Cave, as influences in her own sound.   Paula Frazer opens for Will Sprott and the Mumlers this Thursday, August 30th. This will be the last of this year’s summer concerts in the redwood grove at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens.

Bells

The East Bay four-piece band, Bells blends dreamy harmonies and a wide range of percussion to create their own unique sound.  You can hear them for yourself tomorrow night, August 28th at Amnesia in San Francisco, where the motto is: "Be Nice or Leave – This is a Grown Folks Establishment." Music starts at 8:00PM. 

This is the voice of Kyle Alden. The San Francisco singer/songwriter/guitarist is known in some circles for setting the poetry of W. B. Yeats to music. His sound could probably be called “Americana,” but it’s perhaps more accurate to refer to it as “Californiana.”

Alden is the musical host Tuesday, August 28 at the Bazaar Café in San Francisco. Music is from 7 to 9 pm.

(Americans for Safe Access) // The Los Angeles ban on cannabis dispensaries is now on shaky legal ground after the State Supreme Court tossed out the case upon which the decision rests.

The Emma Lee Project

Musician, Emma Lee is known for her guitar picking and sweetly provocative lyrics. She describes the music that she and her band creates is a result of a serious romance with three of her musicians… and a serious flirtation with three others.

You can experience the result of these romances and flirtations at a free show Sunday at Peri’s Silver Dollar Saloon in Fairfax, from 4:00PM to 7:00PM.

mokaimusic.com

He shares his unique finger-picking guitar style and socially conscious lyrics throughout the Bay Area and northern California. He’s appearing tomorrow, August 22, at The Lost Church in San Francisco, starting at about 7:30pm.

Today we are featuring the music of the Bum City Saints. These San Francisco punks say their sound is what happens when you combine boredom with a burning desire to play music. You can hear them tomorrow, August 21, when they storm the stage at The Knockout on Mission Street in San Francisco. The show starts at 8pm.

Musician, Robin Galante will be giving a late morning performance at the Creativity Explored art space in San Francisco next Tuesday, August 21, 2012. The event is sponsored by Bread & Roses, and begins at 11:00AM. 

Oakland rapper Kreayshawn had a major music video hit in 2010, with over three million views in the first three weeks. Now she’s back with another video, the first single from her new album. She’ll be performing live on Saturday August 18 at Roe in San Francisco. Doors open at 10 pm.

Felsen

The Oakland-based band, Felsen are transmitters of Lo-Fi Pop. They have opened for bands such as the Stone Foxes and Marcy Playground --  they even have three songs on the “Rock Band” video game!

Felsen is playing tomorrow night (August 8) at the “50 Mason Social House,” as part of the SF Underground Music Fest. The lights go down about 8pm.  And a reminder: be sure to stay for the guy in the white bunny suit!

The Blind Willies describe their music as “gospel, revised by thieves, pimps, poets, losers, children, and malcontents.”

If this sounds appealing to you, show up this Thursday, August 16 at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. The band is part of this year's free noon concerts, starting at 12:30pm.

Today, we're featuring the Junior Choir of Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program. The YMP has been helping musically gifted students who can’t afford specialized training since 1968. Students come from 60 schools in four Bay Area counties. You can hear The Young Musicians Program Choral Youth Orchestra this Saturday (08.11) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, starting at 7pm. Admission is free.

You might be surprised by what you hear: it’s not Ray Charles, and it’s not Joe Cocker. It’s Tim Hockenberry.

Hockenberry will soon stop performing at the Bay Area clubs where he has played for years, replacing them with shows at auditoriums. How did that happen? He’s now a semi-finalist on “America’s Got Talent” on NBC. Even Howard Stern likes him!

(Newsday) // The federal tax court has ruled against San Francisco’s now-closed Vapor Room. It means the business owes thousands of dollars in back taxes – and has wide implications for all dispensaries.

Today we are featuring the harp-playing of Amelia Romano. She’s one of three young harpists performing at the “Festival of Harps, the Next Generation,” taking place this Wednesday, August 8 at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco. Music starts at 7pm.

Courtesy of Dark Hollow

The band Dark Hollow says there's a bluegrass revival in the Bay Area, and they're claiming some credit for it. Dark Hollow has been performing traditional songs, and adding some of their own, for over seven years now. They’re sure to be playing some selections from their new album when they take the stage at The Sand Dollar Restaurant in Stinson Beach on Sunday, August 5. It's an afternoon show, from noon to 3 pm.

Courtesy of San Francisco Lyric Chorus

What’s that you’re hearing? Well, it’s not the usual four-piece band that we often feature. This is the San Francisco Lyric Chorus. The Chorus will be only a portion of what you’ll hear when they combine voices with the Rochester, New York, Oratorio Society, along with the Redwood Symphony, in performing the Berlioz Requiem, and other pieces, this coming Sunday, August 5. It’s an afternoon show at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, starting at 3 pm.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelfrenzy/

The door to the Luggage Store Annex in San Francisco's Tenderloin district is unlocked on the 15th of each month, rain or shine, fog or wind, and a converted tamale cart is rolled onto the sidewalk. The man pushing it into place is Michael Swaine.

“People either call me the Sewing Guy or The Roving Tailor,” he says.

Cannabis news roundup

Jul 25, 2012

(LA Times) // The Los Angeles City Council passed a total ban on cannabis dispensaries July 24. It doesn’t directly impact dispensaries in other parts of the state, other than to add to the air of uncertainty surrounding the industry.

Long ago and far away – in Greece, nearly 3,000 years ago, to be exact – highly-trained athletes gathered every four years at a place called Olympia to show off their skills and to honor Zeus, king of the gods.

Today we are featuring the sounds of the Shotgun Wedding Quintet. They may be a jazz brass band, but they also have a hip-hop flavor. This week you can hear them outside, and you can hear them inside.

On Thursday, July 26, they’re at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, for the Noon Time Concert.

Today Crosscurrents is featuring The Fret Not Old-Time Gospel Band. They play Americana gospel, which they describe as “farmer formal” -- sacred songs from the Civil War era to the Depression. They frequently play at funerals, gospel missions, benefit concerts and prisons. Next Sunday (07.22) they’ll be at the Deuel Vocational State Prison in Tracy, starting at 5pm.

 

Today's local music is by Sonny and the Sunsets. They’ve been in the Bay Area music scene for a while, but they’ve never released a full album – until now. The band starts promoting their new release in the Northwest and Canada next month, so your last chance to hear them locally is this Saturday (07.21) when they’ll be at The Independent in San Francisco. Music starts about 9pm.

 

Today we are featuring the Bay Area trio called Golden Bough. These modern-day minstrels mostly make music rooted in ancient Celtic ballads, but they often add some original compositions to their live shows. They’re playing tomorrow, June 29 at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley at 8 p.m.

Marijuana is legal for medical use under California law, but sale and possession are still federal crimes. Raids on growers and dispensaries – and a general climate of uncertainty – are increasingly creating problems for the industry.

Last week, the company that processes most dispesary credit card transactions nationally announced that starting in July, it would no longer do so. This means businesses will now have to conduct most of their business in cash.

Molly DeCoudreaux

Today we are featuring Bay Area rockers, Dirty Ghosts. They played Shoreline Amphitheater at the beginning of this month, then did some shows in Calgary, and will be back in San Francisco on Wednesday (06.27) at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall. Doors open at 8pm; music is at 9pm.

 

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