June has arrived and the Bay Area is full of rainbow flags and tourists. It's fun to see the city through their eyes. I'm spending most of this month writing new songs and working on recording the new Feral album. We'll start ramping up for more shows in late June / July and expect to see me and the band up in Canada again for this year's FarmFest on the beautiful island of Victoria. Good times. See you soon!
This weekend is going to be AMAZING - Come on out and have some fun with Feral or Vagabondage!
Saturday March 7
Catch Feral at The Double Standard Bar, 2424 Telegraph: "Crows at the Double Standard: The return of the Crows open mic with features in the round Amy Berkowitz; Vernon Keeve III; Jessica Dawson & Brian Dawson and musical guest Feral.
Doors at 6:30; Shows at 7:30. No cover but donation requested.
Sunday March 8
Blue Victrola Tea Presents: PANIC and GIVE UP
- March of the March Hare -
Sunday, March 8th
Konservatory / 7PM / 21+ /$8 presale or $12 @ the door
March 8th's event is Wonderland themed (yes, as in Alice), and is called March of the March Hare. And yes, OF COURSE there will be a costume contest (though a costume is not required) and the prizes will be delightful and perhaps a little bit mad. Mad as in crazy, not as in angry. The prizes will not bite you. Well at least it will only bite you out of craziness and not angryness. That's all I can really guarantee.
As always, tea cocktails, tea and other beverages can be purchased at the bar.
I know this site is normally all music all of the time, but I gotta get a bit real. Over the holidays I lost my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. The last two months of 2014 saw me and my partner lose four close family members, and the last two immediate family members were within six days of each other. In the last four years we've also lost her father, one of my most formative elders, and my grandmother - all of whom I was very very close with. So it's been a rough road in these parts. What keeps me going and keeps me sane is the music.
As you can tell from the shows page - I've had a new musical project named Feral for about the last year. What began as me doing a side solo EP grew into forming a whole new band with some of my collaborators. We're in the final stages now of mixing our album and can't wait to share it with you. It's full of the rawness, pain, and heartbreak of losing people, but also the joy of finding connection. Which is the story of the band too. We're all kinda broken from loss of people - whether it be romantic, friend, or family. And we put that energy into music that helped us survive the losses. Sometimes through rants, sometimes with humor, but always with heart on our sleeve rawness and guts out on the stage for you. It's some of the most honest music I've been a part of writing and a super inspiring 'everyone into the boat' sort of songwriting process. Even the songs that came to practice fully formed from one of our brains took on a new and improved life of their own when exposed to our process. And it's work I'm just so proud of.
Also Vagabondage is still trucking along and getting ready for our next EP release party on Feb 27. We've been playing less in the past year while we finished recording and mixing Slow Room Bar, plus our lead singer John has been acting in a bunch of shows around San Francisco, getting nominated for fancy awards, and blowing all of our socks off (yes - we go see his shows as a band. yes - we are those rowdy people that probably annoyed you). While we released our EP online in the fall - we're just now about to have the big, in person, buy a copy of the record party at the Stork Club. We even got buttons made for it! These songs I think are some of the best we've ever written. Primarily inspired by events that happened on our tour to the Pacific Northwest a few years ago... we've been woodshedding these on stages and at practice for a while and... it's just... pretty emotional and exciting for me to see them in real and actual physical CD format and ready for the world.
So - that's what it is. Music is trucking along as my lifeline to sanity. I hope you enjoy these little tunes I make. They're the beauty I have to offer the world.
Happy fall to everyone. October is my favorite absolutely sexiest month. Makes me want to jump in leaves and sing murder ballads. AND SO THAT'S WHAT I'M GONNA DAMN DO!
First thought - the shows. October is bringing me the chance to play with two acts that are absolute rock star royalty to me and I'm freaking JAZZED about it. And those who know how I feel about jazz know that this is no small thing.
First is this Sunday. Feral is playing with Lester T. Raww at Thee Parkside in SF. Lester is the one and only lead singer of The Pine Box Boys, a San Francisco country institution that commonly sells out venues like Slim's and the Great American Music Hall. He is bringing his solo project (and new solo album) to Thee Parkside just for you (and maybe the Bloody Marys). He is likely to have many guest musicians joining him, and he knows hella fancy people. So don't miss out on history in the making. Heck SF Chronicle even put us in the paper for it! www.sfgate.com/…/Feral-strips-down-folk-music-to-a-sharp-ed…
Next is the Feral show on Oct 25th at 50 Mason Social House. We're playing with local bands FrontJunk (if you haven't seen them - think Maker Faire meets junk percussion insanity meets Chicago Blues) and Three Drink Circus (a delightfully charming new band full of love songs, hate songs, and carefully-selected covers, blended to perfection and served with a squirt of lime in your eye) AND (drumroll please) international touring steampunk sensation FRENCHY AND THE PUNK! They recently topped the bill locally at Steamstock, have been named one of Yahoo Music's top 25 musical duo's ever - and they're hella nice folks. So get dressed up for the last Saturday before Halloween and let's have a freakin' THROW DOWN of fun.
Both shows are free. Musicians are getting paid by whatever money you slip into the tip jar or their pocket. So money ain't no excuse, we just wanna see your pretty faces!
In other news - the Feral International tour to Canada was illuminating. We learned that border guards WILL look you up on Facebook (but they won't friend the band), that the stars in Canada are A LOT bigger than the ones in Oakland, and that Victoria, BC has more talent than you can shake a stick at. Our time at FarmFest 8 and Logan's Tavern of the Damned were pretty great and it's pretty likely that we're going to keep crossing international musical streams as time goes on.
and for those wondering about Vagabondage - STAY TUNED! we have some exciting things coming up in December!
First - omg so excited. Tonight Feral is going to be back at the awesome Sidequest Gallery in Oakland for some good old fashioned folkpunk americana with LA's awesome Flip Cassidy. Show is right at 8pm so come and have some fun with us!
THEN! On Sept 17 Feral is going to be the opening band at 50 Mason Social House in SF and again, going on right at 8pm sharp! So come on over, get some drinks with us, raise a glass to my recent birthday and woo.
Lastly - on Sept 20 Feral is going to be rocking our own unique brand of americana in Canada! Does that make it Canadacana? We'll find out at this years FarmFest in Victoria. We'll also be the featured act at Mz Carolyn Mark's Hootenanny at Logan's Pub on Sunday - so put your friendly face on and say howdy.
The summer of 2014 officially is awesome. First! Vagabondage has released our new EP!!!! It's called Slow Room Bar and we wrote it while we were touring the Pacific Northwest a few years ago. Or rather, we had the adventures that informed the lyrics that made the songs on that tour. The songs themselves took a little more time to bake. So we added Sean (fiddle) and Scratch (junk percussion) to our line up, started woodshedding the songs live, and now, after a real professional recording session, after hiring the amazing artist Natalie Robles to draw the art, and after many hours of Scratch mixing, we can haz album. Hot damn is it good. You can listen / buy it here: http://vagabondage1.bandcamp.com/album/slow-room-bar.
Summer has officially arrived in Oakland and it is just great. I've so far been spending my time playing out at Jerk Church, hitting the Starry Plough with Vagabondage, and getting Feral ready for some album recording in July. All awesome all around. This month the wife and I are also celebrating 16 years together. Wow. Feels like no time has passed and also like I can't imagine this crazy artsy adventure of a life without her. Here's the recent times in pictures. Next stop playing a fancy old timey carnival wedding in Los Angeles. Woo!
where the rust belt meets the wild west