This list is partly an appreciation, partly a primer for folks who may grow to appreciate P.D.Q. Bach given some options for staring points, and partly as way for me to process the loss of a truly gifted musician and humorist.
When I tally up my most-played artists of the last year, the vast majority of my Top 10 is basically indistinguishable from my Top 10 most-payed artists from 20 years ago. Is it my fault they insist on still putting out strong, fresh material?
This is an alternately twangy-and-laid-back and groovy-and-danceable and noisy-and-unhinged playlist this month. Just press play and treat yourself to the perfect mix for having your mind blown by the vastness of the night sky as you get ready to hit the clubs for a night of ranging against the machine.
It’s going to take more time to let these songs rattle around in my noggin. But there’s potential. Listen for yourself to this month’s playlist.
This is a good month, folks. I am excited about several of these new musical offerings from Oakland and Berkeley singer-songwriters, rappers, mystery jazz ensembles, alter-egos, you name it. I want to just jump right into it.
OK, so you might argue the Oakland alt-rock quartet is overplaying the “endearingly awkward” schtick. But those melodic riffs? The casual Teenage Fanclub mention in album PR write-up? The goofy DIY music videos? That genuinely funny bio (“internationally ignored song stylists”)? Objection overruled!
It can be time consuming to hunt for actual new releases by actual East Bay musicians. Is anyone crazy enough to do all that work and blog about it once a month for a non-existent readership and zero compensation from Bandcamp? We shall see!
If you’re a Dad Rock and ’90s Nostalgia aficionado, have I got 30 tunes for you to check out.
Diverse influences mix together to create genre-defying sounds, particularly laid-back grooves that conjure up carefree summer afternoons hanging with friends? That’s the Oakland sound in 2022.
Across the Bay Area, swarms of drivers are popping up twice a day or more. Police say these “flash mobs” are dangerous to everyone and prevent virtually any other uses of the public right of way.