Max Roach Passes Away

Posted by Miss Ess, August 16, 2007 03:28pm | Post a Comment
Max Roach has died.

He was 83.

max roach

max roachHe was the last  of the Be Bop greats and one of the most inventive and experimental drummers in the history of jazz.

Much has already been written about Roach.

On a personal note, I hadn't been an avid jazz listener, but then I happened to have that oh so common experience which brought with it respect and appreciation for the form:  The College Intro To Jazz Class.

This class exceeded the typical music course though:  My professor, Smith Dobson, was one of the best I had.  He introduced me to Max Roach and many others like Sidney Bechet and Mingus.  I could tell jazz truly was his life and he was continually inspired by what he heard and performed.  He would grab other jazz students and play for us on stage regularly in class.  He made us laugh and taught ussmith dobson uc santa cruz jazz professor about the jazz aesthetic by effortlessly embodying it.  He encouraged all of us to get involved, get out to jazz gigs and recognize how revolutionary the form is.

Sadly, a few months after my class ended, Prof Dobson died in a car accident while returning home from a performance.  It was a huge and shocking blow to the many students who loved him and were not sure how they would continue their musical education without him.  I credit him fully with my appreciation for jazz and its history-- if it were not for him I still might not have heard Max Roach.

Sun Kil Moon Saves: Or, What To Do When Having a Car in San Francisco Has Gotten You Down

Posted by Miss Ess, August 16, 2007 02:00pm | Post a Comment
Inevitably, sometimes life kicks us in the ass.

When it does, we all have things we turn to in order to cope.

This week, while spending most of my time at home either in bed with the covers over my head or on the couch, blankly staring at the wall, twiddling my thumbs, I felt an utter loss of inspirado.

twiddling thumbs

I mean, after spending most of last week happily indulging in Bridezillas, where does one go from there? Where CAN one go from there when life shifts irritatingly and becomes a pathetic time of need?

Well, welcome to my schizo mind. As much as something as ridiculous as my aforementioned obsession with The View can cheer me up, I also turn to things that are much more nostalgic and "serious" and I do like to allow myself a good wallow every now and again when circumstances call for it.

The supreme wallowing record, at least for the last year or so, for me has been Sun Kil Moon's Ghosts of the Great Highway. Have you heard it?

sun kil moon ghosts of the great highway cover album mark kozelek

It's by Mark Kozelek, who formed Red House Painters, made a lot of records I never really got into, got sick of the business and that name and released this record as something completely different.
mark kozelek live sun kil moon
It's fantastic for a good wallow. In fact, I find it's actually fantastic any time. It's one of those fabulous and few records that morph somehow with my mood and mean different things whether I am ecstatic or down in the dumps or somewhere in between.

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Posted by Billyjam, August 16, 2007 09:06am | Post a Comment

As mentioned in the AMOEBLOG posted yesterday about the late, great Bay Area graffiti artist DREAM, here are pics from a brand new large scale mural painted by DREAM ol skool partner SPIE and others from the SF based H.O.M.E.Y. Project. Still being finished up, it is in San Francisco's Mission District.   These pics were taken at the beginning of last week, which was exactly mid-way through the five week painting project that began July 14th. Next I will post pics taken yesterday, as the piece is almost completely done. Meantime if you want to go check out this socially and politically charged mural you can find it on 24th Street in the Mission in a parking lot off 24th St in between Capp Street and Lilac Alley. I took all these pics last week on a sunny afternoon as SPIE and several others were out en force. A part of the ten year San Francisco community/art based H.O.M.E.Y. Project, the new mural's artists also included Mike TRIGGER (pictured above), Nancy Pili, and Marina Prez-Wong (pictured painting below three pics down) among others. 

The large, colorful mural is sponsored by the San Francisco's Planning Commission, who bulit a new raised wall for the art. The space, in a parking lot off 24th, is completely fenced in with a big metal prison-like fence. This provided the artists with inspiration for the piece that was partially planned/sketched out and partially improvised. "The fence all around here kind of gave us the basis for the theme here," said SPIE. "We're commenting on a lot of stuff as far as content here. The theme is loosely about fences, walls and prisons in a sense being utilized to solve problems because this (the metal fence) is supposed to be put up to curb gang violence, which is not a healthy solution to a problem -- it's the gating and jailing of a community in a lot of ways. So we are making a comment about that and a comment about relating it not just local issues but worldwide from the Mexican/American border immigration issue that is going on right now. And you've got the Palestine wall right here which is a big issue...Overall it is about solidarity of communities of color and oppressed people -- black and brown unity..."  

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Death Shot

Posted by phil blankenship, August 15, 2007 08:09pm | Post a Comment

Sony K0565


Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2007 06:55pm | Post a Comment
dream graffiti artist
Legendary Bay Area graffiti artist Mike DREAM Francisco, who was shot and killed in cold blooded murder in 2000, would have celebrated his 38th birthday today (August 15th, 2007) had he been spared his senseless death on the streets of Oakland seven years ago. Dream was not only an amazingly talented artist and integrated part of the Bay Area hip-hop scene (collaborating with countless hip-hoppers over the years), but he was also one of those really cool-and-always down to earth, caring people who took time out for others. All of which made his passing so much more painful for all who knew him. One of those most affected was his longtime partner from TDK crew, SPIE (who is one of the authors of a forthcoming book on DREAM), who I ran into today in the Mission District as he was finishing up a mural project on 24th Street (b/w Capp and Lilac) and about to head over to a meeting at the SF Planning Commission over funding of the H.O.M.E.Y. Project (more on this with pictures over the next two days here on this AMOEBLOG).

Born in Alameda, CA, DREAM was one of the pioneers of the beginnings of the Bay Area graffiti scene from the early eighties up until the time of his death, both as a solo artist and with his crew TDK. But despite his tragic passing his legacy grows and grows each year. A few months ago the RX Gallery in San Francisco had a tribute exhibit to DREAM organized by fellow TDK graf artist WIllie Maze. Meanwhile, outdoors around the Bay Area there are countless pieces dedicated to the late, great artist, including out under the junction of the 280 and 101 freeways in SF -- coincidentally the place where DREAM, along with SPIE, did one of his very last pieces (see below).

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