Fantastic Negrito and Miko Marks sing a funky country ode to California wildfires
Alt punk rocker Kevin Nichols premieres new album at Bandcamp HQ; Good Compenny films local R&B and hip hop artists; and more Bay Area music news
Good morning. Hope you’re well. Lots of music news from around the Bay…
The Bay Bridged called it quits. 400 podcasts, 12,000 blog posts, and hundreds of events later, the beloved indie music publication focused on local music announced this week that it will be ceasing operations on October 1.
Oakland Symphony conductor and music director Michael Morgan died. Aged 63, Morgan recently developed a severe infection after undergoing a successful kidney transplant in May. He had served the Oakland Symphony for 30 years.
Noise Pop opened submissions for Noise Pop Festival 2022. After canceling this year’s event, the indie music promoter wants to hear from local bands and artists who could be a good fit for next year’s festival, slated for February 21-27.
Stern Grove Festival canceled its last summer show. A water main break on Sloat led to 700,000 gallons of water flooding Stern Grove and nearby areas, forcing the free summer concert series to cancel its final show with Tower of Power and Too $hort.
THAT NEW NEW
It all came together on that fateful day September 9, 2020. Everyone in Northern California woke up to a blood red sun on an orange sky. The air quality was the worst we had ever experienced. It felt and looked apocalyptic. Everything came to mind; climate change, drought, water management. It was quite terrifying and it inspired me to write a song that would bring attention to how treacherous our yearly fire season is. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes in fear of being trapped by fire. We must find the will to meet this environmental crisis.
So writes Fantastic Negrito, explaining the inspiration behind the new single “Rolling Through California”, a collaboration with fellow Oakland artist Miko Marks and the first release on his label Storefront Records. Mixing his funky psychedelic rock sound with Marks’ masterful country voice, it’s a painful but wonderfully Cali affair: The video is largely shot in what looks like a rural location, but it also features members of the Oakland Black Cowboy Association and scenes from West Oakland. In partnership with Defy:Disaster, a portion of the song proceeds will go to support firefighters, first responders, and communities impacted by wildfires throughout North America.
DJSAY (aka @sayheykiid), founder of Sauce Fam Collective (SFC), teamed up with fellow SF artists Baghead and Professa Gabel and LA artist ToBy on “The Coast”, more chill hip hop from the talented circle.
“Slight Work,” dropped by SF rapper Dregs One earlier this month, turns out to be the first track and single from upcoming full-length Corner Store Poetry. Out September 3.
Following recent releases by local acts Flowertown and April Magazine, Paisley Shirt Records is back with two new singles—“Alan Vega” and “Trotting Lemmings”—from the upcoming album Cielo Nublado (“Cloudy Sky”) by Oakland art pop trio Hits. Out September 17.
Just five months after his last full-length Winnebago, Sebastopol rapper J.Lately is back with Bodega, another half hour collection of easy listening hip hop featuring Dizzy Wright, Ian Kelly, the Grouch, and Fashawn.
You can now stream “Empathy I,” the first single from Haitian-American composer and sound artist Joel St. Julien’s next album EMPATHY. Out October 8 on Oakland label Land and Sea.
Disappointer, the new album from Oakland alt punk rocker Kevin Nichols, originally wasn’t due out until September 25—but why wait? Released on local art collective and record label Slang Church, the new album dropped last week in time for a livestream performance at Bandcamp HQ. Read more in an interview with Nichols on IDIOTEQ.
Vallejo’s LaRussell (read more about one of his projects below), SF’s Stunnaman02, and Dom Bailey come together on “MCI”, a goofy little hip hop track with casual flows and simple beats.
Oakland’s Primal Wound released 9-min synth pop jam “Ghost Kingdom” on Malibu label Manimal Vinyl.
Rocks In Your Head Records released “Sharon,” the first single from upcoming album At the Time I Didn't Care by SF painter and singer-songwriter Virgil Shaw.
Oakland producer 4d. released brief drum and bass track “I’m Sorry.”
Addictech Records (SF), purveyor of “high fidelity future music,” released bass-heavy EP Ultraniche by Melbourne producer Spoonbill.
Dark Entries Records (SF) released Tree Spirits by From Nursery to Misery, a little-known DIY experimental band from the UK active in the late 80s and early 90s. The new compilation is a follow-up to the career-spanning comp Pixies in the Woods (2017).
With a look that immediately reminded me of the excellent YouTube series COLORS, Good Compenny is a video series created by Vallejo MC and media producer LaRussell, landing at precisely the time when musicians needed a new way to reach audiences. While it’s not strictly focused on the Bay Area, there’s definitely a bounty of local R&B and hip hop artists represented, including Tessie, C5, Stunnaman02, Gunna Goes Global, Tah-Hir, Zharmila, Jazs, and LaRussell himself. Learn more on KQED.
You may have noticed a new banner at the top of this email. Or maybe you’d already seen the new logo on our social accounts. In any case, yes, we officially have a new look and feel. It’s meant to be more than decorative. It’s a sign that we’re serious about this whole “supporting Bay Area music” thing. For now that means that, aside from keeping these emails going, we’re working to host more events—disco house dance parties, live rock performances, ambient music events, and who knows what else. Shout out and serious thanks to Johal Design for helping with the logo.
P.S. We’ll always miss you, heart decoration emoji 💟
If you ever want to press play on the growing list of artists covered on White Crate, follow this Spotify playlist. Shuffle and crossfade recommended!