Alfred Howard (K23 Orchestra, the Heavy Guilt) has sat in with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Umphrey's Mcgee, Digital Underground, Garaj Mahal, the Slip, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, ALO, the Breakfast, and many others.
The K23 Orchestra (AHK23) combined in-the-pocket funk, staccato spoken word, classic soul, aggressive rock, and vintage psychedelia. Their musical style moves seamlessly through tightly arranged changes to extended open jams with powerful crescendos and quick shifts in dynamic, while Alfred Howard's lyrics transcend a style or genre, appealing to humanity's most primal essence. The band is now defunct, as of a final gig at Winston's on December 5, 2008.
In 2009, Howard launched a new band. “The Heavy Guilt plays rock and roll. Our parents’ adolescence was sculpted by Dylan, Cohen, Zeppelin, and Floyd. Nirvana, Pixies, Pavement, and Spiritualized provided the soundtrack to our high school experiences. We listen to a lot of modern indie stuff like Radiohead, Wilco, Neutral Milk Hotel, the National, and a list that could take up volumes.”
“We pass all those things through a filter of six unique personalities and get the Guilt.”
Howard (who admits “I’ve seen every episode of Lost and Frisky Dingo three times”) lives in Ocean Beach, a smoky neighborhood where he says sometimes he seems to fit in all too well. “I have nappy sideburns and an afro and a big ol’ turquoise necklace. I have eye-reddening allergies, and I look like a professional stoner. People often ask me for drugs, and I happen to not smoke pot anymore. So legalize marijuana, so these fools in O.B. can stop bothering me for the weed that I don’t have.”
In early 2013, Howard debuted a new ensemble, Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact. The following year, he announced plans to write an autobiographical book, The Autobiography of No One, to include essays, scrapbook images, lyrics, and more.
Howard cofounded a new record label in early 2015 with his Heavy Guilt bandmate Josh Rice and Matt Molarius of Transfer, the Redwoods Music, whose debut release was a 7-inch single of The Midnight Pine's "Caution," issued April 18, 2015 (national Record Store Day).
During the pandemic shutdown of early 2020, Howard announced a new subscription website where he planned to launch two new songs a week, 100 songs in a year, in collaboration with other locals who want to document the year with music. “We’re documentarians, and this year seems important,” he said. “A pandemic, a social justice movement, a heated election, a fractured America — I wanted to capture the year in song and turn things around quickly, with quality, but have the capacity to be reactionary to what’s going on. Making albums sometimes takes away that capacity. At the same time, it’s not going to be all newspaper. There’s the personal developments of a year which coincide with the external. The goal is just to get it all out there to see and hear and reflect on.”