AMN Picks of the Week

English: Rent Romus performing at the San Fran...
Rent Romus performing at the San Francisco Community Music Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Rent Romus / Lords of the Outland – Lords o Leaping (2014)
Jess Rowland – Spambots (2014)
Eat the Sun – The Djerassi Sessions (2014)
Northaunt – Istid I-II (2015)
Subtle Lip Can – Reflective Drime (2014)
Apocryphos – The Prisoner’s Cinema (2015)

San Francisco Scene: December 26, 2014 – January 3, 2015

From the Bay Improviser Calendar:

Friday, December 26

Fri 12/26 7:30 PM Point Richmond Jazz [Point Richmond United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond 94801]
Brothers Matt Eakle, flute and Kit Eakle, violin join forces to celebrate BOXING DAY, Dec. 26, at 7:30 to FUNkify your Holiday Season!

Saturday, December 27

Sat 12/27 8:00 PM Diablo Valley College Music Building [Pleasant Hill, CA]
OPUS 24: Second Annual Holiday Concert-Party!
A Multi-Media Event, with Alan Kingsley, Kate Bautch, Jill Wagoner, Aaron Urton, and The Opus Project Septet, Nonet, and Orchestra

Monday, December 29

Mon 12/29 7:30 PM Southern Exposure [3030 20th St. San Francisco, CA 94110]
The California drought comes to an end as we dance it out and perform long-trusted drought-ending rituals, including an ancient Roman stone dragging ceremony, the tossing of water from a high place by a village elder and a gathering of twins.
This event is part of Sets, three two-week projects of process-based, video and performance work by Bay Area artists Christy Chan, Chris Kallmyer and Olivia Mole.

Saturday, January 3

Sat 1/03 8:00 PM California Jazz Conservatory [2087 Addison Street Berkeley]
Kasey Knudsen with vocalist Jua Howard

Just Outside Reviews

From Just Outside:

Patrick Shiroishi – White Sun Sutra (Confront)
Joacim Nyberg – Fylkingen March 27, 2014 (Confront)
Jason Kahn/Phil Julian – Valentines (Confront)
Burkhard Beins/John Butcher/Mark Wastell – Membrane (Confront)
Ryoko Akama – Code of Silence (Melange)
Dawn Scarfe – Tuning to Spheres (Melange)

Jazz Listings From The New York Times

Drummer Tom Rainey perforrming live in concert...
Drummer Tom Rainey 


The Bad Plus (Tuesday through Jan. 4) This was a banner year for the Bad Plus: in addition to a sturdy new album of originals, the band released its take on Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” and took a bravura spin through Ornette Coleman’s “Science Fiction.” All of which adds up to a wealth of possibilities for its annual stand at the Village Vanguard, straddling the turn of the new year. At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. (at 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, with the doors opening at 8:30), Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village, 212-255-4037,; $30 cover, with a one-drink minimum. On New Year’s Eve, the cover is $150, which includes both sets, a $25 drink credit, finger food and party favors. (Chinen)

Open Loose (Friday and Saturday) Mark Helias is a bassist equally committed to the causes of momentum and texture, and in that sense he has a very good thing in Open Loose, a band with Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone and Tom Rainey on drums. At 9 and 10:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, 212-989-9319,; $10 cover, with $10 minimum. (Chinen)

Tom Rainey Trio (Tuesday) Tom Rainey, a precisely off-kilter drummer, has broken into bandleading of late, often with the partners in this trio: Ingrid Laubrock, a tenor and soprano saxophonist of exploratory instincts, and Mary Halvorson, a guitarist with a sharp-splintered but flexible attack. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, 212-989-9319,; $10 cover, with $10 minimum. (Chinen)

Eri Yamamoto Trio (Sunday) The pianist Eri Yamamoto weighs exploratory instincts against a reflective temperament, and her trio, with David Ambrosio on bass and Ikuo Takeuchi on drums, supports her at every turn. At 8:30 p.m., Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, 212-989-9319,; $10 cover, with $10 minimum. (Chinen)

Portland in January

From Portland’s Creative Music Guild:

Outset Series Programming
January 2015

at its new location:
Turn Turn Turn
8 NE Killingsworth
All shows begin 8 PM (ends by 10)
Sliding Scale $5-$15.

January 7 – Brandon Conway & ALTO!
January 21 – Brogan Woodburn & The Crenshaw

Performer Bios:

Brandon Conway

Brandon Conway plays guitar and feedback/no-input mixer and occasionally writes for ensembles. Brandon strives to create compelling sounds using the essential resources of the guitar and idiosyncratic systems design. Among other things, Brandon likes modal melodies, harsh noise, Gene Kelly, saxophones, and Seth Brown. Brandon currently plays with Alma Freer and Halfbird. He lives with his wife and two sons in Portland, makes web apps for a day job, and is a board member of the Creative Music Guild. In this solo set at the Outset series, Conway will be exploring a balance of structured improvisation and composed sections in an intimate piece for nylon-string guitar.


ALTO! is a Portland-based band consisting of Kyle Emory (drums, electronics), Steven T. Stone (drums, electronics) and Derek Monypeny (guitar). ALTO! is a strongly rhythm-oriented band; dual drummers vary between synched-up pounding and subtly shifting polyrhythms, while the guitar often functions as another percussion instrument. ALTO! draws strong inspiration from Congotronics bands such as Konono #1, the psychedelic explorations of later-period Boredoms, and avant-garde rock bands such as Sun City Girls.

Brogan Woodburn

Brogan Woodburn is a Portland-grown improvising guitar player who has studied under experimental guitarist David Tronzo and recently returned home from playing on a tour of a Broadway show. His influences include Gamelan music, Shostakovich, Meshuggah, Bill Frisell, Final Fantasy music, Brian Eno, and Porcupine Tree, all of which make occasional appearances in his sounds. However, Brogan has a theory that all he really does is synthesize echoes of the earliest music he can recall, which are: distorted guitar on the radio and the soundtrack to Nightmare Before Christmas. He thanks his parents for getting him off to a good start. Brogan has played with: Robbie Robertson, Tim Allen, Elliot Sharp, Shin Hyunsik, Gamin, Ryan A. Miller, John Blackwell, Julian Lage and others. (

The Crenshaw

The Crenshaw is Andrew Jones (voice, double bass, electronics) and Christopher Johnedis (drums). Off-kilter voice/bass/beats counterpoint + free jazz and ambient elements. (


Henry Kaiser (solo)
Henry Kaiser / Dana Valatka / Fred Challenor

Saturday, January 24, 7:30 pm doors, 8 pm show
Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67th Ave
(503) 777-1907
$12 – 20 sliding scale. All ages.

Award winning guitarist Henry Kaiser performs in Portland for the first time in over 20 years. He will perform a solo set and as well as in trio with Dana Valatka (AU, Elfin Elephant) and Fred Challenor. This performance is presented by The Creative Music Guild and made possible in part by a grant from Performance Works Northwest.