• 3.19.9 Zu with Mike Patton at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco

    MassimoZu’s Bassist Massimo

    In a limited way of words, how is it possible for me express the level of my anticipation in seeing this show? When Nels told me he’s friends with this Italian band Zu, their long reputation for being extremely supportive in the music community, as well as being these hard working super guys, I was even more all over this. I was up in the Bay Area for a 10 day hang with Nels, and his trio, the Singers for their recording… many of favorite people/friends in one place, Devin, Scott, Breskin, and Saint, doing what each of them do best. This show was thrown into the mix of one of The Things to be attended.

    Once again Nels was extremely generous with his impossible schedule. Even when he needed all the possible time to write, rehearse, and practice for the recording session just a few days away, he still made the time to take me to this show. He knew I would like the music, this “Roman metal/math/no-wave/free noise/punk/jazz trio”. (Well, he did want to see his friends, too.)  Little did we know the kind of near-red carpet reception from the Great American Music Hall would later make this evening such a… trip. If only I was a drunkard, I would have abused the loads of free drink tickets given to us. I instead stuck with my known limit of the outrageous number of 3 beers, that is, when I’m shooting. Otherwise, I could have as much as 5? These days, anything in excess just makes me sleepy.

    Never in excess, actually, is the amount of music I can compile on lately. As I drift along, attaching myself to different sources of music branches of personalities, I’ve learned to live on it.

    The opening band cancelled (who and why, I’ll never know…) DJ Belladonna of the local radio station KFJC stepped in and played some insanely awesome stuff. Her selections of the evening was on the tip of industrial experimental low level ground covering…. mmmm…… undertone beats and drones. One after another was just freaking me out. I had to run and get her information. One band I got her to write down for me was C.O.T.A. , and their song “Children of the Apocalypse”. I still can’t find it. This music gave me all kinds of ideas for my future projects.

    The band promptly started at 10 p.m. The audience was of mixed age, loosely packed yet excited. This type of crowd I still haven’t gotten the right impression of… They are a combination of too cool and too enthusiastic. I wondered if I was also one.  But my enthusiastic was well reasonable. There I was about to meet my new set of amazingly talented, visionary friends. The too cool part, I’m still trying to shred, but I can’t help it sometimes knowing that it took me years to feel like I belong somewhere – No, scratch that, more like, it took me all my life to be comfortable enough to accept that people don’t hate me by default…. Ah, too personal. Back to the jolly night that it became….

    Immediately I was drawn to Massimo, the bassist. His smile was sincere and welcoming. Soon after, I got the good nature sense of Luca’s, the baritone player. I eve dropped on Nels and Patton’s conversation a bit over their discussion of gear boxes. That was amusing. I’ve met Patton a couple of times before, the last being from the Moonchild gig over a year ago, also in this same GMH place. He was polite. I didn’t get to talk to him at all after a friendly introduction, only got to watch him wrapping up his gadgets. I also didn’t get to talk to Jacopo, the drummer. The rest of the short after show evening was funny and pleasant. Nels was in a great mood, maybe the quality of their tequilas were acceptable? I threatened to go to Mexico City with the band, as I could see them for being my newest potential favorite (I did not miss my chance to diss Nels’s trio as old news to me, now that I’ve secured the Silent Fourth Member slot. Nels was so sweet as to recommend that I’m not much trouble to have along.)

    And the night was concluded in such a super weird ideal way. We didn’t even have any problems finding a street parking near the venue. I want to make a point to see them again, Europe or where ever.

    Mike Patton

    Mike Patton on Voice

    Jacopo

    Zu's Drummer Jacopo

    Luca, Nels, and Jacopo after show

    Luca, Nels, and Jacopo after show

    Massimo and Luca

    Massimo and Luca

    Patton and Jacopo

    Patton and Jacopo


  • 11.19.8 SF with Nels Cline Singers – Cafe De Nord

    Nels Cline Singers - before show

    Nels Cline Singers - before show

    Devin Hoff

    Devin Hoff

    Devin

    Devin

    Devin and Nels

    Devin and Nels

    David Breskin

    David Breskin

    Nels Cline with Members of Deerhoof Greg Saunier and Satomi Matsuzaki

    Nels Cline with Members of Deerhoof Greg Saunier and Satomi Matsuzaki

    Scott Amendola with Eric McFadden

    Scott Amendola with Eric McFadden

    Devin

    Devin

    Scott

    Scott

    Nels

    Nels


  • 8.24.8 Outside Lands Festival with Wilco – San Francisco

    JeffJeff

     

    No ways I would miss a chance to roam another music festival this summer….

    I took a quickie flight up north to hit the last day of this SF Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival for Wilco on the last show (this leg) of their tour. The arrived at the airport 8 hours too early to meet up with Nels who’s traveling on the Wilco bus. I staked out a corner at SFO to sleep and wait for the sun to rise. By dawn, I hauled my butt over toward the festival ground. This proved to be an unexpected adventure. By 10am, I did quite a few miles of walking back and forth around the outside of the festival gate looking for the right entrance to get in. The festival set up was ridiculously long in distance from one end to the other. Luckily I didn’t mind the mellow morning walk in the amazing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, even with my 75 lbs on my back full of camera gear. But soon after that, my feet were done. I didn’t explore the festival itself too much due to my inappropriate shoes. I didn’t allow myself enough time to THINK ahead as I barely made it to my flight out.

    Once there, and once all the fussy access issues were dealt with, I pretty much tailgated Nels Cline the entire day. The weather was warm’ish overcast. This festival was.. huge. The sea of happy people walking, dancing, laying around everywhere like ants. Good times were evidenced everywhere. I watched only a few bands; Toots & Maytals, Broken Social Science, and the one that impressed me – Bon Iver.

    Then it was time for Wilco to go on. Their stage was on the opposing side of the festival where all the tour buses parked. Everyone had to get shuttled over to stage and later back. Once I hopped on the side of the stage, seeing the sea of crowd was mind blowing. This actually prompted me to soon give up on looking for my local SF resident friend Dave – who’s amongst the crowd of 60 thousands somewhere to the … west …

    After Wilco finished playing, we were in a mad hurry to get out of the festival. I supposed being that it was their last show of the tour, and the day before Jeff Tweedy’s birthday, it was about wrapping it up and go chill in the City. I missed my chance to see Jack Johnson. I only heard him beginning his set from the distance as the bus leaves. I was a little bit bummed since I was looking forward to see him perform. Maybe next time, somewhere.

    Off to the hotel in San Francisco, a few of us had some drinks to cap off the night.  Again, due to the fixed work schedule, I had to catch a 6am flight back to be at work by 9am. Another exhilarating event, checked.
     

    schedule

    schedule

    policemen on patrol

    policemen on patrol

    Police Horse

    Police Horse

    Festival attendees watching band Wilco

    Festival attendees watching band Wilco

    Glenn as a rock drummer

    Glenn as a rock drummer

    Nels

    Nels

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Jeff and Nels guitar interaction

    Jeff and Nels guitar interaction

    Nels

    Nels

    John

    John

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Pat

    Pat

    Jeff - few hours before his 41st birthday

    Jeff - few hours before his 41st birthday