Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Rumble and Penny Arcade

I don't spend as much time in clubs as I used to, what with my advancing age and all that, but every month I'm stuck choosing between two events which always happen on the same night. The first Wednesday of every month in San Francisco plays host to both The Rumble and Penny Arcade, both of which feature live music, but are also both really about the hang as well. Last night I decided to try and hit both events, starting with the Rumble.

The Rumble is put on by Future Sounds, The Owl Mag and Sonic Living, and it's always fun and is sort of scene, too, in a good way. It's kind of become a sort of unofficial hangout occasion for music types - not just bands either, but radio folks (both terrestrial and online), bookers, music writers, etc. I've always had a good time there, without exception. This time it was at Milk Bar in the Upper Haight, but they're moving back to their regular spot at Cafe DuNord next month. Milk is pretty cool, by the way. It has a huge Sheppard Fairy mural in it that give the room some identity...

I was hoping to catch all 3 bands there last night, but the show got started a little later than I though so I missed Veil Veil Vanish (and almost all of LA's Pepper Rabbit as well). They're friends, so I was pretty bummed about this, but I'll make sure to catch them when they play again in may...Anywhoo, I did see an amazing new band called Silver Swans. My friend Ann Yu (who also fronts the amazing LoveLikeFire) sings and a dude named Jon Waters (no, not that one) who makes beats and plays keyboards. Ann was telling me they started when she did some guest vocals on a track her partner made after getting some interest from Ben Watt from Everything But the Girl do a single or something. The track sounded cool when they finished it and the pair decided to make it band. I thought they sounded sort of like a more techno-y Depeche Mode or a darker Erasure, but with a cool girl fronting it. Actually, scratch that - they reminded me of a more accessible, less Euro-y version of Royksopp. Check out some pics from the show:

Veil Veil Vanish hanging out

Silver Swans
Jon Waters
Ann Yu

Penny Arcade, now in it's 4th year (I believe) at the Make Out Room in San Francisco is also very cool, but in a different way. My man Raul Sanchez puts it on and it's a sort of showcase night, but a really well curated one. Raul books it so some smaller and newer acts get a chance to play with some more established bands, but everyone plays a pretty brief set and the show is always about the evening of music as a whole and not just about the headliners. This way, nobody is looking at their watches waiting for the last band to go on. And it's also a sort of unofficial hang of the music community in the city, but more about musicians that other folks.

Last night I was really hoping to check out my friend David's band, the Gypsy Moonlight Band (cool name, IMHO), but I got there late and only caught the last band, some dudes called Only Sons. They were good - they played a sort of cosmic country, bluesy rock sort of thing. And it was definitely well done. But like I said, Penny Arcade is also about the hang, and the hang was good. I ran into some friends, including two dudes who epitomize the ethos of really living it when it comes to music, Bart Davenport and Eric Shea. Check out some pictures.

Bass dude from Only Sons

Scene at the Bar
Raul Sanchez and Bart Davenport
Jenny Lund and Eric Shea
Candace and David and Lee

Check out the websites for all the stuff I just mentioned here...

A Complete Set of My Photographs From the Evening

Silver Swans
The Rumble
Penny Arcade
Only Sons
Make Out Room
Milk Bar

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ground Control Art Opening at the Public Salon

Last week my friend, the artist Micke Tong, had an awesome art show called "Ground Control" open at the Public Salon in San Francisco. In addition to showing his work in galleries all over the US and Asia, Micke is also the dude who created the album artwork for my band Loquat.
I DJ'ed the show, so I only took a few pics, but I wanted to share what I had with you.

About the art: "Ground Control" is a collection of mostly small sculptures of tiny, imaginary cityscapes that are really, really incredible to see. My favorite sort of art is the kind that makes you consider a subject deeply, but is also just entertaining to look at. These pieces were definitely along those lines.

Check these out from his show:

The spot was cool - it's a sort of old school barber shop that also shows art and has a really hip, but also really friendly, kind of vibe. My wife is gonna get her haircut there in a few weeks. Good times.

Some Party Pics:

DJ Rantz, Green Figueroa, Party Hat Lady
David Ricardo from the band B and Not B plays "Eye of the Tiger" at an impromptu performance by the band.
Artist/Racontuer Micke Tong
Drinking Art Lover

After the reception, we had a little impromptu after party at one of San Francisco's finest dive bars, The High Dive. Enjoy some moments:

Tony Sison and Friends
Smiling at the Bar
Having a laugh

Ari x6

You can find full sets of pics of the reception here:

The Afterparty here:

Micke Tong's Ground Control website:

Public Salon:

And finally, all my pictures are archived here:

Until Next Time,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

One night in the mission.

I went out and and some drinks and snacks the other night with a few friends. Dan Nakamura and I talked about recording. Tim Carter and I talked about old friends bands and playing music. And then a big dog bellied up to the bar for a Tecate. Here's proof.

Gail the Bartender

Big friendly dog
Tim Carter

Dan the Automator