Berkeley Social Scene is a collective of musicians loosely centered around Berkeley, CA. Ken, Glen, Martin and Sam had been playing together for over a decade when I rolled in to join them in 2019. Though the group has played legendary venues in San Francisco such as Bimbo’s 365 and the Fillmore, BSS is primarily a studio group, participating regularly in a variety of song-making contests and challenges, such as Song Fight , Nur Ein, and February Album Writing Month. Typically, the group writes, arranges, records mixes, masters and delivers a completed song to a contest within a week’s time. Are they any good? The truth is sometimes they are – occasionally a diamond in the rough is discovered. And what has the group won in these storied competitions? Just occasional fleeting glory among an intimate online community.
Released in February 2021, Secret Places Hidden Spaces is a collection of some of the songs BSS produced for these time-crunched competitions in 2019, where we wrote, arranged, recorded. mixed, mastered and delivered newly completed material within a week’s time of a challenge’s announcement. To bring the album together, the songs were lightly touched up, remixed and remastered, leaving the base material as originally created. It’s 50 years of self-conscious guitar rock thrown into a blender with 2 parts heartfelt vocals, 1 part 80s keyboards and a couple of splashes of percussion. It’s kind of like the Cars meets 90s Alternative Nation without the angst.
I play and do a bunch of things on this album. I mostly play bass, but I also sing, play the occasional guitar, keyboard and do background vocals. Where do I do what? Listen and guess!