Apr 212016

Hello Everyone,

I feel compelled to comment upon the loss of both Prince and David Bowie in this short period of time this year. Perhaps my most immediate reaction this afternoon to the news of Prince’s passing has been to stagger backward a couple steps recognizing what a colossal artistic void is left in his wake after his passing, much like I did after I heard the news of David in January. And as the confirmation of the news streamed in through my usual sources on the tv and the internet I found myself acknowledging how so many people around the world will endure feelings of bereavement on this day. Many will leave work early, I think. Many will contact family and friends to share in the mourning, just as we do when a beloved family member dies. In these moments in families many members mourning the loss no doubt think of how this void can possibly be filled ever again. Many perhaps recall suddenly trivial yet vital parts played by that person and wonder things such as who will play Santa for the kids this year? Or who can even hope to bake all those pies at Thanksgiving? Indeed, with such a void, with such a gap now created that cannot possibly be filled by any single one of us, how do we bridge this loss? How do we help the young ones to understand, many will find themselves thinking.

It’s this sort of family loss that seems like the only psychological template that comes even close to matching up in these cases for many of us. For me, with David Bowie it’s always been the Ziggy Stardust record that I know best. It’s one that I played exceedingly frequently during a certain time of my life. Even now, when I hear “Ziggy played guitar. Jamming good with Weird and Gilly, and the Spiders from Mars…” I laugh and think of how the personifications of “Weird and Gilly” and I strummed guitars sitting in my living room many times at various different times in my life. And with Prince I recall feeling sparked by the lyrics “You don’t have to be rich to be my girl. Don’t have to be cool to rule my world.” And then in the last verse, with the ferocity of an unquestionably riled-up African-American woman, and in an upper vocal register I cannot even begin to hit, he exclaims: “Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with!!!” Well, you know the rest. “I just want your extra time, and your kiss.”

Wow. These poetic musical moments and so many more by them both have stuck with me for many years, and I expect they’ll be around in my mind’s theater for many more years to come.

So I see these two passing as a great loss. It’s something I feel compelled to comment upon, and it’s something I think the artistic community in particular must view as one where they wonder who among them can possibly even hope to bridge the void now left in their wake. It’s a tremendous emotional experience for many of them, I believe. And I think as this mourning and acceptance sinks in with artists around the world, they will— as artists will do— respond to their emotions by creating art. Much like we saw after David Bowie’s and other artists’ passing, there will assuredly be numerous tribute performances made by many musicians. But what I suspect, and what I hope for, as we all right now feel the whoosh from the cosmic wake of the appearance and passing of these incredible talents, is that artists around the world will respond less by performing tributes of Prince and Bowie songs, and MORE by producing NEW WORKS of their own perhaps inspired by the emotions they feel— inspired by their gratitude at sharing a moment in the continuum of time with these legendary artists.

Just as with the loss of a beloved family member, we ultimately recognize how blessed we’ve been to share time with that person, for however long it lasted in life. Their wakes are often bigger than we think we can endure sometimes when they pass, and they seem to come when we think we are prepared for them least. And in the case of the passing of these two giants, I think the legacy each of them would most likely prefer to see bestowed upon them is that we commemorate their loss not by dwelling in what they take with them (and away from us), but in what NEW each of us might create that is perhaps inspired by our sharing a place in time with them. “Go be YOU,” I think they would say. You know? It comforts me to think that’s what they’d want.

Rest in peace Prince and David, and heartfelt condolences to all who love them.

Jul 182013

As viewed in the SF Bay Guardian:

“Friday Nights @ OMCA” Oakland Museum of Art, 1000 Oak, Oakland; www.museumca.org. 5-9pm, half-price admission for adults ($6); 18 and under free. This month’s theme is “Indie Rock,” so you can wager a guess as to what type of music will be filling this family-friendly night market. Also: art workshops for kids, food trucks, foodie talks, and more.

Jul 182013

Getting hit by a hammer is no way to gain fame, but maybe we can help turn that horrible event into a more positive direction by promoting his band Midnight Cinema!  From ABC7.com:

Cribley says he’s healing well so far. He has a little trouble chewing but the swelling has gone down. He hopes to look more like his old self by next week when his band, Midnight Cinema, has its debut CD release show at Café Du Nord.

Cribley isn’t wasting time getting back to his day job. He plans to be back at work at Flora on Thursday.

Check out midnightcinemaofficial.tumblr.com

Image credit: ArtistDirect.com

Jun 282013

Just found this one myself, but looks like a lot of fun.  From the RoyalCuckoo.com website:

About Us: The Royal Cuckoo is a neighborhood bar that serves up fine cocktails and plays only vintage vinyl records on our Lo-Fi sound system. We also have live music Wednesday through Sunday featuring the Hammond B3 organ. Check our Live Music calendar for details. We hope to see you tonight!

Jun 212013

From the superbly unique and interesting WisteriaWays.org website:

Molly’s Revenge Trio is a dynamic, acoustic Celtic trio known for its unique and infectious enthusiasm. The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, and fiddle, with a backdrop of guitar, mandola, and bodhran guarantees an enjoyable experience for all fans of Scottish and Irish music. Molly’s Revenge has performed at many of the top folk festivals and performing arts events in the USA, and prestigious events in Scotland, Australia and China. Their arrangements of traditional Celtic jigs and reels bring these dance tunes up to date with a driving, hard-edged accent that always leaves audiences shouting for more.

Jun 212013

From the SFGate.com events finder comes this gem for those of you who’d enjoy the stylings of a crooner this weekend:

Blending the swinging vocal stylings of Sinatra, Torme, Bennett and Darin, Poretz is equally comfortable performing with a trio or a 17-piece big band, putting his own unique stamp on every song he sings and every story he tells through the great American standard songbook. He’s got the voice, and knows how to take command of the stage.

Check out the SoundRoom.org website too!

Jun 212013

From the SF Bay Guardian’s colorful suggestion:

Even in its seventh year, SF’s annual Bicycle Music Festival is still a wonder to locals. It offers the chance to listen to great music by folk band Laurie Lewis and the Righthands, Bill McKibben, Justin Ancheta Band, Manicato, and more, in a beautiful setting for free. In fact, it’s in three beautiful settings, because the event is packed up and deployed throughout Golden Gate Park. The event is known to draw some crazies, the cool kind who perform synchronized dances or twirl around on cycles while playing the trumpet — so be warned. It is definitely worth checking out, particularly if you’re a bike enthusiast interested in meeting fellow cyclists, or just a live music fan.

Also check out BicycleMusicFestival.com

Jun 072013

For the lover of the “darker, rowdier, acoustic movement”, according to this listing in the SF Weekly.  Looks like a good romp to me!

Light acoustic music with ties to bluegrass, country, old-time, and folk is more popular than ever in indie circles. But the flipside of this trend is far more compelling. In San Francisco, the leaders of the darker, rowdier, underground acoustic movement are the Pine Box Boys, a motley combo of players whose twisted vision mashes dirty American roots, B-movie horror, and a deep respect for all things Slayer. Independent from day one — with no interest in toning down its R-rated sound for family access — the Bay Area murdergrass quartet has managed to defy the odds, plowing its own DIY path for a full decade.

Jun 052013

Good info here for the musical explorer in you.

From the SF Bay Guardian:

And the best shows this week are something of demonstrative polar opposites as well. There’s sugary Australian pop act Lenka, and fellow Aussie post-punks Total Control, then global dream popsters Trails and Ways, and metal battlecruiser Slough Feg, Americana punks Parquet Courts, and the Sunset Island fest, known as the “electronic music picnic.” They are all in the mix.

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:

May 312013

From ConspiracyofVenus.com:


Under the artistic direction of Joyce Todd McBride, we interpret her daring and inventive arrangements of contemporary music, ranging from the classic (Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”), to the cutting edge (Bjork’s “Possibly Maybe”), with dazzling technical verve and tons of personality. Our repertoire also includes works by David Bowie, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, The Pixies, Bill Withers, Rufus Wainwright, and Roger Miller.


We have a full hour to perform for you as part of 7th Ave Performances in the Sunset District. Find us at Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church at 1329 Seventh Avenue, between Irving and Judah streets in San Francisco, CA.

May 312013

Interesting concept for working around the public sound limits at Ocean Beach, from SF Weekly’s “Top 5 Parties in SF” list:

Silent Frisco at Ocean Beach
Sunday, June 2, 1 p.m. $15-$20

Remove the sound system and anything is possible: That’s the premise behind Silent Frisco. Go to one of its parties and you’ll find a rave’s worth of people dancing — without any perceptible sound. The trick is in wireless headphones tuned to receive a shared signal from the DJ booth. This lack of overt volume is a handy workaround that lets the party use spaces that would otherwise be off-limits, such as Ocean Beach, where Silent Frisco will hold its summer-season opener this Sunday.