Well folks, it’s been a fun ride. For nearly the past decade, I’ve been bringing you the best of the San Francisco Bay Area’s live music scene every month here on Bay Area Live. I’m sad to announce this is the final installment of this illustrious, groundbreaking program. Who better to send us off than the one and only Al Lover, master of psych drone and trippy ass beats? We’ll also hear a few tunes from LA-based Americana band Fairbanks & the Lonesome Light. It’s been fun, BTR fans. Cheers!
LOBSTER - I love you. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
DISCHARGE LOUNGE - Well, this was a fun session! If you don't believe me, listen to it, and also look at the photos. And if you did believe me all along, still listen to it, and look at the photos. Basically, just listen to the damn session and look at the photos!! OK!! I love you.
MAYA LAW - Even though she's just 16, Maya is already all over the local music scene, playing live sessions for the BBC, doing lots of gigs, and I just had to get her into the studio for some analogue goodness for your ears. She has a fantastic voice. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
ALTO 45 - It's good to have the Alto 45 boys back in Old School Studios. Even if there's been a nine year gap between visits. It seems like it was only yesterday. Or last month. OK, it seems like it was about five years ago. Definitely not nine. I was worried that we wouldn't even recognise each other. Turns out, none of us have really changed, which is reassuring.
THE WOODLAND CREATURES - Today is the long-time-coming return visit of folky acoustic duo Woodland Creatures. Their debut LP "Fool The Wolves" is out now, and is fantastic, so buy it, right now. No, hold on, listen to this session first, and THEN buy it. Yes, in that order. Thanks. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
HOT RAISIN - It's the old team, back together again! Myself and the Hot Raisin girls go back a long way. All the way to the city centre in fact! So, you can imagine how excited I am to have them back in the studio for a radio session after all these years, with a new band name, and a new set of songs. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
ROBYN ASTRID - I found out about Robyn's music via local legend Richard Shashamane's excellent, on which he puts up photos and videos from the 4-5 local gigs that he goes to every night of the week here in Norwich. I often rely on his site for informing me about new local bands and artists that I don't yet know about, and Robyn was one of them. Thanks Richard, and thanks Robyn! And don't forget Dan on trumpet! Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
Bay Area Live goes on the road! I’m on tour with my band Face Tat, and while I was traveling through the Pacific Northwest, I recorded some of the killer bands I was playing with. I caught up with Kid In The Attic, a Brooklyn band, in Portland, Oregon. Gazelles played their hometown of Eugene, OR and I was lucky enough to catch that too. All that and more on this edition of Bay Area Live!
BALD WIFE - I saw this band play a storming set to a packed crowd at The Playhouse Bar in Norwich recently, and simply had to book them for a session. And here it is. BIG, bangy drums, played by a big, bangy drummer, sludgy guitar played through a bass amp, and growly disgruntled vocals. What's not to like?
THE EXTONS - Tonight ladels and jellyspoons, we have for you a great little band from Kings Lynn, called The Extons. They were recommended to be by my glamorous assistant, Conor Etteridge, and he was jolly well right; they're excellent! Have a listen! Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
THE SOUND OF SIGHT - Been wanting to book Sound Of Sight for a long time. Since they played as a trio at an Old School Studios private party a while back. As you can hear with your very own ears, this was a fun one. Although, I did have to edit out about 15 minutes of chithcat between the songs, haha! Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
It’s been a great summer. Bay Area Live got rocked by Parae and Soft Lions and got loud and sweaty with metal bands like Walken, With Our Arms To The Sun, and Giant Squid. Check it all out right here, right now.
ROPE STORE - If you like your music with a touch of soul, and if you like it crunchy, and a little bit drunk, then you're in for a treat, of sorts! If you're regular BTR listeners, then you may well know Gemma & I from the Seal Of Approval Show, which we co-host together. Rope Store is our other musical outlet. And along with with 6 other friends, we sometimes play shows. It sounds, a little something, like this..
13TH CHIME - This week's band are the legendary UK goth band 13th Chime. They formed in Haverhill, UK in 1980, building up a HUGE following at their live shows, and releasing three fantastic singles over the next few years. All of those singles have recently been re-released, and they're now in demand again all over the world, being offered shows in the USA, Russia, Poland, and all over Europe. They just played in Russia, and are in Poland in October, and I'm hoping they play soon in the UK, and for you in the USA.
CHAD MASON - If you're a long-time listener to the show, you'll have heard Chad Mason before, whether you realise it or not; as he's a regular at our Old School Studios parties, and we've had many an All Star (Drunken) Jam til the early morn. You'll also have heard him on the old Planet Beet show, and may have seen him playing at one of the MANY festivals & venues that he's played over the last few years, which are too numerous to list.
Up-and-comers Soft Lions hail from San Diego, but they recently made the trek up to San Francisco — and I was there with my trust recorder in hand. Also captured a set from local post-punk outfit Parae. Enjoy!
We’ve digging into all live jams today! Got dibs on a medley from Keaton Simon’s residency in Los Angeles at The Hotel Cafe, featuring Robin DiMaggio and Alex Al. Catch him again this Saturday!
MR DAVID VINER - There are a variety of music-based ways that you may have heard of Mr David Viner. You may already be a fan of his from his first few LPs. You may be able to look into the future, and are a fan of his forthcoming LP (which is out late September), or you may have seen him on tour with people like The Von Bondies, The White Stripes, Dr John, and others. Not bad eh! And he's here, now, in the studios that they like to call "Old", and "School".
SAM LEES - Well, what a lovely time I had meeting Sam and recording this session! Sam plays solo gigs around the Norwich area, and my glamorous some-time assistant Conor recommended him to me, saying "ooh, Sam Lees, his set is fun!". Which it is! Here's the proof, incase you're used to me lying.. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
There’s been some great metal on Bay Area Live all year long! It’s time for a look back at all the heavy, thrashing good times we’ve had.
SAVAGE ISLAND - The band formerly known as Juke & The All Drunk Orchestra are BACK, and only very slightly less drunk than before. That's progress for ya. As many of you will know, they're probably my favourite local band, and they deserve to be playing all over the world. Let's see what we can do about that.
JOLIE HOLLAND - This week, we have a lovely intimate set from the fantastic Jolie Holland. And what a pleasure it was to meet Jolie, Stevie the guitarist, and Thorsten the tour manager. I'm sure our paths will cross again.
THE TEAMSTERS - These guys sure know a good song when they hear one, and write it, and then play it, and you hear it and think "wow, these guys are playing some great covers!", and then you find out that these songs are NOT covers, but in fact are their own amazing songs! And you cry, because you feel like such a fool, and are always embarrassing yourself in public.. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
Happy 4th of July weekend! We're celebrating today with sessions from Roz and the Ricecakes (Providence, RI), Kabaka Pyramid (Kingston, Jamaica) and Landlady (New York, NY)! Fire up the grill!
Fan Week - It seems as though there are two types of concert attendees: those that are constantly taking photos and videos of the event and those that leave their phones/cameras in their pockets or at home. Since many of us here at BTR enjoy some live music now and again, we decided to chime in on the matter.
BOX OF LIGHT - I have a bit of a thing about deliberately getting this band's name wrong, but just for today, their special day, I'm going to resist calling them Light Box, or Boxes Of Lights, and stick to their real name, Box Of Light. They are one of my all time faves of all time, and we love each other a lot. Probably forever?
It’s Metal Month Part 2 on Bay Area Live! At long last you can listen to the full Walken set taped at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill.
BIRDS OF HELL - This week's victim, I mean, band, is Birds Of Hell. Birds Of Hell aren't in fact plural most of the time, being mainly Pete doing singing & playing, and stamping in a jingly jangly shoe. But he's joined on a few songs by Ben C Winn (famous!), and our very own Iain Lowery, on the bassy guitar.
THE FOOLS MOON - My good friend and band-mate Georgie had been going on and on about The Fools Moon for months, and when an empty session slot became available I leapt at the chance to record them, and they leapt at the chance to record with me of course. Hehe. I'm sure we'll be working together again in the not too distant future, and make sure you go and see them if you can, as they're excellent live.
HOLLY LERSKI - I'd seen Holly's name around the local music scene for many years, but for some reason that escapes both of us, we hadn't met until today. I noticed that Holly was headlining the Norwich Arts Centre, for the launch of her new LP, and so I grabbed the chance to get her into the studios they like to call Old School, for this session that you're about to hear. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
It’s metal month here on Bay Area Live. Two of San Francisco’s finest, Giant Squid and Walken, headlined two nights in a r ow at Bottom of the Hill.
NICK PRIDE & THE PIMPTONES - I'd first heard the band on a number of excellent Funk & Soul compilations over the last few years, and was ever so pleased to find out that they were going to be playing a show here in Norwich. I immediately contacted Nick, and said "how about a session?", and Nick being Nick, he obliged. They left Newcastle at 8am, to get to the studio at 2pm, recorded the session in just a few hours, and were out of here by 5pm to go and soundcheck for their show.
THE ANNA MUDEKA BAND - I am in a band with an excellent drummer and lovely human called Tom. I first saw him drumming in a band called The Anna Mudeka Band a few years ago, and quite why it's taken me this long to book them for a session, I just don't know. This was a lot of fun, and I really emplore you to go and see them live, as Anna is a fantastic dancer, and it's not to be missed. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
TIBETAN NIGHT TERRORS - Well, today's session is gonna be a lorra, lorra fun! Even without the Cilla Black accent, it's going to be a surprise, surprise, and the unexpected is definitely going to hit you between the eyes, or rather, the ears. Haha, how's that for a description of the band! Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
THE SOUND OF SIGHT & ROPE STORE - What a night ladles & jellyspoons, what, a night! Kicking off the last Old School Studios Private Party we had The Sound Of Sight, which has been recorded for posterity, to analog(ue) tape, for your very, very ears. After that, we have the debut set by Rope Store. Or, part of it. Then, as if that wasn't enough, we have a snippet of the 3hr All Star Jam!
THE BARON FOUR - We've wanted to book The Baron Four for ages! And finally it happened, the planets and stars aligned. 60s Beat featuring Mike (formerly of Thee Vicars!), with enough energy to get anyone and everyone dancing. If you're in France, go and see them soon, as they seem very popular there.
NERVOUS TWITCH - This week, we're fresh, or rather, hungover, from the gig that Nervous Twitch did last night at The Blueberry in Norwich. The gig was great, apart from a couple of career drunk women "dancing" at the front, one of whom knocked Erin's synth off of its stand. Whoopsy Goldberg! Apart from that though, the gig was great, and we all hung out and had great chats afterwards. Then we stumbled into Old School Studios the next day for a quick session, before the band had to head off, back north to Leeds.
This week, we have a dreamy and reverb-drenched set from Cove Hithe. I'd never met them until this session, but my glamorous assistant Conor has seen them live before, and was very impressed. I think you will be too. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
BEBOX - Having seen Bebox do her live thing at a few gigs, including on of Iain Lowery's OST nights at Cinema City, I knew I had to snare her for an OSS session. A few failed attempts later, and here we are. Voice, and loop station. That's it. Here are the results. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
BORN LOOSE - What can I say about Born Loose that hasn't been said already..? A truly legendary live band from Brooklyn, fronted by one of the best frontmen in the world, ever, Larry May. On the night of the gig, I couldn't really understand a great deal of what Larry was saying between songs, but on this recording it's all crystal clear, and hilarious! Thanks to Sean and all my lovely friends at The Grand Victory. This one's a real doozy!
THE VICARS OF STIFFKEY - If you're wondering whether this week's band is really a bunch of vicars, from the village/town (I'm not sure which) of Stiffkey, on the North Norfolk coast in the U of the K, then you'll just have to stay tuned to my opening monologue to find out. That's all I'm going to say. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
FEDERAL TELE - I'm not very good with keeping up with all the latest hot genres, but I guess you'd describe this as post-rock. And it really does rock! And it posts a little bit too! So, that's both bases covered there. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
30 minutes of Gov’t Mule, who just added more dates to their tour with John Scofield. Plus, new tunes from Dangermuffin and Chris Robinson Brotherhood.
MARLA - It's a sort of return visit for Marla, only last time they were here the band had a different name, and a load of different songs, and we were in a different building. So, probably not worth mentioning that..I'm pleased with the sound of this session. Nice and bangy. That's two good things. Hey, Whaddaya Say, Let's Radio!
THE RED CORDS - It's party time here at the studios they like to call old school. And kicking it off we have, or had (because the party was a few weeks ago) The Red Cords! Their set blew the cobwebs out of my ears. I really should've cleaned my ears before now, but it just never occurs to me, honest!