11th Annual Sleepless Nights: A Tribute to Gram Parsons & Cosmic American Music at Great American, 1/12/2012
January 9, 2013
Sleepless Nights headliner Red Meat
A long list of Bay area artists will honor Gram Parsons Saturday at the Great American Music Hall for the “11th Annual Sleepless Nights: A Tribute to Gram Parsons & Cosmic American Music”. Event organizer and member of Sweet Chariot Eric Shea explains what “cosmic American music” meant to Parsons. “Music writers wanted to call him country-rock, but he pushed back and challenged them to listen more closely so they can hear the soul, gospel, Americana, blues and rock that all blended together into one grand sound,” says Shea. “Cosmic American music was his vision of a musical melting pot anchored to the intimacy of front porch hymns, filtered through a kaleidoscopic mangle and played through the heart. All the bands playing this year’s Sleepless Nights do well to exemplify this vision of sound.”
The variety of acts really highlights the breadth of Parsons’ influence on today’s music. Headliner Red Meat plays mostly traditional honky-tonk music in addition to backing the legendary Wanda Jackson when she’s on the West Coast. Grahame Lesh tends to stay on the folk side of things, while no one can pin a genre on Chuck Prophet, who will be performing with his wife Stephanie Finch. Although some of the event’s performers may lean toward one genre or another, none of them fall into a genre pigeonhole Parsons avoided, which should make for a great night of music. Below, you can check out Red Meat playing “Streets of Baltimore”, which was famously covered by Parsons.
11th Annual Sleepless Nights: A Tribute to Gram Parsons & Cosmic American Music
feat. Red Meat, Chuck Prophet & Stephanie Finch, Sweet Chariot, Tarnation, Gypsy Moonlight Band, Deep Ellum, and Grahame Lesh
Great American Music Hall
January 12, 2013
September 19, 2012
By its twelfth year, you’d be forgiven for taking the annual occurence of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival for granted. The passing of founder Warren Hellman in December, however, brought with it a reminder that tens of thousands of people didn’t always flock to Golden Gate Park for three free days of music each fall. In fact, when one takes all of those elements — the large crowds, the no-cost attendance, the numerous off-the-dial performers — into consideration, the festival’s continued vitality seems less inevitable and far more astonishing.
True to its name, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 12 includes artists from a range of genres, pulling together an eclectic mix of legends (Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Robyn Hitchcock, and Nick Lowe among them) and buzz bands (The Lumineers, The Head and the Heart, The Civil Wars), with some locals (Chuck Prophet, Tiny Television) and compelling weirdos (Dirty Three, Giant Giant Sand) thrown in for good measure. If not every artist at HSB 12 is an indie rock fan’s cup of tea, this mixtape makes the case that you would be plenty satisfied attending the festival even if you couldn’t tell the difference between old-time music and neotraditional country.
June 20, 2012
Words by Ben Van Houten
When it was pitched, this episode was known informally as an “underrated bands” mix, a label that seems as unworkable as it feels insulting. In an age of increasing access to an perpetually growing volume of music, and a culture that focuses on always keeping an eye out for the next big thing, the idea that any band could hold any attention long enough to be over-/under-/rated at all seems unlikely. Forget ratings and rankings: just remembering what you like can be a challenge enough while being constantly bombarded with new music.
With that in mind, as we approach 2012′s halfway point, here’s a mix collecting eleven bands, some local, some not, that have all released interesting albums this year. These records may have slipped past you when they first came out — and include some that we haven’t written about much or at all — but they’re some of the recent works that continue to stick with me even as new sounds stream forward every day. These days, that’s no small feat.
About the bands:
May 24, 2012
(((FolkYEAH!))) and CinemaSF are set to inaugurate a series of events called City Scenes, a block of movie-screenings-slash-mini-concerts that begin on May 31st at Presidio Heights’ Vogue Theater. (((FolkYEAH!))) has asked local artists to choose their favorite film set in or revolving around San Francisco, each to be shown in conjunction with a concert from the selecting artist.
CityScenes’ first installment will take place on May 31st with Vetiver presenting Foul Play, a 1978 comedy starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. Chuck Prophet follows on Friday with Coppola’s The Conversation.
CityScenes Installments 1&2: Vetiver and Chuck Prophet
May 31st/June 1st, 2012
Review & Photos: Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express, Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers @ Great American Music Hall, 3/30/12
April 2, 2012
Generations of homegrown legendry teamed up at the GAMH Friday night to show young and old (and quite old) alike how roots rock is served. Alt-country hero Chuck Prophet, who emerged in the 80′s with Green on Red and has never let up, and Roy Loney, former front man for 70′s power pop progenitors The Flamin Groovies, brought their respective ace backups, The Mission Express and The Phantom Movers by for the show.
Loney blasted his way onstage, brandishing his lifelong insistence that roots rock is not a novelty. He hasn’t lost his mastery of the “goofy monster” punk persona and the fidelity to grinding, two-chord or 12-bar blues structures that had such an influence on label mates The Ramones, just for starters.
As a rock lifer, Loney also clearly understood how to make the best of a big crowd and venue. He and the Movers kept the pace tight and the energy high. The salt-and-pepper crowd, along with a smattering of the beard and horn rims set, were convinced. If you can rock the house, it doesn’t matter how clever your compositions or sound textures are. And if you can’t rock the house, it matters even less.
March 29, 2012
Now is the moment to catch up with Chuck Prophet, who graduated from lead guitar in 80s garage country band Green on Red (check out their album Gas Food Lodging – coulda been recorded today!) to roam, over a dozen-fold albums and more, through roots, swamp rock, alt-hop and just about whatever else you could imagine, all the while getting his material covered by Heart, Kelley Willlis, and Boz Scaggs, to name a few.
His current sound, which takes its rocking cues from vintage 70s power pop, is featured on Temple Beautiful, released in January (preview the entire album on SoundCloud). This is a performer with nigh on three decades of live performance under his belt, so you know he will be bringing it to Great American Music Hall Friday night (9pm, $18). Don’t take your local legends for granted.
We have a pair of tickets to give away for Friday’s show! Email email@example.com – the THIRD person to email will be the winner!
March 7, 2012
Here’s our latest month-in-review mix collecting some our favorite new (or new to us) songs recently posted on the website. Gathered in the mix are over a dozen new tracks that were posted on TheBayBridged.com in February, with links below to download each of them individually.
February 29, 2012
In Live This Month, we sample some of the great local and out-of-town bands performing in the coming month in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The annual insanity of South by Southwest means that a ton of artists are touring right now, and plenty of performers will be in SF in March en route to or returning from Austin. But while most of the acts included in this episode will be doing one or a dozen shows in bars and parking lots around the Texas capital, one of the benefits of living in the Bay Area is that you don’t need to go to Austin to see buzzed-about bands. Whether it’s the slinky electronica of Nicolas Jaar, the brainy guitar work of Dustin Wong, or the despondent pop of Perfume Genius, this month offers a multitude of opportunities to experience promising touring bands close to home. On the local front, Ceremony is poised to break out with the release of Zoo, while Chuck Prophet remains at the top of his game with Temple Beautiful.
Enjoy the mix, then go see some shows!
About the bands:
Ceremony (“Adult”), from Rohnert Park, releases its new album, Zoo, on Matador Records on March 6th. The band is doing a bunch of touring over the next few months, with local shows at Amoeba on March 6th and 924 Gilman on March 10th.
Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls returns in March with another album from her solo project, La Sera (“Break My Heart”). Swiftumz and Cold Showers round out a compelling bill at the Rickshaw Stop on March 7th.
White Fence (“Swagger Vets and Double Moon”) and Ty Segall are performing together at the Great American Music Hall on March 2nd, and the two artists are preparing for the release of a joint album called Hair in April. That’s in addition to White Fence’s own Family Perfume, which will be released as two LPs over the next few months.
The Mallard (“Vines”) opens the show at The Independent on March 6th, a night that will also feature Thee Oh Sees, Magnetix, and Pets With Pets. The SF band’s debut LP, Yes On Blood, is out now on Castle Face Records.
Noisy rock band Crocodiles (“Sunday [Psychic Conversation #9]“) joins Bleeding Rainbow and Terry Malts at the Rickshaw Stop on March 9th. The band just announced the forthcoming Endless Flowers, out on Frenchkiss Records in June.
Chuck Prophet‘s (“Play That Song Again”) twelfth solo album, Temple Beautiful, is billed as “made in San Francisco, by San Franciscans about San Francisco.” On March 30th, Prophet and his band The Mission Express play at the Great American Music Hall.