Posted by Billyjam, April 27, 2007 01:25am | Post a Comment
When it comes to stories of how bands formed, most groups have at least semi-interesting tales of how they first got together;  some more interesting than others.  But very few can match the unique story of San Francisco's Conspiracy of Beards  - the 30 member,  all male, an
a capella group that exclusively cover  Leonard Cohen songs - who formed five years ago, inspired by the vision of a dying friend of theirs.

Originally an octet who intended to do just a one-off gig, they have since not only stayed together but grown both in membership and in popularity. More importantly the Beards have transcended being merely a musical group to becoming a supportive community of men with a shared passion for music and life.

Peter Kadyk,  who died in 2002, was the inspiration for the group.  And Daryl Henline, the Conspiracy of Beard's musical director,  described him as, "A shining inspiration for a lot of us. He died at age 30 of HIV....Over the years, when we were all hanging out in his kitchen playing music, Peter used to say 'You know we should start a men's choir singing the songs of Leonard Cohen and it should be called A Conspiracy of Beards.' And after he died Pete's wife Annah said to Pete's brother Pat and I 'Why don't you guys put that choir together.'"  So they did. In 2003, a year after their muse's death, eight of them formed the Conspiracy of Beards with the intention of doing a one-off event in a Mission District club.

"It had been a 'vision' of Peter's; a bunch of men with long beards singing the songs of Leonard Cohen," said Andrew Kushin, another old friend of Peter's and original choir member. "Personally, I think in Peter's mind - it was all mixed up with some scenes from (Russian film director) Tarkovsky's cutting room floor... something from a dark, frozen, 19th century Russian winter. Somber, grey, and hairy... harsh shadows and all that... the grave visual, eastern companion to Cohen's poems."  Like many of the original members Kushin, who plays bass in Live Human, protested when he was invited by Peter's brother Pat to enlist for that original one-off performance at the Lab (16th & Capp) saying that he wasn't a singer.

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Posted by phil blankenship, April 27, 2007 12:30am | Post a Comment

Please, DO NOT watch if you are SQUEAMISH !!  

VEC 1052

(In which Job gets high and complains of his illness.)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 26, 2007 08:33pm | Post a Comment
I don’t want you to think I’m an overly critical person, but frankly, I can’t think of very many nice things to say about ear infections.

It’s my first time having one, so I’m probably not the best person to speak with authority on the subject. Because it’s all so new, I hate to draw too many conclusions. I generally think of myself as open to new experiences.

When it comes to food, for example, I am practically compelled to taste a dish, if I never have before. Whether it’s sea urchin at a sushi bar in Sacramento or sweetbreads at Musso & Frank Grill or chilled monkey brains with my underage sidekick… oh wait… That was “Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom” - I always get that and my life confused. (It’s easy when you work on the mezzanine at Amoeba Music Hollywood – but we’ll get to that later.)

The point is… um…

Okay, you need to know right away that I am hopped-up on loads of Vicodin. It’s one of the many things my doctor prescribed for the aforementioned ailment.

If you’re like most people found at a swell music store such as the one I work at, you probably just got all warm and fuzzy at the mention of Vicodin. You maybe even got a little jealous of me.

“Oh, lucky,” you think. But I hate it. For one thing, it makes writing a blog almost impossible.

“But Job,” you protest, “You seem to be doing a fine job. Your prose is witty and accessible; smart and grammatically deft. Why, you’ve even managed to find a clever way to sneak in usage of the words ‘ecchymosis’ and ‘zizith’ in the same sentence!”

Well, I return, you’re very kind. But what you don’t know is that I’ve been working on this entry for eight hours without a break (unless you count the lost-time from my fainting spell immediately after I typed out the word grammatically).

Hot New Compilation 2 - Colombia! The Golden Age Of Discos Fuentes 1960-1976

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 26, 2007 01:02pm | Post a Comment
colombia the golden age of discos fuentes

Soundways Records
out of England does it again! Their Panama and Afro-Beat releases are excellent, but this release is their best by far. Discos Fuentes are to Colombian music what Stax & Motown are to soul, Trojan to Reggae, Blue Note to Jazz and what Sun Records is to rock music. They've released thousands of records since 1934 and still do to this day. The compilation covers the classic years of Discos Fuentes (1960-1976) and is mostly Cumbia and Salsa music with Champeta and some modernized versions of traditional South American music.

Much of what is on this comp hasn’t been released in quite some time and has only been available through out of print records. Included are rare tracks from well known Colombian artists Fruko Y Su Tesos, The Latin Brothers and Afrosound, plus classic tracks from Los Corraleros De Majagual, Pedro Laza y Su Pelayeros and Lucho Bermudez. This is straight up dance floor madness! Even those who can't dance will have a tough time resisting the rhythms produced by this release. Great liner notes with many pictures of the original album covers will make the record collector in you salivate.

Babe's & Ricky's Inn - Blues and Soul Food On A Monday Night

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 26, 2007 11:38am | Post a Comment

Babe’s & Ricky’s
on a Monday night is something that everyone should experience. Owner Laura Mae Gross, or Mama, as many call her, greets you at the door. At eighty- seven years old, she is still at the club every night. The eight-dollar cover gets you a free soul food dinner and all night Blues, including a brief set by Mickey Champion.

My first Babe’s & Ricky’s experience was last Monday. I got there early to walk around Leimart Park. I didn’t see the late night chess matches that once went on into the wee hours of the night. There used to be these intense chess matches just outside the legendary 5th Street Dick’s. I hadn’t seen them the last few times I been to Leimart Park. I passed by Project Blowed and The World Stage, both closed for the night. All these locations mentioned are known promoting culture, creativity and improvisation in the black community. Leimart Park is the place you need to be to improve your musical and word skills, with multiple Blues, Hip-Hop, Poetry and Jazz open mic sessions.

Babe’s & Ricky’s has a varied selection of beers, from New Castle to Ole English Malt Liquor. I noticed they had Guinness and I wondered if anyone had the nuts to make their own Black Eight at the bar. For those who don’t know, a Black Eight is a concoction of Ole 8 and Guinness, a throwback to my youth often done as a tribute to Tha Alkaholiks. (…Oooh don't I sound great when I down a black eighth, my style is much hotter than the enchilada plate...) I thought about doing it for a sec, then thought against it, as it’s a long drive from Leimart Park back to Cypress Park.

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