At 20 years old, Tess Dunn has already got three alt-rock albums under her belt, is taking a full class load, and continues to fight a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis (CF), diabetes, and epilepsy. She’s so damn admirable that I found myself hoping she had some deep, dark secret to unearth. Continue reading »
“It’s 2015. We gotta stay away from the negative shit,” the San Jose-based emcee and producer Cola says on a recent evening, as he plays with the bottle cap of the soda he is drinking.
The emerging rapper is referring to the recent Chris Brown shooting at local South Side club Fiesta, but he could just as easily be discussing his own philosophy as an artist. He says he’s dealt with too much negativity in his past; now his focus is solely on empowerment, positivity and self-love. Continue reading »
By his own admission, Will Sprott has been doing “some strange things for money” these days.
After spending five years in Oakland, the San Jose-born singer, songwriter and former leader of The Mumlers is now living in Seattle. He moved there about a year ago, without any idea of where he would live or work. Continue reading »
It’s 10am on a Saturday morning inside the recently opened RockBar Theater. While the mood is light, it’s clear that this crowd is not composed of morning people. As Barbara Wahli, better known as promoter and manager Barb Rocks, admits at the start of the meeting, she’s running on only five hours of sleep after a long night in San Francisco. However, she assures her attendees that the coffee is on its way. This is the second meeting for the brand-new San Jose chapter of Balanced Breakfast, a group that looks to connect and empower music industry professionals to create a more vibrant music scene. Continue reading »
Fifteen seconds into Hard Girls’ newest album, A Thousand Surfaces, the band explodes with more power and ferocity than anything you’ll find on any of the San Jose group’s previous recordings. It’s the kind of agitated, visceral energy missing from a lot of punk rock these days. Continue reading »
Amy LaCour’s blend of funk and folk is a perfect fit for Red Rock Coffee’s “Western Songwriters” series. Well … except for the coffee part.
“I don’t drink it,” she laughs, “I drink tea.” The choice is fitting for the soulful songstress. Her understated delivery does not grab you by the lapels, like the firm jolt of coffee, but instead gradually wraps the listener in a warm calm, like her preferred drink. Continue reading »
What were you doing this weekend? Hopefully you weren’t at Chris Brown’s Capricorn Bash at The Fiesta Nightclub. Shots rang out inside the Southside dance hall early Sunday morning while the controversy-saddled R&B singer and rapper was performing his song “Loyal.” Five people were shot in the melee, but none were killed, according to news reports. Continue reading »
Murder mystery dinners are fun and all, but lets be real—aside from the candelabra used to bludgeon the poor victim to death, they just aren’t metal enough. That’s about to change this April, when Metallica guitarist and horror fanatic Kirk Von Hammett hosts his second annual Fear FestEvil in San Jose, which will feature a whodunnit dinner and party at the Winchester Mystery House and two days of punishing performances from the likes of Swedish face-melters Meshuggah and Oakland-based stoner metal trio High On Fire. Continue reading »
Cinebar, that venerable watering hole located at 69 E. San Fernando Street, may soon be sold, according to sources familiar with the situation. Continue reading »
“Everything is kind of cyclical,” says Mike Huguenor, lead singer of San Jose-based indie-emo-punks Shinobu. He’s referring to the tendency for musical trends to fall out of favor for a decade or generation before returning, slightly transmogrified and infused with a new youthful energy.
Huguenor is currently experiencing this phenomenon first hand, as his band is benefitting from what has been called an “emo revival”—a recent explosion of interest in bands playing ramshackle, indie-punk with emotionally raw, sardonic, literary lyrics. Continue reading »