Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In Print: Exploring Bhi Bhiman's Funny, Compassionate Folk Songs

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Bhi Bhiman
  • Bhi Bhiman

Bhi Bhiman: It might surprise anyone who's heard his booming tenor of a voice, but San Francisco singer-songwriter Bhi Bhiman didn't always want to be a musician. His first chosen profession? Comedian. Which goes some way toward explaining the sharp humor in his lyrics.

"I tried to do [comedy], but playing guitar on stage is a lot easier for me than having nothing up there," Bhi (pronounced "Bee") Bhiman tells us over coffee in SOMA's Brickhouse cafe. "People always notice my vocals first, but I think guitar might be my strength. It's something I could do in my sleep, so having that as the foundation and singing over it is a lot easier than comedy. I just knew I wanted to be funny in some way."

Despite the fact that there's a lot of serious social commentary on his latest album, Bhiman -- stories from perspectives as diverse as a rail-riding hobo ("Guttersnipe"), a North Korean prisoner ("Kimchee Line"), and a cuckolded lover ("Crime of Passion") -- Bhi's songs do indeed have a stream of sly and dry humor running through their lyrics. Sometimes, as on "Kimchee Line," it's all in the delivery. But the ode to white trash-dom "Ballerina" even goes so far as to parody Johnny Cash and June Carter's "Jackson," with the opening line: "We got married in a Wal-Mart/ Down by the Wrangler jeans." ... [continue reading]

Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and lows from the week in S.F. music.

Also, we recommend shows from Howlin' Rain, AraabMuzik, Craig Finn, and Garland Jeffreys.


Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, and like us at

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

SF Weekly


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"