Important bits and pieces, odds and ends of Bay Area music news. Or, what's in my inbox?
Return to the misty grove with Anita Baker
The Stern Grove Festival kicks off its 75th season in less than two weeks (Sunday, June 24) with a free Anita Baker, Family Stone, and Glide Ensemble concert at 2pm. How lucky, that we have both the free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest and (unrelated, but akin in spirit) Stern Grove; that combination helps with sailing gracefully through the cruel, cruel summer and into the likewise gray fall.
The Stern Grove Festival has racked up more than six million visitors over these past seven decades, checking out a total of 750 live acts (including the favorable yearly appearances by the San Francisco Ballet, Opera, and Symphony).
Upcoming Stern Grove Fest concerts (always free, always outdoors and picnic-friendly, but bring a heavy jacket 'cause it gets mighty chilly out there):
July 1: Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Stone Foxes
July 8: San Francisco Symphony
July 15: Nitin Sawhney and Meshell Ndegeocello
July 22: The E Family featuring Pete, Sheila E, Juan and Peter Michael Escovedo
July 29: San Francisco Ballet
Aug. 5: Ozomotli and SMOD
Aug. 12: Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio, Mara Hruby
Aug. 19: San Francisco Opera
Aug. 26: OK Go and the Family Crest
All concerts begin at 2pm at Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, SF.
Vociferous hometown heroes
Today local garage-punk golden boy Ty Segall announced a co-headlining tour with everyone's favorite SF psych-monsters, Thee Oh Sees.
The prolific Segall, known for an abundance of releases and relentless touring (in 2012 thus far he has already released Hair, a split with White Fence, and is about to drop Slaughterhouse with the Ty Segall Band, plus played the epic Bruise Cruise), also debuted today his "Drag City Limits" video:
Only issue here – there don't seem to be any Bay Area shows on that list of co-headling dates yet. There's got to be one coming up though, right?
Ode to joy
Finger-picking Bay Area singer-songwriter-guitarist Emily Jane White's latest album Ode To Sentience is out today on Antenna Farm Records. As with her previous work, the haunting Victorian America, this dark-folk LP is inspired by the America of yore, literature, and stories referencing past eras of this weird country, along with all the gossamer visions of our own ghostly past, specifically, “Depression-era blues...Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s [1892 short feminist work] The Yellow Wallpaper.”
She celebrates the release with a show tonight at Brick and Mortar Music Hall, and another Sunday at Amoeba in Berkeley.
Tue/12, 9pm, $5-$8
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
Sun/17, 4pm, free
2455 Telegraph, Berk.
Damn the man
Former KUSF music director, and current Save KUSF spokesperson Irwin Swirnoff sent out an informal update today regarding the state of the station sale, and the need to continue fighting for its rights.
In the email, Swirnoff explained the FCC media bureau's ruling last week:
“On one hand, they fined USFand CPRN $50,000 – yet in a private back door meeting a month ago with those parties they reached an agreement to approve the sale. Once again the public's airwaves were being silenced and sold off behind closed doors with no public input or transparency.”
Swirnoff added that those working to save KUSF are forging ahead with an appeal, despite these setbacks.
“This issue is bigger than KUSF – this is a national crisis of universities selling off the public's airwaves to the highest bidders. The players who are buying these stations are doing so to create a media monopoly on the left side of the dial, and strictly using their place on the public's airwaves as a means to raise money for private institutions, often using classical music as a way to reach the wealthiest donors.”
In the conclusion of the letter, he included another compelling reason why the sale of KUSF is important to the rest of San Francisco, beyond fervent listeners.
“We are losing true diverse, local, cultural programming that really reflects the vibrancy of our city. This is about the commodification of the non-commercial side of the dial. As the public's access to true, non-commercial, and free media becomes less and less, it's so important to protect the last vestiges of true community media/culture.”