Neal Francis comments on new ‘In Plain Sight’ LP

The writing process for new music always varies from artist to artist. Some, like Springsteen, can spend days locked inside a studio perfecting snare beats. Others, like Chicago native Neal Francis, can find themselves living inside a church for a year, immersed in “Well Tempered Clavier”. I guess you could say, when creating his sophomore […]

Same Same But Different 2021: Day Three

As the morning of Day Three kept upon the attendees of the funky, flair-approved and freedom-encouraging Same Same But Different festival, the last thing on anybody’s mind was to stop the party early. Lake Perris shimmered in the sunshine, welcoming swimmers and floaters as Red Giant Project and Moontricks played the musical stages. The Coconut […]

Gipsy Kings at San Diego’s Humphrey’s By the Bay

Gipsy Kings put on a great show at Humphrey’s By The Bay on November 3rd! The Latin pop group brought the same energy to San Diego that they started with 40 years ago and had most of the crowd standing and dancing at their seats. Even fans enjoying the show from their kayaks just outside […]

Eclectic Soundtrax Podcast, Ep. 61: James Desautels

Air date: November 24, 2021 On this episode of Eclectic Soundtrax, hosts Victor Ramos and Skunk Manhattan chat with virtuoso violinist, composer, producer, songwriter, arranger and conductor, James Desautels. From concert halls and music festivals to small clubs and intimate recording studios, “Jamie” has performed in 37 countries across five continents over a career spanning […]

TRISHES’ emotive ‘Id’ album release show in Los Angeles

It was a stormy Monday night for Los Angeles on October 25th, yet nothing indicated a stay-home attitude at the Hotel Cafe on Cahuenga Boulevard. TRISHES’ dedicated fan base came out in full force for the highly-anticipated, intimate album release show her latest, The Id. Following The Ego, The Id is (naturally) another side of […]

One psychedelic trip with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong in St. Louis

The earlier this month, I experienced a band for the first time. It was a band with a quirky name and an even quirkier onstage personality. They play a pretty intense version of electro-funk, mixed with a psychedelic-esque groove undertone that is unmistakable to their particular genre of music. All four of the band members […]

TSM Artist #HotList: November 20th, 2021

Alexia Johnson for #TopShelfMusic here, with another TSM Artist #HotList! This week, we visit an island reggae artist originally from Guam (now based in Colorado), a Guyanese artist (famously known as “Lady LAW”) and two reggae rock groups from the San Francisco Bay Area. Thank you for tuning in! (Please set your video settings to […]

Julien Baker headlines Oakland’s Fox Theater

On Saturday November 6th, Julien Baker was back in the Bay Area, after a surprise opening set with Boygenius bandmate and friend Phoebe Bridgers a mere few weeks ago at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. Tonight’s occasion was for the Little Oblivions Tour in honor of Baker’s new full-length album of the same name. Baker’s third studio […]

Outside Lands 2021: an extra special Halloween

Halloween in San Francisco was one for the record books this year! After being postponed two years in a row (and then rescheduled for Halloween weekend), the beloved Outside Lands Music Festival returned to Golden Gate Park for its usual three-day event, starting Friday Oct 29th and ending on Halloween night. Headliners included The Strokes on […]

Michigander meets with Top Shelf at Shaky Knees Fest

Jason Singer, the 29-year-old also known as Michigander, has been very productive during the last couple of years. He lost some weight, wrote some new music and got engaged. Instead of succumbing to the negativity that COVID brought to so many people, Jason decided to turn that time into something positive, writing his latest EP, […]

Rock on the River 2021: two terrific days in Timmins, CAN

Welcome to a small town rock festival in the far-off north! It’s a place where friendly, happy-go-lucky organizers are as serious about good music as they are about making sure there’s enough cold beer to go around. And, it was a bigger than big rock lineup — we’re talking nationally acclaimed artists — The Arkells, […]

Same Same But Different 2021: Day Two

After a frivolous Day One, everyone emerged out of their camping spots along Lake Perris for yet another crazy day of Same Same But Different Fest! I unfortunately was running a little late (with hopes to interview the boys of Capyac, who performed the night before), so when I arrived on the scene to set […]

Gov’t Mule drops ‘Heavy Load Blues’ album

Conducted by GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and overall guitar legend Warren Haynes, celebrated foursome Gov’t Mule has gifted the world once again with their newest venture: a full blues album titled Heavy Load Blues, released on November 12th through Fantasy Records. The first ever head-to-toe blues album recorded by the band, Heavy Load Blues […]

Boy Harsher & friends pack Empire Garage for Levitation Fest

Empire Control Room & Garage was absolutely packed Thursday for Day Two of Austin’s annual psych rock fest, Levitation. The five-day experience prides itself in showcasing some of the coolest and most unique shows anywhere in America. This night, Empire would be hosting some rising artists, such as Nation of Language and Rosegarden Funeral Party, […]

A chat with The Collection at Shaky Knees Fest

The Collection is an amazing seven-piece band hailing from Saxapahaw, North Carolina. Their wild live shows and upbeat blend of pop rock have earned them a 2019 NPR Tiny Desk judges pick, as well as a recent opening spot with Larkin Poe. Their latest single, “Get Lost”, was released a few weeks ago and they […]