Great live shows:
Brave Combo- too many to mention but one show at the Playhouse in
Winters, CA was especially memorable. The audience was small and
reserved so most bands would have packed it in and split, but not
Brave Combo. They took a 15 minute break and came back and just
SLAYED everyone. They didn't give up until everyone was on the dance
Toxic Reasons at the Farm in SF. That night was just magic with
their two guitar attack. One of the few times I've gone up front in
the pit. The other was a very early show by Bow Wow Wow at Galactica
2000 in Sacramento, that was just incredible.
DOA at the Mab in SF. I don't think it was their first time in SF
but that "Harcore'81" lineup with Joey Shithead, Dave Gregg, Randy
Rampage & Chuck Biscuits on drums was phenomenal. I think
"Harcore'81" is the best punk rock record ever and that night they
were on fire.
Angelic Upstarts at the Berkeley Square. The band was at its' peak
and the whole room was one giant pogo.
Other favorite Mabhuay Gardens memories were JFA doing an all ages
early show and one night with Sun Ra where fortunately the sound man
Duke Ellington and his orchestra at the Mt. Tamalpais amphitheater-
A great show at the Cow Palace with Marilyn Manson, Hole &
Monster Magnet. You should have seen the parking lot after the
Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives at Hardly Strictly
Bluegrass Festival (SF). End of the day and not alot of people
there, these guys make music special.
Horrible live shows: James Brown at SF State, The Ramones at
Wolfgangs. These two greats phoned it in.
I don't care for this Race To The Bottom. I like high fidelity music
and high resolution images. I don't want to watch "Bridge On The
River Kwai" on a telephone, I want to watch it on a large, high
definition screen. I want to hear music the same way the
artist hears it. Now let's talk about some albums that I call note
for note perfect:
John Hammond "I Can Tell" (1967)
really grabs me. Most people have never heard it. Engineered by Phil
Ramone it had tube microphones, tube mixing console and tube tape
recorder. It was pretty much recorded live with a few overdubs.
Robbie Robertson from The Band is on lead guitar and it's up there
as his best work.
Jr. Mance "Get
Ready, Set, Jump!"(1963)
Another just perfect record (it never was released on CD). Wow what
an album. The Capitol Records echo chamber shines.
Sons of Champlin "Loosen Up Naturally" (1968)
Another gem that just stands the test of time. These guys could
Ellington "Indigos" (1958)
A stunning recording even today and maybe the best of America's
America's second greatest composer. With Johnnie Johnson on piano,
Chuck wrote Rock'n Roll. Not the best recording quality, but with
these songs and these performances it transcends into heaven on
Moby Grape (1967)
I was one of the fortunate few to see these guys live and at their
peak which is something I will never forget. The first album didn't
disappoint. Again, not the best recording quality but the songs and
performances are great.
"Live At The Jazz Workshop" (1989) A long time ago a friend of mine
told me you have to check this singer out. She was playing in this
tiny hole in the wall in San Francico's Mission District. I thought
no way could she be as good as he described. Then a just regular
looking woman got up on stage and blew my mind. I must have been to
one hundred of her performances. This album just shines.
Krauss & Union Station "So Long So Wrong" (1997)
Somebody gave me this album and I loved it. Superb engineering by
Gary Paczosa (who's done many great albums). I don't like the song
sequencing (fast- slow-fast- slow) but other than that it's perfect.
"My Favorite Person" by
the O'Jays (1982). Wow- eight songs all of them perfect. Engineered
by Joe Tarsia. This was released right when Gamble & Huff were
breaking up and thus the album had zero promotion.