Chocolate Heads going salsa?

Color me purpur

I met a couple downtown who had just dropped their daughter off at the local university. I’ve had about five or six such encounters this week — I’m at Lytton Plaza almost all day, every day, for the music.

Unlike most, their daughter is 28. And Stanford sent out a press release, partly for her age and partly for the way her toes support her body weight, or like in the above, she seems to levitate.

Her name is Beatrix, she’s part Colombian – like her mom – and Jewish, like her Pops.

Her parents said she is retired from the Royal Ballet but noticed already that there is a local dance troupe called Chocolate Heads (led by my dear friend Ms Aleta Hayes, who I had coffee with this morning, as we circled the foothills and admired the bicyclists).

Good luck to BSR and Peter and Victoria…

The headline misses but I mean to say that at Coupa, which is VZ not COL you can order spicy hot chocolate or normal. BSR at Stanford would be spicy, fijate. Fijate but not fixate, helpful computer suggests.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Remi Wolf then and now

I met Remi Wolf the night I debuted my monologue where I describe being a 49ers fine BUT hating Jim Harbaugh since I was Remi’s age.
See, Remi Wolf has changed a lot since high school and Jim Harbaugh has not.
recent shot of remi, with fisheye lens i am guessing
Mark Weiss, Remi Wolf, Chloe at Philz Coffee circa 2010 – -they sang “Someone That I used To know” and I talked about being on the same court with Jim Harbaugh at the end of a Gunn blowout over Paly and why that is funny
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

George Wein

George Wein, the impresario who almost single-handedly turned the jazz festival into a worldwide phenomenon, died on Monday at his apartment in Manhattan. He was 95.

His death was announced by a spokeswoman, Carolyn McClair.

Jazz festivals were not an entirely new idea when Mr. Wein (pronounced ween) was approached about presenting a weekend of jazz in the open air in Newport, R.I., in 1954. There had been sporadic attempts at such events, notably in both Paris and Nice in 1948. But there had been nothing as ambitious as the festival Mr. Wein staged that July on the grounds of the Newport Casino, an athletic complex near the historic mansions of Bellevue Avenue.

With a lineup including Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald and other stars, the inaugural Newport Jazz Festival drew thousands of paying customers over two days and attracted the attention of the news media. It barely broke even; Mr. Wein later recalled that it made a profit of $142.50, and that it ended up in the black only because he waived his $5,000 producer’s fee.

But it was successful enough to merit a return engagement, and before long the Newport festival had established itself as a jazz institution — and as a template for how to present music in the open air on a grand scale.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

With 35 points Friday, Gunn did better on board than 113 other teams, according to the SF Chron

Gunn 35, Hill 7. Gunn frosh soph got 56 points which might be an alltime, 57-year record . High in the region was California of Danville with 70 St. Francis got 31 and beat De La Salle #GoBigRed, #Exponential, #MillersKillers

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Upcoming and Earthwise at Lytton Plaza

1) Dayna Stephens Quartet – Monday noon;
2) Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s with special guest saxophone Nancy Wright (“There is Something on Your Mind” single release party) — Tuesday, 5 p.m.
3) Ben Goldberg and Scott Amendola (members of Plays Monk — celebration of Danny Scher’s historic Palo Alto concert with Thelonious Monk circa 1968 and cd release); Wednesday, 4:30 – sundown
4) Eden Edell — singer songwriter busker — Thursday after dark, break the fast, maybe some “TAPA”s
5) Will Bernard and Beth Custer — I sort of forget just when, just added, et cetera; TBA
6) Jeremiah Lockwood, solo guitar and blues and maybe voice; especially in memory of Jewlia Eisenberg his bandmate and my friend;
7) Amendola VS Blades VS Jeff Parker VS Skerik, which is drums, organ, electric guitar, effects, saxophone — early show: they are playing that night in Santa Cruz but stopping here on the way for Together Again Palo Alto; noon Saturday.
8) Amendola Scott VS Blades Will — drums vs organ; Tuesday or Wednesday stay tuned the following week; had a gap in their tour so why not? By some count not part of the Mayor Tom Dubois’ or Chamber of Commerce’s or City of Palo Alto’s “Together Again Palo Alto” which is listed in various places as “September 10-18” — and I like “18” in most cases since its a lucky number to we Hebrews — “to life” — but being earthwise means sometimes letting the chips, musical, computer and poker, fall where they may. Feel me?
9) Hawktail — October 2 Saturday at 2 p.m — they were going to play either at Ray Sliter’s house concert or at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass but I think in this case mother nature is on my side and we are going outdoors and local but not for 600,000 more like for 60 people. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. Featuring Jordan something, two others who I am sure are excellent and mostly, local thinking, Brittany Haas, violin or fiddle, from Menlo Park, former child prodigy now based in Nashville and on the road.
10) last but not least Zach Moses Duo featuring Zachary Moses Ostroff on bass, voice and maybe some other stuff and Adam Nash – they play together sometimes as Big Butterfly; celebrating the single release of “Venus as A Boy” a Bjork cover for my Lions With Wings label. Friday, noon. Jeremiah is Friday at 5 but, again, it’s possible the plates shift such that Lockwood is closer to Ostroff.

a) on Bandcamp you can stream for free and download for a reasonable price my Lions With Wings compilation that has quality, “bubble” recordings of Mitch Woods with Nancy Wright, Dayna Stephens in fact a four song suite based on the archetype pop sociology writings of Cubberley grad Neil Howe, Strauss and Howe, Zach Ostroff, Scott Amendola — with Zach on the recording but not live;
b) I may be buying a new rug from “Midcentury Modern” or whatever its called, near Uni and Bryant, and especially if Jackie is there Monday morning or today; that is, Dayna Stephens will be standing on a rug and not brick when he plays; if you go to a lot of Earthwise shows, for example at Mitchell Park, indoors and out, you might notice on stage a Persian rug, also procured on Uni in Palo Alto, but taking the week off. It’s a magical and flying carpet but is taking a pit stop, pity that. Or as Othello would say, it has passing several dangers and needs a pit stop but not pity party nor pitter patter of giants of jazz.
c) Mayor Tom, not a Bowie character but the Mayor of Palo Alto, Dubois – -and not a cartoon character on tv and “Boondocks” will speak to us, and introduce Dayna Stephens and maybe count in the band, take a congo solo or wiggle an egg shaker — that in itself is worth the price of admission, free. Tom’s bona fides besides being “da Mayor” is that he owns the Monk cd referenced above and has a son who was in the Gunn band.
d) not to confuse you — and only to partially unconfuse my self — but a Balkan brass band featuring four or five horns and a tupan which is a drum you can carry or march with or dance with and features a snare on only one side and tom on the other named Inspector Gadje Sextet — and I don’t know if that is supposed to be provacative in any way but off the record and between you and me the band leader is from Europe — very sexy — and has a hot pregnant wife or baby mom, who sings, just not for us or not for the scale we are paying. Hot, pregnant, Yale-educated, putting the eel in my Eli, feel me? Actually he is not Eli, he is Marco, and he is here to ride your polo. Yolo? (not sure what that means but peaked at a young persons twitter feed, LOL). They play Monday, back on Cali Ave, where Steve Poltz made love to about 100 people right in the streets yesterday, including with Maureen Roddy, Jack Tuttle, Melissa Baten Caswell, Ellen O’Brien, a guy named Shaken, maybe a fiddle player friends with Tim Flannery of the Giants; Mr Caswell, Nia Taylor of the Palo Alto Public Art Commission and her dog; Rich Corny of European Cobblery who provided “the best green room ever” according to Steve; Kent Williams; a woman named Amanda from Uganda and her nephew Malachi – -actually she’s from Zimbabwe and promises to dance her little tookas off for Mitch Woods; and is married to a well-known musician locally; somebody named Burden who does Steve’s first website and amazingly the founders of Google, Adobe and Salesforce, on the down low, out of pocket, on the QT, between you and me, and the great big or grate big Cheese. Or as not Jason Mraz, not Adam Duritz and not the late great — not Eddie Vedder or Jewel Kilcher or some lucky I almost wrote “licky” young dude named “Kech” — but Mark Stew Stewart would say “just ask the song”.
Every body knows that he’s really daddy feel good yeah.
e) I just cant sop wont slop but it is still unresolved here on my football sabbath and 3/7th of the way through my on Rosh HaShanah it is written on Yom Kippur it is sealed holy week what we are going to do with the gear between the noon shows and the happy hours shows at Lytton Plaza — it is possible we might add some walkups or have music continuously between 12 and 9 p.m. each day this week, save the high holy day doughnut. I know I have parking continuity for those hours, thanks to Kirsten O’Kane and Cayla Koga of City of Palo Alto COPA. Thanks!
f) Beaumann Edwards and Equator project perform, perhaps with guest vocals by Eden Edell 9 to 11 on Friday and are quasi-sponsored by Earthwise and Plastic Alto — though they were officially and unequivablly excluded from TAPA so as not to compete with a fucking road race; but go see them, and shake your butt and maybe try to sit in. Like read an Al Young poem from your handheld into the mike, Mike. He is from Palo Alto, lives next to Claude Ezran the founder of Palo Alto World Music Day, played Palo Alto World Music Day, went to fucking Berkelee School of Music for Jesus’ Sake, and has played Lytton Plaza 100 times; he deserves a Mayoral Proclamation just for that.
G) “G” for Gunn and I know this is not really music but I met Gunn Coach Jason Miller at Friday’s games. Gunn beat Hill of San Jose 35-7 and the Frosh-soph won 49-0 I think it was. Maybe 56-0 plus they took a knee on the 1-yard line. I don’t believe in Gunn’s 57 year history that Frosh-Soph has ever won 56-0. Miller has a doublewide portable near the gym as a team room, which is what you get when you go undefeated even in a short spring season. I gave him the portrait of Danny McCalister and Javier Gil created by Stacy Carter in 2008 after Danny died. There was no band there, however so I did not hear “Peter Gunn” the tv theme song. Ok, it is music.

h) is for “hi” like “hi, Gretchen and Kari” who are part of the family of Steve Berndt the leader of the defunct rock band called Johnny Deathwagon, from our high school glory days. I saw Steve at or near my La Doña show at Mitchell Park a few weeks ago and he reminded me that although Dead Kennedys DK did not DN play Gunn High in 1982 or 1983 there is still a persistant rumor or false memory that this was discussed by some kids and that Steve Cohen interviewed Jello Biafra and myself Mark Weiss of Plastic Alto and Earthwise — who did bring Jello Biafra to Cubberley in 1999 or so, if that explains it — edited the story of greenlighted it, for the Gunn Oracle. Andy by the way kudos to Mrs Kathy Blackburn who is Gunn’s longest running Oracle Advisor at 18 years and if she makes it to 20 I will hird Matt Nathanson — yes “hird’ a cross between “herd” and “hire” — I will hire Matt Nathanson who I think did play Gunn’s Center Quad a nooner or I know asked to play and did play perhaps at Menlo nooner I will hire Matt Nathanson to visit Blackburn’s Oracle lab and play “Pull Me Down Hard” just for her. And her husband, I guess. And kids, about 40 of them, some of whom or most of whom are minors. He would do, hypothetically speaking the PG version that is just cute suble pun and innuendo and not full frontal promise of man on woman pleasing Journalistic edification friden justowriter kind of t   h   a    n   g.  Or, maybe Matt Nathanson will be our surprise guest Friday at 7 at Lytton Plaza and not the fucking moonlight mooning or whatever. 

Posted in ethniceities, Plato's Republic, sex | Leave a comment

She loved me for the dangers I had passed, And I loved her that she did pity them

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In 72 hours and for 21 full days, music as a concert promoter and the quotidian of freaky deaky that gets it done

Steve Poltz is playing Palo Alto in 72 hours, from about 5 to 6:30 down on Cali Ave, in front of the former Draper’s Music store, which is now Zombie Runner, known for coffee but the name references not Fela Kuti but long distance runners.

Steve likes baseball, but the schedule says early show then maybe soccer

I had said something to mayor Tom Dubois, not the worst of the kind, about music as stimulus spending. In this case, I am producing 13 concerts between Saturday, September 11 and Saturday, October 2, loosely part of something hot-messy called “Together Again Palo Alto” / TAPA / “Resilience…” / “Celebrate Community”. There’s a yardsign with human shapes in dull colors with masks masked in, sometimes on the back or side of their heads.

This is after 16 months of not-working, March 14, 2020 to July 31, 2021. The page yanked coldly from the Studs Terkel book. (Which is now a play, at Palo Alto Players; I bought tickets, though I will probably forget to go; I like PAP, I liked their “Bee Hive” and “Rock of Ages” productions).

My shows include about 30 musicians, though some play three times. Most are Bay Area based, some are coming from Nashville and Paterson. Some I’ve worked with 20 years, others I met a few weeks ago, and booked ’em like Dano and McGarrett, and some I have never met yet.

One of these shows is in honor of the recently deceased but generally we are celebrating being alive. To the devil with you, you new kid in town virus.

To wit:

1) Dayna called to “advance” plus he re-sent his list of personnel, which I will add to the official site, whihc is EventBrite. Dayna Stephens, mind the spelling. He will play, he confirms, tenor sax and EWI, which is great for Silicon Valley: its a machine or gadget that simulates a computer playing a flute, yet you have to fidget with some wheels or what.

2) Poltz and his manager

3) Tommy Jordan and Marc Geiger

4) Andy the sound guy

5) Megan Swezy and Karla Koga;

6) I’m at about 50 advance tickets for Steve Poltz and another 50 for the other 12. I’d like to get it to 200 registrants for SP on EventBrite and another 200 combined; although its a free show in a public plaza, maybe people will just show up: it would be great to think 2,000 people come to these shows. Which is still a pretty hefty subsidy, or stimulus spending. Loss leader, seize the day. Keep on rockin’ in the free world. 



“DOS vs DEL”

DEL is both the name of a rapper, the funky homo, the really uptight guy who ran The Cub and TLA for “dawns early light”. I am up early, thinking about “DOS”. My dose of work. Day of show.

Steve Poltz will be in the house as of about 4 p.m., Lord willing – -this is Jewish holy day, twice over — and on stage at 5, 11 hours from now. 

Stage is not quite the word: he is taking it to the streets. Or the avenues. Singular. A singular sensation (ASS) Steve Poltz will play Cali Ave, part of Mayor Tom’s “TogetherAgainPaloAlto” or what I FLA “TAPA”.

Apparently there is a big “lawn sign” near the art museum that says TOGETHER AGAIN PALO ALTO” but you can re-arrange the letters to say GATHER TOP *(*&& *)$%^&*.

To my eye it says PALO ALTO TOGETHER AGAIN which is PATA which may or may not be the hook of a famous Cape Verdan song. “Pata Pata”.

And I was fantasizing about Steve Poltz doing “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads. I was fantasizing — and don’t take me out of come text — Steve Poltz….doing….– so the first time I heard about Steve Poltz was becasue Jenna Adler of CAA sort of pitched him and said he was Jewel’s male partner and they called jim “Mule” or “Mewel” for “male Jewel” — a whole set of Talking Heads – and this came to me bc my smart phone kept cutting off the youtube of Steve Poltz “Quarantine Blues” to play my AppleTunes cue, which had Talking Heads because a friend send me and another guy — okay it was Brett Baird and Hans Delannoy — a clip from David Byrne’s True Stories and I sent back ‘Puzzling Evidence”. So you read it here first, if Steve Poltz plays “Psycho Killer” and another Talking Heads song, I will make a donation to the mental health non-profit agency that is on Cali Ave that was called Miramonte Health. There is or was something on nearby College Age or Ave for youth — I gave them a gift when I ran for office in 2014. 

And I met Ms Blackburn who has been advisor to The Oracle for 18 years and will buy a full page ad for $500 for my Mary Gauthier show, October 17 at Mitchell Park Bowl – but I digress.

This is about Steve, alll about Steve. His show. Today, in 11 hours, or 10 hours 40 minutes. 

I will put out the EARTHWISE sandwich board I only use Day of Show – -that was made by a guy who lives across the street from Beth Custer who appears as a duo with Will Bernard next week, at Lytton Plaza — the Lyt. I have 14 active shows on EventBrite, and I guess 12 shows at Lytton Plaza, plus Marco who is married to Meklit and his tupan — a drum that you carry and bang on and has both a tom and a snare — speaking of Tom, I am working on a show with Tommy Jordan, of Geggy Tah fame although hereabouts people almost remember his high school band Sandcastle or something, Soundcastle and especially his song “Jim Newton Says’ — which is all flute — in the way across town at Gunn we all don’t remember Steve Berndt’s song, with his band Johnny Deathwagon about Cissie Bonini whose brother Muff Bonini is a judge. There’s a party at the Bonini house/Everyone’ invited/Colin and Griffin and Cissie too. 

I will also put out a stool. Not to sit on but for Steve Poltz to place his set list or his wrist watch or his magic ornament or fetish – -I once gave Dr. John — we call him “Mac” — a Zuni fetish of a snake or bear or something — when I was Henry Butler — and he offered to push my stool in or something — he said to be kind rewind apropos of our mutual friend. He also said that one night Henry was jamming with Jimmie Smith and it was memorable and magical. He didn’t say which Jimmie Smith or Jimmy Smith– there are more than one. Organ player or vocalist. I think the guy who sings backwards in David Lynch “Twin Peaks” is a Jimmy Smith. Or looks a little like him.

Some people call him “Poltzie”. Like Potsie on happy  or happier days.

Around this time of day 20 years ago the planes hit that building in NYC, but I didn’t hear about it until hours later. I was sleeping in, plus I am out here on Steve Poltz’ west coast, 3,000 miles away. My dad called and said “turn on the tv’ and when I did I saw the plane hit the tower and thought it was real time. But it was hours later. Then I called my friend Brian Moore and used the word “manufacture” and he repeated “Manufacture?” Not sure what the fuck I was thinking. 

Regarding Cali Ave– onto which I shall place Steve Poltz, a stool, and a sandwich board that says EARTHWISE — and maybe some camping chairs for Terry and I — there was once a club called Keystone Palo Alto. Now, Bruce Springsteen never played there in the sense of being on the marquee but he did sit in with Clarence Clemens there. The lobby of 260 Cali, which is next to a pretty good restaurant – -so good it has knots by Windy — Windy Chien who owned Aquarius Records that worked for Apple on their music doo-hickey (or doos-hickey) does fabric art. She also has some at Verve Coffee, at High and Uni. The building next to her knots, or its a building above her knots has a lobby with photos of Jerry Garcia, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and one or two others, a tip of the hat to the former club. Thanks, Mark Conroe, real estate guy. 

Also, in recent years they cut all the trees down which got people out in the streets of Cali Ave. And the sidewalks now have fancy glass.

Maybe rather than playing in front of Zombie Runner facing Joanies to the west Steve Poltz will play on the cement pedestal where “Go Mama” the sculpture once was. There are about five works of art on Cali Ave, by Slim Soumah, a Korean guy, Michael Szabo, another Mural by Slim — there’s also a new temporary mural that says A BEAUTIFUL DAY.  When I heard about the temporary mural, the one near Bell’s Books I called the artist and asked to send me 100 stickers of the same mural. 

Another thing I remember about meeting Steve Poltz when he played an art gallery show downtown about 16 years ago and 4 years after “Nine Eleven” is that it was October and he said he likes to watch baseball especially the playoffs especially day games, for the lighting. 

Dawns early light. 

Day of show. Stool, sandwich board, some chairs, his check.

I am hoping Steve Poltz goes with me to watch Stanford soccer. Maybe we will walk there. About a mile, not much more.

Posted in music | Tagged | Leave a comment

Olympic style run planned for Palo Alto this month

Dave Wottle, in the cap, sends his regrets

Palo Ato is hosting an Olympic style running race this month. Palo Altans, who are very healthy indeed, even during these times, will wear shorts and sweats and good shoes and run in circles and around a park, while being timed.
The local paper will print some of these people’s names in the local paper. Especially if you pay us $35, they say.
Also, there are 12 concerts at a local plaza.
Dave Wottle pictured above, with the cap, and shorts, will not appear. Neither at the race nor the concerts.
To our knowledge. Certainly, were he in Palo Alto, on either 9/11, 9/13, 9/14, 9/15 for example, he would be invited to the concerts. And we hope he gets vaccinated but really, its up to him. We won’t check.
These are outdoor concerts and we trust people are sensible and provide for their own safety.
The race, not so sure. Doesn’t running involve a certain amount of huffing and puffing and spitting on each other, in a friendly manly — and womanly – way?
Anyhow, the race is $35 bucks and the free concerts are free. All 12 of them. Thank you for not smoking.

Posted in filthy lucre | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gaye keeping it uppity down in Virginia

I’ve only met Gaye Adegbalola by phone (and text message, and by email) but our correspondence was intense enough that I feel a connection to her new song cycle coming soon on Vizztone Records. I think Lions With Wings is executive producer, associate producer or hermetic producer, certainly more than supertentorial hermetic associate executive producer. And well short of overreach that would provoke “classy sassy stank eye” as in her song about Kamala Harris. She’s speaking. I like her in blue. Go, Gaye. 


Posted in big shoulders, music, sex | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Bishop ‘The Fish’ VS Helen Sung ‘Look Ma One Hand’

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn’t fight.
He hadn’t fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
—the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly—
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
—It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
—if you could call it a lip—
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels—until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

I wrote a paper on that poem, by Elizabeth Bishop and all I remember was the “rainbow, rainbow” part.

Helen Sung is not quite related to me although her cousin Juliet Lee I just saw last month, and her two sons because she is married to my dear friend Andres Fajardo. And Helen plays with John Ellis who invited me out on my 40th birthday but I turned him down because — now it can be revealed – -I took the singer Joan Bender to hear Patricia Barber at Birdland.

Good luck with your fall, Helen.

Bonus photos:

Melissa White, violinist of Harlem Quartet friend of Helen
Helen, Melissa John Ellis –my former client

like at last month’s San Jose Jazz Summerfest, where we presented the music of Quartet+, got to hang with colleagues and hear their shows, even squeezing in a deep sea fishing trip (well…perhaps more accurate to call it “(seasick) with a side of fishing” yikes! LOL). minor edit, dearie. Peace. Or “piece” — what is that thing? Where did you catch it? 

Posted in music | Tagged , | Leave a comment