B and Not B

B and Not B

 San Francisco, California, USA

B and Not B digs the vintage pop, but they're hopelessly stuck in the present. They sing about things like the planet Venus, bad luck, virtual worlds, dreams deferred, writer's block, fruit preferences, and arm-biting. And they never turn down a good harmony.


To call something "B and Not B" is a logical contradiction. Aristotle said so. Derrida had a blast contradicting him, finding in any idea the seed of its opposite.

This San Francisco supergroup is definitely nerdy, but they know how to perpetrate the rock as well. They play shows that sound like great mix tapes, each new tune evoking another classic pop band. David and Dusty sing adventurous melodies and interesting harmonies, with lyrics about bad luck, writer's block, virtual worlds, dreams deferred, fruit preferences, arm-biting, and the planet Venus. The band's trad rock instrumentation is sweetly augmented by trumpet and melodica, locating them just outside the neighborhood of their heroes.

Songwriter David Ricardo started releasing his unfiltered five-songs-in-a-day demos at bandnotb.com a couple of years ago. When bassist and videographer Brad Robertson (Young Moderns, The Smart Set) urged David to get a band together for a one-time performance, there were dozens of good songs to choose from. Dan Caporale took a break from making electronic beats to rock some analog drums. Jamie Osborne, the central force behind the experimental SF band Whitey On The Moon, shook things up with his sometimes wild keyboard parts. David's trumpet work added another extra something to keep things fresh. That first show in late August 2008 was so fun that they decided to keep the band going.

With the addition of solo artist Dusty DiMercurio on backing vocals, guitar, and studio production, B and Not B is better than ever. Their energetic and fun live performances get people's attention, and the songs leave a lasting impression on unsuspecting listeners. The band just recently returned from its first tour of the Pacific Northwest, and will head south for another trip in the next few months. At home, B and Not B has played with top-notch groups such as My First Earthquake, Mist and Mast, and Blue Rabbit, and has sold out shows at places like SF's classic Cafe du Nord. They have done in-studio performances and interviews on 87.9FM in San Francisco and KLC Radio in Portland, OR.

B and Not B's debut album will be out soon!



Written By: David Ricardo

In early morning, before the Sun rises in the east,
They called it Lucifer before he bore the mark of the beast.
They called it Quetzalcoatl; struck down his victims with a spear of light that could pierce the veil of the night.

In the material world, which is all that we can know,
We all have appetites, and that's what the morning star insists upon. When it's gone,
It gives us pause, and we must think on the cause and the end,
And to Hesper us it sends.

But when the phosphorescent morning star returns,
Woe to the ones for whom the world is ruled not
By music and love, and the pleasures of desire fulfilled,
And the energizing ache of desires denied. Makes us feel electrified!

And in the moments before the Sun yields to the Moon,
There is an evening star shining and it makes us think that
What we can't know might nonetheless be real.
Tell me: How does it feel if you're unable to feel?

Traffic Jam of Stars

Written By: David Ricardo

It's five o'clock. The winter light is quickly fading.
The bus is crowded and the streets are full of cars.
Each one is angry with the traffic they're creating.
The milky way is just a traffic jam of stars.

Why should I bother when the world is full of beauty?
Why would I bother if the world is just a dream?
Why do I bother? Do I think it is my duty
To leave behind another pebble in the stream?

Why do I bother? Do I think it is my duty
To make a ripple in the middle of the stream?

The Notes Within

Written By: David Ricardo

She bargained with the tune. It sang an offer in her ear.
"Just give yourself to me , my friend, and I'll never disappear."

The intervals between her thoughts were filled with wild ideas,
Swimming freely through the darkened depths in her mental bathysphere.

And when she heard the tune again, it sounded bright and clear.
Her faith sustained the notes within the story drawing near.

A shivering boy sat staring at the cold glow of the screen.
There's a modicum of comfort found watching other people's dreams.

The flicker flipped a switch. It tripped a circuit; left behind
The pregnant twitch that surfaces when you're left alone with time.

A fear of empty-headedness, an empty-headed fear.
A longing that he used to drown in irony and beer.
A critic's stance, a careful dance around what's brought us here.
Averse to chance, no seeds to plant. No melodies appear.

She offered him her tune. Whispered a psalm into his ear.
"Just set your longing free," she said. "Don't you wait another year!"

I Forgot

Written By: David Ricardo

Are your toes too long to fit in those shoes?
And does your nose belong wherever there is news?
Is your hair so dry you never use shampoo?
And do you care too much what others think of you?

Well, I know you too well. You can't lie to me.
Don't have to ask you what you mean by reciprocity.

Do your ears start ringing after every show?
And do your tears start flowing at the rodeo?
Is your favorite color British racing green?
And do you have a fascination with the kings and queens?

Well, I know it's not the first time that I forgot you like the pomegranate better than the apricot.
But when I see you on your bicycle, riding down the street, I still remember when you came to sweep me off my feet.


Eponymous LP to be released soon.

Set List

Our sets are packed with hooks, embedded in three-minute pop nuggets. We usually play about ten original songs, with an occasional cover thrown in. Here are some song titles:

The Benefits of Friendship
Traffic Jam of Stars
Unlucky Break
Eyes Need To Lie
The Notes Within
Foolish Dreams
I Forgot
Laughing Out Loud
Let's Pretend
Snakes Don't Dream