111 Minna, June 26th

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I honestly had no idea this venue existed. It suffers from the plight of most SoMa venues in that most people don’t ‘hang out’ there as with other areas (I’m looking at you Mission District). Two full bars, a stage, and lots of art makes it a interesting venue. Honestly it’s only major flaw (from a band’s perspective) is the two room split makes it easy to lose half your audience to the other room; even though they can still hear you through the sound system, it’s a little disheartening.

The Rollers opened the show promptly at 7p. A band made up of coworkers for one of the participating companies at the event, The Rollers do covers with a solid rhythm section and lots of energy. Unfortunately they played one of the few covers from our sets so we had to cut it.

Vinyl Spectrum has been finding it’s groove with a solid line up. The sound is bouncing somewhere between James Chance and The Pixies. We started the set with a call and response routine with me at the back of the venue moving forward. It was kitschy but was well received. Not sure what the future holds for the band but things are steady at the moment.¬†

Hote Utah, June 14th

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A familiar venue, the Hotel Utah has feature in previous post before. I’ve had some mediocre experiences here but nothing horrible. On a packed like (like it was this night) is always enjoyable. Which is easy because 60-80 packs the place.

The Hudson Heat have a lot going for them in that they remind me of a lot of other bands. There’s a little something in there for everyone to cling onto. Part Dashboard Confessional, a little Wilco, and various other straight ahead alt rockers. The band was solid and had a strong audience from the beginning.

Vinyl Spectrum took the middle slot, my personal favorite. The band was fresh after spending a 10 hour block in the studio a few days prior. Frankie (guitar/vocals) got a little[a lot] carried away during a solo and spent 5 minutes in the crowd letting people play his guitar. We play a song called “Ellie’ and there happened to be a woman with that name in the crowd. Song’s about a street walker but she seemed pleased. If we can keep this line-up together, I think things will be looking up.

Greyhounds, an amazing band. I made the mistake of wandering outside at the beginning of their set. When I walked back in I was immediately mesmerized. Solid Rhythm and Blues with tons of energy and feeling in it. I don’t want to say too much and not do them justice.

Bottom of the Hill, April 13th

Playing catch up. This show was interesting. Sunday night at BOTH and it was packed. Mostly thanks to Tony from http://humaninterconnectedmusic.com/ for really knowing how to create a connected line up and promoting. Interestingly enough we couldn’t promote the bill with Nightmare and the Cat until about a week before because they had just played at the Fox. (For those who don’t know. The Bay Area has interesting rules between Venues about promotion and booking for dates close to each other-if you’re big enough for it to matter).

Yellow Alex, a band that is Prince if Prince joined Vampire Weekend; in a good way. They actually sound pretty close to local act French Cassettes (who are also really cool and have funky bass lines). These guys rock and can bring the sexy if needed. 

Vinyl Spectrum took the stage next and we had a good show. I’ve been on my own case recently about really paying attention to my saxophone like I should be and it shows mostly in endurance through shows. It can be tough to keep up with electric guitar players otherwise.

Nightmare and the Cat closed out with a solid set which shows why they are also playing places the Fox Theater. Catchy, skilled songwriting, and a relatable  and charming British front-man is the winning combination. All in all the show we cohesive and enjoyable.

Amnesia, April 10th

Month’s late, I know. This show was interesting. Margaret the King was supposed to be the opening act. Peck was supposed to close. Peck’s DJ ran away to Atlanta (yes I know I had a double-take when I read the email too) and so he played a solo set to open and we closed.

Peck is a captivating performer and one hell of a guitar player. I’m sad he wasn’t able to play the set he intended but even by himself a suitable crowd built up. Amnesia (On Valencia in SF) is a small but nice venue with dedicated stage and sweeeeet downstairs green room that I’m more than positive was used for bootlegging back in the day.

Kitten Grenande played second and this band is on their groove. Part Tune-yards, part Sia. If they can keep it up things will definitely start to look up for them.

And lastly we came and brought the awkward weirdness that chased the crowd away. Because we had anticipated opening the show, we put together an experimental set to test new waters. Great for an opening act, not so much for the closer. We had all electronic drums (Roland drum pad) and I played weird synth stuff most of the time. It was a ‘learning experience’. Chiefly that live drums add a lot of energy, and people like slow jams.