Gig Archives: 2010

(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Sunday, March 14th, 2010
with miRthkon:
Kind of a warm up gig at Kimo's (in SF) for the big festival show at the end of the month. It was put together by Seattle's awesome Wah Wah Exit Wound, who got this bill together which included a duo version of Mujaheddin Bernstein Affair, and us to open the show. And then at the last minute we discovered Kimo's booked a fourth band Over the Falls for good measure. It was good to shake off the rusty performance ya yas but I really biffed "Black Fruit" bad. No excuses really - I should have been better prepared to play in utter darkness (couldn't read the music or see the frets), and was also completely spaced out from lack of sleep, which I corrected at the last minute with an espresso shot, which in turn needed to be corrected by a few swigs of beer. Hey - you try playing in 23/16 (with occasional random bars of 2/16, 4/16, 7/16, and 9/16) in the dark! Well, nobody noticed exactly how devastating my errors were as the music was sufficiently complex, and the other tunes were much more solid. All told it was a good meet-n-greet kind of gig for all the like-minded bands involved.
Friday, March 26th, 2010
with MoeTar:
The first of three gigs in three days with three different bands (and with me playing different instruments at each). This was a doozy at the good ol' Starry Plough in Berkeley. A pared-down version of Ultralash went on first (just Karry and Michael). Then MoeTar hit the stage and got down to business. Honestly, it felt like one of our worst shows, but a lot of people there were seeing us for the first time, and we're quite psyched about it all. Fair enough. Closing the event was Faun Fables, who mostly played chunks from their current work-in-progress, a collaborative rock opera written with (and to be performed with) high school kids down in SoCal, with Cornelius sitting in on various reeds/flutes. Fun stuff.
Saturday, March 27th, 2010
with The Fuxedos:
Back at the Starry Plough for a second night in a row, and this show ended up being even more epic than last night. A lot of the same faces in the crowd, too. God bless 'em. Anyway, Freddi Price kicked off the night with a solo set - always a treat but pretty much waiting for Max to get there so Rube Waddell could play a full set as well. Nice to touch base with those guys - it's been a while, plus some of those songs I haven't heard in like, shit, 10 years. God bless those guys, too. We hit the stage and killed it. Danny was in top form, inspired by the large crowd. Closing the evening was Khi Darag who were simply awesome. Great music, great sounds, great musicians.
Sunday, March 28th, 2010
with miRthkon:
We were the "headliners" (i.e. the final act) of the annual Switchboard Festival in SF, held at the Dance Mission Theatre. Basically a new music marathon featuring tons of new-music acts from 2pm to 10pm. Lots of great sounds, great musicians, and several faces I haven't seen in a while (like Karen Stackpole and Matt Small) and many I've seen the past couple of days at the other gigs. Being the headliners sounds like a great deal, but of course things were running late so we didn't get on until after 10pm. It was a school night so people were dropping like flies. Well, all those who stuck around really dug it. The video/music stuff went along seamlessly. The only issue I had was the A/C fan/vent was right above my head, literally blowing music off my stand. Who knew you had to bring clothespins to an indoor gig? Plus I was freezing, despite all the warming up I did earlier. Funny. Well, they shut off the fans eventually but maybe this was a sign I should get off book already.
Friday, April 9th, 2010
Played at 21 Grand in Oakland as part of a 4 band bill set up by Seattle's X-ray Press (which I've been trying to set up bills with for years as they pass though town a bunch). Up first was the local band Photons who were a pleasant surprise, then us. We kept it real and had a short set, catered to songs that I could sing/play drums on but then it turns out Jenya could play the set after all so it was the "full band" (me, Nat, Wally, and Jenya). We started with a Robert Wyatt cover ("Born Again Cretin"). After our set X-ray Press killed it - they were awesome. Then Napa's The Planets totally blew it to pieces. Kind of a crazy night there. Fun as hell.
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
with miRthkon:
Our sister band WITT from San Diego is in town, so we set up a gig with them at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. Since I'm still relatively new in the band I actually hadn't seen them before but it was a real treat, especially as they also played a half set as Snuffaluffagus which is a rather different but equally delightful alter-ego of sorts. We went on, and despite a giant scaffold on the stage (supporting a wide screen tv for World Cup viewing purposes) I ended up having more room than usual for myself. We had me singing backups on "Banana" for the first time, and we also debuted my new tune "Hapax Legomena" which went quite well, I think. Closing the evening was Japonize Elephants who I hadn't seen in ages, and their set made me happy.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
with MoeTar:
MoeTar went on tour! Well, sort of - just to Fresno and Berkeley. We drove down (braving the 100+ degree heat in the central valley) in the afternoon, treated to some fine hospitality at the homestead of Felix and Brian Kenney Fresno before headed to the club to load in and all that. We played at Audie's Olympic Tavern, a place I hadn't been to in 15 years. Last time (and the only time) I played Fresno before was here in 1995 (when the place was called Club Fred), performing with Dreamland who was opening up for E is for Elephant and Idiot Flesh. In fact, that was when I first met Tarik. And here we are many years later. Anywho, Brian opened the night with his special birthday set (including appearance via satellite by his brother Ryan Kenney Poughkeepsie). Then we killed it. The crowd contained Tarik's old Fresno pals who were quite pleased to see what he was doing lately. Closing the night down were local rock heroes Rademacher. Enjoyed stayin' up late one night soaking in the Fresno summer heat.
Friday, July 23rd, 2010
with MoeTar:
The next day drove back to the Bay Area to do it all over again at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. Except that opening this evening was a drum/guitar ambient duo Lovely Builders. We then killed it like last night for the Berkeley crowd, including a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while. These two gigs were sort of CD release parties. Well, maybe not, but we sold a ton of the new CD now that it was freshly pressed. Brian closed down the night with a similar birthday set as last night. Fun stuff!
Saturday, July 24th, 2010
with miRthkon:
Shook off the MoeTar tour and got ready for a big miRthkon gig opening up for Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at the Great American Music Hall. We were all pretty psyched. This was my first time playing here performing original material. We weren't sure about the video, and abandoned it at the last minute. We started right at 9pm sharp, happy to see that many people were already there despite the early downbeat. So we had a great crowd and they ate it up! Due to nerves we took everything really fast, but that just added even more good energy to the set. That plus the missing video meant we had 5 minutes left over at the end, and so we threw in Daddylonglegz as well. Yay! Little Teeth went on next, and then of course SGM destroyed everybody's hearts and minds with their special magic. I actually played acoustic guitar in the crowd as part of a pre-planned coda of their newest tune. A lot of hanging out in the green rooms downstairs - all four of the SGM babies (with babysitters) were down there.
Friday, August 13th, 2010
Another public gig for Casino Royale in Alameda. We played the last of the monthly summer series of outdoor concerts at Crab Cove. It's a regular built in crowd at these events, as it's simply a nice hang at the cove for the family. This time the band was me, Wes, Jamison, Scrote, House, and Steffanos. Scrote was actually late to soundcheck as he got rear ended just as he was arriving by a drunk woman who hit another car en route to his. Luckily no injuries. Also there was Jenya et al. with Vesta Flatbread serving up a bunch of yummy sammiches near the stage. I repeat: Yum!
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010
with most of MoeTar:
Matt Heulitt assembled a band for a private wedding which ended up being MoeTar minus Dave plus Hud. It was a lovely gig, at the Log Cabin in the Presidio (near the GG Bridge), and a rare lovely sunny afternoon these days in those western parts of the Bay. We played dinner jazz, then after cake was the dance set. It was a real party, i.e. people were dancing and into what we were doing. So we gladly complied when they made requests, pulling various 80's/Beatles songs out of our asses. We're such pros. Instead of wading through SF I drove home over the GG/San Rafael Bridges, which was probably faster, and much nicer.
Sunday, September 12th, 2010
with miRthkon and Waiting for Tom:
For the fourth year in a row played in some form or another at the Webster Street Fair in Alameda, each time with a different band. Actually this time it was two different bands. miRthkon went nuts on the Lincoln Street stage, running a lot of the crazy material we'll be presenting at the upcoming CalProg festival. Sound issues aside we rocked it pretty hard and the family-oriented crowd enjoyed well enough. Then the all-star one-off band called Waiting for Tom close the afternoon down with a fun and well-received set of Tom Waits cover tunes. The band was me, Jenya, Jamison, Nick Peck, David Cooper, and Karry Walker, all organized and led by Dren McDonald. This was the first time Nick and I ever played live together, after first meeting 16 years ago. First time I played with David in 8 years. And I got to pull out the rubber band bass for a couple tunes, first time using that in 10 years.
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
with miRthkon:
We played CalProg 2010! This annual event happens down in Whittier, CA. What a crazy weekend... Got up at 4am on Friday to drive down I-5 in a caravan, ploughed through a long ass soundcheck, Jamison weaseled his way to performing a couple tunes with the salsa band playing a private party at the hotel where we were staying, then attended the patron dinner (where us and the high priced ticket buyers got to eat/meet/greet with all the bands). The next day soundchecked some more, then performed our most involved/multi-media/absurd set to date (getting a standing O from the awesome crowd), then checked out the other bands and sold merch the rest of the day, then headed back on Sunday. The other bands were District 97, RPWL, and Ambrosia. We befriended the Chicago-based D97, having similar tastes and influences, ending up having a beer-tasting party at our hotel room well into the evening after the gig. Fun times. We got a lot of new fans, plus I got to meet Paul Whitehead (the guy who painted those early Genesis album covers, among other things). Thanks Papa J for setting this festival up every year and having us around this time!
Thursday, October 7th, 2010
with MoeTar:
Basic Starry Plough gig, though playing with bands we didn't know, which meant some minor/interesting cross pollination of audience perhaps. The local Foolproof Four went on first (and made me wax nostalgic about Mumble & Peg), then we kicked major ass. Strangely tight considering the lack of rehearsal leading up to this event. Closing the night were Dainty on tour from Germany. They probably shoulda went on before us. It's hard for touring bands to keep people around on a school night
Friday, October 15th, 2010
with The Fuxedos:
Like a year and a half ago, we were the main musical act at the current "Hubba Hubba Review Show" taking place at the DNA Lounge in SF. The theme of this event was "mad science" or some such. Pretty wacky stuff. We put together a pretty rockin' set of wacky stuff, too, including a new epic cover of Leonard Cohen's "The Future."
Saturday, October 16th, 2010
My fourth year in a row playing this annual benefit for breast cancer research put together every year by Susan Z. Lots of amazing singers and a great backing band. It was a multi-venue event like last year, and once again I was with the house band at 19 Broadway in Fairfax. A lot of the same material as previous years, but this time threw in some Kiss songs (Peter Criss himself is a breast cancer survivor). So I finally got an excuse to play "Detroit Rock City" on bass live on stage.
Saturday, November 13th, 2010
A rare Casino Royale gig, and a fun one that took us out of town - we played a corporate party at a fancy shmancy hotel near Lake Tahoe, staying the night at a cheaper motel in Truckee. Drove up with Chris, discussing music and poker, soundchecked our spy-theme laden set, ate two dinners (the free one was arriving too late for our needs), then played a pretty snappy two sets. This time around the lineup was me, Scrote, House, Kevin on drums, Chris, Jamison and singers John and Karina. Chris and I got up super early the next day to drive back so I can make it to a brunch gathering where I was a zombie.
Saturday, December 4th, 2010
with Like Totally:
Though coming out of the same foxhole as Casino Royale, this wasn't really a Casino Royale gig - the band is morphing into more 80's terrority (which is what the people want to hear). The lineup was Scrote, House, Paul, Karina on vocals, John on drums and Holland on vocals/keys. No horns, and so I played guitar on the more rockin' stuff and even took a couple harmonica solos (which nobody heard due to mic problems). Nobody heard Holland's keyboards either. John actually forgot his bass drum pedal, and there we were setting up for this private party in a tent behind a mansion in Atherton, but a few phone calls (and a text to Thailand which actually got answered right away) and John was led to a friend of a friend who lived 5 minutes away and let him borrow a pedal. Sweet. Also we were supposed to start at 7:30 but didn't start until 10. Meanwhile we waited in the green room - actually a bedroom where I rode an exercise bike for a couple miles to stay awake. Since we started late we didn't play very long - we were shut down by 11:15pm - the cops actually came due to noise complaints. People were digging us, but interest in us waned when we had to quiet down and everyone then realized behind the tent was a zipline down the mountain.
Saturday, December 25th, 2010
with The Fuxedos:
Yet one more of these annual Satanic X-mas event, put together every year by Karla LaVey at the Elbo Room in SF. The usual time, crowd, bloody shirts, etc. It was nice to see old Flywheel bandmate Justin again after umpteen years - he was sitting in with the other Flywheel cats playing in Los Murderachis. Dimesland was also on the bill and they rocked it before we went on last to the crowd now at its drunkest. Adam Stacey was in town and sat in on accordian for one tune (and dressed up as Santa for another).

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