music

Colin Peden

 

I’m inside what looks like it could be a college library or a research institute. People sit quietly working at desks and tables, surrounded by shelves full of periodicals and rows of storage boxes that are neatly indexed by color and symbol. Lydia Athanasopoulou shows me around. She’s the senior content coordinator here -- kind of like the head librarian.

San Francisco rapper DaVinci says it was hard to ignore the gentrification in his neighborhood when he was growing up. He’s from the Fillmore District, which has been in phases of decline, redevelopment, and change since the 1960’s. In the past decade, the Fillmore has undergone a surge of economic activity that’s changed the face of the famous jazz quarter of the city once again. In this installment of Bay Area Beats, DaVinci shares how growing up in the Fillmore influenced his music.

Courtesy of Dan Harper

Sacred Harp singing is considered to be one of the oldest forms of American folk music. It dates back to the 1700s, to a choral style that developed in the churches of colonial New England, but eventually took root in the South. It’s a participatory tradition, which means that singers perform for themselves, not for an audience. Today, Sacred Harp is experiencing something of a renaissance, some even characterize it as the punk rock of choral music.

Dutch Treat Imaging Atelier

For the person accustomed to playing a factory model, a guitar from the hand of a skilled luthier is always a revelation. The tone, action, craftsmanship, and finish make playing such an instrument a unique pleasure.

Irving Sloane – Classic Guitar Construction

It used to be that if you wanted to learn how to make a guitar, you had to apprentice with a luthier. You’d find them in Europe, and you had almost no other option. That is, until New Yorker Irving Sloane wrote the book on high-end construction: Classic Guitar Construction: Diagrams, Photographs, and Step-By-Step Instructions.

Note: This piece loses much of its music in written form. Click the audio player above to get the full effect. 

Roland Feller is responsible for the well-being of many of the city's stringed instruments. When you imagine him working on a violin, picture him seated at a tiny old fashioned desk littered with tools and wood shavings, in a room piled with sheet music, billing forms...and violins. Violins hanging on the walls and from the ceiling; violins leaning against the table legs on the floor.

April Renae / brigetboyle.com

You can hear all sorts of different musical ingredients in the work of Briget Boyle. In the mix is everything from Eastern European harmonies to Balkan brass bands to pop rock. You can hear all those influences, plus a little country western twang, on Boyle’s new solo album, ‘The Parts Interior.’

BRIGET BOYLE: Every person in some way can be a singer, and can tell their story, even if it's just singing along with the radio or singing in the shower. There's something really human about it, and really simple.  

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...


 

“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.

Meklit Hadero is a co-founder of the musical collaboration, the Nile Project. But Hadero says the music is only the beginning. She joined KALW's Hana Baba in studio to talk about how the project has grown since it first began.

MEKLIT HADERO: The music became a platform for being able to look at how we might actually relate to each other. The music can be a model for the kinds of relationships we want to see in the Nile Basin. If we can build this relationship…what could our Nile Basin look like beyond water resource management?

blankonblank.org

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On the December 25th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett about his new documentary Alive Inside. The film explores music’s ability to combat memory loss through the experiences of individuals who have been rejuvenated by listening to music. How does music affect our brains and people who are aging or mostly unresponsive? What role does music play in your life?Join the conversation on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Guests:

Preserving culture with music

Dec 15, 2014

Good music can be uplifting, it can be healing, it can get you out of the house and on your feet, dancing. A new documentary film, “This Ain’t No Mouse Music,” tackles another side of music: how it can act like oral history, preserving unique cultures that could disappear.

Some of all Parts, is a San Francisco rap group made up of old high school buddies Carlos Teasdale, Daniel Velarde, and Joe Truss. Truss is Assistant Principal at San Francisco’s Academy of Arts and Science. He says he was skeptical about joining a rap group at first. He wasn’t impressed with a lot of mainstream rap out there at the time.

Flickr user wwiggins, Creative Commons

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...

Quinn DeVeaux & The Blue Beat Review

Oct 15, 2014

Today's local musician is Quinn DeVeaux & The Blue Beat Review. He calls his sound “blue beat,” but SF Weekly says that, when he sings, it “might as well just be called joy.”  Quinn DeVeaux & The Blue Beat Review will be opening for Megan Slankard on Saturday, the 18th of October at The Great American Music Hall. Music starts at 9:00 pm.  

On the September 24th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll reboradcast a conversation with filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett about his new documentary Alive Inside. The film explores music’s ability to combat memory loss through the experiences of individuals who have been rejuvenated by listening to music. How does music affect our brains and people who are aging or mostly unresponsive? What role does music play in your life?Join the conversation on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Guests:

Supersurvivors - Growing from Adversity

Sep 11, 2014

  

  

On the August 11th edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett about his new documentary Alive Inside. The film explores music’s ability to combat memory loss through the experiences of individuals who have been rejuvenated by listening to music. How does music affect our brains and people who are aging or mostly unresponsive? What role does music play in your life?Join the conversation on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Guests:

Luscious Queer Music Festival Aug. 22-24

Aug 7, 2014

Vicki Randle of Skip the Needle and Matt Alber (above) are just two of some two dozen performers featured at the Luscious Queer Music Festival, first of its kind in Northern California.  Headliners for the three-day festival at Saratoga Springs Retreat Center in Lake County Aug 22-24 include LGBT artists Mary Lambert, Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Jon Ginoli of Pansy Division, comic Marga Gomez and women's music pioneer Cris Williamson.  Hear some of their music and details for the weekend celebration on tonight's Out in the Bay.  Eric Jansen hosts, with guests Jon Ginoli, DJs Page Hodel and Justime, and event producer and performance artist Ruven Hannah. (Broadcast 7pm Thursday Aug. 7; click "play" to hear it after broadcast.)

Fog City Blues + Blues Power Hour this Wednesday

Jul 21, 2014

This week Fog City Blues revisits an interview with Bay Area blues harp legend Rick Estrin, who performs this weekend in Redwood City and Seaside. Rick talks to host Devon Strolovitch about his early days in the Bay Area blues scene and plays tunes from some of the greats he met as an up-and-comer. We'll also hear tracks from the brand new album by Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, You Asked For It...

Eighteen-year-old Tatyana Martinez turned to writing poetry as a young girl to cope with big changes in her life. Over time, her poetry evolved into music. She now works for the youth run recording studio Upstar Records, inside San Francisco’s Sunset Youth Services. The youth center supports young people and their families with things like parenting classes, food assistance, and job training at Upstar. When she’s not helping young musicians make music, Martinez writes and records her own songs with the goal of putting out her own album. She shares the story behind her songs in this installment of Bay Area Beats.

Blues legend Sugar Pie DeSanto still hits the high notes

Jul 10, 2014

She began winning talent shows up and down Fillmore Street at 18, when she weighed just 85 pounds, wore size 3 shoes and went by her given name, Umpeylia Marsema Balinton. 

Photo courtesy StoryCorps

 

Patricia Chin was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  She had never left the neighborhood when she auditioned to be a chorus girl. It was quite a leap for a young Asian-American girl, born in 1935, but Chin loved the adventure, and saw it as a way to bring home extra money. Her group, the Chinese Vanities, performed in nightclubs up and down the West Coast.

Julie Blaumstein

As the city of San Francisco experiences new waves of growth and expansion, we travel back to another time before redevelopment reshaped the Fillmore District. 

In the 40’s and 50’s the Fillmore was a vibrant mix of cultures, and a national hotspot for jazz musicians. On any given night you could hear the voice of Billie Holiday, or the playing of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Dizzy Gillespie. The lively and diverse neighborhood quickly earned a nickname: The Harlem of the West.   

Music has played a big role in Tara Hagins' life, beginning when she was 14 and started going to rock concerts with her cousin Holly. 

Courtesy of The Golden Gate Park Band

Few civic institutions in San Francisco pre-date the 1906 earthquake. One is the cable car, invented here in 1873. Another one is The Golden Gate Park Band. It dates from 1882, when it was a support unit of the California National Guard. Now it’s a Sunday afternoon mainstay at The Spreckles Temple of Music in Golden Gate Park.

SF Mixtape Society keeps the art of sharing mixes alive

May 14, 2014
Annie Lin / San Francisco Mixtape Society

 

The San Francisco Mixtape Society hosts mix exchanges at the Make Out Room in the Mission District. Music lovers meet, mingle and exchange mixes they made based on a particular theme.

Bay Area Beats: Micah Tron

May 12, 2014

Micah Tron is a rapper born and raised in San Francisco. She’s a queer woman of color, but the hurdles she has faced go even beyond her race, sexual preference, and gender. She lived in a shelter after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina and a few years into her twenties, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. But she hasn’t let this stop her from pursuing her music career – she says it actually motivates her. After her nephew was born deaf, she learned sign language, and her latest dream is to make music for the deaf community. She spoke with reporter Lo Benichou about her story.

Julie Caine

It’s a chilly morning in San Francisco, and a funeral is starting.

Jeanne Finley

Music has a special power that we all recognize. It can make us dance or sing along. It can make us happy, sad, reflective, agitated or calm. We can hear it live, or recorded. But seldom do we have a small choir serenade us - only us - at our bedsides.

That’s what The Threshold Choir does-- but not everyone can request these services. They only sing to a specific group of people: the infirm or dying.

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