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"Between her heavy-metal past and her eclectic/punkish present, local musician Karney is hitting all the right notes "

Rock musician Karney sat in a Potrero Hill coffee house two mornings after throwing a party for her friends to see her band. "I'm still burned out, '' she said...

At Lennon Rehearsal and Music Services in South of Market on Friday, she was swamped by friends when she came offstage after a blistering set, with her three-piece band, of material from her forthcoming CD release, "All Connected. '' She accepted their congratulations while she sipped a drink. "It's hard to get all your friends to go out to a nightclub to see you play,'' she said. "But you can get them to come to a party.''

The accomplished native San Franciscan rocker may only now be emerging on the local scene as bandleader, songwriter and performer, but she has been playing music in town since she blew clarinet for the all-city all-star band in junior high school...

She toured with the post-punk modern rocker Angel Corpus Christi and worked briefly with Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes. ..

Karney experimented with blending heavy metal and hip-hop in her late '80s band, Stepchildren, whose college radio single, "Jericho,'' was remixed by Parliament-Funkadelic's George Clinton. She composed a number of pieces in the minimalist avant-garde school of Steve Reich and John Cage that have been performed...

After years of providing piano accompaniment for modern dance troupes or backing drag queens at local cabarets, Karney...decided to return to college. She studied electronic music at San Francisco State with an eye toward working in the potentially lucrative field of composing music for video games. She has worked on a number -- including "Sim City'' and "Star Wars Galaxy'' -- and did music for many boxing matches and football games. She made MIDI versions of every NCAA college fight song.

She financed her new album with earnings from her first full musical score for a game, for LucasArts' Armed and Dangerous, an Xbox game released last week. She recorded everything from string orchestras to Celtic folk groups in her home studio.

"I would go from recording French horns at my little studio during the day to Fantasy Studios at night to wail on the mike.'' She is taking baby steps toward establishing a following outside the small San Francisco clubs such as the Red Devil Lounge... touring an acoustic version of her act in the Pacific Northwest... earlier this year. Her previous, self-released CD, "Shellshock Girl,'' picked up some independent radio play and made a few converts, setting the stage for her new CD.

Soft auburn curls falling to her shoulders frame her apple-shaped face. Her singing and songwriting can evoke '70s rock queens such as Ann Wilson of Heart, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac or Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, although the intense drive for self-expression that fuels her writing and singing reeks of punk poet Patti Smith.

In front of a couple of dozen friends nibbling food and drinking wine at the rehearsal hall party, her guitar playing is eloquent, complex, lyrical and carefully harmonized with the band's other guitarist, John Wedemeyer... Their part-time tour manager, occasional rapper Steffen Franz -- who performs under the name DJ Standout Selector -- lends some vocal harmony and takes over for the anti- war toasting on a dub reggae number. The band mixes an arena-rock flavor with the insurgent spirit of alternative rock and some of punk's raw energy.

Some of her songs have overt political content, and some of her songs deal frankly with sex. "That's really because I can't write a love song,'' she said. "I can be honest about a sex song.''...

For the full article log onto www.sfgate.com and look up Karney in the archives.

- San Francisco Chronicle Datebook; Joel Selvin, Senior Pop Music Critic

"All Connected - Not Your Average Pop Junk "

Wow, this CD hits you right out of the gate. The opening track has gutsy powerful vocals and a cool dissonance that makes you ready to rock.

I've reviewed Karney's work before and liked her other CD, "Karney" but this one is even better.

She has a great soulful voice and the music is unique and interesting. Not your average pop junk. It "goes places" you don't expect which I find very refreshing. They make good use of the minor chord. The songs range from hard rock to ballads and they're all done very well.

"Out of Body" is probably my favorite, but also very good are, "Going" which has a bit of a retro feel to it and "Drug War" with its reggae rhythm. "My Little Bush" is a clever (also reggae) tune not about what you think (ok, maybe it is). The rest of the songs keep up with the great first track and make for a great good rock album.

- Collected Sounds - November 22, 2003


Karney, 2001, Tangent Records
Shell Shock Girl remixes, 2002, Tangent Records
My Little Bush (single), 2002, PSM Recordings
All Connected, 2004, Tangent Records

Radio Spins & Appearances: KUSF, SF, CA; WDCC, Sanford NC; KALX 90.7 FM, Berkeley, CA; KPOO 89.5 FM, San Francisco, CA; KUOR 89.1 FM, Redlands, CA; KBOO 90.7 FM, Portland, OR; KGLP 91.7 FM, Gallop, NM; KMUN, Astoria, OR; KINK, Portland, OR; KRXY: Olympia, WA; KRVM: Eugene, OR; KWVA 88.1 FM, Eugene, OR; KAOS 89.3 FM, Olympia, WA; WAHS, Auburn Hills, MI; OSOL - Radio Active 1620, Manchester, NH; KEXP, Seattle, WA; KMUD, Redway, CA; KAZU, Pacific Grove, CA



KARNEY, already a vibrant part of the Bay Area's Alternative Rock scene, is branching out to fans throughout the west coast and other parts of the country through Internet simulcasts, print and radio coverage, as well as frequent regional touring.

Last year she did extensive touring in California and the Pacific North West. She also went as far as NYC where she performed at the historic venue, The Bitterend, and then continued north playing clubs in upstate NY.

Collaboration is essential to Karney's recordings; before she released her first solo recordings she worked with artists such as Linda Perry of 4 Non-Blonds, and godfather of funk George Clinton. Karney not only blends influences ranging from punk, middle eastern, and latino to the flower-powered music and politics of her hometown San Francisco, but also enjoys direct cross pollination with many artists.

She has worked most recently with PSM Recording's Steffen Franz with who co-produced the single 'My Little Bush.' The single also enjoyed the studio talents of mixer Dennis Bovell and engineering by Bill Ortiz. Reggae veteran Dennis Bovell is a producer, solo artist, and founding member of Matumbi, a venerated reggae act from the UK, while Bill Ortiz engineers records, founded Babyfat Music, and plays trumpet for Santana.

Karney currently applies her considerable singer/songwriter talents to both her own material and compositions commissioned by clients in the multimedia and computer gaming industries. Her crossover Ambient Electronic and Groove sounds provide accompaniment for Sim City 3000, Sim City 3000 Ultimate, The Sims House Party, as well as scores for The Showtime Channel and Hewlet Packard national ad campaigns. She has also composed full music scores for LucasArts XBox(tm) games, and online games.