Between the Hollow & the High-Rise (Live Oak Records)
Kathy Kallick Band makes exactly the kind of country-fried bluegrass you’d never expect to find in the Bay Area. Banjo and fiddle are provided by musicians with some serious chops, vocals both male and female are pleasantly twangy, lyrics are exactly what you’d expect from a bluegrass band. The whole thing has a traditional, down-home sort of feel to it.
At Freight & Salvage (2020 Addison St., Berkeley) on April 30. 8 p.m., $18.50-$19.50
Electronic musicians will gather this evening for the third Flux Summit, held at Pyramind Studios (832 Folsom St., SF). The subject of the event is "Creativity in Electronic Music: How Do Your Beats Flow?," which will address how to make your sound unique given the fact that cheaper technology has given producers more tools to play with. Speakers include Alland Byallo (KONTROL) and David Earl aka sflogicninja.
In addition to the discussion and mixer, there will be complimentary food provided by SOMA restaurant, Oola, software demos by Propellerhead/Line 6, and giveaways by software company, Cycling '74 and NextAid. Chris Smith (Founder, Om Records), and music producers, Kush Arora (Dread Bass) and Alland Byallo (KONTROL). Doors at 6 p.m., free with RSVP.
Sea-sides is a gorgeous little slice of indie/electro/pop goodness. Trippy and danceable, but not at all frenetic, it’s occasionally reminiscent of the various attempts made in the last few years to recreate video-game music, but less annoying. Maus Haus gets bonus points for managing to work in a few late-era Beatles and Britpop touches and pull it off with aplomb.
At Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St., San Francisco) on May 1. 10 p.m., $10
As good as they are any time of day, Ash Reiter’s songs hit you like some kind of cinderblock when she performs live. Cinderblock inside a velvet casing, maybe, but still they come down relentless and hard. This is folk, but it’s folk brewed moderne, dipped in cold wave and some ska vibe. Think lovechild of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Rickie Lee Jones. That’s the idea that came to my mind, at least, when I saw the Oakland native perform one of her greatest songs, “Old Blue Eyes,” while revving up her cherry-red two-tone Eastwood Airline electric guitar. Acid folk, anyone? So I wasn’t actually surprised she’d never heard of Lonely Drifter Karen, whom I mentioned in passing during our conversation.
“She only looks likes she’s from Oregon,” joked Johan Alfsen, the bass player for Wave Array, the band that had the tough job of going up next at the venerable radical Gaelic institution otherwise known as the Starry Plough. This was a benefit to help install solar panels in Chilean towns ravaged by the recent earthquake, and all the bands were shakin’ the house, though none more-so than Ash Reiter, who does not have so much as one mediocre song in her repertoire. Like Nina Simone did, Ash teaches grade school, and like that cantankerous icon in her day, she’s a livewire on stage, something to revel in for the duration. I only wish some of the songs she performed at the Plough, like “Treasure Island” and “Moonlight Song,” were included on Paper Diamonds, her latest album, but you can’t have everything you want, that is unless you can have all of Ash Reiter. The title track alone has it all: multiple melodic configurations wrapped around each other like Russian dolls, inspired power chords, and a heady riff that crescendos and just keeps at it, until this reviewer was just aching to cry out: Give me love, Give me love, Give me lo-o-o-o-ve (and paper diamonds).
Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me (self-released)
This album full of jazz, blues, and ragtime standards doesn’t feature a single original song, but it’s charming nonetheless. Lynch has a lovely, impressively flexible voice, and the style and intonation are right on target. The market for this kind of thing is limited, but those in it will love this.
Joe Rut has a finesse for finding humor in life’s inane moments. It’s a useful skill considering that the Oakland singer-songwriter has faced a maddening amount of roadblocks just trying to produce one album.
It started in 1995. Rut was set to record in a studio he had built in a garage. Then his landlord burned the place down while he was out of town. Next, a converted laundry room he was living in flooded. Rut spent months converting a garage in Berkeley into a studio, only to find out during the rainy season that the roof was “Swiss cheese.” The landlord decided to fix the roof over his storage area by tearing it off while all his stuff was still in it, covering his belongings with tar dust.
Rut built a studio space in an industrial building, but had to move out because he ran out of money. He booked studio time with two other musicians, but the sessions had to be postponed because of back injuries. They were eventually committed to tape but sat on a shelf for a year as Rut went about building another recording studio in an Oakland warehouse. After it was finished, his new landlord replaced the roof without telling his tenants, leaving Rut’s recording gear once again covered with about an inch of gravel, dirt, and tar dust. The songwriter salvaged some of his tapes and moved out while the warehouse was decontaminated. Meanwhile, he recorded new tracks at another studio with a backing band. But his recording engineer had his car stolen — and Rut’s hard drive was in the backseat. Of course, there was no backup.
Joe Rut performing "Barbie Feet" at the Freight & Salvage:
And you thought Goth Cruise was ironic. Now there's a metal cruise dubbed "70000tons of METAL", which has just announced that East Bay thrash legends Testament will join the forty-band lineup. Local band Death Angel also headlines. The cruise will set sail on Monday, January 24, 2011, aboard the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas” from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico, and returns Friday, January 28. Ticket prices start at $666.
More of the lineup after the jump...
The weekly party/mixtape series/remix team (brothers Pleasuremaker and Señor Oz) known as Afrolicious will celebrate its three-year anniversary on Thursday and Friday, April 29 & 30, at the Elbo Room. The shows bring together live percussionists and dancers mixed with DJs in various funky, international flavors. Thursday’s event features the DJs Pleasuremaker and Señor Oz plus live guest Aphrodesia, and Friday’s show also features Chico Mann, DJ Sabo, and DJ Similak Chyld. 9:30 p.m., $8, $10.
Free download of an Afrolicious show here.
Photos by Tessa Stuart.
The first in a monthly series of live web concerts produced by Creative Allies and Ex'pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville happens Sunday, April 25, with Philadelphia's Dr. Dog, who also play two sold-out shows at the Great American Music Hall this weekend. The performance, which will be held at the digital art college's Emeryville campus, will be streamed online via uStream at 3 p.m. To watch, click here.
Meanwhile, the two companies are also hosting a contest for poster art inspired by Dr. Dog's new album, Shame Shame. The winner receives a $200 licensing fee plus tickets to an upcoming Dr. Dog show and an autographed copy of the album. The deadline is July 1. For more info on the contest, go here.