I grew up in Mill Valley and pretty much started collecting records in the 3rd grade while going to Park School and delivering papers for the Marin Independent Journal to earn the money to spend on them. I spent my free time digging through bins of the iconic Village Music until one year I was hired as Christmas help and ended up there for 27 years. In late 2007 when John Goddard decided to close, I figured I would give it a shot and open my own store, and I’ve now been in business for more than 14 years. We carry most anything to do with music, but it’s vinyl that helps keep the doors open. Marin is loaded with talented musicians, so to just pick a few to recommend is hard, but here are a few worthy mentions every local music fan should hear.
- Wax Duo has a timely song about the pandemic on their album Curbside Pickup called “6 Feet Apart,” which says they would rather be 6 feet under than 6 feet apart — a bit tongue-in-cheek but catchy.
- The Eldon Brown Band has a song called “I’d Be a Fool” from the album of the same name. They’re a great jump-blues style band and often have dance lessons before their shows.
- Soul Ska is built from members of the longtime Marin band Vinyl and has a rocking song called “Mash Em! Smash Em – Evil Ruler.”
- Longtime local power-pop band Marble Party just released their fourth album Time and Time Again with the first single “Jessie.”
- Fairfax band Talley Up! has just released Alive in Marin, which has mostly been recorded at the now defunct Terrapin Crossroads. Lots of funky tunes, but I like The Meters’ song “Fire on the Bayou.”
- I’m also fond of a song called “Darkness” on The Wasabi’s second album, Departures. It has a sort of Soundgarden feel. Full disclosure though: I actually play drums on it. It was recorded at the also now defunct Fantasy Studios, which is the best studio I’ve ever played in, with much history stored in its walls.
- Lastly, there’s a recent remaster of the Steve Winwood album About Face. This isn’t new, and the local angle is somewhat tenuous, being that the talented guitarist on the album is José Neto, who lives in Fairfax. But, given the shaky world situation right now, there is a cover of Timmy Thomas’ “Why Can’t We Live Together” on it that is a wonderful version, and makes you wish that you really could live together.
More from Marin:
- Marin’s Cities & Towns: Mill Valley
- Sara Wasserman’s Journey to Haiti: A Rock-and-Roll Daughter Gives Back With Music
- Stewards of a Historical Gem: How the Sweetwater Music Hall Was Re-invented as a Nonprofit to Preserve a Legendary Venue
Gary Scheuenstuhl is the owner of Mill Valley Music in Mill Valley.