Gig Archives: 2007


(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Saturday, January 27th, 2007
with miRthkon:
First gig of the new year didn't happen until Saturday, January 27th, but it was a goody. Once again I sat in on bass for injured Nat, and even learned two more new songs for this show. It was at the Hemlock Tavern in SF and like last time I ended up somehow getting a parking space right next to the club, so loading in/out was a snap. The opening improv-based duo Compomicro-Dexall were one of those rare bands on the "good" side of improv. We played next, and then closing was a rare reunion of The Molecules. Great to see those guys in action again - last time I saw them was like 9 years ago at the old Stork Club. All told, a totally rockin' show.
Thursday, February 8th, 2007
with miRthkon:
Yep, another Thursday night show - I sat in yet one more time for Nat. We headlined some sort of "death jazz" showcase night at the good ol' Hotel Utah in SF. I haven't been there in literal ages. Many ages. It hasn't changed. Still a weird place to play and see bands. Weird but charming. Punk jazz Mute Socialite opened up. More traditional yet still very "out" Go Go Fightmaster went next. Both bands made it worth staying up to play this show. We went on last with a similar set to the previous gig. By the way this was also Aram's last show with band. Depending on Nat's recovery that may have been mine as well. We shall see.
Friday, March 23rd, 2007
with Fuzzy Cousins and The Fuxedos:
A whole month of nothin' then two bands in one night. I graced the stage at the Starry Plough in Berkeley yet *again*. Fuzzy Cousins kicked things off, and we incorporated our new fuzzy costumes and played a fast paced, fun set. The Fuxedos were up second, and we clobbered the prog rock audience with whips and chains and blood and baby heads. miRthkon closed it out, with Nat back on bass and Jamison tearin' it up on sax (his debut with the band). A random night, with each band offering something new for the crowd to chew on.
Saturday, March 24th, 2007
The next night we played an awards ceremony party up in Sonoma. It was a long day as the rhythm section had to get up there early to set up and soundcheck before the guests arrived. But we were treated (i.e. fed) well. It ended up being a great gig - a large number of people were dancing all night so we played one long set (almost two hours) to keep the beat rollin'. There were lots of leftover sugary treats at the end, so I indulged and was quite wired for the long car ride home.
Friday, March 30th, 2007
Played a rare public show at the Red Devil Lounge in SF. We did a full-on rocker 90 minute set opening up for 80's cover band extraordinaire Notorious. It was a rocker because none of the lady singers could make the gig, leaving all the songs to Danny and Jamison. So no real ballads to speak of. Fair enough. Jenya actually came to see the set but due to a late start and traffic ended up showing just as we finished. At any rate the show was a blast, and we wandered around the tenderloin area all night, getting mexican food for dinner, going up to Van Ness for drinks, then late night eats at a Japanese joint.
Saturday, March 31st, 2007
The next night had a private gig held at Bimbo's in SF. I like playing that venue, but it was a hurry-up-and-wait affair with an early sound check and then sitting around eating pizza waiting to play. Once again none of the regular ladies were able to make the gig but Karina (singer from the Dance Hall Crashers) sat in with the band and nailed it. It was an award ceremony for a local school district, by the way, and they were all dressed up like the Beatles or Austin Powers. It was rad. There were drinks across the way to celebrate after the show but I had to head home early as I was flying out in the morning.
Friday, April 27th, 2007
with Herb:
This wacky two-gig night on Friday, April 27th started with Jamison arriving in his van to pick me and my gear up and head towards Bimbo's in SF to play the first Herb show in 7-8 years. En route we get the call - the lead trumpet player bailed on the gig this morning. Luckily we already had an alternate - Doug - who subbed in Herb way back in the day and was willing to shlep into SF at the last minute and perform. Crisis #1 averted. During soundcheck John (second trumpet) showed up and realized he left both trumpet books back at home, so in two hours he had to haul ass back to Fremont to get them. Critical Mass was happening tonight, which added to the stress of the situation. He returned 10 minutes before downbeat. Without those books there'd be no trumpets which would kinda suck for the big return of a trumpet-led band. Anyway, it was a short opening set for the Fab Four and it was a good crowd and good response and we had fun once the pre-show stress was behind us. Jamison also had his world debut on trombone for "Taste of Honey."
Friday, April 27th, 2007
with The Fuxedos:
After the aforementioned Herb gig Jamison, Wes, and I packed up our crap and headed on over to the Edinburgh Castle in the Tenderloin to play another First Satanic Church event organized by Karla LaVey - this time a celebration of Walpurgisnacht. Lots of acts crammed into that tiny performance space upstairs which was like hell: dark, loud, hot, and packed with people. After throwing our expensive music gear on the giant indistiguishable pile of other bands' gear to the side of the stage I had myself some Jagermeister - it was going to a fun, but very long, night. We were the last of all the acts, which included Spider Compass Good Crime Band and Graves Brothers Deluxe. It was a big party around the club until then, rapping with the bandmates, the friends of the bandmates, and the friends from the other bands. We hit the stage at 1am. Adding the cherished chaos of our show was a bad cable which kept making my guitar disappear from the mix. Jamison and I were among the last to load out and didn't get home until after 2:30am. What an evening!
Saturday, May 5th, 2007
with Herb:
Had a Cinco de Mayo gig at Mojito in SF. Super nice people at the club - they fed us yummy tacos and beans and plantains. Before heading to the gig there were dire warning about loading in early because of nightmarish parking on that particular evening in North Beach, but I pulled up and there was a spot open right in front of the club. It was a fun but ultimately wacky night as we're still dusting off the old tunes while working in new songs with new arrangments and new people. The band was me, Wes, Scrote, Steve, and John, but with Chris on percussion, Dave on trumpet, and Marc on trombone (and bass trombone). Lots of bad-ass soloing all around. The crowd danced and drank and danced and drank - they had a blast, and we basically closed the bar down with two one-hour sets.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
Daniel Popsicle performed Dan's latest rather peppy and cheerful piece "Rafting Season" at 21 Grand in Oakland. It's been a while since I sat in with this amorphous band, and this time around I was on bass. Lots of reading and counting on stage, but it was a funky 50 minute song with dancers performing in front of us (I couldn't see beyond the sea of musicians crammed on stage). Opening was a Greenlief/Raskin/Hanes/Robair sax/electronics quartet creating soothing atmospheres amidst dink doink bloop blarp.
Friday, May 11th, 2007
with miRthkon:
On Friday May 11th I sat in once again with this band on bass. Nat needed some "clean up" surgery on his hand so I relearned this material and went to town performing it live. One added bonus was that I got to finally perform this material with Jamison on sax (he joined the band right after I stopped subbing months ago). He had an amazing solo on "Camelopardalis." I missed the first band Vacant Churches - after a rather late soundcheck I fled to Picante to have a burrito for dinner with Jenya. I returned to catch the amazing Juan Prophet Organization who are on tour and hail from Murfreesboro, TN. I played a gig there once.
Saturday, May 12th, 2007
with The Fuxedos:
No rest for the wicked. On Saturday May 12th Jamison and I (who played the gig last night) headed to the airport in the morning to fly to LA and play a gig with The Fuxedos. The usual LA keyboardist/guitarist and saxophonist weren't available, so Danny asked us Bay Area versions to fill in. It was a wacky day. Danny got us from the airport, we ate Thai food, then rehearsed with the LA drummer Ryan and bassist/keyboardist Stephen. Both awesome cats, and turns out Ryan and I know a lot of musicians in common. We got our set together then headed to the Echo. We were the headlining performers at the after party of the Silver Lake Film Festival. The guest of honor during these closing night festivities was John Doe from legendary punk band X. He was at the gig (supposedly - I never saw him) so we threw in a quick cover of the X tune "Los Angeles." It was a good show, I think and Danny continues to chip away at making a large audience. Each gig there seems to be at least somebody new who had their mind blown. Afterwards we partied late into the evening, wrapping up with a 2:30am late night meal at Fred's. The next day Jamison, Danny, and I tooled around Hollywood until flying back to Oakland in the afternoon.
Friday, June 15th, 2007
with Susan Z:
Susan (from Casino Royale) helped organize the music for a Beyond Hunger benefit up at the San Rafael Recreation Center. This was on Friday, June 15th. The band was me (on bass) and Wes and a few guys I only met at rehearsal days earlier: Jude, Justus, Paul, and background singers Samantha and Lexi. The set also featured guest singers Sharon Boucher and Shana Morrison. It was a nice event and a fairly straightforward "pro" gig except my bass rig blew halfway into the set. Great. Luckily the direct line was still working so there was bass in the house - I just couldn't hear it on stage. I found that a bit frustrating to say the least, but everything else went along swimmingly, including my bitchin' bass intro to "You're So Vain." Mommy, why are there clowns in her coffee?
Sunday, June 17th, 2007
Played a wedding in the Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchant's Exchange building in downtown SF. Had Karina and Tom in to sub on vocals and sax, and they did great. This might have been the first gig I've done with this band where we had to play "Hava Nagila." Danny showed up with a crazy biker moustache. Rock on. Considering we had to load our gear to the 15th floor it was a well organized and therefore easy and fun gig. Even got free validated parking at the garage around the corner. Sweet.
Friday, June 22nd, 2007
On Friday, June 22nd Fuzzy Cousins played at the good ol' Stork Club in good ol' Oaktown. Some fuckin' crackheads stole our car the previous night and within seconds rammed it into a tree (killing the car and the tree) so we had to rent a u-haul pickup last minute to carry all our gear. That pretty much reduced any chance of making any profit on this gig to zero, but Jenya still baked some yummy cookies to sell which helped offset the rental expense. It was a fun show (despite some sound gremlins) and we debuted a new song ("Cold Invocation") and new tails. Man, those costumes make us sweaty. And since I was already there I sat in with miRthkon playing bass as Nat's hand is almost but not quite done healing. I finally fixed my bass rig the other night and it was twice as loud as before, which made me happy. Slydini closed the night out and they were awesome. It was great to see my old homie Vicki rockin' out on bass for the first time in years.
Saturday, June 30th, 2007
On Saturday, June 30th we returned from a long hiatus to play at the Starry Plough in Berkeley (yes I fuckin' live there). I was pleased to find that Inner Ear Brigade (who opened the show) featured Nick Peck on keyboards. I jammed with Nick a few times a dozen years ago. We went on and nailed it. It's good to be back. Then once again I sat in with miRthkon to close the show, and once again blessed with an opportunity to practice some ridiculous bass chops. Super art rock evening, and of the very loud variety!
Saturday, July 7th, 2007
As part of their "live culture" outdoor music series, we performed our usual set on the patio adjacent to Arizmendi Bakery in Emeryville (San Pablo @ 43rd) on Saturday, July 7th. We kept the instrumentation down to whatever could fit in a Prius, which meant just the three guitars, associated amps, and a junior-sized drumkit. It was a nice way to have a "rehearsal show" in front of bakery patrons enjoying their pizza while enjoying the sunny early afternoon. We were basically in and out of there in a couple of hours. Easy squeezy.
Friday, July 13th, 2007
with Herb:
On the afternoon of Friday, July 13th we played on Alameda Island during this week's Concerts at the Cove summer concert series. Despite a generator blowing its gas line as we set up it got replaced quickly and things still started on time. The fun and charming Hank Hooper started the show with his refreshing take on children's music. Then we got the crowd (somewhere between 1000 and 2000 people) up and dancing for our two whole sets. Good times! Funny moment: Scrote was borrowing my bass rig and noticed, right before we started there was no sound coming out of the amp. I noticed the power LED wasn't coming on, either. Long story short, after three minutes of harried troubleshooting we discovered (a) one of Scrote's volume pedals was all the way down, and (b) it was an outdoor gig so I was wearing shades and therefore couldn't tell that the power LED was actually on the whole time. Duh!
Friday, July 13th, 2007
with Herb:
That same night we caravaned to SF to play the same two sets at Mojito in SF. Unlike last time we played here I found parking to be impossible. They served us a seemingly unlimited supply of delicious tacos and we rocked through all the material again. The solos and arrangements were a lot wackier the second time around today. Frankly I was a bit wiped out towards the end of the night, amazed that my fingers still functioned (especially as I was rock climbing at the gym earlier this morning).
Saturday, July 14th, 2007
We played at 21 Grand in Oakland as part of their weekend-long celebratory shows commemorating their 7th Anniversary as a venue. First up with Noelle M. Teele, then us. We pulled out the fuzzy costumes again and played a short, quality set of our favorite material. We were followed by the delightful Toychestra and heavy duo 0th. I was the only male performing this evening as it turns out. A good crowd made the whole evening that much more special. Plus Andre last minute let us borrow his van (otherwise we would have needed to make two trips in our tiny Prius).
Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
On Wednesday afternoon, July 18th, headed to the Palace Hotel in downtown SF to perform at a party for Applied Materials. Actually it was both Casino Royale and the Mumps (a harder-edged subset of the former) performing that night in alternating 30-40 minute sets. Lots of music and lots of fast costume changes, but it was a fun and easy gig and they treated us real well backstage. Plus with enough time and alcohol people finally started dancing.
Thursday, July 19th, 2007
On Thursday, July 19th, we performed at (where else?) the Starry Plough in Berkeley, opening for 20 Minute Loop and Brian Kenney Fresno. Considering we went on first and a lot of people were there to see other acts (or just hanging out drinking and eating pizza) I got a lot of compliments and sold some CDs. Guess we're actually pretty good. Tonight marked the debut of fourth member Wally on guitar (and backing vocals). This also marked the debut of the first time really playing drums with a full band in a long time (on "Sick Building Syndrome" - Jenya played keyboards and junk percussion instead). After the gig got 3.5 hours sleep, waking to a 4.2 earthquake at 5am.
Wednesday, July 25th, 2007
with Herb:
@ the Nova Express Cafe in Hollywood (check out this tour story for more details.)
Thursday, July 26th, 2007
with Herb:
@ Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles in the afternoon (check out this tour story for more details.)
Thursday, July 26th, 2007
with Herb:
@ 4th and B in San Diego in the evening (check out this tour story for more details.)
Friday, July 27th, 2007
with Herb:
@ Bimbo's in San Francisco (check out this tour story for more details.)
Friday, August 3rd, 2007
Performed outside under a tent by the town square in Sonoma as part of evening festivities for Sonoma's "22nd Annual Salute to the Arts." It was a formal event - we all wore tuxes. It was also an odd night for us as Danny nor Jamison could make the gig so I helped sing a lot of missing backups behind Scrote. Sub singer Steffanos also filled in wonderfully on a couple tunes. As well we had Susan back, along with her sub Karina. This seemed weird, but we had to play three long sets so we were pulling out all of Susan's tunes - Karina sang a bunch of those to give Susan a rest. It took two hours to get there due to rush hour traffic, and I got lost on the way home, speeding down the dark highways with very little signs telling me where to go.
Saturday, August 18th, 2007
On Saturday, August 18th drove all the way down to Pebble Beach to play a gig at some rather large car show put on by Chrysler. We were in the big party tent, all decked out with a 60's hippie love theme. For kicks we learned two new songs ("Magical Mystery Tour" and "Spinning Wheel") which started the set. Both trumpets were subs and they did great. The first trumpet sub, Neil, let me try out his new iPhone during dinner. Neat toy. The gig was a solid 100 minute set of all rockers - lots of dancing going on. Didn't get home until 2am, a couple hours before Jenya got up for a bakery shift.
Thursday, August 23rd, 2007
The big opening night of Steven's opera "Dionysus" at the Oakland Metro (in downtown Oakland). I was on percussion (various toms, gongs, cymbals, metal junk) in the orchestra pit that consisted of me, Mick (Darling Freakhead) on 7-string guitar, and a fully pre-recorded score of instruments (real, MIDI, sampled, mircotonal, or otherwise) played by Steven but he was too busy conducting to play anything. I believe this is the first time I worked on a real opera in any form. Three more shows to go.
Friday, August 24th, 2007
Second night of the four-night run. I felt like this was a bit better overall than last night. Far less sound issues, at any rate. It was nice to finally just show up and play, as opposed to having to set everything up (which I had to do for all the tech rehearsals and the opening night). I stuck around for the "opening act" opera - Mark Alburger's "The Playboy of the Western World" - fun stuff. Fake pre-recorded piano doubled by real piano. Weird. Two more shows to go.
Saturday, August 25th, 2007
Third night of the four-night run. This was a "big" night if only because it was officially sold out and a lot of the ICS people were there (from both O-Lodge and Wig Lodge). I think Mick and I turned it up a notch and gave a pretty good performance. Afterwards went to Nation's with Nic and Nat and got myself a slice of pie. Only one more show to go!
Sunday, August 26th, 2007
Final night of the four-night run. This was also a big night in that Jenya finally came to see the show. We arrived with friends and only then did I notice that I left my music at home! Aaah! Somehow managed to drive back and get it and return within 15 minutes. Since everybody was so relaxed by now this closing night version of the show was the best - and I think Mick agreed. Steven was relieved and pleased as well. I packed up all my gear for the last time and somehow managed to squeeze it entirely into the trunk of the Prius so we could take everybody home.
Friday, September 14th, 2007
with The Fuxedos:
We had the coveted middle slot at the Starry Plough in Berkeley, sandwiched between the amazing Japonize Elephants and Polkacide. It was a packed house, hot and sweaty, and they were diggin' every second of Danny's crazed antics. In fact, he defiled me onstage. Well, not really. Or did he? The ever-changing lineup was Danny, me, Wes, Jamison, and Alex and we did pretty much all written material in the Bay Area version of the best for the first time ever, I think.. Well, not really. Or did we?
Saturday, September 15th, 2007
I played, for the first time ever, a zoo gig. It was a private corporate party right there in the middle of Oakland Zoo. Yep - we had to cut our soundcheck short since the loud volumes were freakin' out the chimps, but they were in their homes during the actual set. It was also freaky in that we had 6, count 'em, 6 subs tonight - only 4 members of the band were regulars. So there was a bunch of hairy eyeballs and unbelievably clear cues to keep everybody in line, but the proof was in the pudding: the large crowd danced all night and pleaded for an encore. I got to ride the electric cart with all my gear up the hill to the parking lot. Wee!
Sunday, September 16th, 2007
And then on Sunday, September 16th we had a gig in Alameda on a public stage as part of the Peanut Butter Jam festival. Actually, I was performing on the same rental-stage-in-a-truck that Herb played on back in July here in Alameda. Anyway.. It was an easy load and a fun gig - some friends actually showed up to check it out but it was mostly locals trying to eat at nearby tables as we played our not-so-friendly indie-rock-pop. Some people seemed to dig it, though. We actually had an hour of material prepared and closed out the music portion of the afternoon. A bird actually shat on my head as we loaded in. That always happens to me. Really. I have that kind of luck. Anyway it was low on volume and easy to clean off.
Saturday, September 22nd, 2007
We kicked it down at the Starry Plough. It ended up being a great show despite the fact the soundguy never showed up (what the hell?!) leaving us to figure out the goddamn board/PA for ourselves. And, quite frankly, the Plough sound system has been tankin' at an exponential rate over the past year and, well, they should really fork over the damn cash to fix it. Luckily, Run at the Dog from Minneapolis were opening, and not only were they an incredible band, but they had a local friend who, as it happened, applied to be a soundperson here at the Plough days earlier. She really knew her shit, and was willing to just jump right on in and be the soundperson for the night, so we made the best of what could have been a lame situation. BlipVert were in the middle and were wonderfully wacky in a completely different way (and featured some intense guitar/keyboard musicianship). Then us. It was runnin' late but we had a nice homey crowd stickin' around.
Sunday, October 7th, 2007
with The Fuxedos:
The day after I returned from New Zealand did the complete opposite thing and play a gig at the Burning Man "Coming Down" festival in SF. Now that Wally is in the band on guitar, I just played keyboards - I haven't played a musical instrument in two weeks before today so I welcomed the easier duties. The crowd is not freaky - they're really just ravers who want to hear DJs spinnin' beats all night. So the response was odd. Perhaps we harshed their mellow. Actually a lot of people were having fun. Nice to come off a relaxing outdoorsy vacation in a distant magical place and immerse myself in the fuck-you side of urban subculture less than a day later. Really - I'm not being sarcastic.
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
Finally another gig in SF - at the Elbo Room. But it was on a Wednesday night and we were playing third of four bands. And Alex is actually fighting pneumonia. So it was a bit rough. The first band Austin Lucas and the Pressmen actually had the biggest draw and while they were good they were pretty much the diametric opposite of what we do. Then we were sandwiched between two great touring acts Mojow & the Vibration Army and the Invincble Czars (the latter I played with years ago when the first came throught the area). They were both wonderful, and I couldn't help but think we were a little bit out of place aesthetically, but then again whatever. I'll be playing with both those bands in two days with a more appropriate band.
Friday, October 19th, 2007
Back at the Plough, headlining a gig with the two aforementioned bands (see the previous blurb) Mojow & the Vibration Army and the Invincble Czars. Jenya and I had two major obstacles to contend with: How are we going to get all our crap to the gig (we only have one Prius between us)? And will there actually be a soundperson there to manage the shitty-ass Plough soundsystem? Turns out my tetris skills came into play and I magically got all our crap (entire drum kit including sampler pad, bass rig, guitar amp, three guitars, extra cables/compressor case, concessions, and even cupcakes to sell and our costumes) into the car! It was actually quite humorous seeing every cubic centimeter of space taken up by our gear. And when we got to the show there was indeed a soundguy. Phew! That made us very happy. There was a slightly better crowd for this show than a couple nights ago. We also threw in a last-minute new song - a reworking of my old tune, "Only Having Fun."
Saturday, October 20th, 2007
This is an annual benefit for breast cancer research put together every year by my Casino Royale cohort Susan Z, this time taking place at the Larkspur Cafe up in Marin on Saturday, October 20. The band was pretty much the same as the Beyond Hunger benefit I played this summer (with Scott replacing Jude). It was a long night - over 30 tunes written by famous singer/songwriters who were breast cancer survivors. Lots and lots of talented singers came up one at a time to perform a song or two. Good audience and a lot of good vibes from all the talent up on stage. I almost hit a deer wandering the downtown streets of Larkspur on the drive back home to Oakland.
Saturday, December 15th, 2007
Nice to get back on stage in general after a long break, but unfortunately the stage was at 1 Market - in a giant atrium 8 stories high - the reverb was among the worst I had to ever deal with. Loud and boomy. The date: Saturday, December 15th, so it was a corporate Xmas party. Pretty much a standard show. The bathrooms were across the atrium, past the security desk, left at the Christmas tree, through an unmarked door with led you into a tiny room not unlike a utility storage closet but with another unmarked door on the other side Through that door you entered an empty hall where, finally, there's a door with a sign "to restrooms" at the opposite end. This door led to another hall with another such marked door at its end. Through the door was yet another hall, but which thankfully terminated with two restrooms at the other end. The men's room had loud fluorescent bulbs which hummed in a rather melancholy minor key.
Tuesday, December 25th, 2007
with The Fuxedos:
Just like last year, we were featured again at Karla LaVey's Black X Mass (10th annual!) on Christmas night at the Elbo Room in SF. The band member lineup is becoming somewhat regular for the Bay Area: me, Jamison, Alex, Wes and Danny. And also just like last year Danny got to beat up Santa during one song, while calling him an anti-semite for never giving Jewish kids toys. I had work the next day, so me and Jenya kind snuck in just in time to see the band before us ("Abu Graib" - Iraqi prisoners of war being tortured naked while performing death metal). We hurried up and played a dirty set, including a new cover of Dylan's "Masters of War." Then I quickly packed up and split, though Jenya and I stopped at Cancun to get tacos before leaving SF. I ate there after the gig last year and they were suprisingly open late on this holiday evening. So why not start a tradition? I was still full of Korean food from dinner, but had to have a taco anyway. So during the ride home Korea was at war with Mexico in my stomach. Actually the war dragged onto into the next day.

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