Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two 4 One

Prince dropped a double dose on us today. Thanks be to funk. Genius is a word that only applies to a select few of the 7 billion people on earth, Prince is one of them. Art Official Age and PlectrumElectrum were released today. The former is a solo album and the latter is with band-mates 3rdEyeGirl. I suggest copping both of these records, so hit up your local record store or do the digital thing. There are flashes of his brilliance on both. Whether it be R&B influenced titles like, "CLOUDS", or bass driven synth-funk hits, "THE GOLD STANDARD"—Mr. Nelson has tapped into his multi-faceted magic. He uses his talents to create new "radio-friendly" tracks in, "U KNOW" and "BREAKFAST CAN WAIT". Then there's "FUNKNROLL" which is totally rocking, makes me want to move, and may not be classifiable. 3rdEyeGirl is funk-rock at its finest, with an ability to push Prince toward his otherworldly talents. There's a lot of material to sift through, have fun and remember to turn it up. Enjoy. 

Prince | "FUNKNROLL" | Art Official Age 

Tune in tonight (9:30pm CT) to watch a free, live stream from Paisley Park celebrating these albums.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Animation Show of Shows

Bang Bang! by: Julien Bisaro
The 16th annual Animation Show of Shows featured nine award-winning animated shorts, as selected from major animation film festivals. Ron Diamond, the curator for this presentation, hosted the event in collaboration with The Hess Collection. These animated shorts totaled a little more than 90 minutes. Art and wine are the two passions always on display at The Hess Collection. Marilyn Myller by Michael Please and Hipopotamy from Piotr Dumala were visually stimulating selections. The video below was one of the most alluring films screened on September 21. Enjoy.

Bang Bang! | by: Julien Bisaro | France


Saturday, September 20, 2014

David Rawlings' new Machine

The additions of John Paul Jones on mandolin (Led Zeppelin) and Willie Watson (of O.C.M.S.) to Dave Rawlings Machine have more than piqued my interest; they've become a must-see attraction for me when they descend upon Golden Gate Park for Hardly Strictly. The magic that has been created by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch is unmistakeable. Couple that with the two previously-mentioned men, as well as Paul Kowert on bass, and anything is possible for this acoustic wonder band. This is a mystifying collection of talent that is sure to please the ears. The Machine will play a total of seven California shows, many of which are at intimate or unique venues. Click hear to see when and where you can catch 'em in the Golden State. Trust me, this is one you don't want to miss.

Dave Rawlings Machine | "Going to California" | Uptown Theatre


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

de Young Modernism

Robert Rauschenberg | Archive (1963)
With the post-war art of Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Mark Rothko, and Frank Stella on display at the de Young, there's no reason not to grace the Museum before October 12. Currently on display is the ground-breaking collection from Robert and Jane Meyerhoff. The (almost) 50 pieces are making an exclusive first appearance outside of the greater D.C. and Baltimore areas. This illustrious compilation of art will be separated into three generational groupings. Favorites of mine in this assemblage of modern and contemporary art are, Johns' Perilous Night (1982) and Rauschenberg's Archive (1963). However, Barnett Newman's Stations of the Cross (1958-66) will likely receive the most attention. The 15 pieces that comprise this series will be shown intact as it was intended in a separate gallery arranged to evoke a chapel.

Beginning in 1985, and culminating in a 1987 agreement, the Meyerhoff family collection will be donated to the National Gallery of Art. Take advantage of this opportunity to witness some of the masters of America's art from the end of WWII through the end of the 20th century. This is an exhibit the West Coast will remember and hopefully embrace. Enjoy.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Hardly Strictly is Heavy Hitting

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass | Oct. 3rd, 4th & 5th
This year's Hardly Strictly lineup is way beyond impressive (only three weeks to go). Those who are willing to brave the masses within Golden Gate Park are sure to be rewarded. It's one of those years where attending all three days could become a reality, in which case you sacrifice some sanity.

October 3rd—I'm excited to see are Ryan Adams*, John Prine, and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

October 4th—I will definitely be glued to Dave Rawlings Machine*. I would also enjoy catching Jason Isbell, Chris Isaak*, Justin Townes Earl, and Built to Spill if at all possible. Considering I'll have to post up wicked-early at the stage hosting Rawlings Machine, I'm probably going to be camped at one stage.

October 5th—I will be geared-up to hear Jeff Tweedy* perform with his son Spencer. Bela Fleck and his wife, Abigail Washburn, also play on Sunday.

TBD—Other performers who've yet to announce their day (at time of publishing) are, Lucinda Williams*, Yo La Tengo, Deltron 3030 & the 3030 Orchestra*, Cibo Matto, and The Apache Relay. Be sure to check out the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Below is an audio sampling of what to expect. Enjoy.

Lucinda Williams | "Can't Let Go"

Ryan Adams | "Oh My Sweet Carolina"

Chris Isaak | "Wicked Games"

Deltron 3030 | "Virus"

* those I most want to see.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

California Love

STS9 is bringing California Love
Sound Tribe Sector 9 will be returning to the Fox Theater on Saturday, November 22nd. Surely they will throw down for one of their favorite venues. The night before they visit the Wiltern in LA. This will be their first appearance in the Bay area with Alana Rocklin shredding the bass. If you like to get down and dirty, this is the show for you. STS9 has been tearing it up since acquiring the newest member. I for one think they have opened up their sound and are tapping back into their live instrument side. They were fire at High Sierra this year. Fan club members can purchase tickets ahead of the masses on 9/11. I can't think of a better way to blast into the holiday season. Oakland will be rocking the weekend before Thanksgiving. Here's to dancing your ass off and having a good time. See you at the Fox for some Sector. Enjoy.

STS9 | "World Go Round" > "Totem" | Live 05.16.14


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Inside Out

Britt Daniel, the frontman for Spoon, has once again crafted a melodic story from his own honesty. "Inside Out" is the second track on They Want My Soul, the latest album from one of America's finest bands, let alone the musical hotbed that is Austin. I for one am fully in love with this effort. The entire record is well worth a listen from beginning to end. "Outlier" and "I Just Don't Understand" are two more that I cannot get enough of. They Want My Soul should make it onto plenty of best of lists. This is an artistic resurgence, more along the lines of 2007's, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Spoon recently revisited television, below is the video. Enjoy.

Spoon | "Inside Out" | They Want My Soul | Late Show with David Letterman


Thursday, September 4, 2014

""O"" Autzen

Autzen Stadium | University of Oregon
Saturday, September 7th will be the biggest game of the early NCAA football season. Number 3 Oregon will do battle against the Big Ten's Michigan State (#7). The Spartans make the road trip to Eugene, pitting their defense against the Ducks' exciting offense. Autzen Stadium is easily one of the rowdiest, and probably the most beautiful, home field advantage in all the country. The University of Oregon fields Heisman-hopeful Marcus Mariota. He's as explosive and effective as anyone in college football. This should be a slug-fest in contrasting styles. Go Ducks!

Eugene is one of my favorite places and being able to catch this game with my family of friends has me overly-hyped. The College Game Day broadcast will be on campus, further highlighting the magnitude of this match up. Big Ten versus Pac 12—the conference of my youth versus the conference I call home. Win the day. Go Ducks!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes

The ever deep lyrical canon of Bob Dylan will be given new life. Jim James, Elvis Costello, T Bone Burnett and Rhiannon Giddens (of the Carolina Chocolate Drops), just to name a few, have been gifted the opportunity to compose the music that will surround the words of Dylan. Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes, will be a showcase similar to that of the Mermaid Avenue volumes as performed by Billy Bragg and Wilco. This collaborative effort will be released November 11th. These Zimmerman lyrics were written during the Basement Tapes era of 1967. There will be two versions released; a standard edition housing 15 tracks and an additional 20-song deluxe version. Showtime will be airing a documentary of the recording process on November 21st. Allowing other artists access to untouched songs is more than a generous offer, it's an opportunity to cultivate creativity from one of America's greatest songwriters. For more on the physical records click here.

"Nothing To It" | Lost On the River: The New Basement Tapes

Track Listing (Deluxe): 1. Down On The Bottom 2. Married To My Hack 3. Kansas City 4. Spanish Mary 5. Liberty Street 6. Nothing To It 7. Golden Tom—Silver Judas 8. When I Get My Hands On 9. Duncan & Jimmy 10. Florida Key 11. Hidee Hidee Ho #11 12. Lost On The River #12 13. Stranger 14. Card Shark 15. Quick Like A Flash 16. Hidee Hidee Ho #16 17. Diamond Ring 18. The Whistle Is Blowing 19. Six Months In Kansas City (Liberty Street) 20. Lost On The River #20

Soon there's going to be a more complete version of the original Basement Tapes released featuring the man who penned these written treasures, along with The Band. It doesn't get much better. Hitting the road this fall, Dylan will make multiple three night stays across the U.S. One of which is in Oakland at the Paramount Theatre. For a complete list of tour dates click here.