Founded in the San Francisco coffee house scene in the mid-nineties, Outgrabe is a pop rock duo that has been taking North American college radio by storm. And in the last year, radio stations in Malawi, Australia, Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, England, and the Netherlands have started bringing Outgrabe tunes to music lovers. So far the total number of radio stations spinning Outgrabe tunes is 785.
In the last several years, Outgrabe's new version of the San Francisco sound has been hailed by the press as something new, evocative, sexy, spooky, and transcendent. Some examples:
"City of God by Outgrabe is a CD of punchy pop songs which showcases the band's commitment to melodic singing and evocative lyrics. The lively instrumentation includes cello, flute, bozouki, didgeridoo,acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, percussion, drums, and bass. The songs are wide-ranging in topic: love, loss, god, sex, guns, driving, witches, and transcendence. Outgrabe has developed a sound with an emphasis on hooky, lyrical songs, and melodic singing."
Accent on Tampa, St. Petersburg, FL
"St. John's and Calaveras' lavish sounds and vocal harmonies pulsate positive energy in synch."
Dnevnik, Novi Sad, Serbia
"Outgrabe has the ability to sound like LA punk legends X at some points and Heart at others. The two
harmonizing vocalists of the group, Christopher St. John and Chloe Calaveras, intertwine their complementing roles with a smooth and dark
Zero Magazine, San Jose, CA
In 2005, Outgrabe's music video made to accompany their cover of U2's classic antiwar anthem, "Bullet the Blue Sky," won two Telly Awards.
In 2006, the spooky, dusty-afternoon video for the Outgrabe song "Canta Succubi," filmed on locaton in Vinjales, Cuba, was featured in the AOL Latino Film Festival, and will be featured in the San Francisco Arts Festival in the summer of 2007.
And a dream-noir animated video made for Outgrabe's dark love story, "Almost Home," has already won five Telly Awards and is now at film festivals worldwide. Including:
2007 Tiburon International Film Festival,Tiburon, USA
2006 Golden Lion Film Festival, Mbabane, Swaziland
2006 Moondance Film Festival, Hollywood, USA
DigiFestival 06, Florence, Italy
2006 Planet Ant Film Festival, Detroit, USA
VisionFest 06, New York, USA
More information and free mp3 downloads are available at www.outgrabe.com. CDs are available at www.amazon.com, www.bestbuy.com, www.cdbaby.com, and many other outlets.
Christopher St. John: vocals, guitars, electric dulcimer
Chloe Calaveras: vocals, flute, percussion
Drums, bass, and other instruments ad hoc
EP: "Bullet the Blue Sky" 2004
LP: "City of God" 2002
LP: "Love in the Time of War" 2000
LP: "Love & Death" 1997
We Like Angels Never Weep
Love Cream Pie
We Don't Die
Kingdom of La Lu Lay
Fantasy and mystical themes run through their songs.
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City of God, Outgrabe's new album, opens up with beautiful haunting vocals backed by acoustic guitar...City of God, Outgrabe's new album, opens up with beautiful haunting vocals backed by acoustic guitar. When I first put this CD on, I was impressed with the lush music and vocal harmonies between Chloe Calaveras and Christopher St. John, the San Francisco duo that is Outgrabe. Their sound is mostly pleasant folk- rock with other elements, like violin and organ, bozouki and percussion, provided by studio musicians. All seven songs on City of God are very polished-sounding and well put together but the opening title track is a definite highlight- a feel good tune to lift your spirits.
Fantasy and mystical themes run through their songs, with titles like 'Witching Hour' and 'Wasteland.' While Outgrabe's music does have some darker elements, like the song 'Tequila Mockingbird' (which makes reference to Christopher St. John's alcoholic father), overall the music pulsates with positive energy from the lush, glistening instrumentation and vocal harmonies. Outgrabe's bio also talks about Christopher and Chloe's first group; "They launched an experimental rap ensemble, Shema, which combined Hebrew prayers and Eastern Orthodox song lyrics and hand drummed hip hop rhythms. They were surprised to find there was little demand for such music." I can't tell if that's meant to be a joke or not, but they have certainly found more success with the straight ahead music of Outgrabe, though it may be less interesting. (Julian Royce)
Love, loss, god, sex, guns, driving, witches, and transcendence.
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City of God by Outgrabe is a CD of punchy pop songs which showcases the band's commitment to melodic...City of God by Outgrabe is a CD of punchy pop songs which showcases the band's commitment to melodic singing and evocative lyrics. The lively instrumentation includes cello, flute, bozouki, didgeridoo, acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, percussion, drums, and bass. The songs are wide-ranging in topic: love, loss, god, sex, guns, driving, witches, and transcendence. Outgrabe has developed a sound with an emphasis on hooky, lyrical songs, and melodic singing.
City of God is an original release by an outstanding band.
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Outgrabe's release entitled City of God features seven incredibly new and original songs. The band f...Outgrabe's release entitled City of God features seven incredibly new and original songs. The band features prominently the vocal talents of both male and female - Christopher St. John, who, along with vocals displays his talent with an acoustic guitar and Chloe Calaveras, who reminds me of Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. Both vocalists take a new approach with each song, singing both duets and taking the lead individually.
The original sound of Outgrabe is emphasized by their choice in instruments. Calaveras supplements her musical talent with the flute while St. John performs unusual instruments like the electric dulcimer and didgeridoo. What, you may ask? Some research into the world of music reveals that a didgeridoo is an instrument made of Australian wood native of the Aborigines. An authentic instrument gives an authentic sound to Outgrabe.
Aside from their original sound, original lyrics also play an important role in Outgrabe's music. Songs like "Witching Hour" call to the Seven Sisters constellation (and Calaveras adds a Stevie Nicks-like witchy sound as she takes the lead). And "Tequila Mockingbird" plays on the words of the famous novel.
There is no other band similar enough to Outgrabe for comparison. The solo songs of Stevie Nicks could encompass some of the sound when Calaveras takes lead vocal and a little more trembling voice of Jack Johnson could begin to describe the sounds of St. John. Aside from small comparisons, though, Outgrabe presents their audience with a unique and original sound not found anywhere else. (Denise Kosmetatos)
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City of God, the latest from Outgrabe, is country through and through...just not the highly marketab...City of God, the latest from Outgrabe, is country through and through...just not the highly marketable variety currently crossing over into pop. A must-have for Rodney Crowell or Cruzeros fans, this disc tempts you from the fringes between mainstream and alt-country a la Guitar Town Steve Earle, but with a touch of funk and psychedelia.
Vocal duo Chris St. John (think Steve Earle with more vibrato) and Chloe Calaveras (think Natalie Merchant with a Texas twang) weave an intricate web of harmonies throughout the entire album as they alternate lead and harmony duties effortlessly. There is a sweetness to Calaveras's voice that smoothes the rough edge of Chris St. John's gritty vibrato. Handling the production duties themselves, the attention to detail and lush arrangements yield a clean warm sound with psychedelic undertones. Outgrabe, after all, is a word invented by Lewis Carroll to describe "something between belowwing and whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle," and that "when you've once heard it, you'll be quite content." While not a landmark album, "City of God" deserves mention for it's consistency and subtle psychedelia. It is to alt-country what "It's a Beautiful Day" was to folk music. (Broose Tulloch)
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SAN FRANCISCO -- It's understandable why Outgrabe is popular on university radio stations. It has a ...SAN FRANCISCO -- It's understandable why Outgrabe is popular on university radio stations. It has a sound that holds to that experimental college credo: slightly bizarre and resisting pigeonholes with fervor. A strange blend of punk, new age, and metal collides with sometimes folky vocal harmonies.
Reminscent of Stevie Nicks, vocalist Chloe Calaveras is the female half of the dueling vocal team backed by an intricate twisting guitar. The lyrics are heavy handed, but the sound is an intriguing, if confusing, mix of hard-driving rock and new age Celtic. The highlight of the album, "We Like Angels Never Weep," retains the weighty lyrics but is guided by a quieter plucked melody. Outgrabe is an unusual fusion of punked-out sounds combined with exotic instruments like the electric dulcimer. Who knew such a thing could work? (AA)
A highly-polished eclectic work of art.
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SAN JOSE -- This six-song release from San Francisco's Outgrabe is a highly polished eclectic work o...SAN JOSE -- This six-song release from San Francisco's Outgrabe is a highly polished eclectic work of art that transcends musical genres and stylings. Overall, the musicianship is topnotch. Outgrabe has the ability to sound like LA punk legends X at some points and Heart at others. The two harmonizing vocalists of the group, Christopher St. John and Chloe Calaveras, intertwine their complementing roles with a smooth and dark twist. The guitar work of Peter Morley ranges from Andy Summers type flanges to Romeo Voidish tones while providing the band its third weapon.
The tracks "Love Me" and "Sweet Dreams in the City" are standouts with the latter displaying the electric dulcimer skills of St. John (could be wrong, it could be Morley on a whole other instrument but it sounds like a dulcimer). Outgrabe is a band who you don't see much playing the circuit. If the band is able to reproduce their studio quality in the clubs, they'd really be a force on the local music scene. You can find out when the band will be performing by going to their website at www.outgrabe.com. (Howard Adams)
Outgrabe does a mix of covers and originals. A typical one-hour set might include:
All Along the Watchtower
We Like Angels Never Weep
Bullet the Blue Sky
And She Said Come
City of God
Love Cream Pie
Kingdom of La Lu Lay
Seven Nation Army