Sweet Spirit Tonight (4/2) at BotH and Low Cut Connie on Sat (4/6) at GAMH

Killing two birds with one stone today cause I need to tell you about these amazing bands that are playing in SF this week and I also need to work (so that I can make the money required for this rock-n-roll lifestyle)

Sweet Spirit hails from Austin. TX. Andee had told me about them when I visited for her birthday in 2017. She asked Alexa to play ‘The Power’ for me (many times!) and we would dance around the house shouting ‘I got the power here inside of myself’ which is a great girl-power anthem. ‘The Power’ has been a lead tune in my ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ playlist (which is really just female voices, but sometimes there are anthemic songs like this one).

So I got back to SF, added them to my ‘What I’m Listening to Right Now’ playlist (because it was before my ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ playlist was needed) and realized that they were playing in SF 2 weeks later at Brick and Mortar. I convinced Rod that we needed to go see this band. (It didn’t take a lot of convincing…)

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It was a great night at Brick & Mortar. I still have no idea who the opening band was, but they were so much fun. The dude put on this giant rabbit head towards the end of the show. When I was looking through my pics, I couldn’t understand why they were all out of focus, and then I realized they were all photos of the rabbit head on stage (and not the band).

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Then Sweet Spirit took the stage. They killed it. Sabrina Ellis, the lead singer, is a cheerleader on stage, but she’s a cheerleader that you would like.  She’s the bad cheerleader…

As for Low Cut Connie… I’m going to ping back to my original post about them.  It’s short, sweet and to the point… you don’t want to miss them.  They are always a good time and I love me a good Philly band!  Plus I think we might have a crew for this show!

Driftwood (and Red Wing Roots)

I know that I talk about the Red Wing Roots festival all the time. I can’t put my finger on what makes it such a special festival; I know, for me, the women that attend the festival with me contribute strongly to the feelings. I started attending the festival with my college roomie and we’ve grown our group of regulars. I also have met some super amazing people there who I consider a part of my group of regulars. In particular, two women — Rayn and Susan. They are fun and funny and they provide me with hot water for my coffee (and sometimes coffee and other goodies too); they are also local and can provide insight on the smaller local bands that we really shouldn’t miss.

They introduced me to Driftwood and it was love at first sight. I’ve seen Driftwood perform at RWR twice now, both times on the smaller, tented stage. This band gives an excellent live performance! Claire Byrne fronts this band with a violin and her vocals.  I’ve seen the drummer perform on her violin with her.

Both times that I’ve seen the band, they have owned the crowd. The first time, I have to give some of the credit to Brad, who Rayn introduced me to. He was a dancing fool and managed to get pretty much the entire tent up and dancing with the assistance of a handful of young girls dressed like Brandi Carlile. Let’s just say that Brad knows how to bring the fun! It may be fueled by alcohol, but it is fun! (I’m trying to find my pictures from that year.)

This was all a long story to tell you that Driftwood will be performing at the Hotel Utah this Thursday night, March 28th. I plan to be there. You should too! I expect it to be every bit as good as the past performances that I’ve seen. I’m super glad they are finally making it to the west coast.  Let’s make it worth it for them!!!

It was also a nod to the fact that Kuinka (Saturday night’s show) was also a Red Wing Roots find and they are FUN!!! Check out the video clip posted on I/G.

SXSW2019, Wednesday March 13th

Update: Congratulations to The ARTISANALS for their 2019 Jammy Award!

After seeing more than 50 bands/shows this week, it’s been decided. The Artisanals are the band you should listen to right now. Good ol’ fashioned mid-American rock sung by a guy who looks like Jesus. These guys look like they are having fun while also sounding great. They “brought” the performance with a shirt-off-on-your-knees ending, winning them this years Jammy Award! Congratulations fellows.

The Artisanals at the Shiner Saloon started us off and boy, did they!!! This was Rob’s #1 priority for the day and I’m glad we tagged along! They sounded so good and they played like the place was packed and they weren’t the opening band in a day-show line-up. With a knee dropping jam at the end, I was not sure it if it was 3am or 3pm when they were done with us. They were a really good-time and head-banging Jesus (aka Johnny Delaware) hugged me after the performance and thanked us for coming. Now if we could only get Alexa to recognize the request of playing The Artisanals.

Following The Artisanals, we got a nice surprise and got to see The Brother Brothers. This showcase was curated by a Bay Area nonprofit, Conscious Immaturity whose mission is to bring music to schools. I will say this line-up should have probably been reversed, as The Brother Brothers are quiet and mellow and beautiful (and yes, Andee, they are brothers) and The Artisanals were loud and rocking and totally brought it!

Dogs are fucking cool! Yes, dogs are fucking cool!!! Things you learn from the bartender….

Then we tried to decide about food… one of us mentioned hanger, so we ate at the food trucks and then we walked to Hotel San Jose for SXSJ2019.

On the way, we stopped at Yeti and saw Jackie Venson. I liked the Yeti store, but I didn’t like the people at the Yeti store. The crowd was there to be seen and that’s not my jam, so we moseyed onward to SXSJ.

Robert Ellis entertained us in his white suit sitting behind his piano. At some point, he sang a song about Topo Chico’s and lime and then sprayed the crowd with a Topo.  This was much preferable to the time I saw him open for Deer Tick when he sprayed the crowd with a beer. At the time, the bro crowd loved it; I did not, but I guess that’s the price you pay for liking Deer Tick. They attract the bro’s. (See Trampled By Turtles)

The Black Pumas (with Adrian Quesada)

These guys and gals jammed. We were tired but they still had us on our feet dancing.

SXSW2019, Saturday March 16th

Well, we got into the Rachel Ray party at Stubb’s. Big thanks to Lauren from KOLARS! We can’t wait to see you play.

While waiting in line for the food, we listened to Bob Schneider open one of the stages. It’s okay cause I didn’t pay for it; let’s not forget that he’s a misogynist and we don’t support that.

Now we are listening to J.S. Ondara though it’s a talky crowd and he’s not that loud so it’s a little distracting. The indoor room at Stubb’s is small and intimate, almost church-like in the light of day. Dark on the inside with sunlight streaming in the upper windows. The music was very folky and slow and J.S. Ondara wore a great outfit, complete with white patent leather shoes. This guy could have just stepped off a train in 1940 something. His story is that he moved to MN from Kenya, so that he could be like his idol, Bob Dylan.

KOLARS! And they were so rock-n-roll that they got cutoff. It was awesome! I want Lauren, the drummer to have a taller stage so that everyone can see the rhythmic passion poured out on the drum stage she is dancing on. Then I get concerned that if she did have a tall stage, Rob Kolar would knock her over with his Elvis shake, rattle n’ roll. I have nothing to worry about. These are fucking professionals. They load and unload with precision, are never too tired to bring it and would never fall down, but if they did, it would look like it was just part of the show.

Watching KOLARS is just so fun. For starters, they sound great. I’m excited to hear some new stuff from them. We had a preview of a new song at the Fairmont Hotel and although it was a little softer, it was really lovely. Second, they are great to look at. Sure, they are pretty people but they also wear shiny shiny outfits that ensure you know they are fucking rock stars!

Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real. He wears a bad-ass hat to let you know that he is a fucking rock star. Check out that hat. Also, check out that tiny house on the hill. It’s been there for the last 60+ years and the condos were all built around it in the last 10 years. Ahh, Austin, you’re still cool but there’s a reason folks like the Nelson’s want to live out in the country.

Lukas was having sound issues from a bad wire, which finally got worked out mid-set and made the end oh-so-good… I always love to hear ‘Find Yourself’. I was sad to miss Billy Raffoul but Lukas was really fun to see and sometimes you gotta love the one you’re with.

Big Joanie

We arrived at SX San Jose just in time to get a coffee (dosed lightly with some whiskey to warm us on this chilly Austin day) and wait 30ish min in line to get in to SXSJ. Before we get into our arrival and the SXSJ line-up though, we need to have a quick digression to talk about our Lyft driver, Lauren, and our Lyft ride to SXSJ.  Lauren was the most fun Lyft driver we had; she had the right attitude about working SX and we had a fun, giggly ride with her. She wins the Jammie for best driver! We also saw this giant armadillo (bicycle) that was coming right for us (and looking at us!). Awesome sauce! Check out our Instagram at didwejam for that video.

Big Joanie, a 3-piece black female group, was taking the stage just as we got in (1 in 1 out). They were enjoyable and we found Rob immediately and not long after hooked up with Johnnie from Utopia Fest.

After Big Joanie, Hayes Carll took the stage. Boy do we love Hayes Carll!

This is the 3rd time I’ve seen Hayes this month so we are essentially friends, right? Each time I like him for different reasons. This time it was because he seems like he is so at ease. He’s not amused, more bemused.

Next up: Combo Chimbita. They were lively and she played a very interesting instrument.

Ben Kweller, an Austin native favorite! The crowd was just loving on him!

To close out the night and the 20th anniversary of SXSJ, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. They attracted a crowd we weren’t really jamming with. There was the overly aggressive big white guy with the tiny girlfriend who wanted to be right up front (which wasn’t the issue so much as that they also wanted to take up way more than the amount of space that was left when everyone jammed in there) and then the guy who recorded a full 20 min (at least) of the show with his thick arm in the air. We headed to the back, but my bet is that he recorded the ENTIRE show.

She was pretty, sounded good, was polished… but it wasn’t doing it for us. Even our camera wouldn’t keep focus anymore. It was a little too clean if that makes sense. Maybe it was just us that had been tattered from the long week so we headed home.

Tomorrow is the Jammies!

 

SXSW2019, Friday March 15th

Sitting around the kitchen table, talking about our day… just had our Tyson’s (and our leftover pizza).  We have a game plan… let’s see how close we get to the plan!

First up… Zilker Brewery

Turns out it wasn’t quite at Zilker Brewery. Pro tip: compare the address on the invite to the address of the actual brewery and then re-adjust.

Now that we are here, it’s perfect. The sound is amazing. Erika and band are playing just for us, or so it feels and there’s plenty of alcohol. If only the Topo-Chico’s had followed us this morning to help temper the day. The Nine Banded Whiskey followed us and that could be a problem!

I want to feel extraordinary love. A love that only comes from inside, that’s what Erika is singing to us right now. And now we have a queer rapper who’s also reminding us to love ourselves. And now we have a queer rapper, Chris Conde, who’s also reminding us to love ourselves; he was sitting with us during Erika’s show. I have a video clip of his that I posted on I/G (didwejam), but I can’t get it not to turn sideways here. I’m not that tech-y.

Bryan got to be a fan-boy with Erika.

Following that is where things get dicey — surprise!  There are three bands that we want to see at 3 pm.

  1. Andrew Bird
  2. KOLARS
  3. Hayes Carll

KOLARS is fun and we did try to go to see this show yesterday, but I don’t think we are going to make it again today. Sad face!

UPDATE: Oh, except we did! NOT!! We were too late for the performance but we did get to hug Lauren again! Also, we got to pick up the guest passes that she gave us to get into the Rachel Ray part on Saturday. Lauren is officially THE BEST!!

While we were at Little Woodruff’s, we did get to see Mystery Lights. ‘Lights’ would be the word you want to include in your band name this year or at least something that resembles light.

Hayes Carll — So want to see Hayes Carll.  Love him so much, but he’s the only one at Waterloo that I really want to see. Also…

The line-up at the Barracuda looks amazing and that’s where we’d be seeing Andrew Bird. So we’ll see where we end up for that.

The answer: The Barracuda. Cherry Glazer. The Beths. The Nude Party. Justin Townes Earle. Andrew Bird. Heart Bones. Sad to leave before Low Cut Connie, but we had a goal in mind and it included food, of the fried chicken variety. Mmmmm!

There were also two inside bands that we didn’t see, but we did walk through to get to the restrooms. One sounded fine to me (Sam Fender); the second sounded very angry (Fontaines D.C.). I don’t feel I can honestly say anything about them though; it was a short trip in and out.

UPDATE: The Current’s Day Show line-up at the Barracuda

Cherry Glazer –I wanted to like her/this band, but I couldn’t really hear her vocals and they just didn’t grab me. I went inside to try to win a trip to Bonneroo, grab some swag, give away some cards and get in position for The Beths

The Beths — This band hails from New Zealand and it was an emotional show — the morning following the New Zealand massacre. They started out with ‘Future Me Hates e’ which is the song of theirs that grabbed me months ago. There was a setlist change when lead singer, Elizabeth Stokes, got emotional trying to launch into whichever songs had been listed next. She apologized for the emotion after getting a hug from her band-mate, but there was no need; we are all human and it’s good to be reminded of our humanity in times filled with so much hate and divisiveness. I give this band a lot of credit for performing solidly albeit emotionally.

The Nude Party — This was another surprisingly fun band. Thee were some maracas; how can that not be fun? Seriously though, I thoroughly enjoyed them and they remained clothed despite their name.

Justin Townes Earle — What can I say about JTE? He wow-ed me the first time I saw him live at GAMH. I can’t even remember how long ago it was, but it was definitely before 2011 and my return to SF. I have been known to say that he isn’t as good since he got sober and while that may be true sometimes, sometimes he’s every bit as good. This for me, was one of those times. Also, he threatened someone in the audience, saying that his mother could kick the audience member’s ass. I loved his description of his mom; something about white trash. I also might have hugged him after his performance when I got to (drunkenly) tell him about my deep and abiding love for him. I wanted to offer to feed him, but I think he has someone filling that role at this stage in his life and I don’t want to interfere.

Andrew Bird — He played his flute. He whistled. He sang. He was Andrew Bird and that is why we love him!

On our way out (to head to Lucy’s for both food and music), we caught a bit of Heart Bones. I think this is a performance that you need to be able to see and I really couldn’t see.

So this is where we separate (divide and conquer) and Andee and I head to Little Woodruff’s to pick up our guest passes and the guys head to Lucy’s via Cedar Street where they stop for appetizers.

We plan to end up at Lucy’s Fried Chicken for Sweet Crude and Matthew Logan Vasquez. Achieved ✔️

We’ll update this and you can rate us on how close we stay to schedule. It’ll probably be a shitshow!

UPDATE: Andee and I hop on the bus to get to Lucy’s and arrive way before the boys. So much so that we’ve already ordered and are eating before they even arrive And the chicken there was just as good as I remembered it being last year (kinda like Tyson’s Tacos — they never disappoint!)

There’s a band on stage when we arrive, Beebe Sings Sahm. The most notable thing about them is that someone in their band stole Erika Wennerstrom’s blue suit. She definitely wore it better!

So, Sweet Crude took the stage and they rocked it. They were definitely my favorite of the day and a strong contender for the 2019 SXSW Jammies. This NOLA band is definitely a band that you’ll want to see live. They rocked my little world! I hope to see the again in the near future! My video is also sideways, so you’ll have to go to I/G to see that one too!

Matthew Logan Vasquez followed Sweet Crude and I think this was unfortunate for him and his contention as a Jammie winner because though I thought he was great (and definitely plan to see him the next time he plays SF), he could not surpass the impression that Sweet Crude had made on me!

Andee’s friend Peggy joined us and we ordered some more food and we enjoyed MLV and then we headed home! It was a long bus ride home, but it was a good day!

 

 

 

 

SXSW2019, Thursday March 14th

For today, we worked on having a plan. The plan was to leave at 9:30 for the Bloody Mary Brunch. Only 30 or so minutes behind schedule but now we are here.

We caught the end of Priscilla Renea.

Stay tuned for how the day unfolds…

Pro tip: if you lose your tickets for your Bloody Mary’s, look in the place where you go to stash drink tickets. You might just find them there!

After running into Holly and waiting in a fairly long line to get our drinks, we settled in for a little Sontalk from Nashville.

It’s a little sunny here. My excuse for pic quality.

Next up was The Strumbellas from Canada. Apparently, they are very popular right now though I hadn’t heard them before. They are anthem-y and catchy. In a different venue, I think they could have been a contender for the Jammies, but this wasn’t that venue/crowd. That said, I still have ‘spirits in my head and they won’t go’….

Following The Strumbellas (who were apparently heading directly to Europe for a tour after this performance), we got to see Erika Wennerstrom (formerly of Heartless Bastards). I love her voice and she gave what I like to think is her usual excellent performance; I’ve never seen her be less than excellent.

Reignwolf played after Erika (and before Patty Griffin — who we were really there to see along with Erika) and I have to say that whoever developed that line-up may not have done Reignwolf any favors. Wikipedia describes them as a Canadian indie/blues rock band, but I felt they were a bit harder than that and a little edgy right before Patty.

While waiting for Patty to take the stage, Andee and I ran into a man with a Topo-Chico v-neck tee that I felt I needed. I didn’t get to keep it (which is okay because it really was too big for me and I would have had to give up the sloth and the humpback to get it). Though Clark work my Front Country tee well, he work his Topo-Chico tee better than I did. Clark’s parting comment to me was ‘I can’t imagine what you’ll be like later if you are this much fun at 2 (or whatever time it was…. cause it’s all SXSW-time)

Patty was lovely! When isn’t Patty lovely? She ended with ‘River’ and it was beautiful. It was also lovely to reunite with Andee’s Austin music community. Holly shared a pic of us from last year at Whole Foods and it made me so happy that I’m posting it here.

I missed Whole Foods this year; not sure why there wasn’t music on the rooftop, but I blame Amazon (which it totally just made up but could be real). I think the loss of the WFM party contributed to not getting to Waterloo at all on this visit.

Patty closed out the bloody mary brunch and then we decided to try to catch KOLARS at Little Woodrow’s, but it turned out we were 24 hours early.  Rookie move, but whatevs. In the process of re-grouping, we ended up in a bar that does Buffalo Bills parties and saw Stealing Oceans.

They were an unexpected good time! Check our YouTube channel for an amazing longer video, but here’s a snip of why you need to go there! And go see them if you have the chance. They’re fun!

After thoroughly enjoying Stealing Oceans (who I must say deserve some sort of Jammies award, but I’m not sure which category we will create — best of the day? best surprise? best not-our-jam jammie?), I saw a little bit of Mobile Steam Unit on my trip to the bathroom after we had some delicious pizza and salad. The lead singer guy in was the same active audience participant guy during Stealing Oceans; he was awesome!

Side note: The pizza slices were bigger than your head and I’m pretty sure I got my veggie points this day — not vegetarian, but 3 servings of vegetables.

Then we walked to Flatstock where we did a little poster shopping (with no purchases) and caught a little of Juan Ingaramo’s performance.

Then we met up with Tyler and got to see his new office with the schmancy view and then he drove us up to Radio Coffee to see the David Wax Museum.

We were early enough to also catch Dana Louise (who also made some cool pom-pom earrings that she was selling at merch, modeled here) while we sat and enjoyed our beers. We were in good company, the audience included The Brother Brothers who were also enjoying the music and hanging with the other musicians. It was fun to watch! People-watching, in general, is good during SXSW. I also got to meet Andee’s friend, Shaun and hang a little bit.

David Wax Museum was a good time, starting with ‘Harder Before It Gets Easier’ and ending with ‘Guesthouse’. The start was a little sneaky; I thought they were still sound-checking so I kind of missed one of my favorite songs, but Andee and I got to dance, sing and jam to Guesthouse (I am not as quiet as a mouse just in case you want to offer your guesthouse.)  There was no jawbone though so it wasn’t complete, but it was good! This may be why they were not a Jammy winner. While Andee and I were dancing, Rob and Tyler got to overhear some quality pick-up lines back at the table. I wouldn’t have thought they would work, but apparently dude got her number and so it goes…

As we were leaving to get food, Tony Kamel of Wood & Wire took the stage.

 

 

 

 

SXSW2019 Tuesday, March 12th

The day started good, not too early, SX morning with some Tyson’s for some of the crew. They totally hit the spot though I’m still mourning the loss of the golden balls of sunshine or whatever those deep-fried egg yolks were called.

Andee missed out on the breakfast tacos because she went to the office for a few hours. Planning started in earnest on her drive home and though Shiny Ribs at The Cactus Cafe has been a strong contender, we opted for The Scoot Inn and arrived just in time to catch the Otis the Destroyer.

Outside we saw:

Otis the Destroyer

Illiterate Light (They were very My Morning Jacket-ish. It was hard because it was early, so they’re worth another listen.)

Pottery

Pink Sweat$

Duncan Fellows

Black Pistol Fire

Question for the audience: Is the drummer wearing pants? Are you?

Inside we saw:

Adam Melchor

Sego

Barrie

Ambar Lucid

This show also had some free SWAG, including unlimited Topo Chico. The day before we realized Jenn had never had a Topo. Welp, here’s a great time to try it and we stayed well hydrated and a little buzzed thanks to the samplings of Nine Banded Whiskey and Goodnight Loving Vodka.The sky was mostly cloudy with light drizzle, making the weather really perfect and we just really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere at Scoot Inn!

Next we headed over to the fancy new Fairmont Hotel’s 7th floor bar where we had a beautiful view of downtown, delicious coffee, fried chickpeas and overpriced chips & salsa followed by some great music. It was really nice to just sit in a comfortable chair for a bit!

Georgi Kay from Australia played an electronic keyboard set up and sang.

KOLARS were up next, which is who we were there to see. Watching them set up made me appreciate them even more. I mean, they are only two people, but Lauren, the percussionist, has a full drum/stage to tap-dance on and drums on stilts to bang on while she dances! Not only does it need to be mobile, set up easily, and sound good, it also has to be safe. They were set up and through sound check with professional precision in spite of the weird space, again, a rooftop bar with a pool in a swanky hotel. Next time we are bringing our bathing suits and towels. We totally blend.

The set began a bit tentatively as the band tested the atmosphere. This is good rock and roll however and after a few new songs, which we are excited to hear more of, we were rocking to this fantastic band in an unlikely space. Patrons there for networking after SXSW Interactive sessions, a family with two small kids, and a handful of us, excited fans were given a full, all out show. It could have been easy for KOLARS to take it easy and just play but they did not, they put on their shiny, shiny pants (and jacket) and sparkle fish-scale dress and rocked out. At times it felt like it was just for us and really, with the small crowd, it might have been… and we are so grateful! This will be a show that gets talked about for years to come!

Also, we both got to hug Lauren and really that may have been the highlight for one of us!

SXSW, Monday March 11th

I arrived. What more can I say? My flight landed 9 minutes early. I had my bags in hand and was walking out the door of the airport in 20 minutes at most. I caught my Lyft to the Mohawk (shared, but not shared). As we were driving on 10th toward River, I saw Andee step out and I told Oswaldo to drop me there. I could hear Sweet Spirit playing as I got my bags into Andee’s car and fished out my show necessities (ear protection, DidWeJam business cards and my raincoat), then we jumped back into line to try to get into the show that Rob was already in.

We could hear the show from where we were waiting in line and it was the best of both worlds; we got to catch up and chat without being rude (by talking through/during the performance) and we also got to dance and sing and feel “The Power” as if we were in the show. It felt so much so that I think we’re gonna count it in the official count for 2019. After Sweet Spirit ended and based on feedback from the staff, we decided that we were never getting in and so we left, though I would have loved to see The Beths. We picked up some poke on the way home and after poke and Almanac’s Plum Fairy, we hopped in the hot tub and tried (unsuccessfully) to make an actual plan for tomorrow (beyond work, which sadly is in the plans for at least two of us in the am).

 

 

So much to do/see on March 2nd

Awhile back I wrote a blog post saying that if you weren’t seeing live music on that particular night, it was because you had chosen to stay home or have non-musical plans.  Tonight, March 2nd…the story is the same.

So, while you are getting up and drinking your coffee (or other morning beverage) and wishing that you had not decided to have that second beer last night (even though you didn’t finish it — sacrilegious, I know!), I hope you find yourself here, reading my blog. My blog that is going to tell you about the bands that you could see tonight and why I’ve made the choices that I’ve made about tonight. Full disclaimer: some of these shows may have sold out; I didn’t check since I already have my ticket.

*If you didn’t go see The California Honeydrops last night at The New Parish (or even if you did), you can catch them again tonight. Same place! They have been on my list to check out live for awhile. However, much like this time, I wasn’t able to make it happen in the past. So, there they remain on my list. One of these days…

*Joe Jackson is playing at the Masonic. I love Joe Jackson though I’ve only seen him once and it was a L-O-N-G time ago (during my first living-in-SF stint). If I remember correctly, he was a bit curmudgeonly (which most of you know that I love — hello, Jeff Tweedy!) and scolded the crowd for talking. I will ALWAYS love a performer who scolds the crowd for talking. I will NEVER understand why people go to live performances and then talk through them, especially since it’s generally about mundane things like the traffic getting to the show. So, more power to you, Joe!  Keep up the good work!  And if you are one of those people who wants to have a conversation, might I suggest that you go to dinner or to a bar for drinks instead of the show, or at the very least before the show? But I digress… back to why I did not choose Joe Jackson — The Masonic is not one of my favorite venues, making this an easy show to pass over this time. I will be hopeful that I get to see him again in the near future, preferably at a venue that I like more.

*Beirut at The Fox Theatre in Oakland. I enjoyed Beirut when I saw them a few years ago and I would very likely go see them again, but if I were to see them again I’d like to choose a smaller venue (I saw them at a festival in Canadia a few years ago) and I’d also choose a night where there wasn’t a band or performer that I LOVE competing with Beirut for my attention!

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*The Shook Twins at Cornerstone in Berkeley.  I have been up and down with The Shook Twins though when I look back on it, I think there was only one performance that I was on the downside.  I most recently saw them in Nashville during Americanafest and I really enjoyed them again. Their outfits are generally matchy (probably because they’re twins) and they have some interesting instruments and a great stage presence.

*Also, The Bob Mould Band is playing at The Fillmore. I have nothing to say about this because I’m not really familiar with Husker Du or The Bob Mould Band, but I have friends who are excited by this and it is the Fillmore so I feel like it deserves a mention.

*Then we have Ben Morrison playing at Bottom of the Hill.  As anyone who knows me knows, Ben is a part of my favorite local band, The Brothers Comatose.  The Brothers are taking a hiatus right now and Ben has put out his own album with a different band and this is the tour to support that album, starting tonight at BotH.  Not only is BotH one of my favorite local venues, but Ben…  I don’t even know what to say about Ben. I love his voice! He’s got a great stage presence. He’s a really nice guy and I really want to support him (Yes I pledged to his Kickstarter campaign.) Also, his fiancee will be singing along on some of the songs (or so he promised on I/G) and she’s awesome. (If you aren’t familiar with her and the T Sisters which is her band with her sisters, you should go see them at The Swedish Hall on Saturday, March 16th.) How am I not going to this Ben Morrison show, you ask?  Well, let me tell you about how this show was not announced until after I already purchased tickets for the band that I chose for tonight’s entertainment. Let me also tell you that I have every intention of darting as quickly as I can from GAMH to BotH tonight in hopes of catching a song or two before the show ends. I may have requested to Ben that he play long to give me time to get there.

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*And who is playing at GAMH, you might ask? Who would keep me from going to see the frontman from my favorite local band? Well, that would be Darlingside.  The winner of the HSB 2018 Jammies and the band who I think may be able to heal the world. Okay, I may be setting expectations too high but they have healed my soul in the past and I am not alone. The first time that I saw Darlingside, they were opening for Patty Griffin at The Fillmore. (Thank you, Patty!) They were AH-mazing and so when I went home, I made a note of them as I do for opening bands that I want to see again/more.

When they returned to SF, my friend Renee invited me to see them headlining at GAMH for my birthday.  Of course, I said yes. This was in November 2016.  Two horrible things happened in November 2016 immediately before my birthday.

  1. My cousin (technically not my first cousin, but whatevs) Jamie died of a drug overdose. He had just turned 22 and was about to graduate from Temple. While I wasn’t super close to him at this time in his life, I’ve always been very close to his mom who is my first cousin and sort of played the role of older sister to me as we grew up together. I watched Jamie and his sisters, Rachel and Alexa, grow-up. I’ve also always been fairly close to Jamie’s sisters and his first cousins, Caitlin (who has been mentioned in other posts) and Jake. In general, I am fairly close with the majority of my family though I usually only see them once a year. Jamie’s death was a shock and it really fucked me up for awhile. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. This country completely betrayed me (and woman and non-white people and people with disabilities and… and… and…) and elected an unqualified, misogynist, racist creep to the highest office in our land. I don’t think I need to explain why having a majority of the people in my country choosing to elect someone who openly suggested that it was acceptable to grab women by their pussies would be horrible, but then again I know women who voted for him so maybe I do. Suffice it to say, that if this paragraph doesn’t make you understand how I feel about this, I’m not planning to go into more detail here. This isn’t that type of blog and I would prefer not to waste the time writing about it here since my written words aren’t likely to change anyone’s mind either.

So back to Darlingside…

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Renee (who had also just lost a friend) and I met up for the show. Neither of us were in a good place.  Then Darlingside took the stage and started to play their beautiful songs and have their banter and their cute band introductions and Renee and I cried our way through most of the show in the most cathartic way that I could have imagined. I have since seen them several times at festivals and at GAMH and they have NEVER disappointed me (though they don’t usually make me cry). They played HSB last year (as you may have figured since they won the Best of the Jammies award) and I was able to introduce many of my friends to their music. I don’t think there was a single person among us who wasn’t impressed and perhaps, in love.  I am so looking forward to tonight and have been for quite awhile. I honestly am not sure how many tickets I’ve bought for this show because friends kept asking me to pick up a ticket for them the next time I was at GAMH or Slim’s. (Yes, this is a service that I offer to the LOLMs.) Given that, there should be a decent group of us tonight if you’d like to join us. Or maybe you don’t want to join us, but trust me that you should go to this show! If you aren’t going to this show, then you should go to see Ben Morrison (or one of the other shows that I’ve mentioned) because I believe in supporting live music and supporting the things you love.

If you do come out tonight, all that I ask is that you not talk during the performance!

Also, if you’d like to read an earlier blog post for Darlingside, I’ve linked it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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