Monday, April 11, 2005

Rock Lotto

Last Friday night was the second annual Rock Lotto organized by Moe! Staiano. It was a benefit for Dax Pierson. I was assigned to Michael Mellender and Matthias Bossi from Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Vicky Grossi from Bitches Brew to form a one-time-only rock band. The name of the band was Hammer Girth. I think. It was a last-minute name.

K came down from Portland to hear the Rock Lotto. He recruited his buddies Danielle and Angie (DnA) who came down from Davis. (Again, K exhibits exemplary fan behavior -- not only coming to the show but bringing friends!)

Had there been an award given out for Most Obnoxious, Hammer Girth would definitely have won it. We did an extended dissonant rhythmic vamp with no resolution. By the time it had gone on for ten minutes or so, the crowd was howling in protest and ready to start throwing chairs at us. It was great. :) We had the most visceral crowd reaction of any band there. Danielle told K she thought she'd just been part of an evil social experiment.

All the bands were creative. It's amazing the array of musics that result when you tell people from the creative music scene to play Rock. I was really impressed with the band led by Jessie Quattro. She is a very compelling front-being and Dan Rathbun, Moe!, and the guitar player (whose name escapes me and I apologize) gave her tight backup.

I got to re-connect with Rebecca Seeman, who was a grad school classmate of mine. She is now the choral director at USF. It was really great to catch up and hear what she's been up to.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Saturday Night at the Attic

I took a trip to Santa Cruz last night to hear the fabulous Vermouth. I am a big fan of this band, formerly of Santa Cruz. They moved to LA a while back and they included two Santa Cruz gigs on their current tour.

It was a fun night out. The Attic is a gallery and tea house on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. They have a superb selection of teas of very high quality. They have plenty of vegetarian options on the menu. Paul and I were very impressed with their lavender lemonade.

Justine and Steve from Vermouth asked if we'd watch over their mini-disc recorder while it recorded their sets. The evening could have been a disaster, according to Justine, but it turned out perfectly. The venue had double-booked itself, putting the music performance on the same night with an art show fundraiser for a local non-profit. They merged the two events and ended up with a much bigger audience for the musicians and music for the fundraiser!

Vermouth shared the bill with singer/songwriter Eli Salzman. He showed himself to be very talented not just with his original material but particularly with his confident cover of "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead. He's a good guitar player and vocalist.

Paul took pictures of Justine, Steve, Matthew and Curtis from Vermouth and Eli Salzman too. He'll be providing CDs of the photos to them.

I ran into Rick Walker and Chris Wedertz. Rick brought me up to date on all his recent exploits which include some Japanese gothic pop music. He's very happy because he loves pop music. The label in Japan is apparently paying for his travel expenses to go over there and perform. Yay Rick!

Rick also says that Santa Cruz is undergoing a live music renaissance. I really hope he's right. Ten years ago, the place was overflowing with creative, original musicians, so many of whom have been priced out of the community. Rick says there are several new venues booking original music. Wouldn't that be wonderful...