A few months ago, I was invited by my friend Paul Brill to come hear Elizabeth Ziman AKA Elizabeth and The Catapult performing an acoustic show in a living room in Oakland.
As soon as I heard songs like “We Can Pretend” and “Thank You For Nothing,” I became a fan. If you like the music of Sara Bareilles, Feist or Ben Folds, you should check out Elizabeth’s records. Her most recent, Keepsake, is my current favorite.
On Saturday, February 2, I’m honored have the chance to present Elizabeth for the first time at Inside Lands at the beautiful home of Tim and Tara in Rohnert Park (near Santa Rosa in Sonoma County). Their living room is the ideal place to hear a house concert, but seating is limited, so reserve your spots now at inside-lands.ticketleap.com.
Where do you like to hear music? If you’d rather be in a room full of friends than a loud crowd of strangers, join us for our next music party.
Every month, we present singer/songwriters in listening spaces and living rooms throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. To hear some of our past performers, check out this Spotify playlist or watch these YouTube videos.
Donations go the musicians. Everyone is welcome. Anyone can attend.
Play an acoustic instrument? Sing or write songs? Join us for one of our Song Circle Music Parties sometime. They’re a very casual hangout. Musicians trading songs. Like an open mic without a mic. They usually happen around lunchtime and last for a few hours. Different locations and hosts each time. If you’d like to come play some songs with us, send an email, and I’ll reply with the address and details.
Here are some of musicians I’ve had the pleasure of presenting at Inside Lands and my original series, Bay Area House Concerts.
A Great Big World (Ian Axel and Chad King)
Adrianne (The Rescues)
Allie Moss (Ingrid Michaelson band)
Bobby Jo Valentine
Chris Von Sneidern
Dear John, Love Renée
Echoes + Artifacts
Graham Patzner (Whiskerman)
Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket)
Gregory Alan Isakov
Jeff Campbell (Static & Surrender)
Jeff Pehrson (Box Set)
Jim Brunberg (Box Set)
John Walter (Walty)
Kunkel & Harris
Kyler England (The Rescues)
Mark Davis (To Wake You)
Matt Langlois (Welcome Matt)
Misner & Smith
Molly Venter (Red Molly)
Monica Pasqual (Blame Sally)
Nick Shattell (not an Airplane)
Oona Garthwaite (Marston)
Peter Case (Plimsouls)
To Wake You
Uma Robin Mackey
Yours Truly, Michele
Sometimes I crave the solitude of road trips. I think wandering in the car alone for days down desolate roads just put me in a meditative state. I like the feeling of not knowing where I am, and finding the kind of disconnection that makes me welcome reconnection.
Every month, my friends and I present acoustic music parties in homes and private listening rooms around northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. 100% of the audience donations go to the musicians.
The fact that they don’t promote the names of the performers before the show underscores the belief that the platform is more important than the musicians.
It reminds of that stat showing how many millions of plays an artist would have to get on Spotify to earn the average salary of a Spotify employee. Same with the iPhone. Why do we value the machine that holds the music more than the human who created it?
Almost all of the hosts I know volunteer their time and open their homes to support the musicians who’ve been struggling to make any money from their recordings for the past 20 years. If we let corporations commodify the whole concept of community by taking over the house show scene, the musicians will suffer.
Let’s not let that happen, yeah? Let’s create a community that values the musicians first and foremost. Will you help me do that by coming to our shows and bringing your friends? To sign up for our list and receive invites to our upcoming shows, visit insidelands.org
Here’s something fun that happened. A few weeks before the 2016 election, after a series of sleepless nights, I woke up before dawn with this song in my head.
Up until then, I’d been in a creative drought for years. But the tension of the campaign ended up inspiring me in unexpected ways. For the first time in 8 years, I’d finished a song I felt good about.
So I asked my friend Jeff Campbell—leader of Pine & Battery, Static & Surrender and one of my musical heroes—if he’d produce the track. He went a step further and ended up playing guitar, arranging vocals, and writing the intro and bridge for the song.
Hard to put into words how lucky I feel to have such a supportive friend. Big thanks also to the fantastically talented Gawain Mathews for capturing the Kings of Leon meets Pete Yorn sound I had in my head, and to Rick Munoz who rocked like a thunder god on the drums.
When you download my song “Fight or Flight” at drewpearce.bandcamp.com, 100% of my proceeds will be donated to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency who are helping refugee children and families receive life-saving relief and support.
Q: How can I get involved in hosting a music party at my place? A: I love collaborating with other people who want to give songwriters a place to perform. If you have a place that can fit 40-50 people and would like to have me organize, promote and co-host a show at your home, send me an email and let’s talk about possible dates and artists.
Q: Are these music parties open to the public?
A: These are invitation-only parties that take place in private homes, backyards, yoga studios, wine tasting rooms and sometimes on the beach. But anyone can request an invitation. Just send me an email and tell me which show you’d like to attend.
Q: How can I get invitations to these gatherings?
A: Just send me an email and let me know which show you’d like to attend. I’ll reply with address and details.
Q: Who gets the audience donations? A: 100% of the donations at the shows and on inside-lands.ticketleap.com go to the performers. One of my main motivations for creating the Inside Lands series was to support the indie musicians I love and try to help them earn a living from their art.
Q: Is this a business? Are you a professional music promoter?
A: No. This is my hobby.
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: Just for fun. I’m a former performing songwriter who still loves hearing bands play in listening rooms and small venues where the audience is there more for the music than the social scene. A lot of those venues have closed, so my friends and I are doing what we can to create alternative venues in living rooms, yoga studios and wine tasting rooms.
Q: How can I get booked as a featured performer?
A: If you’re a singer-songwriter who’d like to perform at a house concert, introduce yourself to me in person at our next event. Booking decisions are shared by the homeowner co-hosts. Most shows are solo singer/songwriters performing in the round, and I lean toward San Francisco Bay Area acoustic acts that don’t need a PA. But I always love being introduced to new music, especially if you play indie folk, chamber pop, or Americana rock. Check out past performers to get an idea of what I tend to present.