Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. Each week a band/music-maker with a show, album release, or general good news during those seven days is highlighted and spotlit. To be considered, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last fall, eclectic new folk act the 21st Century was given the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to record with legendary producer Stephen Short (the former owner of Trident Studios who has worked with David Bowie, the Clash, Paul McCartney, Queen, Echo and the Bunnymen et. al.). The Bay Area eight-to-nine piece was thrilled but too broke to cover all the costs of making the album, plus, there were travel commitments (Short is based in Texas).
The forward-thinking futurists harnessed modern technology: they set up a Kickstarter page. With the $10,000+ funding in place (thanks to 187 backers), the band recorded late last year, and the album will be released in November. Before that release, however, the 21st Century will play a show as part of the ongoing Mission Creek Music and Art Festival.
Year and location of origin: 2010, SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND/BERKELEY
Band name origin: The name originates from a few different places. One is ambition. We're an eight (and occasionally a nine) piece with orchestrated horns and four part harmonies and a couple of kitchen sinks so we wanted to name ourselves in a way that reflected that bold and without limits musical attitude. We also felt that we'd spent much of our lives hearing our times and our generation defined for us in ways that we didn't relate to so we thought why don't we take a stab at it and have a say in the matter. Hence THE 21ST CENTURY. Oh and I also remember hearing Elvis Costello saying that he named himself after the two largest acts he could think of -- a pretty gutsy move. I thought -- now that's a good idea, but let's raise him one.
Band motto: Unofficially, it's probably 'What would Bruce Springsteen Do?"
Description of sound in 10 words or less: Intricate arrangements, colorful harmonies, brass, lyrical surrealism and off-beat pop sensibility.
Instrumentation: Electric, Acoustic and bass guitars, drums, keys, horns, lots of percussion and lots of singing.
Most recent release: THE CITY, Coming Soon...November 2011.
Best part about life as a Bay Area band: People want to be friends.
Worst part about life as a Bay Area band: The bars and clubs close too early. 2 a.m.? Come on.
First record/cassette tape/or CD ever purchased: The single of "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Freddy Mercury. I thought I was getting Vanilla Ice.
Most recent record/cassette tape/CD/or Mp3 purchased/borrowed from the Web: Wilco's The Whole Love & Girls Father, Son, Holy Ghost.
Favorite local eatery and dish: Al Pastor at El Metate--dynamite.And the Cold House Noodles at Yamo.
Mission Creek Music and Art Festival
Ongoing through Sept. 30
Multiple venues through San Francisco and Oakland
Live at the Starry Plough: