Monday, June 30, 2014

Oliver & Chris

Having first seen The Wood Brothers in 2006 at the now-absent 10,000 Lakes Festival in northern Minnesota, I was completely enamored by their poetic harmonies and gifted playing. That the Lagunitas Brewing Company has lured them to Sonoma County is exciting to say the least. They've picked up a member, only adding to the stripped down magic they create. Jano Rix joined the ranks making this tandem of brothers a trio. To date they've released 7 albums, two of which are live and another is full of covers. If you scored free tickets to tonight's show at Lagunitas, you're one of the lucky few. It should be a great night of forward-thinking roots music—the type that's rarely made anymore. From the front porch to the fine ales, Oliver and Chris are well equipped to play The Muse, fully Loaded with Ways Not To Lose. Enjoy.

The Wood Brothers | Cover of P.Y.T. | Played for the A.V. Club

For more amazing covers click here. eightychoices.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Who's the Baddest?

KD7 - "Global Game" - 08.02.14
Kevin Durant was this season's NBA MVP. He's led the Association in scoring four times, won an Olympic gold medal, and was Rookie of the Year. Today marked the launch of his latest signature sneaker, the KD7. Initially there will be five colorways released. The first to drop will be the USA-inspired color scheme—you can score them tomorrow. The other names thus far are 35K Degrees (July 12), Global Games (pictured above), Calm Before the Storm (August 16), and Easy Money (September 6). If the KD6 is any indication, there will be a plethora of other design options released throughout the calendar year. Nike has always been at the forefront of developing high-end athletic apparel technologies. They also know how to run an ad campaign. Accompanying the kicks is a bad-ass new commercial featuring cameos from George Gervin, Chris Mullin, Charles Oakley, and comedian/activist Dick Gregory. I especially dig the commercial's reference that bad is good. The NBA may have just wrapped up, but basketball never stops. I'm bound to lace up a pair of these sneaks. Thanks for keeping it fresh, KD and Nike.

The Baddest | Kevin Durant | Nike KD7


Friday, June 13, 2014

Green Music Center

Joan & Sanford I. Weill Hall at SSU
Weill Hall and Lawn, on the Sonoma State Campus, is lauded as a world class performing arts complex. If left untransformed, the Hall has an indoor capacity of 1,400. Having opened in September of 2012, this state-of-the-art facility is mentioned among the top acoustical destinations on earth. The spectacular design and engineering was handled by three separate minds. Architect William Rawn, theatre consultant A. Pollock Friedlander, and acoustic specialist Lawrence Kirkegaard each braided their own mastery into a vibrant venue that elicits intimacy and sound. Modeled after the Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the back wall can be pulled back to reveal itself to a wonderful terraced lawn.

Interior View of Weill Hall at the Green Music Center
Each chair inside was crafted by the 200-year-old Fancher Chair Company and made of European steamed beech wood. They're more than beautiful; their acoustic neutrality means that sound is the same whether the seat is empty or occupied. Yeah. Also working for Weill Hall are the motorized fabric banners that can be adjusted and fine-tuned for the specific genre of music that will be played. Big money aside, this is a wonderful place meant to give all music the sound it deserves. There is a diverse calendar of events that take place at the Green Music Center.

Throughout the year, the collection of talent that performs there has something for everyone. Coming up in the near future is the 4th of July fireworks spectacular featuring the Santa Rosa Symphony, with guest vocalist. Patriotic standards will escort the pyrotechnics. Expect to hear classics.

4th of July at Weill Hall
Some of the great events transpiring at the Weill this year, that I'm interested in, are performances by The National Youth Orchestra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello and The Imposters, Ben Harper, Diana Ross, and many more. For the complete schedule, click here. One more reason this county is its own slice of paradise. Enjoy.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Banksy was here...

Banksy | No Trespassing | SF
Back in the spring of 2010, stencils from the stealth street artist Banksy were springing to life in San Francisco. Some looked at this happening as another form of glorified vandalism, others viewed them with acceptance. To have so many of his pieces scattered throughout the City may have made other urban art meccas jealous. It takes an open mind to appreciate progressive points of view. One could reflect, and thus suggest, that the Sistine Chapel, with all of its architectural and artistic grandeur, stimulated modern culture toward graffiti, street art, or free art. Pristine ideals and class structure may have allowed for the frescoes of Michelangelo to become a reality, yet any person could look up while attending mass and be awestruck by the immense genius of a renaissance master. Anyone could be inspired by his art, his interpretation, his social dialogue. Akin to the power of the earliest drawings from mankind. I'm not trying to wage a war comparing fine art to graffiti or hieroglyphics, rather, I'm trying to suggest that art, no matter its form, is more potent when it can be seen by everyone. The more people who view it, the more who will care enough to look beyond, perhaps acknowledging all of its potential. You don't have to like it, but you should try to digest it. Art of all types hang from the walls of museums, galleries and private homes — viewed with applause or criticism. But art that is open to the masses will help to create the next artist or movement. Here's to going out and absorbing the graffiti/art of Banksy in San Francisco. Originally there were six stencils in SF leading up to his documentary, Exit through the Gift Shop. If interested in touring the streets to peep some art, start here.

Banksy | 853 Valencia | "This'll Look Nice When its Framed"

Banksy | 720 Grant St. (Chinatown) | "Peace & Love Doctor"