Showing posts with label live show. Show all posts
Showing posts with label live show. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

So You're Not Going to Outside Lands Festival? Here's 5 Other Things to Do in the Bay

These Hedwigs really want to see you this weekend
If you will not be joining the throngs descending upon Golden Gate Park this weekend for Outside Lands Festival, do not despair. There is plenty happening around the Bay including 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Live, The classic GODZILLA, a Big Ass Hillbilly show, Cheech & Chong (and War) and the poems of Allen Ginsberg put to music.

(Although this is not to say, going to outside - Outside Lands and enjoying Paul McCartney from a blanket in the park isn't a good idea. Why not? You might even catch a renegade band playing out in the grounds somewhere)

Click here to read the rest of the article

Cheech & Chong (and War) promise a smokin' good time
1) Friday August 9th 8pm - GODZILLA at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. The original, uncut Japanese version (with English sub-titles). Tickets $5.

2) Friday August 9th 8pm - Shelby Ash Presents: The BIG ASS HILLBILLY SHOW at Slim’s with Emily Bonn & The Vivants, The Muddy Roses, and Shani Chabansky. Info and tickets $15.

3) Saturday August 10th 3pm - Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Boxcar Theater. This show has been running to sold out audiences for several months, get your half price tickets on Goldstar! $18-22.

4) Saturday August 10th 7:30 - Cheech and Chong with War at America's Cup Pavilion. Get your half price tickets on Goldstar. $25-35.

5) Sunday August 11th 1pm & 3pm - Ginsberg in Song the Contemporary Jewish Museum. With poems arranged by Conspiracy of Beards musical director, Daryl Henline, performers include Afi Ayanna, Allison Fenner, Berel Alexander Steinberg, and Peter Whitehead. $5 Members; $15 general (includes Museum admission, advance tickets recommended).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weird Al - still crazy after all these years -- and a poster giveaway

Weird Al performing "Perform this Way" - a Lady Gaga parody in song and outfit. Elton John eat your heart out.
(All Shook Down blog, photo by Jamie Soja)

A wise man (Homer Simpson) once said "Ye who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life".

A Weird Al Yankovic concert is a pop culture orgy. Not only are his songs mostly parodies of well known pop songs, but his shows are brilliantly interspersed with costume changes, fake celebrity interviews and clips of ANY mentions of Weird Al in the media.

I saw Yankovic in 1999, my sophomore year at the University of Michigan, and had a blast. The show on November 6th at the Fox Theater in Oakland was even better. Yankovic is in his 50s, but can do can-can kicks like a young kid. And I'm going to say it, looked pretty good in the leather pants he put on for the Doors parody.

I'm pretty familiar with Yankovic's discography. There were a few tunes I didn't know, but one of the things I really like about this show, is that if you pay attention to mass media AT ALL, this show is immensely entertaining because you catch the parodies. Not only the songs, but the bits between songs as well.

There were clips making fun of Yankovic from Friends, Scoobie Doo, Letterman, Who Wants to be a Millionare, How I Met You Mother... everything, no matter if the clip praised or made fun of Al.

My favorite was a husband/wife dialogue from "Til Death" with Brad Garrett (the brother from Everyone Loves Raymond):
"You never compliment me."
"What are you talking about? I complimented you just the other day."
"You told me I look like Weird Al from the behind!"
"Weird Al has beautiful hair and a tiny ass!"
The celebrity interviews featured folks like Kevin Federline, Madonna, Eminem and Justin Timberlake and were pieced together from outtakes à la Stephen Colbert. Yankovic spiced in questions that made the interviewees seem absolutely ridiculous.

"Polka Face" started the show.

One of the highlights of the show was this moment in the encore, where for about three full minutes in the middle of the fan favorite "Yoda" (to the tune of the Kinks' "Lola"), Yankovic and his band sang nothing but gibberish (except the word "PORK!) with choreography.

Click over to 3:45. You also have to make sure you hear Yankovic ask "Only the transvestites" in the audience to sing the chorus.

After the show, the were giving out these 11x17 posters of the DVD live show. I grabbed one, and I'd like to give it away to one of my readers who really loves Weird Al. Send me an email if you'd like it, first person who emails wins!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Adele and Wanda Jackson unite in Berkeley and win most adorable duo

“Heeeyyyy! That’s my new thing!” Said Adele after cracking herself up for the umpteenth time to a sold out Greek Theater Sunday night. “I’ve been spending time hanging out with some Southern ladies!”

When she sings, it's inconceivable that the British soul singer is only 23. She’s got that Otis Redding thing going: a voice too wise and mature for her years, both lyrically and sonically.

But when she banters and giggles with the audience, she is indeed just 23. Adele loves her fans. She asked several times for the lights to come up so she could see everyone. She waved dozens of times at specific people in the audience. She accepted a Weiner dog stuffed animal and presents from folks in the front, including a couple phones with messages on them.

Adele is looking good. Not that I didn’t love her more curvy appearance (go girl!), but she appeared on stage in a fitted black knee length dress, three-quarter length sleeves, her hair in it’s signature poof, but only half up (no side ponytail). I hope that it’s not just the stress of touring, but a healthier lifestyle that’s done it (tell me she’s quit smoking). But, well, she is 23, and I shouldn’t judge.

Mrs. Wanda Jackson - the Queen of Rockabilly

Adele pays tribute to Amy Winehouse, and asks everyone to take out their phones. Gorgeous.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Am I a Gleek? Maybe. Did I have fun? YES.

Terrible photo, great seats.

Drove over to Sacramento last night to catch the 'Glee Live' tour. It was great fun.

(sorry Abby, I know you hate that word...)
There is no doubt in my mind that Glee is a well oiled, hit-making machine with the main force being its incredible triple-threat cast of performers. Being a fan of the show, it was treat to watch these folks in their element, performing for thousands of screaming fans at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento Monday night.

Disclaimer: There will be mild spoilers if you are intending on seeing the show. Also, I will be referring to performers by the character's names, just because I can.

ARCO was, not surprisingly, full of mostly young women and their parents. I saw moms in Sue Sylvester tracksuits and teenagers in t-shirts with black lettering shamelessly advertising the wearer’s most embarrassing characteristic. Some were official merch and/or from the recent episode (“Likes Boys”, “I’m with Stoopid” (pointing up as well as down), “Trouty Mouth” and my fav “Lebanese”) and some were homemade (“Freckles”).

READ MORE OF MY REVIEW (it gets a little sappy, sorry)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Race and the Bay Area Afrobeat band Albino!

This morning I posted this article on describing a four month lab residency for the Bay Area afrobeat band Albino! to play at the Elbo Room in the Mission. Each month they will team up with a different artist to experiment with the kind of music that might come up out of that partnership. This is month (Friday) they are playing with Liberian-Bay Area DJ Jeremiah.

I'm not gonna lie, when I first heard about this band three years ago, it made my stomach churn a little bit. The idea of an Afrobeat band called Albino! which is comprised of *mostly* white dudes in costume (often African-themed costume and "tribal" face paint) was not really appealing to me at all; especially coming right out of an Ethnomusicology academic program where I thought about race and music consistently for three years. I was even sure that the band was pretty damn good, but it was still disturbing to me.

But then, the more I thought about it, and the more I got to know the Bay Area and its sense of humor and awareness, it seemed less and less of an issue. I mean, in Austin I was in an afropop band where we often didn't even know what we were singing about, let alone if we were singing words that made ANY sense in the original language (we learned covers phonetically). We just liked the music and wanted to recreate it the best we knew how. At least Albino!'s lyrics are in English and write about political and racial issues in their own community (class struggle within Oakland for instance).

The name Albino! and the costumes seem to be merely poking fun at the fact that the musicians are a bunch of white guys, and yeah, "we play African music," so what? There are dozens of afrobeat bands in the US comprised of mostly/all white people (Antibalas, Budos, Nomo, Afrodesia etc), and they're damn damn good bands that I love very much and do all I can to support them. Can I single one out because of a band name and funny outfits? Can I seriously consider this tasteless enough to count them out?

The music is good. The music does not poke fun. I now have one of their live CDs and it's great music.

What do you think; am I trying too hard justify this idea? Can we just laugh at it and dance?

Albino! promo photo

Monday, January 24, 2011

Recording of Pomplamoose Live at the Warfield NYE Dec 31, 2010

Photo by Zaque Eyn

A fan named David sent over a link to a recording they made at the Pomplamoose show at the Warfield on December 31, 2010. It's pretty darn good so I wanted to share it with you. I was on a plane at the time, so I'm super happy to have a copy.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Budos Band: "Staten Island instrumental afro-soul"

Coming home from chilly and wet Europe next weekend and heading straight over to thaw off with the Budos Band, who is single handedly giving Staten Island a new reputation for funky afro-soul. My only experience with the island was WWF and Jewish deli's. So thank you Budos. See you next weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The concert photography of Amber Gregory

Since getting involved in all this live music reporting and whatnot, I've met some really amazing, talented people who are so passionate about what they do, they don't care if they make any money doing it. Granted, it would be nice, but as long as the music keeps coming, why not?

I met Amber Gregory when her posts started popping up on In the last year I've watched her photography get better and better. I've also noticed that we were ending up at a bunch of the same concerts over and over again like OONA and My First Earthquake. So it's good to know she appreciates the best! I also like to see what awesome and fun outfits she shows up in! :)

Amber is completely self-taught and she's only been doing this for two years. TWO YEARS! (picks up jaw off of floor) She gets those "money" shots: the dynamic images of musicians in the moment of their element. I like the ones that are fierce. She really knows how you use the light to enhance the shot and her processing is amazing.

She says in one of her stories:
Live music is fleeting, and there is a great challenge to being able to capture the mood (emotion, physical dimensions, sense of space, the thickness of the air) of a live performance in a series of still images. I want to capture tangible proof of the unique qualities of these fleeting moments.
As it goes with digital cameras, you can get hundreds of photos from a show. If the performer is dynamic, it's fun to click through these quickly in a facebook or flickr album and watch the performer move, usually in a much crisper image than most video.

PR folks are starting to offer me photo passes, and since I know very little about taking a good photo, I asked Amber to come along to the Greg Laswell show.

Below is a slide show of some of my favorites of hers from the Treasure Island Fest, Coachella and other shows around town, including a gorgeous shot she took of Greg, with a broken camera.

Oh, she does weddings too! :)

See more of Amber's work on her site here.

(Picasa was being really frustrating and deleting my captions, so in the slideshow you will see in order: Greg Laswell, My First Earthquake, Scissors for Lefty, Groove Armada, OONA, Florence + the Machine, The Specials, The Gossip, Devo, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Fitz and the Tantrums, Rykarda Parasol, The Thrashers, Tartufi (and little guy), Belle and Sebastian, The National, a bra, Wallpaper, !!! (Chk Chk Chk) and the Ferocious Few)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Florence + The Machine at the Oakland Fox Theater, a review

Florence and The Machine at the O2 Empire, Shepherd's Bush, London, 28th September 2009
Photo by preamble

WOW! This woman is INCREDIBLE. Because it's not super professional to say that on, I just wanted to get that out of the way here :)

Anyone who takes their cues from Bjork is okay in my book.


Florence and the Machine - Dog Days Are Over VMA
Uploaded by samiam2546. - Explore more music videos.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Greg Laswell finally gets to rock out with a 5-piece band, and the catalyst to starting this blog in the first place

Greg Laswell holds a special place in my musical being. He was the first post on this blog.

It was a lonely September evening when I went to see Greg Laswell by myself at Cafe du Nord in 2008. But it was there that I decided to go home and actually start writing. I had been thinking about it for awhile, but there was something about discovering this musician and seeing him play live that actually convinced me to do it.

So thanks, Greg.

I'm super excited to see him play with a 5-piece band on a bigger stage. The energy of his music calls for more sound, and somehow the two and three piece groups I've seen him with always left me a tad disappointed.

READ THE PREVIEW OF THE THIS SHOW at the Independent next Wednesday HERE

Please click through, even if you don't read it, I get a penny every time you go to my Examiner articles! MAKE ME RICH!! lol. I don't have a day job anymore!!

And for those of you not in the Bay Area check out his tour dates here, he'll be heading through the Midwest, East Coast and Canada in the next month or so.

And stay tuned for photos and review from a fellow Examiner Amber Gregory.

Watch Greg try to sing backwards (to make it look like he's singing forwards) while people destroy the set in the background.

Greg Laswell Featuring Ingrid Michaelson "Take Everything" HD from OTTO ARSENAULT on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The best place to sit for a symphony concert: the choral stalls/tier section

A photo taken in Davies Symphony Hall (for Mahler 8) a little further to the right from the spot I'm taking about. We were sitting where those kids are on the left. (Photo, Kristen Loken Anstey)

Who wouldn't want to see the conductor hit himself in the face with his baton?

Thoughts that passed through my head last night at Davies Symphony hall seeing Semyon Bychkov conduct Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini :
  • What does the pink post-it note in the conductor's Rachmaninoff say. ("Remember to queue violins?" "Turn off stove?")
  • That trumpet player is really hot.
  • What is that fidgety oboist smirking at now?
  • That timpani player is being really anal and working really hard to keep them in tune.
The best thing about these seats may not be the sound (I've been told that it's not so great, but I actually liked feeling like I was right in the action), but the visual aspect of the individuals on stage.

I think that's one of the things that's been taken away from the symphonic/orchestral experience for the audience. When you're sitting so far away, you can't SEE anything. I don't know about you, but I love this music and my mind still wanders when I'm listening to it: I get hit by the tired stick and I want to take a nap. But if my eyes as well as my ears are stimulated, it's WAY MORE INTERESTING and I stay more alert and focused on the performance.

And if you still get bored you can count the sleeping people out in the audience.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Green Day plays one helluva live show and is just enough angsty for this 30-year-old

Billie Joe is a whore for attention, I'm sure of it
photos from by white menace

There's something pretty special about seeing a band play to its hometown/area while at the same time badmouth the area that you grew up in. Hearing Billie Joe tell San Diego and Los Angeles to "fuck off" right after playing there is pretty hysterical.

There's also something really special about being angry about a ticketing will-call snafu that almost sent me home, and then being able to work it out to some perfectly angsty pop punk. I love being 30 and still able to bounce around with the teenagers.

I love Green Day's interaction with the crowd. It's really physical, letting them pull and push them around, from both the pit and the stage. It was also fun to see Green Day show off their chops, both with their own music and covering other music. (See the setlist here, you'll see they covered quite a few rock tunes from Journey to Zeppelin.) Billie Joe proved that that nasaled vlocal thing is just for aesthetic value, because his vocal chops on those hard rock covers were pretty spot on.

Read my review of the Saturday, September 4th show at Shoreline Amphitheatre on HERE

Billie Joe encourages fan to stage dive

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paul McCartney: a concert review

Dead center seats. Photos by Yvette Wild

There’s nothing better than a performer who does a little jig with glee on stage because he is genuinely happy to be performing for you. Beatle or no, a Paul McCartney is certain to please, even if you’re not so familiar with some of his more recent material. The evening of Saturday July 10, 2010 was a cool one, but not so chilly as some Giants fans might have experienced right on The Bay during a San Franciscan summer.

AT&T Park was packed and the energy was buzzing as fans awaited Paul McCartney’s first performance in San Francisco since The Beatles' last concert tour appearance at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. McCartney said that things have changed since then, rather than just hearing the screaming girls, we have these “loud things” referencing the ginormous sound system.

I bought the $59 dollar seats, just to see what extra $10 would get me. Turned out to be totally worth it as we were in the View Box in second, row directly over home plate and right smack center.

McCartney and his band played a set list 35 songs long basically alternating between Beatles and non-Beatles tunes.


NOTE: Some people have been complaining (on about a comment I made addressing McCartney's age. It is true that Paul is 68, but what I unfortunately failed to mention is how in awe I am of his energy on stage. He truly is a wonderful performer and a joy to watch - jigs and mumblings and all (I sing and dance and mumble to myself and I'm 30!) The man is adorable and a living legend, wouldn't it be nice to be so totally on your game at that age? What else can I say?

AT&T Park gets decked out for a live show - that's Oakland and the Bay in the background

"Live and Let Die" fireworks

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dance off your pants with the California Honeydrops at their biggest Bay Area show and CD release

When was the last time you heard a groove so good you wanted to boogie all night? Last week I checked out the new Chasing the Moon podcast and have been shakin' it ever since. The California Honeydrops will be dropping their third album Spreadin' Honey at the New Parish in Oakland next Friday. It promises to be quite a party with non-stop dancing, bbq and, my sources tell me, honey dripping from the walls.

"Our mission, says band leader Lech Wierzynski (who sings, plays trumpet and guitar), "is to get the whole crowd participating and singing along, and we want them partying. It's about feeling good - everybody together."

Honeydrops fans are not just a necessary piece of the puzzle in terms of music making, but in the success of the band from a business side. The band has just returned from a tour of Holland (read about it here) where their Dutch friends helped them book shows through word of mouth. Later this month the Honeydrops will tour Spain, the Pacific Northwest and Eastern Europe. The band is not signed, and therefore relies on fundraising to pay for albums. The new album Spreadin' Honey was funded by a benefit at the Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley.


California Honeydrops @ Chasing The Moon 06.26.10 from Scott McDowell on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

JAI HO! 'Slumdog Millionaire' composer and Oscar winner A.R. Rahman performs at the Oracle Area in Oakland

A.R. Rahman shows off his two Oscars

UPDATE: This show has been canceled due an accident that occurred with set collapsing in Detroit. This show will be rescheduled. Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident.

A.R. Rahman is one of India's most popular and epic film composers. The Oscar winning movie Slumdog Millionaire turned American pop culture, at least mainstream pop culture, onto Rahman in a major way. This Saturday, Rahman graces the stage of the Oakland Coliseum with the Jai Ho: the Journey Home World Tour.

The show promises to be quite a show of Bollywood enthusiasm featuring changing sets, large images on LED screens and a spectacular cast of musicians and dancers from across the globe including Hariharan, Javed Ali, Benny Dayal, Blaaze, Shweta Pandit and Neeti Muhan. "Through the concerts," says the AP, "Rahman is attempting something many performers from outside the English-speaking world have tried and failed to do: transcend a regional, ethnic niche and become an international mainstream superstar."

I first fell in love with Rahman's music when I saw my first Bollywood Film, the Oscar nominated 2001 film, Lagaan . The music and the story remain my favorite (see "Mitwa" below). When the movie Slumdog Millionaire started to gain popularity...


My fav, "Mitwa" from Lagaan:

In the clip below, Bhuvan (the fabulous Aamir Kahn) and his friend Gauri, must convince their friends and fellow villagers in 19th century colonial India that while the task of beating the English colonialists, the earth and the sky belong to them and are worth fighting for.
Listen, O my friend,
What is this fear you have?

The earth is ours
And so is the sky.

And how can I not post this?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where's Jamie at the SF First Aid Kit show?

This is funny: A couple weeks ago First Aid Kit played the bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. Joanna and Clara took a picture with the crowd (look all all the hipsters!) and I figured I was too short to be seen in anything. But there I am! Can you find me?? (Double click the photo to enlarge.)

Click here to read the email interview I did with Joanna.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

WomenROCK celebrates four years of Bay Area girl power at the Independent this Wednesday

Just weeks before Lilith Fair hits the Bay Area on July 5th, WomenRock showcase some of the local female talent on the stage of the Independent. WomenRock is an all-female musician, artist, and activist collective and after four years the collective continues to grow and become more prominent. This will be the collective's first show at the Independent.

The evening will feature Stripmall Architecture, *bernadette*, Conspiracy of Venus and ZIVA with a burlesque performance by the Cheese Puffs, Spoken Word by Scorpio Blues, SHEketch comedy from PianoFight's Monday Night ForePlays & dance party with DJ Kipp Glass

"We are taking it upon ourselves to work together to create a new, enterprising model of visibility, access and self-enfranchisement. We are organizing ourselves to work together to showcase our creative endeavors, talents, intellect, business savvy and penchant for community-building and activism, whilst creating self-sustaining, quality, alternative lifestyles.” says the celebration’s organizer, musician, activist, and WomenROCK visionary, *bernadette*.

Click here to read Bird in the Tree's interview with several of Wednesday's performers.

For tickets

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Salif Keita to appear with SFJAZZ promoting the cause of the African Albino

African musician Salif Keita is an albino: a term used for those individuals with albinism. Albinism, as you probably know, is a congenital disorder characterized by the absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. What you might not know is that in some countries on the African continent, these individuals are often killed because of the superstitious beliefs associated with albinism.

Keita’s new album La Difference is a dedication to these people and a statement bringing attention to the cause. While Keita has always been a speaker for those with albinism, this album is the first time he sings about the deeply personal and painful subject. In two performances (8PM and 10:30PM) this Friday, Keita will appear at Bimbo’s 365 with SFJAZZ.

The story of the 61-year-old’s life is the ultimate “rising above all obstacles to achieve greatness” tale. Keita is of royal heritage, which because of Mali’s strict caste system, is supposed to have kept him from being a musician. Being a musician and a storyteller in Malian tradition is the job of a griot. So Keita was outcast from his family and community on two accounts, that of his chosen profession and his condition.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Interview and first San Francisco show with Swedish teenage sister duo First Aid Kit

Klara, 17 and Jöhanna, 19 Soderburg are First Aid Kit

“When I fall in love with music...I want to share.” That was the email I received from a friend of mine the Fall of 2008 introducing me to First Aid Kit’s cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song.” I fell in love too and can’t wait to check out the two Swedish teenage sisters play the Bottom of the Hill next Tuesday, June 2nd.

First Aid Kit is Jöhanna and Klara Soderburg, ages 19 and 17. They grew up in a suburb south of Stockholm getting an early start making videos in a forest near their home and posting them on youtube and myspace. The cover caught the attention of fellow Swedes the Knife, who released the EP Drunken Trees on their label Rabid Records last year. Earlier this year Wichita Records released the full length album The Big Black and the Blue .

The Fleet Foxes cover might be what draws you in, but their original music is what keeps you there with lyrics well beyond their years and vocal harmonies perfectly intertwining the girl’s strong voices.

Other than a quick jaunt to South by Southwest earlier this year, this is the duo’s first American tour. I caught an email interview with Jöhanna, the older of the two sisters. She talked about writing songs with her sister, advice for other female musicians and how the Internet has helped First Aid Kit on their way.

Read the interview here

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Preview the new Morning Benders Album: BIG ECHO

The Morning Benders of San Francisco have generously posted their new album Big Echo on their website. I'm digging what I'm hearing so far. Click here to watch the video for their gorgeous Phil Spector track "Excuses."

The Benders have embarked on a nationwide tour including both coasts, South by Southwest, parts of Canada and the Midwest. We'll see them when they'll be passing through the Bay Area and playing at the Independent on Tuesday March 30th.