Monday, November 5, 2007

Old Show Report...

Rakim & Ghostface Killah with Brother Ali
San Francisco

Oh, get hype. Get mad hype for this line-up.

First up, Brother Ali, an albino Muslim from Minneapolis via Madison, Wisconsin who was recently written up in Rolling stone of all publications and totally rips on the mic, warmed the crowd with his stylish flow and wit.

Then, Ghostface aka Pretty Tony aka Tony Starks aka Iron Man got on stage and held mad sway over the Mezzanine crowd.

And lest I forget to mention the backing band, The Rhythm Roots All Stars, funked the joint up on more than one occasion, providing apt segues between headliners.

Here's Dave and Myrna. We kicked it upstairs most of the night, among the VIPs...

...who received this kind of treatment, which is mad trill, yo.

Then, the moment the crowd was waiting for, the moment I've been waiting for since I was a pimply-faced pre-teen up in my bedroom with Paid In Full and Follow The Leader (on cassette, bootlegs, bought underneath the City Hall train station, Philly, circa 1988...)

It's good to be king. All hail Rakim...

...on to the next show.

Bimbo's 365 Club

The Beginning After The End
Take Me To The Riot
Set Yourself On Fire
Elevator Love Letter
The Ghost Of Genova Heights
Bitches In Tokyo
One More Night
Look Up
Midnight Coward
Window Bird
Soft Revolution
Sleep Tonight
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Ageless Beauty
In Our Bedroom After The War

The Night Starts Here
Favorite Book
What I'm Trying To Say
Calendar Girl

Okay, Stars is about as theatric as a band can get without being camp. That's not an insult, but Stars is definitely one of those bands that I've discovered people love to hate. For me, I love them because they so narrowly walk that line between heartfelt and cheesy that the uninitiated may be a bit uncomfortable by Torq and Amy's lyrics. I've watched as someone close to me squirmed while listening to One More Night, I guess the lyrics in there were too real, or maybe that person was going through something in their life that was upset by that song. That to me is the mark of great music, there's been times I hated the singer for telling me what was happening to me.

Anyway, this show was special. My shitty camera decided not to work, so no pics.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo...

...with Jonathan Richman
The San Francisco Palace Of Fine Arts
November 1st, 2007

I keep lucking out. Is every venue in San Francisco absolutely amazing or what? Except for Bill Graham and his damn "civic auditorium", I can't really say that my concert going experience in this city has been anything less than completely awesome. And I'm not just saying "awesome", I am actually filled with awe (and wonder) at the beauty of the concert halls here. I guess some cities just don't fuck around with music...

Anyway, The Palace Of Fine Arts is actually a
1,000 seat theatre* in the Marina district. It's kind of like a museum inside.

Jonathan Richman killed it. Here's all I know of JR; I have that one album with The Modern Lovers, the one with Roadrunner that is considered along with Iggy and The Stooges and MC5 as "proto-punk" or the beginnings of punk rock. I also know my homie Jens Lekman is a huge fan of his.

Tonight, he was comedic, thoughtful, pensive, hilarious, awkward, and played some really nice little Flamenco licks on his classical guitar.

The main event: YLT. So basically, I was unaware that they were doing this "Freewheeling" thing where they take questions and requests from members of the audience. It was the most interactive I've ever seen a band. Even more than Phish, what with all their gimmicks and tricks that got the phans super-involved almost every show, YLT was on a different level, reveling in the spotlight and more entertaining than any movie I've ever seen (not to mention it was worth way more that the $30 I paid for this experience).

So in between every other song or so, the house lights come up and there's a 5 minute impromptu question and answer session, then a few requests were fielded and YLT would try to figure out what to play from those requests. It was super cool, they were all over the place, talking about the Mets' and baseball one minute, The Simpsons and Troy McClure the next, talking smack on San Francisco for only one show (LA's getting three, "read it and weep!"), their experiences on this tour, et cetera.

Mr. Tough
Q & A
My Little Corner of The World
Q & A
Black Flowers
Q & A
Little Honda
Speedy Motorcycle (Daniel Johnston song)
Q & A
Raw Power (Iggy & The Stooges' song)
Q & A
Let's Save Tony Orlando's House
Q & A
Gee, The Moon Is Shining Bright (Dixie Cups' song)
Q & A
Autumn Sweater
? (Zombies' song)
Q & A
Drug Test
? (Kinks' song)
Q & A
When U Were Mine (Prince song)

Did I Tell You

Sorry for the holes in that setlist. I did my best, I'm not a long-time fan of YLT. Funny story how Yo La Tengo discovered me: so apparently they allow people to tape their shows and trade tapes around, much like a band previously mentioned earlier in this article. (I'm not writing their name again, therefore I'm not going to let them hijack this essay). So I found them on a tape trading list, downloaded a show and I've been a fan ever since. I recommend getting The Sounds Of Science live if you can, it's pretty amazing.

Okay, peace out.

* - I spell it the olde English way.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Broken Social Scene PRESENTS...

...KEVIN DREW'S Spirit If...
The Fillmore
San Francisco, CA

So it technically wasn't an official BSS show, but it really rocked nonetheless. I was part tourist/museum gawker, part "serious journalist", and part rock fan/devil horns/w00t w00t!!1!

Allow me to explain each in minor detail.

Here's the museum part. Seriously, this place is a music mecca. Every sell-out show, that night's poster goes up on the wall and everyone in attendance gets one on the way out. So here's the first wall, from a Dance Party in 1965. Oh, Bill Graham...

Neil Diamond was here, and I bet he killed. Actually, it was Super Neil, bitch.

Here's our opener, New Buffalo. Solo. Woman. She didn't suck. Piano and effects and all that stuff a la Laura Veirs (who I'll be seeing again in 3 weeks, opening for The Decemberists. I think she's with her Saltbreakers band, however...) or St. Vincent (whom I just saw open for The National, who I can't stop talking about lately). So definitely there's a trend in solo woman acts around lately, which I think is a good thing. Then there's no Stevie Nicks-Lindsey Buckingham drama, which actually made for some really good songs...

Anyway, I really like The Fillmore. Check out the classy interior.

I heard some indie snobs arguing before the show (one of the benefits of going to shows alone is the wallflowering I do and eavesdrop on nerds like me) that it really couldn't be considered a real BSS show because so many core members were missing, but after tonight I'm pretty sure that Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning are Broken Social Scene and the rotating cast of musicians are just that, rotating. These two are the heart and soul of the band, and I can't really see them actually getting every "member" of BSS to churn out a solo album worth noting except for these two. I should've took their pic and got their names to make them look like fools.

Pics here are kinda blurry, in fact the night got blurry from here on out. I jotted down so many half-assed notes and song names, but alas, no complete (or even ordered) setlist from this show. I met this gang upstairs at the bar and they bought me mad shots of Jager and beers until I forgot things like where I parked. Then I remembered I took the BART and the owner of a 2005 silver Suzuki somewhere laughed at me.

Fun times! I like making friends that you don't have to see again. It's like a one-night stand. I'm not looking for friendship right now, sorry. Let's just hang and dance and laugh and drink and listen to really good rock music and then never see each other again.

Some songs played included:

Farewell To The Pressure Kids
Back Out On The ...
Gang Bang Suicide
It's All Gonna Break
Ibi Dreams Of Pavement
Lover's Spit
When It Begins

Here's my shitty close up of Brendan Canning.

All in all, a really good show in an absolutely stellar venue. I was able to move around and snap off a ton of pictures without getting hassled by security at all. Drinks were pricey, but I was able to get rid of my extra ticket in like .65 seconds after arriving in front of The Fillmore before the show.

Next Shows:
Thurs, Nov. 1st - Yo La Tengo
Friday, Nov. 2nd - Ghostface Killah with Rakim