Local Music

When you think of music from Brazil, you may think of bossa nova, but you’re not likely to think of choro. Well, Grupo Falso Baiano - who you're hearing now - is working to change that. Some call choro the “ragtime of Brazil,” with its mix of African and European sounds.  You can hear Grupo Falso Baiano this Friday, November 15th at The Sound Room in Oakland. Music begins at 8:00pm. 

This music?  It’s by The New Thoreaus of Oakland. They started off a few years ago as a group of special education teachers playing music just to release some stress. Now they’ve been together long enough to release an album.  The New Thoreaus are playing for free on Thursday, November 14th at the Mission Community Market in San Francisco. That starts about 6:30pm.  

Have you heard of The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players? Now in their 43rd season, the SFCMP performs music exclusively from the 20th and 21st Centuries, because, they say, “our collective societal imagination requires the stimulation of the new."   The next performance by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is this Thursday, November 14th at the Lam Research Theater, in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. There’s a talk at 7:15pm, prior to the performance at 8:00pm.

The music you’re hearing now comes from one of the bands in the Diablo Valley College Rock, Rhythm & Blues Revue.  The Revue features over 20 bands with over 80 students participating.

You can hear the Diablo Valley College Rock, Rhythm & Blues Revue next Sunday, November 10th at the century-old Empress Theatre in Vallejo, starting at 2:00pm. 

The music you’re hearing now is by Fito Reinoso. He was born in Cuba but has called the Bay Area home since 1980.

He played in his first orchestra when he was 12-years-old, and continues to share classic music styles from his homeland, along with current urban sounds from Havana. 

That may sound like a spirited audience, but it is actually the performers of San Francisco’s Taiko Dojo unit. The San Francisco Taiko Dojo has transformed this ancient style of drumming, and it must be seen to be believed. 

You have the opportunity to do that this weekend, November 9th and 10th, when the San Francisco Taiko Dojo joins special guests from Japan for the 45th International Taiko Festival, taking place at Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. 

Stephanie Shea

That’s The Plastic Arts you’re hearing right now, but they could easily be called "Kyle Terrizzi and Friends," because he’s the creative force behind The Plastic Arts. 

Reviews call his music “achingly beautiful” and “poetic.”  You can provide your own review if you go hear The Plastic Arts at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill on Thursday, November 7th. Music starts at 7:30pm. 

The sounds you’re hearing now are by The Sydney Ducks. San Francisco history buffs will know of a Gold Rush era criminal gang by that name. These modern Sydney Ducks aren’t criminals, but they do plan to tear up the stage at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill tomorrow, November 1st. Music begins about 8:30pm.  

Something radio people try to avoid is a list of words starting with “P.” The Ives Quartet of Palo Alto doesn’t know that, which is why they say they that the quartet “has established a reputation for passion, precision, and provocative programming.”  

The King is dead, but he’s not forgotten. That is an Elvis Presley song you’re hearing, but it’s being played by Dave Crimmens & His Band.

Dave Crimmens also performs original tunes. You can hear some of both on Saturday, October 26th at Nick’s Restaurant in Pacifica, from 8:00pm until midnight.   

There are all sorts of sub-categories of music, but we think the band called Sage, who you are hearing now, may be the only practitioners of what they call Ukulele Rock. 

What you’re hearing now is Orquesta Borinquen. They call themselves, “The Bay Area’s Salsa Powerhouse Band.” And the root of that power comes from Bill Ortega, Jr. He is the group’s director, and trumpeter, and percussionist. 

 You can experience the power tomorrow, October 24th when Orquesta Borinquen plays the Shadow Ultra Lounge in Oakland, starting about 9:00pm. 

Halloween in the Bay Area extends well beyond the final evening in October. That’s why Tainted Love, the ‘80s tribute band you’re hearing now, is getting an early start this Friday, October 25th at the Fox Theater in Redwood City. 

The Tainted Love show starts at 9:30pm, following a set with DJ Dinero, which begins at 8:30pm. And the band says if the audience drags out their, like, best – or worst – outfits from, like, 30 years ago, it'll be, like, totally awesome!

This band is called the DU UY Quintet, led by San Francisco native Danny Cao, who some people know from the band Vinyl. 

The DU UY Quintet is impossible to categorize because their stated goal is presenting “new, interesting and diverse original music.” You can find out for yourself what that means on Thursday, October 24th, when the band returns to The Cigar Bar on Montgomery Street in San Francisco.

Summer may be over, but the outdoor festival season isn’t.

Rapper Antwon, who you’re hearing now, is coming up from San Jose as part of Day One of this year’s Treasure Island Music Festival. Antwon’s live shows are known for having the energy of a punk band -- even down to including a mosh pit. Spin Magazine included his “End of Earth” mixtape in their Top 40 Hip Hop Albums of 2012.

Jill Gerstenberger

“Americana” is the catch-all phrase for the sound of a lot of hairy musicians these days. But San Francisco’s Tiny Television, who you’re hearing now, has been playing this style longer than that term has existed. As one reviewer says, “Their sound is so familiar, but feels undeniably new.”  Tiny Television is the opening band for Kelly McFarling on Saturday, October 19th, as part of the SF Live Arts series happening at St. Cyprian’s Church in San Francisco. Music starts at 8:00pm. 

Not long ago, somebody took some folk music, then added some country and rock, and mixed it all together. The result is called Americana music. And that’s probably a safe label for the sound of Akron Engine, who you’re hearing now.

Akron Engine is from San Francisco, not Ohio. They’ll be playing in their hometown on Friday, October 18th at Hotel Utah -- which isn’t in Utah, either. Plan to be there around 9:00pm.

The band you’re hearing now is called Lucas Ohio & The Shamblers. Lead singer Lucas Ohio started his musical career on the Central Coast, but has been in the Bay Area since 2009.

The sounds you’re hearing now are by a band called La Dee Da, from San Francisco. They’re wrapping up a West Coast tour for their new album. It has taken them from Seattle to Berkeley, which is where they’ll be playing one week from tonight, October 17th, at the Subterranean Arthouse. Expect the music to begin about 7:30pm.  

Here’s something you don’t hear every day: a combination of sounds from traditional instruments, electronic programming and such unexpected sources as penguin bones, pinecones, and glaciers. These are the creative tools of musician Cheryl Leonard.

This singer you’re hearing? His name is John Elliott, and this song is from his album, which is coming  out later this month, on cassette!  Elliott says that’s how he first got interested in music, listening to cassettes on his Walkman while mowing the lawn, or on a boom box in his bedroom. 

John Elliott will be performing on Saturday, October 12th at The Surf Spot in Pacifica, starting at 8:30pm – no Walkman or boom box required. 

The peppy tune you are hearing now is by long-time roots music fiddler Tom Rigney. Rigney and his band, Flambeau, were voted Best Cajun/Zydeco Band a few years back by the West Coast Hall of Fame. 

 Tom Rigney and company will be performing tomorrow evening, October 8th at Ashkenaz in Berkeley, starting at 8:30pm. And if you’re interested, there’s a dance lesson starting at 8:00pm.  

Local Music: Maya Dorn

Sep 25, 2013

The voice you’re hearing belongs to Maya Dorn, who friends describe as having “a voice like a great big sail: a wind inside, carrying you away to beautiful unknown places.” 

Maya Dorn is joined by a singer known as “E. O.” on Friday, September 27th at the Subterranean Arthouse in Berkeley. Music starts at 8:00pm.   

Many bands we feature here write their own music, but The Mobius Trio – who you’re hearing now – might be the first one who has all of it commissioned for them.  By doing so, they are expanding the music available to all contemporary classical guitar groups.

Want to guess who you’re hearing now? It’s not Earth Wind & Fire. It’s not the Average White Band. And it’s not Tower of Power. Who is this, then? It’s Soul Power, from Berkeley. This band of seasoned Bay Area players will get the audience going on Thursday, September 26th at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage, starting at 8:00pm. 

Kathrin Miller

That voice? That’s Bay Area blues belter Lavay Smith. Lavay and her band, The Red Hot Skillet Lickers, are the music entertainment tomorrow at an Art Auction & Benefit for the Coalition on Homelessness. The Coalition unites homeless people, service providers and advocates.  The event takes place tomorrow, September 12th at the SOMArts Cultural Center on Brannan Street in San Francisco. Doors open at 5:30pm.


What is it about cello players in the Bay Area? There must be more of them in “crossover” bands here than anywhere else in the country. Case in point: the Dirty Cello band, who you’re hearing now. They offer soulful blues and gypsy swing. Think of it as Yo-Yo Ma meets B.B. King.

Dirty Cello will be at the Oakland location of District restaurant on Thursday, September 12th. The fun begins about 8:00pm. 

You may know this voice, but not the name. It is Monica Pasqual, part of the all-female group Blame Sally. The band played in Berkeley last month, but you can hear Monica Pasqual on her own tomorrow, September 10th.

She is part of a Songwriter in Residence program at the Bazaar Café in San Francisco, hosted by Bernal Heights musician Nina Jo Smith. Music begins at 7:00pm.

The music you’re hearing now is by the Marcus Shelby Orchestra. But it’s not the music they’re performing this weekend:  that will be a world premiere, titled “Blues and the Pursuit of Freedom.”  

The Marcus Shelby Orchestra will be on stage Saturday, September 7th at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, starting at 1:00pm.  

Dorothy Brown

The close harmonies you’re hearing now are from the sister act known as The T Sisters. These three siblings were part of this year’s Free Folk Festival in San Francisco, and they sang on KALW’s “Folk Music and Beyond” program in July. Now you’ll be able to hear them at The Chapel in San Francisco, on Saturday, September 7th, where they’re the opening band, starting about 8:00pm.