Getting older is an inevitable fact of life, but how a person responds to the resulting changes determines whether he’s
growing up or simply aging. Halsted frontman Ryan Auffenberg is most certainly a member of the former camp, as
evidenced by the band’s new album, High Wire And A Heart Of Gold, a gorgeous recording that explores many of the
complex and intriguing issues that accompany maturity.
High Wire And A Heart Of Gold—to be released in early 2014, with a single due this fall—is the second record that
the Missouri-born, San Francisco-based singer-songwriter has issued as Halsted, a moniker he chose to employ when
2010’s Life Underwater was put together by a group of friends that felt more like a band than a bunch of hired guns.
Though the project continues to be directed by Auffenberg (who’s also released a pair of solo albums, Marigolds and
Golden Gate Park), his right-hand man is Peter Craft, whose Boxer Studios in San Francisco played host to the recording
of High Wire And A Heart Of Gold. As with Life Underwater, Craft drummed, engineered, and coproduced with
“Pete is generally my first line of defense and closest collaborator in the group,” says Auffenberg, who also worked with
Kevin T. White (Chuck Prophet), Brian Mello, and Peter Straus (Dwarves). “Whenever I have new song ideas, he’s usually
the first one to get the demo, and we’ll then kick ideas around for a bit before submitting them to the group at large.”
Some of the more significant recent developments in Auffenberg’s life include getting married and preparing to have his
first child, and while High Wire And A Heart Of Gold may not exactly be an ode to domesticity, it’s impossible for these
new paths not to influence his writing. It’s sort of hard to write sad love songs—an Auffenberg specialty—when you’re
happily hitched, so you’ll now find him ruminating on topics ranging from the musician’s life (“Independence Day”) to
the zombie apocalypse (“Climbing Up The Walls”). Elliott Smith is the somewhat obvious subject of “Figure 8,” a song
inspired by stories in Autumn de Wilde’s photo book about the troubled singer. Auffenberg saw similarities in comments
by Smith’s friends about having to walk away from their relationships with him near the end of his life and his own
conflicted feelings about not being in better standing with Tim Mooney when he unexpectedly died last summer. The
American Music Club drummer produced much of Auffenberg’s solo material and played an integral role in the early part
of his career.
“Tim and I hit a bit of a rough spot leading up to the release of Marigolds, but had since patched things up,” says
Auffenberg. “That said, things between us were nowhere near where I would have liked them to be when he passed. I
remember when I heard the news, just feeling this overwhelming wave of regret that I hadn’t taken advantage of the
opportunity to let him know how highly I think of him and what an impact he’s had on me.”
Musically, High Wire And A Heart Of Gold retains some of the poppier elements of Life Underwater, though this time
around there’s a stronger roots-rock backbone that harkens back to Auffenberg’s solo work. Though still only in his early
30s, his music reflects a sage soul who’s been there, done that, and is excited about what’s to come. It’s the sound of
confidence, and it couldn’t sound any better.


When EMA asks the question 'what's it like to be small-town and gay?' in her unhinged-angst anthem 'California', Caleb Nichols has an answer: It was brutal, it was beautiful, and well worth singing about.

Nichols, along with San Francisco/Oakland music scene vets Pat Spurgeon and Dominic East, explores the heartache and wonder of small-town teenage alienation in his new Bay-Area based outfit, CHURCHES.

CHURCHES is salvation through distortion for the disaffected small-town weirdo in everyone – a sonic cathedral of cymbals and guitars for the modern outcast. Download the free, self-titled debut ep and find out what all the noise is about.

Buckeye Knoll

Buckeye Knoll emerged from months spent backpacking in the wilderness of California. Songwriter Doug Streblow carried with him a notebook and acoustic guitar and weaved stories into songs that would become their debut full length album "People and Place". Released in the Spring of 2010, the album received flattering praise including the SF Chronicle calling Streblow and the album "The Real Deal" and "Unforgettable". Averaging almost 50 shows a year, Buckeye Knoll stayed busy on the road with two tours to SXSW, as well as shows in notable Bay Area venues including Bottom of the Hill, Cafe Du Nord, Brick and Mortar and more.

In between their busy tour schedule Buckeye Knoll, rounded out by bassist Graham Rolak, guitarist Alex Price and drummer Peter Labberton, managed to write and record a new full length album in the Fall of 2011. They headed up to a 300 acre ranch near Yosemite to set up a studio in a large remote cabin with engineer and longtime friend of the band, Cian Riordan (Taking Back Sunday, John Craigie, Slash). Eric Valentine (All American Rejects, Nickel Creek, Third Eye Blind) mastered the record titled "Lovecreek" which is scheduled for a Spring release. An album release tour is set for May with a nationwide follow up in July, 2013. It's going to be a busy year for Buckeye Knoll.

$5 adv - $8 dos


Under 21 must buy $5 drink ticket at the door.

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
Brick & Mortar Music Hall

  • Sorry, there are currently no upcoming events.