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Do You Underfuckingstand?

Posted by: on Mar 20, 2009 | Comments (1)

Courtney Love writes in her blog on MySpace. Courtney Love does not have an editor. Courtney Love asks her computer a lot of questions. Courtney Love exists on Mars.

Courtney Love is very amusing to me right now.

From her MySpace blog, March 18:

there are 27 TWENTY SEVEN Cobains inthe USA< there are no other people named Kurt and there is certainly not a name “KOBANE” AS IN DAWN CICCONE KOBANE. KAY?


NOW there are NO cobains in Ohio or New Jersey,

ALL of the people show including the 103 year olds ( when theres 50 that means there are tons more we were just looking at Cobains over 100 years of age, there are none so these peopel ALL HAVE PROPERTY< they all own PROPERTY, there are 1000s and 1000s of these using my and my daughters surname ( they have to to purchase the fraudelent property they have to show a forged POWER OF ATTORNEY to some batty old lady in the the county title office are you WITH ME?)

i am fucking SHOCKED to see the STUPIDIDTY of some of your comments. really “kurt will always be no 1″ what the Fuck? are you fucking BRAINDEAD?

Kurt is DEAD. yet he owns under his ssn over 2000 properties, under a few other names even more, do you get it?

they stole HIS money were forced to use HIS surname and bought REAL property

do you UNDERSTAND?

DO YOU UNDERFUCKINGSTAND?

to show you much else would make you start singing i dont know,….Metallica? am i speaking to BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD?

HAVE YOU EVER READ A BOOK?

ONE?

DO YOU REALISE WE ARE IN A DEPRESSION?

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT ROCK AND ROLL IS AN INDUSTRY WHERE ALOT OF MONEY GETS STOLEN? ( EG HENDRIX FAMILY 280,000,000$)? DO YOU?

ARE YOU YET UNDERSTANDING THAT THE FAMILY, THE MOTHER, SISTERS, HALF BROTHER AND DAUGHTER OF KURT COBAIN HAVE HAD EVERY PENNY STOLEN AND PUT INTO CRAPPY ASSED PLANNED UNIT SUBDIVISIONS, LOOK AT “CARMEN”

DO YOU THINK THAT THERE IS A CARMEN? IN THE WORLD? COBAIN? THERE IS NOT.

AS STATED THERE ARE NO COBAINS OF ANY VARIANT IN OHIO OR NEW JERSEY,

ARE YOU FUCKING BRAINDEAD?

MORTGAGE FRAUD IS A 4 TRILLION DOLLAR A YEAR INDUSTRY,

DO YOU THINK THAT 103 YEAR OLD COBAINS WHO HAVE LIVED AT ONE ADDRESS FOR 103 YEARS EXIST?

do you?

do YOU?

4 TRILLION A YEAR INMORTGAGE FRAUD.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

Look Who’s Coming

Posted by: on Mar 17, 2009 | Comments (2)

Spring is anon, meaning festival announcements and venue bookings are being shot down the pipe faster than the flowers can bloom. In a quick overview, there’s Classics of Love (with Operation Ivy’s Jesse Michaels) at the Last Record Store (Mar. 28); bass-heavy knob twiddlers Crystal Method at the Phoenix Theater (Apr. 15); walking freak-folk embodiment Devendra Banhart at the Mystic Theatre (Apr. 17); fado sensation Mariza at the Napa Valley Opera House (Apr. 30); electronic visionary Bassnectar at the Hopmonk Tavern (May 4); soprano legend Kathleen Battle at the Marin Center (May 9); and Lucinda’s right-hand man Gurf Morlix at Studio E (May 16).

What’s that, you say? You like to watch TV more than you like to listen to music? Fear not! The Wells Fargo Center has the interminably funny Joel McHale, he of dryly absurd wisecracking on The Soup (Apr. 11); and hang on to your thong straps—the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma has glam-metal washup-turned-reality show “star” Bret Michaels (June 27) to attract a slutsational crowd good for copious dead-drunk bikini-clad hoochie watching beneath the ferris wheel. Look what the cat dragged in, indeed!

Sounding a different note entirely, Napa’s beautiful Festival del Sole steps forward this year with young violin sensation Sarah Chang (Jul. 18-19) and the return booking of Renée Fleming (pictured above, Jul. 23), who in the festival’s first year was forced to cancel her performance of Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs due to illness. Iran’s most famous composer, Anoushirvan Rohani, will appear for a dinner and concert (Jul. 20), and the dashing Robert Redford—be still our throbbing hearts!—benefits his Sundance Preserve by narrating a piece to be announced (Carnival of the Animals? Peter and the Wolf? An interpretive tone poem of The Horse Whisperer?) at Castello di Amarosa (Jul. 21). Full lineup here.

In economic-crisis news, the Russian River Jazz Festival and the Russian River Blues Festival this year will be combined into one solitary September weekend as the Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival preserves a 30+ year tradition of great music on Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville. “This allows us to keep the Russian River festival tradition alive,” says Omega Events president Rich Sherman, “while enabling music fans to still enjoy their love of jazz and blues outdoors in this picturesque setting.” Saturday’s jazz lineup and Sunday’s blues lineup (Sept. 12-13) will be announced in April. Check here for updates.

After the Masada show at Yoshi’s, I overheard a guy talking to bassist extraordinaire Greg Cohen, who along with accompanying Ornette Coleman as of late was part of the great New York band on Rain Dogs, Frank’s Wild Years and Swordfishtrombones. “Hey, guess who I played with the other week?” the guy asked. “Waits. Went up to his place and rehearsed.”

“Oh?” asked Cohen. “New material?”

It seems so. In addition to finally releasing Orphans on vinyl soon, Tom Waits’ publicist confirms that he is writing, rehearsing, mangling, fixing and re-mangling new material for an album to be released in the sometime-maybe-this-year-who-knows future. Recording is anticipated sometime this summer. Waits, of course, was last seen snapping photos of the brimming crowd that gathered en masse at his daughter Kellesimone’s art show in Santa Rosa.

Despite a mission statement promising to “present and preserve jazz,” it’s probably time to just roll over and accept that the Sonoma Jazz+ Festival’s gonna book whoever they’re gonna book. We could say, you know, Lyle Lovett has some sax players in his band. Joe Cocker, you know, he might play some solos. And hey, they added that tiny little “+” to their name to represent past headliners like Steve Winwood, Boz Scaggs, Steve Miller, LeAnn Rimes, Michael McDonald, Bonnie Raitt and Kool & the Gang. Who are we to be snobs?

But look, since no other media outlet in the area seems brave enough to protect this American art form—and since local jazz programmers don’t want to be quoted saying “You mean that bullshit thing they call a jazz festival?” (actual quote)—it’s up to us. There are plainly no jazz artists headlining Sonoma Jazz+ 2009 this year. Around here, we’d even be cool if, like, Rick Braun was playing. But Chris Isaak?

Sonoma Jazz+ does many great things, not the least of which is providing support to music programs in area schools. They also have a second stage, and ‘Wine and Song in the Plaza’ with small combos. But in light of the PR assertion that they’ve already booked any jazz headliner who could fill a 3,800-seat tent, our suggestion is to honor jazz and please just call the festival what it actually is: the Sonoma Music and Wine Festival. Joe Cocker, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Ziggy Marley, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Shelby Lynne and Keb’ Mo’ come to Sonoma May 21-24. Tickets are on sale here.

Simultaneous with the creative definitions emanating from Sonoma is the encouraging news from the Healdsburg Jazz Festival announcing its initial lineup, and it looks great. John Handy, Randy Weston, Airto Moreira, Esperanza Spaulding, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Denny Zeitlin and Julian Lage head up a list-in-progress of bona fide jazz headliners appearing May 29-June 7 this year. For updates, check here.

Hey man, the Harmony Festival is full of good vibes this year! Michael Franti, India Arie, Matisyahu, Cake, Steve Kimock, ALO, Balkan Beat Box, and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars head up the festival June 12-14 at the Fairgrounds. Barring any John Mclaughlin-esque guitar freakouts by Kimock, the weekend should be bereft of maniacal discord. Be harmonious.

The Santa Rosa Symphony announced its rough sketch for the 2009-2010 season today, including a finale performance by Ute Lemper singing Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins! Also on the slate: returning conductor emeritus Jeffrey Kahane playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (the one from Shine), performances of Beethoven’s 4th, 5th and 9th symphonies, Mozart’s Requiem, a program celebrating Chopin’s 200th birthday, the Red Violin concerto, and more. I always love the symphony’s Magnum Opus commissions, and Bahzad Ranjbaran’s new work will receive its world premiere next season as well.

On a semi-related note, I listened to Elliott Carter last night—an LP I found years ago, bought for the cover art and loved for the music. It’s his Sonata for Cello and Piano, and I still love it. Unbelievable that he’s 100 years old and still completely lucid about his work. I love the excerpt from this interview, which succinctly captures not only his sense of humor but the reason why I give such a damn about music:

Q: Could you imagine a day when people, concertgoers, would hear your music and walk out humming your music?

A: Well… it’d be hard on their throats!

Q: What would you want the listener to walk away with after hearing your music?

A: Happiness. And pleasure. One of the fundamental things always that music should do is not only give pleasure, but widen one’s horizons, and give new kinds of fantasies, and new kinds of pleasure, and new kinds of surprises, and new kinds of connections between things.

Billy Corgan, the Performance Rights Act, and Radio Stations

Posted by: on Mar 11, 2009 | Comments (1)

Billy Corgan made a less-than compelling case yesterday before Congress in support of the Performance Rights Act, which would force radio stations to pay royalties not only to the songwriters of the songs they play but to the performers on those songs as well. It’s a nice thought and all, especially considering stories such as Standing in the Shadows of Motown, but not a very nice thought when considering Billy Corgan, who is a multimillionaire.

Though I myself am a music performer who has been played on the radio, I’m against the Performance Rights Act and I’ll tell you why. It should have been enacted 60 years ago, when the “hit single” came into being and when radio had the prominence to absorb such payments. Corgan states the laws on radio compensation haven’t changed for 80 years. That’s the very reason radio can’t bear the undue burden.

The business model of radio stations has evolved around the long-held and reasonable idea that it’s the record labels’ responsibility to compensate their performers. Radio advertises the record, the public buys it, and the artist gets whatever deal the artist signed with the label for.

If the artist signs a shitty deal (all major label deals are shitty deals), or if the label is stiffing the artist, or—this one’s good—if the digital age comes along and destroys music sales, why go after analog radio? Simple: because people like Corgan can. Because it’s there. He can’t demand money from “sdream75,” an anonymous user who can’t stop uploading torrents of Siamese Dream, but he can go after radio stations, who are one of the few institutions left in the music business doing the relatively right and honorable thing.

The Performance Rights Act would misdirect understandable frustration with the self-cannibalization of the music industry at large toward a valuable—and similarly struggling—friend of the performer. It would absolutely kill small local stations like the KRSH. What we’d be left with is ClearChannel stations with corporate-issued playlists, prerecorded shows streaming from a computer, and DJs who may as well be programmed robots.

Incidentally, Corgan also spoke out a few weeks ago in support of the Ticketmaster / Live Nation merger (he’s managed by Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff), which officially makes him a mouthpiece of the devil.

We Ride At Night

Posted by: on Mar 8, 2009 | Comments (1)

My man Jay Howell had to bow out last night, which meant that yours truly played records for four hours straight at Jason Vivona and Brian Henderson’s art show at Daredevils & Queens. I say “played records” instead of “DJed” because unless you’re matching beats and blending mixes, I don’t really consider it DJing. “DJing” also insinuates the presence of dancing, and luckily, that was not on the tab.

The events at which I’ve been behind the decks before—weddings, parties, and once, Rock ‘n Roll Sunday School—have always carried the pressure to supply rhythm of appropriate popularity and/or contagion for body movement by the masses. That’s nice if you’re trying to make more friends but a nightmare for me, and I was glad to evade that pressure by asking Vivona beforehand if I could play Born Against. He’s got a D. Boon tattoo on his hand. He said yes.

Correspondingly, Vivona and Henderson’s art doesn’t exactly cry out Rapture mashups and Lady Gaga. Vivona paints psychedelic characters with ooze for heads and Playmobil toys for penises, usually staring into nothingness with 28 eyeballs. Henderson photographs the undead; his bodies splayed out in abandoned warehouses, contorted, naked and covered in blood. Thus: Flipper, Archeopteryx, City of God, Lightning Bolt, Dewey Redman, Battles and of course, the Minutemen. There’s only one thing I love more than playing records for four hours straight, so thanks, guys, for having me.

I should let you know that on May 23, I’ll be joining my friend Larry Slater for his Jazz Connections radio show on KRCB. We too will play records for four hours straight, except that all of those records will be by Charles Mingus. Since I have more records by Charles Mingus than by any other jazz artist (unless, like me, you count Frank Sinatra as a jazz artist), this is a natural fit; Dr. Slater and I will cue up, play, and discuss the great man’s music, about which there are an infinite number of insights to make. (I’m still working on my volatile axe-throwing accusatorial temper-tantrum Mingus impersonation for a special segment called “What It Was Really Like To Play In Mingus’ Band.”) That’s on KRCB, 90.9 FM, on Saturday, May 23,from 8pm-midnight.

How about Devendra Banhart coming to the Mystic? How about Bassnectar coming to the Hopmonk? How about K’Naan being marketed through MySpace and MTV instead of NPR? Oh, wait. Sorry. The NPR interview’s here.

The Boogie Room to Close Down

Posted by: on Feb 25, 2009 | Comments (5)

And so it’s happened. The residents at the Boogie Room, home of some of the most exciting subcultural activity of the past two years in Santa Rosa, have received a 60-day notice to vacate. They’ll pack up and call it a day in mid-April.

Speculation that the property might go on the market had been brimming for a while, and to be fair, most everyone so far seems surprised that the Boogie Room lasted as long as it did. “I’m one of them,” Bryce Dow-Williamson, a heavily-involved volunteer, told me today. “I thought it was gonna be, like, two months.”

“But I’m grateful for what we were able to do,” he added, proposing that perhaps now that the Boogie Room has set the example, “people have seen how it can work. Maybe someone’ll come along and do it right.”

There’s a handful of house concerts left on the calendar, and then the Boogie Room’s two-year run culminates on April 10 in a farewell show with the Crux, Pete Bernhart from the Devil Makes Three and more. It’s also Bryce’s birthday the next day, so a slumber party is rumored, along with a “memorabilia sale.”

I suppose it goes without saying, but Santa Rosa isn’t going to be the same.

Will Oldham in Santa Rosa March 29; Tickets Go On Sale This Wednesday!

Posted by: on Jan 19, 2009 | Comments (2)

Will Oldham has a penchant for playing out-of-the-way places around these parts. In 2002, he played at Pegasus Hall in Monte Rio; in 2003, he dropped in at the Old Western Saloon in Point Reyes Station.

As previously reported, everyone’s lovable scruffy indie-folk hero Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, is adding Santa Rosa as one of his out-of-the-way-stops on his upcoming tour. I’ve been given the green light to spill the details about the show, and most importantly, about how to get tickets.

Will Oldham will play on Sunday, March 29 at the Orchard Spotlight, the best little church-turned-house in Santa Rosa. The venue is very beautiful and very small, holding just over 100 people. Tickets, at $28.50 each, go on sale this Wednesday, Jan. 21, at noon. 100 tickets will be available at www.folkyeah.com, while a scant 25 tickets will be available in-person at the Last Record Store in Santa Rosa.

You can either take your chances with the rest of the Internet-connected world online, or if I were you, I’d start lining up outside the Last Record Store on Mendocino Avenue at 9am. There’s a two-ticket limit; cash only. Needless to say, it’ll basically sell out immediately.

Songsmith: F’Real? No, really. F’Real?

Posted by: on Jan 14, 2009 | Comments (4)

I’ll never buy a PC, but if there’s one thing that bugs me about Macs is how supremely pompous the company is about their alleged ability to replicate human creativity. I used to think that the “Genius” feature on iTunes was the most egregious example of this, but now Microsoft has taken back the prize. Behold: Songsmith. Its commercial wins in some other category, too, though I’m not sure which. Horrible? Comically absurd? Scariest thing to watch while on LSD?

The key problem with this dumb-in-the-first-place idea is that one still needs to come up with an engaging melody, which, as Jimmy Van Heusen or Johnny Mercer could tell you, is the entire game. And even then, it’d be interesting to sing “Caravan” into Songsmith and see what sort of bullshitty crap comes out—probably, if the above commercial is any indicator, it’d be no different than pushing the “Demo” button on a Casio in 1986.

All of this reminds me of those just-add-water foam dinosaurs, where you add something pure and natural to something synthetic and get something overblown and gaudy.

Update, thanks to Eric: This is the fucking most awesome cohesion of blog memes in the universe. David Lee Roth’s acapella track run through the Songsmith. Listen and weep.

Oh Shit: This One’s Even Better.

Yoshi’s In Trouble

Posted by: on Jan 10, 2009 | Comments (0)

Yoshi’s gets a $1.5 million loan from the City of San Francisco. On top of a $1.3 million loan. On top of a $4.4 million loan. And Wayne Shorter didn’t sell out the place? Things are not looking good. From Jesse Hamlin’s piece in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Kajimura expects to pay off creditors – including some who have filed lawsuits against the club – as soon as the city cuts him a check.

The San Francisco venue has lost “several hundred thousand dollars,” and to reverse that, the booking in San Francisco, Hamlin reports, will diversify into world music and Americana. Oakland’s Yoshi’s will stay predominantly jazz.

I’m sad for Yoshi’s, but at the same time, I must admit there have been great jazz artists playing there who I haven’t felt compelled to see. The high ceilings have a little bit to do with that. There’s just no replicating the coziness of Yoshi’s in Oakland; it is and remains the perfect place to see jazz, and opening up the booking to artists like Toumani Diabaté and Tracy Nelson over in San Francisco will ensure that Oakland retains more artists like Wayne Shorter and Roy Haynes.

Inevitable: Open the floodgates for other local businesses to ask for their bailout, too.

Animal Collective’s ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ LP Disappears Immediately

Posted by: on Jan 10, 2009 | Comments (3)

I wrote a few weeks ago about Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, a record that a surprising number of critics have no reservations about already hailing as the album of the year. I didn’t like the album at first. Then I reconsidered the unique achievement Animal Collective had made by constructing pop songs out of unconventional ingredients, and wrote my review.

Another reason I may have been inclined toward speaking favorably of the album is that the band released it on vinyl two weeks before the CD, which is always a way to win my heart. Not that anyone could find the damn thing. Websites sold out of it immediately. Stores couldn’t even order copies. It swiftly went out of print. Fools were bummed.

Here’s the amazing thing. As reported by MTV, of all places, Merriweather Post Pavilion has a chance at actually hitting the Billboard charts next week for selling out the initial run of 4,500 copies. That’d be vinyl on the Billboard 200. Could you believe it?

This falls in line with reports of vinyl sales being up 89-percent from last year, and of record pressing plants being swamped with orders nationwide. It’s getting crazy in lacquerland.

Anyway, if you missed out on the 180-gram gatefold 2LP version of Merriweather Post Pavilion, don’t stress. It looks like they’re already rush-releasing a vinyl repress to be out “in the next three to five weeks.”

As for me, I’ve been swinging back toward my gut instinct. It turns out that those hooks all over the record are in fact obnoxious to me, after all. What can I say? I like Feels. Renaissance Faire singing about quaint domesticity, not so much.

Will Oldham in New Yorker, Will Oldham in Santa Rosa

Posted by: on Jan 7, 2009 | Comments (1)

There was a fascinating 10-page New Yorker profile on Will Oldham in last week’s issue, spotlighting in particular his penchant for playing small, weird, semi-secret out-of-the-way shows.

In related news, if I were you, I’d subscribe to Will Oldham’s mailing list. Like, right now. There’s a noticeable gap in his upcoming tour itinerary, and though I’m sworn to secrecy about the details at the moment, I can tell you that when tickets go on sale for his show in Santa Rosa, they won’t be available through normal sources, and they certainly won’t last long. The mailing list is your best bet.