Monday, October 22, 2007


Hey there, how's it going? Wanna hear about the worst concert experience ever?

I thought you would like to read about my Saturday night with the shittiest security guard in the entire world, she works at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

I'm going to call her PigVomit, because she looks like a pig an
d makes me want to vomit. (Thanks to Howard Stern for that one...) Anyway, here's the scene: some of you may or may not know that I work with a young disabled man who attends college at UC-Berkeley, and we like music. We really like music. So when I got the pre-sale offer a while back alerting me that Interpol was going to pay us a visit, we jumped at that chance, naturally.

So this last Saturday night we went to Bill Graham to see Interpol. After navigating our way up to our special seating, I was told that someone in that section would get me a chair so I could sit next to Conor. (Don't worry, he's got his own chair, it cost more than my last car...) When I arrived in the section I asked the security guard if she'd be so kind as to get me a chair. She said "uh-u
h" and stared at me. Now, a lot of actual retarded people live in San Francisco and I'm sure the city is an EOE, as Bill Graham's large building is in reality owned by the city and they may employ these retards. She wasn't retarded I finally learned, just a huge bitch. Imagine the most difficult person you've ever met. In my world she is a 350 lb black woman with breath of death and eyes of pure evil.

Literally, huge. Like 350 lbs of mean. So anyway, after I asked why I couldn't have a chair, she said that I could but our companions wouldn't get a chair. Okay, I guess. There are a bunch of open seats in the section behind us, they'll manage. But I'd like MY seat, to sit on. For the show, of course. She stonewalled me until the security guard from the next section came over and was like, "Let's chill, I'll help you." This dude was pretty rad, he was like "I'll get
you 3 chairs but you might not be able to sit in that section." Which was cool with me.

When we carried the chairs over to the section we were to sit, PigVomit came over and took the chair I was carrying, then took the two chairs dude was carrying and told us again, "uh-uh". I think she had a hard time speaking English properly because of her missing teeth, which no doubt were melted by the intensity of her foul breath. At this point I was like, "Fine, I can stand" but she was all, "No no, peoples behind you can't be seeing through you!" She was getting more and more belligerent as I remained calm, actually I was about to crack up laughing at her, but she's one of these fuckheads who takes her nine dollar an hour job serious enough to pass up dental insurance and toothpaste, so I played along.

So other guy, I'm gonna call him McRad because
he was really trying to diffuse the sitch and PigVomit wanted to keep arguing. He was like, "C'mon, do this for me..." and she was not having that. Then, when I thought the tables were turned, she was like, "Come o'er here and talk to me." So we went down these steps to a hallway and she proceeded to tell me that because I didn't say "Please" when I first asked for chairs is why she didn't help me. She said my attitude was "very demanding". This is when I lost it and laughed my ass off at her. She was like "apologize" or else. So I said sorry, but then I got the "I don't believe you".

This is where I really fucked up: I asked her what this was really all about and that this was her tripping on power. This is where she grabs me and starts to escort me OUT OF THE BUILDING. So my friends and McRad followed us down stairs where I was actually escorted out of the building! McRad was
like "stay right here, I'm gonna get my supervisor" just as the show was starting. I'm like, "Okay, it's a new song so, I'm not going to miss anything good"

So the supervisor came out a few minutes later. He's all, "Tell me your side, please." So I told him and it matched up with McRad's because I didn't need to lie. He was like, "Sorry for the inconvenience, sir, enjoy the show..." and I went back in, right as Obstacle 1 starts and I'm all pissy now because this is my jam.

Anyway, I get to see most of it, but PigVomit wants to go another round. She tried to pull my chair out from under me after I was sitting for a minute. I told her that her supervisor let me back in and that we were all cool to sit here and to step off. She's like, "I ain't got no supervisor, I am my own supervisor." Anyone who has ever said this is either 1) completely deluded or 2) a complete
asshole. They teach you to say this kind of shit in Power Trip 101 class and again in Intro to Asshole Security.

I smiled at her, said that I was very sorry for the misunderstanding (in my sweetest voice, man can I act!) and for her to have an excellent evening. When I'm being a dick, I use words like excellent and misunderstanding. Her face was priceless as I turned back to the show. I couldn't really relax because she was standing behind us all night, but Interpol's droning rhythms eased me back into their world.

Let me actually review/describe the show now.

I like a few of the new songs, All Fired Up is fucking the tightest jam on that album, and I like Pace Is The Trick and Who Do You Think? quite much, actually, the second half of the album I think is really good. Not great a la A
ntics or TOTBL, but serviceable enough. However, of the three new songs I like, they played zero.

Fair enough.

Pioneer To The Falls
Obstacle 1


Say Hello to the Angels
The Scale
Take You on a Cruise
No I in Threesome
Slow Hands
Length Of Love
Rest My Chemistry
The Heinrich Maneuver
Not Even Jail


Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down

It was a pretty good show despite that trifling ho at the onset of the evening. I was really impressed by their intensity as a live band. Carlos D didn't move around all that much, but he still throws down some of the greatest basslines around. Daniel Kessler, however, was all over the stage like a little mad man. And Sam Fogarino's drumming was quite on point, even getting a little extended fill between Stella and PDA. I thought he was
gonna go off, but PDA's opening drums started and I knew this was gonna be it for the night.

Paul Banks is a frontman, and I think he was bor
n to be a lead singer in a band with the coolest fucking self-image on the planet, all this mysterious shit with the black and red. And smoking on stage? Cigarettes do make people look cooler...

Interpol rules.

But the Bill Graham as far as a venue? Okay sight lines, shitty security, a super strict no camera policy, and the tickets were like 42 a piece, but Interpol's extreme radness overruled all things shitty that night in October
, my friends.

cell phone pics (blecch)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Jose Gonzalez...

Jose Gonzalez with Tiny Vipers
October 8, 2007

Great American Music Hall

San Francisco, CA

(Note: What follows is an exact transcription of the author's seemingly vague notes from that evening. I put my editorial notes in italic. So, results may vary. You have been warned...)

The venue: Think mini-Troc, insane filagree, ornate
patina, rococco (1907 post-quake)
- was a burlesque house, featured fan-
dancers (called the Music Box after war)
- fell on hard times during 60s-70s
- beautifully mirrored walls, balconies, the
ceiling! 2 renaissance-style paintings
on either end.

Here's one of the columns

Opener: Tiny Vipers
- acoustic, picking n strummin folk,
guy/girl duo - she sounds like J. Newsom
(vocally) he - besides bass not much
else. I'd like to hear their album, I couldn't
hear them as their set progressed (as the
place filled up...)

Tiny Vipers (signed to SubPop? wow...) and all these blurry pics are not my fault. The GAMH has a no-flash policy. Actually, when I asked the gentleman by the side of the stage what the photo policy was, he said it was up to the bands. This guy is also how I got all the history facts on this place.

Jose Gonzalez - How Low (opener*)

- Encore - Deadweight On Velveteen
Love Will Tear Us Apart

overall, he killed it.
So powerfully emotive
w/o being sappy or corny.
Shush over crowd, he
owned us.

Playing at the speed of light, Mr. Gonzalez...

- He walked
by me before
the show. He's

Shhhhhhhh! Genius at work

Suddenly! the hottest fashion for the over-40 set
poncho thingys
I swear, every woman there over 40 was wearing one of those throw ponchos, those things that look like a shag rug with a hole in the middle.

* - then I met the most beautiful young woman
named Rosa. She drinks Jameson on the rocks! I
bought her one and we hung out all show. Then we
went to a Thai Restaurant. She's really pretty and
smells like fresh flowers. Floras el fresco? mmmmmm

I'll probably never see her again, she lives in San Jose (I love to crush on cuties that are geographically undesirable...) but as you can see, there is no setlist except opener and encore, because I was flirting and making googly eyes over at this shorty. Whom I'll probably never see again...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Shins...

The Shins
Greek Theatre
Berkeley, CA


I'm not going to say too much about this here show I went to last week, it was pretty solid I guess. The Shins don't really do anything all that special, they write really awesome pop songs and go on tour and play them a
nd then do that again. Outside of the lights and the amazing encore, I felt that The Shins were kind of going through the motions here in Berkeley, and lead singer James Mercer actually forgot the opening lines to Australia and they had to restart it. Anyway...


Kissing The Lipless

Turn On Me
Sea Legs
Mine's Not A High Horse
When I Goose Step
Girl Inform Me
Turn A Square

New Slang
Saint Simon
Girl Sailor
Gone For Good
Sleeping Lessons
A Comet Appears
Pam Berry

Phantom Limb
Know Your Onion!

Caring Is Creepy

The Past And Pending
So Says I

...and that's all folks.

Oh, pictures:

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The National... probably my favorite band/album of 2007. I don't know if I'm necessarily hinting that Boxer is my Album Of The Year, but I wouldn't bet it against it. Not yet at least...

Anyway, I'm way behind in reviews, so I'm going to try to get these out very soon:
Interpol, Menomena, Wilco, Devendra Banhart, Minus The Bear, Jose Gonzalez, Jens Lekman, MIA, Spoon, Stars, Kanye West, Iron & W
ine, Hezekiah Jones, St. Vincent and Beirut.

That's like 15 reviews. They will be short and glib and whatever I probably won't even do them...

So there's all this then:

The National
The Grand Ballroom
San Francisco


Start A War

Mistaken For Strangers
Secret Meeting

Baby, We'll Be Fine
Slow Show
Lit Up
Squalor Victoria
All The Wine
Racing Like A Pro

Apartment Story
Daughters of The SoHo Riots

Fake Empire
About Today

E: Green Gloves
Mr. November

And they ruled the whole show through.

On to the pics section, still shitty but getting better than the cell phone...

Here's our opener, St. Vincent, which is actua
lly just one woman, Annie Clark, and she's pretty righteous.

These are blurry and shitty, but mildly p
sychedelic as well

These are slightly better. Check out this dude's bald spot. Couvre time!

We like violins.

Shot from the top during the Encore.

...and there you have a fine show.