Sufjan Stevens “Cali and Howl”

national record store day is next week april 18 tonite in palo alto is  a bluegrass jam at church on waverly past kingsley, first press, bill evans of all names

national record store day is next week april 18 tonite in palo alto is a bluegrass jam at church on waverly past kingsley, first press, bill evans of all names

Sufjan Stevens has resumed his much-anticipated “Fifty States” project, adding The Golden State to his paens for Illinois and Michigan. It is called “Cali and Howl” and beyond being about California it focuses on Beat poet Allen Ginsberg as a muse and his famous once-controversial 1957 screed “Howl”. You know, I saw the best minds o fmy generation destroyed by technology and greed and other forms of progress as madness.

There’s a song about Pandora, the music service, the one that steals all the performances under the firmament, repackages them as data, sells them or gives them away, goes public, takes a couple billion out of the zero-sum economy, helps Henry fucking Ford and his descendants of all people, and pays composers, performers and publishers less than they would make, after a million spins, or streams, than for one t-shirt, as David Lowery (take the skinheads and VCs bowling, take them bowling) more famously said. Lowery guests on the Sufjan Stevens cd.

Pandora and its ilk (or elk? who am I quoting here?) are like the buffalo soldiers. They are killing it. Literally.

I met a lady wearing a Crosley Record Store Day t-shirt with the exact same pseudo-retro self-powered turntable that I got, for a 50thbirthday present,(Terry, Terry my Terry bought it at Urban Outfitters, to replace the cooler and more real one I got at Streetlight San Jose that the burglars, the burglars of 2/1/08 absconded with) at Coupa and that started my rap, was my opening. She said she is or was an MBA from SJSU and did finance for Pandora but recently quit her job and is on sabbatical which I took to mean she made bank on the IPO. She (“N”) admitted it was not sustainable, the Pandora model. This wraps around to the lady (“B”) with the tattoo on her foot that reminded me of “Howl” but she was not familiar with it.

The Ben Stiller flick, “Bitch, I’m Ben Stiller” rocks. I didn’t recognize Ad-rock until twelve hours after leaving. A touch of gray kind of suits him any way. No sleep in Brooklyn. The Noah dude is best known still for Bill Murray Seu Jorje Wes Anderson thingy, live aquatic. I thought the Adam Driver dude was based on James Franco. Definitely did not recognize Peter Yarrow. Likewise Charles Grodin it took me a minute. Terry thought “that’s Angelie Jolie’s father!”.

History repeats if you let it. Then it comes back as farce. Satire per se is a defense mechanism. David Shields is right again. Livan Hernandez played five seasons for the Giants but I just yawned-did. I had no idea until I just saw that HBO 30 30 thingy how dramatic and what a great story escaping from Cuba, Livan and El Duke is, that the two brothers both were World Serious within a couple years, 1997, 1999. I was sort of keeping baseball as background music during those times. Livan for all the hype was 179-179, pretty mediocre, yet quite an earner I would think. My anti-Yankee and underdog complex probably trumped being open-minded to feeling that part of his personal success. Of course, it is also possible that this doc is hagiographic and is now manipulating me. I remember that it was Renteria, a Colombian, who had the gamer (or the seasoner, like a Schilling Salt) but mainly because of my friendship for Andres Fajardo. And that Huizainga the Garbage King owned the team. And also Auto Nation. It’s kinda like the English patient, he’s not actually English. D’Oh!.

But nice meeting you. Did I mention booking Spoon into a community center on their first tour? Harmon Killebrew was on the poster. Twin Harmonic Pop Festival, bad puns, all around the horn. I was also, apropos of all this, thinking this a.m. about Enorchestra and Dirty Power, and how they ended up in Noise Pop, supporting Devotchka, and DuNord only because Ryan Kantner of Man Man worked at Last Drop when I was briefly a regular. (I got into a cab and called Jim Romeo and he said “what are you working on” and I said “a band that covers ‘Taking Tiger Mountain’ and he said, big ears he, ‘I heard that! and the rest is his story, and mine. Better story than finding a way to make $50 M on the backs and necks of better musicians. At least Andrew Mason of Groupon shlepped for Steve Albini, and dated or maybe married a poet and singer-songwriter).

I saw the best minds o fm y generation destroyed by progress.

You know, for kids.

edidt to add: I have not heard this, probably don’t have the hour it would take to “get” it, and admit I supported Schauer over Snyder in Fall, 2014 if that speaks to the subject of users or surface v. reality or injustice — and it cost me $600 just for my ego, long story:

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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