Monthly Archives: May 2005

We Jam Econo! film on the Minutemen

Perhaps my favorite band from the early eighties, from San Pedro, the Minutemen, is the subject of a film now playing at extremely cool venues around the world! It’s titled “We Jam Econo” and I can’t wait to see it!

For locals, the screening list shows it playing in SF at the Yerba Buena Center, July 22-31. Check it out!

The Long Emergency – Kunstler

I’m just finishing James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency, and it is not for the easily depressed. If he’s only one quarter correct, we’re still in for a hell of a tough century in America as hit peak oil production and go beyond. That Kunstler despises modern American suburbia is no secret – his earlier books make that clear – and there’s a hint that he won’t be too sorry to see the ‘drive-in utopia’ come to an end. But at its worst he sees a country coming completely unglued, as the easy assumptions of the past hundred years all get reversed and we enter a new ‘dark age.’

I had hoped that the last chapter might provide a little hope, but about the best it can do is say that slavery probably won’t return! I am a bit more hopeful than he is, but I do think that things will get pretty bad; even if there are certain technological ‘fixes’ it still takes time to act. And my feeling is that the Iraq War is just the beginning of it – the U.S. appears to me to be wanting to hold onto Iraq as its private store of oil when the going gets tough – and I suspect we’ll have lots of troops there for many years.

Boredoms @ the Independent, 19-May-2005

I’ve never seen a small band with three drummers before…

Yes, it was good. Very intense and tribal feeling to it, with the three drummers pulsing along. The non-drummer (Eye) had some new tech I’ve never seen before. At the beginning and the end of the show he used these two handheld lights that acted as a user interface to make sound – something about their position and speed – each one triggering different effects – great to watch him swing these lights around in the dark. Mostly he was doing things with keyboards or this ‘scratching’ box that he had (not sure if it was manipulating an actual CD or more likely just a file), like a small turntable. Made me think that perhaps a Can show in the early seventies would have had a similar feeling.

Luce @ The Independent, 12-May-2005

Wandered over to The Independent on Divisadero last night to see Luce, a six-man band led by singer/guitar player Tom Luce. They have a good solid sound, songs where they actually want you to hear the lyrics, and good singing. Their new CD is pretty good, check them out sometime…

Schjeldahl on Robert Bechtle

Good article in the New Yorker this week on the Robert Bechtle show up at SF MOMA. “Parked Cars” by Peter Schjeldahl, May 5, 2005 issue.

The problem of how to live in this land, as it actually is, has outfaced all attempts to escape or transcend it. And the benumbing domination of our visual culture by cameras, of one kind or another, is as urgent a challenge to painting now as it was when Andy Warhol wedded mechanical imagery to high art four decades ago.

Autolux @ GAMH, 3-May-2005

Finishing up my 5 night concert string, tonight I went over to Great American Music Hall to see Autolux. They played most of their record, and played it well. Good drummer! (All good bands have good drummers, see Joe Carducci for details).

(the Raveonettes were headlining, but I was distinctly unimpressed when I heard their CD, and decided I could skip their show as well)

Gang of Four @ The Fillmore, 2-May-2005

The long-awaited return of the original Gang of Four kicked off their US tour tonight in San Francisco after playing the Coachella Festival. And a fine return it was!

The set included virtually all of entertainment! (particularly strong versions of “Natural’s not in it” “At home he’s a tourist” “Damaged goods” and “I found that essence rare”), along with “Paralysed” “To hell with poverty” “we live as we dream alone” and “I love a man in uniform”. Hugo Burnham is one solid drummer! While of course they all show some age, they were active, Jon King and Dave Allen running about the stage.

All this proves what might have seemed unlikely 25 years ago, but that first record is completely solid, a true classic.

I should add that openers Menomena and Radio 4 both gave up solid performances, adding up to a very good night of music.

Mercury Rev @ The Independent, 1-May-2005

Just back from the Mercury Rev show at The Independent (they were going to play the Fillmore with The Doves, but illness forced a change of venue). Good show, a very polished, soaring and positive sound. Nice use of a projected backdrop, which alternated lovely images with mystical, inspirational quotes (sample: “You are made of Light”). Surprisingly rocking cover: Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody”.

Queens of a more stoned Age!

This entry inspired by a short review of Sleater-Kinney‘s upcoming disc, The Woods, which gets a rave review for Arthur magazine (May 2005). They call it not only “a lidflipper” but also a “wig-frier” and “relentlessly face-melting.” And I stole their line above about the “Queens” of the Woods.

Note that Arthur is running some very interesting stuff! May issue also has articles by Erik Davis, Daniel Pinchbeck, Peter Lamborn Wilson, and more.

Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish?

While perusing the shelves at SPD yesterday, I found one title that I just could not pass up. Created by Supervert, Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish is a little white book that purports to be a guide to exophilia, “an abnormal attraction for beings from worlds beyond earth.” I don’t know quite what to make of it, but you won’t find anything else quite like it on this planet.