TV on the Radio

TV on the Radio has been touted from a couple different sources as “the band” to see live this year. So I obediently obliged, and caught them at the Fillmore.

I don’t understand how a lot of “it” bands get away with an hour a small change set, with encore. They were good, but it was no where near shit my pants good. Big vocal focus on some catchy indiesque tunes. An audience seemly comprised of hipsters, and a handful of very annoying drunk women who liked to sing along. It’s Wednesday people – rein it in.

Ha. I’m old.

At least there was a cool poster.

People seemed more then happy with the show.



The Now

Something about holding a one day old (congrads to Erin and Nat!!!) triggered some weird thinking about state of affairs in my life.

In the 90’s, I loved the 80’s music. The glam. I sometimes wished I could have been older in the 80’s to experience it. But then I would have been older in 90’s, and I would have missed out on all the great living/music I’ve been blessed to experience. I probably wouldn’t have ridden on the Phish train, or really been in SF for the rise of these next gen bands.

The music tools that I use are all pretty damn state of the art. Before I graduated college there was barely a notion of a virtual studio (a studio contained within software which emulates the equipment of a traditional music studio). It would be so exciting to be a child now growing up with these tools.

On the other hand, having some time, money, and experience has enabled me to utilize and appreciate the software in ways that an infant couldn’t do. Thus I’m part of the first wave of musicians to really adopt and publish music with these tools. Even though there is an obscene amount music being put out there in the ether that is the internet, we are only at the cusp of this revolution. Therefore, by being a early adopter and really trying to push my music, I have more of an opportunity for success then the next generation who will have to compete with a much bigger wave of composers doing the same thing.

This is rather frustrating to think about since I don’t think I’m that successful at it in the current state of now.

I guess you will need a lot more talent to really stand out in the future.

Well, I don’t feel like stopping, either.

I think the same applies to the technology job market. I couldn’t really learn computer science until I got to college. I imagine that this will shift so that computer science gets absorbed in the pre-college curriculum. As the next generation learns about computers earlier and the job market goes global, there will be much more competition for the tech jobs that exist. It will be tougher and tougher to get a leg up.

Then again, who knows what the state of the world will be a couple generations from now?

Not me.

I’ll be older and perhaps wiser then. Ready to reminence about the ’90s.




Inspired by gazing into last nights art party, I decided to have a quick bout with fimo clay. What with the internet and all, I thought I’d do a quick photo expo on how to make a simple somewhat trippy bead.

First, using a pasta machine, I rolled out some green and white, cut two triangles and formed a rectangle which I put back through the pasta machine.

Then by repeatedly folding the square in half horizontally and running it through the pasta machine, I eventually make a rectangle gradient from white to green.

Then I made another rectangle from black to green, connected the two rectangles and rolled it up into a cylander.

I rolled out the cylender, and cut it into inch and half pieces.

I took those pieces and made a rectangle out of them. I squished the rectangle together making a “cane”, which I’ll use to make beads.

I cut thin slices off the cane, and wrapped them around scrap clay to make beads.

Now I have lots of beads. Sweet.

Anyone need some beads?




A while back, Hans duly circulated an awe inspiring video of the band Dragonforce.
When I saw that they were coming to SF, I jumped on it. Hans, Matty Boom Boom, and BryGuy all came on board.

And last night, they rocked our faces off.

Everyone met up at Chez krudden for beers and shots. Stiners had assembled a crue to go to the art party that Dave SG was participating in. The party was one block away from the Warfield on Market. That was really really unlikely. So DanT and Angel also joined us for some early evening revelry. Fun transpired. Deodorant re-applied.

Lets rock.

So our motley crue got down to the Warfield with enough time to spare that we could terrorize a 7-11 and find the party. Turned out the party was in a large art gallery that was fronted with huge pane windows, so it was like an human art aquarium that we got to enjoy from the outside.

We went inside, went to our killer seats, and get revved up. The lights went out, and we were taken to a new fucking planet. Lets call it: “Holy Fuck”. These guys seriously raised the bar for glam/prog. The level of enthusiasm was contagious. There were 6 of them. They only way they know how to play: stupid fast. The two guitarists would play nintendo like synchronized leads and the launch into alternating face melting solos. The singer was a perfect blend of over the top theatrics and falsetto notes of glory. The keyboard player would sometimes hold a chord with on hand while doing huge Pete Townsed like leaps swinging his free hand. The drummer went non stop, double bass kicks thundering in perfect synchronicity with the bass player.

At one point, the keyboardist switched to the keytar, and the two guitars, bass player, and keyboardist all come together to cross frets. Then they all played each others instruments. Mid song. Fuuuuck me.

It’s amazing to see a band in their prime.

Hans and I agreed that they would provide the perfect soundtrack to the next gen version of Contra. Some one needs to make this happen.

Strangely enough, they weren’t the headliners. Another band, Killswitch Engage, played next. They didn’t hold a fucking candle. I can’t rally behind music where most of the vocals are screaming. At one point, after finished oneforge table number the singer went off on the audience for being lame. He’s started raving at length to some people who were talking instead of enjoying the music. Eventually the drummer chucked a drum stick at the singer and made the “let’s play a song already” motion. Humor.

They only somewhat redeemed themselves by finishing their encore with a rousing rendition of “Holy Diver” by Dio. That brought a smile to our collective faces.

Here’s a shitty picture taken from Hans’ cellphone:




Accoustic Cafe Revisited

JP Cutler and Jason Parmar played at the Accoustic Cafe on Friday, and I was more then ready to return. I ended up walking down to the venue – it took one Album Leaf album to get there.

On arrival, there were three other people there – all performers. I started talking to the bartender/coffee slinger. He was supposed to be done, and was somewhat grumpy about still being there. The cousin of the owner offered to cover for him until Dennis, the night guy, arrived. As soon as grumpy duder left, people started to arrive, and the poor guy had no idea how to make coffee/tea drinks. He attempted to create hot water using the espresso machine, which ended up being on for like ten minutes until the high pitched whining became too scary.

I found a cookie dough like container of clear goo on the bar. It turned out to be time release water. What a world we live in.

Rachel and Casey? came a bit later. A bunch of other folks showed up that I now know through different circles. I really enjoy how the musical circles interconnect.

Anyhow, JP and Jason sounded great. Jesse finished his first set using a bow on his guitar along with a looper pedal. Nice and trippy.

I definitely heart the Accoustic Cafe now. Free music, great vibe, and $3 tasty beers. Sold.




Soulive did a two night run at the Independent – I showed up for night 2. Those guys define what it is to be in the pocket. Such virtuoso’s. The drummer does these crazy fills where he flips the one beat around. The keyboard player makes my head hurt. Guitarist just rips. And then they go and ruin it by bringing out singers all the time. Why do they do this? The singers are talented and all, but it brings the intensity down. Then to make matters worse, the singers like to do a lot of call and response, dragging it out.

I guess they feel the audience connects more when there’s a singer.

Not me.

Thankfully, I have the internet where I can vent.

I was hard core last night – I made it through the entire two set show. I hung out with a mom and son pair for while. I saw a bunch of random folks, which lent ample opportunity to distribute CDs. Aaron and Rachel appeared for set 2. They got all hooked up with backstage passes. Thus, I got bonus free water. Apparently Aaron’s friend is good friends with the band, and I got them to strategically place CDs backstage. So who knows, right now they might be kicking back on the bus with some general fuzz.

Well, or not.

That’s cool too.

But less cool, by far.



Accoustic Cafe

We got word yesterday that a couple of our friends were playing that night at the Acoustic Cafe, a brand spanking new Cafe at the corner of Page and Octavia. We met up with Jordan and Jen for some pre-show Indian dinner, which we ended up getting to go after determining that we could eat it at the cafe.

We got there in time to take in Brian Davis opening set. Never seen him perform before, so that was rad. He’s got a solid voice. Then Joe Ledbetter did a solo spot with looper. That guy just reeks of confidence. Its always good to listen to him do his thang. It got a little shaky with the looper, and having played with loopers before, I felt his pain. But after he sang about shoving the looper up your pooper, all was re-aligned in the universe. Booyeah.

Finally, a guy named Robatto? and Steve Sparapani kicked into the realm of space using a laptop running Live, and bunch of different instruments. It got kinda out there.

It was a solid evening of hanging out with friends while listening to other friends perform. Oh, and the pints were only $3. All the time. Stina had a hot white chocolate that I got to drink most of. It was fantastic.



Great Mysteries

You know how life sometimes presents a great mystery that you ponder for a bit and eventually forget about? Like last night, when we were checking out the scene at 9th and Irving and there were many more punk like folk congregating outside the bars then usual. We wondered “Why are there all these punk like folks congregating at bars in our neighbor hood?” You can read my previous post to learn about all that followed.

Its probably not super interesting to you. But I wrote about it anyways.

That’s just how I roll.

Well, today, we went down to the 9th and Irving area for some lunch. We got some food to go and ate it in the park to enjoy the clearly limited sunshine of the day. The clouds came in, we left the park, and walked by the Anarchist Book Fair at the county fair building. Ah ha.

We went in. I bought a poster commemorating the event, because I thought it was rad, and was 3 dollars. Stina bought a small bumper sticker for the car. It reads: “Cars Suck”.

We thought it would be ironic.



St. Patty’s

Both Stina and I had been sleeping poorly all week long. Our interested in going out and raging was low. We meandered down to 9th and Irving around 6 pm, and did an “peer in from the outside” pub crawl. We determined that it must be the transition period from afternoon drinkers to evening drinks by the state of the either over inebriated or somewhat sober crowd. I pushed for a drink at Eldo’s, the micro brew. Just as we approached Eldo’s, the N (light rail pub trans) showed up, and we jumped on for no particular reason. We exited near Kezars, with dreams of Buffalo Wings and Bloody Mary’s.

That dream was promptly destroyed when we peeked inside and there was no space to enter.

We headed up Haight, and after passing the Red Vic, Stina asked where “Lambec” was. That was a perfect notion, as we were just passing it, and it didn’t look to crowded. Of course, the shee-shee bars are often overlooked by the aggressive St. Patty’s drinker. I got my tasty Magnolia’s Belgian style micro brew, and the bartender made Stina a fancy whiskey drink of which I can’t aptly describe. While munching on some tasty mini fries, Rachel called to say that Aaron’s friend Bear was playing at the Red Vic. Right now. Perfect. So after we were done with our drinks, we headed over the Red Vic coffee house (after peeking our heads in the movie theater and confirming that was not where Bear was playing)

We had never been inside the Red Vic hostel, and it was a really cool scene. Free acoustic music, and a tasty menu. A noble non profit organization promoting peaceful action. We ordered a delicious dinner, brought some beers in (totally legit, byob kinda place) and listened to free music. We were in great spirits. Sometimes no plan is the best plan.

We then walked home and watched Lady Hawk (my first viewing). This was because we had just watched War Games (Stina for the first time!) and were on a Matthew Broderick kick. I had initially thought that Michelle Pfiffer was the horse. Close, but no cigar.



Meet the Brewers

Stina’s cousin Catherine was in town, and it was a beautiful evening, so we decided to head down to the beach to watch the Sunset. After aptly burning our retinas, we headed in to the Beach Chalet, where it turned out to be “Meet the Brewers” night. Even though the restaurant was packed, we headed to the back where there was a small party of like 10 people lounging around. I introduced myself to the first person I saw, and it turned out he was the owner of the Beach Chalet. He then introduced me to the brewers of 21 Amendment, Speakeasy, Gorden Birsch, and Archor Steam.

It was like meeting your hero’s.

He was opening reserve beers and kegs for the event. So he would occasionally come over with small glasses for us to try his special beer.

Cost = free.

Joy = priceless.