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

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.

 

Today we are featuring The Josh Jones Latin Jazz Ensemble. Jones is a noted percussionist, who has performed and recorded with everyone from Larry Coryell to Zion-I. You can actually hear him twice in San Francisco this Saturday, June 23, 2012. He’s at the free Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, starting at 1pm. Then he’s playing again at the 850 Cigar Bar, beginning about 10pm. 

For today's local music we are featuring La Pena Community Chorus of Berkeley. While their songs use folk traditions, the lyrics are usually about contemporary social injustice throughout Latin America. The chorus is performing a benefit concert at La Pena Cultural Center on Saturday (06.23) at 8pm, marking the center’s 37th anniversary.

 

 

 

(Medical Marijuana Business Daily) // Patients will need greenbacks to purchase their green bud at cannabis dispensaries throughout the US starting next month – unless they have a Discover card. Electronic Merchant Systems (EMS), the main national credit card clearinghouse working with dispensaries, notified them by email that  the company will stop processing Visa and Mastercard transactions as of July 1…

the famous/website

That’s not Wilco you’re hearing, and it’s not Tom Waits either, although you might detect elements of both is this song by The Famous.

They’ve been perfecting their “raw country meets post punk” sound at live shows throughout the Bay Area since 2003.

You can hear The Famous  Sunday, June 24th  at 4pm in San Francisco at Thee Parkside.

Summer’s almost officially here, so the Iron Springs Pub in Fairfax is doubling up on their music offerings. The band Blue Light River, that is today's feature music, will be joined by the Dry Creek Rounders on both Wednesday and Thursday nights June 20th and 21st this week, starting around 9pm.

Today we are featuring Burnt Ones. This San Francisco group channels glam rockers, with a nod to the girl groups of the Sixties. They’re performing on Saturday, June 16th at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall in the City. The music should start around 8pm.

Audiafauna

Jun 11, 2012

Today we are featuring music by Audiafauna. First you’ll notice the strong female vocals, but then listen for their soothing electronic touches. Audiafauna is performing on Saturday, June 16 at The Vagabond Ballroom, in Oakland. Doors open at 8pm.

Today we're featuring music by The JAMband. Band leader Charity – who only goes by one name – says this may sound like “kids music,” but really its “people music.” Their goal is to “provide a place for families to relax, connect and have fun together.” If that sounds like a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon, then you may want to hear them at The Beach Chalet on the Great Highway in San Francisco this Sunday, June 10 starting about 3pm. 

Today we're featuring Black Cobra. One member of this duo says their sound "is like an avalanche of barbed wire and rabid sharks.” Get the picture?

They’ll be on stage at Slim’s in their hometown of San Francisco this Saturday June 9, with three other bands. They unleash the sounds about 8pm.

Cannabis news roundup

Jun 5, 2012

SFGate // The state Assembly approved plans for a statewide commission to supervise California’s medical marijuana industry yesterday. Voters approved medical marijuana sixteen years ago, but this is the first attempt at creating formal guidelines for the industry.

Today we are featuring the lusty sounds of The Barbary Ghosts. Their musical inspiration comes from San Francisco’s history of sea-faring fortune-seekers and general social misfits.

They’re one of the scores of musicians and instructors taking part in this weekend’s Free Folk Festival at Presidio Middle School in San Francisco.

The festival starts at noon and goes until 10pm both Saturday and Sunday on June 9th and 10th.

 

Last week, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park launched a major new exhibit called “Earthquake.” It has a walk-through model of the earth, an interactive space to teach earthquake preparedness, and even live ostriches. (Apparently, there’s a connection.) There’s also an earthquake simulator resembling an old Victorian home, bringing us right back to the big one in 1906.

Wouldn’t it be great to hear blues legend Billie Holiday on stage? While that’s not possible anymore, but you can experience a pretty good version of that sound in Kally Price, from Oakland.

The Family Crest is a San Francisco group considers itself “an orchestral indie collective” rather than a band. They’re primarily a six-piece group, but over 250 ‘Extended Family Members’ have participated in their recordings, live performances, and other media and art projects -- so you’re never sure how many people you’ll see on stage.

Whenever people gather, ideas seem to flow more freely when they take place around a table that includes some “refreshments.” This was part of the idea behind a tea party, or a salon, where a witty host brought together friends for art appreciation and clever conversation.

 

Today we are featuring the San Francisco techno-acoustic performer known as Tycho

He doesn’t just twiddle knobs on a computer keyboard at his shows. Real guitars and drums are also part of the sound. And aside from music, Tycho – whose real name is Scott Hansen – is also a graphic designer. He creates abstract patterns and designs to accompany his ambient songs, which he calls “artifacts from the future.”

New methods of music delivery seem to appear about every month. Once the new one is in place, the old one is quickly forgotten. This was as true in the pre-electronic days as it is now, which is part of the reason the Society of California Pioneers in San Francisco is showcasing the nearly forgotten but all-time champion in home music delivery: sheet music.

Today whole rooms are devoted to home entertainment, but in this earlier time, “the high point of entertainment would be gathering around the parlor piano and singing,” says exhibit curator James M. Keller.

The rainbow flag flying over the Castro District is symbolic of the gay community. But back in Harvey Milk’s day, San Francisco was not as gay-friendly. Consider the words of Milk’s speechwriter, Frank Robinson, from a promo for the film 2008 Milk: “When he came to town, there were a lot of gays living in town but there was no such thing as a gay community per se. People were friends of the community who would be your friends until you got between a rock and a hard place, and then they didn’t know you.”

Tara Linda started in music as a drummer in punk and rock bands in Texas and later switched to Latin torch songs – especially those with accordions.

She now plays that instrument, which she says can “take you around the world,” from China to Mexico to Germany.  In fact, she starts a summer tour of Europe next month.

Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/lepaniquesf

What’s the point of seeing a band live? You want them to be lively, of course. And Le Panique, the band we’re featuring today, knows that. This group, from San Francisco, thinks that if the audience sees the band having fun, it will translate to them. You can check out that translation on Wednesday May 23, when they play Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland.

Cannabis news roundup

May 21, 2012

Photo: Haight Ashbury cannabis shop. Credit: Creative Commons contributor g.kallenborn

The Creak

May 17, 2012

Oh, banjo music! Some people love it, others can’t stand it.

If you’re in the first group, you’ll want to know about the San Francisco band called The Creak.

They don’t remember who thought of the name, but they like it because it brings to mind “the sound of something old and worn-in and comfortable.”

They have a show scheduled for Friday (05.18) in San Francisco at The Lost Church on Capp Street, starting about 9pm. 

(Sacramento Bee) //  University of California students hissed Vice President Nathan Brostrom this morning at the UC Chancellor's meeting when he stated that administrators have full confidence in Chancellor Linda Katehi. This was the first time the UC Regents have met in Sacramento since 1993...

Tin Cup Serenade

May 15, 2012

Tin Cup Serenade, a fluid band known for an orbiting line up, will be performing a musical mixture that combines  Tim Pan Alley, Country & Western, and a healthy mix o' the Blues at Virachocha in San Francisco Thursday, May 17th at 8pm. They'll be celebrating the fifth year anniversary of Fog City Blues

 

Matt Lax

May 13, 2012

The song you’re hearing now is by Matt Lax & the Nearly Beloved.

Mill Valley local, Matt Lax, will be playing solo this coming Saturday, May 19 at the monthly “Celebrating Songwriters” event, hosted by musician Caren Armstrong.

Come early to the East Bay Dance Center in Oakland to make sure you get a good seat.

Doors open at 7:30pm.

 

 

Tia Fuller Quartet

May 10, 2012
Photo courtesy of http://www.tiafuller.com/

Today we're featuring an artist performing as part of the SF Jazz Spring Season. Tia Fuller is a saxophonist from New Jersey who has taught at Stanford Jazz Workshops. Fuller and her quartet will be performing at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Thursday, May 17 at 8pm. 

The music you’re hearing now is by folk, blues and jazz pioneer Barbara Dane. The Oakland resident has been performing since the 1950s and was a clear voice in the Peace & Justice and Civil Rights movements of that time.

Dane is planning a concert for her 85th birthday on Mother’s Day (05.13) at the Freight & Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley. Music begins at 8pm.

Makru

May 8, 2012
Hanna Quevedo

 

Makru is a San Francisco band with so many musical influences that we’ll just call their sound “world music.” But they call it “a unifying, positive vibe in the Bay Area."

Crosscurrents’ own Martina Castro sings with the group in both English and Spanish. They perform this Thursday (May 10) at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco. Doors open at 8pm.

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