Stina took me out for a mystery birthday date on Friday. First she took me to a Cajun restaurant in Berkeley, which is my most favorite type of food. Delicious. We even got to eat leftover beignets from the table next to us. Bonus.
Then we headed into the hills to the Chabot Space/Science Museum. On the last Friday of the month, its open till 11. So we crashed some lunar landers on their simulators, peeked at the universe through a couple giant telescopes, and saw a ridiculous planetarium show.
Planetarium technology has vastly changed since my youth. Now they have super high resolution projects that fill in the entire screen. This show was all intense trippy computer graphics synced to a rad mix made by Moby. It was rather stellar way to spend 30 minutes of your life. It certainly put the old laser shows of my youth (at the Boston Science Museum) to shame.
Well, after a crippling Pat Wednesday, it was time to groove back to the Fillmore for DJShadow. I’m a glutton, I know.
DJShadow had a massive screen behind him that was perfectly in sync with his turntables. The technology that powers it is pretty rad. I wasdefinitely tripping out on it for a while. His set was pretty good, but nothing mind blowing. It was fun to be in a Fillmore that was ready to dance. I guess that’s what happens when you go see DJs.
I grabbed some video from his organ routine. Have a taste:
It was a crazy short set, but that resonated with me just fine. I had to go home and do work anyways. I stood outside the venue and passed out business cards, cause I had never done it before. Its a pretty amusing game.
I wonder if a single person who got a card visited the website.
I was over in John O’Duinn’s office, working on some computer problem, when he offers me a cookie in a bag. I look at said cookie, and my jaws dropped. It was a half moon cookie, the one from the cookie hunt back in February. No freaking way!
Turns out his friend, who was a pastry chef, made it. It was both fucking delicious and nostalgic.
And now I love her, whoever she is.
I seem to be attending a lot of Tuesday night shows. This time to a sold out Slims, which really isn’t the optimal situation. There are no seats, its kinda cramped, and you are resigned to have to push your way through the crowd to acquire such things as beer, or bathroom relief from said beer. That said, this was an EXCELLENT $15 show.
I caught 3 of the 4 bands. The Cinematics were a quality band that falls into the U2 indie crossover camp. I’ve seen a couple of such bands over the last five years or so. These guys were quite good, especially for being the opener opener.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin were on next, and clearly it was the optimum time to see these guys. They’ve been around for quite some time, but this would be the first gig they’ve played since Yelstin passed away. They had a solid crew in the middle of the crowd that LOVED them and were quite drunk (they rallied the crowd to sing Hey Jude in between sets), so good times ensued. They were pretty solid band, but nothing that I would go out of my way to see. The bass player gave a speech, written on a napkin. And, lo and behold, they put the speech on their website:
“Boris Yeltsin was a kind man. But what kind of man was he? With sprite and in spite he tried to do away with the totaliterian ways of his country. He also loved to play tennis. In fact, he was in tennis as he was in politics; he tried to serve well but was not without faults. After his resignation on New Years 1999, he left the public’s eye and did as he pleased. With a bottle of vodka at his side, he struggled against his health until this past Sunday, when he passed away. Boris Yeltsin may have died of heart failure, but he never failed to have heart. He will remain in our hearts and band name forever. Someone still loves you, Boris Yeltsin.”
Then he wiped his nose with the napkin.
Eventually, Mute Math took the stage, and brought it big. They were fairly outstanding. The hype is well deserved. They played hard and really well. The drummer was nutballs. The lead singer duder had the voice and the chops. The sound was thick and layered with cool synthetic textures. They were simply super solid, huge stage presence, and got everyone real amped. This will be the last time they play Slims – it’s onwards and upwards for these guys. I’m definitely buying their album.
Yeay for Tuesdays.
OMG. 4/20 Tea Leaf Green bringing it big at the Fillmore. They played like they deserve to play there. Followed by a late night show @ 12 galaxies, led by Dan Lebowitz. He brought a stellar band to play to the blissed out crowd. Ryan Kerrigan outdid himself for the late night poster.
All week, I told peeps about the free show in the park on Sunday, and every response was: “Its supposed to rain.” It sure rained with a vengeance all Saturday long. Woke up Sunday to nothing but sunshine, and it persisted all day to achieve a glorious free concert in GG Park. I was there from noon till five, and saw Martin Sexton, the Greyboy All-Stars (awesome!), Damian Marley, and Ratdog. Ratdog granted me a free dead show in GG Park, so now I feel that I’ve truly lived in SF.
Happy Earth Day!
Tonight we went to go see an interview with Aaron McGruder, the guy behind the Boondocks (both the comic strip and animated cartoon). The cartoon and strip are quite different – Josh Cohen impressed upon me to see the show, and Netflix is a great enabler. OMG. The show is intense – seriously funny, super offensive/racial, but somehow is able to maintain an undercurrent of being really smart.
They started out by launching into questions about Imus. Aaron thinks that what happened was really not that big a deal, but the circus that surrounds it is of absolutely no value. He thinks the media needs something to rally around and now is totally psyched cause they get to say “nappy headed ho’s” multiple times per segment.
He wanted to make a show that brings viewers outside their comfort zone. It sounded like he had a real average suburban upbringing, which is kinda surprising based on the polarized political themes that run in the show/strip. Dave Chappelle’s financial success for TV enabled his edgy animated show to exist. It sounds like people often push him to preach his politics, but he’s realized that he tells jokes for living. He says its difficult to straddle the line between re-enforcing racial stereotypes vs. flipping them.
He talked about Gangsterlicious, a gangster rapper he introduces in the first season who turns out to be gay. “The hip hop community is homophobic, which is interesting since it has so many gay influences. That’s where the comedy comes from. Gangster rap has gone to ridiculous. There is literally no place left to go but gay.”
All in all, a great interview. He definitely got everyone real excited for season 2.
Life is good when you are seeing Moe. at the Great American Music Hall on a Tuesday night. No opener. They played two sets from 8:30 -> 12:30. Its fun (and rare) to go to jam band show where I represent the median age of most of the audience. Moe. was pretty on, and even with customary lulls in the long jams, it was an above average performance for the boys.
They brought out Josh Clark from Tea Leaf Green at the end of set 1 for the jam during Plane Crash. The energy got pretty out of control, and the band just raged. Definite highlight of the evening. They teased my favorite song “Rebubula” in the middle of the second set, so I had to stick around to the bitter end, when they played it as the second song during the encore.
I’m shit dinner today, and it was totally worth it.
I’d never been in Mighty before. Its a fairly large space with 4 ENORMOUS speaker stacks. They brought in a crew to decorate the place, and it looked fantastic. There was really great/clever art all over the place. They had places mannequins all over the stage. Three huge screens dropped from the ceiling for projections. They even built a cool chill space outside for the smokers, complete with DJ. It was quite a production.
I saw a DJ there that really impressed me, which it rare. They had a cool live keyboard/drummer/dj breakbeat band open up, and they were pretty tight. I saw a lot of people I’ve met through the pleasure pad parties. The New Up hit after midnight, and their sound was really dialed in. They sounded the best I’ve ever heard them.
Then I cruised over to ar+space to catch some of Izabella’s set. ar+space is a small warehouse art space (which people live in) which occasionally hosts events. It was pretty rocking over there at 1am. Izabella was also sounding better then I’d ever heard them. The band (7 people) has started to gel, figuring out how to play well together without stepping on each others toes.
It’s fantastic (and encouraging) to watch both of these bands improve their live show over time.
Heather’s good friend Matt came to town with his band, and cajoled a bunch of folks to come check him out. He played at Amnesia, which I only just discovered is a bar that I need to frequent more often. 40+ taps, a huge collection of Belgian bottles (at fairly reasonable prices), and a stage = alllllright.
There were three bands on the venue, meaning that Matt didn’t hit until late. This was unfortunate, because I LOVED what I was hearing. I’m not the biggest singer/songwriter fan, but he blew me away. An amazing voice, great lyrics, great stage presence, and a killer band to round out the sound. Super mellow, but that perfectly jived with my mood. I highly recommend you check out a track or two off his myspace page.
Jordan was a sweetie and surprised gifted me with his latest CD. I’ve listened to it a couple times in the morning, and it is fantastic. Highly recommended.
My music has been popping up in some cool places as of late. I was honoroed to have some tracks off Cool Aberrations played on echoes, a nationally syndicated show devoted to downtempo-eque music. Hopefully there’ll be some more development on that front in the future.