Steven Short


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

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

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

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.


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.

Image courtesy of

Many visitors to San Francisco’s western neighborhoods enjoy the sweeping ocean view from above the ruins of the Sutro Baths. But, it’s pretty windy out there, which makes it difficult to enjoy at times. That is part of the reason for the new visitors center that opened there over the weekend. Catherine Barner is Vice President of Projects and Stewardship for the Golden Gate Parks National Conservancy.

(Chronicle) // A building invaded by members of the Occupy movement is vacant again after San Francisco police removed the protesters early this morning. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco owns the building, which was taken over yesterday during May Day protests… 

The San Francisco chapter of the Democratic Party is demanding that the Democratic administration in Washington immediately “cease all Federal actions in San Francisco, respect State and local laws, and stop the closure of City-permitted medical cannabis facilities.”


Apr 26, 2012
Photo courtesy of

Today's music is by “Loquat,” a San Francisco band. Do they take their name from the fruit of that name? Maybe – they’re not saying for sure. But they do say their music “doesn’t pander to fashion.” They’re heading the bill tomorrow, April 27, at The Independent in San Francisco, singing songs from their new album. Music begins about 9pm.

(BayCitizen) //  A necessary step in San Mateo's ability to accept and house an expected influx of low-level prisoners was approved at the County Board meeting yesterday. Last year 66 low-level prisoners entered the county's jail system sas part of the 2011 statewide realignment mandate. That number could be closer to 600 this year...

Courtesy Sonoma County Library

You can’t talk transportation in the Bay Area without talking about bridges. Everybody knows the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. And if you’re driving between the two, you travel on another bridge: an elevated and windy two-lane road through San Francisco's Presidio called Doyle Drive. That's changing this weekend, as the old Doyle Drive, built in 1937, continues the transformation into the Presidio Parkway.


Apr 25, 2012

The song you’re hearing is by the San Francisco band, LoCura. They sing in both Spanish and English, and their songs are influenced by styles from both Latin America and North America. Music on their new album highlights the diversity and commonalities that they have discovered and developed on the road. You’re likely to hear some of those discoveries when LoCura plays in Oakland on Friday April 27 at The New Parish. Doors open at 8 pm.


The Corner Laughers

Apr 24, 2012
Photo courtesy of


Today's music is by The Corner Laughers. The name derives from the admiration that the band has for “those who remain amused and observant from the sidelines of this ridiculous world.”  Their songs may bring to mind a carefree summer, but their lyrics often contain hints of the first chills of autumn.  The Corner Laughers are one of seven bands being showcased at San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill on Wednesday, April 25. Doors open at 7pm, and music begins at 8pm. 

Los Rakas

Apr 23, 2012

Today's local music is by Los Rakas. These two cousins were born in Panama, but they were raised in Oaktown, baby. You can hear them this Saturday, April 28 at the Catalyst Nightclub in Santa Cruz. Music starts at 9pm.

The traditional weather prediction for March is that if it comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. This year the aphorism may also apply to April for the Bay Area medical cannabis community. 

A proposed major change in the regulations over medical cannabis was moved to the State Assembly's Public Safety Committee yesterday, over objections from cities and law enforcement agencies. "The point of regulation is to bring these activities above board to guarantee safe and effective access, with clear rules for those involved in the industry, said Committee Chair Tom Ammiano of San Francisco...

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down. But what if the medicine itself were sweet?

People have taken honey through the centuries as a treatment for a variety of ailments – including as an allergy suppressant. But can something that tastes that good really be a medicine?

Craig Ventresco specializes in music from an earlier era – ragtime, vaudeville, and songs from the earliest days of recordings. You don’t need a time machine to hear him, just go to Café Divine in San Francisco on the third Thursday of each month, from 7 to 9 pm.

California's tax income was less than anticipated last month, missing estimates by just over $233 million, or 4.2 percent. While notable, State Controller John Chiang says money received – or not received – in the next few months will be of more concern, since over a third of all State funding generally comes in between now and July...

Shady Maples

Apr 10, 2012
Photo courtesy of

Today we're featuring a local band called Shady Maples. They’re a northern-southern band, actually; the singing guitarist lives in the Bay Area and the lap steel player resides in San Diego. Their talents will converge on Sunday, April 15th, when they’ll have a free show at Rasputin Records in Berkeley, starting about 2 pm.

The Rogers

Apr 9, 2012

The music you’re hearing is by The Rogers. The members all met at a music instruction store in Oakland’s Laurel neighborhood. They have quite a complicated list of ingredients to their sound, which is most easily described as “Americana.” They’re one of five bands on the bill this Thursday at The Stork Club in Oakland. Music starts about 9pm.

At Maritime National Historical Park, the golden age of shantey-ing comes alive again as sailors and sea music enthusiasts gather around an ancient vessel, the "Balclutha.” Peter Kasin’s job is to preserve these ancient shanties, and in turn to preserve San Francisco’s dangerous Barbary Coast past. But not everyone likes their shanties; some say they’re more bouncy than they were in the past, and should capture the sweat of the sailors who sang these songs way back in the 1800s to help make their rough shipboard jobs a bit more rhythmic.

The Shants

Mar 28, 2012
Photo courtesy of The Shants

The Shants, which is Gaelic for "charmed," or “blessed,” call their sound “slow burning Americana, from Oakland, California.”

The Shants will be playing on Sunday (April 1st) as part of “Roots Rocket Sunday,” at Disco Volante in Oakland.

Music starts about 7 pm, and tickets are $1,000 each. APRIL FOOLS! Actually, admission is free….

At Maritime National Historical Park, the golden age of shantey-ing comes alive again as sailors and sea music enthusiasts gather around an ancient vessel, the "Balclutha.” Peter Kasin’s job is to preserve these ancient shanties, and in turn to preserve San Francisco’s dangerous Barbary Coast past. But not everyone likes their shanties; some say they’re more bouncy than they were in the past, and should capture the sweat of the sailors who sang these songs way back in the 1800s to help make their rough shipboard jobs a bit more rhythmic.

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.