Tuesday, October 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Indie and folk music thrive at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen

By
August 10, 2011 |

Wondering where to go for some quality entertainment this weekend? Look no further than Sophia’s Thai Kitchen at 129 E St. — one of the region’s hotspots for live indie and folk music. The popular Thai restaurant is quickly becoming better known for its cutting-edge music than its cuisine among Davis’ drinking-aged music listeners.

Sophia’s bar features an intimate outdoor patio where up-and-coming bands perform at least two nights every weekend, often for an admission price of less than $10.

Already, Sophia’s has acquired some relatively well-known bands from the indie scene — the Dodos, Fruit Bats, the Morning Benders, Dawes and Blind Pilot, to name a few. They have been joined by rising favorites from the Davis folk music scene.

If you’re unfamiliar with a band that’s playing at Sophia’s on any given weekend, just check out one of their sample songs via Sophia’s website to help you decide if they’re worth seeing. The web page can be found at http://sophiasthaikitchen.com/live_events.cfm.

Co-owner Kevin Wan said he starting booking live entertainment at Sophia’s bar on a whim, “because that’s just what I thought bars did. … So I booked a local jazz band to play on our deck every Friday night. It gradually expanded to Sacramento bands, then Bay Area bands.

“Over the years, we caught the attention of touring bands and national booking agents, and what began on a whim six years ago morphed into something bigger and better than I ever could’ve imagined.”

The music has attracted customers to Sophia’s from all over Northern California, Wan said. And the national reputation the bar is getting is cool, too.

“Even though we’re a small venue, a lot of bigger-name bands will play here because they’ve heard it’s a cool place to play and we really take care of our musicians,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to book a band here and see them on Letterman two months later. Which happened just last week — twice.”

This weekend, Sophia’s features three nights of entertainment. Tickets are available on Sophia’s website only for Thursday night’s show, which boasts the San Francisco indie-folk group Vetiver. Tickets are $8.

Sacramento’s folk beauties, Sea of Bees, will open Thursday night’s show at 8:30 with a tranquil half-hour-long performance.

The young group already has received critical acclaim from many respectable sources, including NPR, thanks to the fascinating voice of its leader singer, Julie Baenziger. Check out Sea of Bees’ new single, “Wizbot,” to hear an emotionally charged ballad.

Former Port O’Brien frontman Van Pierszalowski will start playing at 9 p.m. with his new indie-rock band, Waters.

A year and a half ago, Pierszalowski left San Francisco for Oslo, Norway, and formed Waters after parting ways with Port O’Brien. Waters’ sound is rough, rowdy and raw. Hear a sample on Sophia’s website.

Vetiver will headline the show and start playing at 10 p.m. On Saturday, the group will return to San Francisco to perform at the renowned three-day alternative music festival, Outside Lands.

Vetiver’s rich discography and constant touring have earned the band a following that is expected to arrive en masse on Thursday night.

Fans of M. Ward will enjoy frontman Andy Cabic’s raspy croon backed by gentle acoustic guitar strumming and keyboards on Vetiver’s new single, “Can’t You Tell Me.”

More entertainment will follow over the weekend at Sophia’s. Friday night’s show will host two folk bands for a meager price of $5. The West Nile Ramblers, a Davis folk band, will open the show at 10 p.m.

The West Nile Ramblers are carried by two band members who once comprised a Davis bluegrass group, the Mad Cow String Band. Fuzzy electric guitars, swinging country beats, rootsy fiddle and warbly vocals describe these local folk veterans.

Whether a vintage cover or a fresh original, the Ramblers’ songs are inherently catchy. Their foot-tapping, sing-along choruses are sure to please any audience with an open ear. Check out “Double Wide” on Sophia’s website.

Los Angeles’ gypsy-jazz aficionados, Dustbowl Revival, will headline Friday night’s show. Starting at 11 p.m., sounds of the Roaring ’20s — on cornet, guitar, fiddle, accordion, washboard and other antique folk instruments — will fill the patio.

“Lonesome Hobo” paints the bleak portrait of a nomadic homeless person, pitifully crying, “My mama, she’s a lover / She likes to keep me undercover / My mama, she’s the only one I got.” Listen to it on Sophia’s website.

Saturday night’s entertainment also costs a mere $5. At 9:30 p.m., Merced folk songwriter RC Essig will provide the muscle behind the night’s opening act, Awahnichi.

Check out his musical Native American fables like “The Bear and the Season Witch” at myspace.com/awahnichi.

A Los Angeles electronic-folk hybrid, yOya, will follow at 10 p.m. Saturday, performing their college radio-ready repertoire.

The emotional ballad “Fireworks” will tear the heartstrings of any hopeless romantic. Check it out on Sophia’s website.

Finally, Minnesota singer-songwriter David Dondero will close the weekend’s entertainment with a soulful folk set.

With a gravelly voice like Dave Matthews and a sharp wit like Conor Oberst, Dondero will begin to unveil his innermost musings at 11 p.m. Saturday.

In addition to revisiting folk classics, Dondero will bellow lamenting choruses like “Got lost on the road / No records got sold / Numbered zero with a bullet.” Check out “Zero with a Bullet” on Sophia’s website.

“I’m proud of the fact that we can contribute to the Davis nightlife in a positive way,” Wan said. “I like that we can do something cool and that people appreciate it.”

Comments

comments

.

News

So much more than a cute baby store

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suspected arson fires worry neighbors, firefighters

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Winters homicide case enters jury-selection phase

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Fill the Boot for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Existing home sales rise in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Democrats love seeing minimum wage on the ballot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Yolo Knitters Guild plans fall meetings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Local farm products found at hospital market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tax tips offered for sole proprietors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Apply now for community mediation training

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Paws for Thought: Pets for Vets: matches made in heaven

By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A3 | Gallery

‘Tokyo Kill’ author will visit bookstore

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Sierra Club gathers for morning walks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

DPNS has play group, preschool openings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
First-time home buyers get free advice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Psychiatric clinic hosts open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Beer dinner set on Co-op patio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Walkin’ the Dawg through the park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
 
Essay contest winners will be honored Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Volunteers sought to make veggie bags

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Library hosts after-hours teen movie nights

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Forum eyes impacts of raising the local minimum wage

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
NAMI-Yolo family support group meets Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

To save the birds, look to the fish

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Birding field trip planned Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Forum

Ready to go, whatever happens

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where there’s a will …

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

U.N. steps up to lead Ebola response

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
John Cole cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

These three are the best

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Sunder has bold vision

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Archer, Nolan are my picks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
She’s innovative, passionate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

An accidental fan becomes a baseball devotee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Devil defense regresses in football loss

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

 
UCD’s Wegener is the engine that drives the train

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Villegas wonderstrike powers Devils

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS golfers take the title

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sports briefs: Top-end tennis talent helps DHS girls grab a win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Junior Blue Devils: Regular slate ends with 2 Davis teams playoff bound

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

After running the gridiron gauntlet, can UCD regroup?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Stories on Stage Davis presents tales by Lescroart, Montieth

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Peggy Belenis Swisher

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7