Gig Archives: 2009
(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009On Inauguration Day I sat in on guitar with the usually very large
and random Moe!Kestra! performing a piece Moe wrote in celebration of the event
called "End of an Error." This took place at the Uptown in downtown Oakland. I say "guitar"
but really it was a baritone guitar will all strings tuned to "D" - there were about a
dozen guitarists all with similar note assignments, and a large percussion section, and a
large string section. It was a fun piece to play, a very large and loud thing, peformed with verve as people
were genuinely psyched given the major shift in American politics we've been waiting for
far too long. Glad I brought earplugs.
Sunday, March 1st, 2009
with Dustystax and the Gold Star Band:Old pal and musical cohort Chris Sipe is in this project that does occasional tribute
shows, and had one coming up doing all Fleetwood Mac. Sadly, their keyboardist had
a family emergency at the last minute, and Chris asked if I could leap in and help out.
I had the weekend more or less at that point, so yeah! Me and another keyboardist, Rusty,
crammed the 20+ songs which was actually kinda easy compared to other cramming I had to
do in the past. The band was great, backing up a litany of singers who sang one or two
songs apiece, spanning the wide variety of songs during the lengthy Fleetwood Mac
lifetime. We performed three days after my first rehearsal with the group
at the Make Out Room in SF. Despite being a rainy school night, the place was
packed, and the crowd ate it up! It was a total blast, and I was totally psyched to meet
and be able to help out this fine batch of talented folks.
Friday, March 20th, 2009Well, kind of a spinoff of Casino Royale, really - just more spy-music oriented.
Anywho, we played a corporate gig way down in Carmel. The Bay Area
people (me, Jamison, House) shlepped down in Jamison's van. The out of towners (Scrote,
Paul, and Kevin - who was subbing for Wes) were already there when we arrived,
having flown into San Jose airport earlier that day. It was a fairly straightforward
gig and we were treated well. We did a dinner set and a dancing set, during the latter
we kicked out the jams for the people who were sticking around well into the evening.
Managed to pack up and drive back to the Bay Area before it got ridiculously late.
I even got back home before Jenya returned from her gig at Davies Symphony Hall (in SF).
Wednesday, April 1st, 2009Back at the Elbo Room in SF, playing an April Fool-sy type event on April Fool's Day
(Wednesday, April 1st). Crazy show, lots of talkers, acts, and music. Attendance could
have been better but a lot of shit was going on tonight all over the bay. Still Brian
Kenney Fresno played a short and amazing set right before us. I was pleased to be
able to borrow amps for my guitar/keys - made things a lot easier. We kicked ass, I think,
and I supremely enjoyed Danny getting all agitated and aggro and anti, dressing down the
Bay Area stoner alternative elite. "Yeah, your yuppies are so much better than ours."
Things were running late so I didn't get off the stage until after midnight. There were
hopes earlier of me sprinting over to Red Devil Lounge to see Jenya play with Long
Thaw but it wasn't in the cards. Instead I packed up and snuck out right after playing.
Got pulled over on the bay bridge under suspicion of drunk driving on the way home. I had
nothing to drink - I was changing CDs and swerving erratically in the process. The cop was
nice and realized quickly he was wasting his time and let me go.
Saturday, May 2nd, 2009Played a school fundraising benefit at Bimbo's in SF on Saturday night. Not exactly
sure what school district could afford/organize such an endeavor, so maybe I'm wrong about that,
but this ended up being a great gig. We did have an early soundcheck and late downbeat, which
meant we had 5 hours to kill in between. So a bunch of us went to go see that "Anvil" movie,
which was incredible (and an odd thing to see before playing a gig). Even better was that Jenya
was able to meet us at the theatre in SF and catch the flick with us. Then back to Bimbo's
where we had a great 90 minute jam-packed set. Full house, full dance floor from beginning to
end. That's always nice and inspiring.
Friday, May 15th, 2009
We're one of the acts at the "Hubba Hubba Review Show" taking place within
the DNA Lounge in SF (11th Street in SOMA). This event apparently has a
Creepshow/Texas Chainsaw Massacre/insane asylum feel to it.
Rumor has it that we hit at 10:15pm. That's 10:15pm sharp!
It was really nice to play the DNA lounge for once in my life, especially
as it's in danger of being shut down by annoying asshole neighbors. Wasn't
really sure what to expect from this gig but the house was packed for us
and they loved it. I mean they were actually screaming after the songs ended. Pretty rad.
I guess when stripping is part of the evening's entertainment the audience is automatically juiced up.
Sunday, May 17th, 2009
A secret warm-up gig that's not so secret: We'll be playing one of the main stages
as joggers are going by during the annual Bay to Breakers race in SF very early
in the morning. In fact, this is one of the earliest gigs I ever played - I think
downbeat is at 8am, and we'll be entertaining the passing runners for a couple hours.
Actually it wasn't a "stage" as much as an area off to the side in Golden Gate park
where we could set up and entertain the masses as they passed. It was fun and we
got to work out the kinks of our material as we went through the set three times
over the course of a few hours (we got away with repeating songs as the runners
weren't really staying very long as they scooted past us). We did get a lot of
interested listeneres, though. One bummer: some older guy passed out from heat
stroke right near us so we had to stop playing for 30 minutes waiting for an
ambulance to carry him away, during which thousands of people were passing by
not hearing us. Insane traffic throughout SF en route home, thanks to
the countless B2B participants, a lot of whom were naked.
Saturday, May 30th, 2009
Save the date! On Saturday, May 30th, MoeTar
will be making its official
club debut on stage at the Starry Plough
, playing more notes than you can
possibly imagine. Then miRthkon
hits the stage, celebrating their brand
new CD (finally!) - and I may sit in with them for a tune or two. Closing the
night is the bigness (10 pieces!) and funkiness of R&D
! Come early early
early as not to miss the majesty of MoeTar
, then behold the greatness
, then stay late and let R&D
shake your booty in 21/8!
Man what a show! I did triple duty (or at least 2.4 duty) as I'm in MoeTar and R&D, but also
sat in on keyboards for four miRthkon songs. It was great to finally have a formal debut
of MoeTar and we kicked ass. Jon Arkin subbed on drums (Dave was at Yoshi's tonight) and he nailed it.
miRthkon did a long set complete with interstitial video to
celebrate their new CD (which also kicks ass). The R&D set was also fun, and ran quite
late into the evening. We demonstrated reworked versions of "Okinawa Copious Curd" and
"Crumbs" for the current 10-piece version of the band.
Friday, June 5th, 2009
with Treasure Mouth:Like last winter John Shiurba led an ensemble improvising live Karaoke
tunes, with lyrics scribbled on an overheard projector on the fly by
Beth Lisick, and sung by Loretta Lynch. Fun stuff. This was part
of the annual SperryFest event - a series of shows held in honor of
the short life of Matthew Sperry, who came up with this form of live Karaoke
in the first place. I also sat in on the OrcheSperry which was a
full-fledged improv ensemble guided by Gino Robair. Much fun. Lots of
Captain Beefheart moments.
Saturday, June 27th, 2009
Yes! Midline Errors
squeezed onto this bill, and its about damn time we
play another show! So don't goddamn miss it! Of course, I'll be also rockin' it with
who'll be headlining. Where? At 21 Grand
We were a bit worried about this gig, what with a zillion other conflicting
gigs/events going on this same evening elsewhere in the Bay Area, but it
ended up being a pretty nice little crowd and everybody played great during
both sets. This was sort of a farewell to Nat who is taking a break from
music, at least for now. So we made sure to give him a good sendoff.
The Midline Errors set was especially fun for me - nice to give those old
songs another chance to be heard in a live setting, plus it was the grand
debut of "Bumble Bat" live, as well as "The Gardener" which we also threw
together at the last minute...
Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
with Solid State:We played a fun little late afternoon/early evening gig outside at the
Towne Center in Alameda. An actual crowd gathered and sat and watched
(and maybe danced) for the whole two sets, which was basically performed
by me, Scrote, Jamison, Steffanos, Wes, and Tarik subbing on bass. We
made Tarik take a bass solo on "Hard to Handle."
Quick and easy and Jenya was there too hanging out the whole time, so it
was like a date almost.
Monday, July 20th, 2009
with myself:Every third Monday of the month Lucio puts together an improv hootenanny at
the Ivy Room in Albany. I actually set myself up with a rare solo improv set,
doing that drums/keys/guitar/voice simulateously bit which I haven't done in
many ages. So that was cool, though I was exhausted from recently returning
from a week in Portland, and then going to a weeklong conference in San Jose
while my roof was getting redone. My mind wasn't entirely focused, to say the
least, but maybe that helped. I opened the evening, merging into a larger
more straight-ahead band of wonderful improv scene mainstays, then wrapping
up with Salane & Friends. I had to sneak out early (how lame of me) as I had
to get back to that conference in the morning.
Sunday, July 26th, 2009
with Interplay:A regular wedding gig - but with a new-ish band arrangement thrown together
just for this event. I'm not even sure that "Interplay" is a real band name.
Maybe I'm just calling it that.
Me on guitar/keyboards, Tarik on bass, Moorea on vocals,
Hud on drums. Hud actually set this up and has worked with Moe and Tarik for
years, so I basically was added on and learned a lot of their regular classic
rock repetoire from the 60's/70's/80's as well as did a couple jazz standard
sets which ended up being less nerve wracking than I thought it would be. More
stressful was that my van completely overheated on the bay bridge en route to
the gig. Stupid coolant leak. I barely made it to the venue, but added some
fluids after the gig and I was fine for the ride home.
Thursday, August 6th, 2009Once again a bunch of us Casino Royale types reformed as Herb for this
rare public show. And just like the recent Solid State show this other
lovely tribute band performed at the Towne Center in Alameda for the late
afternoon crowd. One woman arrived wondering where Mr. Alpert was himself
and left disappointed. That happens a lot. Scrote actually wasn't there,
but Jamison rocked it as the front man/band leader. The regulars were me,
Wes, Jamison, and John E., with Steve, Tarik and Doug filling out the rest
of the band with heroic skill. We did "Spanish Grease" for 12 minutes. I
could do that song all day.
Saturday, August 15th, 2009Last minute sub gig - Two days out Charlie asked me to sit in on keyboards
for this awesome pocket funk/New Orleans groove band down at Beckett's in
Berkeley. It was a tight band and felt great especially since I hadn't even
met the drummer, bassist, or saxist (Austin, Goopy, and Andrew)
until the rehearsal the night before the gig. MoeTar Matt on the guitar
and Charlie on the trombone (of course) rounded out the band. Lots of solos
and stretching out various heads and changes. All kinds of people
dancing all the way until last call. It was a party. Fun.
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009Composer Richard Warp composed a piece for us and chamber orchestra which
was performed along with other similarly interesting new music pieces
by other ensembles at the Dance Mission in SF. We also got to do a proper
miRthkon tune ("Automaton"), and all partook in a chaotic
group improv piece at the end. Everybody was dressed up in "new music black."
Saturday, September 12th, 2009For the third year in a row I played at the Webster Street Jam in Alameda,
right there on the street (well actually on a temporary stage on the street).
This time with MoeTar, though at the last minute Moorea came down with a
bad case of laryngitis and had to bail on the gig. So we did it as an
instrumental set, which wasn't optimal, but ended up being pretty cool/fun.
It was kind of a curse show I guess - outside of Moorea not being there,
there was a freak thunderstorm the night before and spitting rain all day.
Not great for an outdoor street fair, but people were still in attendance,
and diggin' what we had to offer. Oh yeah and Tarik also broke a string during
our public debut of "From These Small Seeds" which is an impossible song to
play to begin with, much less when a string suddenly disappears.
Sunday, September 27th, 2009Played at the Hotel Utah in SF. Matt couldn't make the gig, so Wally subbed
on guitar - a heroic effort learning all those tunes just a couple weeks out!
Opening the evening was Four-Eyed Whale, and they were a pleasant
surprise. I'm such a jaded old fuck that I expect bands I don't know to suck,
so when they don't suck I'm extra pleased. We then played a quick, tight set
and debuted "Infinitesimal Sky" such as the current arrangement is. Really
good crowd as all acts brought some folks down on a Sunday night. The last band
was Shake Well featuring local hypertalents Eric McFadden and
Robin Coomer playing some seriously fun rock (all Pat MacDonald covers,
interestingly enough) with an equally awesome rest of the band.
Couldn't have asked for more - well, I guess it would have been nice for me
to hear myself in the monitors. Gotta work harder on demanding that...
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009It was more or less another convention gig for Casino Royale, this time
with John (i.e. Johnny Vegas) and Karina as main vocalists, and
the current usual rhythm section (me, Jamison, House, Wes, Scrote). The
client was some association of Canadian mechanics. Nice people, and they
seemed to have a good time with it. Unfortunately we were given the wrong
address, so Jamison and I started unloading at the wrong Marriott. Then
we drove to the right Marriott, which was the scene of the crime of another
Casino Royale gig years ago where it took us almost two hours to figure
out how to unload all our gear from the maze of convention halls two
stories below the ground under downtown San Francisco. This is because they
shut off random loading docks after certain hours. Luckily I brought my
cart, so I just said fuck it, got the car, parked it by the main Marriott
entrance, and hauled my gear on the cart from the stage to the car - the
equavalent of two city blocks. Meh.
Thursday, October 1st, 2009Another day, another gig where I play in all three bands. The night started
with a rather fun and enjoyable Midline Errors set. Good crowd, good sound.
It's really nice when you can hear yourself in the monitors, which makes for a
happier performer, and in turn a happier audience. Then I put away the guitar
and keyboard and sat in on electronic drums for Darling Freakhead. He gave me
the music (no lyrics/no song titles) on CD earlier in the week to learn and I
scored it out best I could to read along as I played. Little did I know this
material was the basis for a manifesto regarding crack addiction and addiction
to pornography. Long story short, it was an unexpected spectacle. And then the
evening wrapped up with the awesome Ziggy Love, and I sat in on tenor sax for a
couple tunes. That was my first gig playing sax, and I was horrified leading up
to the event, to tell you the truth, but I managed well enough, I think The
band sounded awesome, and did the whole Stardust album beginning to end What
Sunday, October 11th, 2009After a long morning rehearsing in Marin, drove through foggy traffic
(thanks to Blue Devils) over the GG bridge and crossed SF on surface streets
while low flying planes zoomed around overhead. Weird. Anyway, parked five
blocks away from the Burning Man Compression 2009 event and carted all my
gear to the event. I did this sam gig with The Fuxedos
a couple years ago, and on the very same stage, and with a very similar
response: like we were an annoying distraction and the crowd politely waited
until we were off the stage so they could dance to deafening techno beatz
again. This was sad as we probably played our best ever, and the first time all
five "regular members" were actually all present at a gig since Bay to
Breakers. Meh. A few people did really dig it, actually, but it's official:
Burning Man is not really my scene.
Saturday, October 17th, 2009Once again I played bass in the "house band" for this annual benefit event
put together by Casino Royale cohort Susan Z. This year it took
place at many venues at once all around Fairfax - I was at 19 Broadway.
Last time I played there was in 1994 with Stevie Blacke. As always, there was
lots of all star talent in the band, and incredible singers up front.
I was a bit stressed out before the gig - a tight stage, I bashed my head on
the low-hanging PA speaker brilliantly placed right above the stairs leading
down off the stage, and my bass was being noisy and temperamental.
Nevertheless it all held together, and we played even some impromptu jams/songs
at the end as people were still dancing/hanging out when we were through.
On the way home got pulled over by two separate police cars, both of which
witnessed me run a stop sign that I didn't even see (whoops). But they let me
go with just a warning. Phew!
Friday, October 30th, 2009Another double whammy gig for me, and another prog rock blowout at the Starry
Plough. MoeTar went on first and we killed it pretty good. Did "Small Seeds"
without any train wrecks! Actually pretty much did our entire catalog so far.
Following us was an improv trio containing local friends/heroes Carla Kihlstedt
and Matthias Bossi, and visiting vocalist Saadt Turqusz. Then miRthkon went on -
my first real gig as full-time member of the band. We debuted "Cascades" which
went over nicely, and did the Barber cover. We actually did that first - I had a
few flubs, and one of the saxes was accidentally muted for half the song.
So we did it again at the end of the set, which made us all feel a lot better.
All told it was many notes assembled in a meaningful and well-rehearsed order,
and I think it may very well have been my 75th (!) gig at the Plough. Jeez.
Friday, December 25th, 2009Another Xmas, it's another Satanic Xmas Party at the Elbo Room in SF,
thrown together by none other than Karla LaVey, and featuring The Fuxedos.
Jamison couldn't make the gig, but Joe Cohen did an awesome job filling
in - especially given all the new epic prog tunes we SF regulars didn't even know
yet ourselves. Other bands included some other Satanic staples, including
Los Murderachis (with Willy and Marco - they even had an old Flywheel
tune in their set I haven't heard since I last played it in... 2006?!).
Things were running late, we had to cut a song. Meh.
Thursday, December 31st, 2009The same exact gig as last year - same place, same band, more or less the
same songs, and I did the solo piano entrance music thing. It was a public
party at the Napa Valley Wine Train station. Susan was actually on the gig,
but got super sick at the last minute - luckily Karla was coming up with
Jamison anyway, so she heroically took over the lead parts last minute.