January 15, 2016
By Ronny Kerr
No matter what you regard as the jewels of the San Francisco Bay Area, more and more people are seeing our home as merely the headquarters for fast-growing, world-changing and (at times) over-hyped technology companies. But the truth is that this city and its neighbors have so much more going on.
This list is just a small sampling of standout innovators based in the Bay Area who happen to be working on projects completely unrelated to websites and apps.
Claire George (Lead Vocals, Heartwatch)
Formerly called the Tropics, Heartwatch is a San Francisco–based, five-piece band fronted by Claire George. With her smooth, sweeping and tender voice, she’s clearly the driving force behind the group’s alternative indie-rock sound. On the band’s newly released single, “Faultlines,” she pays homage to her home with a sentimental but vivid line: “Meet me in the middle of the Golden Gate, and our love will sink into the ocean.” Her band played Outside Lands last year; they’re doing Noise Pop in a couple of months; and they’ll be releasing a new mini-album. One of the problems with the Bay Area music scene is that it’s too male centered. For instance, the just-announced set list for Noise Pop’s music festival in February features five Bay Area bands out of 35 total. And only one of them has a woman in it—Heartwatch.
San Francisco once helped legendary female musicians like Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks and Grace Slick flourish. Here’s to hoping we can do it again.