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 is highlighted and spotlit. To be considered, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snap your fingers – jazzy San Francisco swingsters the Cosmo Alleycats have officially released their debut album, The Late Late Show. It's the kind of story you love to hear: talented local band makes good, a group that formed as a weekly venue houseband makes the leap to fully-realized recording act. And that record beams with tinkling piano, hearty sax, the thumping backbone of upright bass, and a mix of soulful jazz numbers, vintage R&B, and poppy upbeat swing.
Celebrating their new retro-tinged album this week, the Cosmo Alleycats play two local release shows; one at Le Colonial, at which they were hatched, and then another at Blondie’s Bar & No Grill – there'll be a special “Alleycat Cosmo” cocktail available at the second event, here's hoping there's good booze contained within.
Year and location of origin: January 2010 on Cosmo Alley in SF
Band name origin: Mike: Booze & lack of foresight. Steve & Emily: A couple of us were asked to pull together a band to fill in for Kim Nalley at Le Colonial while she was on vacation for a month. Assuming that there would only be four performances, we wanted the band name to reflect the venue location. Since Le Colonial is on Cosmo Alley, "The Cosmo Alleycats" seemed like a natural fit. Soon after, we were hired as the full time Wednesday night band and started doing gigs all around the Bay Area. The name just stuck.
Band motto: Steve: Get people dancing; Mike: Don't ask Noam about his hair; Emily: Create fun!
Description of sound in 10 words or less: Emily: Modern vintage R&B and boogaloo swing - we defy classification!; Mike: twang, honk, bang, thump, tinkle, hum.
Instrumentation: Vocals (Emily Wade Adams), Sax (Pete Cornell), Piano (Noam Eisen), Upright Bass (Steve Height) and Drums (Mike Burns). The album also features Nick Rossi on guitar and David Kellerman on keys.
Most recent release: The Late, Late Show (2011)
Best part about life as a Bay Area band: Emily: Loyal, enthusiastic, supportive fans (many of whom wow us with their secret swing dancing skills) and the opportunity to play a range of excellent venues from fun dive bars to hallowed music halls, awesome festivals, and gorgeous winery weddings; Steve: There are so many people here that love seeing live music and are tremendously loyal to bands that they enjoy; Mike: Playing in my home town.
Worst part about life as a Bay Area band: Steve: Bridge traffic; Mike: DJs; Emily: Trying to park to load in!
First record/cassette tape/or CD ever purchased: Mike: Herman's Hermits; Emily: Oh God. My first tape was either Madonna's “You Can Dance" or George Michael's "Faith". First CD was Soul II Soul's Club Classics Volume 1. When I was three, I'd listen to the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour record over and over, looking at all the pretty pictures in the booklet that came with the record and wondering why all these old dudes were dressed up in costumes. I had no clue that drugs were involved until I was about 20."
Most recent record/cassette tape/CD/or Mp3 purchased/borrowed from the Web: Emily: Other than our own? The latest releases from Amy Winehouse and the Black Keys; Mike: Arann Harris and the Farm Band.
Favorite local eatery and dish: Steve: Le Colonial's brussels sprouts; Mike: Cordon Blue, California @ Hyde, menu #5; Emily: Where to begin? The food trucks at Off the Grid are ridiculous. I'm addicted to Curry Up Now's chicken tikka masala burrito. Also, the veggie burger at the Plant Organic is to die for. And I love my Thursday night 'liquid dinners' with the band at Blondie's Bar & No Grill."
Thurs/22, 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Blondie's Bar & No Grill
540 Valencia, SF