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Sights & Sounds Weekly: 2/11/16

Courtesy of the artist/ Resized and cropped
Guitarist, John Givens

Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. Our guest is John Givens: guitarist and bandleader of No Lovely Thing, performing Friday, 2/12, at Ashkenaz in Berkeley.

Givens told KALW’s Jen Chien about three cool arts events happening this week around the Bay.


Tonight, 2/11, the Robert Glasper Experiment performs at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. This group’s sound is rooted in jazz but uses genre-crossing techniques and guest musicians to bring hip-hop and r&b along for the ride, too.


GIVENS: They’re very accomplished jazz musicians who are using a lot of contemporary electronics, mixing, and collaborating with a lot of people to make a very layered sound.

Friday, 2/12, the New Parish in Oakland hosts the Budos Band along with Kuckaw! – two groups steeped in the Afro-beat sound. Budos Band, from Staten Island, features a horn-driven, rotating line-up that sometimes hits 13 members. Oakland-based Kuckaw! draws from 70’s rhythms and disco to create its instrumental funk.


GIVENS: These guys are monsters, really intense and really funky. It’s hard not to move to this music.

On Sunday, 2/14, The Lady Crooners have an album release party at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Formed as a collaboration of siblings, The Lady Crooners use lots of harmonizing in their folk pop songs. This Valentine’s Day Celebration also features the folk rock/Americana groups Frankie Boots and the County Line along with The McCoy Tyler Band.


GIVENS: With country, funky, and big anthemic driving rock sounds, it should be a pleasure of a show.