When Circles Around the Sun was at SLO Brew Rock a month ago, the show sold out before the ink on that music column dried. Now they’re coming to the Castoro Cellars this Saturday, June 5th, 7-10pm, and there were still tickets left on June 1st, but if you want I would go to eventbrite.com right away and secure your seats – of course with limited capacity and socially distant.
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Under the auspices of Good Medicine Presents, the LA-based instrumental supergroup is playing in partnership with Numbskull and folkYEAH Castoro’s off-site venue ($ 55-70 at eventbrite.com) and touring in support of their third album.
“The seven-track collection marks a stylistic change from their previous LPs,” says the press release. “It’s a development where the band adopts a slimmer, shinier, still dance-like version of themselves, a cosmic disco of body and soul that is still anchored in the groove but soars to the stars. It’s the only thing that has evolved. Circles has changed internally since their last LP. It is a story of life, death and rebirth, of love and loss, of sloughed skin and new beginnings. ”
On the new self-titled album, guitarist Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Ryan Adams), bassist Dan Horne (Cass McCombs, Jonathan Wilson), keyboardist Adam MacDougall (Black Crowes) and drummer Mark Levy were looking for a happier sound and found it in a drum machine.
“The built-in beats are actually pretty janky,” said Horne. “But we knew we wanted to do more with a dance-like, groove-driven album that would be translated live to give our shows a more energetic feel.”
They list P-Funk, Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters, and the seductive instrumentals of the Beastie Boys as inspiration for using the 1983 drumtraks system.
“This band was never something I thought would be a one-click finish,” MacDougall said, referring to the drum track, “but we all talked about it being more of a fun record, so hung up we put some mirror balls on and played a lot of dance music! ”
It’s a new sound for a great band that you will put deep in their groove pocket and will take you on a sonic journey into unknown spaces.
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This coming Thursday, June 10th, Good Medicine is bringing ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) to Castoro for another outdoor show (7pm to 10pm; $ 55 to $ 70 at eventbrite.com). These guys are great live!
“ALO is a lot,” says keyboardist Zach Gill. “Simply put, it’s a rock band, a family, an art outlet, a community and a business. But that just scratches the surface of this 30-year quest for musical visions.”
Gill started the funk ‘n’ roll outfit in 1989 when Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz and Steve Adams started playing together when they were 13.
“We’ve all been through so much together, there’s a lot of trust,” noted Lebo. “This longstanding relationship between us is a nice thing.”
They recorded their debut album when they were high school graduates, moving to college in Santa Barbara, and now they have nine studio releases and two decades touring.
Their latest Creatures Vol. 1: Spark, has added a new member, drummer Ezra Lipp (Phil Lesh & Friends, Stu Allen & Mars Hotel, Magic In The Other) who took over longtime bandmate Dave Brogan. These days they are working on a number of EPs.
“We love the process of the full album, but there are so many different ways to get your music out these days,” said Adams. “For us, the decision to make EPs was like, ‘Why not try it? We like new things.’ Only four songs for each round in the studio. It was manageable and was fun. ”
Brass Mash will be back at Liquid Gravity on Friday, June 4th (6:45 pm; free of charge) and is getting going again after a pandemic-related break: “The last few months have been an absolute whirlwind!” Band leader Colin Dean said. “In February the band barely worked and we just sat around waiting for the world to open up. When California and SLO County opened up, our monthly Liquid Gravity shows in March, April and May were really mind blowing. Limited capacity made for long lines by eager concert goers: It was great to have so much energy around the events, but I really hope people know that we will continue to have our First Friday events this summer and fall. ” Get there early!
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Steve Key is bringing his Songwriters at Play series to Sculpterra Winery this Saturday, June 5th (noon to 3pm; free; all ages), where he will be joined by touring troubadour Rags Rosenberg and local favorite Jim Conroy. Rosenberg is a songwriter and poet who “spent a lifetime searching the leftover parts of the world and himself trying to make an archive record”. Conroy is a well-known theater actor and a member of Burning, Bad & Cool.
Tropo with special guest Felly Fell plays SLO Brew Rock on Saturday, June 5th (6.30pm; free). Tropo is Tyson Leonard, a monster violinist and creator of organic live electronic music. He often performs solo, but sometimes with guest musicians to create hypnotic house music.
Cal Poly has three virtual concerts this week, starting with the Cal Poly Symphony presenting its season finale, “Voices Past and Present”, through to a virtual presentation at 7:30 pm on Friday June 4th ($ 5 at pacslo. org). The winds and brass end their year-long exploration of Gordon Jacob’s “Old Wine in New Bottles,” a series of pieces based on old English folk songs. You’ll also hear Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite,” orchestrated by Jacob, and Nkeiru Okoye’s “Voices Shouting Out,” written in response to the events of September 11th.
The Cal Poly Choirs present “Ubi Caritas,” which will feature a variety of charity and love selections on Saturday, June 5th at 8pm ($ 10 on pacslo.org). The Latin text “Ubi Caritas” is loosely based on the old vocal melody. The Cal Poly Women’s Chorus presents “Someone Will Remember Us” by Jocelyn Hagen. PolyPhonics will play music by Carlos Guastavino and Joseph Rheinberger as well as a special comic selection.
Finally, the Cal Poly Wind Ensemble and the Wind Band are presenting a virtual concert entitled “Voices in the Wind” at 3:00 pm on Sunday June 6th ($ 5 on pacslo.org). Most of the works in the program were composed over the past decade, including “A Mother of a Revolution!” by Omar Thomas – inspired by the Stonewall uprising of 1969.
Local folk duo Bob and Wendy continue their ongoing series of releasing a new song each month, culminating in an eight-song record. Her latest is “99” which was written in homage to Bob’s mother Nanette.
“Bob’s mother Nanette was 92 years old when she died,” explained Wendy. “I remember her dermatologist telling her that she was past her lifetime limit of exposure to the sun. We visited her in sheltered living and found her happily sunbathing outside on a chaise longue. This is a song about long-term love and growing old together.”
“99 a number on a page / 99 no need to act your age // I can’t imagine living without you / All I’ve done was about you / About you // 99 let me die Counting ways / 99 I love to spend my days // Next you lie outside in the sun / Laughing because we both forgot the punch line / The punch line. ”
Wendy’s lyrics and expressive voice continue to amaze. You can preview the track at bobandwendy.hearnow.com/99. Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at email@example.com.