Local Music

Once upon a time, probably before you were born, live musicians provided music as the audience watched motion pictures. The Marin Symphony plans to revive this custom on Sunday, June 8th. That’s when they’ll play the entire score of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” as the film is shown.

Listen to this! This is tUnE-yArDs, from Oakland, and this track is from their latest album, Nikki Nack.

tUnE-yArDs is primarily singer/songwriter Merrill Garbus. She’ll be introducing her new songs on Friday, June 6th at the Fillmore in San Francisco, with help from a bass guitarist and a loop pedal. Doors open at 8:00pm, with music beginning at 9:00pm.

The music you’re hearing now is being performed by the Davis Senior High School Baroque Orchestra. Davis, California, is beyond our usual local music limits, but we’re featuring them today, because the orchestra is taking part in this year’s Berkeley Festival of Early Music – and second, they’re the only public high school Baroque orchestra in the United States.

The music of Ensemble Mik Nawooj blends techniques from Western European classical music into rock, pop and hip-hop songs. The East Bay Express calls their sound “the future of hip hop.”

The Ensemble Mik Nawooj, who you’re hearing now, has a free show on Saturday, May 31st at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco. It starts at 1:00pm, so bring a lunch.

The band you’re hearing now is Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings. Rogers, a Bay Area native, started playing guitar when he was 12 years old. That hobby turned into a career as a recording artist, producer and composer.

Roy Rogers & the Rhythm Kings will be on stage Saturday, May 31st at the Empress Theater in Vallejo, starting at 8:00pm. 

The music you’re hearing now is by Rebecca Chapa. She’s a folk singer from San Francisco, who also happens to be a Certified Wine Educator. More importantly, Rebecca Chapa is one of the performers at this week’s “Sing Out of Darkness” event.

The music you’re hearing now is by Phonochrome, a trio of cello, flute and piano. This ensemble came about through a series of conversations among friends at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Phonochrome performs on Thursday, May 29th at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. The program begins at 8:00pm. 

The song you’re hearing now is by a band from San Mateo, named Parachute on Fire.  While the band members all have different musical tastes, their motto is: “Every Song Is a Party."

Parachute on Fire plays the Hotel Utah in San Francisco on Sunday, May 25th, along with two other bands. Music starts about 9:00pm. 

The band we’re listening to now is called A Million Billion Dying Suns. There’s a detailed explanation for that name, involving black holes. But the quick meaning is: We’re all one.

A Million Billion Dying Suns is playing a free show on Thursday, May 22nd. This will be at the Converse Store on Market Street in San Francisco. Doors open at 6:00pm. 

Don Meehan

You recognize this music – it’s our national anthem, performed by The Golden Gate Park Band, San Francisco’s municipal band. They stage free concerts throughout most of the year at the Spreckles Temple of Music in – where else? – Golden Gate Park.

The Golden Gate Park Band’s next performance is Sunday, May 25th, starting at 1:00pm.

Today’s local music is being played by the Jimmy Grant Ensemble. Grant, a native of northern California, grew up in a family of musicians. And that’s where he learned the music of jazz pioneer Django Reinhart.

The Jimmy Grant Ensemble will be playing Reinhart-style jazz guitar on Friday, May 23rd at The Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco. Expect them to start about 7:30pm.

3 hours of Fog City Blues: Gypsy Swing and more

May 13, 2014

The Public Radio Party continues Wednesday night with a special 3-hour Fog City Blues. North Bay quintet Beso Negro return to play songs from their latest release, Burn It Down. One of the performances from their last visit is featured on "Live From the City Blues Vol.1," which is available exclusively as a thank-you gift together with the brand-new "Live From the Fog City Blues Vol.2." We'll listen to tracks from the new compilation, and KALW General Manager Matt Martin will also stop by to play selections from his #PubRadioParty Mixtape.

The name of today’s local band is a bit confusing. It’s Blood & Dust. But in reality, it’s not really a band: Blood & Dust is a solo performer.  One fan describes this Oakland resident as “two parts heart and one part beard.” 

Blood & Dust is on the program with Megan Andrews next Monday, May 6th at the Acoustic Bistro presentation, which takes place at Osteria restaurant in San Francisco. Music begins about 8:00pm.

You know this song, but it’s not quite Lorde, is it? No, it’s DeCadence, the acappella student group from Cal-Berkeley.  

Actually, this is only the female component of the group. But you’ll be able to hear all the members of DeCadence this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, when they’re having their spring show. That'll take place on campus in Wheeler Hall on Saturday, and Wurster Hall on Sunday. Both shows are at 7:30pm.   

This band, the one you’re hearing now? They’re called The Parmesans, from San Francisco. That might be a cheesy name, but their music is tasty. It’s a blend of contemporary folk, and alt-country, with some bluegrass for garnish.

Can a band be both “of the moment,” and also “timeless?”  It’s possible if the band is Misisipi Mike and The Midnight Gamblers, the six-piece band that you’re hearing now.  

Misisipi Mike and the Gamblers will be playing at Amnesia on Valencia Street in San Francisco this Thursday, starting about 9:00pm.  

Irene Young

The gentle sounds you’re hearing now are being played by teacher and musician Eve Decker. Kevin Vance, host of KALW’s “A Patchwork Quilt,” says of Decker, “This is the kind of music that makes the world a better place."

You can hear more from Eve Decker tomorrow, April 11th when she appears at the Dolores Park Café in San Francisco. She’ll be there from 7:30 to 10:00pm.

The band you’re hearing now is called Spider Heart, from Oakland. One fan says their sound “makes me want to surf and break mailboxes at the same time!”

If you want to get in on some of THAT action, Spider Heart will be playing Saturday, April 12th at the venerable Starry Plough in Berkeley. The fun begins about 9:00pm.

You know this song – yes you do! It’s Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” as performed by Foreverland. This 14-piece band, formed in San Francisco in 2009, doesn’t imitate the King of Pop, but they say they do “carry out Michael’s righteous mission to move audiences’ hearts and dancing feet.”

Foreverland is “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” on Friday, April 11that the historic Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco. Doors open at 8:00pm. 

The band you’re hearing now is called Marc and The Casuals. How casual are they? So casual that they don’t have a website – and this song was recorded at the San Francisco Airport.

Marc and The Casuals head up an evening of deep soul and dance music on Saturday, April 5th. It's called “Soul Kaleidoscope.” This will be happening at The Chapel on Valencia Street in San Francisco, starting about 8:00pm.

What you’re hearing now is music by Gini Wilson. Wilson, also known as The Duchess, is director and co-founder of the San Francisco ChamberJazz Quartet. Perhaps you’ve heard her on “West Coast Live,” on KALW Saturday mornings.

Gini Wilson has a solo show planned this Saturday, April 5th at The Sausalito Seahorse -- in Sausalito, of course. She’ll be there starting at 12:30pm.

The vocalists you’re hearing now are called The Cetaceans, some of the oldest, best traveled singers we have ever featured on our Local Music segment. They’re not from the Bay Area, but they’ve been touring up and down the coast literally for ages, so we wanted to feature them anyway.

This band? It’s Chrome Johnson, from San Anselmo. They are also known as “the new kings of twang,” due to their Roots/America sound. 

Chrome Johnson will be twanging at the “19 Broadway” club in Fairfax on Saturday, March 29th, starting around 9:00pm. 

This music – Bach’s Sonata in G Minor – is from a competition that has taken place every year since 1953: The Junior Bach Festival.

The final concert in this year’s Junior Bach Festival is this Sunday, March 30th at the Old First Presbyterian Church on Sacramento Street in San Francisco. Music begins at 4:00pm.  

The voice you’re hearing belongs to Melanie Ida Chopko of Oakland. Her songs combine American folk and jazz, as well as Brazilian sounds. And she is noted for being pretty good at telling jokes, too.

Melanie Ida Chopko will join Lauren Hulbert at The Monkey House in Berkeley on Friday, March 28th. It’s an intimate space, so reservations are essential.  

Sarah, Known to Collapse

The band you are hearing is Known to Collapse. No, that’s not a literal description, that’s the name Kevin Lehner has given to this experimental music project. He started as a DJ on his college radio station in Boston, but is currently in northern California. Known to Collapse will be playing at The Fireside Lounge in Alameda on Friday, March 28. They start about 9:00pm.

The voices you’re hearing at the moment belong to the 300 members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. The chorus claims the title of the “world’s first openly gay chorus,” having started in 1978. 

The band that’s playing now is called Fallujah. They call their sound “atmospheric death metal.”  This Bay Area group chose their name because to them, the city of Fallujah “represents the pinnacle of tensions and hostility that have come to define the world we live in.” 

Fallujah is one of five bands playing the DNA Lounge in San Francisco on Sunday, March 23rd. The onslaught starts at 6pm.   

The music you’re hearing now is by Oakland’s Disappearing People. One reviewer says,  “Their song forms are long and seem to offer release through repeated figures, over an unwavering drum groove. This ties them in many ways to the 20th Century minimalist composers.”  Or, you could just call it shoe-gaze.

Either way, The Disappearing People will be at Thee Parkside in San Francisco on Thursday, March 20th. Music begins about 9:00pm.

The band you’re hearing now is called Nesta. They’re a reggae band from Half Moon Bay. While Bob Marley is their main influence, the band primarily plays original compositions. 

Nesta will be performing Sunday afternoon, March 16th at The Surf Spot in Pacifica. Music starts about 1:00pm.