Seeking refuge from a brisk and windy San Francisco evening, hirsute hippies and mustachioed hipsters file into the Connecticut Yankee for a special performance by jam band collective Secret Chimp. Ironically enough, the Connecticut Yankee, which has undergone a plethora of name changes and facelifts since it first opened in 1907 as “Hilda’s Saloon,” is in fact a loyal municipality of Red Sox Nation. Go figure!
It’s good to know there are still folks out there fighting the good fight.Arriving at O'brien’s Pub in Allston a little before nine, I felt as if I’d stepped straight back into 1967 – there was a motley collection of denim, long hair and leather from corner to corner – hazy shades of southern psychedelia. First order of business once inside, I met up with some of the members of The Night Beats sitting at the bar, Narragansett tallboys in hand.
The band Dead Sara released their self-titled album on April 10th. Based in Los Angeles, the female duo-fronted band weaves together a stiff, punk attitude with a grungy rock sound. Their sound sometimes reminds me of a heavier Hole, what with Emily Armstrong's edgy vocals mixing with the solid rhythm lines provided by guitarist Siouxsie Medley. Might I take a moment here to comment on the guitarists name?
What can’t Bela Fleck do? Or maybe the question is what can’t Bela Fleck do with a banjo? Aside from his history with the Flecktones, bridging and bending the idea of genre and fusion music he produced his first film, “Throw Down Your Heart”, a journey into the true origins of the banjo in Africa. The film also drew awareness to culture and struggles abroad, something rarely achieved through a concert film.
I arrived before the doors opened. Just from the line forming outside the theater, I could tell that Band of Skulls had an enthusiastic following. The excitement was palpable. After the recent release of their new album, Sweet Sour, the band geared up for an international tour. The group, hailing from England, obviously had quite the draw in America.
This morning I received my hot off the presses CD/DVD combo, Rubblebucket Live in Chicago. I ripped off the plastic wrap to pop it in the player and pour over every detail of the jacket, the artwork, and the credits. It looks like the antithesis to the no wave buzz back in the late 70’s. The packaging is similar to a Ramones promo circa 1979. The lettering has color but the photograph is in black and white with a nice contrast. Photo credits go to a couple of Chicago’s finest photographers, Jeremy Frazier and Chris Monagh
It’s so interesting to ponder how the Grateful Dead, despite being self-described poster children for avoiding politics and activism and concentrating on music, really aren’t that. From the beginning all members of the Dead were rooted in San Francisco’s scene and are an iconic representation of so many different facets of a humanitarian persuasion.