rawk Archive

Album Review: Mark & the Clouds — Waves

Many artists have chosen the retro path. They write new, original tunes but aim for a sound and style that evokes the past. And like any other creative set of decisions, this approach can yield results that are successful, or not. When mining the musical aesthetics of the past, it’s far too easy to fall

Thirty Years with the Mother Hips (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two … “We started in Wisconsin and ended near San Francisco at the Shoreline Amphitheater,” Tim Bluhm recalls. “And by that time, we were headlining the side stage. It was a big moment for us: a lot of people say that’s the first time they saw us.” In 2007, around the time

Thirty Years with the Mother Hips (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Tim Bluhm concedes that the Mother Hips fan base isn’t as large as the following of some other groups, but he believes that their followers’ loyalty more than makes up for their numbers. “They’re very dedicated to what we do,” he says. But that doesn’t mean that they accept everything

Thirty Years with the Mother Hips (Part One)

Popular West Coast Band reissues its entire studio catalog, on vinyl for the first time Some artists have made a successful career out of establishing a signature sound and then sticking with it over the course of their entire catalog. Other artists take a potentially riskier approach, following their muse wherever it takes them. The

The Jenny Thing: Still Indie After All These Years

The Jenny Thing returns, and things are different Thanks in no small part to upstart record labels like San Francisco’s own 415 Records — home to The Red Rockers, Romeo Void, Translator and Wire Train — the alternative or “college rock” sound was an important part of the musical landscape of the late 1980s. And

Album Review: Richard X Heyman — Copious Notes

Richard X Heyman started making great solo records right out of the gate. Anyone who enjoys highly melodic rock with sterling pop values, hooks galore and just the right amount of oomph simply must own his first several albums. And they’d do well to purchase everything else he’s done, as the man displays impressive quality

Remembering Roky Erickson, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… But Luckin “couldn’t find any commercial American label that wanted to put this guy out,” says Chris Knab, co-founder of San Francisco-based independent label 415 Records. Selecting songs from the UK release and adding five other tracks from the sessions, 415 released the music as The Evil One in 1980. Taken

Remembering Roky Erickson, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Bill Miller would play amplified autoharp in Roky’s late ‘70s band, The Aliens, but by that time he had been a fan for years. He says that Roky was always unpredictable. “One thing about working with Roky: any day might be the last day,” he says. “Back in the days of

Remembering Roky Erickson, Part One

The Bay Area’s rich psychedelic music tradition has its roots in familiar places: Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company and The Grateful Dead laid the groundwork and built upon that foundation. More than a half century later, artists like The Fresh and Onlys, Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall carry on that tradition.

Album Review: Various Artists — Big Stir Singles: The Tenth Wave

And the hits just keep comin’, as they say. It’s too easy to label Big Stir as a power pop label. And in fact doing so is (a) too limiting and (b) unfair to the range and eclecticism that characterizes the label’s music. This ongoing (never-ending?) series of releases showcases an impressive stylistic variety. This