Dirty Heads, SOJA, and friends kick start SOMO’s 2017 summer concert series

Second Octave Entertainment and California Roots partnered up to welcome reggae musicians Dirty Heads, SOJA, The Green, and RDGLDGRN on Tuesday, July 11 as a part of the first show of the SOMO 2017 summer concert series. The sold out show was located at the SOMO Village Event Center where it was filled with delicious food and drinks, interactive vendors, mellow vibes and 3,000 happy fans.

With doors opening at 5:30p.m., the night started with starting act RDGLDGRN (pronounced as RED, GOLD, GREEN) taking the stage. The hip-hop infused punk and reggae trio kickstarted the high energy and upbeat show in a matter of seconds. Their half hour set had fans singing and dancing from up against the barricades to all around the event center.

For those who may have just entered into the venue, the first act is also considered a prime time to beat the long lines and to get started on food and drinks for the night. From Sally Tomatoes serving burgers and fries, the KettleTopia station selling shaved ice and other sweet treats, to Gaia’s Garden serving vegetarian options, the food vendors had it locked down when it came to fulfilling the hunger needs for the fans. For drinks, Sonoma Cider came to sample some of their brew for a few hours which resulted into delighted fans. Let’s not forget the extra busy bars serving people all night long with their drinks on deck. Needless to say, fans were expressing enthusiasm and happiness at this point.

Besides the food vendors, there were also merchant vendors who participated in this event that left an impression for many.

For instance, Master Extractors offered tasters of their Vape pens. Equipped passers who brought along their medical cards and who were interested enough to try it out were given a chance to hit the THC filled Vape pens with a choice of strain of their liking. Personally, with the fun and upbeat vibes from the show had me choosing Sour Diesel, a sativa strain that had me wanting more. Unfortunately, those without their medical cards were not able to participate in any of these activities. Another merchant vendor dear to Second Octave was Sonoma Patient Group where they handed out joints to those who came with their medical card that wanted to sign up to be apart of the dispensaries membership. Show of proof was asked at every vendor booth that offered some type of weed inhalation for the crowd. Alongside them was Grass Valley’s own Scientific Inhalations, where they sold quality hand blown glass pieces. Our vendors love to participate in events such as these as they get to interact and create new bonds with potential customers and fans. Every merchant vendor was very friendly and was more willing to give than to receive–and that’s all about the vibes here at SOMO! Once patrons were done making their round through all of the vendors, they came back to the pit for the music.

Hawaii’s own reggae band The Green followed RDGLDGRN! Fans were able to feel the bass vibrate through their bodies as The Green played their most well-known songs on stage. Patrons were able to feel the positive vibes as The Green set the mood that night. From sitting down on blankets in the grass, to being pushed up against others on the dance floor, reggae lovers were able to enjoy themselves and genuinely have a good time. After The Green finished their set, it was onto the next act.

The full house roared in excitement as grammy-nominated band SOJA made way onto the stage. The band’s blend of reggae, hip-hop, Latin music resulted in hundreds of fans living it up and dancing the night away. Halfway throughout their set, SOJA brought back out The Green to play a song together which ultimately left the crowd begging for more! Not only are SOJA’s songs inspirational driven, but lead singer Jacob Hemphill of SOJA preached to the crowd after their last song to “be kind to one another.” Thanks for showing us a good example of “practice what you preach”.

Jacob Hemphill of SOJA

At this point, the night was at its peak with the sun finally setting down and fans getting shoulder cozy with one another in the pit.

With not a moment to lose, the await for American-reggae band Dirty Heads was no more. Having toured with Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, and other well-known bands, Dirty Heads drew a crowd of fans from all ages. The music group brought their incomparable sound to the masses and even brought out a staple move of having fans hold up their lighters during their more mellow songs. The lighters matched the night sky, as if there was a starry night on the dance floor. The headlining band finished the show with their hour long set, throwing their setlists and drumsticks into the crowd, giving fans an even more fun experience than what they paid for.

Overall, the sold out Dirty Heads and SOJA show at the SOMO Village Event Center kickstarted the energy for the rest of the SOMO 2017 concert series. Despite anything to the contrary, it was a great show with all of the participating vendors, live music, and enthused fans.

Railroad Square Music Festival – another successful year

On June 11, Railroad Square Music Festival continued with its third annual festival

Attracting over 5,000 people from all over Sonoma County. This fun and free event is open to all ages and allows people to venture around Historic Railroad Square where they can discover new music, connect with vendors and local businesses, check out artwork, and even grab a beer or two.

The festival featured 17 bands on seven stages

the band was not 10 minutes into their set before they were accompanied by some light rain and even hail!

My personal favorite was watching Earles of Newtown perform. A powerhouse Americana band from Nevada City, Earles of Newtown brought the party with their uplifting and energetic music. Taking into account of the weather, the band was not 10 minutes into their set before they were accompanied by some light rain and even hail! However, the on and off rain did not stop fans—including myself—from having a superb time. The party kept on and everybody enjoyed themselves as they danced in the rain together.

Although the weather may not have been on production’s side that day, Earles of Newtown, along with all of the other acts, did a wonderful job performing with the bipolar weather. Hometown Hero, David Luning, headlined this year’s RSMF alongside tone master John Courage. The back to back performances were a gift to many, as fans enjoyed the live entertainment from their favorite local rock stars.

Weather can’t dampen this party, photo by Philip Pavliger

A feast for the eyes

While adventuring around, I came across a street artist Erik Burke who was spray painting a mural. It did not take long for a crowd to start forming as he demonstrated his painting skills alongside paintings and drawings by many other talented artists. Ehler’s Society, a community organization of artists, filmmakers, photographers, and musicians, contributed the various handpainted signs and artistic installations. Every mural and painting was satisfying to the eye, leaving the festival looking like a piece of artwork itself.

In addition to admiring the displayed art, next to Burke’s set-up was a table where kids can sit down to color a picture and release the inner artist in them as well.

Let’s also not forget the different types of booths that businesses had out there

This is a great way for businesses to network with locals and get involved within the community. A great example would be The Last Record Store teaming up with KRCB North Bay Public Media. Their tents were side by side each other which stirred a lot of traffic as there was a lot of self-promoting to do. By working together, patrons were able to drive sales for The Last Record Store while being informed from KRCB about North Bay news and all of the other things related to the public media.

David Luning headlining RSMF, photo by Philip Pavliger

They don’t say “third time’s a charm” for nothing

Overall, Railroad Square Music Festival had a huge attendance which as a result, led it to being a real victory for us.

With the profound love for concerts and festivals growing rapidly everyday, there is still so much to learn and to incorporate in future shows. Fortunately with the great turn out, Railroad Square Music Festival has a lot of potential to grow and fulfill every aspect of what a music festival should be.

RSMF SUPERCUT

The 2017 Railroad Square Music Festival was off the chain! HUGE congrats and thanks to the incomparable Josh Windmiller, Second Octave and the entire Downtown Santa Rosa team for throwing an incredible event that makes us proud to call this town our home! While we didn’t shoot a ton, we did enough to create a RSMF SUPERCUT! #HailYes

Posted by Culture Pop Films on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

 

Review: The Sam Chase & the Untraditional – I’ve Got Problems

The Sam Chase & the Untraditional dropped their new music video and I’m here trying to work.

Thanks guys, I already have enough trouble with interestingly shaped clouds. Now you give me a visual of Sam, all of the visage of the bust of a roman emperor, being splattered with spaghetti, red wine and some miscellaneous charcuterie.

“I have no arms and I must drink whiskey.”

“I’ve Got Problems” opens with a scene familiar to anybody who has been alive since the 1500s. The band, clothed in white and draped in crimson chaos, is posing in the style of The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci. A painting that always reminds me of the time my art professor recanted his tale of first seeing the pre-restoration Last Supper while simultaneously having an acid flashback, culminating in him having a nervous breakdown.

This scene holds for a moment, then begins to… reravel. Playing out an epic food fight in reverse. The multitude of decorative and gastronomical carnage begins to reassert their proper origins at the dinner table, band-mates grin and wince as rogue hot-dogs fly whipping in circles amidst floating clouds of spaghetti and aggressively poured wine.

Now, where I grew up, you don’t exactly talk about religious iconography and art history

(that’s a paddlin’)

It just ain’t polite conversation. Yet The Sam Chase proves again they are no stranger to taboo subjects, boldly stepping into a visual political discourse when they dropped the video for “The Great White Noise” (the title track of the same album) in October.

The latest video marks a continuation of what’s rapidly becoming the trademark visual style for The Sam Chase & the Untraditional. Something I would liken to a casually marred minimal aesthetic. Clean, simple, almost traditional, draped with elements to suggest a palimpsest of grime, stains of mustard and ketchup, fish-sauce and whiskey.

The videos are very well produced, their latest ones clog the internet tubes with 4K resolution. They are, in my opinion, some of the most underappreciated music videos to come out of the Bay Area. I’m imagining Sam at a camera store, cowering the clerk with his signature glower until he gets all the damn pixels he damn well needs for his foodfight.

Their music and their music videos complement one another

They fit together so well that it helps me sleep at night.

They got a good vibe man. It’s like finally admitting all of your defeats to a weathered alcoholic while your cathartic tears bead upon an oaken bar. At the moment when his words begin to cascade deep into the infinite prism of your soul, at the very moment of the climax of ephiphany when you aknowledge all at once what you’ve known all long, that same wise old drunk throws up on your shoes.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, then you must. This instant.

I’ve had the good luck to see a live performance

and hopefully you will too

If you want to see Sam’s solo performance, then check out…

To see Sam Chase and the Untraditional then you just gotta be at…

FRI 3 MARCH – Doc’s Lab – San Francisco, CA, US
FRI 10 MARCH – Squaw Valley – Olympic Valley, CA, US
SAT 11 MARCH – Crazy Horse Saloon – Nevada City, CA, US
SUN 12 MARCH – Sam Bond’s Garage – Eugene, OR, US
MON 13 MARCH – Volcanic Theater Pub – Bend, OR, US
FRI 24 MARCH – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA, US
SAT 25 MARCH – Hopmonk Tavern – Sebastopol, CA, US

At the last show I attended, I got to sing along to their cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”, albeit ironically, since I wasn’t actually born in the USA, and no, you don’t get to see my birth certificate.