This year has seen a bumper crop of local bands come through CapRadio, from Tiny Desk contestants to artists we've long-wanted to book to drummer Alfonso Portella appearing again and again as though he were cursed to roam only these halls. It's been such a reward to make connections with these artists and we're looking forward to even more in 2019.
The Insight and Hey, Listen! team loves bringing local musicians into the studio to perform live and talk about their latest projects. Insight producer Cody Drabble and Hey Listen! host Nick Brunner put together a list of their favorite performance videos of 2018.
Makebelief — "Bad Remember"
Is it cheating to start this article with a debut entry? NPR's Tiny Desk Contest put Schuyler Peterson on our radar. He writes and performs under the name Makebelief. Petersen is one of the most emotive performers to come through CapRadio this year, twisting his face and mouth to create the warped, woozy electronic sounds on his tracks.
POOR Majesty — "Patience"
Adrian Gilmore (aka "POOR Majesty") is part of the Sacramento hip hop group Tribe of Levi and appears on tracks with artists like Bru Lei and Mahtie Bush. "Patience" is from his upcoming record, which Gilmore plans to release in the spring of 2019.
Listen to POOR Majesty's full CapRadio interview and performance on Hey, Listen! here.
Lillian Frances — "Phone, Keys, Wallet"
From an inability to roll her "Rs" to how harvesting vegetables robbed her of the ability to play guitar, the music of Lilian Frances is both playful and personal. The Davis musician says this track is "about the things that we lose." It comes from a performance she recorded with us in advance of the release of her E.P., "Timeism."
Listen to Lillian Frances' full CapRadio interview and performance on Hey, Listen! here.
Topograf — "Dreams"
Kevin and Alyssa Stefanescu make music filled with lush, warm electronic textures which comes through loud and clear on their in-studio version of their track, "Dreams." Topograf recorded for Hey, Listen! this summer in advance of their E.P. release.
Listen to Topograf's full CapRadio interview and performance on Hey, Listen! here.
Evil Seagull — "Words"
Anne Healey, aka Evil Seagull, performed "Words" during her May 21st recording at CapRadio. I love the spartan setting for her performance on "Words." It captures the somber and arresting nature of the song. Healey released her E.P., "The Philosophy of Evil Seagull," this year.
Listen to Evil Seagull's full CapRadio interview and performance on Hey, Listen! here.
SpaceWalker — "Het Heru"
Hip hop punk unicorn SpaceWalker performed her Tiny Desk Contest entry, “Het Heru,” this spring. She stacks interstellar beats one element at a time into a heavenly crescendo of chanting and freestyling.
Listen to SpaceWalker's full CapRadio interview and performance on Insight here.
Tre Burt — "Undead God of War"
Tre Burt’s new debut album, “Caught It From The Rye,” is a mix of political commentary and “bitter love songs.” It’s a powerful record from an artist articulating a vision of the present moment with a sound rooted in American folk, blues and soul.
Listen to Tre Burt's full CapRadio interview and performance on Insight here.
Honyock — "Patron"
Indie rockers Honyock brought their dreamy guitar driven single, “Patron,” this summer. After a U.S. tour to support their albub, “El Castillo,” Honyock is already hard at work in the studio this winter working on a follow-up record.
Listen to Honyock's full CapRadio interview and performance on Insight here.
Sparks Across Darkness — "Nice to Meet You"
Hip hop artist Sparks Across Darkness shared his first full-length album, “Obscura,” this summer. His introductory single, “Nice to Meet You,” showcases his charm and lyrical wit, with help from his fellow emcee TIP Vicious.
Listen to Sparks Across Darkness' full CapRadio interview and performance on Insight here.
The Philharmonik — "Colors"
Soul and hip hop artist-producer The Philharmonik made a splash with his self-titled debut album this spring. He draws inspiration from a wealth of musical influences to make songs that paint a positive vision of how life ought to be with honesty and moral conviction.
Listen to The Philharmonik's full CapRadio interview and performance on Insight here.
Honorable (Non-Musical) Mention: Khalypso — "Conversations About Home"
Operation FreeSoul poet Khaya Osborne delivered the emotional impact of an unforgettable song in her performance of her poem “Conversations About Home.”
Listen to Operation FreeSoul's full CapRadio interview and performance on Insight here.
So much of how we book these performances is by artists reaching out to us. If you'd like to be considered for a Hey, Listen! in-studio performance, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled musician Schuyler Peterson's name. We regret the error.