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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Storm Blue: Storm Large of the Balls

This week's podcast is dedicated to the best performances I've attended in the Bay Area by new, non-mainstream artists. I decided not to include the popular bands of today with the exception of Police (who by now it sucks but back in the glory days of 1981 they were the hottest act of the World). I'm not including Yes, Steely Dan and Donald Fagen since they're kinda well known. Guitar player Pat Metheny, who I've seen 3 times already, has his own podcast here.

I am presenting acts you might find interesting and discover more about them. Again, even if they're very well known, The Police closes the show with a live recording in Tokyo, February 1981, when they really rocked. Jamiroquai presents a Kool And The Gang Cover they never released on record.
The songs of the podcast:
Javier Presents the show
Storm And The Balls: "Abba-Gadda-Da-Vida:" I discovered Storm circa April 2004 when Steve Wagner, manager of the SFAE Gallery told me about her shows. She is one of the most talented singers I've ever seen onstage and she's extremely gorgeous. I have seen her three times already and she always, always puts a great show. The country saw her talent at the Rockstar: Supernova contest and some people like myself got pissed when she got eliminated. This tune is from the Balls CD Hangin' With The Balls. More of Storm Large and her band on
Stung: "Don't Stand So Close To Me:" The Police, revisited by Brooks Lundy (guitar, vocals), John Messier (drums) and Eric Swihart (bass, vocals). My favorite tribute band of all time, honest. I really hope I had more time to go and check them out more often. Brooks really thinks he is Sting when he's onstage. If the real Sting only thought that too!
Amigos Invisibles: "Qué Rico:" Yeah, you know how much I like them! And if you never been to an AI concert, here's the kind of music they play: I've seen them 10 times already, and I have a blast every time! More information on this band dispersed all over my blog.
pickPocket Ensemble: "Prague:" If you happen to know me a little bit more, you know I've been going to night clubs and bars a long time ago. On January 2003 I went to Albatross Pub in Berkeley and I saw a local band playing a genre I never heard before: a mix of Eastern European dances with blues and a hint of Middle Eastern melodies on it. The main composer and leader of the band is accordionist Rick Corrigan, who's been changing band members since the debut of the band, International House Of Dreams, in 1999. This catchy tune is from their 2002 masterpiece (you read it, masterpiece) If I Were A Highway. The CD is available on their website.
Colin Hay: "Going Somewhere:" I love Men At Work, specially Colin Hay's amazing vocals and guitar execution. On July 2005 I saw him at the Red Devil Lounge playing his solo material as well as the eternal Men At Work hits. I picked this tune from the album of the same title since you can hear clearly how Colin's voice really is: raw, desperate, wry and savvy, and how his guitar flows with passion and ease.
Jamiroquai: "Hollywood Swingin'" I saw Jamiroquai at the Fillmore on November 2005. Great performance, but I thought he could have done so much better. Found members Stuart Zender (bass) was already gone, so had Toby Smith (keyboards). Don't get me wrong, the show was awesome as usual: Jay jumped, danced, protested against the war, funked the place a bit with some pot, and had a blast. I just wished his band were a little bit more tight, like this performace on October 11, 1997 in Rio de Janeiro.
Al Stewart: "Flying Sorcery:" I Actually attend Al Stewart's acoustic show at the SoHo Cafe in Santa Barbara, and I was thrilled of shaking his hand and have my vinyl copies of Year Of The Cat and Past Present And Future signed by him. He played this tune, of course, and I was extremely happy!
Joe Vasconcellos: "Las Seis:" La Peña Cultural Center, November 2005. What a great performance of Chilean-Brazilian Joe Vasconcellos and his band! I discovered this guy in 1999 while I was in Chile and his album Vivo (where this track comes from,) was selling faster than fresh morning bread. Total triumph for a complete artist on a musical and integrity level.
Vinyl: "Mokpok:" This band is the ultimate live funk experience in the Bay Area since the genre is been fading away for too long. Vinyl plays the kind of funk of Sly And The Family Stone, Roy Ayers, James Brown and Average White Band used to play and they really make you feel dancing.
Wolff: "Body:" Chris Wolff says: "I know there are a lot of Wolf-bands out there but I decided that Wolff is my name and I'm keepin' it. I've been planning this project and making albums for a while but it has just now come to fruition as a complete entity unto itself. I previously played in some bands out of Austin, Texas where I used to live, one of which was called Drums and Tuba and for a while there we were playing well over two hundred shows a year. This fall I've been hiding in my apartment and working on being able to pull this solo act off live. The concept I'm working with is that all the sounds are generated by, with, and through the tuba itself with the help of numerous guitar pedals and other sundry looping devices. Singing is through the tuba. Percussion is banging on the tuba. You get the picture. And by the way, there's no need to be afraid. It's not nearly as scary as it sounds. In any case, it's time to get out of the east village and bring the tuba to the people... " I discovered him performing his tuba solo act at Jupiter in Berkeley last May. I remember that day, it was a gloomy one for me because I had a crappy day at work and I wasn't even sure of going there; but I took a chance. His music was in the background but somehow asked me to pay attention to it. I bought the album Don't Be Afraid right there, before I left the gathering. His music is very very haunting, and for some reason reminds me of Pink Floyd of the Barrett era more than anything. That's a good thing.
Police: "Can't Stand Losing You:" I conclude the podcast with the first live version of "Can't Stand Losing You" I ever heard. I discovered Police 20 years ago when a friend of my cousin made a "Best Of" cassette for him and I happened to listened to it. I fell in love with the band automatically, specially with "Reggatta De Blanc", and the rest is history. On a Peruvian TV station they showed this Police performance in Tokyo on February 1981 and I still say their tour of 80-81 was their best moment ever, no questions asked. I saw Police last June 2007 at the Oakland Coliseum but it was very dissapointing (if you follow my blog you know why.)
Javier Calls It A Night
I hope you guys enjoy this podcast.