//Playing The Bay

Every Tuesday, we explore the Bay Area music scene with an exclusive, in person video interview.

PLAYING THE BAY: Half Stack Has One Foot Out the Door in New EP Single “Goner”

“Goner,” the new single from Oakland band Half Stack, comes two years after their last release, 2018’s full-length Quitting Time. With an easy narrative and simplistic lyrics, it's the first track from their upcoming EP, Aw Hell. Half Stack have always played on the contrast of their youth with the twang of their old-school sound, [...]

By |2019-09-19T12:18:14-04:00September 18th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: Polkadot Spins Folktales Among the Flowers on Spring Songs EP

Polkadot’s most recent EP, Spring Songs, is a brief affair at four minutes and thirty-nine seconds. However, the two-song EP creates an immediate sonic landscape, an echoing folktale peeled from the page and delivered through ones and zeroes. With a stripped-down delivery and a slow, two-person harmony, Spring Songs does not tick my normal musical [...]

By |2019-08-28T23:38:49-04:00August 28th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: Grumpster is “Crumbling” in New Video

In the music video for “Crumbling,” by Oakland punk band Grumpster, lead singer Fayln Walsh tears off her baggy '80s color-block shirt during the final breakdown, flinging her limbs with detached singularity in front of a golden-hour graveyard. Cut in between shots of the band playing live, this is the first time in the video [...]

By |2019-08-21T18:12:49-04:00August 21st, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: Sour Widows Want You In On Their Townie Vibes

photo by Lynn Torres Sour Widows are here to educate the big-city people on the art of slowing down. “[Our music] has this lackadaisical, small-town vibe to it” says Maia Sinaiko, singer and guitarist for the three-piece Bay Area band. This can certainly be said of "Tommy," the preview single for their new [...]

By |2019-08-19T01:35:35-04:00August 14th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: Twin Peaks Promoters Expand Community With Two-Day Twin Shrieks Fest

Twin Peaks Sessions organizers Jonathan Abrams, Rianne Garrido and Michael Donnelly. Photo by Trevor Skinner. While ascending the steps to the upper level at Twin Shrieks fest, I almost knocked over someone's plate of watermelon. "Sorry!" I mouthed into the dark, settling down to watch the next set from on high. The plate [...]

By |2019-08-12T01:54:16-04:00August 7th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: Oakland’s Skip the Needle Are Done Holding Anything Back

photo by Irene Young. As Bay Area music industry veterans, the four members of Skip the Needle have run the gamut through the bullshit and, according to the lead single from their newest full-length project, they ain’t never going back. “We Ain’t Never Going Back” is the title track from Skip the Needle's forthcoming [...]

By |2019-07-26T12:01:24-04:00July 24th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: 10 Years On, Burger Boogaloo 2019 Must Reconsider Its Relationship With The City It Loves

all photos by Sophia Vaccaro   Walking up to the MacArthur entrance of the 10th annual Burger Boogaloo festival was akin to walking under the big top of a circus tent, the everyday machinations of Mosswood Park suddenly swathed by a curtain of pounding drums as children twisted on swing sets, their caretakers [...]

By |2019-07-18T10:10:35-04:00July 17th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: Kevin Nichols Rocks the Hallowed Grounds of 924 Gilman

photo by Rianne Garrido.   Kevin Nichols wanted to know how much time he had left on stage. “Till you puke!” cried the man behind me. This was met with silence, perhaps one nervous laugh, but I couldn’t help but appreciate the purity of an old punk sentiment in a an old punk [...]

By |2019-07-10T13:33:09-04:00July 10th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: Thank You Come Again Find Potential in Contrast On Debut EP

The debut EP  from San Francisco-based band Thank You Come Again occupies an interesting space between old-school rock n’ roll and something newer and more intimate. EP opener “Creature” starts us off with a grungy guitar riff that takes its time burrowing into one ear before the rest of the instrumentals join in. A few [...]

By |2019-06-25T17:53:21-04:00June 26th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

PLAYING THE BAY: Madi Sipes & the Painted Blue Find the Beat of a “Heavy Heart”

Credit where it’s due to Madi Sipes & The Painted Blue for maintaining a consistent aesthetic. The album art for the last few singles look like snapshots from the underground parlor of a lovelorn 1940s tattoo artist who hasn’t skipped a day of adding her beauty mark in the last 10 years. Their latest, "Heavy [...]

By |2019-06-22T19:37:01-04:00June 19th, 2019|COLUMNS, Playing The Bay|

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