From Ides of March to ‘Whan the Aprille’, earth day, Earthwise, beisbol et al or just giving it a sniff

The Chronicle reports that former Stanford star Alex Blandino may make the Giants this year. Here he poses with poppies by Slim Soumah, on Cali Avenue, which may or may not have music this summer and fall

Shakespeare said or repeated to beware the Ides of March but more significantly it was Chaucer who said “Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote/ The droghte of March hath perced to the roote” which 100 years later or more T.S. Eliot broke it down as HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME.

So a lot has transpired with roots and shoots these last three weeks and I will update from:


I have three confirmed shows for spring, all jazz, but at two locations:


  1. Or Barekat Quartet, Lytton Plaza, free show, Monday, April 18, 2002 6 p.m.
  2. Ben Goldberg/Scott Amendola/Todd Sickafoose Trio — sometimes and formerly known as Plays Monk, Thursday, April 28, 2022, $20, at Mitchell Park Community Center, 8 p.m., tickets at EventBrite, (rescheduled from January, 2022);
  3. Wayne Horvitz Sara Schoenbeck Duo, Friday, May 13, 2022, Mitchell Park Community Center , 8 p.m., $20 at EventBrite  (Rescheduled from spring, 2020).

Now my spring season looks like

  1. April 1, surprise show somewhere in Palo Alto, likely Lytton Plaza although I forget the name of the band, although they did one of my 20 or so shows last fall; tba;
  2. Or Barakat Arba — Hebrew for “four” – -he’s an Israeli although the rest of his band is Black; same as above; on-sale at EventBrite although “on-sale” is imprecise in that the show is free.
  3. Plays Monk with Amendola/Goldberg/Sickafoose April 28 at the Mitch – – sticking with the hard-ticket indoor concept, moved from the winter; $20 at EventBrite and going head to head with a sold out show four miles north in Menlo Park with Molly Tuttle. The music doesn’t really overlap — Todd played with Ani DiFranco and Anais Mitchell so he might know Molly Tuttle – heck, she could do a lot worse than cut an album with Scott Amendola, drums, Ben Goldberg clarinet and Todd Sickafoose bass. Ours ia a value at $20 compared to $42 for Molly and we throw in the chair to sit in for free. (I just bought a ticket to Molly’s show just for yucks — I guess I could punch the ticket between load in and my own show, or maybe creep over there after the load out, unless we hire an opener; longer story).
  4. Wayne Horvitz band May 13. This is rescheduled from 2020 covid pandemic era although truth be told — and Plastic Alto is nothing if not cold plastic truth — this might end up as a complicated package or co-bil or moved out to the plaza. A lot of my work is shifting to outdoors from hard-ticket indoors due to world turning, expanding and other scientific and solcial scientific effects and chaos. Chaos of choice we sometimes splay. “Splay” is a conjoined twin coined term or coinkydinkied here in Plasty that combines “say”, “spray”, “play” – -although in truth its an allusino ot Natiional Mackey. Of the band Splay and Them. And Wayne was in a band called Spy VS Spy with John Zorn so he is no stranger to be stabbed in the back by unknown assailants. Unless expressly forbidden on his rider. Splay per back rider. (…Splayperback rider….)
  5. Lisa Mezzacotta is definitely playing in May. I will edit to update the when and where (also resehcuedl from 2020, inf act she was on a bill with Wayne). The clay is the thing. Sunday, May 1 at Mitch Bowl, matinee.
  6. Lisa M will play, splay or shape musical clay in June — it’s alike a two-show residency. But she has other outfirts so maybe we wil see here every month until the crick rises proverbially and the April sootes and rootes give way to fall, the whole cycle. Either June 26 at The Mitch Bowl or Saturday, June 25 at Lytton Plaza, afternoon;
  7. Waybacks. That’s a band featuring James Nash of Stanford and Warren Hood from Austin and I think they are playing in June or July. Sunday, July 10 at Mitch Bowl;
  8. Marley’s Ghost an Americana band but not a local band any more due to chaos and economic pressure but they are Palo Alto -friendly and doing something here with Earthwise I am fairly certain in June, July, or maybe August but not likley all three. And speaking of the conjoined term “likley” one thing I like about doing shows at Lytton Plaza is that there are two or more ice cream parlors or counters near by — plus pizza and pad thai and a smoke shop that sells candy in the best Gandhian sense — and Earthwise is nothing if not counter-cultural.
  9. Sony Holland, a woman from SF and not an imprint of a multinational Japanese-European label is doing the music of Linda Ronstadt at Lyt on June 9.
  10. Charlie Hunter and some of his friends from the south are playing Berkeley for sure and likely Palo Alto in June. Stay tuned. Confirmed for Sunday, June 5 at The Mitch AND likely Friday, June 3 at Kuumbwa but produced by Earthwise. 
  11. Dayna Stephens who I met a Stanford Jazz Workshop played for me last September and recorded for my little imprint Lions With Wings and is playing Santa Cruz and Berkeley in June so I will do my best spunky promoter guy thing to have that tour pass thru the 650 and 94301. He is also, a little birdie told me, cutting a new track or suite for Lions With Wings next month with a well-known co-leader or super-side-man.
  12. shit, so here I am at twelve and haven’t even gotten to the focal point of my life for the next six weeks in the form of an Earth Day show at Mitchell Park amphitheatre Sunday April 24 around early afternoon which is billed as a Matt the Electrician and MC Lars show but we are likely to add another act or so. This is only the third Earth Day show I have produced under the name Earthwise, although Earthwise is a spin-off from Earth Day in Palo Alto. So I am three for 28 in terms of remembering my roots which is way below the Mendoza Line. If I do Earth Day shows in 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 I will be 7-for-32 or .218 – check back in four years.
  13. This is not really an Earthwise joint but I am excited for “Passing Strange” tonite in Berkeley – Shotgun Players — because it is a Spike Lee Joint and I was the manager for its creator Stew Stewart fka Mark Stewart or fka Stew at the inception of “Passing Strange” which workshopped at Stanford and at Berkerley Rep on the way to TONY and Broadway glory.
  14. I am seeing Macy Gray at the Guild and potentially bringing either a group of dancers, a group of students or maybe just a dance company leader and some of her family. And for whatever reasons we are focusing not just on the movement and the sound but also the costumes and the hair. Which is sort of a first for me as Earthwise since likely a Venus Opal Reese show at Art 21 in 2004. And the opener there was Brad Johnson partly because he had a pompadour. That’s in April not the cruelest month, at least 2022. Or not if I have a say, play or spray. Hairsplay – -that’s my nexted coil of the rhyme. What? Coin of the realm.
  15. Again, not my joint but I am seeing Miguel Zenon at SFJazz in May but mainly to say hi to his bassist Christopher Tordini who played with Caroline Davis here in January, the only production that was not cancelled due to force majeure.
  16. Likewise I am likely seeing Michael Wolff at SFJazz next Saturday unless something extraordinary emerges which keeps me.
  17. Sigor Ros is at Stanford Frost on Tuesday May 17 which means I am unlikely to do a show that night. I have a weird European copy of their debut cd which was left for me by Esbjorn Svensson when EST played for me. Rest in peace.
  18. Gaye Adegbalola not to jinx it but it looks like her February booked but never announced residency here will happen May 20, 21 and 22. Two or three shows.
  19. Gunn is playing Paly in football September 9 which is significant to readers of “Plastic Alto” but only useful to music fans if indeed I produce a jazz concert earlier that evening at Lytton Plaza. And if that is somehow not available I might try Cogswell, or King. And I will yield the rest of my time.

aster risk: Lisa Mezzacappa does not need my ideas but she could team up with the vocalist known as Shing02 formerly of Terracotta Troops. And May 1 is most likely when her show will be, as Bristle: Ewing-Schenk-Mezzacappa-Glenn. But don’t mark your calendar until it apears on Earthwise EventBrite edit to add: 18. Marcus Shelby — was scheduled for April 2020. And I’ve suggested about 10 make-ups either in person, in Palo Alto or in 107 different places in NorCal in honor of the Giants’ historic 107-win season. And so far I’ve worked with him only once, a cermony and event at City Hall aka Martin Luther King Plaza for Mildred Howard and her temporary installation of a “bottle house”. And not to jinx it but I picture him working with Eugene Robinson starting with the song “Step Right Up’. The rest of these are things that are more confirmed than the Marcus Shelby. 19. Will Bernard Flag Day, June 14 with four musicians. At Lytton Plaza, on a Tuesday evening. The times for my Lytton Plaza shows will vary but I am thinking mainly 45 minutes before sundown. And honestly although I am saying ides of march looking forward to April the cruelest or coolest, I could start as soon as next Saturday, March 19 like with 36 hours notice, like a sneak preview, the shape of things to come, grapefruits, small dogs, small ball, Tiger Woods. Isn’t there something in Shakespeare about the woods are moving or so they think? MacBeath dog breath. Be lionmettled proud and take no care who chafes who frets or where conspirers are. Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him humm baby humm baby humm baby come on boy, dam or dan. Andand: there is no particular reason I addended (“andand”) to put up a baseball song by Dan Bern called “Merkle” except maybe that I am going to Berkeley today to see “Passing Strange” a play by our mutual friend Stew. I don’t think I’ve heard of this song until just now. And I am not sure I’ve even heard the song in a sense that I just spent six minutes letting play on my computer yet the music is very loud in this cafe, Coupa, which itself is a shrine to the nearly 400 Venezuelans who have had more than a cup of coffee in the bigs. To prove my point here is 10 seconds of what I hear write here write now: skip that, a woman walked into the frame and it looks like I am shooting her butt, speaking of perced roots and what not — so I will keep that 10 seconds on the down low. And its been two hours at 15 revisions later and I have these 19 edits and probably another 20 to go, and two unread papers and an unfed dog — small dog, bigger than a bag of grapefruits which I mention for no reason except perhaps Spring Training has a Cactus or a Grapefruit league — so here I’m being pomo or just lazy: Chaucer was born 600 years before TS Elliot Put an accent on beisbol Spanish for “baseball” Front quote for Chaucer quote that is “Whan 4. It’s or its from TS Eliot or T.S. Eliot Itals for “I have three confirmed shows…” Looks like colon Ok the drummer is Black. Savannah Harris. I need the practice saying Or Barakat, bass; Tivon Pennicott, tenor sax; Jeremy Corren, piano; Savannah Harris, drums. Our is a value; the reserved seats that is the chairs are sold out, the mezzanine; they are still selling the general admission; likewise I need to practice spelling Sara Schoenbeck co-bill social scientific allusino versus allusion ot or to Nathaniel Mackey Lisa is rescheduled in fact not inf act outfirts? we will see her Waybacks are pretty clearly aiming for Sunday July 10 at the Mitch Bowl; Chris Tordini bass — better fix that.

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, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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