Blowin' the Blues Bollywood-Style With Aki Kumar
Aki Kumar is a 36-year-old software engineer-turned-blues harmonica player and vocalist. He came to the United States in his early 20s, and discovered the Silicon Valley blues scene (there is one). Now he's gone back to his roots for a new album, "Aki Goes to Bollywood."
Sequins, Sweat and Tears: Bay Area Ballroom Dancing Couple Makes It Big
Ballroom dancing is catching on with a new generation of California kids, thanks in part to shows like "Dancing with the Stars." We take a trip to the International Grand Ball, a competition held each year just south of San Francisco, where some of the top dancers come from immigrant families.
Priced Out Artist Moves to Folsom, Leaves Heart in San Jose
Rising real estate prices are making it hard for artists to survive in big cities like Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. So some of those artists are leaving. It's an exodus tinged with sadness -- not just for the artists packing up their boxes but also for the communities they're leaving behind.
Ethiopian Peppers: Making a Spice Mix With the 'Mom Touch'
We heard earlier in the show from an immigrant tech-guy-turned harmonica player. But what about a techie turned chili pepper farmer? Here's a story of a man forging a connection to his childhood home in Ethiopia, through spices he couldn't find in California. We visited his farm, outside the Bay Area city of Fremont.
The World According to Sound: Washing Machine Music With Matmos
What do plastic surgeons and crayfish have in common? They both make sounds that have been turned into music. An experimental band called Matmos -- basically two guys who got their start in San Francisco -- has sampled and remixed everyday sounds, from haircuts to nose jobs. For their latest album, the pair turned a familiar electrical appliance into a musical instrument -- and they took it on tour with them.