Friday, June 5, 2020

Join the Conversation With These Timely Online Discussions

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2020 at 1:45 PM

Acclaimed poet Nikky Finney appears in a virtual conversation on "the Witness We Bear" today, June 5, at 7pm as part of Bay Area Book Festival  #UNBOUND virtual program. - FORREST CLONTS
  • Forrest Clonts
  • Acclaimed poet Nikky Finney appears in a virtual conversation on "the Witness We Bear" today, June 5, at 7pm as part of Bay Area Book Festival #UNBOUND virtual program.
It seems that everywhere one looks in America today, there is unrest.

Police brutality has been on full display for over a week, with videos, photos and reports of peaceful protesters being met with batons and tear gas from police forces across the country. Those reports include Santa Rosa—where an unknown law-enforcement officer reportedly shot a plastic grenade at a protester less than 15 feet away on Sunday, May 31, fracturing the protester’s jaw, splitting his lip and knocking out four teeth—as well as a young man who was shot and killed by Vallejo police early on Tuesday, June 2.

Covid-19 had already created a tense situation before this week’s nationwide protests against police, having kept people isolated since March and causing massive spikes in unemployment as businesses across the Bay Area closed their doors due to the pandemic.

Add all of that to a country that has already endured three years of unprecedented presidential lying and social division from a former reality-TV star, and it’s a no-brainer that Americans’ mental stresses are at never-before-seen levels.

This week, several organizations are taking to the web to help those dealing with mental, social and health problems through online lectures, conversations and discussions that are sure to go a long way in opening up meaningful dialogue and affecting social change that benefits us all.

Today, Friday June 5, the Mental Health Association of San Francisco hosts a virtual event, “Real Talk: A Discussion About Police Brutality and Racism,” at 5pm via Zoom.

MHASF originally planned to facilitate a discussion with mental-health activist and writer Leah Harris on Friday, but due to current circumstances, they are instead facilitating this new discussion with the hosts of its ongoing "People of Color Support Group,” Dewonna Howard and CW Johnson. The support group regularly meets to discuss issues, coping strategies and resources relevant to people of color in the local community.

“This will be a safe space for anyone and everyone—especially our Black community members—to speak up, vent and talk through their feelings, thoughts and emotions surrounding the suffering and destruction taking place in our country,” wrote MHASF in an email sent out June 4.

Also today, June 5, the Bay Area Book Festival is rearranging its schedule of online events to present a timely discussion, “The Beautiful Witness We Bear,” at 7pm as part of the festival’s #UNBOUND virtual program.

The thought-provoking conversation will feature two acclaimed poets, Pulitzer Prize–winner Jericho Brown (The Tradition) and National Book Award–winner Nikky Finney (Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry). Twenty years ago, Brown was Finney’s student, and while much has changed since those days, their mutual dedication to bearing witness to hard truths through art remains ever-present.

In this conversation, the poets will share their own responses to the murders of George Floyd and other Black Americans, and they will discuss the protests against police brutality and the power of poetry to capture these human experiences. The conversation will be moderated by Ismail Muhammad, reviews editor for The Believer, board member at the National Book Critics Circle and Program Committee member at the Bay Area Book Festival.

Tomorrow, June 6, Book Passage hosts an enlightening conversation on women and politics with New York Times reporter and author Jennifer Steinhauer and New York Times Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper, presented online at 4pm.

Steinhauer’s latest work, The Firsts, begins at the November 2018 midterms, in which the greatest number of women in history was elected to Congress. The book then chronicles the first-year experiences of those women, detailing their transitions from running campaigns to their daily work of governance.

Looking ahead, Point Reyes nonprofit group Black Mountain Circle hosts a Zoom Virtual event on mental health and well-being featuring Florence Williams, journalist and the author of The Nature Fix. The event, happening on Thursday, June 11 at noon, will make the connection between spending time in nature and our health, especially in the wake of a two-month stay-at-home order that’s kept many people in isolation. Now that some parks and beaches are reopening, Williams will discuss the role nature plays in making us happier, healthier and more creative.

Anna O'Malley and Donna Faure will join Williams on June 11 for this virtual discussion. O’Malley is executive director of Natura Institute for Ecology and Medicine in West Marin, and Faure is the executive director of Point Reyes National Seashore Association. The event is co-presented by Point Reyes National Seashore Association, Mesa Refuge, Natura Institute for Ecology and Medicine, and Point Reyes Books.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Music Industry Goes Silent for Blackout Tuesday

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 6:56 AM


Tuesday, June 2, is going to be a quiet day meant to send a loud message from those in the music industry. On this day several major record companies and artists join a national media movement, Blackout Tuesday, that intends to shine a light on the “long-standing racism and inequality” in the music business and American society in general.

With participants ranging from producer Quincy Jones to MTV, Blackout Tuesday is a daylong planned media blackout led by The Show Must Be Paused, an initiative created by black music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang in response to the killings of George Floyd and other black Americans at the hands of police.

For the last four days, Black Lives Matter protests have erupted around the country, beginning in Minneapolis where George Floyd, an African American, was killed in police custody on May 25. The day after Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis Police Department fired all four of the officers involved in the incident, and Hennepin County announced murder and manslaughter charges against Derek Chauvin, the officer who was filmed pinning Floyd to the ground by pressing his knee down on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Joining those Black Lives Matter protests, The Show Must Be Paused selected Tuesday, June 2, as Blackout Tuesday specifically to interrupt the work week for a day of reflection and conversation about “what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community.”

In addition, The Show Must Be Paused notes that the billion-dollar music industry has “profited predominantly from Black art,” and they want to hold the industry accountable for supporting those Black artists whose work has benefited others, writing “To that end, it is the obligation of these entities to protect and empower the Black communities that have made them disproportionately wealthy in ways that are measurable and transparent.”

Thomas and Agyemang note that Blackout Tuesday is not just a 24-hour event, adding that a larger plan of action will soon be announced. “In the meantime,” they write, “to our Black friends and family: please take the time for you and your mental health. To our allies, the time is now to have difficult conversations with family, friends and colleagues.”

Announced this last weekend, Blackout Tuesday has already gained major industry allies. On Instagram, producer Quincy Jones joined the movement, writing “It’s hard to know what to say because I’ve been dealing with racism my entire life. That said, it’s rearing its ugly head right now & by God it’s time to deal with it once & for all. My team & I stand for justice. Conversations will be had & action will be taken.”

Other high-profile musicians and companies participating in the June 2 initiative include Peter Gabriel, Billy Bragg, Mumford & Sons, Def Jam Recordings, Interscope, Sony Music and Columbia Records.

In the North Bay, where Black Lives Matter protests are entering their fourth day in cities including Santa Rosa and Napa, BottleRock Napa Valley announced on Twitter that it was joining Blackout Tuesday “for a day of reflection,” adding that it will not be airing “(re)LIVE BottleRock” online this Friday as scheduled.

Music-industry meetup group Balanced Breakfast, which began in the Bay Area and features Santa Rosa and Napa networking meetings for musicians and promoters, is also joining the blackout, posting on its Facebook page, “Due to recent events, please join us as we take an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change. As gatekeepers of the culture, it’s our responsibility to not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during a loss.”

The Show Must Be Paused website urges those directly impacted by police violence in recent days to take a break for Blackout Tuesday, writing “there is a lot going on and sometimes we all just need a minute. Take that minute.”

The website also directs visitors to links to help George Floyd’s family and others, and provides information on ways to donate to community bail funds for jailed protesters and additional anti-racism resources.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

San Francisco’s Punk Pioneers Tell Their Stories in Online Exhibit

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2020 at 12:47 PM

Stannous Flouride in the Financial District, Montgomery BART Station, 1980. - JEANNE HANSEN
  • Jeanne Hansen
  • Stannous Flouride in the Financial District, Montgomery BART Station, 1980.
“In the 1980s, San Francisco grew blander, wealthier and more corporate almost by the day, but a resilient multi-cultural underground thrived in nooks and crannies.”

So writes former Sonoma State University professor, prolific author and longtime Bohemian- and Pacific Sun–contributor Jonah Raskin in his introduction to the new virtual exhibit, “Alternative Voices.”

The show, originally scheduled to open at the San Francisco Main Public Library’s Jewett Gallery this month, looks back on the city’s ’80s punk scene with intimate and grandiose black-and-white images taken at the time by Jeanne Hansen that are paired with recollections from the subjects as told to Raskin in interviews over the last few years. Raskin also wrote the introduction for the show.

“It was very interesting for me to find out about San Francisco and this underground culture in the 1980s,” Raskin says. “This was a way for me to get connected to a generation that was not my own generation, and to see the way that counterculture gets reinvented as each new generation comes along.”

Luckily, almost all of the individuals Hansen photographed in the ’80s were still alive to tell their stories, and they all still embody their younger, DIY personas in their work and their ethos.

Those subjects include Stannous Flouride (real name Kevin Kearney), who now works as a local historian leading Haight-Ashbury walking tours. Back in the day, Flouride worked the door at punk venues like Deaf Club and Target Video and was part of the Suicide Club, a group of urban spelunkers who went on outings at abandoned sites in the city.

Raskin writes the interviews from a first-person perspective, allowing each “Alternative Voices” subject’s personal experiences to come through in the writing as well as the photos.

“At first, I wasn’t sure about the title of the exhibit, because it started with the photographs,” Raskin says. “Though I think the two of them, the photos and words, go really well together. It’s a good combination.”

Raskin’s main challenge in writing these 500-word stories was the editing.

“Some of these people’s interviews started as a manuscript with, like, 10,000 words,” he says. “I was really wrestling with the text to get it down to a manageable length while being true to the people and using some of their language and their expressions to keep them as distinct individuals.”

Of the sample interviews that are available to view online now, Raskin’s words paint detailed and imaginative memories from people including Mia Simmons, leader of punk band Frightwig, whose story includes gems like this paragraph:

“In the ’80s we could work our crappy little jobs and get minimum wage, which was, I remember, $3.25 an hour at the Egyptian and the Strand on Market Street. Our studio was opposite the Sound of Music; we had to carry our equipment at three a.m. downstairs in spiked heel shoes and really blotto drunk.”

In addition to revealing details about the city in the ’80s, the interviews also tell the story of how San Francisco remained a hub for creative and nontraditional people after the ’50s Beat movement and the ’60s hippie movement, as all but one of the exhibit’s subjects were San Francisco transplants who moved there from across the country.

“It’s about people who want to spread their wings and do something different and not be knocked down the way that can happen in so many other places in the country where there’s more conformity than in San Francisco,” Raskin says.

Even today, as tech companies continue to push San Francisco towards a bland corporate epicenter, Raskin says there’s still some subterranean culture left in the Bay Area.

“There’s people still doing their thing, Jeanne (Hansen) is still taking photographs,” Raskin says. “There are still pockets of alternative voices.”

“Alternative Voices” is available to view online now, with an in-person exhibit opening at the San Francisco Main Public Library at a later, so far undetermined date. Visit for more details.
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Friday, May 22, 2020

Tune In: Santa Rosa Symphony Hits North Bay Radio Waves

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2020 at 2:15 PM

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin's collaborative performance with the Santa Rosa Symphony airs on local radio this weekend. - J. HENRY FAIR
  • J. Henry Fair
  • Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin's collaborative performance with the Santa Rosa Symphony airs on local radio this weekend.

Had enough of logging onto Facebook Live for all your stay-at-home concert needs?

Well, close the laptop and turn on the radio this Sunday, May 24, at 3pm,when Northern California Public Media’s radio station, KRCB, broadcasts a Santa Rosa Symphony concert featuring special guest guitarist Sharon Isbin on 91.1FM and 90.9FM in Sonoma County.

Recorded in November 2018 at the acoustically immaculate Weill Hall at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park, the concert, “Dancing Across Time,” features the Santa Rosa Symphony, led by conductor and music director Francesco Lecce-Chong, performing musical selections as varied as “Dances of Galánta,” a 1933 orchestral work by Zoltán Kodály; “The Mephisto Waltz No.1” composed by Franz Liszt in 1859; and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, extracted from his own musical score in 1960.

Isbin joined the symphony for the 2018 concert to perform the “Guitar Concerto,” written by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos in Rio de Janeiro in 1951. A multiple Grammy-Award winning guitarist, Isbin has been acclaimed for expanding the role of the guitar in classical and contemporary music, earning her Guitar Player magazine’s Best Classical Guitarist award.

In addition to this weekend’s broadcast, Isbin is premiering two new recordings of works. One album, Affinity, features multi-faceted works created by leading composers from three continents. Isbin’s other new album, Strings for Peace, is steeped in the North Indian classical tradition of ragas and talas, with help from sarod-master Amjad Ali Khan and his virtuoso sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash.

In addition to the May 24 KRCB radio broadcast, Santa Rosa Symphony is keeping up with the community through a series of other online offerings. Francesco Lecce-Chong, who took over as the Santa Rosa Symphony's fifth music director in 91 years with his first full season in October 2019, is hosting live watch parties on his Facebook page, (I know, Facebook is still the main source for online events), where he touches upon several educational and musical topics.

The maestro has also created three music playlists on Spotify with some of his favorite compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Vivaldi, Prokofiev, Mahler and more. Find those playlists now and check back often; they are updated every week.

Also available for your listening pleasure, groups from the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra recently collaborated on a virtual performance, featuring the world premiere of Michael Murrin’s “Fuel for the Soul,” which was commissioned by the youth orchestra to celebrate its 60th anniversary. That virtual chamber concert, sponsored by Santa Rosa’s Stanroy Music Center, features a whopping 14 separate chamber groups from the youth orchestra performing various selections, and the whole video can be seen on Santa Rosa Symphony’s YouTube channel.

Finally, a challenge grant from Dr. Richard and Barbara Ferrington has given the Santa Rosa Symphony the opportunity to raise $10,000 through matching donations for their education programs, and they invite patrons to double their support of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s ongoing community work.
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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Local Arts Groups Coordinate on Virtual Summer Camps

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2020 at 3:34 PM

Students can take an online filmmaking class with Alexander Valley Film Society, one of several virtual camps happening this summer. - PHOTO COURTESY ALEXANDER VALLEY FILM SOCIETY
  • photo courtesy Alexander Valley Film Society
  • Students can take an online filmmaking class with Alexander Valley Film Society, one of several virtual camps happening this summer.
Three Sonoma County arts and education organizations are coordinating their summer schedules this year to collectively provide North Bay students with seven weeks worth of virtual summer arts camps, June 22 to August 7.

The Alexander Valley Film Society, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts and Transcendence Theatre Company are each engaging local youth with online arts experiences in their respective disciplines this summer, with the AVFS Filmmaking Bootcamp, the LBC Summer Arts Sampler Camp, the Transcendence Virtual Kids Camp and then a final AVFS Editing Bootcamp running consecutively to keep the kids busy all season.

“The collaboration is in the scheduling,” says Ashleigh Worley, director of education and community engagement at Luther Burbank Center. “The camps are independently run, and we’re working together so kids can participate in all three.”

Worley and the LBC have been offering virtual arts programming since a week after the shelter-in-place orders took effect in late March, and by meeting with several other arts organizations, it became apparent that everyone was worried about the status of summer camps in the North Bay.

“We started talking about how we can uplift and support each other’s work, whatever form it ended up taking,” Worley says. With so much unknown about the evolution of social distancing rules through the summer, LBC quickly made a plan to host a virtual summer arts camp, and Worley found likeminded groups in AVFS and TTC, which aligned their individual virtual camp schedules so students could attend all three camps.

First, the AVFS Filmmaking Bootcamp, running June 22–26 and led by Sonoma County–based writer/director and film educator Malinalli Lopez, welcomes students grades 5–12 to learn the basics of filmmaking over Zoom, using smartphones to creatively capture their story. The idea is for students to then continue to film themselves and their families during the rest of the summer camps for the final Editing Bootcamp that happens in August.

“The reason the three of us collaborated to get these programs out was to give families a sure-fire schedule that they could put into their calendars now and count on in the months to come,” says Alexander Valley Film Society founder and executive director Kathryn Hecht. “Even though we might be dealing with a little bit of screen fatigue, we want kids to stay engaged, meet new people and try to prevent much of that learning slide that is supposed to happen in the summer anyways.”

After the initial AVFS bootcamp, students are invited to participate in LBC’s Summer Arts Sampler Camp, a weeklong virtual experience for students grades 5–12 that will explore music in the form of ukulele, percussion and hip-hop dance. Available in three sessions, June 29–July 3, July 6–10 and July 13–17, the camps rotate through all three activities. The center’s massive instrument lending library will be open for students who don’t have a ukulele, and Worley adds there is no skill requirement to attend the virtual camps.

From there, students ages 7–12 can also choose to attend Transcendence Theatre Company’s virtual camp, July 27–31, that focuses on musical theater, improvisation, dance and movement. TTC is also hosting a Virtual Teen Intensive Camp for ages 13–18 a week earlier.

“Each day, they’ll have an hour of instruction and it’ll culminate in a 10-minute musical and solo concerts,” says Transcendence Theatre Company director of education and community engagement Nikko Kimzin. “It’s taking our in-person experience that we’ve had and seeing what works virtually and what can we amend for the virtual experience.”

The AVFS filmmaking bootcamps and the LBC sampler camps are free to attend. Transcendence Theatre Company is charging a modest fee, $35–$100, to pay the Broadway professionals who will be leading their camps, though Kimzin adds that TTC has several need-based scholarships available for students on their website.

“This is a collective mission of our arts organizations in the county,” says Kimzin. “I think arts are sometimes viewed as the side dish and not the main meal. We are trying to band together to say, especially in this time, connection and creating things as a group, as an ensemble, is a necessity for the mental health of our youth. The arts can be a main meal when it comes to that.”

The Alexander Valley Film Society, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts and Transcendence Theatre Company virtual summer arts camps run June 22–Aug 7. Registration is required for each camp.;;
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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Batcave to the Rescue

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 10:41 AM


Located in the basement of 100 Fourth St. in downtown Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square, the Batcave Comics & Toys shop is a haven for comic book and toy collectors and for nostalgic fans of vintage entertainment.

Currently brimming with retro comic-book issues, the shop is doing what it can for the community with a pledge to give 10,000 free comics to Santa Rosa and Sonoma County organizations serving children who are in need of activities during the shelter-in-place order.

The Batcave encourages any charity, hospital, school, group home, foster home or special-needs program or facility to contact them on Facebook or Instagram to arrange curbside pickup or contactless delivery.

Furthermore, the Batcave encourages anyone with an old stash of comics who wants to help the cause—or anyone who wants to donate to the effort in any way—to also get in touch. Read the shop’s full statement on their Facebook page.
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Monday, April 6, 2020

Logan On Hold

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 11:03 AM


As the timetable for the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent stay-at-home response continue to lengthen into May and beyond, more and more events and planned creative projects are being shelved for a later date or being canceled outright.

The recently crowdfunded documentary Your Friend Logan: The 4-Track Mind of Logan Whitehurst, about late North Bay–musician Logan Whitehurst, is the latest endeavor to suffer from the sheltering orders. Director Conner Nyberg announced today on the project’s Kickstarter site that the production, planned to begin this summer, has been delayed at least a year due to the current pandemic.

As reported in the Bohemian in February, the documentary, helmed by the South Carolina–based Nyberg and North Bay–producer-and-performer Matlock Zumsteg, will include interviews with dozens of people who knew Whitehurst best and incorporate Whitehurst’s original animations and rare archive material to create an intimate and celebratory film.

Nyberg’s statement on the delay notes that several of the interviewees are high-risk for coronavirus and the disease COVID-19, and that one interviewee was recently quarantined. The 20-year-old Nyberg also begins film school fall semester, meaning the earliest he and Zumsteg now predict that filming can begin is summer of 2021.

That said, the production crew remains hard at work prepping the film’s production, including combing through archival footage from Whitehurst’s life in music and art.

Read the full statement from Nyberg below.

Hi everyone. Some bad news today.

When the fundraiser ended, COVID-19 just began to spread in the States. At the time, Matlock (our producer) and I were cautiously optimistic, believing that once the initial panic had worn off, things would be able to carry on as usual.

Needless to say, that hasn't been the case, and it appears that things still have ways to go before it starts to get better again. Several of our interviewees are high-risk (one interviewee was recently quarantined), and if projections are true, we'll be expecting a second wind from this virus when school starts back up in the fall.

So we've decided to indefinitely postpone production.

Like everyone else, we're taking this all day by day, but if we had to give an ETA for when we'll be able to start back up production, our best estimate would be Summer 2021. This is keeping in mind that this virus probably will not totally blow over until the end of the year, and that I'll be starting my first year of university this fall.

That being said, work on the documentary is not over. Far from it - we're taking advantage of this situation to get even more done. This has given us even more preparation time, a chance to collect more resources, and more time to focus on getting rewards out to all of you.

Speaking of which, there are only a handful of people who haven't yet completed their reward surveys! Please fill those out as soon as you can, so that we can try and get the batch of Needlejuice rewards out at one time.

We apologize for such a large delay. This is as unusual of a situation as it gets, and we hope you understand. We also hope that all of you are safe and that you'll stay safe.

Thank you for all of your support so far, and we will continue to keep you guys updated on this awesome project.

Your friend,

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

These Local Theaters Will Screen Films In Your Home

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 3:45 PM

  • George Lazarus/ via Smith Rafael Film Center

While movie theaters remain closed during the shelter-in-place ordeal, local film purveyors are taking to the web to screen movies for those who are hunkering down at home.

In Marin County, the Smith Rafael Film Center is closed, though the theater is thriving online with the Rafael@ Home series featuring several films available to rent and stream at home, including Brazilian genre-bending, award-winner Bacurau and breakout drama Saint Frances. Films coming to the rental series includes intimate documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band and local filmmaker Nancy Kelly's acclaimed Thousand Pieces of Gold.

Downtown Larkspur's historic art deco Lark Theater is also closed in the wake of Marin County's sheltering order, and they've responded with their own Lark Streams service. The nonprofit venue is working with top film distributors to develop the online programming, which currently includes Academy Award-nominated Polish film Corpus Christi and the supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary coming soon.

In Sonoma County, the Alexander Valley Film Society’s Shelter in Place Series is gaining an audience with several offerings such as online filmmaker webinars, home screenings and a weekly Wednesday Film & Food series that encourages combining the at-home screening with local takeout. Upcoming online events include a Film Noir Q&A and Discussion with film critic and Barndiva owner Jil Hales on Sunday, April 5, at 2pm. AV Film Society is even hosting online educational classes for kids who are sheltering, with a film editing course happening right now.

In Napa County, the Cameo Cinema, closed for the time being, has been busy curating its own Virtual Cinema with several titles to rent, including some hard-to-find international films such as acclaimed Romanian crime comedy The Whistlers and  German historic thriller Balloon.

Click these links above to find out how to rent the movies from each theater/ film group. You'll be taken to their websites to purchase and watch the film, with a portion of ticket sales helping to support each group.
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Friday, March 27, 2020

See Local Bands Perform 'Onstage' in Phoenix Theater Podcast

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 11:54 AM

Jim Agius (Left) and Tom Gaffey host North Bay bands live at the Phoenix theater in their long-running podcast.
  • Jim Agius (Left) and Tom Gaffey host North Bay bands live at the Phoenix theater in their long-running podcast.

For more than five years, Petaluma power-duo Tom Gaffey and Jim Agius, manager and booker, respectively, at the historic Phoenix Theater, have hosted North Bay and Bay Area bands and artists in their video podcast series, “Onstage With Jim & Tom.”

The series is recorded, quite literally, on-stage at the Phoenix Theater, and episodes include in-depth and wide-ranging interviews and live performances by an eclectic lineup of local talent, with recent episodes featuring Santa Rosa singer-songwriter Schlee, Oakland synth-pop outfit Morning Hands and even goth comedian Oliver Graves.

Now is the perfect time to revisit the hundreds of episodes available online at Click the link below to get started binging the show now.

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Friday, March 20, 2020

Surviving the 'Shelter-in-Place' Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 1:55 PM

Locally-filmed comedy "Wine Country" is streaming on Netflix.
  • Locally-filmed comedy "Wine Country" is streaming on Netflix.

Sonoma, Marin and Napa County are all under 'Shelter-in-Place' orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic, keeping most of us at home for the first weekend in Spring. Here's a couple ways to spend the next two days from the comfort of your couch.

Access the Library from Home
All branches of the Sonoma County Library and Marin County Library are closed and programming at Napa County libraries is suspended due to health concerns.

If you can’t go to the library, you can bring the library to you. A quick trip to, or will guide you to a collection of digital materials and online services that includes eBooks and audiobooks, digital magazines, streaming movies and TV, and online learning services that are all free with your library card.

Don’t have a library card yet? Apply for a card online and start using digital services immediately.

Streaming Movies Online
Now is not the best time to be out and about, though locals can see some of their favorite Sonoma and Napa County spots in several movies, some of which are available to watch online. For wine connoisseurs, two movies in particular are perfect to put on while pouring a glass of Cabernet.

On Netflix, the 2019 comedy Wine Country (pictured), starring "SNL" alums Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch and others, shows off Calistoga in style. On Amazon Prime, the 2008 feel-good true story of Napa Valley’s entry into the world of winemaking, Bottle Shock, features locations in both counties.

For fans of science fiction, action and horror, Marin is on the scene in two particularly great flicks. First, sign up for a free trial of horror movie streaming service Shudder to see John Carpenter’s The Fog, filmed entirely on location in Point Reyes and Inverness. Over on Amazon Prime, the surprisingly heartfelt 2018 Transformers spin-off Bumblebee rolls through locations such as the Marin Headlands.

If podcasts are still foreign to you, now is the perfect time to start listening to one of the millions of free online shows, and three North Bay podcasts demonstrate the breadth of content within the medium.

The Wine Country Women Podcast is an inspiring conversation show in which Michelle Mandro talks to ladies like winemaker Heidi Barrett and Charter Oak Winery proprietor Layla Fanucci.

Web series The Cult Show celebrates classic horror and sci-fi films with filmmaker guests and loads of fun at

Award-winning podcast Ear Hustle tells stories from inside San Quentin to reveal the nuanced life inside and the journey for those who must reintegrate to society once they are released.

Clean Your Room
There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but based on what is currently known, transmission occurs via respiratory droplets and coronavirus may remain on surfaces for hours or even days.

That means it’s time to not only wash your hands with soap, it’s time to start cleaning surfaces you may touch around the house. Don’t forget to use disinfectants on tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, remote controls, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks and anything that may come in contact with your hands.

For instructions on cleaning products and further preventative measures, visit
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