• Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – March 2

    Tuesday Tracks: Your Weekly New Music Discovery – March 2

    Clockwise from top left: Stage Moms, Jetty Bones, Elise Davis, Slothrust, Jaguar Jonze and Cane Hill. Every week, there’s a plethora of new music at our fingertips. Artists on platforms like Spotify and Bandcamp are plentiful, and the radio offers a steady deluge of new singles, but who…
  • Interview: Hip-hop/bluegrass band Gangstagrass bridges genres, racial divides

    Interview: Hip-hop/bluegrass band Gangstagrass bridges genres, racial divides

    Gangstagrass, courtesy. New songs and bands end up on our radar because of the Spotify or YouTube algorithms based on listening habits. However, it creates a problem for bands with a unique sound, like Gangstagrass and their innovative mix of bluegrass and hip-hop. “Describing us with labels tends…
  • Insert Foot: What's that sound? Music (but coronavirus is still goin' round)

    Insert Foot: What’s that sound? Music (but coronavirus is still goin’ round)

    Insert Foot vs. music in the park. I heard something the other day so stunning that I nearly went and crashed my car. Well, maybe not that bad. It wasn’t like one of my daughters told me I’m becoming a grandpa, which would certainly run me off the…
  • REVIEW: Fans turn out for Jackie Greene Quartet's Fairfield livestream

    REVIEW: Fans turn out for Jackie Greene Quartet’s Fairfield livestream

    Jackie Greene performs during a livestream concert at the Downtown Theatre in Fairfield, Calif. on Feb. 27, 2021. Nathan McKinley/STAFF. There’s no getting around the fact that livestream concerts are a pallid substitute for live shows. However Jackie Greene and his band made an effort to make up…
  • REWIND: You may not know the Yardbirds, but you know their guitarists

    REWIND: You may not know the Yardbirds, but you know their guitarists

    The Yardbirds in 1966. Left to right: Jeff Beck, Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, Jimmy Page and Keith Relf. Courtesy. Way, way back in the early ’00s, when I was at Diablo Valley College (that’s in the East Bay), I took a lot of random and unnecessary classes to…
  • Guest column: Destroy Boys' Violet Mayugba on outside perceptions

    Guest column: Destroy Boys’ Violet Mayugba on outside perceptions

    Destroy Boys, courtesy. Editor’s note: The last time Violet Mayugba of the Bay Area’s Destroy Boys checked in with us, nearly a year ago, she (like everyone) was trying to adjust to the pandemic lifestyle. The music the band released back then strangely fit the newly uncertain times, even…
  • Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary on the band's SF jump-start, new solo LP

    Butthole Surfers’ Paul Leary on the band’s SF jump-start, new solo LP

    Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers, courtesy. Few stories in the annals of rock and roll rival the legend of the Butthole Surfers. The band of mega-misfits from San Antonio, which launched its career in 1981, embodied the ethos of excess in the triptych pleasures of sex, drugs…
  • INTERVIEW: Pell shining a light on New Orleans, yet going 'glbl'

    INTERVIEW: Pell shining a light on New Orleans, yet going ‘glbl’

    Pell, courtesy. New Orleans hip-hop artist Pell (Jared Pellerin) spent the first three months of the pandemic split between boredom and action. Living in L.A., where he had opened his own studio, Pell was already more than a year into a new venture that aimed to empower emerging…
  • INTERVIEW: Canadian Haviah Mighty breaks down barriers with "Obeah"

    INTERVIEW: Canadian Haviah Mighty breaks down barriers with “Obeah”

    Haviah Mighty. Photos courtesy Yung Yemi. Canadian hip-hop artist Haviah Mighty has seen her rapid success dominate her home country and beyond. She’s made waves with her breakthrough 2019 album, 13th Floor, becoming the first Black female rap artist to win the prestigious Polaris Prize. Now, she continues to break…
  • INTERVIEW: In divided times, Steve Hackett believes art can bring people together

    INTERVIEW: In divided times, Steve Hackett believes art can bring people together

    Like so many people around the world, Steve Hackett is not happy with how things are going. Speaking from his London home, he was clear about his disgust for what’s happening around the world and in his country, specifically. Under a Mediterranean Sky Steve Hackett Insideout Music, out…
  • When will concerts return to the Bay Area? Promoters speak up

    When will concerts return to the Bay Area? Promoters speak up

    The Smashing Pumpkins perform at Oracle Arena (now Oakland Arena) in Oakland on Aug. 27, 2018. When will concerts return to such a high-density attendance? Alessio Neri/STAFF. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ineffable Music booked and oversaw 1,100 concerts at the five venues it either owns or at…
  • INTERVIEW: New York producers Zach & Roger revel in strangeness

    INTERVIEW: New York producers Zach & Roger revel in strangeness

    Zach & Roger, courtesy. Zach & Roger, the Brooklyn-based production duo, have had a career so exciting that it borders on the bizarre. “We’ve been doing this for so long that so many strange things have happened to us,” Zach Seman says. “Traveling around the world, working with…
RIFF's 2020 in Review... in review!