Media Shelf - Music

Music from the Bay Area


Red Paint, American Tender
(Red Paint)
Local band Red Paint has released its debut CD, American Tender, which gives Alamedans a chance to enjoy homegrown Americana roots music through their own earbuds. Locals Colin Close (lead vocals, guitar), Shaun Reid (vocals, guitar), Steve Schaefer (bass, vocals) and Tony Herrin (drums) comprise Red Paint, which has developed a devoted following at High Street Station and other East Bay venues. With melodies that recall old-time ballads or rockabilly standards, big beats combined with intimate lyrics, and a playful sense of the roots of rock and roll, Red Paint feels like walking a familiar path in new boots: a little taller, a little shinier, but a lot like home. Find Red Paint online at and Buy the CD at—Julia Park Tracey

The Hollyhocks, Understories
(Mystery Lawn Music)
From a basic lineup of two electric guitars melodically entwining over bass and drums, all in support of female lead and harmony vocals that are both earthily grounded and ethereally gauzy, the Hollyhocks parlay various conventions of indie rock into an appealing sound that deepens with every listen. Guitarist (and former Alameda Magazine associate editor) Dan Jewett left an indelible mark on contemporary rock when, in another East Bay band, the Himalayans, he co-wrote the eventual Counting Crows hit “Round Here.” Understories abounds with hooks and choruses as sublime as those of “Round Here,” but with guitarist Kristin Sobditch and bassist Yuri Jewett on vocals, the effect is more intimate, soothing and wistful than it is anthemic. Post-punk hints of Television and Patti Smith and soft-rock echoes of She & Him provide past and present parallels, and Myles Boisen’s pedal steel on the playful “Everyone’s Here” betrays an underlying affection for country pop. But this band, anchored by Jason Silverio’s authoritative drumming, can get big, too, as it proves on the surprise cover of Def Leppard’s “Photograph,” with Magik*Magik Orchestra providing the string-driven muscle for a crescendo that wonderfully alludes to the Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” The Hollyhocks, however, are not denizens of a teenage wasteland.—Derk Richardson

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