Brothers Anton and Lewis Patzner of Judgement Day have been bringing their unique, high-energy brand of “string metal” to rabid audiences for over half a decade now. Their innovative style and shredding chops on violin and cello have earned them US and European tours with buzz bands like Mates of State and dredg and guest spots on the albums of heavy-weights from Bright Eyes to Slash. Add to the line-up the heavy-hitting, double-kick-pedaling drummer Jon Bush and an extensive array of vintage effects pedals and you’ve got a highly unique concoction that TheBayBridged.com calls “a distinctly progressive, experimental take on the guitar-less metal band, taking full advantage of the strengths of the strings while pushing the sound in unexpected directions.”
Meet the Oakland quartet Audrye Sessions. Their self-titled debut on Black Seal — available early 2009— is packed with polished, propulsive rock songs and gentle, stripped-down tunes with the kind of ear-grabbing melodies that instantly hard-wire themselves into your brain. Recorded with Andrew Scheps (U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash) and Matt Radosevich (The Hives, Taking Back Sunday), the album is anchored by Ryan Karazija’s remarkable voice, which is whisper vulnerable one minute, roiling with emotion the next and easily slips into a smooth falsetto.
Audrye Sessions arrived when bassist Alicia Marie Campbell met Karazija, who was gigging solo in coffee houses after his previous band split up. His early musical loves included the Beatles, Metallica, Michael Jackson, Radiohead and Oasis. But Karazija’s true love has always been slow-churning melodies (“My heart beats slow,” he says), and when he hooked up with the Björk-adoring former model Campbell, it was time for a change. Looking for more players, Karazija hit Craigslist and stumbled upon Michael Knox, who answered a seeking-guitarist ad by announcing he didn’t have a guitar. The band’s current drummer, James Leste, has been part of the lineup since 2007 and Knox says they’re an eclectic little family now. The outfit picked up the monikerAudrye Sessions from a commercial for a CD burner that happened to be on the television when a venue called demanding a name.
Audrye Sessions shows off Karazija’s unbelievable command of melody and the band’s ability to channel his vision into masterful rock songs. First single “Turn Me Off” is actually darker than listeners would expect: “I was watching a show where James Gandolfini interviews people that have come back from war,” Karazija says. “There was one guy who lost his eyes and his life has completely changed. He has these awful dreams and doesn’t want to be alive. The song talks about being so messed up that you want to be shut off.” Karazija, who’s been known to text friends with complete songs he’s composed in the car so he can remember them, writes music before words, but knows his spontaneous writing process works just fine: “I’ll wait for lyrics to happen, and one day I’ll find something perfect.”
Peck the Town Crier
Peck the Town Crier is a musician and performance artist who divides his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.
His output includes albums (“Groundhog’s Day”), video (“Underwear”, see the video) and live performance art.
After a 5 year stint in New York, studying Jazz and radical politics, Peck returned to the SF Bay, and honed his skills as an MC and performer.
Peck’s last full-length, Groundhog’s Day was gestated on the street. “I wrote all those raps on Thursday nights, at the corner of 16th & Mission,” Peck explains, “it’s cultural chaos, with poets, break dancers, homeless folks speaking their piece. There’s no microphone, and it’s hard to grab people’s attention. All of that album was forged in those fires.”
Peck’s music has appeared on MTV.com, Current TV and on several Wall Street Journal shorts. “Underwear”, the lead single from Groundhog’s Day, is getting regular spins on Kpfa, Pirate cat radio, Kide, Kkup, Kcsb, Kalx, Kzsu. Other recent projects by Peck include Le Chronique, a free download album. It can be had at www.lechronique.net
This summer, Peck will release Home Phone, his first EP. He will also contribute two songs to Reach For the Sky, a Sky Saxon Tribute on GRA records.
Lumanation, has been energizing crowds and getting people out of their seats and onto the dance floor for 3 years. Hard working professionals who love to play, Lumanation have played house parties, festivals and 1,000 seat venues up and down the California coast and Tahoe. Venues such as The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, the Senator Theater in Chico and Squaw Valley Ski Resort have been the big rooms. Lumanation’s mix of Reggae, Rock and Ska, draws from many styles, but remains cohesive and uplifting. 2009 saw the release of their self produced 4 song EP, as well as opening shows in support of talent such as Pepper, Luciano and Iration.
Jeremy D’Antonio is a musician who traces his creative roots to the holiest faith: the city known as Santa Fe. With the lush cultural history of the Creative City (a UNESCO designation) swirling around him, D’Antonio’s imaginative sensibilities pushed him to look back to move forward. Immersing himself in the rich tradition of Americana music, D’Antonio burst forward in creating a unique voice that is at once steeped in this land’s dynamic history and captures its ever-changing present. In his music, the future is as wide-open as the long stretch of highway between Santa Fe and Denver, Colorado, the city where D’Antonio refined his musicianship, setting himself apart as a songwriter and guitarist in a scene that was exploding with new music. The Denver Daily News underscored this when they wrote: “Similar to Ryan Adams and Jay Farrar of Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt, Jeremy D’Antonio captures the mood of the country’s wide-open road and the possibilities and loneliness it can bring.”
Fierce Urgency of Now
The Fierce Urgency of Now was created several years ago to sonically reflect an aggressive and offensive world. Leaning on punk roots while dabbling in metal and jazz influences, they rock in dissonance. Never taking themselves too seriously, the band has been galvanized over the last 7 years through strong friendships and stronger cocktails.
From the rolling hills of Marin County, California (just north of San Francisco), home to numerous rock and roll legends, Santana, Metallica, Green Day, Sammy Hagar, Journey, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Primus and many more, HONEYDUST comes from a long line of true rock and roll pedigree. With the release of their debut CD “California Sunshine”, this band are poised to claim their place among these rock and roll legends. With well crafted original songs and sunny hook laden melodies, they have carved out a niche of their own amongst many of today’s “cookie cutter” rock bands. Their sound and high energy live show is a breath of fresh air for true fans of rock music. Bringing the raw dinge of Crazy Horse, the dueling southern guitar harmonies of The Allman Brothers and the classic song craftsmanship of Led Zeppelin into the 21st Century, they have truly created a unique style that is at once familiar, yet original. THIS IS ROCK AND ROLL!!!
Cup O’ Joe
Cup O’ Joe is a funky 5 piece band based in San Rafael, CA and is made up of over 50% bass players! Tim Baker, Brian Wilkerson, and Joe Nemzer on electric bass, Mark Heaphy on the drums, and John Varn on the keyboards. These guys play all of your favorite songs, but instead of vocals there is more bass……. melodic and with effects! They will take you on a musical journey with lots of energetic bass, drum, and keyboard solos. They put their own completely original, exiting twist on classic hits, and it’s never the same twice!
Jonny Sculls Flanagan
Jonny Sculls Flanagan wants to rock you out of this world- literally. Alongside his goals of releasing three albums and several music videos in the near future, Flanagan plans on going down in history as the first musician to play rock n’ roll music on the moon. Flanagan is definitely a musician with his own ideals. He describes his writing as “creep core,” a mix of creepy, dirty subjects, set with sweet love songs and beautiful melodies. This blending of the two has ensued in Flanagan’s lyrical satisfaction.
Flanagan’s new album is due out in 2010. To his audiences and fans, Flanagan says, “Whatever you are, be the best there is. If you’re a liar, be the best liar there is. If you’re a lover, be the best lover there is because doing anything half ass’d is pointless.” His aspirations of playing rock music on the moon should give you some idea of his originality.