Music promoters in Sacramento gathered Sunday evening to discuss the need to create more local venues and how this would help the local music culture thrive. Time Tested Books hosted the Living Library discussion, called, “The State of Live Music in Sacramento.” Many panelists said that creating more venues in Sacramento is vital and find the city’s regulations to be a huge obstacle. No chairs were empty, and a crowd stood for the whole two hours of the event. When the moderator, local writer/music fan Dennis Yudt, asked if anyone present was a musician, more than half of the attendants raised their hands. Yudt spent the first hour and a half prompting the five panelists with questions –
If you're looking for an example of a band in the middle of making it big, look no further than The Joy Formidable. Formed in North Wales, the now London-based power trio has been riding a monster wave of success this year, touring and playing major U.K. and U.S. festivals – Reading, Coachella, Lollapalooza – and garnering praise from critics and their musical peers alike. They made such an impression on Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters earlier this year that he took to Twitter to sing their praises: "I would like to personally thank The Joy Formidable for writing the song of the year "Whirring". xxx Dave". The band will open several dates with Foo Fighters in November. The band has a massiv
In a rare all ages show at Harlow's last night, L.A.'s Uh Huh Her performed for a packed room of excited fans ready to make the most of a typically low-key Monday night. Taking their name from the 2004 PJ Harvey album of the same title, Uh Huh Her is a sultry electro-pop duo made up of ex-Mellodrone bassist and keyboardist Camila Grey (who has collaborated with Busta Rhymes, Kelly Osbourne and Dr. Dre) and musician and actress, Leisha Hailey, formerly of The Murmurs and most well known from her role as bisexual journalist, Alice Pieszecki, on Showtime's, “The L Word.” While Hailey's resume could suggest the band is an actor's passing fancy, the pair are seasoned performers and multi-inst
You know that song with the can't-get-it-out-of-your-head whistling called "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John that people seem to either love or hate? Los Angeles band Foster the People has a comparable track called "Pumped Up Kicks" – a sing-along with a cheery melody and dark lyrics about youth gun violence – that has the same effect. Polarizing song? For sure. One-hit wonder band? It doesn't look like it. Without seeming like they had anything to prove, the young group with more buzz than a beehive let its music speak for itself for a sold-out crowd at Harlow's Thursday night. Support act The Chain Gang of 1974 (aka Kamtin Mohager) from Denver came ready to warm up the crowd wit
No, Murder by Death is not a screamo or metalcore band. But the band does explore some dark themes, like revenge, the devil and drinking away your troubles with whiskey. Taking their name from the 1976 Robert Moore/Neil Simon film of the same name, the four-piece rock band from Bloomington, Ind., takes their listeners on a ride through a "country gothic" soundscape, led by the powerful Johnny Cash-meets-Nick Cave baritone of frontman Adam Turla. Armed with galloping punk-country, somber themes and interesting concepts — their 2003 "Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?" is an album about the devil being shot in a small, Western town and the aftermath that follows — this show ha
San Francisco art-pop band Deerhoof kicks off a new tour at Harlow's Thursday in support of the hot-off-the-presses LP release "Deerhoof vs. Evil." The quartet is recognized by many as pioneers of improv-style experimental pop, with its distinctive sound influencing many others: Sleigh Bells, Of Montreal, Xiu Xiu and more. Count on a striking sonic mix of poppy melodies, waves of noise, and chaotic fun from these former Radiohead tourmates. Potentially challenging, but sure to be fresh and different. Deerhoof performs at Harlow's at 9 p.m. Thursday, and tickets are $12. Nervous Cop opens.
Making a stop in Sacramento this Monday is a fresh, new band called The Gracious Few, featuring members of '90s alternative rock veterans Live and Candlebox. After Live effectively disbanded in 2009 due to the departure of singer Ed Kowalczyk, the remaining members sought to continue making music and recruited longtime friend and Candlebox frontman Kevin Martin for their new venture. Martin in turn brought aboard Candlebox guitarist Sean Hennesy to round out the sound and complete the lineup. TGF describes their sound as being influenced by '70s rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones. The band’s eponymous debut album was produced by Jerry Harrison of
If the long line snaking in front of Harlow’s on a chilly Thursday night was any indication, this city was ready to play with Cold War Kids. Indeed it was, easily selling out the popular venue and providing a packed, electric atmosphere for the Long Beach-based band to feed its ravenous fans. Anchored by the pounding kick of drummer Matt Aveiro and the soulful vocals of Willett, the ’Kids soldiered through a setlist that included several cuts from their first two albums, ’06’s “Robbers & Cowards” (“Red Wine, Success!” and “Hospital Beds”) and ’08’s “Loyalty to Loyalty” (“Mexican Dogs” and “Dreams Old Men Dream”), as well as ’09’s “Behave Yourself EP” (“Audience” and "Santa Ana Winds”).
The Submarines are an indie-pop group comprised of married couple Jack Dragonetti and Blake Hazard. Touring with drummer Jason Stare and new bass player "Scott," they passed through Sacramento on Wednesday night, playing a small show at Blue Lamp. If you don't recognize the band name, you would certainly recognize the music. Their songs have been featured in Nip/Tuck, Weeds, Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, and in maybe the most well-known placement, the songs "You, Me and the Bourgeoisie" and "Submarine Symphonika" were used in Apple commercials for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Originally working as solo artists in Boston, Dragonetti and Hazard played in each other's bands and were romant
There was a lot of fishnet at Blue Lamp on Wednesday night, which could mean a few things, but in this case it was lo-fi pop quartet Dum Dum Girls visiting Sacramento in support of their debut album I Will Be. Dum Dum Girls is led by Dee Dee (real name: Kristen Gundred), the creative force behind the all girl group, á la Trent Reznor. The name of the group is a nod to both The Vaselines' album Dum-Dum, and the Iggy Pop song "Dum Dum Boys". The 27-year-old singer/songwriter started recording songs in her bedroom and eventually looked to her friends to take the show on the road. The debut album I Will Be was produced by Richard Gottehrer, who is responsible for writing 60's classics "My Boy
A roadie turned on the smoke machine, and a few moments later, Portland by way of Alaska band Portugal. The Man emerged from the dense fog to take the Harlow's stage. The experimental indie rock four-piece visited Sacramento Thursday night, touring in support of their latest full-length American Ghetto. Portugal. The Man is John Gourley (Guitar/Vocals), Zachary Carothers (Bass/Vocals), Jason Sechrist (Drums), and Ryan Neighbors (Keys/Vocals). Think psychedelic indie rock with synth and dashes of electronica and hip-hop beats thrown in for good measure. It's a progressive and complex soundscape, and at the same time very much melodic and head-bobbingly accessible. Their show at Harlow'