Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rupa & the April Fishes in Grass Valley

One of my favorite groups plays in my hometown tonight. Unfortunately, I'm not there to make it. If you are, I highly recommend catching their set.

Saturday, February 26
The Center for the Arts presents a Dance Party
Rupa and The April Fishes
8:00PM, $15 members, $18 non-member
Tickets at: The Center Box Office - 530-274-8384 ext 14
BriarPatch Co-op Community Market - 530-272-5333
Cherry Records - 530-823-2147

"...romantic and pulling from many worlds -- Indian ragas and sultry tangos, Gypsy waltzes and bossa nova. And all of it shares the soothing quality of lullabies, with deeply poetic imagery, which Marya sings in sweet, lilting French."
- San Francisco Chronicle

"Watching them perform is a little like riding with the top down in a double-decker bus, careening through seven or eight crowded ethnic neighborhoods, each one in the middle of a massive street party. " - Los Angeles Times

Rupa & the April Fishes hold up a carnival mirror to life and present a warped, humorous and occasionally disquieting reflection. Sequestered beneath Rupa’s infectious and captivating melodies are thought-provoking themes that address life, love, art, death and the real and artificial divisions that keep us apart. The San Francisco-based musical agitators are specialists in crossing borders and building bridges and with their new album they effortlessly blur the boundaries of genre and geography to create a sound Time Out has called "global agit-pop".

Although Rupa and the April Fishes are based in San Francisco, California, their music is a specifically locale-free style of pan-culturalism, with lead singer and songwriter Rupa Marya singing not only in English, but also French, Spanish, Hindi and the Roma language of the Gypsies. Marya was born near San Francisco, but her Indian-born parents traveled quite a bit, and she was raised not only in California, but also in northern India and France. Although the study of medicine was Marya's main priority -- she is an internist on staff at a teaching hospital in San Francisco -- she also began playing piano and guitar as a child, and began writing songs as a teenager.

After a stint in a folk duo with San Francisco singer-songwriter Kate Isenberg, Marya formed Rupa and the April Fishes with the intent of blending all the forms of music she had been exposed to, from wistful French chansons and dramatic Roma ballads to the Mexican-American pop that permeates the Bay Area, along with politically minded lyrics that concern her internationalist mindset. With herself on guitar and lead vocals, Marya formed Rupa and the April Fishes while completing her medical residency. The band's debut album, Extraordinary Rendition, was released in 2007.

Their latest release, Este Mundo, was recorded at Prairie Sun Studios by engineer and sound wizard Oz Fritz, who is best known for his work with Tom Waits (Mule Variations). Guests include rapper Boots Riley of The Coup, along with some of the Bay Area’s best musical talents including Tin Hat’s trumpeter Ara Anderson and Serbian slap bassist Djordje Stijepovic. Rupa & the April Fishes blend an alternative pop attitude with international spices, mixing in elements of Gypsy swing, Colombian cumbia, French chanson and Indian ragas. According to lead singer Rupa, “este mundo is a collection of sounds and songs highlighting life’s accidental beauty and surging joy as well as their inexorable partner: human suffering.”


  1. rupa rocks (i wrote a longer post but fear it was eaten by technical faux pas)

  2. rupa rocks (i wrote a longer post but fear it was eaten by technical faux pas)