Sunday, November 28, 2010

Minivan Disaster Launch the Battle

Band: Minivan Disaster
Hometown: San Francisco

A trio of small town hooligans opened last Sunday's Battle of the Bands at San Francisco's DNA Lounge. Better known as Minivan Disaster, an extremely catchy rockabilly band, the boys got down and crazy despite their square-bear appearances.

The Bay Area band is guaranteed entertainment. With foot-tappin' beats similar to the likes of Stray Cats and Reverend Horton Heat, Minivarn Disaster makes you want to let loose and get fancy. From a foot kickin' guitarist, a bangin' drummer to a crazy skilled upright bassist who plays whilst standing atop the instrument and dancing on it like it's a sturdy hardwood floor.

The band's catchy songs are all creative, each about something you'd never expect to hear a ballad about. The surfy rhythms will pull you away from the wall and in front of the stage. You'll definitely want a front and center view of this unique action. You heard it here; give 'em a shot! I promise you'll leave wishing you had an upright bass to do cool tricks on.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Channel 92.3 Announcement

so most of you have probably heard but i am now reviewing shows and other things for Channel 92.3, a local radio station out of san jose. i don't know where this is going but i am trusting that its all happening for a reason. when i decided to enter the field of journalism it was with the intent of writing for a music magazine or something music and writing related. i'm just going with the flow here but i am hoping for the best.

here is the link to my blogs on the station's site:

if anyone has any reccommendations please share! anything posted on this blog will most likely end up on the station blog. thats a bunch of free press!

check in daily, it will get better as we get situated! 


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bum City Saints Cause A Raucous

Band: Bum City Saints
Hometown: Oakland, Ca

Punk fans of all ages have long graced 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley- an old warehouse out in the cuts where circle pits and metal studs have a permanent happy home. Saturday night a local band known as Bum City Saints led the pits to destruction in a giant sing along!

The band has a dedicated fan base of all ages (I'm talkin ten years old to thirty plus). With classic sounds like Dead KennedysThe Vandals and early A.F.I., this East Bay hardcore band has strong punk riffs that hit you like a punch in the gut. The three piece band formed two years ago, making a name for themselves to the locals. Among the patrons, my favorite was the no more than twelve year old girl in the pit with the helmet on. Nothin' like coming prepared!

The band ended their set demanding everyone in the place hop up on stage, grab a mic, and sing our little hearts out. It was a fist pumpin crowd and an earthquake of kids. Loud music, rowdy (pre)teen punks. A great way to spend a saturday night.
Bum City Saints frequent the Gilman, a place of music history worth visiting in and of itself. Now that you know of the band, make sure you drop in and show some support!

Group Sing Along at 924 Gilman Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Something Left Unsaid Scream The Night Away

Band: Something Left Unsaid
Hometown: Pacifica, Ca.

Something Left Unsaid is a five man metal band out of foggy little Pacifica, California. They pretty much know how to make heads bang.

The band ripped the roof off the Octopus Lounge last Monday night, making sure we all left with some whip lash. Just shy of seven months old, SLU is in it to win it. There's no denying this bay area hardcore band has a fever to be something titanic. With strong vocals and killer riffs, this net-formed band gives you some serious ribcage reverb- a little something I like in my metal.

With comparable sounds to bands like Trivium, As I Lay Dying, and Killswitch Engage, SLU is loaded with heavy sounds and pounding tunes. Their first EP drops November 1st of this year. Be sure to grab it while it's hot!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Show Review: The Dead Westerns

Band: The Dead Westerns
Hometown: San Francisco, Ca

A seven band pile up crashed through Kimo's last night and the place was pretty packed. While all of the sounds were nothing short of entertaining, there was one that grabbed me from mingling and drew me to the dancing crowd: The Dead Westerns were very much alive and kickin'!

At first going out was out of the question due to lack of sleep, but a friend managed to talk me into hittin' up the show, promising the 'Westerns would deliver. Wow. Not only did they bring it for me, they woke the dead, the dazed, and the drunk! 

This eclectic band has a dance-y feel with some serious toe-tappin rockabilly bass lines. The sweet guitar riffs place you somewhere between a dream sequence of Rebel Without a Cause and Natural Born Killers. The songs all differ from each other but are just as catchy as the next. If bands like Pixies, Stray Cats or  Phenomenauts make you excited then you'll definitely want to experience this four-piece 'surf' ensemble (there's no way to just watch them- you have to experience them). During their set, the audience went from dancin' a fool, to faux circle pit, to begging the band for just one last song.  I swear, you'll be up shakin' it in no time (I even caught myself dancing without even realizing it).  

If you've never heard of them and you see them on the bill, give 'em a shot, they're fun!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Retard Strength Says Goodbye

Band: Retard Strength
Hometown: South San Francisco/ Pacifica, Ca
Members: Beck Von Felsburg, Rob Ruiz, Jared Coons

Photos courtesy of Retard Strength
Down by the waters of the Pacific Ocean rests a dusty little dive bar commonly known as Winters. It is through this hole in the wall many a screech and bang is heard- the sounds of local bands playing their rockin’ hearts out to entertain a crowd. It is here where a number of bands begin, jammin’ their first gig to anyone who will listen. It is also here where at least one band chose to say farewell. Alas, with great grief, I am here to report that the eccentric Retard Strength is no more.
If ever you’ve craved a ridiculous inferno of instruments and crazy costumes, Retard Strength would be your ultimate thirst quencher. The band (having jumped from trio to quadruplet to trio to quadruplet to trio again) has had quite a run in its short, fulfilling years together. For those of you who have heard of them but never had the pleasure of experiencing one of their shows: shame on you! The shows were mostly free of charge and very local and well, no excuses, you missed out! For those of you who have experienced them, read on.

The band’s core members- Beck Von Felsburg (vocals and bass), Rob Ruiz (vocals and guitar) and Jared Coons (drums)- have graced us with their presence in this rambunctious ensemble for the past two years, inviting and sending off members throughout (singers Martin Madden and Josh Bradley among the ranks). With a number of sophisticated and wacky costumes (one of my favorites being the head-to-toe caution tape mummy with sunglasses, aka ‘Lady Gaga’) to go along with their amusing music styles, Retard Strength has never let down an audience on the entertainment meter.
The band formed accidentally a couple years ago when front man Von Felsburg’s other band Minivan Disaster needed an opening act for a gig they had one night. Having been good friends since their teen years, Von Felsburg simply asked Ruiz and Coons to join him in an impromptu jam session, covering Misfits songs among others. The make shift band was well received and from there the band formerly known as Retard Strength was born.

“The original idea came from high school,” Von Felsburg says “the main idea was to be a death metal band”.  Well, gotta live up that dream, right? The band’s reputation is certainly that of a death metal band. Throw in a little punk with a splash of preposterous lyrics and you’ve got your self a group of Retards… er, so to speak.
Retard Strength’s approach (“just screaming out ‘Diarrhea!’ at the top of my lungs really did it for me”) focused mainly on having a great time and getting a reaction from the audience -good or (rarely) bad- but never, under any circumstances, boring. Most people who have seen them will vouch that the band, often belligerent and impractical (but it a very good way), will rock your socks off.

So now poses the question- why would anyone write up a blog on a band that is no more?

Well, there is plenty more. Retard Strength has disbanded but is currently being reformed with the same core members and two more tag-alongs (Dan Santo and Vicki Monkman) to boot!
The old band felt it was time to move on musically (perhaps a more serious approach?) and since they didn’t want to use any of the ousted members’ songs, decided to go in a different direction entirely.
The new band-who remain nameless at the moment- is under wraps as you read this very blog. Little is known about this forthcoming ensemble as they are getting the feel for a new sound. However, I am told that the direction they are aiming for is Broken Social Scene meets Tom Waits (but that could also mean any and everyone in between). Whatever they decide on, I have faith that we the listeners will be nothing short of pleased. Whether you’ve been with the band since day one or are just now joining the army, there’s plenty of room for you here.

It’s with the fullest of heart I say theses words: carry on good members of the band formerly known as Retard Strength. We look forward to sharing the road ahead with you. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, we salute you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

hello everyone, this is my music blog. music blog, meet everyone!

Hello, thank you for joining me, and welcome to my blog. I am here to share with you local bands and artists that you may or may not have heard of. I hope you enjoy this indefinite project as much as I do!

I really have no set format as to how this is gonna go- interviews, profiles, recaps etc... As far as frequency, I'm aiming for at least once a month, although this could be more or less. Bare with me folks, I'll try my hardest to not let you down. The idea for this came from an old column I had in the paper at the community college I went to, The Skyline View. Heard of it? Check it out some time.

Here are some of my old articles:

Love Hope and Fear

Back Seat Driver

Becca Sutlive

I should also throw in a disclaimer: I happen to be friends with one or more members of several of these bands. However, I will do my best to keep my bias to a minimum as the intent of the blog is to make people aware of the band and to encourage people to check out new music and ideas.