Phil and Friends

Ah the joys of living in San Francisco. Seth and I bravely ventured forth through the tenderloin to enjoy a random one off Phil and Friends show, celebrating Jackie Green’s birthday. He’s 27, and undeniably a rock star. I ran into a ton of peripheral people – folks from Oberlin, other bands, and Los Tortugas on this fine Tuesday evening. The show was loooong, with three sets and all. Started before 8, I bailed at 12:20, and it wasn’t over.

The first set was en feugo. I don’t believe there was single ass to chair moment. They just tore up Cumberland Blues. Some dude (Steve Berlin) was wailing on Baritone Sax. Clearly the month long tour created some deep musical psychic connections, cause they we’re able to pull some cirque du soliel style moments through the meandering jams. Steve Molitz (keys) never ceases to impress me in Phil’s pocket – much more so then in Particle, which seems to be on their last gasp anyways. Jackie crept from guitar to organ and back all night long. The keyboard interplay was sublime.

The bonus acoustic second set was a treat. This video depicts two things of interest:
That spinning ball of lights is Rob, my old landlord cruising around the Warfield. He was, and is, an omnipresent figure in the Dead scene. He owns many houses in Palo Alto, all named after Dead tunes. We lived in Shakedown St for 3 years. It was nice hanging with Seth when the band busted out Shakedown. The other notable thing is that Phil is playing an upright bass. Who knew he could do that?

Set three started with a bang, lots of balloons dropping, a Mexican Girl surprising Jackie by jumping out a cake (appropriate as they were playing his composition – “Mexican Girl”). Then it got super spacey, Dark star into feedback into Dark star feeding into . . well, me getting sleepy. So I left. I probably should have stayed for Franklin’s Tower. Guess I’ll have to hope for a Franklin in January, when they play the Civic Center.

November 27, 2007
Warfield Theater
San Francisco, CA

Set 1: @Bertha
*Ball And Chain
*Cumberland Blues
*Mississippi Half-Step
*So Hard To Find My Way
*Chest Fever

Set 2 (Acoustic): Peggy-O
Deep Elem, Friend Of The Devil
Seven Jealous Sisters, Ripple

Set 3: Shakdown Street>
Althea, Mexican Girl
Jam> Dark Star> China Cat>
Dark Star> Feedback Jam>
Unbroken Chain
Help on The Way>
Franklin’s Tower

Donor Rap/Intros
E: Box of Rain
Brokedown Palace
@Steve Berlin On Piano
*Steve On Baritone Sax
%Balloon Drop, Bday Song, Girl Out Of Cake

Setlist courtest of Philzone



Happy Indiginous People Day

Yesterday was a most unexpected day. We woke up to take Stiners to the Hospital for her cortisone injection only to have her turned away because she had a cold. It would have been useful to know that you need to be healthy for a week before getting the injection. She had been pretty anxious about the shot, and it was really hard to have it postponed. She came back from work feeling lousy and sneezing a lot, canceling our plans to hit the town.

I attempted (and possibly failed) to make two new potato dishes. After two and half hours of fairly intense labor, scalding of the hands, and a thorough trashing of the kitchen, I made questionable chunky potato casserole with nuts. I’m currently attempting the second dish. Kitchen morale is low.

On a whim I called up Chris to shoot some pool. After some poor shooting, I broke his Underdog cherry, where they treated us to the best cheese cake I’ve ever had in my life. Seriously. Their friend had just graduated from Pastry school or something. The topping was like whipcream, only it was cheesecake. Then we sauntered over to Chris’ house to play Mario, when I spotted Joe Baker from BRO in the Blackthorn. He told me to stick around, cause the Smokedaddies were going to play with Les Claypool’s drummer. Somehow the new ownership led to them having one of the the best guiness I’ve had in my life. True to their namesake, the band was pretty smokin. The drummer was ridiculous. All for the cost of zero dollars. So there was a nice cap to a weird ass day.



Daa Daa Do Doo

  • My hibernating inner video game junkie was rudely awakened when Haber invited me over so I could finally taste the awesomeness that is Mario Galaxy on the Wii. It was definitely worth the wait. It’s the best Mario game yet, which pretty much makes it the best video game ever made in my book.
  • We met up with the H2 crew for dinner and a show, cause Heather’s friend Matt the Electrician was back in town, this time playing at Cafe du Nord. I’m really not a fan of singer songwriters. Matt has become one of the rare exceptions. I’ve become a huge fan, and a proud owner of two of his CDs, which are excellent.
  • I’ve been going through a lot of cycles of how I’ve been feeling about both my music and my job. I’ve been running through these cycles for so many years now that I’m able to recognize the pattern while I’m experiencing it. I’ll think my music is going really well, and a few days later I’ll be working on it and think its crap, especially compared to the music that I’m listening to. Now theres a little birdie that laughs at me and says “just chill, step away, you’ll feel better soon.” If I ever catch that birdie I’ll wring its stupid little neck for laughing at me.
  • On Friday, we attended the 9th annual Hip Hop Dance festival at the Palace of Fine Arts. I’m proud to say I’ve been to 8 out of 9 – Haber gets the perfect attendance award. I remember when it was at Theater Autaud, and was entirely a local production. Now it has blossomed into an international festival. I have to say that Friday’s progam was the best I’d ever seen, and that really means something cause they’ve all been pretty fantastic. I was blown out of the water with a wild combination of insane dancing, choregraphy, use of costumes, interactive sets, and innovate lighting. Well freaking done.
  • I’m not really prone to playing general fuzz shows, but I was offered a gig I couldn’t refuse. So for some serious advanced warning, I’ll be playing with some other fantastic electronica artists at Cafe Du Nord on Saturday, Jan 4th. You should come. Really. Plan ahead.
  • Daa daa do doo


G Fuzz

Its nice to hover on the internet and see that people are actually visiting the ole’ website and listening to my music. I’ve gotten a couple of really sweet emails recently, and it’s nice to feel like I’m making the world a little better. Some person’s (no names were given) sister made a fresh cover for Inner Sunset:

I also discovered that John Diliberto, the guy behind echoes, did a nice writeup about their annual “living room” CD. I was truly honored when he asked if he could use one my tracks.



Everyone Orchestra and Albino

Going to the Great American Music Hall 3 times in 7 days demarks a good week for sure. The fantastic Magnolia Brewery held court with its decade anniversary party on Monday. They brought $3 magnoila pints and the Everyone Orchestra to the stage.

The lineup for the EO was outstanding. Highlights were Melvin Seals, Josh Clark, Dan Lebowitz, Jamie Janover, and Audio Angel.

There was an outstanding squeeking rubber chicken solo. It was really a ton of fun. They did more covers then usual, mostly of a Grateful Dead nature. The highlight of the evening for me was when they played:

I grabbed a taste:
I made a return trip on Friday to catch Albino! featuring Karl Denson. They were a fun time as well. I’m not necessarily drawn to Afro Cuban styling music, but its hard not to groove when their playing. There’s lots of synchronized dancing and horns o’ plenty.

Karl Denson’s endorsement of the band was what actually propelled me to the show.

Beyond going to concerts, things are going pretty well. Stina’s back isn’t doing super, but she’s hooked up with some new doctors and shes rolling some healthy positive attitude. I’ve hit the sweet spot with my music, making progress on a number of songs simultaneously. I’m just starting the collaborative process with a couple musicians. I think this next album will be a little more cohesive then the last, more on the mellower/ethereal kick. And to my great relief, we capped off season 1 of Heros. Even though I was greatly disappointed with the ending, it is a particularly well made show.

Oh, and we dusted off Undercover Brother for an impromptu viewing with Tony and Elaina. It still remains one of my favorite comedies.

Here’s a little Karl to cap off the post:




I’ve been feeling particularly blessed this week with our amazing friends. We had three excellent dinner parties. Gail would be proud of our first ever spring roll off. Probably less so of Heathers fabulous fisting of the chicken though. HUGE ups to Heather for her keen culinary prowess and for demonstrating that brussels sprouts can indeed be delicious.

I also discovered that I immensely enjoyed clowning around with Aiden, Dave and Alison’s 18 month year old cackler. Its real fun to enjoy children and then leave them behind.

I can’t wait to be finished with Heros. Its been rendering me useless. We even went out and rented the final few discs, cause I just need it to be over.




Lars and I went to see John Zorn’s latest incarnation of musical insanity, “Moonchild” at the Great American Music Hall. We went primarily because it involved Mike Patton. Lars will see him anywhere, anytime, and I enjoy stalking Lars. Anyhow, Mike Patton made quite an impression when we saw Fantomas.

It was a fairly surreal setting. We arrived at the beautiful GAMH, classical music wafted through the PA, and it was full of mostly men that defied easy classification. The show started at 8pm, no opener. We got a great spot on the right side balcony, and dug our heels in for the ride.

I pretty much lost my shit during this hour and twenty minute performance. It slipped right in to the epic category. I forgot how intense Mike Patton is. He shoves the envelope for vocal performance into the next dimension. It was often scary to be in such proximity to his raw emotion. This music is something you’d never ever want to listen to on a CD, but seeing it live was a life affirming experience. Intensely composed, atonal dark soundscapes in wacky evolving time signatures. You couldn’t wipe the smile off the drummers face – he was having a blast.

I snagged a couple snippets for you to check out. They really don’t convey the ferocity of the performance. Note that they we’re using sheet music.
Anyhow, it surely wasn’t for everyone, but I was totally bowled over. We had a fairly emotional evening following the performance. It was something special, to say the least.



F Productivity

Yesterday, I checked out a new piece of software by the good folks at Izotope, and it blew my mind. I was duly inspired, but was sidetracked with the whole Halloween thing. The good folks at “WebPage” threw a kickin patry, btw. So tonight I was all ready to make some serious headway with all the music that has been patiently awaiting the nice fuzzy touch. But the next disc of Heros arrived today, and there went my night. Its like crack. Or what crack aspires to be.

Save the cheerleader, save the world.