Archive for April, 2008


Lou & Laurie hitched

Of the dozens of google results on this union of NY art-rockers Sean Michaels’ piece in the Guardian had the snarkiest tag line:

“The knot was tied (in Colorado) on April 12 and the celebrations only made their way to New York this week, when Reed and Anderson partied with their suitably-arty friends at the East Village home of photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Film-maker and artist Julian Schnabel was there, as were Mike “Limbo King” Quashie, actors Richard Belzer and Hal Willner, and even tai chi guru Master Ren. Presumably Lou Reed’s guest-list also included a raft of transvestites and drug-dealers, while Laurie Anderson invited a hologram artist, a sound poet and an empty cardboard box.”

oh SNAP!


Paul Davis RIP

The Main Man (or should that be “Mane Man”?) of Mellow died of a heart attack in his hometown of Meridian, MS yesterday. In memoriam PopDose has reposted this classic edition of Jason Hare’s fabulous Adventures Through the Mines of Mellow Gold series. There’s just nothing I can add to that…

I Go Crazy
Cool Night
‘65 Love Affair

There’s an insanely thorough PD discography compiled by David Jennings here.

Check out the Ricky Nelson introduction:


New Firewater LP & tour

Firewater’s sixth record (and first in four years) leaves behind the Eastern Euro-Klezmer sound of previous efforts in favor of a distinctly Middle Eastern flavored music recorded, often with local musicians, during front man Tod A’s 3 year sojourn through India, Pakistan, Israel & Turkey. Tod’s darkly humorous appreciation of both the beauty and ugliness of life is in full force and the production from long time drummer Tamir Muskat (now also in Balkan Beat Box) is fabulous. Possibly Firewater’s strongest work.

This Is My Life

Firewater are currently touring Europe in support of The Golden Hour which comes out May 6 on Bloodshot Records. A US tour starts in late May and pulls into the Bottom Of The Hill on June 6. You can hear a stream of the new record on either their myspace page or their website.

For a more in depth look at Tod A’s 3 year journey check out his blog Postcards from the Other Side of the World or this brief “making of” video:

North American Tour dates:
5/23 Boston, MA – Paradise
5/24 Brooklyn, NY – Southpaw
5/25 Philadelphia, PA – North Star
5/26 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
5/28 Toronto, Ontario – Horseshoe Tavern
5/29 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
5/30 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
5/31 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
6/03 Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
6/04 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
6/06 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
6/07 West Hollywood, CA – The Roxy Theatre
6/08 San Diego, CA – Casbah
6/09 Tucson, AZ – Plush
6/11 Fort Worth, TX – Lola’s
6/12 Austin, TX – Emo’s Lounge
6/13 New Orleans, LA – House of Blues Parish
6/14 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
6/15 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
6/16 Washington, DC – Black Cat Backstage
6/17 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar


The Botticellis album release party at Cafe Du Nord this Friday

As I mentioned in my first ever post The Botticellis’ fabulous debut record Old Home Movies comes out May 13th but if you want to pick up a copy a couple weeks early it’s sure to be available at their record release party hosted by the good folks at Antenna Farm Records. It’s an all SF affair at the Cafe Du Nord this Friday with The Papercuts headlining and The Mantles opening the show. The show’s being co-announced by KALX so if you tune in there’s going to be plenty of tickets given away between now and Friday.

Here are some Botticellis tunes I hope convince you to go:

Old Home Movies

Up Against the Glass


Chico Science & Nação Zumbi

I still remember the day back in 1996 when Chico Science & Nação Zumbi’s (CSNZ) second record afrociberdelia arrived in the mail. It came sans promotional material with the usual list of styles, influences, tour dates and stale band bio, no flier advertising other acts on the label, nothing. Just a handwritten return address in Brazil and about a dozen stamps on an envelope containing a CD with liner notes entirely in Portuguese. Who where these guys? Who sent this to me? Intrigued, I put on the CD and was immediately floored by the passion and power emanating from my speakers. This sounded like something entirely new.

Turned out it was. Nação Zumbi’s leader Chico Science was a musical visionary and the founder of mangue bit, a movement that took the folk styles of maracatu and other traditional rhythms such as embolada, coco-de-roda and ciranda native to his home state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil and blended them with reggae, funk, rap and rock. (Mangue was a reference to the region’s mangrove swamps and bit, later subverted to beat by “the media”, represented the electronic sampling the movement incorporated).

Two of my favorite tracks tracks from Afrociberdelia:

Corpo De Lama


That second track features a guest appearance from Gilberto Gil and samples of The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s “Take Five” and “A Minha Menina” by MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) star Jorge Ben.

Afrociberdelia sold over 20,000 copies in the first three weeks it was out and CSNZ were poised for an international breakthrough when Chico Science was killed in a car accident in Recif, Pernambuco’s capital on February 2, 1997. His influence and legacy is the foundation to a whole new generation of musicians in Brazil. Maybe it was his handwriting on my envelope…


Birds Of Avalon at the Hemlock Tavern

I’m definitely getting too old for the midweek show. In my twenties I could have pulled off rocking out on a Wednesday night and head in to work Thursday morning without blinking an eye. Right about now I wish both eyes were closed in blissful slumber. But I’m not complaining ’cause the set Raleigh, NC based Birds of Avalon put on at the Hemlock Tavern over in SF last night was worth every ounce of pain I’m feelin’ now. Since they played the Hemlock Monday night too and what with Jay Reatard and the Black Keys rocking different clubs not too far away me and just a couple dozen other folks had Birds, Olympia, WA’s Nudity and local rockers Dzjenghis Khan all to ourselves. Luckily twenty bodies feels like a crowd at the Hemlock and Birds of Avalon killed it like people were hanging from the rafters.

After getting the kids to bed I ended up missing all but the last two songs of Dzjenghis Khan’s set. Their super fuzzed 60′s garaged up punk Cream meets Motorhead wall o’ sound had me regretting I didn’t see more.

The WidowDzjenghis Khan (from their 2006 demo)

Nudity’s set was dominated by their epic track ‘The Nightfeeders’. Clocking in at over twenty minutes of Can meets Hawkwind psych rock it lost my attention somewhere in the middle but got me back to a decent head-bob by the end. An edited (and enjoyably concise IMHO) version is streaming at their myspace page.

Night ConcentricksNudity (a Nightfeeders remix snippet from their current 12″)

I can’t think of a better husband and wife guitar slingin’ punch in the gut than Birds Of Avalon’s Cheetie Kumar and Paul Siler. The former The Cherry Valence members are flat out kill good. Their set last night made it even harder to wait the three weeks are so between now and the show they’re opening for The Raconteurs at Bimbo’s on the 23rd. Check out their website for one of the most hectic tour schedules I’ve ever seen (Visalia?!) and streams of their new album Outer, Upper, Inner (see geeky superfan photo on the right).

Horse Called DustBirds Of Avalon (from their debut Bazaar Bazaar)

You have one last chance to check them out before the Raconteurs show (if you were even able to get tickets) tonight over in Oakland at Eli’s Mile High Club, again with Nudity.

Catch me on KALX in Berkeley

I host the Cuppa Joe show on KALX in Berkeley every other Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM. You can tune at 90.7 or online by clicking HERE ------------------------------------------- NEXT SHOW: October 28 FUNDRAISER SHOW!! ------------------------------------------- Check out past playlists HERE
Got something I HAVE TO HEAR? Wanna send me free stuff? Email me at


Quick note about the tunes

The mp3s on this blog are to give folks a little taste. Imagine they're those little pouches on the bag your Sunday paper comes in. You know, the one's with a packet containing just enough toothpaste to brush your teeth once or twice. They are left up for a limited time. If you find something you like support the artists by dragging your friends to their shows and/or buying their CDs/records/schwag. If you are the artist (or their label/representative) and don't want an mp3 on here, please email me ( and I'll remove it posthaste.
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