on sale soon (04.30.09 edition)

April 30th, 2009

Posted every Thursday, On Sale Soon is a weekly series of the tickets going on sale that weekend.

Where to get tickets: The Independent, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Fillmore, Shoreline, and other Livenation venues, the Warfield. Another Planet booked venues like Greek Theatre @ Berkeley, Palace of Fine Arts, etc. Bimbo’s.

On sale Friday May 1:
6/6 Erykah Badu @ the Warfield
6/26 Wilco @ Mountain Winery

7/1 Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head @ Cafe du Nord

8/1 stellastarr* @ Great American

Pre sale Friday May 1:
8/2 Sonic Youth @ Fox Theater (password = eternal)

8/19 Aerosmith, ZZ Top @ Sleep Train Pavilion

On sale Saturday May 2:
9/17 P!NK, The Ting Tings @ HP Pavilion

On sale Sunday May 3:
6/11 Nikka Costa @ The Independent
6/17 Gene Ween @ Rickshaw Stop
6/18 Jimmy Herring Band @ the Grand
6/18 Todd Rundgren @ Slim’s
6/25 Papercuts, Port O’Brien @ The Independent
6/27 Cursive @ Great American
6/29 VNV Nation, War Tapes, SAM @ the Grand

7/2 The Tallest Man on Earth @ The Independent
7/7 Duran Duran @ the Fillmore
7/10 Cracker @ The Independent
7/31 Stan Ridgway & the Voodoo Band @ Great American

Double check all information as venues and promoters often change on-sale times and days up until the last minute.

vintage song obsession – ladysmith black mambazo “how long?” (spring 2006)

April 28th, 2009

soccer_zululand
kids playing soccer in Zululand, not too far from Ladysmith

Coming out of my adult education Spanish class with little more knowledge of the language than when I entered, I walked through the chilly air to my car, got in and sat down. I just stared ahead for a few minutes, keys still in my hand. It had been a long day. When I finally started the car I heard the unmistakable voices of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (wikipedia), but I didn’t know this song. And it was great. Light, almost playful but beautiful and yearning. I knew it was the world show hosted by Decca, so I looked up her playlist when I got home and bought the song from iTunes that night–one of the few times I’ve bought a song from iTunes.

With beautiful sonorities, the rich, slow voices in isicathamiya style set the stage, but it’s the middle section, with the doo-wop like playful falling bassline that I really love.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo – How Long (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can buy Long Walk to Freedom from which this recording game from or Shaka Zulu which has the original, a more succinct and faster version of the song. The group still tours, though you recently missed their Bay Area performances. They’re headed to Asia next and then to Australia and the UK after that.

I’m on the radio, much like every tuesday

April 28th, 2009

control A
cred: ipickmynose

I’m on the air doing my radio show, which is called “I Once Was Canadian”, on KZSU 90.1FM.

You can listen in each week to hear me Tuesdays from 3-6pm. Listen in!

During either show you can listen online or at 90.1 FM. You can also follow along with my playlist online.

Update Here’s the show and playlist:

KZSU – I once was Canadian 4.28.09 [first hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

KZSU – I once was Canadian 4.28.09 [second hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

KZSU – I once was Canadian 4.28.09 [third hour] (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Cat Power – Cross Bones Style
  • Les Savy Fav – Precision Auto
  • Superchunk – The Question Is How Fast
  • Sebadoh – Not a Friend
  • Seam – Rafael
  • Mates of State – Proofs
  • Low – Dinosaur Act
  • Matt Pond PA – Red Ankles
  • Magnetic Fields – Strange Powers
  • Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook
  • Amadou & Mariam – Ce N’est Pas Bon
  • Beirut – La Llorona
  • Lily Allen – Never Gonna Happen
  • Yeasayer – Tightrope
  • Animal Collective – My Girls
  • Andrew Bird – Effigy
  • Anni Rossi – Wheelpushers
  • Songs For Moms – 1906
  • Magnolia Electric Company – Hammer Down
  • Great Lake Swimmers – Concrete Heart
  • Basia Bulat – I Was a Daughter
  • Bonnie Prince Billy – There Is Something I Have To Say
  • The Deep Dark Woods – Farewell
  • Adem – These Are Your Friends
  • Joel P. West – Bark and Feathers
  • Damien Jurado and Gathered in Song – Airshow Disaster
  • the National – Secret Meeting
  • the Vogues – Five O’Clock World
  • The Crystals – Uptown
  • Gran Prix’s – You Drive Me Crazy
  • the Ad Libs – He Ain’t No Angel
  • Curtis Lee Pretty – Little Angel Eyes
  • Ben E. King – So Much Love
  • David Ruffin – Anything You Ask For
  • Candie Payne – All I Want to Hear
  • John Vanderslice – Too Much Time
  • Mason Proper – Fog
  • Bishop Allen – The Ancient Commonsense Of Things
  • the Mountain Goats – Golden Boy

damien jurado primer, plays bottom of the hill next week

April 27th, 2009


Damien Jurado at the Independent, September 2008

I had a couple friends who are otherwise quite knowledgeable about music tell me recently that they didn’t know Damien Jurado’s (myspace) music. I didn’t realize this was possible. He’s an amazing songwriter with a knack for including all the right details in his narratives. You probably know all about his stuff, but if you don’t, here’s a primer.

A few years back, back before the rapid-fire consumption of music that you see today, and when I only had enough money to buy one album (or fewer) a month, I tended to give more time to each artist and album and sometimes they grew on me if I didn’t initially like them. Jurado is one of those artists that benefits from time to mull over, I believe.

Definitely start with “Ohio”. An amazing song. Pretty standard fingerpicked songwriter +harmonica song, but a timeless melody and absolutely top rate, crushing lyrics. While his early albums aren’t all just like this, he did have more standard songwriter material plus some indie folk-pop on them.
Damien Jurado – Ohio (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A super dark song. Very simple and stunning (and a previous lost vinyl gem):
Damien Jurado – the Killer (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

His last few albums have been pretty subdued folk + strings stuff. Some really gorgeous songs like this one:
Damien Jurado – Hoquiam (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In between his early folk songwriter stuff and his more recent ‘gorgeous folk’ material, there was a couple albums of other stuff. ‘Ghost of David’ is an odd hodge podge of an album, ranging wildly from distorted, tense, deeply depressing rockers to folk songwriter fair to traditional songs and songs with some sound collage elements. (The David here is Bazan, btw).
Damien Jurado – Ghost of David (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Where Shall You Take Me? is possibly his most stylistically consistent album. It’s sort of Middle American stories within sparse, tumbleweed-blowing-across-the-road songs.
Damien Jurado – Omaha (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

He doesn’t write all slow and depressing songs. Particularly Water Ave S. (early period) and I Break Chairs (middle period) are more rock oriented. I like some of that stuff too:
Damien Jurado – Yuma, Arizona (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

His tour comes through town next week at the Bottom of the Hill with Portland folk artist Laura Gibson, who I enjoyed seeing during Noise Pop this year.

5/5 Damien Jurado, Laura Gibson @ Bottom of the Hill, 9:30pm, $10, a/a

Current tour dates:
4/28/09 Denton, TX – Dan’s Silverleaf
4/29/09 Austin, TX – Cactus Cafe
5/1/09 Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
5/2/09 San Diego, CA – Casbah
5/3/09 Los Angeles, CA – Spaceland
5/4/09 Santa Barbara, CA – Muddy Waters
5/5/09 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
5/7/09 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
5/8/09 Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe

bay area has oldies radio!!

April 26th, 2009


Alan Freed DJed what is now called ‘Oldies’

I’m very excited.

While on a mid-afternoon jaunt down to Westlake–side note: I never knew that was there. Like the Bay Area’s own Levittown. It’s a little odd but I’d like to go back with my camera–and I was scanning through the AM band, trying to hear the the Pens turn the game around, when I heard an unmistakable sound. It was a song that could only be on an oldies station. Love the Pens, but the dial didn’t move for the rest of the afternoon. I heard the likes of the Supremes, the Boxtops, the Shangri-Las and so many others. I grew up on oldies radio and it just has so much of the best music made to date.

As much as I like listening to my fellow DJs, there’s been a small but significant hole in my life for the last few years. It’s a what-to-listen-to-in-the car hole and it’s oldies radio shaped. You may have heard me lament on this before.

It’s been there for a few years since KFRC-FM switched to classic rock. The new station is also KFRC but on the AM band at 1550. It’s broadcasting the “True Oldies” syndicated channel. I’d like to point out that it’s not really “true oldies”–I’d call that mid-’50s to the end of the ’60s rather than the ’60s and ’70s this channel plays. And I’d prefer something that is programmed locally than some syndicated program. But even for these faults, I’m happy that it’s around.

And, finally, I’d like to reiterate that I think I’d make a good oldies programming director if anyone out there is hiring. (I’d use a smiley emoticon here if I believed in emoticons.)

geographer, michael zapruder @ cafe du nord (photos, mini-review, etc)

April 26th, 2009

Thursday night I saw the Stranger Dance-presented show of Geographer (myspace) and Michael Zapruder (myspace) at Cafe du Nord.

It had been quite a while since I’d seen Zapruder. His band was tight but relaxed during their set of expansive, jazz-influenced rock. I was glad I saw them again.

Despite an odd and chatty crowd during the earlier sets, people crowded up front for the next set of the night. This night Geographer were not only debuting a bunch of new songs but a new member as well. The bass player made them a four piece for the first time since they were called Rooftop Vigil.

Both the new songs and band member worked well and the crowd was into it. Geographer always puts on a good show and this was no different.

song obsession friday! (for the week ending april 24)

April 24th, 2009

Song obsessions are those songs that we listen to on repeat. I noticed that my obsessions are often a week long. I also thought that other people might have similar obsessions. I’ve collected a panel of a few like-minded individuals and gotten their “song obsessions of the week.” Quite often it’s easy to explain why the song is good; it’s much hard to explain why we’re obsessed. Maybe you’ll become obsessed with one of these.

Adrian (me):
Jimmy Ruffin – What Becomes of the Brokenhearted (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This song popped into my head earlier this week after I probably hadn’t listened to it in months or years. I’m not sure why, but as a sucker for slow jamz and anguished vocals in soul songs, I love this song. It marries those things just about perfectly and Jimmy Ruffin‘s (older brother of the Temptation’s David Ruffin) vocals just burn with anguish.

Will I admit that this song is a bit cheesy? Okay. Is it great? Yes.

Keith:
Micachu – Just in Case (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This new Micachu disc has been hacksawing itself into my brain to the point that I can’t rationally select one song as the most obsesso-worthy. The Tequila reference in track 10 “Calculator” is a major selling point, as is the electronic squeal in track #5 “Curly Teeth” and the garbled guest vocals on track #7 “Ship.: But at this moment I can verify (or is that verafy) that the production like pace of #9 “Just In Case” has it in the lead as the Best Of The Year comp candidate from Jewellery.

SFIFF ’09: D Tour review; Rogue Wave to play after screening May 1

April 23rd, 2009


still from the film

This year’s San Francisco International Film Festival feature D Tour (official site) covers the struggle of Rogue Wave drummer Pat Spurgeon with a failing kidney. He was born with only one kidney and it failed when he was 25. At the time this film was made this film was made, that one was failing and he needed another replacement.

It’s an interesting tour through that period of Pat’s life and the life of someone in need of a transplant. There’s a fair amount of coverage of the medical side of things–what’s wrong with Pat, what the issues with transplants are, what happens when a kidney fails, etc–and it’s covered in a pretty interesting way.

Pat was dedicated to the band throughout, so there’s actually an entire tour where he performs dialysis on himself in the van, backstage, at rest stops, etc. To give it a bit less of a stigma, the band starts referring to it as the D–”dropping a D”. Hence, the D Tour.

Musically, much of the musical content of the film is from the great Pat Spurgeon benefit concert I went to a couple years back with artists like John Vanderslice, Nada Surf, Ben Gibbard and, of course, Rogue Wave. It was really nice reliving those moments and I’m sure people seeing them for the first time will enjoy them.

If I had once complaint about the film, it’s that it was too long. What’s the last documentary you saw that was 99 minutes long? There’s a reason documentarians keep their films shorter than that… Overall, though, it was both interesting and entertaining.

It’s playing three times during the SFIFF: May 1 at 9pm; May 4 at 3:15pm and May 7 5:15pm, all @ Kabuki Theaters. Rogue Wave will be playing a short acoustic set after the May 1 screening, so I’d try to get in for that one.

Rogue Wave – Everyday (Buddy Holly cover) (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

on sale soon (04.23.09 edition)

April 23rd, 2009

Posted every Thursday, On Sale Soon is a weekly series of the tickets going on sale that weekend.

Where to get tickets: The Independent, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Fillmore, Shoreline, and other Livenation venues, the Warfield. Another Planet booked venues like Greek Theatre @ Berkeley, Palace of Fine Arts, etc. Bimbo’s.

Note: The entire Mountain Winery schedule goes on sale on Sunday. Only some select dates appear directly below. The entire schedule is after the jump.

On sale now/ Thursday April 23
5/21 The Red Stick Ramblers @ Great American
5/30 Burning Tree Project, Johnny Hi-Fi, Festizio @ Slim’s
5/31 the Wooden Birds @ Rickshaw Stop

9/16 Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal @ Paramount Theatre

On sale Saturday April 25:
6/6 The Offspring, 311, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dead Confederate, Taking Back Sunday, Alkaline Trio @ Shoreline Amphitheater

7/1 The Enemy UK @ Great American
7/10 Beyonce @ Oracle Arena
7/31 Judas Priest, Whitesnake @ Shoreline Amphitheater

On sale Sunday April 26:
5/22 B.B. King @ Mountain Winery

6/3 Little Joy @ The Independent
6/5 The Submarines @ The Independent
6/5 Del Tha Funky Homosapien @ the Fillmore
6/6 The Juan MacLean, The Field @ Mezzanine
6/9, 6/10 The Felice Brothers @ The Independent
6/10 Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Mountain Winery
6/10 The Lemonheads @ Slim’s
6/11 Constantines, Crystal Antlers, I Was A King @ Rickshaw Stop
6/17 The Crystal Method @ The Grand Ballroom
6/19 Sleepy Sun, Spindrift, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound @ Great American
6/19 PJ Harvey, John Parish @ The Warfield
6/19 Nouvelle Vague @ The Grand Ballroom
6/20 Shawn Mullins, Alex Woodard @ Great American
6/20 Les Claypool, Yard Dogs Road Show @ The Warfield
6/24 Sunset Rubdown @ Rickshaw Stop
6/25 Three Girls & their Buddy featuring Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller @ Mountain Winery

7/1 Ani DiFranco @ Mountain Winery
7/2 Yes, Asia @ The Warfield
7/3 The Abyssinians, Etana, Roots Revealers @ The Independent
7/8 Duran Duran @ Mountain Winery
7/9 Montana Slim String Band @ Great American
7/10 ABC, Wang Chung, Berlin, Cutting Crew, Heaven 17 @ Mountain Winery
7/11 Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, All That Remains @ Shoreline Amphitheater
7/17 Cage @ Great American
7/21 Pat Benatar, Blondie, The Donnas @ Mountain Winery
7/24 Kathy Griffin @ Mountain Winery
7/24 Benouin Soundclash @ Slim’s

8/2 The Beach Boys @ Mountain Winery
8/7 Smokey Robinson @ Mountain Winery
8/17 Elvis Costello and The Sugarcanes @ Mountain Winery
8/26 Jefferson Starship, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Tom Constanten, Country Joe McDonald @ Mountain Winery

9/4, 9/5 Daryl Hall and John Oates @ Mountain Winery
9/10, 9/11 Gipsy Kings @ Mountain Winery
9/18 Porcupine Tree, That 1 Guy @ The Warfield
9/20 Etta James and The Roots Band, The Robert Cray Band @ Mountain Winery
9/23 The Temptations, The Four Tops @ Mountain Winery

10/17 The Jesus Lizard @ the Fillmore

Double check all information as venues and promoters often change on-sale times and days up until the last minute.

Read the rest of this entry »

jean ritchie’s singing family of the cumberlands

April 22nd, 2009

A couple weeks ago, I finished Singing Family of the Cumberlands by Jean Ritchie. It was a recommended book for a class I took in the fall of 2002 and I’m glad I finally decided to read it.

Jean Ritchie was the youngest of thirteen children, growing up in Viper, Kentucky, in the Appalachian Mountains. Her family was well known–and well documented–for singing ballads, in the Anglo-American folk tradition. That is to say, they sang ballads that came over with English, Scottish and Irish settlers and could still be found on both sides of the Atlantic. The best documented of these were the Child Ballads, but that could be a whole other post.

Written in 1955, the book is a memoir of her childhood. As fascinating as her descriptions of growing up in the early part of the 20th century in an isolated part of the Appalachians are–and they are–what really makes this book special is the songs. Interspersed in the book are transcriptions of the ballads. Say there’s a vignette about learning a particular song around a fireplace on Christmas. Well, the song is there in the book, both music and words, if you want to sing along.

The writing is wonderful and evocative, too. She immediately sets quite conversational tone and it feels like she’s telling you her family stories from the armchair next to you. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of Cash by Johnny Cash.

Jean Ritchie – the Merry Golden Tree (mp3)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you have any interest in Appalachian music or culture, I’d recommend this book.

Jean Ritchie’s still alive and she still does occasional live performances. Her website seems to have expired though, so I’m not sure where to get more info.

You can pick it up at amazon. Buy Jean Ritchie’s music at amazon.

And as a bonus, here’s Jean singing a duet with Emmylou Harris. Gorgeous.