The Autonomous Region

The Autonomous Region


The Autonomous Region is located at the intersection of PJ Harvey & Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just hang a Hard Left at Kalifornia Urban Rock and you're there.


The Autonomous Region is a dynamic San Francisco-based urban rock band presenting original music reflective of the unique Bay Area experience that is assimilated through their music and lyrics.

Vocalist and songwriter Caroline Cabading leads an eclectic blend of musicians. Veterans of the music wars Chet Canlas (guitar), Tyrone Davis (drums), Phil Ergina (bass) and Ron Quesada (guitar) back the colorful and enigmatic Cabading while performing a high-test blend of alternative rock peppered with jazz and fused with many other genres to create their own unique sound that remains difficult to define and impossible to put in a box. The band also releases their music on their own indie label Malaya Records.

With their recent release, "Forbidden City," the eclectic quintet takes the best of both worlds of politics and music and brings forth a melting pot of recordings to their listeners. Just like their home city San Francisco, The Autonomous Region is many things rolled into one tightly wrapped package. They are the offspring of the city and its raw-edged urban scene and their songs reflect that energy and atmosphere with a mixture of Alternative Rock, Metal, Punk, and Jazz that appeals to a huge cross section of music lovers.

One moment lead singer Caroline Cabading sounds like an angry Patti Smith in full bloom on stage at CBGB’s in the 70’s and in the next instance a jazz crooner whispering subtleties to her lover. To their credit they keep it interesting and you never know what the next track has in store.

Their messages are heartfelt and powerful getting behind their lyrics and melodies that carry a strong commitment to social conscience and political empowerment that make every track a well thought out journey for each individual listener to interpret.

The “attitude” of Autonomous Region is for real and it always serves as a spearhead to great music. These core competencies as musicians and realists are what drive them to create songs worth hearing and pondering while endearing them to an ever growing legion of fans eager to support their music and cause.


Took My Breath Away

Written By: Caroline Cabading

1am at the top of the Palace dome
Wrote our names in the dust so we could live forever
Contemplating the Fall of Manilatown
over coffee so strong I thought I would die
Mesmerized by the waiver behind your smile
Standing still in a pause while the world went by
Mason Wine Bar, my first chance on the stand
You showed me how to make my true soul sing

And I thought I was too far gone
“No such thing” is what I heard you say
And the pain inside now long gone
Your words spoke my heart, then you took my breath away

Striking midnight wired on Union Square
Drunken crowd is wild but we don’t care
Walking miles through a mist that’s lost in time
Trading tales of how our lives will be
Morning breeze caressing your Cebuano tan
Freeze frame on a still to last always
Tension in the air, I knew it must be love
Swirling thoughts have me dancing for days


Written By: Caroline Cabading

Sledgehammer knocking down doors
Hongisto’s blow
300 marching in formation
We were under siege

Cops clubbing through a human chain 5000 strong
3am on August 4th they brought Manilatown down

27 years we still shake with anger
Fall of the I-Hotel

Proud Manong staring them down defiantly
Brave youth, bodies on the line
Now think of Plan B

Break laws to change laws
Our rally cry
They took the house but not our home
Our fight will never die

Kearny Street, the sun is rising
We’re filling the lot
Coming home brick by brick
We’re back on the block

Each one teach one Of holding strong
We're the blueprint Of how to right the wrong

27 years we still roar like thunder
Rise of the I-Hotel

What I Can Do For You

Written By: Rebecca Farris

Always tell me to speak up
because my silence is a poor link
Wanna hear something real
Some other dance to prove my love for you

You got to tell me what I can do for you
Can I kiss your luscious lips now?
Can I outline your beautiful face with my fingertips?
Can I put my arms around your waist?
Kiss your tummy for just one taste?
Tell me what I can do for you

I'm tired of hearing you whine
about the rules of give and take
So now is the time
for you to judge how well I've been listening

Tonight is your night
Relax, enjoy the evening
Close you eyes and let go
Fall back and let me hold you

Sunset Beach

Written By: Chet Canlas

Looking at the sea shore
staring back at me
An ocean wave smiles
and tumbles down over me
All but silence fills the air
The sky is grey but I don't care
'Cuz my time is getting near

Living the pain in life that's not my own
Shadows increase upon my lonely throne
Why do I care to even breathe
when all fo the colors I don't even see
My heart frozen eternally

Looking at the sea shore
staring back at me
An ocean wave smiles
and tumbles down over me
All your water caressing my soul
Massaging the tide of my emotional flow
I don't care - I'm not in control

I Can't Help

Written By: Caroline Cabading

He never had a dream
he could follow through
A thousand crazy schemes
desperately clinging to

And even his easy smile
and carefree attitude
betray the hidden fear
of the mind he knows he'll lose

And I can't help but feel his broken heart
Even as he feels nothing for me too
And I can't help when he turns his back to me
So I walk away before I act a fool
Because I can't help

He stores his bits of film
honoring sentimental moods
Illusions start to hurt
when they're allowed to grow this huge

And no amount of talk
of our homeland's ancient strength
can heal this island man,
convince him to stand straight

So I whisper to the stars
Keep safe this crazy fool
A hundred dreams from now
maybe my heart will cut him loose

So I whisper to the Gods
Keep his soul true
A hundred dreams from
I pray my heart will cut him loose


"Forbidden City" Album Released March 2008

Set List

Our Typical 45-minute set list is:

Don't Tread on Me
Took My Breath Away
I Can't Help
What I Can Do For You
Sunset Beach
Fried Tilapia
White Rabbit
Redemption Song

We usually perform one 45-minute set, but can perform multiple sets of additional music if we have at least a 15-minute break in between sets.

We only perform covers that we have re-arranged and perform in a manner that does not really sound like the original recording artist. However, we do tend to include 1-2 of these types of covers in any given set list.