Archive for the 'Contests' Category


Alela Diane CD giveaway

Alela Diane

After Pirate’s Gospel, Alela Diane’s mesmerizing debut record, made my Top 20 of 2007 I had pretty high expectations for her follow up. Believe me, To Be Still met ‘em in spades.  Recorded in various locales over 2008 (including a return to her father’s studio), her sophomore effort is a folk fireside dream; haunting compelling gorgeousness. Now Hear This has a copy to send to you, kind reader. Just email me with the name of Diane’s old home town (she now resides in Portland). Here’s a hint: she used to pal around with Joanna Newsom.

To Be Still

Here’s one of my favorite tracks off the new record to get you in the mood:

White As Diamonds

A beautiful meditation on the silence of snow.

To hear more check out her myspace pageTo Be Still is available now on Rough Trade Records. Buy it here.


Win of Montreal tickets on KALX tonight

Photo borrowed from Stereogum

of Montreal are playing at the Grand Ballroom at The REgency Center in SF this Friday. I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets between 8 & 9 PM tonight on my regular radio show on KALX in Berkeley. Tune in to 90.7 FM if you’re in the SF Bay Area. If you’re not click here.

Here are a couple of covers from a recent session on KUT in Austin. They come courtesy of You Ain’t No Picasso (home of the 50 song and counting of Montreal Cover Archive):

Instant Karma

Nowhere Man


Free tickets for Lucinda Williams, The Dodos & TV On The Radio

Yes sir, we’re giving away free tickets to both Lucinda Williams shows at the Fillmore (November 16 & 17). We’ve also got tickets for local favorites the Dodos (at Bimbo’s 365 Club on November 6) and for the red hot TV On The Radio (at The Warfield on November 9). The only catch is that you’ve got to help keep a spiffy little radio station called KALX on the air for another year. I  DJ there every other Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM as my otherness Cuppa Joe. This week I’ll be taking hat in hand humbly trying to separate listeners from their hard earned cash and in order to sweeten the deal we’ll be throwing in the above mentioned tickets free as add-ons to any $50 packages. So tune in this Wednesday at 90.7 FM between 6 and 9 PM if you’re interested in getting any of those tickets as well as the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with doing the right thing. If you’re in some exotic locale you can tune in online by clicking right here.  Feel free to peruse the current crop of schwag we’re offering for your kind donation right here (BTW: the double vinyl 45 featuring Talking Heads live in Sproul Plaza in 1978 is in extremely limited supply).


New music

Paul Weller – 22 Dreams

The first lock for my Best Of The Year list. The Modfather takes a bold, audacious step outside the comfort zone that dulled his last couple of albums and succeeds in spades. Solo record #9 is his most varied yet, touching on Brit folk, blue eyed soul, jazz, crunching rock, driving psychedelia, Middle Earstern grooves and piano ballads. So inspiring to see an artist still able challenge himself after 30+ years. Guests include Robert Wyatt, Noel Gallagher, Graham Coxon (on drums, only Weller could bring together the Hatfield & McCoy of Brit rock), Gem Archer and Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Cradock is all over this (he also gets a production credit).

Buy it at Yep Roc records.

22 Dreams

Cold Moments

Blitzen Trapper – Furr

Another record that’s definitely made my Best Of The Year short list. The finest 6 piece band in Portland delivers an adventurous stunner on their fourth record. There’s so much going in every song I feel like I’ve heard a whole record’s worth of ideas after two or three tracks. Where do I start? It’s the Kinks meets Of Montreal, early Dylan meets Wilco, After The Gold Rush era Neil Young meets Beck.  And I’m diggin’ the 80′s hair metal logo!

Fire + Fast Bullets

Gold For Bread

Furr is out this Tuesday on Sub Pop.  BT will be playing at the Independent in SF with Parson Red Heads December 2nd. Click on the cover or head over to their myspace page for more tunes plus videos & tour dates.

All Girl Summer Fun Band – Looking Into It

Speaking of bands from Portland with records coming out Tuesday (am I the king of the segue or what?), The All Girl Summer Fun Band has been making the same playfully punky pop we’ve come to love for almost ten years. Think the grittier side of Stereo Total meets the Shangri-La’s and you’re close. I am utterly unable to stop smiling, tapping my toes & bopping my head from side  when these ladies come skipping out of my speakers. Their 3rd record  will be on their own AGSFB label.

Something New

This Will Never End


Win a pair of tickets to Totimoshi @ the Hemlock Tavern

File this under “I’ve been living under a rock”. How has this incredible Oaktown band managed to fly under my radar for more than ten years!? Their fifth album, Milagrosa, continues their patent blend of stoner rock, punk, and metal with a nod toward their Latin heritage.

Sound The Horn

The blistering opening track from Milagrosa is a perfect example of how effortlessly the band shifts from blazing, tight riffage to moody late 70′s drama metal and back without missing a beat.

Singer/guitarist Tony Aguilar explains the thinking behind the band’s first conceptual record: “I wrote most of the songs as an imaginary fight between love/compassion and hate/violence. I wanted to relay the stories as one choice versus the other both in the lyrics and melody, like on the song ‘Milagroso,’ where I say ‘the fields of hate that turn our fate the putrid stench the violence at hand/decisions towards compassion to be made by each and every hand’”. Sounds like something I’ve been looking for lately… They also appear to have finally put an end to the Spinal Tap parade of drummers.

The new record, produced by Page Hamilton of Helmet, comes out July 8.

Titomoshi is playing at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco on the 21st with fellow locals Grayceon Hurry Up Shotgun. I have a pair of tickets for the first person to email me at with the English translation of their new record’s title.

Tour dates:
8 July: San Francisco- *Record release @ 12 Galaxies w/ Big Business & Triclops
25 July: San Francisco- Benders w/ Hail Satan
5 August: Tempe, AZ – the Sets w/ Nebula
6 August: Albuquerque,NM – Ralli’s 4th St. Pub w/ Nebula
8 August: Austin, TX – Red 7 w/ Nebula
9 August: Dallas, TX – Granada Theatre w/ Nebula
10 August: Houston, TX – Rudyards Beer Bar w/ Nebula
12 August: New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks w/ Nebula
13 August: Birmingham, AL – the Nick w/ Nebula
14 August: Jacksonville, FL – Landshark Cafe w/ Nebula
15 August: Orlando, FL – Backbooth w/ Nebula
18 August: Atlanta, GA – Smith’s Olde Bar w/ Nebula
19 August: Wilmington, NC – Soapbox w/ Nebula
20 August: Virginia Beach, VA – Jewish Mother w/ Nebula
21 August: Washington DC – Black Cat w/ Nebula
22 August: Philadelphia, PA – the Khyber w/ Nebula
23 August: Baltimore, MD – Otto Bar w/ Nebula
24 August: Boston, MA – Church of Boston w/ Nebula
25 August: NYC, NY – Knitting Factory w/ Nebula
27 August: Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop w/ Nebula
28 August: Lansing, MI – Mac’s w/ Nebula
29 August: Columbus, OH – Ravari Room w/ Nebula
30 August: Chicago, IL – Reggie’s w/ Nebula
1 September: Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon w/ Nebula
6 September: Portland, OR – Ash St. Saloon w/ Nebula
10 September: Hollywood, CA – Viper Room w/ Nebula
11 September: Long Beach, CA – Alex’s Bar w/ Nebula


Winter’s Fall + Win Gary Louris’ new CD

I’ve got a promo copy of Vagabonds, the solo debut from Jayhawks front fella Gary Louris, to give to some lucky Now Hear This reader. But more on that later.

First I wanna tout another debut that recently slid through the ol’ mail slot: the Muddy & White EP (click the picture to purchase) from Berkeley band Winter’s Fall. It’s a nifty blend of folk, pop noir and country with enough indie rock and glitchy laptop noise to push it to the front of a crowded alt. folk pack. Bandleader Peter Stanley’s a great story teller with a fresh, arresting voice. They’re in the studio recording their first full-length so get ready to hear a lot more from them soon.
The Hollowing.
Winter’s Fall on myspace for more music and tour dates.

Now about that giveaway. The much anticipated solo debut from Jayhawks frontman and Golden Smog member Gary Louris has only been out a couple weeks but it’s doing pretty well, climbing both the Americana and Billboard charts. More philosophical and introspective than his work in either of his previous projects, Vagabonds finds Louris on a rootsy search for something to believe in. I’m particularly enjoying the gorgeous backing vocals from the Laurel Canyon Family Choir which includes Chris Robinson (who also produces), Susanna Hoffs and Jenny Lewis, among others. To win a copy email me at with your address and the answer to this question: which member of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers appears on the Jayhawks breakthrough Hollywood Town Hall?

Gary’s homepage.

Catch me on KALX in Berkeley

I host the Cuppa Joe show on KALX in Berkeley every other Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM. You can tune at 90.7 or online by clicking HERE ------------------------------------------- NEXT SHOW: October 28 FUNDRAISER SHOW!! ------------------------------------------- Check out past playlists HERE
Got something I HAVE TO HEAR? Wanna send me free stuff? Email me at


Quick note about the tunes

The mp3s on this blog are to give folks a little taste. Imagine they're those little pouches on the bag your Sunday paper comes in. You know, the one's with a packet containing just enough toothpaste to brush your teeth once or twice. They are left up for a limited time. If you find something you like support the artists by dragging your friends to their shows and/or buying their CDs/records/schwag. If you are the artist (or their label/representative) and don't want an mp3 on here, please email me ( and I'll remove it posthaste.
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