Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where young musicians play instruments made from trash. For more information about the film, please visit facebook.com/landfillharmonicmovie.
Monday, November 12, 2012
At a recent Conspiracy of Venus retreat (my all women's pop choir) up at the American River, it was pointed out to me that I know lots of silly and dirty songs. Yes. I. Do. And I'm very proud of it.
So I figured I'd share some of them with you.
1) "Sit On My Face" by Monty Python. This song was first played for me in High School and I nearly peed my pants it was so funny.
For more, see Python's "The Penis Song". I do love this one.
2) "Jizz in My Pants" by The Lonely Planet. The song has Justin Timberlake painted all over it, making it pop-tastic.
For another Lonely Planet classic, watch "Motherlover" featuring Justin Timberlake. This one of the most hilarious video I've ever seen and features Patricia Clarkson and Susan Sarandon.
3) "Till the Cows Come Home" by Lucille Bogan. Kim Kattari brought this vocalist to my attention. She is astoundingly dirty. I love that this music existed one hundre years ago. It makes even the dirtiest Top Forty tunes seem like church hymns.
For more info on Bogan see this article, and for another insanely dirty awesomeness song see "Shave 'em Dry" with lyrics like:
I got nipples on my tittiesYou're welcome.
Big as the end of my thumb
I got somethin’ between my legs
That’ll make a dead man come.
I f***ked all night And the night before, baby
And I feel like I wanna f*** some more
Oh, grind me honey… and shave me dry
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Another year, another Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park. I (happily, these things are tiring) didn't get there all three days, but was surprised with a VIP ticket to Sunday, which was the BEST day to be there. Two words: STEVIE WONDER.
But first things first. We got there early to see this Italian dude Jovanotti, who was SUPER fun. His fabulously hooky song "Tutto L'Amore Che Ho" was featured on the festival's site and I just had to see what his deal was.
Turns out this guy can rock a crowd, hard. His energy was infectious, reminding me of Manu Chao, like this video...
And guess who was playing? The Brother's Comatose (a fabulous local bluegrass band)! And I later found out that's where The California Honeydrops and Tumbleweed Wanderers had been playing all weekend, to pretty large crows! I'm glad that local bands got to play for the throngs in such a fun and quirky spot.
A totally oversaturated photo of Amadou y Mariam. With those colors I couldn't resist
He really did whatever he wanted. It was pretty obvious that the band was pretty used to Stevie changing the order of the setlist, calling out keys and songs, and teaching them (Beatles) songs on the fly. Everyone was having a ball.
|Aisha Morris, Stevie's daughter is second from the right.|
Monday, August 13, 2012
|Robert Gurney conducts 250 singers - I'm right above his left hand. photo: Timothy Lee|
|You can only see twelve, but I promise there were thirteen timpanis. Photo by me.|
|350 people strong. Photo: Timothy Lee|
|From the first balcony. Photo: Elisabeth Wakcher|
Awesome.MORE! We need MORE! You, in the back row (of the percussion section), what are you doing standing there! Find something and hit it!!
|Eric "The Dude" Kujawski - check out his shirt... photo: Timothy Lee|
|Cute photo of some of the Alto 2s. photo: John Martin|
Friday, August 10, 2012
My aunt Sharon is a huge opera fan, and she told me that Classical Bay Area radio station KDFC is having a little youtube competition to get someone to sing the national anthem before the Rigoletto Simulcast in AT&T Park on September 15th at 8pm.
So I figured why the hell not. I practiced in the car a little bit and then a couple days later I did one take on my computer. It's not perfect, but who cares?
VOTE FOR ME! And you can vote everyday if you want :)
Consider going to watch the Rigoletto simulcast at AT&T Park, it's super fun. You can sit on the field or in the stands and have a picnic. And it's FREE!
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Interesting little tidbit I just thought of: all of these bands funded projects successfully on kickstarter.
The Seshen - caught them live a couple weeks ago. Not only are they super nice people, but they are fabulous live. I'm loving the whole album, which you can stream here. Sorta Morcheeba, Erykah Badu-esque with dub step.
DRMS (pronounced "Dreams") - Emily Ritz's vocals are pretty magical. They also put on an awesome show with lots of percussion (vibraphone!), visuals and performance art elements. Listen to their new album here.
Zej and Calen - I just think this video is so sweet. I had the pleasure of interviewing these two on my podcast, check it out here (live performances!). Their music is sweet and thoughtful. I've been enjoying their new record "Last Station" full of love songs, many of them with environmental themes.
Sunday Train by Zej & Calen - Official Music Video from Bazooka Mama Productions on Vimeo.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
The horn choirs are going to be placed in various corners of the hall, SURROUND SOUND.
I'm so excited about it. It's going to be so kickass. Loud. Dramatic. So rock and roll.
Also on the program is that awesome Strauss piece appearing in 2001: A Space Odyssey, you know, the one with the monolith and the monkeys?
Read more about it here in my examiner.com article
Tickets are $20-45
Listen to the "Dies Irae" movement from the Requiem, this is one of the more dramatic movements.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
I'm the editor of 'All Together Now: Women in Music' and it's a kickstarter campaign that needs your support
The photo above is my choir Conspiracy of Venus (I was not in the group when it was taken) by my friend, photographer Audra Marie Dewitt. The photographs are part of a book she's self-publishing called All Together Now: Women in Music. Right now there is a kickstarter campaign to get this book printed, and it needs your support!
Click here to see the kickstarter campaign. ONLY 7 MORE DAYS!
Read this post I wrote on Hear it Local's blog addressing why a book about female musicians is needed. This is a book for anyone who's ever wanted to stay true to themselves and "follow their bliss" (Thank you Miho Hatori)!
Audra gave me editor credit in the book, which is really awesome! In the last three years I've helped out and worked on researching and contacting artists as well as copy editing and marketing. I saw the mock up, which is gorgeous, and figured I had a hand in about half of the images. I'm very proud of this project.
Women included in All Together Now are on the famous side as well as unsung heroines of their genres. Here are some of the ladies that are in the book:
- Corin Tucker, of Sleater Kinney, and The Corin Tucker Band
- Exene Cervenka, of X, and Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners
- Miho Hatori, of Cibo Matto, Gorillaz, and Smokey and Miho
- Claire Evans, of Yacht
- Sean Yesult, bassist of White Zombie
- Noelle Scaggs, of Fitz and the Tantrums
- Amanda Palmer, does she really need a byline?
- Peaches, electro raunch queen
- Theresa Andersson, Swedish born/New Orleans dwelling songstress
- Jolie Holland, Americana singer-songwriter
- Faye Carol, jazz/blues vocalist
- Rachel Flotard, of Visqueen and backup vocalist for Neko Case
- Rykarda Parasol, songwriter of dark metaphoric tunes
- Grass Widow, SF postpunk phenoms.
- Laura Bergmann, of The Family Crest
- Netta Brielle, hip hop/R&B vocalist
- Megan Smith, of SF based Misner & Smith
- Melora, of Rasputina
- Evie Ladin, old time banjo player
- Kelly McFarling, Americana singer-songwriter
Friday, July 6, 2012
I started blogging back in 2008 because I needed to tell SOMEONE about what was inspiring me musically. I was out of graduate school and writing about music was no longer something I did on a daily basis, but I still had to do it.
I post here, I post on Examiner.com although I barely notice the pennies I get from them... however I do enjoy the free tickets and awesome seats I can sometimes score.
But, since Hear it Local is pushing super hard right now to make things happen and we've started publishing original content, I get to post a blog a week. IT'S PART OF MY JOB!
Luckily, I had written about Amanda Palmer (thanks to my friend Jessica) three years ago when she had blogged about why artists should demand financial respect from fans. Because of her recent super duper successful kickstarter campaign, it's something that is relevant again.
I'm pretty proud of this little piece of writing.
READ MY HEAR IT LOCAL POST HERE!
Sunday, July 1, 2012
|the lobby of the Paramount Theater|
CLICK TO LISTEN TO MY 'BLUES BROTHERS' SPOTIFY PLAYLIST (or click play at the bottom of this post)
Both of these movies have two of my most favorite soundtracks of all time. So there has been lots of singing. There has also been boo'ing, cheering and lots giggling. There is something so wonderful about seeing a movie that is near and dear to your heart with a room full of people that love it too.
Check it out for yourself! All movies on Friday nights, 8pm, $5.
July 13 - Apollo 13
August 3 - Ghostbusters
August 17 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind
September 7 - An American Werewolf in London
September 28 - The Breakfast Club
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Photo credit: Photo by Henry DiRocco.
A story about nine African-American teenaged boys who are wrongly accused of raping two young white women in 1931, every single element of 'Scottsboro' is carefully manipulated to make you reflect on your sense of what is right, what is wrong, what is comfortable, what is entertaining and what makes you squirm in your seat.
In the same way Roberto Benigni’s 'Life is Beautiful' layers the Holocaust in singing and dancing, 'Scottsboro' lays lynching, the electric chair, sending innocent children to prison and black-faced minstrelsy over tap dancing, lush vocal harmonies and humor.
READ THE REST OF MY REVIEW ON EXAMINER.COM
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
|The photography of Jana Carrey at the "Local Artist Live-In"|
"For the Record 101" - lecture series and record club a The Red Poppy Art House
"Local Artist Live-In" - weekly event pairing local music and art at Underground SF
Go me! Please click through, they still pay me one penny for every hit, and I know you want to make me rich! Har har.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Back in 2009 I met Neal Gorenflo on my one an only trip to Burning Man. We were in the same camp, called The Duck Pond (they make great cocktails, stop by if you're ever there). Neal was in the process of hatching a website called Shareable which is exactly what it sounds like: sharing information and how to share in real life (the quintessential attitude of a person to meet at Burning Man).
Shareable is doing so well that Neal has quit his day job and even published a book. I ran into him in Austin during South by Southwest this last spring. I told him what we were doing over at Hear it Local and he asked me to write a "how to" article for Shareable. Several moons later, here it is!
I already told you guys about the house concert at my parents' in Los Angeles with the Family Crest, but here it is in a little more detail. And, a "how to" if you'd like to throw a house concert of your own.
Funny, I just noticed, in the video, you can see my Omi's (what I call my grandmother) beautiful white hair. She's totally into it!
Monday, June 11, 2012
I know I've not been posting much lately. I promise you that I've been REALLY super, DUPER busy with musical projects and jobs. In fact, GOOD NEWS: Hear it Local has asked me to blog regularly for them, which is super exciting. So, stay tuned.
One of the fun projects I've been part of is a podcast with my friend Juan Raigosa who used to be a KUSF (R.I.P.) DJ. (Juan had me on his show semi-regularly at the end of 2010 to hang out before the station got derailed).
Juan sets up a mini recording studio in his bedroom and I wheel in some of the amazing people of our music community to play music (live and recorded), chat and just tell us about what's happening.
We're thinking of changing the name, but for now it's called Just Push Play.
Click to listen on our website
So far we've had on KC Turner, Jonathan Mann, Jessie Woletz, Dina Maccabee and Lyz Luke. It's been a lot of fun. Can't wait to record more!
Some photos of us being silly and playing some live music.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
While we didn't win (sad face) we had a blast and got to work with the video makers It Donned on Me and hey, WE HAVE A MUSIC VIDEO! The song is an original by our conductor Joyce McBride.
That lovely lady starting in the video, is Soprano 1, Maggie Andrews.
Made in one weekend, in the presidio, we are dressed in sheets. A pair of those hands at the beginning are mine.
This is the hilarious and gross video that won, "COBRA" by doppio.
One video that I liked quite a bit by Elle Niño, it was filmed on Bernal Hill, right by my house. And I hike up there every week or so.
Click to watch more videos from the First Annual Music Video Race
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I'm so curious to know if these folks get paid and how the scene and community is organized. Do bands play once a week at certain establishments? Do they make the rounds playing with a difference band every night? What's the balance of originals and standard tunes?
So many questions! Anyone have any answers for me?
Below is a band playing at Teatro Tomás Terry in the City of Cienfuegos on the Southern Coast of Cuba. My brother said this was the best band they saw. The sound is a little distorted, but you can still get a good idea.
This is a dance troupe at Plaza de Armas in Havana. A parade broke out down the street following the percussionists afterwards. We figure this is something organized for tourists.
Ages of the musicians ranged from young to old and I'm super happy to see the two ladies in this particular band.
And OMIWOW, I just noticed that the bass player is playing that thing facing backwards. Haha, awesome...
I love the empty restaurant table in the foreground.
I read an article in grad school about how after the success of the film and record Buena Vista Social Club (1999) the music started to revert back to what it was in the mid 20th century since it was seen as supporting Cuban tourism. It seems that whatever modern music that had been happening ten years ago might have not faired very well since from what I can tell, the music in these videos are pretty traditional.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Last night, Gotye performed at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, in between Coachella performances, fresh off Saturday Night Live. You can definitely say that the Belgian-Australian artist is the hottest ticket of the moment.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve most likely seen the sexy and innovative video and heard Gotye’s hit tune “Somebody that I Used to Know” featuring Kimbra covered on Glee, American Idol and everywhere else (Maybe you heard me singing it? I can't stop). What you might not know is that the song is not a one-off, but part of a beautifully written and produced album called Making Mirrors which transfers well to the stage.
Wouter “Wally” De Backer’s song-crafting has grown in leaps and bounds since the 2008 “Mixed Blood”. “Eyes Wide Open”, “Save Me” and surprisingly “State of the Art” are exquisite songs which could easily be released as singles.
Gotye has been compared to Elliott Smith, Sting, Peter Gabriel and I would throw Imogen Heap into the mix, creating a genre-defying, sample-saturated wall of sound. Watching De Backer perform these tunes is watching him switch from playing various percussion instruments, sample –filled keyboards and pushing his voice to unfathomable heights in pitch, volume and timbre. Experimental keyboardist Tim Shiel joyfully plugged away at his set of electronic toys.
The only time I felt the music suffered from too much sampling (the five-piece band also included a guitarist and bassist) was in the soul tunes “I Feel Better” and “In Your Light”. Live horns are always better; sampled horns are sort of sad.Continue reading my article on Examiner.com
Monday, April 16, 2012
Many things can be said about the band Train. Originally from the Bay Area, this Grammy-winning band is the quintessential feel-good poprock band and will be forever associated with the cheese-tastic tunes “Hey Soul Sister”, “Drops of Juptier” and “Meet Virginia.”
When I caught wind that Train would be playing six-gig engagement at San Francisco’s most beloved venues including the Fillmore, The Great American Music Hall, Bimbo’s 365, Slim’s and the Independent, I definitely rolled my eyes a little bit. But when I heard that these shows sold out immediately, I decided I had to give this band who’s been working hard for over 20 years the benefit of the doubt.
I loved reading this little article from SFist about this group of mom’s who traveled here from around the country to see all six shows, and camped out early to get a good spot in front of the stage. SFist also coined the genre "Mom Rock" in association to Train. Too funny.
I'll just say now that Train puts on a GREAT show. And as my friend said, “They give a damn” about their fans. Lead singer and front man Patrick Monahan signed dozens of posters and t-shirts from stage mid-song. Some of the items came from the audience, some came from the band.
There were lovely, sappy and endearing moments when Monahan got to show off that he's just a regular family guy: bringing his tutu-wearing young daughter on stage to spin and dance. He also told stories about how much he loves his wife and how he wishes she could have gotten to meet his mother, who “Drops of Jupiter” is written about.
But perhaps the high light of the evening was when San Francisco Giants players Barry Zito and Matt Cain joined Train onstage for a couple songs (Zito plays guitar) incuding Journey’s epic “Don’t Stop Believin’” And of course, the crowd went wild, including yours truly. See a video here. There's nothing like celebrating the beginning of baseball season like that!
Monahan sounds terrific; 20-years of singing at the top of his vocal range has been good to him. The band works it out. Local singer/songwriter Megan Slankard who also opened for Train at the Great American Music Hall earlier this week sang back up vocals. Other bands to open for other San Francisco shows were Finish Ticket, The Family Crest, Jeff Campbell, bringing the local love.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Gonna try posting more often (every day on weekdays? YES!), but shorter posts.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
"Slightly off the beaten path, we had one of our most relaxing, best shows this year. Front lawn, sun shining, beautiful trees and cactus all around and people just lounging out. Cans of Lone Star on ice in the turtle-shaped sandbox nearby."