Amoeblog

It is the season for giving they say ...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 16, 2007 07:03pm | Post a Comment
I was asking around to my friends about how I haven't heard of any coat drives this year, when it's been darn cold here in Northern California. One of the sweetest and smartest gals I know sent me a link to the information here. There's some folks working on literacy and getting kids to read *better.

(*Sorry: Zoolander fan!)

They also happen to be doing a whole lot of good work down in Louisiana where people are still trying to rebuild their lives. The whole she-bang is called Lullalee Productions, and here is a quote from their mission statement:


"Lullalee Productions and Services (LPS) provides free books and "Magical Literacy Events/Car-Ni-Fairs" designed to enhance the lives and learning experiences of all children. LPS supports families, communities, facilities and local organizations serving children that are low-income or have special needs."



Now I know times are tough all over, but I can't stand the thought of a child being cold. So these folks are trying to get presents for all the kids this holiday season down in Terrebone Parish, and they are also collecting coats for kids. They are at 78% of their goal - maybe we can raise that percentage some with whoever out there reads this particular blog!
 

Are you sitting at home on a Saturday night?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 15, 2007 06:39pm | Post a Comment

When I think of Dave Gleason & The Wasted Days Band playing live, it's like dancing to ass-kicking Country-Americana-Rock, the kind that wears out yer dance shoes in one song, spins you around & kicks your ass toward the bar. When you come back to the dance floor with a round of cold ones, your feet are already dancing before the next note is struck.


All Music Guide describes Dave Gleason as 'heavy, outlaw-influenced sound with its origin in classic Nashville counterculture.'  They sure talk prettier than I do!



If you aren't familiar with The Starry Plough in fine town of Berkeley, California, you are in for a treat. In fact, first let me say that this is a damn nice stretch of Shattuck Avenue close to Ashby. It's actually on the corner of Prince Street - and when I used to live half a block up from the Plough, I'd often wander down and grab my dinners and a fresh beer to see what live music I could bump into.

Dinner? Damn right, kitchen is open until 11pm, get your Burger, your Pizza (capitalized out of respect) or what have you and dance your blues away! Nicest beer selection and plenty of hot and cold liquids with no intoxicants at all for your designated driver home.

My real introduction to Gram Parsons ...

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 15, 2007 10:43am | Post a Comment
I came at Gram sideways, when my eyes saw the words ... Grievous Angel, Fallen Angel, Love Hurts  ... it was December, 2003 and I hadn't listened intently to any of Gram's music. I'd heard it over the years, but I'd never sat and played it in a dark room with my soul torn open, Gram playing on a little boombox while I sobbed like I could cry everyone's mortality away.

See, someone had just died. Here were all of her things, I'm trying to sort them out - and here was her Gram records. I had never known that Gram sang "Love Hurts,"  honest to God. I thought that was a Nazareth song. I know a lot about music, but sometimes I'm still that dumb kid who grew up in the 70's.

I spent about 3 weeks in that apartment listening to those albums over and over, and I thought ... this is what miracles are. That something so beautiful, angelic and sorrowful could whisper in the background of your life as your friends were all hip to it ... but sometimes the music waits until exactly when you need it. Then it runs you over like a Mack truck. The kind of Mack truck that heals you while you fall in love with it.

I had to put aside Gram for years, because the pain was too great. See, it was my best friend's Mom who had just died. I'd never been in a situation to have an aging parent, and I certainly had never been around to take an older woman to her (frustrating) doctor appointments, carry grocery bags upstairs and talk about how Nevada Barr is no Faulkner, but sometimes you can go the prettiest places in a 1.99 soft cover from Moe's Books in Berkeley, when you can't afford to get on a plane. Or when you're dying, and you probably know that deep in your bones. I'd never watched someone I respected so much ... just waste away. Disappear.

I wish we'd talked about her music too, because that woman had some damn good records. (You bet a whole lot of Emmylou was in in there was well.)  You never know someone it seems, until far too late. What would my life had been like if she'd hit play on "Love Hurts" back in the summer of 2003? Different, but in a way, I suppose this was better. I can't judge.

All Hail Led Zeppelin

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 9, 2007 04:00pm | Post a Comment

In England it is midnight, Monday, December 10, 2007.  In a matter of mere hours, Led Zeppelin will be reunited on stage to play a tribute show.  Playing at London's O2 Arena, it's a concert in aid of the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund.  Mr. Ertegun, who passed away last year, was co-founder of Atlantic Records and chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & museum.  Led Zeppelin recorded with Atlantic Records until they released Physical Graffiti on their own Swan Song label in 1975. 

DO YOU UNDERSTAND?  LED ZEPPELIN!!  LIVE!!  TOMORROW!!  Maybe it'll be something like this:




In case you live under a rock and don't know, Led Zeppelin is made up of 4 guys:


from left to right:

John Bonham plays drums

Richard Thompson

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 8, 2007 11:12pm | Post a Comment
Richard Thompson
Friday night, December 7th, 2007
Performing at the Montalvo Arts Center in the Carriage House

I know all of that is true not only because I looked it up on the net to verify my facts, but because I was there.

An intimate run of shows in this adorable town goes by the name Saratoga. Mind you, us Amoebas are in California, though I certainly would love to see Richard Thompson perform in an intimate venue in Saratoga, New York. I always loved that town. In Saratoga, California there are wineries and some really nice shops and no snow in December. (Unlike Saratoga, N.Y., though I haven't been to New York since this wacky global warming craze started, so for all I know it was colder in California last night.)

I grew up back East and I hate being cold about more than I hate anything except huge things like injustice, starving children and being stabbed. I do not mean to downplay how much I hate being cold, but luckily --although I have spent much of the last month freezing my damn ass off  --the intimate theater that Richard Thompson played in this week was only a chilly place. Not freezing, not really even officially cold.


Richard playing at Amoeba Hollywood

One December, I went to see Charles Brown perform at Kimball's East also here in California and it was freezing in that damn venue. I am well aware of the massive tangent I am on right now, and I don't give a damn. I'd had my face smashed open by a car dashboard when I was about 16, and that night at Charles Brown, it was so damn cold, my face ached so, and I watched the whole show holding the right side of my face because, frankly, it was sheer agony. Now Friday night, December 7th, 2007, in Saratoga California, I was not holding my face at all. I will admit to occasionally rubbing my legs and wearing a few layers, long johns and all. But it's been a cold December here in Northern California. This all popped into my head because I was at the Charles Brown show with the same person that said, "Hey, I have an extra ticket to see Richard Thompson, drive on down here."

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