Hot Stone Stars prides themselves on getting out there and playing music that they wrote from the heart, the old-fashioned way: jamming together until the songs take shape. The real trick is getting people there to hear it.
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.