Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gogol Bordello: The Fillmore Illuminated

It was a day filled with bizarre events: dogs barking at their owners, cats being friendly, Apple offering to replace my cracked iPhone for free, ex-employees offering me drinks, old friends calling without reason, the Yankees winning their second consecutive game against the Red Sox*, 77 degrees, 50% humidity. Clearly, the day claimed its stake among the extraordinary events to come. As I queued up for my will-call tickets at the Fillmore, the usual hipster/rocker/punk/preppy crowd was diluted by an even more diverse crowd from a variety of origins and ranging in a variety of ages. Being of Eastern European origins, I could relate to the loyalty associated with seeing a band with members from my native land, but I simply could not understand why there was a 75 year old lady waiting in line in front of me. If she was a family member, she'd not be waiting in line. So... was she going to rock out to the gypsy punk sounds of Gogol Bordello? If so, more power to her. Seriously, she would have needed more power. I lost track of her as I entered the Fillmore and I figured she must have gone straight through the crowd and joined the mayhem in the pit. Perhaps she was going to crowd surf. I don't know. What I do know is that people were selling tickets at over 4x face value outside to fans waiting to get a taste while Grandma Gogol is crowd-surfing and kneeing 25 year olds in the head.

Once inside, my usual joy of entering the Fillmore was deflated because Tim was not there to greet me with the usual, 'Good Evening, and Welcome to the Fillmore'. Instead, Keith, the sub, gave me a surly retort when I joked with him regarding Tim's absence, 'Tim learned everything from me', he said. Classy. Surely, Tim has much more to learn from Keith.

When I posted the show announcement on Tenacious Hand Stamp, I believe I mentioned something about bringing a change of clothes. I didn't necessarily take action to that effect, but I made sure to wear my lightest 'wicking' dri-weave T-shirt. And then I put on a jacket. Duh. Didn't matter. Jacket was off and by 3 measures into the first song I was sweating like a whore in church. You didn't even have to know the songs to get going. Some people in my group were fairly unaware of Gogol Bordello's music; others were completely unaware. That didn't stop anyone from jumping up and down, pumping their fists and dancing like nobody was watching.

Gogol Bordello brought a fresh element of excitement, rigor and sheer musical passion to everyone at the Fillmore. At one point during their set I couldn't even hear the frontman, Eugene Hutz, because the sing-along crowd was drowning him out. It didn't matter where you were in the audience, because it felt like at any given moment, he was going to leap into the crowd just to be a part of it. Gogol Bordello made us feel like they were at The Fillmore for us; not the other way around.

Half hour into the set, I'm soaked in sweat. Many people were. After all, there were a lot of Eastern Europeans there. I had to go outside to cool off. The San Francisco night came with a cool breeze (a relief from the oppressive high 70's we experience earlier in the day). My body temperature clashing with the cool night air generated a cloud that rose from my head which I tried to disguise by smoking a cigarette. The people outside were still dancing to the tunes that could be heard from the open door of the back stage entrance. I didn't want to miss anything, so I went back inside, bought a T-shirt, changed and returned to the main room. They finish their set, play their encore, lights go up, and people stayed and danced.

As I'm leaving, I ask for a poster; All out. I mean, really? Probably one of the top 5 most memorable shows I will ever see, and I don't have the poster because I stayed through the end? Damn. I walk to the corner where a young man is holding onto two posters. I ask to buy one and offer him $10. He clearly sees my yearning for the poster and my disdain for those who took more than 1 poster at the expense of the others still inside. He graciously denies my $10 and offers me the poster in return for an adult beverage if our paths should ever cross. Thank you, gentle friend with two posters. You are a good man and made my beautiful evening spectacular.

, , ,

*It's not quite bizarre that the Yankees beat the Red Sox two games in a row... especially in September. I just had to mention it for the record.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Stevie Wonder Setlist - Sleep Train Pavilion -8/26/07

Thanks to Tom Anderson for this setlist:

Love's In Need of Love Today,
Too High,
Livin' for the City,
Master Blaster (Jammin'),
(I Heard it Through the Grapevine>Billie Jean)*,
Higher Ground,
Golden Lady>
Ribbon in the Sky,
Can't Imagine Love Without You,
You and I,
Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing,
Signed, Sealed, Delivered,
(Signed, Sealed, Delivered)**,
Most Beautiful Girl in the World,
Boogie On Reggae Woman,
My Cherie Amour,
All I Do (Is Think About You),
Sir Duke,
I Wish,
Isn't She Lovely,
You Are the Sunshine of My Life,
Superstition >
Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker),
Do I Do>
Band Intros>
Stevie on Drums Solo,
Part-Time Lover>
I Just Called to Say I Love You,
So What The Fuss?,
Another Star

*Stevie on Clavinet w/ Voice Effects
**Performed as a Country Song

Back to Home Page: More Posts

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Just Announced: The Hold Steady + Art Brut

The NME Rock n Roll Riot Tour announced dates for the Hold Steady Tour. Art Brut will open. I know there are a lot of Hold Steady fans out there. But even if you are not, Art Brut should not be missed. The performance will take place on 11/6 at the Warfield. Pre-sale ticket information using this link. Use the password to purchase up to 4 tickets during the presale.

Welcome to the Fillmore

His name is Tim.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nerd Core 101

I attended Cafe Du Nord for the MC Lars show and I got the opportunity to chat with Daddy and Mommy of MC Lars. Adorable. Don't worry about your street cred, Lars. Your mom's the bombs. I discovered that has degrees from Stanford and Oxford. Who knew? Apparently everyone but me. I mean, the damn album is called the Graduate. One of the songs featured on this album is called Rapgirl, an homage to one of the 3 openers, , who also hails from the hallowed halls of Stanford. So.. in the spirit of smarty-pants-kick-ass-musicians, go to the myspace pages of the respective artists, download their albums, listen to the songs and write me a review using these words.

gadabout \GAD-uh-bout\, noun:
Someone who roams about in search of amusement or social activity.

inscrutable \in-SKROO-tuh-buhl\, adjective:
Difficult to fathom or understand; difficult to be explained or accounted for satisfactorily; obscure; incomprehensible;

indurate \IN-dur-it; -dyur-\, adjective:
Physically or morally hardened; unfeeling; stubborn.

venerate \VEN-uh-rayt\, transitive verb:
To treat someone or something with deep respect, reverence or deference; to revere.

jejune \juh-JOON\, adjective:
1. Lacking in nutritive value.
2. Displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity; childish.

penchant \PEN-chunt\, noun:
Inclination; decided taste; a strong liking.

perspicacity \pur-spuh-KAS-uh-tee\, noun:
Clearness of understanding or insight; penetration, discernment.

turpitude \TUR-puh-tood; -tyood\, noun:
1. Inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words, or actions; depravity.

garrulous \GAIR-uh-lus; GAIR-yuh-\, adjective:
1. Talking much, especially about commonplace or trivial things; talkative.

afflatus \uh-FLAY-tuhs\, noun:
A divine imparting of knowledge; inspiration.

kismet \KIZ-met; -mit\, noun:
Destiny; fate.

ameliorate \uh-MEEL-yuh-rayt\, transitive verb:
1. To make better; to improve.

platitude \PLAT-uh-tood; -tyood\, noun:
1. Staleness of ideas or language; triteness.
2. A thought or remark that is banal, trite, or stale.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tinariwen Announced in SF Jazz Festival Schedule

The 25th Annual San Francisco recently announced its 2007 lineup which includes the very talented band from North Africa, . First discovered in 2001 during The Festival in the Desert, they have been championed by greats like Carlos Santana and introduced to mainstream culture. On their new Album, "Aman Iman", they sing of freedom in exile. Although you probably won't understand the sung in French and Tamashek, the way they fuse the classic musical style of the Sahara with modern day blues speaks a universal language.

Tinariwen plays the 25th Annual San Francisco on Sunday November 4, 2007 @ the Palace of Fine Arts.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Just Announced: The Sounds @ The Fillmore

When I saw the Sounds perform at the Fillmore last December, it was the last of show of their North American tour. While you could see they were very excited to return to Europe, they made sure to finish strong and gave San Francisco an amazing show. At one point, lead singer, Maja Ivarsson, sexed up her performance by bringing up a girl from the audience, grabbing her by the hair, licking her face and neck on the stage... and the rest is a blur. The set list consisted primarily of high energy dance-rock tunes and was nicely broken up by the solo piano version of "Night After Night" which I can still hear in my head to this day as clear as the day she haunted me with it.

Eagerly anticipating their return, I was quite disappointed when they posted their 2007 tour dates which did not include a single American city. That all changed yesterday. The Sounds will make a quick stop in California (on their way over to Australia) to play a show in LA on September 17th and a show in San Francisco at on September 18th. Tickets for The Fillmore show are $22.50 and go on sale Sunday 8/19 @ 10am through .

Back to Home Page: One More Time, From the Top!

More Videos

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Have You Been Killed?

Two of San Francisco's very talented emerging local artists, Ryan Lambert (Elephone) and Sierra Frost (Two Seconds, Elephone) have started a side project called . Check out their new page.

While they haven't performed as yet in San Francisco, you can catch Elephone at the Indie Festival on August 25th along with Sugarcult, Scissors For Lefty, Audrye Sessions, Push To Talk, immigrant, minipop, Poor Bailey, Overview, Panda, Bel Air Academy, National Product, ESKIMO JOE, Cold Hot Crash, and The Frail. You can catch Two Seconds perform at on September 7th.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Lovemakers + Hey Willpower = Ass-Shaking Match Made in Pop Heaven

I've waited a long time to see The Lovemakers and Hey Willpower share a stage. Both bands put on a steamy, sweaty and sexy show to close out the San Francisco International Festival of Short Films. It was curious to see such an entertaining lineup at a venue with theatre seating. Nothing drives me more crazy than seeing people sitting down when they should be shaking their asses. Hey Willpower had the challenge of performing to an audience who were seated for hours while watching the last session of short films. It wasn't hard for Will to spark that crowd.. but he did have to actually say, 'get up!' which made me feel sorry for those sitting. This is not the junior prom, people. Hey Willpower got the crowded revved up in no time, and got everyone amped for The Lovemakers. A job well done.

Now, I've heard of fans who fall in love with their favorite artists. You know.. the ones who are center stage in the front row and making goo-goo eyes at their favorite band-member. But what about when the artist on stage can make goo-goo eyes to the entire audience? Lovemakers co-lead, Lisa (vocals and bass) amazes me with her ability to eye-fuck an entire crowd with a single look. So Sexy... rrrrrawr. Unfortunately, Superfan #1 was standing front-row center, screaming like a Raiders Fan at a Rush concert and I couldn't get a better picture of the whole band in action. Lock it up, son. We all know you love them. We love them too.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lovemakers + Hey Willpower @ Victoria Theatre

The San Francisco International Festival of Short Films (AKA SF Shorts) comes to a close tomorrow night, August 11. They will wrap things up at San Francisco's oldest operating theater, , in the Mission district. Performing at the closing party will be and . To my knowledge these two local bands have never before shared a stage in San Francisco. I can't tell you how happy to be able to score tickets (still available via

Tomorrow night will be an ass-shaking extravaganza. Please come prepared to learn some new dance moves like the one shown above (right) called the bow and arrow. Attendees to the 21+ event will receive 2 complimentary beers. Tickets are $15. Doors @ 8:30.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pelle Carlberg - In a Nutshell

After reading a post from the waywardpanties about the review of the most recent album, 'In a Nutshell', I had to find some tracks and listen to what the buzz was about. The album's sound is familiar if you are a fan of Belle and Sebastian or The Smiths. At first it comes off simple and catchy. However, listen closer and the lyrics will make you do a double-take. The sardonic, smart and cynical lyrics could have easily been written for the Flight of the Conchords, however, the straight face and the facade of keeping with the ordinary makes the poetry much more impactful. Here are some examples of lyrics:

"I have a friend who's in this Mensa club, he has no trouble to admit.."
“I love the way talk, I love the way you stalk me with your mobile phone,”
"If I couldn't sing, I'd probably make decent money..."

Further, in "I Just Called to Say I Love You", Carlberg takes lyrics from a slew of different pop tunes, throws them into one giant pot of lyrical triteness, and the stew it yields is delicious.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Flight of The Conchords EP release (Aug 7 - Sub Pop)

New Zealand's 4th most popular band and inventors of rap, playing off their recent television success, on HBO, will be releasing an EP on records tomorrow August 7. Tracks will include Business Time, If You're Into It, Not Crying, The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room (Live), Banter (Live), Robots (Live). Unfortunately, this EP will not feature the rhymes of the Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros. No word on whether this release will be supported with a tour.

Concert Calendar Plug-In for iTunes

It's difficult to keep track of all the great concerts happening in the city, especially if you like to see bands that don't generally get a ton of media attention. Many people often ask me about how I keep track as it can be alot of work if you are simply relying on the local papers and websites to break the news. So, today, I will share my secret with all 7 of my readers.

I've been using a plug-in for iTunes called and today they released version 2.0. You simply install the software, open iTunes, open your visualizer, and it then scans your library and matches up bands with a variety of jambase/pollstar-like websites to conveniently put your music into a neat little calendar. You can even highlight specific shows and sync with iCal. Further, it gives you the option of including bands NOT in your library.

In version 2.0, iConcertCal includes a CD release feature that marks your calendar for upcoming releases of bands in your library. It also adds a Friends feature which allows users to share their calendars with others.

It's FREE and available for Mac OS X and Windows.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Go-Go's or Golden Girls?

Hold the rotary dial phone for just a sec. The Go-Go's will be performing at the Independent on October 5, 2007. Admittedly, I want to see the old hags. But, seriously, once you've had a VH1 Behind-the-Music, or 'Where are they now' are you even allowed to cut a new album?

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. The Go-Go's produced about 35-40 original songs across 3 albums, then produced not one, but two Greatest hits albums.. And if you include the Go-Go's Behind the Music Collection, that would be THREE greatest hits albums, after producing THREE original LPs. Only to follow it with their newest album, "God Bless The Go-Go's" which was released in 2001. It's now 2007. The Go-Go's first got together in 1978, so they are writing an average of 1.72 songs per year. Is this performance the sign of a new tour? Perhaps a new album? Who can say such things, since their website is about as aged as their... well whatever, i guess just milk it for all it's worth... as long as you got the beat.