Thursday, October 1, 2009

Live Bait

Still smarting over Global Roots having once again been staged nearly 2000 miles from my door. I'm starting to think it's me, and so have duly switched from Teen Spirit to Axe.

The only thing for it is to salve my wounds at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this weekend at Golden Gate Park in San Fancisco. The event starts right off with a schedule challenge: where should one be at the outset when on three different stages are Eliza Gilkyson, Marhsall Crenshaw, and Buddy Miller?


Remarkable October Cedar schedule. I count six shows I'd like to see (and several others that arouse curiosity). However, as my teleportation super-power is only good once every thirty days, I'd probably opt for Saturday the 10th with Over the Rhine and Vienna Teng. Sure, Vienna is local (to me) but she's always worth seeing. As for Over the Rhine...they never seem to make it out here to the hinterlands. I sure wouldn't mind being in the same room with Karin Bergquist's voice one time in my life.


Facebook does have its charms. A recent exercise had respondents list 20 live concerts they attended. Here was my response:

Rockpile -- Multiple times. My favorite live band ever. Best setting: UC Davis Coffee House with 200 or so others.

The Mavericks -- 2nd favorite live band ever. Again, multiple shows. One highlight: seeing Raul sing 'Fly Me To the Moon' a capella on the night Sinatra died.

NRBQ -- 3rd favorite live band ever. Multiple shows. Haven't seen them since Big Al left.

The Motels -- I liked them before they had their hits. I was rather fond of Martha.

Richard Thompson -- Perhaps the best guitarist I have ever seen live. A highlight: at the Palms Playhouse in Davis when it was still the converted barn that seated 200. Christine Collister sang 'Warm Love Gone Cold.'

Junior Brown -- What a playbook. A highlight: when he opened for The Mavericks, and then hearing Raul do his Junior Brown imitation.

The Stray Cats -- They were pretty exciting for a little while. Saw them in 1980 at a little club in SF; sweatiest show ever.

Joe Ely -- Multiple times. First time was soon after his tour with the Clash. Classic band with Jesse Taylor on guitar and Lloyd Maines on pedal steel. Killer 'Boxcars.'

Joe Louis Walker -- Recently at the Palms Playhouse. This guy is one of only a handful of really good blues performers on the circuit.

Big Country -- This one just popped into my head. In the middle of the 'Big Country' hoopla.

Charlie Sexton -- When he was 16. He was good, but it was too soon.

Greg Kihn -- Multiple times in the late 70s before he had his hit(s). Tight band; Larry Lynch was a damn fine drummer.

The Who -- Winterland. Yeah, they were good.

Tommy Bolin -- Twice at Winterland, neither time as the headliner but the reason for the trip. Once on an eccentric bill: Graham Parker opening, Heart second, Bolin third, and headlining: Elvin Bishop.

The Moody Blues -- Oakland Coliseum; biggest crowd I've ever been in for a music show; also my first concert. I don't remember a thing about it.

Moon Martin -- Rancho Nicasio. Smallest crowd ever (8 people). He was game, though.

Tarbox Ramblers -- The Palms in Winters. Another small crowd, perhaps 30. They were dandy.

Tindersticks -- Built a trip to Paris around this show at Le Grand Rex in 2001. Terrific show; couldn't see across the theater lobbby because the French love their smokes.

Radiohead -- Barcelona 2000, a few months before Kid A. Capitol Records junket; whatever happened to those days? Great show, although I was bummed that they couldn't get 'Planet Telex' off the ground.

The Roches -- Minneapolis 1995. Distribution company confab. The sisters weren't happy about all the noise from the talking crowd, but I was happy because of the company I was keeping.

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