Stew and Heidi (and presumably some side-men or -women, but probably not Aaron Kierbel who could be in the Netherlands doing advance work for Rupa and The April Fishes) are playing the San Francisco Jazz Festival (aka SFJAZZ) Thursday night at the Yerba Buena Center and Andrew Gilbert wrote an excellent preview for the San Jose Mercury:
Although I had promised myself not to write impulsive blog entries — I am working on a longer, better-researched, more discipline potential entry — I could not help but comment on Stew on the Mercury’s website. I will reprint here verbatim my post but I strongly encourage you to follow the link to Andrew’s report — or GO TO THE SHOW.
(I am still curious whether Andrew was familiar with Stew during his LA days — he worked for the Jazz Bakery. Also, I am curious whether he would have written about Stew even if I had not left him a voice mail suggesting such, or will admit it).
Good story, Andrew. You might have added the South Bay local interest angles that “Passing Strange” workshopped at Stanford before opening at Berkeley Rep. Stew subsequently came back post-Broadway, in winter of 2009, to teach songwriting, at Stanford — not bad for a guy who never got his college degree. Also, in terms of the timeline, The Negro Problem performed locally in September of 1995, on a co-bill with Cake, at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto. In terms of the interplay between the respective projects Stew, The Negro Problem and his Broadway oriented work, I believe this is the first time being billed as “Stew and The Negro Problem” which is a litle like saying, for clarity, Sting and The Police. There are still certain ways that Stew tries to obfuscate his identify and background, as part of his mystique.
I noticed that “Stew and The Negro Problem” list it as “STEW + HEIDI + the negro problem” on their site but of the nine venues on this tour all but one list it as “Stew and The Negro Problem.” Even in LA, their home town, the Getty gets it right but Echoplex disses Heidi with the ommission.
It kinda reminds me of The Donnas and the Electrocutes (Ragady Anne) taking the long way back to what they were, become what you are as Julianna Hatfield said.