Three Times Bad
Saturday, June 21, 2014, 2:50pm - 3:40pm
Woody Guthrie Stage - Cafeteria
Three Times Bad is "a hot new San Francisco string trio born from the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed, transmedia novel badbadbad" (Hood River News) by bandleader Jesus Angel Garcia. The group plays "dirty American roots music" (The Register-Guard). Think: "Epic moustaches and bent bluegrass" (The Source Weekly), blues and country, hillbilly swing and Appalachian rags, Gypsy jazz, freak preachery, murder ballads, honkytonk, folk punk, story songs, and hot singalongs.
Many of the lyrics come directly from scenes in the novel, which trains its high beams on 21st century Americana, where sex, God and rock 'n' roll meet the social web. In his five-star review of the book, James Greer (Guided by Voices) said, "Garcia aims to unsettle your assumptions about class, about gender, about sex, about religion, about identity: in short, about yourself, and what it means to be human in an inhuman world." Three Times Bad carries on this artistic exploration with a Southern Gothic approach to songwriting and dynamic live performances in the family of the Devil Makes Three, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Jack White.
Led by unrepentant freak preacher Jesus Angel (on acoustic geetar, banjo, and lead vocals), the Three Times Bad collective performs in various core configurations, from quartet to duo, and often welcomes guest players on the stage. The current lineup features virtuoso mandolinist Thomas Romero, upright bassist Megan McDevitt, and fiddler Jean-Pierre Duboucheron. In the great bluegrass tradition, everyone in the group sings.
The band likes to engage audiences by encouraging waltzes, boot-stomps, singalongs and shout-outs, which makes for a fun live-music experience. When logistics allow, the musicians will kick off their set with the rousing, a cappella, old-time religion of "John the Revelator" (with Jesus on bullhorn) or the contemporary hoedown, "Two-Legged Hillbilly Cyborg Dog" -- both performed as processionals, bringing the music from the street to the stage.
While Three Times Bad leans toward high-energy shows for adults, it can also temper its sometimes provocative lyrics with "family-friendly" variations to meet the needs of diverse audiences. In fact, the band loves bringing its music directly to people of all ages at open-air venues like Off the Grid, the Bay Area's gourmet food truck party (where the group stirred up a mosh pit of toddlers at its last Fort Mason show), and Oakland's Art Murmur, the monthly art walk that draws thousands (where the band has played from the back of Jesus' truck).
Although relatively new on the scene, Three Times Bad is quickly making a name for itself, gigging regularly all over Northern California. The band has also played festivals in Humboldt, Long Beach, Yakima, and Coupeville, and successfully toured the Pacific Northwest four times, performing with Sinferno Cabaret, Samuel James, Renegade Stringband, McCoy Tyler Band, and many others. At the Ink n Iron Festival (with headliner Iggy & the Stooges), the group shared a sweet side stage with Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band, and in its two appearances at the Humboldt Hills Hoedown, the band opened for world-class roots combos like Hellbound Glory, the Brothers Comatose, the Pine Box Boys, Hillstomp, Hot Buttered Rum, Dead Winter Carpenters, and Polecat.
Last fall, Three Times Bad contributed to a series of sold-out performances at University of San Francisco, pairing its music with the modern-dance choreography of Megan Nicely. Teaming up with local bluegrass concert promoter Shelby Ash, Jesus also co-produced Boograss! Halloween Hoedown & Burlesque Show at Slim's in San Francisco, partnering Three Times Bad with the Pine Box Boys, Salacious Underground Burlesque, Coffin Hunter, and Jesus' latest video (on a side note: badbadbad, the documentary film based on themes of his novel, was an Official Selection of the 2012 Indie Fest USA International Film Festival). He produced a similar program for a festive 420 weekend at Brick & Mortar and Aubergine After Dark, teaming Three Times Bad with Jugtown Pirates, Salacious Burlesque, Krysta & the Wild Things, and JD Limelight. These shows were documented on the live album Goodbye Taxes, Hello Mary Jane! In February 2014, the band will launch Second Sunday Services, a monthly live-streaming house concert series to build momentum for a summer tour in support of its debut studio album (to be released in spring).
Given its literary origins, Three Times Bad has become the go-to musical act among the Bay Area's premier lit series -- including East Bay on the Brain, Anger Management, and Bitchez Brew -- in addition to being "the official band" at the over-the-top launch of the Beast Crawl fest, a four-hour literary pub crawl with 100+ authors and thousands of listeners in uptown Oakland.
Some venues the band has played: The Queen Mary (Ink n Iron Fest), Slim's, Bottom of the Hill, The New Parish, Brick & Mortar Music Hall, Café du Nord, Dante's Inferno, Mateel Community Center (Humboldt Hills Hoedown), Yakima Folklife Fest, Coupeville Arts Fest, Place for Sustainable Living, Evergreen Lodge, Yosemite Bug Mountain Resort, Sam Bond's Garage, The Horned Hand, Aubergine After Dark, Caspar Inn, Berryessa Brewing Co., Russian River Brewery, Six Rivers Brewery, Ukiah Brewing Company, Gilbert Cellars Tasting Room, The Laurel Thirst, Center for New Music, Hotel Utah, Elbo Room, Starry Plough, Milk Bar, Brotzeit Biergarten, Cafe Royale, Viracocha, Awaken Cafe, Actual Café, Trillium Cafe, Alberta Street Pub, Frog & Peach Pub, Green Frog Acoustic Tavern, Skyway Bar, Der Hinterhof, Backstage Lounge at the Rio Theater, Red Rock Coffee, Forbidden Island Tiki Bar, Grant & Green Saloon, Bayview Boat Club, Off the Grid @ Fort Mason/Proxy/McCoppin/Berkeley/Belmont & Hayward, The Layover, The Riptide, The Surf Spot, Club Paradiso, University of San Francisco's Lone Mountain Theater, Oakland Art Murmur.