Choices…

UPDATE:  Sometimes you don’t need to choose… I did go to both shows and I’m still home and sitting in my bed with my laptop by 11 pm.  That’s not a complaint! Not even close to a complaint  The complaint is that I typed up an entire post about the shows tonight and I somehow replaced the update with the original post and lost all of it. Technology and me; sometimes we aren’t friends. Anyway… I’ll come back to this and update it more later, but suffice it to say that it was a good night and you should check out ‘Crazy Cat Lady‘ by Mira Goto.

Okay so the mini-review is this.  Renee and Irish Greg are the bomb. They have taken a music community that they were instrumental in developing through KFOG and moved that community in a new direction with their pop-up (#reneeandirishgregspopup). Check them out and if you like what they do, support them. They are doing good! This was my second performance at the Haight Street Art Center. The first was The Wood Brothers and was truly amazing but I have a very special place in my heart for The Wood Brothers and had had to miss their two performances at the Fillmore. The ‘ticket’ for this show fell into my lap and it was really just perfect in so many ways, but what was really cool about that pop-up was that they also had the artist Emek speak about his rock posters and his process.  His posters are currently on display at the Haight Street Art Center.  This is free and the posters are AMAZING.  You really should go!

So after my two free beers (thank you 21st Amendment), socializing with some of the SF music community, and lots of giggles with my girl, Jill, we went upstairs for the performance. As I said earlier, Mira Goto was a nice surprise and her song ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ brought laughter mixed with tears (or vice versa) to many audience members.  Then The Family Crest took the stage. 7 band members on a little tiny stage; Irish Greg said they had to make the stage bigger for them and even with the expansion, Renee and Irish Greg couldn’t fit on the stage with the band.  The small space eve led to a trombone and flute accident, though luckily there was no damage to the musicians or the instruments. The Family Crest is a band but it’s also a collective of sorts. They often have guest musicians and singers and Liam talked about how when they tour, there are certain people in certain cities who will join them on-stage. I believe he mentioned a sax player in Minnesota, but I might be making that up. He compared it to reuniting with family in his conversation with Renee and Irish Greg. The Family Crest have a big sound; somewhere I read it described as orchestral pop and I can see that. You should check them out; they have a new album.

After the show wrapped, it was early and Brick and Mortar was only a 10 minute walk, so I started walking. I passed a skateboard park on the way and in no time, I was walking into Brick and Mortar. I missed the opening band, though Stephanie in the audience reported that they were good and I should check them out. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name. Lo Moon took the stage shortly after I arrived and they opened with ‘This Is It’ which is the song that’s been getting the radio play that got me to go to this show. This felt like a win and I felt like I could have left at any time after that, but they band was really good. They were moody and a little shoe-gazey, but then they were a little rock-n-roll too and I’m so glad that I went. The show was great; they closed out the set with ‘Real Love’ which is my other ‘known’ of their songs and then there was a short (two song) encore and then I was on my way. The whole evening felt like a win and it was a win that even with transit was probably less than $40.  Three performances, three drinks and a Lyft home to be in bed by 10:30. This is my rock-n-roll lifestyle.  See you Friday night at Bottom of the Hill?

It’s Wednesday April 18th (it isn’t yet, but it’s about to be) and you (as in me) have a free ticket to go see The Family Crest (from San Francisco). There’s also this ‘new’ band, Lo Moon. They are playing Brick & Mortar and tickets are only $13 at the door, day of sale. One event runs from 6 – 9 in the Haight, the other event says music starts at 8 and is in the Mission. Reasonably, I can do both, but it’s a Wednesday night and I have to go into the office on Thursday (though as long as I show up by lunchtime, things are cool) and I have to go into the office on Friday (though there’s been some talk of working from the Oakland/Alameda office on 4/20). I know I have a really rough life; poor me! But I digress…

I’m reasonably certain that I’ll be going to go see The Family Crest.  For starters, it’s free. That is followed shortly by ‘I didn’t get to see them last week and I haven’t seen them for a long time now’ and then there’s ‘I’m highly likely to see some of my friends (music community) at the show’.  Renee and Irish Greg have developed a great community who attend their events. The description of the show is that it’s going to be ‘a special stripped down acoustic performance’. It sounds like an experience and while it won’t make up for missing their full show at GAMH last week (with Goodnight, Texas opening), it makes me really want to see them. It also makes me think of that first time in 2012 when Andee and I saw them busking on the street in Austin during SXSW. They really had something and we liked them so much so that we searched them out at their sanctioned performance at Dominican Joe’s three days later.

I’ve seen them several times since then (in San Francisco) and they have always been great as performers and warm and gracious as humans. I’m not sure that there are any tickets left for this show tomorrow, but you should keep your eyes open for this band in the future.

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As for Lo Moon, I want to go see them. I wanted to go see them during SXSW this year, but I never made it to any of their performances. (I didn’t try that hard because I knew they were playing this show at Brick & Mortar. I didn’t realize that I would end up with a potential conflict.)

I ‘discovered’ Lo Moon listening to the radio (and by the radio, I mean streaming). WERS and WXPN both play their latest song ‘This Is It’ which I really like. They also have a NPR Tiny Desk concert that I liked well enough, though it’s no Tegan and Sara.

I feel like my track record in these new band situations is usually good. I’m thinking about The Record Company and Pinegrove. These were both bands I found via the radio and/or NPR. I bought tickets to each of these shows based on these radio/NPR introductions and both of the shows were awesome (and in both cases sold out as well). Then I juxtapose this with Cigarettes After Sex. All the same parameters as the other two bands with the exception of the show being awesome. I would absolutely continue to listen to their music and I do; I enjoy it. That said, I think you would have to pay me to get me to go to another one of their shows if it were specifically to see them. To be fair, they sounded great! They were BORING!!! So BORING!

I know there are people out there who want to go to shows where the band just plays their songs, exactly like they were recorded, and doesn’t talk between songs and has a set list and keeps the music going pretty continuously. I get that those people exist and I’m glad there are bands that play for them.  That is not the show I want to attend. E-V-E-R! I want the stories and the new tunes and the mistakes. I want the experience! So will Lo Moon be the experience that I want or will they be musically wonderful and entertainingly boring? Do I have the energy to find out? The struggle is real! I’ll try to remember to keep you posted on the outcome here.

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