by Eric Hughes
“Music As A Destination” was the focus of the June Splash Pad News music discoveries review. This month, as the pandemic surpasses 100 days, new diversions are increasingly important and fun to uncover.
In this month’s recommendations, there are three discoveries—Reddit, Bandcamp, and Instagram (last month we included Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Zoom, and the always controversial Internet Archive). I’ll also make one suggestion for an Internet Radio show.
- Reddit is a site of user-generated content where you need a login to post, but you can listen to or view content without having a login ID. It is quite popular with 20- and 30-somethings who have grown up with the Internet at their beck and call.
- Bandcamp is an Oakland-based site used by both famous and not-so-famous musicians to post music. It is known as a band-friendly site that is generous both to its musicians and the community. You do not need a login ID to listen to any of their huge variety of music.
- Instagram, owned by Facebook, started as a place to mainly post photographs, but has morphed into a place to also post—and broadcast—live music. Notices of the availability of Instagram live shows tend to be by word-of-mouth unless you are the artist’s follower.
Note: These are especially hard times for artists of any medium and although I’m listing readily-available and free sources of music, please be generous. Most online musicians have PayPal or Venmo accounts and your $5 or $10 donation may not seem like much, but multiplied by 100 viewers, it makes a BIG difference.
- Tanukichan is a personal favorite who fits—dreamily—somewhere among folk-rock, indie, and electronica. Her bass player grew up here in the Grand Lake neighborhood, and the lead singer was born in San Francisco.
- Bandcamp City Guide has 11 unreleased tracks from Oakland bands you have probably never heard of.
- Although she lives in Los Angeles now, alternative dream pop artist Jay Som was born in Walnut Creek and shows off some pretty cool shots of Lake Merritt in her video called “The Bus Song.”
- One of my favorite Internet Radio stations is Inside The Gates Radio. A former band member of mine hosts a show of San Francisco Bay Area music there every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm Pacific time. This past Sunday (June 28) he featured performances and stories from the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
- If you like American Old-Time music, check out San Francisco-based Meredith Axelrod and Craig Ventresco on Instagram. Occasionally, they also do live shows.
- For Gypsy Jazz with the perfect French flavor, check out Martinez favorites Duo Gadjo.
- Sarah Jarosz is one of my very favorite singer/songwriters. One of her songs, “House of Mercy,” is a song I play quite often at my own gigs. She releases quite a lot of—sometimes dark—music on Instagram and plays live shows there as well. For at least a while, you can also find her entire new (June 2020) album “World On The Ground” on YouTube.
- Although you may have to listen to an advertisement first, you will find some fine country music from 5-time Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter on YouTube.
And For More Fun:
- The New Music Machine on Reddit.
- HipHopHeads on Reddit.
- Homeroots creates performance opportunities for French- and English-speaking musicians and audiences in remote rural and urban communities across Canada—hosted by volunteers in their homes and other community venues.
Eric Hughes has lived in the Grand Lake with his wife Priscilla since 1986. They have two grown sons who also live in Oakland. He’s a “finger-style” guitarist who has been playing for more than 50 years and is now retired from the computer software industry. In addition to his musical interests, Eric is Co-Chair of the Grand Lake Neighbors Neighborhood Council. Suggestions and feedback are always welcome and should be directed to email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: Eric is also responsible for the Grand Lake Improvement volunteers who periodically help out with clean-ups and landscaping on Grand Avenue between Mandana and Lake Park and, in addition, you’ve almost certainly seen him out in the commercial district scrubbing away graffiti—his #1 pet peeve.