Pop Music

Cole Odin Berggren, community programs director and drum and DJ instructor at Blue Bear School of Music in The City, holds a JackTrip device, which he says has greatly improved students’ experience of making music online. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

COVID-era musicians beginning to make connections

Software eliminates pesky delay plaguing most systems

Cole Odin Berggren, community programs director and drum and DJ instructor at Blue Bear School of Music in The City, holds a JackTrip device, which he says has greatly improved students’ experience of making music online. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Bonnie Tyler’s new album is “The Best is Yet to Come.”<ins> (Courtesy Tina Korhonen)</ins>

‘Total Eclipse’ singer Bonnie Tyler survived Eurovision

Good-natured performer had fun at the musical competition in 2013

Bonnie Tyler’s new album is “The Best is Yet to Come.”<ins> (Courtesy Tina Korhonen)</ins>
AC/DC guitarist Angus Young, center, says the band has been “lucky” throughout its long career. <ins>(Courtesy Josh Cheuse)</ins>

AC/DC’s Angus Young: We ‘keep it basic’

Rockers’ 17th album is ‘Power Up’

AC/DC guitarist Angus Young, center, says the band has been “lucky” throughout its long career. <ins>(Courtesy Josh Cheuse)</ins>
Biig Piig, aka Jessica Smyth, is working on her first full-length recording in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Mélanie Lehmann)

Biig Piig spans cultures, song styles

Sultry vocalist Jessica Smyth explores her changing identities via collaborations

Biig Piig, aka Jessica Smyth, is working on her first full-length recording in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Mélanie Lehmann)
From left: Don Edwards, Amanda Scheliga, Jeff Cotton and Ron Graham are keeping Bronstein Music going in South San Francisco as it observes its 75th anniversary. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>

At 75, Bronstein Music plays on in South S.F.

Store prevails despite silence created by pandemic

From left: Don Edwards, Amanda Scheliga, Jeff Cotton and Ron Graham are keeping Bronstein Music going in South San Francisco as it observes its 75th anniversary. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Pale Waves, featuring Heather Baron-Gracie, center, released its follow-up album to “My Mind Makes Noises” in February.<ins></ins>

Pale Waves back with ‘Who Am I?’

Frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie chills in SoCal

Pale Waves, featuring Heather Baron-Gracie, center, released its follow-up album to “My Mind Makes Noises” in February.<ins></ins>
Stephen Lawrie of The Telescopes says he likes to stay in flux when it comes to songwriting. 
Courtesy 
Tapete Records

Telescopes keep defying expectations

‘Songs of Love and Revolution’ new from noise rock band

Stephen Lawrie of The Telescopes says he likes to stay in flux when it comes to songwriting. 
Courtesy 
Tapete Records
Martin Gore’s new solo EP is “The Third Chimpanzee.” (Courtesy Travis Shinn)

Martin Gore goes ape on new release

EP cover art created by Pockets Warhol, a capuchin monkey

Martin Gore’s new solo EP is “The Third Chimpanzee.” (Courtesy Travis Shinn)
April 2021 dates for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which wasn’t held in 2020, have been canceled. (Shutterstock)

Coachella’s off for April 2021

Riverside public health officer cancels spring festival

  • Jan 29, 2021
April 2021 dates for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which wasn’t held in 2020, have been canceled. (Shutterstock)
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn are Sleaford Mods. 
Courtesy Alasdair McLellan

Sleaford Mods get a bit playful on ‘Spare Ribs’

But UK duo remains vitriolic as ever

Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn are Sleaford Mods. 
Courtesy Alasdair McLellan
Still Corners’ Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray are huge film fans whose music reflects their passion. <ins>(Courtesy Bernard Bur)</ins>

Lush sounds on Still Corners’ ‘The Last Exit’

Duo’s love of cinema influences evocative album

Still Corners’ Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray are huge film fans whose music reflects their passion. <ins>(Courtesy Bernard Bur)</ins>
Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn and his wife Linda Pitmon are appearing in their creative 13-show online Impossible Tour from Jan. 17-Feb. 28. (Courtesy Steve Wynn)

Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn launches Impossible Tour

Clever 13-show event streams from rehearsal space in Queens

Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn and his wife Linda Pitmon are appearing in their creative 13-show online Impossible Tour from Jan. 17-Feb. 28. (Courtesy Steve Wynn)
Matthew Sweet’s new album “Catspaw,” being released this week, was completed in 2019. <ins>(Courtesy Evan Carter)</ins>

Matthew Sweet’s got a thing for felines

Pop rocker releases ‘Catspaw,’ sells bronze cat sculptures

Matthew Sweet’s new album “Catspaw,” being released this week, was completed in 2019. <ins>(Courtesy Evan Carter)</ins>
Veteran bluesman George Thorogood recently released a live double album of a historic 1982 concert in Boston. <ins>(Courtesy David Dobson)</ins>

Bluesman George Thorogood recalls busking in SF

Kind Bay Area fans gave the once poor street singer food stamps

Veteran bluesman George Thorogood recently released a live double album of a historic 1982 concert in Boston. <ins>(Courtesy David Dobson)</ins>
Robbie Chater, left, and Tony Di Blasi of The Avalanches released “We Will Always Love You” in December. (Courtesy photo)

Avalanches met with real humans in the studio

Australian electronic duo’s latest third album features impressive guests

Robbie Chater, left, and Tony Di Blasi of The Avalanches released “We Will Always Love You” in December. (Courtesy photo)
With tunes both scathing and heartwarming, Bruce Springsteen’s 2020 release “Letter to You” exemplifies the rocker’s versatility. (Courtesy Danny Clinch)

Top 10 rock albums of 2020

Despite a dearth of concerts, musicians released truly remarkable records

With tunes both scathing and heartwarming, Bruce Springsteen’s 2020 release “Letter to You” exemplifies the rocker’s versatility. (Courtesy Danny Clinch)
The Oak Ridge Boys' William Lee Golden, second from right, is working on an album of classic tunes with his sons slated for release next year, along with a biography. (Courtesy photo)

William Lee Golden recalls music from his youth

Oak Ridge Boys baritone records classic tunes with his sons

The Oak Ridge Boys' William Lee Golden, second from right, is working on an album of classic tunes with his sons slated for release next year, along with a biography. (Courtesy photo)
X — from left, DJ Bonebrake, Billy Zoom, Exene Cervenka and John Doe – released “Alphabetland,” its first album in 27 years, in 2020. (Courtesy Kristy Benjamin)

X, with new album, stays home for the holidays

‘Tough times make for good art’ says Exene Cervenka

X — from left, DJ Bonebrake, Billy Zoom, Exene Cervenka and John Doe – released “Alphabetland,” its first album in 27 years, in 2020. (Courtesy Kristy Benjamin)
Steve Perry, who famously took a long break from the pop music world, released “Traces (Alternate Versions and Sketches)” this month.<ins> (Courtesy Myriam Santos)</ins>

Steve Perry strips songs down on second ‘Traces’

Legendary Journey vocalist reimagines soulful tunes on new recording

Steve Perry, who famously took a long break from the pop music world, released “Traces (Alternate Versions and Sketches)” this month.<ins> (Courtesy Myriam Santos)</ins>
Jules Shear, who wrote hits for Cyndi Lauper and The Bangles, recorded his latest CD in his home studio in upstate New York. (Courtesy photo)

Versatile Jules Shear goes ‘Slower’ during COVID

Flames still flicker for old-school singer-songwriter

Jules Shear, who wrote hits for Cyndi Lauper and The Bangles, recorded his latest CD in his home studio in upstate New York. (Courtesy photo)