Music

Mae Powell: Songs of innocence and experience

j. poet writes, "The melodies Powell composed to accompany her musings are as boundless as the feelings she describes. Jazz, folk, rock, samba, blues, soul, country music and more slip and slide together, producing a sound both familiar and distinct. 'I don’t have a conscious style, I listen to everything,' Powell said."

A Beautiful Night: Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist bring...

D'Andre Ball reports back from San Francisco's 1015 Folsom and the collaborative energy that Freddie Gibbs and Alchemist shared with the crowd.

The Umbrellas: Making beautiful music together

"Every track on The Umbrellas shimmers with pure pop energy," writes j. poet. "Luminous chords from Ferrara’s organ and bright acoustic guitar fill open 'Lonely,' a mid-tempo love song that’s balanced between hope and regret."

Sonic Frontiers: Deeply informed by traditional music of the...

"An Oakland guitarist and composer with a rigorously conceived and wide-open aesthetic, Evangelista is a creative force at the sonic frontiers where the Bay Area’s new music scene bleeds into jazz. Deeply informed by traditional music of the Philippines, he designed Apura by drawing on folkloric melodies, though the musical conversation unfurled with the roiling ebb and surge of a jazz colloquy," writes Andrew Gilbert in this week's music section.

Yoshi’s Oakland reopens with a full roster of live...

Lou Fancher interviews Yoshi's Oakland's General Manager and Artistic Director about the reopening of the beloved Jazz venue this month after over a year of uncertainty. "Surviving the 16-month lockdown was incredibly tough for Yoshi’s,' she writes, "even with nearly 50 years of notable popularity in Oakland to its name."

Spellling: Hopeful visions of the future

“‘Little Wheel’ is one of my all time favorite songs,” [Spellling] said. “[Sainte-Marie] does everything I wanted to do on this album in that one song. The theme of ephemerality of time and how special it is to be here, on this planet, as a human. Trying to grasp these big moments we get to share with each other while here and trying to hold onto them. She can speak to grandiose concepts, but the words are so detailed. My album is about that.”

Thought Leaders: Oakland quartet showers splinters of light into...

“Musically, we were in an intense and dark place to begin with,” guitarist Andrew Lund said. “The pandemic paved the way for the album to be recorded in a way that allowed us to put that kind of energy into it. It was touch and go for a while, musically and personally. None of us knew what was going to happen. I don’t think anybody did.” j.poet talks with the East Bay band on moving forward with a debut album post-pandemic.

Ancient Future: Global music without limits

"Ancient Future, the collective led by guitarist Matthew Montfort, can take many forms, from solo excursions by Montfort, to ensembles of three, five or 10 members, drawn from the 28 master musicians who rotate in and out of performances. Montfort usually takes center stage, stating the melodies on his scalloped fretboard guitar that he's been playing since the first Ancient Future concert in 1978."

Jenn Johns leads the vanguard as live concerts reappear

Eric K. Arnold sits down with singer Jennifer Johns to discuss Oakland history, Joni Mitchell, and finally being able to return to live shows post-pandemic.

Spitting Game

Alan Chazaro sits down the rhyme artists Jwalt and Nito to discuss the history of Bay Area rap as well as how they are forging a new future for the genre as representatives of Gen Z's contribution to the form.

Rock Solid

Andrew Gilbert profiles Drummer Larry Vann and his deeply rooted ties to the Bay Area and his storied history playing with some of the most noteworthy artists in Funk, Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Soul.

Jesse Brewster

j. poet sits down with Jesse Brewster to discuss his new album, 'Confessional', and how the musician managed to find solace during the pandemic. "After 20 years of hauling equipment around and playing gigs and running all over on tour, it was good to stop for a moment," he said.

Super Fantastics

j.poet interviews the uplifting Rock band that imagined themselves as caped crusaders from the start. “I immediately started imagining the superhero colors and images we could use on posters,” said drummer Daniel Scharff.

Bobi Céspedes

j. poet sits down with the queen of Bay Area Latin Music, Bobi Céspedes, to discuss her latest album 'Mujer y Cantante'; a celebration of life, love and family.
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