Today's local music

Today's Local Music: Megan Slankard

May 2, 2016
photo by Justin Oliphant / cropped and resized

Megan Slankard has toured the U.S. and Europe, but counts one of her favorite appearances as singing the National Anthem for the San Francisco Giants. 

Today's Local Music: Kim Nucci

Mar 8, 2016

Today’s local music is by Kim Nucci of Oakland. She describes herself as a multimedia artist/composer and improviser. 

Tamarind Free Jones



We Became Owls is an alternative Americana band from Oakland. Songwriter Andrew Blair and multi-instrumentalist Ross Warner began creating, writing and composing music together in middle school. Now they're joined by upright bassist Doug Keen, vocalist and banjo picker Kelly McFarling and either Andrew Laubacher or Kyle Caprista on drums.


Claude Shade


The T Sisters are a contemporary folk band from Oakland, California. Songwriters Erika, Rachel and Chloe Tietjen are joined on stage by upright bassist Steve Height and Andrew Allen Fahlander on mandolin and guitar. The vocally-driven five piece will perform at the Sixth Annual “Backyard Concert” taking place Saturday afternoon, July 25th, in Santa Rosa. Doors open at 4pm.


Petaluma band One Armed Joey will be at Slim’s in San Francisco this Thursday, July 2nd. They're the featured band at a benefit for the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation. Music starts at 8pm.

Today's local music is by Gypsy Jazz band Barrio Manouche

Barrio Manouche is performing Sunday (06.14) at this year’s Fairfax Festival, starting at 4:30pm.   

Bob Hakins 2014

This music is by HowellDevine (one word!). Perhaps you heard their Bay Area Beats segment on Crosscurrents a few weeks ago.  Howelldevine will be performing Saturday (06.13) at Club Deluxe on Haight Street in San Francisco. It’s an early show, from 5 to 8pm. 

Today's local musician is Bay Area vocalist Derek Lassiter. His sound has been called “dark soul – a kind of moody haunting soul.” 

Derek Lassiter and band will debut some new unrecorded songs at The Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco on Saturday (05.30). Doors open at 7:30pm.

Today’s local music is by the band Waterstrider, from Oakland. They were the guests recently on KALW’s new music program, “Liner Notes.” They say their songs are “filled with sincerity, sadness and joy – a style of rhythmic pop played with soul.”

Waterstrider has a record release party on Thursday (04.30) at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. Music starts at 9pm.

The peppy music you’re hearing now is by Alison Faith Levy. The pre-school crowd knows her as Sippy Alison, from her days with the kid-pleasing group, The Sippy Cups.  Her musical style has been described as “power pop meets bubblegum.” 

This song is by Taraf de Locos. If you like it, you can see them live on Friday night at the Red Poppy Art House at 7:30. And if you really like it, you can support their Kickstarter campaign.

Jonah Podbereski

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. 

Mississippi State University Libraries

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.

They always perform in the Spreckles Temple of Music at Golden Gate Park, starting at 1:00pm.  Each week there’s a different theme. This Sunday, July 28th, fittingly, it’s “Great Concert Band Music.”

The music you’re hearing is by the Bay Area blues band, Delta Wires. Their name refers to the fact that the music was born in the Mississippi Delta, but modern instrumentation has added electrical wires to change it.

You can hear the Delta Wires this Friday at The Saloon in San Francisco, starting about 9:30pm.

The music you’re hearing is by Beth Marlin. This San Francisco resident is well known for her music for children, but now she's decided to “grow up” and play for adults.

Beth Marlin’s audience on Saturday, July 27th, is guaranteed to be over 21, because she’s performing at the Hopmonk Tavern in Novato, from 5:00 to 8:00pm.

This song? It’s by Wild Moth. The Bay Bridged website describes their sound as mixing the “melodic gloom” of post-punk with the intensity of traditional punk – if we can SAY “traditional” in relation to punk! But we’re sure you can still bob your head frantically while listening to it.

Wild Moth will be at the Bottom of the Hill in their hometown of San Francisco on Thursday, July 25th. It’s an all-ages show, starting at 9:00pm.

The voice you’re hearing belongs to Kelly McFarling. This song is titled, “Atlanta,” which is her hometown. She came to San Francisco a few years ago, thinking she might audition for the Opera. But instead she has become what the East Bay Express calls “one of the Bay Area’s most promising singer-songerwriters.”

Kelly McFarling will be performing songs from her new album on Friday, July 19th at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco. Doors open at 8:00pm.

If you know this theme song, then you’re familiar with “West Coast Live,” heard Saturday mornings on KALW. And you know that Mike Greensill, the program’s resident piano player, is at the keyboard.  The Mike Greensill Trio will be performing, along with Wesla Whitfield, on Saturday, July 20th at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland. The music begins at 8:00pm.

The singing and piano playing you’re hearing comes from Brad Brooks of San Francisco. He’s performing Sunday, June 30th at Cafe Du Nord on upper Market Street, where he joins The Shook Twins, from Portland, Oregon. Music begins around 7:30pm.  

Karen Edwards

There aren’t many music festivals named for living performers, but Earl Thomas is one of them.  His namesake festival occurs in his birthplace of Pikesville, Tennessee. But you can hear Earl Thomas singing on Saturday, June 29th at Biscuits and Blues, just off of San Francisco’s Union Square. Music starts about 7:30pm. Go for the blues, but notice his shoes!

The music you’re hearing now is by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. They’re presenting a world premiere this week titled “I Am Harvey Milk.”  Their first spontaneous public performance occurred on the steps of San Francisco City Hall 35 years ago … following the assassinations of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. An extra performance of this work has been added, tomorrow, June 26th, at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco, starting at 8pm. 

You may know this song, but you’ve probably never heard this version, by Bay Area band, The Void Boys. They’re likely to be play this Cranberries' cover and other songs from their “90s Compilation” album when they take the stage Wednesday, June 26th at The Knockout in San Francisco. Music will begin about 10:00pm.   

The sounds you’re hearing now are by Gautam Ganeshan. He’ll be bringing his innovative Indian roots music to the Redwood Grove Summer Concert Series at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, tomorrow, June 20. Audience members are invited to bring a picnic and enjoy sitting under the redwoods while listening.  

Music begins at 5:30pm, and your ticket includes entrance to the botanical garden, starting at 4:30pm.  

This upbeat tune is by Oakland’s Tri Tip Trio. They’ll be kicking off The Tenth Annual Berkeley World Music Festival on Saturday (06.22). 

band's website

When a band is named RocketShip RocketShip, you expect a powerful, speedy sound. And that’s what you get, as you’re hearing now. This power trio from San Francisco calls their music “Atomic Rock and Roll.”

Yes, that’s vintage jazz you’re hearing, but no, your radio hasn’t gone into a time warp. You’re hearing The Cottontails of San Francisco, a group that plays American music from the 1920s to the 1960s – sometimes all in one set! They’ll be shaking it up on Sunday at The Riptide in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset, beginning at 7:30pm. 

Karen Edwards

There aren’t many music festivals named for living performers, but Earl Thomas is one of them. His namesake festival occurs in his birthplace of Pikesville, Tennessee. But you can hear Earl Thomas singing next Monday May 27 at Biscuits and Blues, just off of San Francisco’s Union Square, starting about 7:30pm. Go for the blues, but notice his shoes!