Music on SFMission.com and Carnaval.com:
Upcoming Indie Music Events
Small Webcaster Amendments Act
The Bay Area has been at the forefront of both music and activism for decades, so it shouldn't come as a surprise Rusty Hodge, founder of SomaFM, played an important role in the passing of this legislation in 2002.
The legislation provides for discounted license rates - negotiated by record labels and small webcasters - that apply when small webcasters broadcast copyright music on the Internet. Fifty percent of the digital license payments are required to go to recording artists - including royalty artists, session musicians, and session singers.
While the SWAA was not ideal and far from perfect, it did save many web radio stations a good deal of money. For examples, instead of paying $500 a day, SomaFM only has to pay $2000-5000 a year.
More Web Radio & Directories:
SomaFM - The big boy. Made of seven different stations, playing downtempo, IDM, house, ambient and indie rock. And it remains mainly commercial free.
5lowershop Soundsystem - Primarily features experimental dance music. Also hosts fundraisers for good causes such as anmal rights.
Enemy Combatant Radio - Riot grrrl, feminist rock, gay African diaspora, environmentalists ... not your typical radio voices.
Love Underground Visionary Revolution - Founded by local experimental media mogul Frank Moore. Just about anything goes in the 24-7 streaming content: anarchist speeches, old blues, sex shows ... you name it.
San Francisco Liberation Radio - Operated for 10 years without license on 93.7. Repeated appeals to the FCC for a license were rewarded with a raid in 2003, which shut down the offices. Now SFLR has taken its voice online, continuing to promote eclectic music and community activism.
sfSoundRadio - Features experimental, improv, noise, contemporary composition and other new forms of music being created in the Bay Area.
True Skool - preserving hip hop and funk. A resource for the Bay Area’s up and coming musicians, events, as well as hip hop & funk history.
Bagel Radio - The spot to hear indie rock.
Some fast facts, as of April 2006 --
* It is the largest online social networking portal on the web
The MySpace search engine allows you to search for artists within 5 to 500 miles of a zip code, and narrow your search by choosing from terms such as genre, influences, and what the band sounds like.
|Bay Area Artists & The Power of MySpace||
MySpace Music News |
The trend started with the fatally successful Friendster, which became slow and unwieldy as the site’s traffic grew beyond its capacity. Friendster began losing its enthusiastic participants to Tribe.net, MySpace and other competing networking sites.
These days, it would seem that MySpace has emerged the victor. Its appeal lies chiefly in the fact that users’ profile pages are highly customizable--having the potential to become a uniquely expressive piece of art or a muddled mess of beeping, flashing annoyance. MySpace pages boast video clips, music samples, and custom backgrounds and fonts.
One way to find out about live music on Myspace is by clicking on the shows page.The best thing about these shows is that many of them are small and might be hard to find in other places. And if you get the itch to hear a band from another area, the most fun way might be to look through your friends? profiles to see what bands are their friends.
This is a good way to learn about up-and-coming bands without wasting too much time researching the scene. Let the cool people be cool while you kick back and listen to the sweet music that they spent hours trying to find.
one of the small hassles of Myspace, along with occasional
tedious searches, slow loading and annoying ads; but the world
community of new music that Myspace created makes it worth it. Google Search:
Google Search:MySpace + San Francisco Bands
Still running hot into 2006, podcasting is the fusion of the Internet, blogs, Napster, TiVo, reality TV and Apple Computer's popular digital music player. This trend may point towards the new direction in the democratization of media, and provides hope for those concerned with media hegemony.
The most popular shows claim thousands of listeners, and run a gamut of topics from sex and food to religion and politics. Most shows are recorded at home and then posted to the internet for downloading. The advantages over radio? You can listen to your favorite show whenever you want, and there tends to be a more raw, "genuine" aesthetic than what you might hear on the radio.
Other companies are trying to cash in. San Francisco startup Odeo hopes to create an online podcast directory. Slapcast.com of Arlington, Va., is offering podcast hosting services for $4.95 a month.
Scott Chacon, 25, a Democrat from Dublin who plans to run for Congress in 2006, hopes to use the new medium to reach far-flung voters in California's 11th Congressional District, which includes parts of Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties.
Homespun shows find big audience
A Little History ...
Podcasting began taking off in summer 2004 when Adam Curry, best known as a former veejay for MTV, wrote a computer program called iPodder, which automatically downloads audio files posted on personal Web sites or blogs.
With iPodder or any similar podcast aggregator (the site PodcastAlley.com lists at least 17 of them), you can subscribe to a number of podcasts. From that point on, whenever a new podcast is posted online, the software will automatically download it to your Internet-connected computer. The podcast can then be loaded into an iPod or similar MP3 player.
There are now thousands of podcasters on the Web. These shows, most converted to the MP3 audio format, cover everything under the sun, from rock 'n' roll reviews to a Chicago youngster talking about the new Robosapien Robot he got for Christmas.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 2.28.05
Google Search: sfgate.com 2005
"Last month, I had 156,000 downloads. It's one of the most exciting things that has happened since the beginning of the Internet.'' -- Michael Butler, Rock and Roll Geek Show
San Francisco Podcast Network
|Who's Next? New Top Artists in the Bay Area||
San Francisco Music |
The biggest Bay Area name in music of late has been pop-punk act Green Day. American Idiot took home the Grammy for Best Rock Album of 2004, cracked the Billboard Top 100, and was notable for its vocable criticism of president George W. Bush.
From Rollingstone.com: "With snappy, three-chord songs driven by effectively unshakable rhythms and squinty-faced vocals, Green Day have set the standard for Punk-Pop. Green Day came together at a time when Berkeley, Calif., was bubbling with new bands who were blowing air into Punk's gasping lungs. Though not the first Bay Area Punk band to sign with a major label, they have certainly gone on to be the biggest. Green Day remain as obnoxious and wily as when they were teenagers."
So, who's the top-selling Bay Area rock band? The answer may surprise you: it's none other than long-time head bangers Metallica. The group has survived membership changes and battles with P2P users and Napster, not to mention some trips to rehab, but they keep on rocking -- hard.
From Rollingstone.com: "San Francisco's Metallica rule all that is metal. Their inexhaustible energy and masterful riffage have the uncanny ability to compel metalheads, indie geeks, hippies and punks to simultaneously pump their fists in the air. Combining genre-defining Speed Metal with spit-in-your-face punk attitude, Metallica provided perfect crossover material for millions of disaffected youth, garnering the band a legion of fans as loyal as they are diverse."
Hip-hop, electronica and turntablism have all become an integral part of Bay Area music. Top hip-hop acts include the Quannum label featuring critically acclaimed artists such as DJ Shadow, Blackalicious and Lyrics Born. Over in Oakland, The Hieroglyphics have achieved widespread fame, especially with the appearance of Del tha Funky Homosapien on the Gorillaz project. Behind the decks, Mixmaster Mike (the Beastie Boy's DJ) and QBert have become heros to would-be DJs around the globe. And on the electronic front, glitch artists Matmos have become big names for their collaborations with Bjork.
Or, to get an idea of up and coming Bay Area artists, check out this list of top 2005 albums from sfgate.com:
Best Bay Area Albums of 2005 by Aidin Vaziri
We've compiled a list here of some of the best albums to come out of the Bay Area. Some of these albums were smash hits; others were commerical flops that went on to attain cult status. All of them were important and influential in some way. This is by no means a comprehensive list -- but it should give you a idea of the diverse talents and voices that have come out of the Bay Area over the past 50 years.
The Beau Brummels - Triangle (1967)
Moby grape - Moby Grape (1967)
Sly & The Family Stone - There's a Riot Going On (1971)
Jefferson Airplane - After Bathing At Baxter's (1967)
Grateful Dead - Live/Dead (1969)
Alexander "Skip" Spence - Oar (1969)
Sylvester - Step 2 (1978)
Jerry Garcia - Garcia (1972)
Santana - Abraxas (1970)
Tower of Power - Tower of Power (1973)
Camper Van Beethoven - Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (1988)
Digital Underground - Sex Packets (1990)
Faith No More - The Real Thing (1989)
Counting Crows - August & Everything After (1993)
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing (1996)
Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted (1992)
Van Morrison - Saint Dominic's Preview (1972)
The Residents - Duck Stab/Buster and Glen (1978)
Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)
Chrome - Alien Soundtracks (1978)
Big Brother & Holding Company - Cheap Thrills (1968)
Blackalicious - NIA (2000)
Green Day - American Idiot (2004)
Check in for more top Bay Area albums in our imagefolio
More Top Picks
The many ethnic heritage and culturual festivals throughout the Bay Area are a great way to hear new music and have a lot of fun while you're at it.
San Francisco Oyster & Beer Festival
Norway Day Festival
Cinco de Mayo
North Beach Festival
San Francisco Aloha Festival
Since so many great bands have come out of the Bay Area, it should come as no surprise that the Bay Area plays host to some sizzling hot music festivals too. Here are some you don't want to miss ...
Noise Pop Music Festival
How Weird Street Faire
Mission Creek Music & Arts Festival
Stern Grove Festival
San Francisco Accordion Festival
San Francisco Free Folk Festival
Fillmore Jazz Festival
Love Parade San Francisco
San Francisco Blues Festival
San Francisco World Music Festival
San Francisco Jazz Festival
There are plenty of other great opportunities to hear great music in the Bay Area. Here are some of the top festivals and celebrations at which to hear great music.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Running all summer, the festival is a series of concerts and cultural events that are free and open to the public.
Black and White Ball
Live Oak Park Fair
Pier 39 Fourth of July Celebration
Bodega Bay Seafood Art & Wine Festival
Castro Street Fair
Exotic Erotic Ball
Links & Resources:
sfstation.com: music || clubs
sfgate.com music & nightlife
citysearch bars & nightlife
Bay Area Guardian Club Guide || Music Listings