Being a tribute band is tough to start with. Unless they do a really good job of covering another bands material, you simply want to mock them. Nothing could be tougher then being a Phish tribute band. They wrote some 200+ songs, many of which are seriously long and complex. On top that, the point of seeing Phish many nights in a row was that they never played the same song the same way. There’s a large helping of improvisation. They were (and still are) steller musicians. So to be Phish tribute band you must learn a good portion of their catalog, and learn the songs inside out so that they can opened up for some serious jamming. Add to that the intense rabid fans of Phish, who will be somewhat unforgiving to band who makes a living covering Phish songs.
Phix is totally worthy. This is my second time seeing them at 12 Galaxies, and they totally lived up to my anticipation. Since they practice quite a bit, they play a lot of the monster Phish songs better then Phish did at the end of their run. Phix will pick a setlist submitted by people attending the show and play it in its entirety. If its your lucky night, you could hear your fantasy show. They didn’t pick mine, but it was really interesting setlist. A crazy Down With Disease -> Ha Ha Ha -> Down With Disease. A steller Split Open and Melt. A perfect rendition of Bowie. And it only cost $10. There’s many micro brews on tap at standard bar prices, no bathroom line, lots of dancing space, and you can bring in your backpacks.
Good times were had.
We left after the double encore (Good Times Bad Times, Golgi Apparatis), at 1:30 on Tuesday morning.
I was not at my phinest on Tuesday. Great start to the week though.
Friday night, Dave P and I went over to Oakland to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers ($50 + $10 ticketbasted fees). First we had to wait in line to get our will call. Then, upon attempted entry, they said no backpacks and sent on a long walk to the bag check tent. There we signed waivers and dropped off my backpack. Once inside, we fought the huge crowd to the second floor to acquire our 4 dollar waters (we couldn’t keep the bottle caps) and be really far away from the stage. The show was good, not great. Flea is a fucking monster on the bass. They must have sunk a couple million into their fancy light/multimedia gear. We had to leave early to get the backpack and make it to BART before midnight.
I decided its really not worth it to go to a stadium show. Especially to see bands past their prime. I’ll have to be super motivated to do it again. Or, more likely, I’ll just forget about this experience and do it again. I’m stupid like that.
Stupid like a fox.
Tonight, we’ll leisurely amble over to 12 Galaxies to drink delicious local beers on tap at normal bar prices, perhaps take in some free water, and have a blast with our favorite Phish tribute band: Phix. It’ll cost $12. I bet I have more fun.
Every once in a while, some work drama flares up. Often, I’m peripherally involved, bemused at the sidelines. Not this time. My co-worker of 5 years, and superstar of my team, decided to quit. Good for her, cause she wasn’t so happy. Not so good for me, cause she was our ringer. Simultaneously (and convincingly unrelated-ly) I got my first promotion since I’ve been working at Oracle. I’m now the equivalent of a jedi serf. Booyeah.
That was the start of my Thursday.
I was also involved in an amazingly well orchestrated plot (by Andrew, Sarah, and Natalee) to throw Dave SG a surprise birthday treasure hunt. So I’m driving home from work, trying to get to my designated location on time. I get home, jump in a cab, and get to the panhandle a couple minutes late. Dave SG is there, and is totally surprised when I walk toward him. What am I doing here? Oh, I have plans to meet up with Sarah (who’s already present). He begins to regale this tale of how he went to the Seward Park Slides (a huge 2 story concrete slide) and the cardboard he was using to slide on had messages scrawled all over it, many which had random personal significance. He and Andrew determined that it was part of a treasure hunt that they happened to stumble upon, and decided to go find the next clue in the panhandle. His mind is totally scrambled and they’re off to a bar for the next clue. Do we want to join him? Maybe for one drink. At the next bar he runs into Josh and Deanna, and during our time there it dawns upon him that this isn’t so much a coincidence.
It was so awesome being there in the panhandle when his mind basically imploded with the supposed random synergy of his day, totally unsuspecting that it was a setup. That was an honor to witness.
After Bar #1, he had to go to a park and climb a tree in the dark, somewhat drunk. He had to do it three times till he found the clue. He picked up two more friends there, who had been hula-hooping in the park. Then to bar #2 (Fly). More friends. Then to the liquor store across the street from his house (more friends), where his last instruction was to buy a Miller High Life. In the store was a 40oz Miller that was labeled “drink me”. Passing it around, he and his entourage took care of draining it, getting out the tiny plastic capsule that contained the message: “Go home Dave. Go Home.”
Dave and his crew went across the street, where Dave walked in where another 20 or so people yelled “Surprise!” and the party at the house began. The house was all decorated and everyone was it great spirits.
It was undoubtedly the best birthday of his life.
But my day isn’t done yet.
My friend Sharon gave me a call on Wednesday. She’s a sound engineer out of Montreal, and runs the sound board for bands. She told me that her band, Wolfe Parade, was rolling through SF on Thursday, and they hit @ 11.
So upon leaving the party, as two people are heading to a car, I ask somewhat jokingly if she’ll give me a ride to the Fillmore. Astonishingly, she says yes, and low and behold I get a ride. Sweet!
I roll into a fairly full Fillmore, with an all access patch on my shirt. The band is pretty good.
Sharon’s running some good sound.
Towards midnight I’m starting to get tired and famished, and begin to lose focus. I figure this is the only time I’ll ever go backstage at the Fillmore, so I decide to check it out.
Its better then I could have imagined. The room itself is small and uninteresting, but there’s a table FULL OF FOOD! I make myself a phatty sandwich and head to the balcony to watch the show. I guess they just finished up their final song, cause everyone is cheering and the band isn’t on stage. Turns out they’re heading up backstage, where I’m smack in the middle of the tiny hallway, blissing out on my sandwich and free water. I’m totally in the way, and by the time I realize it, I’m just bemused. Everyone’s cheering, people backstage are handing out accolades, and I’m creating a traffic jam, eating a sandwich.
The band plays their encore. Everyone leaves. I get to hang out with Sharon for half hour or so and catch up.
I finally treked out Stern Grove concert this year. The last one. Ozomatli was the headliner. Never seen ’em before. I got the concert @ 3. It started at 2. Most people were already there by 11:30. The gates said the grove was full, and you couldn’t enter.
So I wonder along the length of the grove, find a piece of fence thats broken down. I sneakily go in. A security guard is like 30 ft from me. He doesn’t smile when he sees me.
Well, fuck it. I keep wondering to the other end where there’s a big green. And I see some people milling. I head in. Its a crazy forest with some dirt paths leading downhill. I find people, and they began to direct me. Eventually I stumble on the secret blurry stone stairway.
I made my way down to the grove,
into the concert area,
on the hill.
It was there that I found hobbits.
Its was fine. I sorta felt it was like a generic party happy go rah rah band. I had a good enough time. I certainly got my moneys worth.
I decided to walk home. On route I ran across a sweet cherry Lemonade stand.
I was very pleased.
Lemonade for Jimmy.
I got up and groovin on Saturday morning for a full day in the North Bay. A typical fogged over summer day, I had to drive a whole 10 minutes north before the sky reveals itself. Its about a 30 degree difference in temperature.
I headed up to my Aunt + Uncle’s Ranch in Napa, where my parents were staying. It’s freaking gorgeous up there. They have 6 horses, 2 dogs, several cats, and a whole mess of wild life. Ferrel turkeys, mountain lions and such. A bunch of cows and a huge bull named cowboy.
Ryan and Lizzie up and eloped in Hawaii. Then they returned and told all of us. What a brilliant idea! They were having a celebratory chin-dig at s friend’s home in Sonoma. Turns out the home was attached to their enormous vineyard. So we celebrated in style. I went into the vineyard to taste grapes off the vine. It is late enough in the season that the sugar levels were pretty high so the grapes were delicious.
Then I headed back towards SF with a stop at Cobalt Sun in Sausalito. They were having an art show from an Iranian painter, Nouriman Manoucheri. Its such a cool space they have there. The art was cool, but its hard for me to appreciate Art. Then Lynn Augstine walked me around to each Painting, talking about different aspects of the piece that she enjoyed. It really heightened my appreciation of the Art.
And I got to reclaim my long lost green pillow, which I had left there from the Tropozone concert. There was much rejoicing.
Pat McCarten is good friend of ours back from our Palo Alto days. Stiners and Pat worked at the same startup. A friendship was born. We used to have “family” dinners on Thursday in Shakedown, our 8 person mildly co-op-ish style home. Pat came every Thursday. Turns out Pat loves music. Possibly more than I. Enough that there is kinship between us as well. There was 3-4 year period where 80 percent of the concerts I saw were with Pat. So that’s a LOT of shows. An unreasonable amount of good times.
He also introduced me to the wonders of the amazing car stereo. He drove an Audi with a 13 piece speaker system. Getting to/from the concert was an experience in itself. He turned me on to countless bands.
Anywho, somewhere along the line he met his amazing wife Angela, and they moved back to Toronto, Pat’s birthplace. That made me sad. He’s now working for a company that has offices in the Bay Area. That means every 4 months or so, he blows through town and spends a night with the Kruddens.
We always give 110 percent. I usually wake up sore then next morning.
Thursday Pat came over. We never left the house. We spent most of the night taking turns controlling itunes and keeping the stereo at maximum volume. When music is loud and awesome, Pat plays air drums/guitar/whatever. Really well for that matter. I took a short dark video of Pat doing “the Pat”. Sorry I lack the skills to make it less dark.
Here’s your glimpse:
Zack (the actual original lego maniac!) and Amanda came over for dinner on Tuesday. It was great opportunity for Stina to talk with recently converted athletic like people and to discuss triatholon stuff. I just sat there, drank, and nodded when I thought it was appropriate. Amanda is one of the best cooks I know. Over the years, Zack has broke her down, from Vegan to Veggie. This has vastly increased the type of food she will prepare. It’s all very exciting. When asked what they could bring over, I couldn’t resist asking for dessert.
Now I have a serious sweet tooth. Dessert is very important to have everyday. If it doesn’t occur, I’ve been known to get grumpy or super motivated to go out and aquired a fix.
Amanda said she made dessert. Those were the sweetest words I heard all day.
It was unbelievably good. So good, I took a picture and blogged about it.
An IM with Dave went something like this: how to copy music off your ipod -> quoting Nirvana lyrics -> mistakenly referencing Kurt Cobain as Kirk -> Googling Kirk Cameron.
It takes you to the “Way of the Master”.
And good god! Well, actually bad god (in my humble opinion). “Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron teach Christians how to share their faith effectively and inoffensively” Okaay. Delving a bit deeper into the site is a scary thing. For me, at least.
In the last year or so, I’ve finally come to terms with my position on religion – I like it as a cultural thing, less as a God thing. Dave SG turned me on to a great book called: “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris. It helped clarify some of my negative feeling about religion. I choose not to accept that ancient books such as the Torah and the Bible were written by God. Or Jesus for that matter. The fact that people still do literal interpretations of these holy scriptures scares the living shit out of me. That many people believe that dying in the name of their God will bring them and their family glory in the afterlife. That Bush is a good presidential choice cause he’s down with the church.
Sure I’m oversimplifying. But I’m pseudo grown-up, and I now have come to terms with my lack of belief that God is judging my actions. I feel that I should be judging my actions and be responsible for them. The afterlife is a concept that I don’t subscribe to. I will be immortalized by what I leave behind and when people think about me after I’m gone. Ooo, I can even do my religious Java (the programming language) analogy.
In the programming language Java, everything you write is an “object”. Every object that you create must be derived (called a child) from a different object (the parent object). For example, an object that represents a rectangle (which could be used to track the size of your current WWW browser) will be a child of a “shape” object. At some point there must be a “base” object which must be a parent of every object. This base object is called Object (captial O) and has very few properties. It doesn’t do much. But everything is ultimately derived from it. I feel my perception of God is that much like Object. Everything is derived from it – and so all living things are connected at some fundamental level. And there you have it, in a nutshell.
So Way of the Master. I read some letters from Kirk. He clearly feels differently than I. If you want a good summary of the tone of the site – just read the faq. Here’s an entry that made me angry:
I have my own thoughts on what god is like.
This is transgression of the First and Second of the Ten Commandments: “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before Me . . . You shall not make to yourself a graven image of any likeness.” You are creating a god in your mind that you are more comfortable with—a god to suit your sins.
Man has always made gods to suit himself. My opinion doesn’t matter when it comes to God’s character. What matters is the truth–and He has revealed what He is like through the Bible.
So, if I don’t agree EXACTLY with how Kirk views God (by reading the Bible), I’m fucked in his view.
Well, thank GOD I don’t give a rats ass about what Kirk thinks.