Hanukkah advent day -(-19): Jewlia Eisenberg old photo VS photo by Jewlia, 2011

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Sudan Archives posters installation on Broadway VS woman checking her phone in front of a Kara Walker silhouette at The Broad, Los Angels

Sudan Archives is a new band or project from I think her name is Brittany Parks; she loops violin and is way better than Black Violin. She is playing Noise Pop in February and they added a second show rather than take me up on my offer to play at The Mitch. Her album cover I think is portait of the artist in a quasi-classical sculptural pose. When I was in Oakland for a meeting with my collaborator Valerie Troutt, I noticed from afar, across Braodway, which as the name implies is broad, an array of posters of that form, her album cover, Brittany not Valerie. I sent the image to her agent, Ali Hendrik of Paradigm (formerly Billions and Windish, methinks, formerly known as Ali Giampino – – a really good, west coast agent; she discovered Noname).

I was looking for something else — Bob Margolin in shades from my July 6 show — when I was struck by the image from the Broad — pronounced to rhyme with “toad”.  Or “towed” – -which reminds me back to the Oakland visit the other day, as I walked past a park, me and Duffy, waiting for our meeting with VT, I noticed a fence around a homeless encampment; “towed” like for an abandoned vehicle referencing the fact that heartless Oakland bureaucrats are going to impound and likely destroy what little these people have. Which also, the way the Weissian brain and Plastic Alto work, reminds me that a Palo Alto musician of marginal economic prospects, Roberson or Robeson — like the activist performer — died at Lytton Plaza, likely an overdose but maybe no will to live — after the City of Palo Alto towed his vehichle — he used to sleep in it in a downtown garage — and allegedly tossed his stuff. I believe I had met this guy selling some used books and bought, appropriately, a Joan Baez song book.

So maybe besides rambling and the pun on Broadway versus The Broad there is somethign about angles and archetypes and Thalia and the Greek archetype of tragedy, Sock and Buskin.

Sudan Archives you will have to go to SF to see, at Noise Pop, but I recommend you check out Valerie Troutt in Palo Alto December 29 supporting Charlie Musselwhite.

valerie by james knox

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Charlie Musselwhite 1981 Fairfax as preview for Charlie Musselwhite 2018 Palo Alto

I’m thrilled to be presenting Charlie Musselwhite in Palo Alto on December 29 — only 19 days away!

I found this early video, from 1981, in Fairfax, California — Marin County, not too far from what has been Charlie’s stomping grounds for many, many years.

Last I saw Charlie was at McNear’s Mystic Theatre in Petaluma — also North Bay — in about 2005. I went backstage and said hello to him, having made his acquaintance during my short stint as Henry Butler’s manager, in 2003. I remember there was a very young player sitting it with him for a few songs, or subbing his parts for him. I think they called her “Sweet Pea”. Maybe he lent her a harp – -he had a case with perhaps a dozen instruments. I was there as agent or manager or tour manager or wing-man for Gary Floyd Band, featuring Doug Hilsinger, the opening act — I had gotten them the gig, but took no commission. I had submitted Gary — actually called Gary Floyd’s Hard Again — a Muddy Waters reference, but ironic since Gary is gay to Sheila Groves of Notable Talent, who booked that show plus a blues festival.

The Charie Musselwhite video above also features Mark Naftalin, on piano. Another former Chicago guy, I beleve, who has been out here a while.

Actually if you Google “charlie musselwhite” and “palo alto” besides the ticket link to my show — which is at The Palo Alto JCC, and features support acts Valerie Troutt with Howard Wiley, and MC Lars — there are a couple links to a flyer from a show very near the recently built jewish center, at The Big Beat from 1970 or so — it’s now torn down, like many many Palo Alto former venues.

A couple things: one, it features Old Davis as support act; it says “San Antonio at Bayshore” –nobody calls it Bayshore anymore, just “101” or “the 101” — which is actually an interesting name for the Silicon Valley Expressway — means “yes” in Base2; like my Earthwise show, this too is a Sunday; I wonder if Andrew Bernstein produced this?

Actually actually, if you search “charlie musselwhite” and “jewish” you find him giving interviews about a somewhat recent trip to Israel. He played there after one of his sidemen or contemporaries had played there and spoke favorably of the experience. (Meta: long-time readers here of Plastic Alto know that I used to use the coined term “search-injun” instead of Google as a verb, to preserve their copyright or because I didn’t want to give them the publicity, but since I have met the founders and so many key employees I figure it’s ok now to give them the publicity, plus they don’t fear losing their TM. That, and Alan Eagle, a Google spokesperson and my former neighbor in 94022, who spoke to Andy Dolich class, said it was ok — and I admit I’m in foul territory on a blues cruise).

I did not know until researching the marketing of this December 29 blues show that many people think Charlie is the archetype for Dan Ackroyd’s Blues Brother character. As you can see above, Charlie wore sunglasses on stage for much of his early career.

I saw about 10 shows of the 2004 Front Porch Blues Tour, and don’t recall Charlie wearing shades. I do recall him wearing on the bus a hoodie that said “Vallejo Bike Club” or something.

If you excuse the jump cut, Laura Chavez the Mountain View (and former St. Francis Lancer point guard) guitar legend plays tomorrow night at Sweetwater in Mill Valley with the Nikki Hill band. She trades licks with Mr. Hill, the guitarist. That band drove out from New Orleans to do about 12 West Coast and West dates, and Laura, now based in San Diego, met them in Arizona.

I’m saying, Laura wears a kangol-style cap pretty low over her eyes, so maybe she should go Charlie and wear shades. I think Bob Margolin used to wear shades — he played my series, at the Mitch on July 6, I will have to check the tape. Regarding Laura and circling back to my experience on Front Porch Blues, I was actually Laura Chavez’s manager – or I managed Lara Price Band — during that winter, and I remember playing Deb Coleman the performance of Lara and Laura that was included in a Ruf Records commpilation. Deborah said that she would think of hiring Laura as a sideperson, but wanted to know how well she played rhythm guitar.

So besides just being a performance of an epic icon, Charlie, this play is notable in that it is in Palo Alto, and in the Jewish Center. Once you get on stage it’s all about the music, but in terms of the marketing or the hype those are two hooks, methinks.

edit to add: since I digressed to several other people not appearing Sunday December 29, 2019 with Charlie Musselwhite, June Core on drums — also on that FCB tour — Valerie Troutt, Howard Wiley and MC Lars — I have to admit that I had to look up Luther Tucker, in the linked video, before adding this note. Great guitar player, from Memphis and Chicago before Marin County, played with Muddy, died to young – -he was 57, about my age, and like me an Aquarius. Riff in peace, y’all. Rip, in the sense of a great solo. By the way, I’m also doing an Elvin Bishop show here December 20 at The Mitch (with Mitch Woods and Maria Muldaur).

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This is a very succesful young musician, JuiceWRLD from Chicago that passed away suddenly


The 49ers rough and tumble fullback, with two touchdowns but a lot of good blocks, is greeted by cheers of “Juice”.

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Finnegan finagle


Her book imagines Norma Desmond leading the Donner party or something

Jordana  finnegan it says Has been at foothill College for 14 years and cochair of the English department for about a year and a half. I wrote about her previously then took it down then wrote about it again or indirectly without using her name and then she morphed into Eric Bachmann or an Eric Bachmann character. But I  like Eric Bachmann and practically worship him and I don’t like Jordana Finnegan – – tho Bub said she’s nice.

In 2014 my second try or third try at city Council stab in the dark or very faint step into the light as it were and on a whim I enrolled in a course at the esteemed community college about social justice and literature. I was grasping at ways to articulate the frustration of the average voter here even here, what became the residentialist movement parentheses Tim Gray and I jumpstarted although it was founded by Emily Rentzal and Edith Pearson in 1964.

A highlight of the class Was Steinbeck tortilla flat, although I still prefer in dubious battle.  We read tortilla curtain which only time will tell. Although Kent Manske led a collaborative take on that using the printing press and art concepts and TMW before I knew her was part of that.

The lowlight and where I started flinging mud Is Jeannette walls glass castle which eventually became a movie I will never see I hope unless they tie me down like in Clockwork Orange — Which reminds me if you excuse the digression I want to see a really bad version of one of my favorite fiction books Jonathan lethem motherless Brooklyn — Actually took place simultaneous or close enough to my sojourn in Gowanus  and not as the movie would suggest during the McCarthy era which is more like my dad’s youth or salad days.

Another little light of my output was the final in which I attempted to write about Joe Portugal in black dialect although Jordana did say maybe I should take a course in creative writing which I guess presaged me taking a memoir with Lynn Stegner in Stanford —  course even though they sort of botched be writing experimental essays.

Months later I noticed somehow that Jordana in her own blog had talked about me and saying I was very angry or something like that which totally was not true and then when I contacted her she said to me like don’t ever contact me again I guess you accuse me of cyber stocking or something   So to me even with the flood (An advanced degree — but il alluding back to March 1995, below—  she is sort of a prude, paranoid, and simple minded.  But likely smarter than me I guess or better adjusted, Plus or minus the hands we are dealt, or lack.

Anyhow it pops up when I wrote this morning about Fabricoh.

That plus I ran into  Laura Chavez —we met and Janis Stevenson’s wonderful and legendary course on the blues.

It’s the spin on her chit  that makes us nervous


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It’s the spit on his chin that makes us nervous VS It’s the spit on our chin that makes us strong


Bachmann, Price, Johnson, Gentling: One of my highlights is a promoter is March 1995 they are because of loaf drove in a van up from LA during a monsoon Dash downtown San Jose was flooded, the sharks game was canceled, and they appeared from the mist just before their set plugged in and you get it rocking out rock it out

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Laura The Lege


Mountain View guitar legend Laura Chavez at Poor House @The Studio Nikki Hill Band, Sunday, Dismember 8, 2019

like this

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