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

Robert Foothorap


The instrument you’re hearing now is a staple of country music known as the pedal steel guitar. Joe Goldmark, the man playing it, admits that San Francisco has always considered itself too cosmopolitan to support much country music. That may explain why he has to go to the edge of the city limits to find a place to perform!

 Joe Goldmark and the Seducers are playing on Sunday (12.14) at The Riptide, way out West … on Taraval in San Francisco, starting about 7:30pm.

The piano you’re hearing is being played by Debbie Poryes of Oakland. She keeps busy teaching and performing in the East Bay. And this Friday (12.12), she’ll also be half of a piano duo.  Debbie Poryes will be joined by veteran session player John R. Burr, of Pleasanton. They'll both take the stage at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. Friday's  show starts at 8pm.  

The music you’re hearing now is being performed by The San Francisco Girls Chorus. The chorus was formed 36 years ago and has now become a regional center for choral music education. 

The San Francisco Girls Chorus will perform their annual "Holiday Celebration in Song" on Friday (12.12) at the Old First Church in San Francisco. The concert begins at 8pm. And please note: there will be some sing-alongs!


Mendo and Sonoma see harvest crime wave… THC breath tests… Cannabis ice cream... How to legalize cannabis… and more


Cannabis regulation on next year’s Assembly calendar//     The listings on the California Assembly calendar are primarily placeholders, to assure discussion.

This music is being performed by the San Francisco Bach Choir, and it’s likely to be part of this weekend’s traditional candlelight Christmas program.

Have you heard any of the Tiny Desk Concerts on NPR’s website? Musicians are invited to play for an audience of staffers at the desk of “All Songs Considered” host Bob Boilen. Back in the summer Boilen declared a San Francisco group as his new favorite band and chose the title track from their new album as his song of the week.  

The music you’re hearing is by Beth Marlin of San Francisco. She’s hosting an evening of talk and music tomorrow (12.02), focusing on the songwriting process. 

Beth Marlin and her band will be joined by Quiles & Cloud at The Bazaar Café in San Francisco. Things get started at 7pm. 


Marijuana edges out alcohol in Bay Area “impaired” driving stops… Why cannabis causes the “munchies”…  Video: Grannies get high… and more


Denver has surpassed Amsterdam as marijuana capital //  Society has not collapsed. In fact, things seem pretty normal.



AG Harris softens her stand on legalization after election…. “Dramatic reduction” in brain cancer with cannabis… Word of the Year: Vape… Bob Marley is now a brand… and more.


This is the sound of the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, winners of this year’s Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album.  This 19-piece Bay Area group was also named Best Band in the final “Best of the Bay” issue of the recently departed San Francisco Bay Guardian

Kathrin Miller

Some call her The Queen of Classic Jazz & Blues, but you can just call her Lavay Smith. And you can call her band The Red Hot Skillet Lickers, because that’s their name!

And you can hear Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers perform classic blues and jazz on Saturday, November 22. That’s when they have a show at The Mildred Owen Concert Hall in Pacifica. It starts at 7:30pm.

If you missed Oakland’s California Honeydrops at their sold-out Fillmore show last month, now’s your chance to see them in a more intimate space.

The California Honeydrops, who you're hearing now, will be performing Friday NIGHT (11.21) at the 19 Broadway club in Fairfax. Music starts about 9 pm.

Usually a guitar band plays either acoustic or electric instruments. New Monsoon, the San Francisco rock quintet, has found a way to combine both.  New Monsoon will be performing Saturday, November 15, 2014 – with more than guitars - at the 19 Broadway club in Fairfax. The music begins about 9pm. 


Nevada could consider recreational cannabis in 2016… US marijuana laws break UN treaties… Canadian natives plan medical cannabis facility… Don't hit your customers… and more.



We're having some of our warmest weather of the year, so how about some Ice Cream?  Not the dairy treat, the band you're hearing now.

Ice Cream plays Thursday night at Milk Bar on Haight Street in San Francisco. They don't give much information on their website, so if you go, let us know how you liked the show!


Election victories from sea to shining sea… What passage of Prop 47 could mean… Unique regs in Mendocino… Halloween scare just a fantasy… and more.


New poll: Majority of Americans support legalization – barely//   New numbers show 51% supporting legal cannabis, down from 58% a year ago.


The roots of the band called Hibbity Dibbity – who you’re hearing now – stretch back to when two young friends began crafting songs for their pals in San Francisco. The group now has five members, who list their inspirations as: rocks, minerals, magnets … and the planet Saturn.  Hibbity Dibbity has a new album planned in January. But you can get a sneak peek – or “sneak listen” -  on Saturday (11.08) when they appear at Neck of the Woods on Clement Street in San Francisco.


Historic review of Schedule 1 listing closes… Live election coverage planned… Mothers risk jail to treat kids… What Ben Cohen says… and more.


Five plans for California’s legal cannabis //  It’s going to happen, says UC-Berkeley professor, so start planning now.

The band currently putting a spell on you is Shannon and the Clams. These Oakland boys --and ghoul -- are bringing their signature trashy and surfy sound to Leo's Music Club in North Oakland, tomorrow evening (10.31) for the Total Trash Halloween Bash. They'll be playing alongside other local bands. The show will start at 7pm.   

Today's local music is by Susan Muscarella. She’s a true local; she was born in Oakland, raised in Walnut Creek, and is founder of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. 

Susan Muscarella is reviving the school’s annual Halloween concert at the California Jazz Conservatory on Addison in Berkeley on Friday, October 31, starting at 8pm.


Marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification hearings start today… Fresno: less violence since ban on outdoor grow sites… Guides to election issues… Events… and more


Edibles ban withdrawn in Colorado //        Monday saw a proposal to stop sales of most edible forms of recreational marijuana; Tuesday saw the withdrawal of that proposal.


This song is by Paige and The Thousand. You may recognize Lindsay Paige Garfield’s voice – she’s been singing with Bay Area indie-pop groups for the past eight years – including with “Or, the Whale.” Paige and The Thousand will be performing Sunday, October 26th, at Bottom of the Hill in their hometown of San Francisco. Doors open at 7:30pm. 

 Earl Thomas, who you’re hearing now, has an interesting story. He recorded his first album of original songs by following the instructions in a book, titled “How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording.”  Now he’s a regular on the Bay Area blues circuit.  Earl Thomas has two shows on Saturday (10.25) at Biscuits and Blues, near Union Square in San Francisco. One is at 7:30, and the next is at 10pm. 

Courtesy, SF Streets

San Francisco is a bike-friendly city, despite its famous hills. There are designated bike lanes on streets throughout town, and the number of riders increases annually. In fact, there’s been a nearly 100% increase in cycling between 2006 – the first year numbers were tracked – and 2013. That means right now, well over 8,000 men, women, and children are pedaling around town.

Here’s something we can all agree on: Space is really big. That’s the lesson the band known as Lumerians wants listeners to know. They won’t ask you to dance. Instead, they ask you to “submit to your own subconscious desire to.”

Lumerians will be appearing at The New Parish in their hometown of Oakland on Friday, October 24th. Plan to get spacey around 9:00 p.m.

Dave Fleishman

Yes, it's that time of year, again. That time of an even-numbered year, anyway. The San Francisco Giants are in the World Series, and we're listening to their Bluegrass Fight Song, performed by Hot Buttered Rum. They've got a gig coming up Friday night at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz starting right about the time game three between the Giants and Royals wraps up.


Ups and downs for dispensaries… Thousands arrested for possession in California… DEA looks across our northern border… Hillary’s cannabis joke…  and more


Dorothy Brown

There’s something special about sisters who sing together. And that’s true of the T Sisters, who you’re hearing now. Erika, Rachel, and Chloe Tietjen started making up songs at their grandparents’ house when they were little. A musical father helped nurture their interests, and today these East Bay singers have an album that reached # 11 on the Americana Radio Chart.  

The T Sisters will be intertwining their voices on Thursday, October 23rd, when they play at Slim's in San Francisco.   

The voice you’re hearing is the legendary blues, jazz and folk singer Barbara Dane, from Oakland. Dane is one of the recipients of this year’s Best of the West awards, from the “Folk Alliance Region – West” conference, known as FAR-West.

Barbara Dane will receive the honor at the 11th annual FAR-West Music Conference, this weekend (October 16-19), at the Marriott City Center in Oakland.

The music you’re hearing now is by Jesse Brewster from San Francisco. Brewster’s boyhood was spent in back-to-the-land households. That meant no electricity, and no phones. Music was an important activity to him, and he continues to make it so in his professional life. Jesse Brewster will be playing songs from his new album at Fenix Live in San Rafael. That’s on Friday, the 10th of October, starting at 8 p.m.