Tuesday, March 20, 2007

An Important Announcement

I know that this blog is called SF Jukebox but I've been doing these show reviews on the side for some time now and I like them. The wonderful editor of the Owl Mag allows his writers to retain rights to their work and repost it so that's what I'm going to do. (I swear I'm not kissing ass, he's great, and I did ask for permission before moving ahead with this.)

This does NOT mean that I am going to stop reviewing jukeboxes, I'm just trying to fill a content void here. Since the band or musician appearing at a venue dictates the personality of a crowd the way a jukebox often relates to the kind of patrons coming to a bar, and since jkoshi takes photos for my show reviews as well, I figured it'd be a fun place to post the stuff. And if we want to get sickeningly philosophical, bands coming in and out of town are to the music scene as albums added or removed are to a jukebox. By that token I suppose I could post my CD reviews here, too, but I probably won't, at least not now.

I will even hop in the wayback machine known as the date field and (gasp!) backdate a few of them at the reader's pleasure so that they appear when the shows happened and not as a deluge of new posts whose posting dates makes very little sense in relation to when the shows happened.

Here are two for you to start with: Joanna Newsom at the Great American Music Hall and Do Make Say Think at Slim's. Be on the look out for additions to the backlog, motivation willing. I welcome any comments on the subject, in favor of this plan or in opposition to it. All input will be noted but only those in agreement will be taken seriously.

09 Mar 2007: Do Make Say Think

9 March 2007
Do Make Say Think
333 11th Street (btwn Folsom & Harrison) [Map]
Drinks Consumed: 3+ beers each plus whiskey.
Review at the Owl Mag

The all-ages policy at Slim's strikes again, this time in the form of teenagers on ecstasy. We took our usual spot in front of the stage (stage left) and realized high school kids surrounded us. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of them pop a blue pill into his mouth and wash it down with a gulp from his water bottle. They all had water bottles. Yes, everybody needs to drink water. But when the back rubs began four songs into the band's set, well... it was time to get away from the post-rock rave and flee to the bar.

The thing about post-rock is that most people can't really dance to this kind of music, with the exception of the ecstasy kids, who were a couple songs away from feeling some cosmic vibes. If you aren't into the closed-eye head sway, you just sort of stand around and appreciate the sound. And in the case of Do Make Say Think, that sound is beautiful. If I counted correctly, two drummers, a trumpeter/flugelhorn player, a saxophonist who doubles as a guitarist, a fiddle player, a bassist, and two guitar players crowded the stage. While they look, to use the words my companion, "like a mess of a band," talent outweighs fashion sense (or lack thereof). Do Make Say Think's ragamuffin members are very good at what they do. They experiment with dynamics, time signatures, and tempos all the while producing rich instrumental melodies riddled with explosive percussion. Apparently they have been known to do some crazy things onstage but this set was pretty straightforward. No stage diving, as strictly forbidden by the sign at the venue. I wish that I had taken advantage of the days when they played smaller venues because some of their sound's fullness is lost in the cavern that is Slim's.

Another thing about post-rock: matching song titles to tunes sucks unless you are a rabid fan of the band. While I own every album this band has ever put out, I failed in noting which tracks came when. I do know that they pulled out a bunch of the old tracks from Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn and & Yet & Yet, one of which was most certainly "Fredericia." I recognized others, to the point where it excited me to hear how close to studio quality the band plays them live, but I can't offer a proper set list. I'm sorry.

The lowest moment in the show came when they tried out a new song, a song that has lyrics. It was not good and this is a direction Do Make Say Think should avoid at all costs. Please, no lyrics. Ever.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Let's call it "hibernating"

This blog is not dead, I promise. It has just fallen a bit low on my list of priorities. In the meantime, check out my live show reviews for The Owl Mag, an Oakland-based Bay Area music zine of sorts. I link to them here, along with the various other stuff I'm working on. The photos for the live reviews are by SF Jukebox's very own jkoshi, of course.

Stay tuned, I swear I'm going to revive this thing, especially with such lovely weather upon our fair city.