Friday, November 30, 2001

just enough to make you blush

a quiver voice,
i'm in a crush

the (international) noise conspiracy | 12.04 | gamh : i can't believe i forgot to mention these cats earlier. the new band of the frontman for refused. i found out about refused simply by running into their album in a store. first their band name is great. second, the album cover was great (but i've been burned on that way too many times to rely). most importantly was the title of their album, 'the shape of punk to come'. after purchasing + hearing ornette coleman's 'the shape of jazz to come' (quite a claim, but it turns out it was quite true), i've often fallen for bombastic titles. dave eggers' "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius" (i won't get into book reviews) + then the refused. in true punk fashion + quite telling, refused broke up after putting out the album. i'm sure the other members of the band have impressive resumes as well, i just can't keep up with the swedish scene.anyway political + intelligent punk (gang of four | the minutemen), this should be a great show.

john wesley harding | 12.11 | BotH : wesley harding stace named his band john wesley harding in a nod to bob dylan. he sounds nothing like him or that album. nor in my opinion does he sound like elvis costello whom he is often compared to (he recorded with the attractions once). he is a great pop writer, though, combining folk influences.

aimee mann | 12.12 | fillmore : like most of the world, i only really knew her from 'voices carry' (a great song) until that amazing soundtrack to 'magnolia' + the follow up 'bachelor #2' album. piercing eyes to boot.

elliott smith | 12.18 | gamh : i often refer to this guy when describing other bands, + now i have to describe him. remember the film footage of the beatles when they first met bob dylan? they idolized him + were so excited to meet him. dylan (true to his don't look back fashion) cut them to size, claiming all of their songs were basically meaningless pop, with no depth. that moment forever altered the beatles' course (+ thus, the course of pop music). so there was that transition period for the beatles between writing bubble gum pop to writing psychedelic political. smith sounds like a whispery paul simon singing for the beatles during that transition phase. (shite, it took me a long time to get somewhere with that) he has an uncanny gift, posessed by few, to write melodies that are both uplifting yet eerily sad at the same time. think roy orbison. or maybe the beach boys' 'in my room.' or those weird little lullabyes by the velvet underground.

black rebel motorcycle club | 12.28+29 | BotH : i'm always searching for a local band to go see. i'm not that familiar with these guys. what i've heard is droning + fuzzy...very jesus + mary chain. too bad their name is not that good.

ray manzarek | 1.04 | gamh : jim morrison was god. but not enough credit goes to the sonic umpf behind all of his ramblings. a lot of the sex would be missing without the religious incantations of manzarek's keys. years later, he continued this work adding a familiar background to x's amazing debut. i have no idea what he's like solo. it might be frighteningly indulgent.

previously mentioned:
bebel gilberto | 11.28 | fillmore
robert earl keen, jr | 11.30 | fillmore
wilco | 12.1,2+3 | fillmore
eels (& howe gelb) | 12.3 | gamh
los lobos | 12.6+7 | fillmore
jonathan richman | 12.8 | slim's
jane siberry | 12.9 | gamh
raul malo | 12.11 | bimbo's
el vez | 12.20 | BotH
mark lanegan | 12.21 | slim's
imperial teen | 12.29 | slim's
calexico | 01.12 | gamh
sleater-kinney | 01.14 | gamh
del mccoury | 2.15 | gamh
down from the mountain | 2.20 | berkeley comm theatre
nick cave | 4.18+19 | warfield

Friday, November 9, 2001

another weekend: honeymoon/divorce

tied them together with noble force
the day... turned twice my age

missed a few before, so sorry for two in one week.

raul malo | 12.11 | bimbo's : the amazing tenor of the mavericks, if only his songwriting were as strong.

calexico | 01.12 | gamh : the two "sidemen" from the genius band giant sand, also from OP8 + the friends of dean martinez. morricone meets surf + latin tones. slow, but intense. stare at yer shoes.

sleater-kinney | 01.14 | gamh : i have SO been waiting for these cats to tour again. this possibly may be the best band in rock today. my opinion for sure, but some stupid magazine recently said so too, which of course makes me question my opinion. women have been the trailblazers in every music genre for the past ten years at least + this band is a prime example. from girlie whispers to outright testosterone screaming that puts cobain to shame. i never really understood women's reactions to the sexuality of rock performers like jim morrison or even elvis, until i saw this band. i simply turn to butter in a skillet watching carrie brownstein play. i've never seen a hip meet a guitar like that. i think she may be a lesbian, but no doubt i could make her switch to the other team, right? oh yeah, this is supposed to be about the music. their dueling guitars recall tom verlaine + richard lloyd, while the emotion behind everything is so sincere. the usual (deserved) bashing of men is blurred by their understanding of modern sexuality (akin to the lyrics of say bob mould or pete shelley). as such it takes the riot grrl scenario to a much more mature + whole level.

del mccoury | 2.15 | gamh : tops. this was 1 of the top 5 shows i've seen this year. the top 3 bluegrass bands around are this band, union station, + ralph stanley+the clinch mountain boys. unfortunately union station backs alison krauss who has taken a decidedly radio friendly route to country, so the purity of bluegrass of which they are so capable rarely is shown anymore. del + family came out onto a stage at the great american armed only with unplugged instruments + two microphones. as acoustic as a show can get. the place was packed + when they played the softest funeral dirge, you could not even hear the clinking of a glass. truly like watching a band the band the way you should, eliminating the offstage unnamed member, the soundman. it takes true talent + hard work to blend 5 voices + 5 instruments through two mics + fill a space like this hall. so good. SO good. to top it all off they played a version of richard thompson's '52 vincent black lightning. fans of steve earle, note that this was his "backup" band on his grammy winning mountain album.

previously mentioned:

superchunk | 11.7+8 | GAMH
de la soul | 11.8 | fillmore
maxwell | 11.10+ 11 | paramount oak (10th), bill graham (11th)
spiritualized | 11.11 | fillmore
tori amos w/rufus wainright| 11.11+12 | paramount oak
built to spill | 11.8-12 | slim's
jimmie vaughan | 11.13 | slim's
ryan adams | 11.14 | fillmore
sarah harmer | 11.14 | BotH
me'shel ndeg├łocello | 11.14 | bimbo's
king crimson w/john paul jones | 11.14 | warfield
shannon wright | 11.15 | BotH
u2 | 11.15 | oakland arena
mike watt | 11.15 | BotH
grant lee phillips | 11.16 | slim's
supersuckers | 11.17 | slim's
death cab for cutie | 11.17+18 | gamh
lee scratch perry | 11.19 | justice league
bebel gilberto | 11.28 | fillmore
robert earl keen, jr | 11.30 | fillmore
wilco | 12.1,2+3 | fillmore
eels (& howe gelb) | 12.3 | gamh
los lobos | 12.6 | fillmore
jonathan richman | 12.8 | slim's
jane siberry | 12.9 | gamh
el vez | 12.20 | BotH
mark lanegan | 12.21 | slim's
imperial teen | 12.29 | slim's
down from the mountain | 2.20 | berkeley comm theatre
nick cave | 4.18+19 | warfield

Thursday, November 8, 2001

it's not the mascara

it's the feeling when you blink

for those new, if you don't wanna receive these, let me know.

r.i.p. champ hood. austin violinist extraordinaire. you might know him from uncle walt's band, toni price (his last gig), the bad livers, richard buckner (devotion + doubt), david halley, + even jello biafra. you might not know any of those people. champ was one of the nicest musicians i knew. viva deschamp.

shannon wright | 11.15 | BotH : i stumbled on to this woman, who was opening for the dirty three. elements of fiona apple, tori amos + chan marshall. she played solo + bounced between piano + guitar. the difference between her songs on the different instruments were like night + day. townes van zandt once said 'there's two kinds of songwriters. piano songwriters + guitar songwriters. i chose guitar because it travels well.' very unusual performer.

bebel gilberto | 11.28 | fillmore : here's a little samba that's composed of just one note. the note's fallen a long way from the tree. really only one album under her belt, she's already collaborated with amon tobin, david byrne, towa tei + the thievery corporation. i prefer not to think about garota's partner in crime on ipanema.

jonathan richman | 12.8 | slim's : i rambled on enough about this guy last time, so i'll save my breath on this email. such an affirmation, do not miss this show. he did not sing a specific song for me at the BotH show, though. stingy bastard.

el vez | 12.20 | BotH : lawdy lawdy lawdy

mark lanegan | 12.21 | slim's : lanegan's screaming trees were one of the many unsung heroes from the pacific northwest when nirvana hit. solo, lanegan is a completely different animal, akin to bob mould's solo work in comparison to husker du. just worlds apart. here, lanegan's solo work is easily better than the trees stuff.

imperial teen | 12.29 | slim's : what a great band name. pretty spot on, too. sugary pop played by two boys + two girls dressed in matching teenage outfits. "you like strawberries. i like you." it ain't genius, but it's sincere + fun.

previously mentioned:

superchunk | 11.7+8 | GAMH
de la soul | 11.8 | fillmore
maxwell | 11.10+ 11 | paramount oak (10th), bill graham (11th)
spiritualized | 11.11 | fillmore
tori amos w/rufus wainright| 11.11+12 | paramount oak
built to spill | 11.8-12 | slim's
jimmie vaughan | 11.13 | slim's
ryan adams | 11.14 | fillmore
sarah harmer | 11.14 | BotH
me'shel ndeg├łocello | 11.14 | bimbo's
king crimson w/john paul jones | 11.14 | warfield
u2 | 11.15 | oakland arena
mike watt | 11.15 | BotH
grant lee phillips | 11.16 | slim's
supersuckers | 11.17 | slim's
death cab for cutie | 11.17+18 | gamh
lee scratch perry | 11.19 | justice league
robert earl keen, jr | 11.30 | fillmore
wilco | 12.1,2+3 | fillmore
eels (& howe gelb) | 12.3 | gamh
los lobos | 12.6 | fillmore
jane siberry | 12.9 | gamh
down from the mountain | 2.20 | berkeley comm theatre
nick cave | 4.18+19 | warfield