Few bands have a theme song. Local heavy alt-rockers Travelling Ills do, but they kind of did it backward, since the song came before the name.
Ponderosa Pines, the debut release by local band Painted Horses, is a gorgeous record. They’ve taken an old-timey folk aesthetic and given it a mellow vibe, with subtle texturing of soft backing instruments. According to band leader Denys Kozakis, the songs are also quite personal.
Birthed in Santa Rosa, Chapter 11 Records now resides in the Santa Cruz Mountains, run by Ian Clark (from the Randumbs), Ben Coleman (ex-Feelers, current Roadside Bombs), Dusty Sheehan (Stellar Corpses, Black Tigers), Al Marks (of the Asti “Café”), and Noah Olmstead (Randumbs). While any chump can argue about what “punk” is or isn’t, the real punks are in the streets doing what they do best: taking control of their environment.
I first saw Tristan “Phonetic” McCormick at Streetlight Records. With his hoodie up and headphones on, he would silently dig through the bins and leave, barely making eye contact. Then I saw Phonetic, the Jekyll to his Hyde, spit rapid-fire lyrics at the Blue Lagoon to a stunned crowd—which erupted with raucous cheers.
When I saw the Bad Light last April, Edu Cerro’s metalish band had been searching for the right drummer for several months. It was their second show with drummer Dana Shepard, and as Cerro dug his fingers into his guitar strings, bending them into dizzying blues licks as his long brown hair swayed side to side, he would periodically look over at Shepard as if he couldn’t believe his ears.