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.

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“You know, you can only paint a painting once. But a song, you can replay, re-envision, re-imagine virtually an infinite number of times,” says Matt Jaffe. And that’s one reason he wants to devote himself to music.

This Mill Valley singer-songwriter has opened for the legendary Mavis Staples and will do the same March 7th for Megan Slankard. One thing he couldn’t do, if he wasn’t on stage, is legally attend many of his own shows; Matt Jaffe is only 19.

flickr user "Oakland Daily Photo."

  In our current era of electronic transfers, bank cards and direct deposit, it is easy to forget that people used to go home at the end of the week with a pay envelope filled with... money! In fact, the name of one Bay Area neighborhood is based upon that old practice. 

The music you're hearing was written by Bay Area composer Lou Harrison, and is being played by David Tenenbaum.  It’s a commission from Other Minds, the contemporary music organization dedicated to encouraging “creative exploration in new music.”

 It's part of the first concert in the twentieth "Other Minds Festival," taking place Friday (03.06) at the SFJazz Center on Franklin Street. There's a panel discussion at 7pm, with the concert at 8pm.      


Legalization from coast to coast, and beyond…  Price collapse worries Colorado dispensaries… Health… Opinion… and more.


Cannabis now legal in Alaska //  “One can now carry up to an ounce in public — consumption in public is still illegal — and one can give another person without remuneration up to one ounce or up to six plants with three flowering.”

Do you like singer/songwriters like Jack Johnson, John Gorka and John Mayer? If so, you might give Forest Sun a listen.  

Forest Sun has played from Japan to North Carolina, and you can hear him Saturday (02.28) at The Monkey House in Berkeley, starting at 7:30pm.  

What is it with all the non-traditional cello players in this area? Well, whatever it is, Dirty Cello, who you’re hearing now, is a purveyor of the style.  Dirty Cello has played throughout the world, but you only have to go as far as Fairfax to hear them this week. They’re at The Garage on Thursday (02.26), where the motto is “Shop Local, Party Local, Enjoy Local.” Music starts at 7pm. 


State Attorney General not opposed to legalization… Colorado hit with multiple lawsuits… TV loses fear of marijuana… The munchies explained… and more.


Business conferences are about growth and profits and networking. That wasn’t totally true with the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), held this week in San Francisco.

“Legalization isn’t about money. It’s about personal liberty,” is how founder Alex Rogers started the event. The first day of programming followed that idea, with not one business speaker on the schedule.


This is Danny Click. One of his earliest memories is hearing his mother play a slide guitar. He picked up the guitar himself for the first time when he was six years old. 

 Danny Click will be picking up his guitar again tomorrow night (02.20) for a rare acoustic show at The Monkey House in Berkeley. Music starts about 8pm. 

That’s Josh Beemish Johnson playing banjo AND drums right now. He’s joined on this song by Alison Craig. But he could be joined by YOU tomorrow (02.19). That’s when Josh Beemish Johnson is hosting an Open Mike at the Bazaar Café in San Francisco. Music starts at 7pm.


California Assembly to consider legalization bill & Marijuana Watershed Protection Act… US Attorney’s seizure plans held up, again… No Pomo pot plantation… Health news, and more… 


The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) takes place in San Francisco over Presidents’ Day Weekend. Alex Rogers, executive producer of the event, has deep experience in the field, much of it in the Bay Area.

Today's local music is The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. They’re a choir with a mission, which is: “to inspire joy and unity among all people, through black gospel and spiritual music traditions.” 

The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir will be sharing their joy on Sunday (02.15) at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. It’s part of The Freight’s Black History Month programming. Music starts at 8pm.  

The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) takes place in San Francisco over Presidents Weekend. Alex Rogers, executive producer of the event, has deep experience in the field, much of it in the Bay Area.

The Dodos, who you’re hearing now, like to record: they say the best time to make a record is right after you’ve finished one. But you can hear them live on Wednesday, February 11th when they play the Great American Music Hall

It’ll be the last chance to hear The Dodos in their hometown of San Francisco before they start a national tour. Music starts at 8pm.


Vets to get medical cannabis?... Why pick on Harborside?... States seek to overturn Colorado pot law… Innovations in deliveries… Health news… and more.


Today's local music is Tumbleweed Wanderers, from Oakland. Maybe you heard them a couple of weeks ago on “Fog City Blues” here on KALW.

It’s one thing to hear them on the radio, and something altogether different to hear them live – which you can do tomorrow (02.06). That’s when The Tumbleweed Wanderers play The Independent, in San Francisco. Music starts about 9pm.


The group you’re hearing now is called the Bella Piano Trio. But that doesn’t mean there are three pianos here – just one, along with a violin and a cello. 

 Bella Piano Trio of San Francisco will be playing a concert Friday (02.06) at the Old First Church on Sacramento Street, in San Francisco, beginning at 8pm. 

On February 7th at Yerba Buena Cetner for the Arts,  Berkeley-based clarinetist and virtuoso Ben Goldberg, of the renowned band Tin Hat, re-assembles an all-star lineup to present his seminal piece to date called Orphic Machine, inspired by a book of "speculative poetics" from writer Allen Grossman.

This band? They’re called Two Gallants (guh –LAHNTS). The name comes from a story by James Joyce.  Two Gallants, from San Francisco, have a new album, and they’ll likely be playing songs from it on Thursday (02.05) when they appear at Club Leo’s on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, starting about 9pm.  


Clock ticking for California ballot framers… Can US Attorney stop Pomo tribe pot plans?… Bad week for e-cigs… Terry Gross learns about CBD… and more


 “Jaw-dropping awesome!” That’s what the San Francisco Chronicle says about today’s local music: the four-hand piano duo known as ZOFO.  

ZOFO has won numerous awards and pleased audiences around the world. In fact, they’ll be in Switzerland next month. But this Sunday they’ll be at home, in San Francisco, at The Forte House in the Outer Sunset. Music starts at 4pm.   

“Jaw-dropping awesome!”  That’s what the San Francisco Chronicle says about today’s local music: the four-hand piano duo known as ZOFO.

This Sunday they’ll be at The Forte House [FOR-tay] in the Outer Sunset. Music starts at 4pm. “Jaw-dropping awesome!”  That’s what the San Francisco Chronicle says about today’s local music: the four-hand piano duo known as ZOFO.

This Sunday they’ll be at The Forte House [FOR-tay] in the Outer Sunset. Music starts at 4pm.

Survival Guide, from Petaluma, play this Saturday at the Rickshaw Shop. Music starts at 9PM.

We regularly hear about high rollers, but how about Low Rollers?  Well, that’s who you’re hearing now. 

The Low Rollers will be playing their hometown of San Francisco on Wednesday (01.28) at El Rio.  And just so you know, Colin Peden, a member of this band, is also a current member of the “Crosscurrents” Audio Academy. Other Academy members may be there, too, so come see if you can figure out who’s who.  Music starts about 8pm.   


Attorney General ends seizure program, or does he?... Rogue Berkeley dispensary ordered to close… Tribes’ plans to cultivate cannabis concerns current suppliers… Events, Health, Opinion, and more.



Today's local music is Waters. Their name was inspired by the fact that the band’s founder spent a few summers working on a salmon fishing boat.   

Waters has a show scheduled for Saturday (01.24) at The Independent, in their hometown of San Francisco. Music starts about 9pm.  


California legalization far from certain… All Vallejo dispensaries ordered closed… Pomo tribe plans cannabis plantation… Brazil approves CBD… Two Oregon Ducks banned from playoff… and more.


This is Vandella. You’d think, with a name like that, that they’d be soul group. Well, Motown is one of their influences, but they consider themselves “1970s rock via 1990.”  

Vandella will be headlining Saturday (01.17) at Neck of the Woods, on Clement Street in San Francisco. Doors open at 9pm.  

San Francisco is America’s second most densely populated area, after Manhattan. Perhaps you’ve noticed! And with new construction all over town, it’s going to get even denser. Yet, there’s a portion of it that is so lightly populated that you could shoot off a cannon, and not hit anybody. That area is the 1,500 acres of the Presidio, at the mouth of the Golden Gate.