I’ve been thinking lately I should write a bit about what I’ve been reading. Not because you out there, at the other ends of the many Intertubes, are interested necessarily; more because I know that anything I don’t write down, I will forget. Sometimes I think of this blog less as something for people to read than as a searchable brain annex that’s far more reliable than my own increasingly leaky head-thing.
For instance, after a year or so of faithful bathroom reading I just finally finished Bill Graham Presents, a big book about the life of, duh, Bill Graham (born Wolfgang Grajonca). A damn fascinating life he had, including a childhood exodus across WWII-era Europe, the details of which are already long gone from my memory.
Later in life, of course, Graham achieved success and fame as a concert promoter, and in so doing helped to create live rock’n’roll as we know it today. The book is loaded with anecdotes about Graham’s interactions with artists like the Grateful Dead, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, etc. One of my favorites is this one about Jimi Hendrix: (more…)
I am pleased and proud to report that after many years, my old coffee-drinking buddy Knox Bronson has completed his first full-length vocal album, Pop Down the Years. Knox’s sound is hard to pin down. Certainly he is influenced by the greats of the last few decades—The Beatles, Donovan, David Bowie, Eno, Kraftwerk—but in his hands it all becomes something else again, less a fusion of pop, electronic music, and art-rock than a suggestion that these distinctions were artificial to begin with. But why should I blather on? Writing about music, after all, is like dancing about architecture.
Spent some time in Santa Cruz this weekend. This is a place that’s near and dear to my heart because of the many fond memories, but it wasn’t quite the same this time. The afternoon was pleasant, featuring a lovely brunch and a nice beach interlude. Once it started to get cold, we made our way back to town and sat in a cafe to read as the sun went down. But as the daylight disappeared all the town’s charm seemed to go with it, replaced by loud, crazy-sounding voices and a vague sense of weirdness closing in. A mysterious figure dressed in orange from head to toe, including an orange surgical mask covering everything but his eyes, did a slow pimp-walk up and down Pacific Ave. The guy at the table next to us had started declaiming loudly about his penis, so it seemed like time to go. Out on the curb stood a friendly-looking fellow with a cup full of something, making an inquiry to every person who passed. It sounded like he was saying “Weed?”, which seemed very Santa Cruz, and whenever someone stopped he would hand them a bit of what was in his cup. On the way out of the cafe, we decided to stroll by just to see what would happen. Upon closer listening, though, what he was actually saying was “Bead?” and what he wanted to give us was not even a bead, but some small piece of plastic. We politely declined and headed for home.