Trent Reznor, the brains behind Nine Inch Nails and many, many other musical projects is in yet another group. This one’s called How To Destroy Angels, and it includes Reznor’s wife Mariqueen Maandig, art director Rob Sheridan and the composer Atticus Ross. The video for their first single, “How Long,” is, to say the least, really scary. Not scary in a The Hills Have Eyes way, more like a that-could-be-the-future-in-my-lifetime way.
Before Slightly Stoopid took the stage Sunday night at the Mystic Theater, vocalists Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty were killing time back stage talking about living in Ocean Beach. OB, as locals call it, is still connected to San Diego but far enough away that kids can still skate around town and all your neighbors are at the punk rock shows. It is the last night of the band’s three week tour and the vibe is laid back. People are filtering in and out of back stage, the Jäger is flowing and sax scales are filling up the background.
Trinidad reggae star Marlon Asher is on stage and inside the green room there are stacks of Lagunitas “Hop Stoopid” beer cases. Slightly Stoopid is sponsored by the Petaluma brewery and they are sent truck loads of it for the band’s tours. I hear one or two people say it’s pretty strong for before the show. But as the night wears down and everyone’s sitting around the bong, a nice Double IPA aids the come-down.
Slightly Stoopid was formed almost twenty years ago by McDonald and Doughty. They were two high school kids when Brad Nowell signed them to Skunk Records after opening for a Sublime show in Long Beach. Most of the current members have been with the band half that time and in the last decade they’ve toured the whole world. Now with Karl Denson of the Grey Boy All-Stars, the band is sky-rocketing to new heights, playing venues and festivals that make the Mystic Theater seem like a secret show. (more…)
So Yo-Yo Ma’s deep into the third movement of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, right? And he’s plucking and pulling at the strings like a madman, and bouncing his bow all over the strings, and then he starts strumming the cello while grunting and heaving loudly and banging his head. And then, in the midst of all this chaos, Yo-Yo Ma twists his instrument sideways, stands up halfway out of his chair, throws his head backwards and at the same time glides the bow ever so softly to produce one entirely delicate, gossamer note that hangs in the air like silk.
You think you know Yo-Yo Ma; he’s the face of virtually every other PBS telethon, he’s a constant at awards shows and inaugurations, he’s the punchline for cheap standup comics because of his name. But as proven by a jaw-dropping performance at the Green Music Center on Saturday night, you don’t know Yo-Yo Ma until you see the man live, doing unearthly things with a cello and wresting a lifetime of emotion from his sheet music—which, incidentally, he ignores most of the time. (more…)
Facebook has been abuzz in the last few days with this moronic “Influential Albums” quiz, which users must hand over their personal information in order to take, and then watch as the app automatically posts the results on their wall. Strike one. Also, the 100 albums deemed “influential” are nearly all rock. Strike two. Finally, the mere existence of a list purporting to encompass the 100 most “influential” albums with the implication that if you don’t own these albums you are a substandard music listener is total bullshit and everyone knows it and I feel stupid even getting worked up about it because that’s what these trolling lists are designed to do in the first place but fuck it. Strike three. You know what your most influential albums are? ALL THE ALBUMS YOU OWN, HOLMES. (That’s coming from someone who owns a lot of these albums.)
So anyway, if you want to know what some guy with a computer decided are the most “influential” albums, here’s the list: (more…)
Enter to win Slightly Stoopid’s newest album, “Top Of the World” along with other great fan prizes!
To enter all you gotta do is log in to your Twitter account, follow @NBayBohemian and upload your best Instagram photo from tonight’s concert at the Mystic Theater. Use the “Mystic Theater” location and include the following tags: #SlightlyStoopid with #NBayBohemian
Our favorite photos will be chosen Monday evening and posted on North Bay Bohemian social media sites. All winners will be notified by email to their Twitter accounts. Good luck!
By now, perhaps you’ve heard about, read about or even seen the construction of the new SFJAZZ Center on the corner of Franklin and Fell Streets in San Francisco. Now complete, the 35,000-sq.-ft. building is poised to redefine live jazz in the Bay Area, as it’s funded largely by private donations and handily dispenses with the tables-and-waitresses, two-drink minimum nightclub model.
After the SFJAZZ Center was announced, entirely valid concerns rose about the “museumification” of jazz. Jazz has always thrived in nightclubs—or, for that matter, seedy bars. Charles Mingus’ famous remarks about nightclub chatter notwithstanding, a certain amount of cultural globetrotting is present when the blues is played on the stage of a $64 million performing arts center.
I’m happy to report that the SFJAZZ Center strikes just the right balance between nightclub and theater. Cup holders allow the audience to bring drinks in from the bar, but nobody drops a credit card tray in front of you while the headliner is in the middle of a particularly engrossing solo. The sound, notably, is stunning, thanks to architect Mark Cavagnero and acoustician Sam Berkow. And as a mini-amphitheater set in the semi-round, with a steeply raked floor, the hall is very intimate—capacity is 700, but feels much smaller than that. There are no seats further than 50 feet from the stage. (more…)
Death Waltz is a record label from the UK that specializes in re-releasing classic cult soundtracks on vinyl. Their impressive catalog includes House of the Devil, Escape From New York, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Halloween II and III, Donnie Darko, Prince of Darkness, The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue and more. For these, the company solicits great artists to conceive and design new cover artwork, all of which is outstanding—see above.
There’s just one problem. The label takes this beautiful art, shrinks it, and surrounds it in a style sheet of a blue circle with the Death Waltz logo prominent in the corner. (more…)
At the start of her packed show Thursday night in San Francisco, Jessie Ware’s token platitudes for the city of San Francisco started out as just that—expected banter from a touring musician, repeated hundreds of times over. By the end of the show, though, after constant affection showered upon the breakout UK star from an adoring crowd, her city-crush on San Francisco rose to fever pitch. Then, when someone handed her a bouquet of roses, Ware completely lost it.
“Oh my Gooooooodddddd!!” she wailed, in thick British accent. “This really is our favorite city!”
Ware’s full-length album Devotion still hasn’t been officially been released in the United States, whatever that means in the year 2013; everyone at the Rickshaw Stop seemed to know nearly every song. Opening with the title track, Ware and her rock-solid band emitted a slow pulse, built it to a climax and, as Ware sang loudly away from the mic, pushed the song into transcendence. It was a formula that would be repeated throughout the night, but never felt, well, formulaic. (more…)
It’s gonna be a Charlie Haden kind of weekend opening the Healdsburg Jazz Festival this year, with big names like Ravi Coltrane, Lee Konitz, Jason Moran, Charles Lloyd, Fred Hersch, Bill Frisell and many, many more performing at the best little jazz festival in the world running May 31–June 9.
Haden, who made his name with Ornette Coleman‘s famed quartet, will be the subject of a two-day tribute on June 1-2 featuring his Liberation Music Orchestra with Carla Bley and his Quartet West with Ravi Coltrane. Who else is playing the opening weekend? Try atmospheric guitar phenom Bill Frisell, invigorating pianist Geri Allen, saxophone legend Lee Konitz, Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubacalba and more.
The second weekend sees Healdsburg favorite Charles Lloyd teaming up with personal fave Jason Moran in a duo setting, the Fred Hersch Trio, the Marcus Selby Orchestra with the HJF Freedom Jazz Choir and others.
Many of the headliners this year have played in Healdsburg before and are returning to the festival, but one name’s new: Lee Konitz, who made his name with Lennie Tristano and pioneered much of the “cool” jazz sound that would go on to revolutionize the music. He conducted a student workshop at SSU in 2010, and though it was a little bit unusual, his tone and conception were as good as ever.
For more info. and ticket information as it comes along, see the festival website.