Only half of the name of the band you’re hearing is accurate. Two members of The Brothers Comatose are actually brothers. But they are not comatose. In fact, they’re known for providing audience members with chopsticks, so they can add to the percussion section. And they toss alligators into the crowd – inflatable ones. Still, that’s hardly comatose.
A lot of blues singers sing about living in one-room shacks, hard work and hard times, but few these days have direct experience with this kind of life. That’s not true for Lance Canales, who you’re hearing now. Canales grew up breaking horses and listening to fire-and-brimstone preachers in California’s central valley.
The band you're hearing now is Thee Oh Sees. They're being interviewed this Friday in San Francisco for "Sound Opinions," the rock talk show which is heard Sunday afternoon on KALW. That's sold out, but take heart! Thee Oh Sees are playing three nights next week (October 10th, 11th, and 12th) at The Chapel in San Francisco’s Mission District. Music will begin at 8:30pm.
Back in the day, San Francisco’s Barbary Coast was one of the most lawless places imaginable. That’s changed somewhat, and even Pier 23, the long-time dive bar on the Embarcadero has had a recent makeover. But some things don’t change – such as the sound of ragtime piano, which you’re hearing now, as played by Virginia Tichenor. Virginia Tichenor, now of Oakland, grew up hearing these sounds – her father is a noted ragtime scholar.
The music you’re hearing is by probably the longest lasting band in San Francisco: The Golden Gate Park Band. They’ve been giving free concerts nearly ever Sunday from late April until early October... since 1882.