Osees – Protean Threat

John Dwyer, extraordinaire-extraordinaire, delivers the first real album from the latest psych-O incarnate: Osees (drop the “H” you dust sucker!) What was previously long and lysergic-dipped jazz ooze (2019’s Face Stabber) is now quick pelts of ice-punk burst. As in the proverbial “WE,” we call it: Protean Threat. WE just got word back from the Nationale Garde,… Continue reading Osees – Protean Threat

Golden Anniversary for The Grateful Dead’s Beauty

It could be strongly asserted that 1970 was The Grateful Dead’s banner year, if for no other reason than their two most revered and enduring albums were released within months of each other – Workingman’s Dead in June of ’70, and American Beauty the following November. The professional archivists at Rhino Records released a 50th… Continue reading Golden Anniversary for The Grateful Dead’s Beauty

The Marshmallow Ghosts Count Down to The Witching Hour

For 12 years, Savannah-based Ryan Graveface’s spookcentric project The Marshmallow Ghosts has released annual Halloween-themed records that are as distinctive in packaging as they in concept. This year’s offering, The Witching Hour, is presented as a radio show featuring a mix of call-in ghost stories interspersed with songs by The Marshmallow Ghosts, San Francisco’s swirly… Continue reading The Marshmallow Ghosts Count Down to The Witching Hour

Joe Satriani

The Spice of Life: Gettin’ Shifty with Joe Satriani “People need music in their lives,” says legendary rock guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, calling from his home in San Francisco. “We put on music when we’re happy, when we’re sad, when we need it to accompany us and help us get through life. So all these… Continue reading Joe Satriani

Green Day – Father of All Motherfuckers

Green Day’s latest can easily be labeled as mediocre to confusing. On one hand it’s slightly refreshing, because it’s kind of a departure away from their super-radio-friendly pop of the last ten years or so. It has some semblances of rock ‘n’ roll (and some crumbs of punk rock). On the other hand, it’s just… Continue reading Green Day – Father of All Motherfuckers

Hot Tuna

Golden State: Hot Tuna are Still Torching Stages Fifty Years In Guitarist, singer and songwriter Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady formed Hot Tuna in 1969 while ascending with Jefferson Airplane. Currently with drummer Justin Guip, Hot Tuna is a raw and powerful electric rock ‘n’ blues beast. Although the “Rampage Years” of the ’70s… Continue reading Hot Tuna

Keep Music Evil

Keep Music Evil: The Brian Jonestown Massacre Story By Jesse Valencia [Jawbone Press] There was a weird little lull in the, ahem, progress of indie rock, or whatever had become of it, in the late ’90s. You remember the deal: In the post-hardcore ’80s (I’m referring to the period after first wave hardcore, not the… Continue reading Keep Music Evil

White Owl Red – Existential Frontiers

San Francisco-based singer-songwriter J. Josef McManus and friends soar as White Owl Red on the McManus-led project’s new album, Existential Frontiers. As its title teases, the album tackles deep questions with music inspired by the Wild West mythos. The title track sets the pace for McManus and his supporting cast: drummer Kyle Caprista (Chuck Prophet,… Continue reading White Owl Red – Existential Frontiers

Chris Shiflett

Back & Forth: With a Cali Punk Pedigree and a Longstanding Gig as Foo Fighters’ Lead Guitarist, Chris Shiflett is Now Being Hailed as a Rising Country Rocker For nearly 20 years, Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters has reigned as one of the last gun-slinging lead guitarists standing in mainstream rock. As a West… Continue reading Chris Shiflett

Fare Thee Well

Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of the Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip By Joel Selvin, with Pamela Turley [Da Capo Press] “Deadhead approval…courting the Deadheads. Deadhead loyalty was a valuable commodity. They owed their status and power to Deadhead approval.” The Deadheads are what made The Grateful Dead. The same claim could be made… Continue reading Fare Thee Well

Mother American Night

Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Times By John Perry Barlow, with Robert Greenfield [Crown Archetype] “All of a sudden, Hunter whirled on me and said, ‘Why don’t you write with him? At least you like him.’ And I said, ‘I don’t know that I know how to write songs.’ He said, ‘I’ve read… Continue reading Mother American Night

Been So Long

Been So Long: My Life and Music By Jorma Kaukonen [St. Martin’s Press] “Being a touring musician is not for everyone. It’s not even for every musician,” says Jorma Kaukonen in his new autobiography. For over 50 years, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen has been on the road. First with his local teenage Washington DC bands, then… Continue reading Been So Long

Tony Molina – “Kill the Lights”

Tony Molina has been putting out solid music for quite some time, but unless you frequent Bay Area house shows you can be forgiven for an inability to recite his catalog. Most of Molina’s output has come via a parade of bands (of which the pleasingly lo-fi Ovens were the most prolific) but once he… Continue reading Tony Molina – “Kill the Lights”

What’s Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean?

What’s Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean? The Moby Grape Story By Cam Cobb [Jawbone Press] As the summer of ’67 approached, it was a time of possibilities, as Crawdaddy would attest in February 1967: “The most exciting, and most sought after (by the record companies) new group of the West Coast, is… Continue reading What’s Big and Purple and Lives in the Ocean?

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: It’s Better Than Wiping Asses With a distinctive sound that draws from shoegaze and garage rock, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has spent 20 years building a sizable fan base. The band’s eighth album, Wrong Creatures, was released in January and charted in at least eight countries worldwide. In February, the group… Continue reading Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

I Scare Myself

I Scare Myself By Dan Hicks [Jawbone Press] When I interviewed Dan Hicks years ago, I asked him about his rich history – starting out in the proto-psychedelic Charlatans in mid ’60s San Francisco all the way through his singularly genre melding conglomeration that became Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks – and asked if… Continue reading I Scare Myself


Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day By Joel Selvin [Dey Street/William Morrow] OK, I’m going to go ahead and assume that all you super-hip readers of Stomp and Stammer already have a pretty good idea of what went down at Altamont: A shitload of people showed… Continue reading Altamont

Bob Weir – Blue Mountain

From Misfit Power to Elder Statesman, Bob Weir’s life (and the aforementioned transformation) has been spent onstage. For the one person in history who has been either onstage and/or recorded more than any other person (prove me wrong), he has spent relatively little time in the studio. Blue Mountain, Weir’s first solo release in over… Continue reading Bob Weir – Blue Mountain

Barbara Manning Returns… Sort Of

Barbara Manning was responsible for some of the 90s’ best indie pop, but sales never matched her acclaim as a Godmother of DIY songcraft, and the Northern California native eventually faded from view. Until now. Manning has resurfaced on Bandcamp with a portion of her back catalog as well as Chico Daze, a collection of… Continue reading Barbara Manning Returns… Sort Of


Presto Change-O: Art + Music + Deerhoof = Magic After over 20 years of musical experimentation, spread across over a dozen albums and the occasional lineup change, fans surely would’ve understood if noise pop fixtures Deerhoof slowed down a bit in 2016. Instead of taking a breather, the band has wowed longtime listeners with two… Continue reading Deerhoof

Memoir From a Damaged Civilization

Memoir From a Damaged Civilization By Dave Dictor [Manic D Press] Dave Dictor was (and still is) the vocalist for MDC, the band whose evolving acronym stood for Millions of Dead Children, Multi Death Corporations and (most memorably/provocatively) Millions of Dead Cops. The group began in the late 1970s in Austin, Texas with a more… Continue reading Memoir From a Damaged Civilization

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive

Hopefully Thao Nguyen won’t be offended by the suggestion that her new album deserves joint billing. Rarely does a release so clearly bear the fingerprints of its producer – in this case Merrill Garbus, the mastermind of Tune-Yards. Like a Tune-Yards record, A Man Alive sounds like it’s emanating from blown-out speakers on a Caribbean roadside.… Continue reading Thao and the Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive

Fortunate Son

Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music By John Fogerty with Jimmy McDonough [Little, Brown & Co.] “To me a record is a presentation,” writes John Fogerty. “You’ve thought all about it, the arrangement, the mix – that’s why you can hear the singer a little louder that the drum or the bass. You’ve prepared this.… Continue reading Fortunate Son

Lenny Pickett

Lenny Pickett has played in the SNL band for 29 years.

Honky Dory: For Lenny Pickett, Life is One Long Saturday Night There it is, every week, at the finale of Saturday Night Live. The cast spills out on stage with Justin Timberlake or Alec Baldwin or Miley Cyrus, everyone hugging and linking arms and making googly-eyed faces at each other as the credits start to… Continue reading Lenny Pickett

Moon Duo

Lunar Eclipse: Moon Duo’s Multi-Sensory Stimulus Act Moon Duo’s music has been described – fairly accurately, if ultimately unsatisfactorily – as psychedelic Krautrock. My housemate, however, misheard that term and thought it was “sauerkraut rock.” Well, hey, maybe we need to invent a new ridiculous genre name for the groovy stew conjured by soulmates Ripley Johnson and… Continue reading Moon Duo

The Fresh & Onlys

Embracing the Awkward: The Fresh & Onlys’ Forever Romance San Francisco’s Fresh & Onlys haven’t changed much in the past five years. It’s true that their latest LP, Long Slow Dance, offers a new, cleaner aesthetic in comparison to the distortion-heavy sound of their first three albums. Frontman Tim Cohen and bassist Shayde Sartin insist… Continue reading The Fresh & Onlys

Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger

Ty Segall is one of those sonic mad scientists, a Robert Pollard-meets-Jay Reatard type who releases at least one album per season – plus a deluge of side projects. This guy either loves music or is so tormented by his muse that he just can’t stop. Or maybe a little of both. Whatever the case, Segall’s… Continue reading Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger

Deafheaven – New Bermuda

So why has Deafheaven’s rise to semi-popularity been such a source of contention for the metal community? Is it because vocalist George Clarke looks like he stepped out of an Express Men’s catalog? Is it because the band’s seamless melding of postrock, shoegaze and (yes) emo styles with black metal is taken by black metal’s… Continue reading Deafheaven – New Bermuda