Growing up in the Bay Area, I was no stranger to San Francisco and its foggy haven, Golden Gate Park. The cable cars, the hectic pace of freeways full of drivers who needed to reach their destinations five minutes previously, the hills – all of it was great, but nothing could compare in its power to the sheer force of an earthquake. Though I’ve never lived through what would be classified as a “big one,” I (and almost everyone else I knew as a child) knew many who had. The minor seismic activity that to this day incites reactions ranging from surprise to pomp and circumstance in my out-of-state friends has been mundane behavior for me for as long as I can remember.
Earthquake City started taking shape as I returned to the Arizona desert for my third year of college; as always, the first couple weeks were punctuated with bursts of homesickness. More than anything, I missed the fog and rolling hills of the Bay, so I enshrined all my favorite parts of San Francisco and the surrounding area in music. The war between earthquakes’ destructive power and the comfort of everyday life takes center stage in Earthquake City, reaching from the shores of the Pacific to the hectic drive up I-280 on a Saturday morning. As to whether the earthquake or the people win in the end, well, that’s up for you to decide.
This recording of Earthquake City features Ryan Gilbert, Denton Grant, Ethan Lonsway, Brenden Hoekstra, Erin Ray, Justin Schreier, Luke Buckingham, and Willis Dotson: