Out of the Garage

Danny James gets weird in West Marin

Update: Danny James has canceled his upcoming show in West Marin on Feb. 17 due to family emergency. Danny Vitali and DJ Sam Swig will still perform.

Born and raised in Oakland, musician and songwriter Danny James has always gone about making old-school music that pushes modern-day boundaries.

From his proto-punk origins to his current ’70s-inspired glam-rock project, James’ voice stands out in the crowded Bay Area scene for his explosive musical presence and energetic arrangement of psychedelic-pop pastiches.

James first turned heads locally in the late 1990s with garage punk band the Cuts. Through a string of well-received albums, the Cuts dialed the clock back to the heyday of acts like the Stooges, erupting onstage with hard-worn angst.

After the Cuts disbanded in 2006, James spent several years looking to reinvent his sound, and ultimately landed back in the past with an R&B and funk aesthetic inspired by Bay Area icons like Sly and the Family Stone.

In 2013, James released his debut album, PEAR, under his own name as a cassette on Burger Records. Recently reissued, PEAR is an epically brazen master class in the last 50 years of rock ‘n’ roll. Some songs soar with psyche-rock acidity, some strut with synthesized electro-pop wizardry and others seem to spin like a disco ball, illuminating the unending dance party that goes on in James’ head.

Sonoma County Library