• Q&A: Indian vocalist and doctor Janalynn Castelino breaking stereotypes

    Q&A: Indian vocalist and doctor Janalynn Castelino breaking stereotypes

    Janalynn Castelino, courtesy. By Rebecca Somers Rising Indian singer-songwriter Janalynn Castelino, who recently completed her academic training as a doctor, is living the best of both professions. The versatile multilingual singer—she covers Western pop, Latin pop, R&B, and Sufi-soul—has performed in English, Hindi, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, Spanish, Marathi and Punjabi. Her…
  • Insert Foot: Make your list, check it twice, and get back out there for live music

    Insert Foot: Make your list, check it twice, and get back out there for live music

    If Goose thinks he’s getting to cover Alanis, he’s in for a big surprise, because Insert Foot is vaxxed and ready for concerts. The crew at RIFF got the call this week … or maybe last week, but we got it: live music is back. Like fighter pilots…
  • Q&A: Alice Merton faces off with herself in "Vertigo," her first song of 2021

    Q&A: Alice Merton faces off with herself in “Vertigo,” her first song of 2021

    Alice Merton, courtesy. In the video for “Vertigo,” Alice Merton finds herself trying to escape an grungy industrial underground dystopia, only to find herself ensnared by numerous seedy characters. But while the song shares its name with a classic Hitchcock film, and the video certainly includes noir-ish shadows…
  • REWIND: It's going to be unseasonably hot so your music should reflect that

    REWIND: It’s going to be unseasonably hot so your music should reflect that

    Santana performs at Chase Center in San Francisco on Nov. 12, 2019. Joaquin Cabello/STAFF. On Sunday it’s scheduled to reach 91 degrees where I live. In April. Ninety-one degrees. It is far too early to be getting that hot. It bodes ill for the summer. Traditionally, by which…
  • Interview: Actor, writer, YouTuber Anna Akana nudging her music forward

    Interview: Actor, writer, YouTuber Anna Akana nudging her music forward

    Anna Akana, courtesy. Back when she was writing the songs on her debut album, 2019’s Casualty, Anna Akana had just left a toxic relationship, and her songs were both a form of therapy and a way to directly address her musician ex. Shortly after, she began writing what…
  • PHOTOS: WRECKNO, VEIL and Summ1t drop the bass at the Midway

    PHOTOS: WRECKNO, VEIL and Summ1t drop the bass at the Midway

    WRECKNO performs during an outdoor concert at The Midway in San Francisco on April 8, 2021. Onome Uyovbievbo/STAFF SAN FRANCISCO – Live music continued to inch back into Bay Area venues Thursday evening as The Midway hosted DJ WRECKNO, who received a warm welcome from a sold out and…
  • Interview: Dually talented Sarah Dooley is self-made, self-making

    Interview: Dually talented Sarah Dooley is self-made, self-making

    Sarah Dooley, courtesy: James Underwood. Comedian, musician and author Sarah Dooley, a creative powerhouse, might seem like she’s resting comfortably at the top of her game. But even after the release of her second album, Is This Heartbreak? Dooley has never stopped moving, making and re-making herself. “I started writing…
  • Gavin Newsom: Indoor concerts can return at full capacity on June 15 if trends continue

    Gavin Newsom: Indoor concerts can return at full capacity on June 15 if trends continue

    The crowd for Thrice at City National Civic in San Jose on Nov. 2, 2017. Chloe Catajan/STAFF. Updated on 10 p.m., April 7. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday that the state will fully reopen its economy on June 15 if hospitalization rates remain stable—and low—and people continue…
  • INTERVIEW: Cehryl on Hong Kong comforts and Boston nostalgia

    INTERVIEW: Cehryl on Hong Kong comforts and Boston nostalgia

    Cehryl, courtesy For singer-songwriter and producer cehryl, music is a life calling. Time Machine (EP) cehryl Nettwerk, April 9 Cehryl, whose name is Cheryl Chow, dove into songwriting and playing her own music before she was 9. The culture of her hometown helped her to be an observant…
  • Interview: Caitlyn Smith finds new life in 'Supernova' as song climbs country chart

    Interview: Caitlyn Smith finds new life in ‘Supernova’ as song climbs country chart

    Caitlyn Smith, courtesy: Shervin Lainez. If you ask, Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlyn Smith will tell you that a supernova is the fullest, brightest expression of a star in its final moments. But the artist, who built a career of songwriting for stars before her own ignited, hopes her second…
  • RIFF RADIO: Lacey Sturm finds raw honesty in return to hard rock roots

    RIFF RADIO: Lacey Sturm finds raw honesty in return to hard rock roots

    Lacey Sturm, courtesy. Initially, Lacey Sturm wasn’t quite ready for the release of her latest two singles, “State of Me” and “The Decree.” The duo of songs are heavy, aggressive, and some of her most hard-driving tracks of her career, like her earliest work. “I was not wanting…
  • Interview: The Fratellis' John Lawler lets the music guide the way

    Interview: The Fratellis’ John Lawler lets the music guide the way

    The Fratellis, courtesy. The Fratellis, and frontman John Lawler in particular, have had a career of ups and downs. Their rush to stardom almost 15 years ago, followed by their breakup and consequent reunion is the quintessential rock band tale, and one that seems to be heading toward…
Obituary: Rapper DMX dead at 50