Local Music

The music you’re hearing now is the sound that predated Rock ‘n’ Roll, and helped start the concept of Top 40 Radio. It’s called “rhythm & blues dance music”, or “jump,” and it’s being played by The Stompy Jones Band of San Francisco. 

Stompy Jones plays every week at the Tuesday Night Jump, held at the Verdi Club in San Francisco. The music starts at 9:40pm, and there’s a two-hour dance lesson starting at 7:00pm.

This music playing now is by Christopher Youmans from Berkeley.  His band – called The Christopher Youmans Band -- incorporates various styles of music in their own compositions, with jazz being the strongest.  You can hear the Christopher Youmans Band on Friday, March 7th at the Subterranean Arthouse, in Berkeley. Doors open at 7:30pm.

The sound you’re hearing now is by the experimental-folk duo known as Yesway. Their sound as been called “a floating, flowing faucet of magical unification.” 

That’s a lot to ask from just two singers. But if you think you’re up for the experience, they’ll be on the stage tomorrow, March 4th at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco, starting about 8:00pm. 

The music you’re hearing is being played by Myra Melford. She’s on sabbatical from UC Berkeley at present, which gives her time for some performances off campus. She says she continually reaches toward a state of transcendence with her music, yet there’s always a connection to the blues traditions she heard growing up, near Chicago. 

The music you’re hearing now is by the Broken Shadows Family Band. You may know bandleader Darren Johnston from another Bay Area group, the Nice Guy Trio.  

This is an instrumental song, but the sound of the Broken Shadows Family Band usually emphasizes the lyrics – so no texting during the show, OK?  They’re performing at San Francisco’s Red Poppy Art House on Friday, starting about 7:30pm. 

The band you’re hearing is Papercuts. The New York Times described their sound as “melding sustained organ chords with slow finger-picked guitar.”

If you are wondering what that actually means, you can find out on Wednesday when this Bay Area group appears at the 22nd annual Noise Pop festival. Papercuts is the headliner on Wednesday evening, February 26th at The Chapel in San Francisco, starting at 7:00pm.

What your hearing now is a sample of the type of sound you can expect from San Francisco’s newest professional a capella choir, called Capella SF. Ragnar Bohlin is conducting this music, and he heads the new choir. 

The music you are hearing is by Roem Baur. He says his first name came to his mother in a dream, shortly before he was born. Though classically trained as a lyric tenor, he now favors music inspired by American soul singers.

Roem Baur will be performing in his hometown of San Francisco on Friday, February 21st at The Lost Church. Music starts at 8:15pm, sharp!

What do you call a band with a Matt, a Steve, a Chris, a Nathan, two Bens and a Nicole?  That would be the Bay Area Brass Band, from San Francisco, who you are hearing now.

They describe themselves as a hip hop/R & B group ... even with all that brass. The Bay Area Brass Band takes the stage at San Francisco’s 50 Mason Social House on Thursday, February 18th, starting about 10:00pm.

The band you’re hearing now is Frankie Boots and the County Line. They are coming in from Sebastopol to take part in the weekly Free Twang Sundays at Thee Parkside in San Francisco.  The motto of Free Twang Sundays is, “If it’s twang, it’s our thang!” If this sounds fun to you, show up around 4:00pm on Sunday, February 16th, when Frankie Boots and the County Line are scheduled to start playing.

Ben Trefny

Thao Nguyen grew up in Northern Virginia, and started playing music at age 12. Since then she has released three critically acclaimed albums, and spent most of her 20s touring, including a national stint with NPR’s RadioLab. It was coming back home to San Francisco and getting involved in her community that inspired her latest album, We The Common. Thao tells us a little more about how she’s grown up through her music.

Do you have plans yet for Valentine’s Day? No? Then consider going to hear Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. NPR says Thao, of San Francisco, “infuses everything around her with electricity and mischievous boldness.”

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down appear at The Fillmore in San Francisco on Friday, February 14th. Doors open at 8:00pm.

The toe-tapping style of music you’re hearing now is most often played in New Orleans. But this band, The Zydeco Flames, was formed right here in San Francisco, way back in 1990.  The Zydeco Flames are on the schedule on Friday, February 14th at The Eagle's Hall Valentine's Day in Alameda. The show begins at 9:00pm.

This music is by a band called Naked Fiction. They describe their sound as “sexy, jazzy, indie, chamber-pop, with a twist of James Bond.”

If any of that sounds appealing, you can hear Naked Fiction live on Thursday, February 13th. They are the headliners at Hotel Utah, in their hometown of San Francisco. The opening band starts at 9:00pm.

Michael Rauner

Right now you’re hearing Professor Burns & the Lilac Field, a musical project of Sean Burns – who is actually a professor, and author. And now Professor Burns is a new father, so he isn’t performing much these days. But you can hear him on Sunday, February 9th at the UC Berkeley Art Museum. He is participating in a performance exhibition called “The Story of This Place,” which starts at 5:00pm. 

Ted Wong

The band playing now is called Tea Leaf Green. A review of their current album says these San Francisco jam-rockers “pull the listener right in for a sonic journey, with a compelling array of twists and turns.” 

 You can experience these twists and turns yourself when Tea Leaf Green plays at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael on Friday, February 7th. The show starts at 8:00pm.

What’s that you’re hearing? It’s Afrolicious, that’s what! And on Friday, February 7th they become the Afrolicious Soundsystem. That’s the expected energetic band set, paired with DJ dance beats. The first show starts at 10:00pm at San Francisco's Public Works and is expected to go for about three hours. Dance to the music!

San Francisco-based band, LoCura, bring their Califas-Mestizo beats to their 3rd album, "Dale de Comer". They will celebrate their CD release show on February 8th at the Independent in San Francisco. Music starts about 9:00pm.  

The music you’re hearing now is by the Galax Quartet. This Bay Area group is modeled after 18th Century string quartets, but they also commission new music, some of which they’ll be playing this weekend.  The Galax Quartet will be performing on Saturday, February 1st at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. This is part of the San Francisco Early Music Society’s 37th annual concert series. The performance begins at 7:30pm.

Berkeley native Joshi Marshall, who you’re hearing now, has been drawing attention to his music since his high school days.  He was a founding member of the Mingus Amungus group, and has performed with such names as Carlos Santana, Pete Escovedo and The Black Crowes.  The Joshi Marshall Trio plays Friday, January 31 at the Jupiter pub in Berkeley, starting about 8:00pm. 

The band you’re hearing now is called Cherry Royale. And all they want you know about their music is: “It’s funk music.”

Cherry Royale splits their time between Oakland and New Orleans. You can hear them on Thursday, January 30th at the 19 Broadway Club in Fairfax. Expect the music to begin about 9:00pm. It’s a free show.

This singer is named Tom Rhodes. He started out as a songwriter for other musicians when he was only 14 years old. He established himself as a performer while living in Brooklyn, and now calls the Bay Area home.

Tom Rhodes will be performing tomorrow, January 27th at San Francisco’s Bazaar Café, where he has been songwriter-in-residence on Tuesdays all month. Music starts at 7:00pm. 

The band you’re hearing is The Patrick Wolff Sextet from San Francisco. Leader Patrick Wolff has been a jazz side-man on both coasts – and he also plays Mexican folk music and African high-life. 

The Patrick Wolff Sextet will probably stick to jazz sounds when they perform on Saturday, January 25th at Duende in Oakland. It’s a 9:00pm show.

The sounds you’re hearing now are by Easop, a Richmond-raised rapper who calls his style “street gospel.” 

Easop takes the stage at The Mink Bar & Lounge in Daly City on Saturday, January 25th. He’ll no doubt be featuring music from his new album – it comes out next week. The show starts at 9:00pm.

The hard driving, trippy sounds you’re hearing now are by the Wooden Shjips. This song is from their new album, “Back to the Land.” Listeners to “Sound Opinions,” heard Sunday afternoons on KALW, know that it is a Top Ten Album of 2013, as featured on that program.

Wooden Shjips will be performing at The Chapel in their hometown of San Francisco on Thursday, January 23rd. Doors open at 8:00pm.

The band you’re hearing now is called Sweet Felony. No, they're not criminals – the name comes from a friend’s pit-bull. 

This San Francisco duo is one of over half a dozen groups participating in the twelfth annual “Sleepless Nights: A Tribute to Gram Parsons & Cosmic American Music" taking place on Saturday, January 18th at The Great American Music Hall. The show starts at 9:00pm.

The toe-tapping style of music you’re hearing now is most often played in New Orleans. But this band, The Zydeco Flames, was formed right here in San Francisco, way back in 1990. 

The Zydeco Flames are on the schedule this Saturday, January 18th at the venerable Ashkenaz Music & Dance Center on San Pablo in Berkeley. Doors open at 8:00pm, with a dance lesson at 8:30. The show begins at 9:00pm. 

R. Black

The song you’re hearing now is from the album, “Stand!” by Oakland legends Sly and the Family Stone.   No, the band is not back together, but over 75 performers are going to play the songs from that album, live, as part of the locally produced Under Cover series.

This San Francisco song is being sung by San Francisco native Maya Castleman. Trained in musical theater and jazz, she has more recently been influenced by collaborations with hip hop producers and rappers. 

Maya Castleman has an album release concert scheduled for Saturday, January 11th at the 50 Mason Social House in San Francisco. Music starts about 7:00pm.

Federico Cusigch

The music you’re hearing now is by the Beth Custer Ensemble of San Francisco. Beth Custer wears many hats. She is a composer, bandleader, and proprietor of a record label. But The San Francisco Chronicle says the best way to describe her is as “a virtuoso of collaboration.” 

The Beth Custer Ensemble will be performing on Friday, January 1oth at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco, starting at 7:30pm.