Posts Tagged ‘bay area music’

You can be a patron of the arts! Doesn’t that sound sophisticated?

During this time of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders (which I heartily endorse) musicians are losing out on income because bars and clubs have closed down. Bandcamp is trying to help out by waiving their revenue fee tomorrow – Friday, March 20th. That means 100% of the money you pay for the music goes to the artist. You can read all about it here:…/bandcamp-covid-19-fundraiser

Now is a great time to discover new music and support artists who may be struggling financially. Here’s some recommendations to get you started. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

Karina Denike

About: Karina Denike is a S.F. songstress, chanteuse, arranger and songwriter who sings her way across many genres of music. Her original tunes are a haunting combo of 30’s seaside shanties, 60’s girl group harmony and noir soundtracks. You may also know her voice from her other groups: Dance Hall Crashers, The Cottontails, Mr. Lonesome & The Bluebelles, Ralph Carney’s serious jass Project and many more.

My take: You will fall in love with Karina’s voice the first time you hear it. “Golden Kimonos” is my favorite track off her album, Under Glass.


Lily Taylor

My take: I discovered Lily Taylor through her work with Karina Denike. Her music is beautiful and experimental and showcases her lush vocals.

Deborah Crooks

About: California-based songwriter Deborah Crooks’ music draws on folk, rock, and the Blues. Her diverse, ever-evolving artistic path has included studying writing and poetics at The Naropa Institute, voice in India, co-founding the band Bay Station, and gigging throughout the Western US.

My take: Poignant Americana, reminiscent of Lucinda Williams

Eki Shola

About: A talented vocalist and pianist, Eki Shola’s music transcends genre, as she seamlessly draws from jazz, electronica, and world to create her own sonic landscape. Her music has been described as “…sound art to be used to trigger thought and encourage love and beauty through rhythm and unique composition.”
Her personal story was featured in a PBS TV special, “The New Normal: Visions of Healing”

My take: Beautiful, genre-defying music that blends jazz and electronica.


Little Spiral

About: a.k.a. Suzanne Yada, is a piano-pop singer-songwriter who writes at the intersection of technology and heart. She mixes her indie pop, classical, blues and electronic influences with her background in poetry, media and the internet to create clever little piano pop songs for the digital age. Fans of Tori Amos, Mary Lambert, Fiona Apple & Regina Spektor will feel right at home.

My take: Thought provoking lyrics and mad piano skills.


About: In the 2010’s, a post-religion woman muses over our day and age to deep, hypnotic soundscapes, beats and big basslines.

My take: Shimmering beats, lovely vocals and introspective lyrics.

Raven State

About: Raven State is a guitar-driven rock band from the San Francisco Bay Area with the spirit of The Stooges and patience of Pink Floyd. At times haunting and atmospheric, pop hooks combined with soulful harmonies keep the dark, hopeless melodies from destroying the future in the hearts of mankind. Their self-titled debut EP is available now. Enjoy.

My take: The Pink Floyd influence is strong in this band!

Having spent most of January trying to shake off a nasty eye infection, I have found my way to February feeling and looking mostly normal. These past few weeks have been a string of happy collisions with some extraordinarily talented people. I often feel my universe expands and contracts in a cyclical fashion. For a while I will feel like I am working in a vacuum, completely isolated and then suddenly it all explodes, just like the big bang, and I am propelled into new space.   And in that moment  I realize that I’m part of something much larger, the amazing and eclectic San Francisco Bay Area music scene.

The lineup of artists playing with me at The Stork Club next Wednesday, February 22, exemplifies the variety of talent you can find in the Bay Area.  In addition to my synth pop loops, there will be indie pop music played by the very talented Gabby La La and her new band, Snow Angel.  Gabby La La is a multi-instrumentalist who has shared a stage with the likes of Les Claypool.  I admire both her music and her fashion sense; she achieves in real life what I can only aspire to in avatar form in Second Life.  Her new project, Snow Angel, is wonderfully melodic with dreamy harmonies.

Following Gabby La La will be Silent Motif, an ambient electronica trio lead by Robert Keller.  I have seen them perform online and it was mesmerizing.  Each band member was decked out in a glowing shirt, giving them an otherworldly presence that was reinforced by music that created alien soundscapes ranging from ethereal to cacophonous to (not quite) dance music and then back again.
 Watch Silent Motif’s online performance 

Ending the evening is Ziva Hadar, whose soulful pop reminds me a great deal of Nora Jones. Ziva, whose music combines several genres including pop, jazz and blues, has been creating a buzz in the Bay Area music scene for the past year or so.  She’s just released an EP, Just Another Night.

Finally, I recently had the honor of sitting in on a rehearsal with Debora Iyall and her band.  Best known as the lead singer of Romeo Void, Ms. Iyall has just released an EP, Singing Until Sunrise.  Having grown up in the golden age of MTV, I vividly remember watching the videos of “Never Say Never” and “A Girl in Trouble”.  Her lyrics and presence always seemed far more powerful and subversive than many of the mainstream female artists who claimed to be just that.

The songs on Singing Until Sunrise and Stay Strong, her full length CD released in 2010, have a much different energy than her work with Romeo Void, but the lyrics are still powerful and rich with imagery.   She is playing with Storm Large at The Red Devil Lounge tomorrow evening.