Nightbeats: Fruit Bats and Vetiver stars to perform in Sonoma

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Stripped down in Sonoma

Locals who’d rather stay in town than travel to San Francisco during the 2019 Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival are in luck, because this year, the stars of Fruit Bats and Vetiver are scheduled to perform at Sonoma’s Sebastiani Theater just one day after the pair plays a set at The Chapel in San Francisco.

For those who have been living under a rock and don’t know who these acts are, both Fruit Bats and Vetiver play melody-driven indie rock songs with a delightful folky undertone, comparable to Fleet Foxes, Dr. Dog or Bright Eyes.

Lead by composer and multi-instrumentalist Eric D. Johnson, Fruit Bats has been around since the ‘90s, despite Johnson’s other multiple musical endeavors, which included playing guitar in The Shins for a few years and a short rebrand as EDJ.

And after all these years, Johnson has proved focusing on Fruit Bats over all other projects was the right call. He found success penning romcom anthems for films starring Michael Cera, such as “When U Love Somebody,” which was featured in the “Youth In Revolt” soundtrack and “Humbug Mountain Song” with more than 20 million Spotify plays. But of course, that doesn’t mean new projects aren’t in the works.

Teaming up with Vetiver frontman Andy Cabic for a new LP which releases today, Friday, Feb. 22, “In Real Life (Live at Spacebomb Studios)” showcases striped down versions of fan favorite songs. . The songwriters met at a gig nearly 10 years ago, and have gone on tour together and played on one another’s albums. “In Real Life” celebrates the pair’s long musical history through a live recording, and highlights the way they’ve shared a stage throughout the years.

The LP gives listeners a taste of what to expect at the upcoming concert at Sebastiani Theater. Featuring two acoustic guitars as the pair sit side by side and take turns performing Fruit Bats and Vetiver songs, the simplicity of the show delivers a listening room setting with a haunting and beautiful tone which would otherwise be overshadowed by a full band.

Featuring Fruit Bats songs along with Vetiver’s delicate lovesick lullaby “Maureen” off the 2006 album “To Find Me Gone” and “ Rolling Sea” which leaves listeners wistful for a day smelling the “sweet salt air,” the new six-song release is sure to only be a part of what concertgoers can expect to hear. Yet, one listen to the reworked songs is sure to leave a craving for more.

Although advanced tickets are available for $22 and $25 at the door, since the show is put together by (((folkYEAH!))) and Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 30 Bacchus Club members can email for tickets to an exclusive happy hour at Abbot’s Passage which includes Abbot’s Passage Wine, appetizers and admisision to the show for $50. Or those without a wine membership can save the $20 plus and grab drinks at one of the many bars near the Sebastiani Theater before the show too.

Details: 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, Sebastiani Theater, 476 First St. E., Sonoma. $22-$50.

Get out of town

If getting out of Wine Country for a week of music or catching a show at the six-day Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival — showcasing music at venues throughout the Bay Area — sounds fun, first-time Noise Pop attendees should keep a few things in mind.

First, since most Noise Pop concerts start right after traffic hour, make sure to leave a little early. Street parking is competitive and parking garages can get pricey. Second, bring a friend if you can. Carpooling not only helps cut down carbon footprints, but it also earns a coveted spot in the carpool lane while other cars are bumper to bumper.

Finally, for those planning on venue hoping to make the best of their weeklong festival badge, taking BART can be very beneficial. Especially since the festival is scatted throughout San Francisco and Oakland. Taking BART not only saves time in traffic but it’s safer than driving if you want to grab a few drinks early in the night. Just remember to work in reverse and park at the last show you plan to attend for the night because BART stops running at midnight.

Details: Feb. 25- Mar. 3, Noise Pop Music and Arts Festival, various San Francisco and East Bay venues. $12-$850.

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