Saturday, December 26, 2009

what are you doing withering away

yes i've heard you've lost the will to play
whatever happened to those fluid movements
you were so proud of in the intimate moments

rest in peace, vic chesnutt 11.12.64-12.25.09

site for donations for vic chesnutt's family.
i urge you to visit if only to read kristing hersh's words about vic:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

gimme shelter

reading news of obama's plans for afghanistan and looked for this.


isolated vocal tracks for the classic "gimme shelter".

merry clayton is her name.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

transparency : support live music

as you might imagine, i am on a fair share of email lists from concert venues in san francisco. this subject has been going on for a while. in my mind (and probably yours) most of the venues i go to don't fall into the realm of what is triggering all of this or who is the target of all this, which are the mid to large primarily DJ/dance venues. you know the ones... unh-tsk-unh-tsk-unh-tsk fog machines, and the bridge and tunnel crowd. you've read about the violence. i don't blame neighbors who are worried about violence or fires or even the noise (although... the clubs -and the noise- more often than not were there when you moved in). but yeah those dance clubs aren't my scene so why should i care? because all venues are coming under fire. live music, dj music, you name it. the places you and i like to go to will be caught in the crossfire.

the SAN FRANCISCO ENTERTAINMENT COMMISSION was set up to monitor and regulate these clubs. prior to them, it was a behind the scenes process controlled by the sfpd. the entertainment commission is a good idea. transparency in government.

san francisco is a world class live music city. we need to keep it that way. it's not easy to make it in music or even as a music venue. let the clubs that are doing good jobs continue to do so.

the following is what is being posted on many venues websites. i made one minor edit... the rest i pretty much agree with. if you do too, send an email (addresses and suggested text below).

Save SF Entertainment!



Please help support night-time entertainment in SF by coming to a hearing on Monday, Oct 19 at 10am in room 263 at City Hall!

A vocal group of neighbors have banded with the anti-alcohol and anti-entertainment elements in the police department and the state alcohol control department to shut down night-time entertainment in San Francisco. This is a real threat. These people have come to hearings at City Hall and blamed night-time entertainment for violent crime, murder, prostitution, public urination and defecation and any host of problems that the city has been facing for decades. Never before have they been this strong and powerful, if you love going out at night, you need to show up and tell City Hall that we are not to be blamed for society's problems. We need you to show up at Monday's hearing and/or send an email of support now. Again, the hearing is next Monday, Oct 19 at 10am in room 263 at City Hall.

The Entertainment Commission was created in 2002 to take responsibility for the granting and oversight of Entertainment and Late Night permits. Before the EC, these permits were all controlled by the police. Separating the authority was a way to give citizen stake-holders a place in the decisions around entertainment. Enforcement remained with the police, and the granting and oversight were given to the EC.

Two years ago the Mayor's office and the EC convened a "Night-time Safety Summit" to hear recommendations from the entertainment community and the Police Department on how to strengthen the role of the EC in rewarding well managed venues, and disciplining problem venues that were making the industry look bad. The legislation that is being heard on Monday comes from that summit.

Currently, the Entertainment Commission does not have much enforcement power: they just have the "big stick" of permit revocation, which is a very heavy-weight, expensive and time-consuming process. This hearing is about giving the EC the ability to write tickets for minor infractions, for example, to tell a venue to manage their line better without having to first let things get bad enough that revocation makes sense.

The strategy of the anti-night-life and anti-alcohol forces is to keep the Entertainment Commission toothless, because that makes them look ineffective. They think that if the EC continues getting bad press, SFPD will be able to take back unilateral control of permitting, which would be bad for night-life and bad for San Francisco.

So please show up and support this legislation that will allow the EC to do its job, out in the open, with accountability and citizen oversight! Don't let the prohibitionists wreck your city.

Whether you can make it to the hearing in person or not, we need you to send an email to the committee members of the Board of Supervisors who will be presiding on Monday. For example, something like this:

Subject: Support 1060/1070 without moratorium

Honorable Mayor and Board of Supervisor Committee members;

I support the strengthening of the Entertainment Commission. I do not support the moratoriums that will restrict the granting of special event permits because there is no proof that those special events are any problem.

I am a ___resident / employee / patron___ and I think that the entertainment venues in the city are safe, well run and that the Entertainment Commission does a good job managing all of them. The couple of problem venues will be required to fix their problems faster if the commission gets this additional power.

I pay taxes, live, work and play in San Francisco and believe that well managed entertainment of all types is vital for a city like ours. It is one of the reasons I choose to live here and not in the suburbs.


___your name___
I live in ___your neighborhood___

If you are able to make it to the hearing on Monday (again, that's Oct 19, 10am, room 263 in City Hall) it would be helpful if you were willing to speak for a minute or two in support of the Entertainment community and the Commission that was set up to regulate it. Some suggested points to make:

- Sunshine and fairness: The EC allows neighbors, the music community, and stake-holders an official, on-the-record forum for public input. The EC has taken venue licensing out of back rooms and into the public eye where it belongs.

- Better neighbors / safer clubs: The EC holds venues accountable with fair, enforceable steps to become good neighbors. The EC has mandated more soundproofing, plus fire, electrical and building safety upgrades than at any other time in the city's history.

- More local jobs: Venues are labor-intensive, and almost completely locally staffed. SF needs jobs!

- Tough / fair enforcement of sound laws: EC staff test for sound complaints and ensure both compliance for neighbors, and fairness to venues. The EC's staff must be augmented, and given more enforcement power, a key issue on Monday.

- Cheaper tickets: More venues means more shows, competition for artists and competitive pricing for customers.

- Protect outdoor concerts, street-fairs: The EC has defended the city's unique locally operated fairs and festivals. They employ thousands, entertain hundreds of thousands and bring millions into city coffers, plus massive hotel and restaurant income.

- Fair regulation: Every Week San Francisco hosts regional, national and international tourists who support our local economy. Hundreds of thousands of people come and go enjoying the sights, food and entertainment that this city is famous for with few problems. Keep that success and give the Entertainment Commission the authority to regulate the few problems that we do have.

- I love going out: Tell them about your favorite venue and how often you go out. Tell them that you enjoy your time with friends listening to music and dancing, that you feel safe and secure, and thank the Entertainment Commission for doing its job.

- I make my living from entertainment: If you work in the night-life industry, tell them about it! Give examples where you have seen the Entertainment Commission doing good work.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

jeremiah was a bullfrog

daniel johnston has an app for the iphone.
a game featuring his music and artwork.
it's not easy, i imagine, making marker drawings into 3 dimensional environments.

just downloaded it. i have very few games on my iphone so i don't have a lot to compare it to.

but it is pretty fun...

the app's name is hi, how are you.

of course.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

nothing on rick astley

seriously. WTF?

how is this legal?

flavor flav, ok
stevie wonder and david bowie, surreal
billy idol, dave mustaine even bon jovi...

but making him sing BUSH?

Monday, August 31, 2009

volcano in winter

NPR is streaming a new song from the band volcano choir. volcano choir is a collaboration of bon iver's justin vernon and collections of colonies of bees. hear here

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

bass wiggle

stunning bass-string shot from urbanscreen on Vimeo.

apparently this is captured as raw footage, the only special effects being the shutter speed of the camera fusing with the frequency of the strings.

Friday, August 14, 2009

RIP lester william polsfuss (les paul)

06.19.1915 - 08.13.2009

i learned to play on borrowed guitars.
first was my sister's acoustic ... a nylon string job.

the first electric i learned to play on was a borrowed les paul.
it was black.
30 pounds.
mother of pearl inlay.
i borrowed it for two years from a friend of a friend.
i could wax poetic about all of the great musicians that played les pauls, but in truth the experience of playing one... of learning electric on one... that means more to me.

les paul guitars feel substantive. heavy. solid. yet the strings and their relation to the pickups are incredibly delicate. the experience of learning on one was an immersion in dichotomy... path of least resistance...

there is reportedly a point in any mechanism, no matter how powerful, that can stop the mechanism with the slightest touch. i've read that a train can be stopped with a finger if you know where to put that finger.

a les paul guitar feels like every fret, every finger touch has that power.

the video shows two greats exercising that power, but also (and more importantly) that restraint. which just may be the definition of mastery.

Friday, July 31, 2009

pixies announce US tour

frank black francis @ hotel utah

frank black francis is playing the hotel utah friday aug 7th and sat aug 8th.
tickets available at ticketweb

gouge away

the pixies upcoming tour is in honor of the 20th anniversary of their album doolittle, which was release april 1989

the concert will consist of playing the album in its entirety along with all of the b-sides from those recordings
(dancing the manta ray, bailey's walk, weird at my school, wave of mutilation (uk surf), into the white, etc)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

seven worlds collide

for fans of neil finn
(and the smiths' johnny marr, radiohead, wilco, kt tunstall)
seven worlds collide is a new album driven by neil finn and including the above or members of the above.
due out aug 31 in the uk, you can preview the album on their myspace page

Monday, July 20, 2009

pain in the neck

beastie boy adam yauch has cancer
tour has been cancelled
album release has been pushed back

video statement released this morning:

Friday, July 10, 2009

te fuiste!

i was thinking of coming up with a post listing a tribute for michael jackson...
MJ songs and suggesting who might do a great cover. in my "research" i came across this. which is simply over the top brilliant. i only wish the patron recording the video had the sense to leave out his commentary and singing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

R.I.P. bob bogle (1934-2009)

the ventures have been called the most successful instrumental band of all time.
a good bit of that is due to the shimmy and whammy of bob bogle's surf guitar.
bogle died of non-hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 75.

a true innovator...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

phil spector mug shot

oh dear lord.

are these really phil's two choices? this look or the afro wig?

this is "courtesy" of the smoking gun

prepare your coffin

great new video from tortoise for their instrumental "prepare your coffin"
sumptuous black and white photography of fairly banal patterns of san francisco.
they are from chicago, but i guess sam jones + wilco already did similar with that town.
directed by andrew paynter + JUICE
cinematography by dan wolfe

tortoise is playing the great american, 07.13.

my calendar info here

Friday, May 22, 2009

sparklehorse + danger mouse

dark night of the soul is a collaboration between danger mouse, sparklehorse and david lynch

due to disputes between danger mouse and EMI, the album may never be able to be sold.

which is not uncommon for danger mouse's work

it is streaming right here and now on npr

cover for dark night of the soul

the guests include
frank black (pixies)
iggy pop
james mercer (shins)
the flaming lips
gruff rhys (super furry animals)
jason lytle (grandaddy)
hulian casablancas (strokes)
scott spillane (neutral milk hotel)
suzanne vega
vic chesnutt

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


i have created a calendar that you can view or subscribe to showing the concert listings i mention here. i will do my best to keep it up to date.

You can view my calendar here

You can subscribe to my calendar here

Saturday, May 16, 2009

lucksmiths no more

this is incredibly sad news. the amazing australian band, the lucksmiths, are calling it quits. farewell tour will not reach america...

Friday, May 8, 2009

my heart spent 49 days in a bardo, baby

but i'm gonna make it home tonight

hi. the only way to start it up again, is to start it up again.

is back...

i think

if you are wondering what this blathering spam is about... i sporadically write about music. usually upcoming shows. i think you like music, therefore i am copying you on this. if you don't want to receive this/these... let me know. i won't send it to you.

i try to only write about music i like, and ignore music i don't.

having said that... some music can't be ignored.

in short, these emails will try to update you on upcoming concerts that i like. sometimes, rarely, i will write about recordings.

and so begin again>

ryan bingham | 05.08 | hotel utah : bingham was born in NM but raised in west texas. apparently lived a somewhat hard scrabble west texas life and then tried the rodeo circuit for a couple of years. after that, he started playing bars... until he was noticed. sounds like the bio of someone my age, but the kid is 25. so he is, like, 4 years younger than you'd think. ahem. anyway... he is not doing anything ground breaking. but it is refreshing to hear someone new who seems to be doing true outlaw country. the real props he earned, in my book, came with having terry allen (and bukka and joe) record on his first major album. he also did some guest vocals for a recent live joe ely album at this little club in austin called the cactus cafe.

booker t, bettye lavette | 05.09 | independent : i haven't seen booker t in a long time. and i've never seen bettye. i gotta imagine this would be a great time.

destroyer | 05.08+09 | cafe du nord:  dan bejar is the driving force behind destroyer, who has released some amazing albums. he's canadian, and due to his penchant for "electric folk" often draws comparisons to early bowie, but to me his singing bears more resemblance to robyn hitchcock. a bit of a brit accent and a tad nasal. also, if you are a fan of new pornographers, he basically co-wrote their sublime album, "mass romantic". nodzzz is opening on saturday... more on them later. having said this, destroyer are also playing the starry plough in berkeley next month.

blowoff (bob mould) | 05.09 | slims : i have yet to see this, but here is what i gather... blowoff was/is a DJ event that bob mould began hosting in DC with friend rich morel. morel is a producer/mixer/etc who has worked with or worked over tracks by new order, the kills, etc. bob mould, if you don't know, is a god. bob's last solo works started leaning towards electronica and apparently these DJ events in DC was a mixture of him spinning electronica mixing in his own work and layering live instrumentation. last time i saw bob solo he played gamh (with his signature blue guitar) and layered electronica behind it.

the shins | 05.09 | fox : gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth

the vaselines | 05.11 | bimbos : the scottish quartet from the late 80s early 90s have reunited and are playing san francisco for the first time, apparently. borrowing heavily from the velvet underground's sound, the vaselines mined the rich possiblities of almost a cognitive dissonance... combining opposing ideas at the same time (naievete + obscenity, harshness + tenderness, delicacy + imprecision, manipulative + unplanned). in short, they were often as genius as cobain made them out to be.

cornelius, deerhoof | 05.12 | fillmore : when i first saw this pairing, i thought it odd. but then i saw some connection. they both make music much like a patchwork quilt, layering patterns and elements carefully. deerhoof tends to unique treble vocals, jangular and jarring. cornelius leans toward the atmospheric. yeah, i don't know what that means, really, either, so look them up. they are both incredible, but you should be ready for them, as both are explorative musically.

loudon wainwright iii | 05.14 | fillmore : one of my favorite songwriters, loudon explores his life, his choices and his emotions so thoroughly through his songs, it can take you aback. initially it may feel too much, as though you happened to drop in on a therapy session. before long, however, you are connecting and experiencing it as your own. these sessions run deep, but loudon is a master of making you smile and laugh with it. father of rufus and martha, and cameo in many a movie or tv show (mash, but most recently in knocked up, as the obgyn that disappeared)

steve earle | 05.14 | amoeba in store : steve's latest album is a collection of townes van zandt covers. i miss townes. i love steve and am looking forward to hearing the album. am always a little wary when someone does something like this, but i figure it IS steve and they ARE townes songs, so it's kind of hard to go wrong, right?

loney, dear | 05.15 | both : i have only heard one song from these cats. have not researched them. the one song is called "i am john". it's simple and clean, bright and cheery and childlike. belle and sebastian without the dark undertones. jens lekman without the baritone magnetic field.

sean hayes | 05.16 | independent : i'm not sure of hayes lineage, but he lives now in san francisco (or at least the bay area). a singer songwriter that with the next note tends to defy the category you just put him in. leaning towards the acoustic and soulful, he weaves between many an era of music. how deep can roots get in the windy dustbowl?

m ward | 05.16 | fox : imagine a dinged up old trumpet with a worn patina and a mute shoved in the bell. now imagine that trumpet being played by chet baker. that's m ward's voice. if m ward only had that voice, he would be making beautiful music. but he doesn't stop there. he puts care into what he sings. i cannot believe he is playing a place as large as the fox. he is the him in "she and him" and he is playing without "she".

i had intended to write more, but these will have to wait:

mogwai | 05.17 | regency :

doves | 05.18 | fillmore :

the kills | 05.19 | fillmore :

decemberists | 05.20 | fox :

pelle carlberg | 05.21 | rickshaw :

kings of leon, the walkmen | 05.21 | bill graham :

tv on the radio | 05.22 | fox :

kelley stoltz | 05.22 | cafe du nord :

the flatlanders | 05.23 | slims :

stars | 05.23 | uptown (oak):

the dears | 05.24 | independent :

lady sovereign | 05.24 | rickshaw :

animal collective | 05.26 | fox

rodriguez | 05.26 | slims :

peter bjorn and john | 05.26+27 | gamh : butch walker opens on 27th.

st vincent | 05.27 | bimbos :

m83 | 05.27 | mezzanine :

jenny lewis, the sadies | 05.28+29 | fillmore :

sun kil moon, mia doi todd | 05.29 | gamh :

isobel campbell and mark lanegan | 05.30  | bimbos :

the roots | 05.30 | davies :

graham parker | 05.31 | freight + salvage :

the field | 06.06 | mezzanine :

nodzz | 06.06 | hemlock :

erykah badu | 06.06 | warfield :

rogue wave | 06.007 | independent :

camera obscura | 06.08 | fillmore :

neko case, jason lytle | 06.09 | warfield :

the felice brothers | 06.09+10 | independent :

the lemonheads | 06.10 | slims :

constantines, crystal antlers | 06.11 | rickshaw :

she wants revenge | 06.12 | bimbos :

the church | 06.12 | slims :

the oh sees | 06.13 | independent :

bat for lashes | 06.13 | gamh :

au revoir simone | 06.13 | bimbos :

art brut | 06.15 | independent :

pj harvey | 06.19 | warfield :

destroyer | 06.20 | the starry plough (berk) :

grizzly bear | 06.21 | fillmore :

david byrne, devotchka | 06.26 | greek :

wilco | 06.27 | greek :

eric clapton, steve winwood | 06.29 | oracle (oak) :

deer tick | 07.01 | independent :

asia, yes | 07.02 | warfield :

rev horton heat | 07.06+07 | gamh :

duran duran | 07.07 | fillmore :

nodzzz | 07.10 | hemlock :

death cab for cutie, andrew bird | 07.11 | greek :

tortoise | 07.13 | gamh :

amadou and mariam | 07.13 | shoreline :

trespassers william | 07.19 | hemlock :

no doubt | 07.21, 25 | bigass pavilions :

handsome family | 07.23 | both :

wayne hancock | 07.24 | uptown :

jarvis cocker | 07.28 | fillmore :

stellastarr | 08.01 | slims :

sonic youth | 08.02 | fox :

mirah | 08.16 | somarts :

al green | 09.02 | warfield :

bonnie and taj | 09.16 | paramount :

jesus lizard | 10.17 | fillmore :