His mind is like an ocean.

Since I haven’t updated this list in about 4 years it seems like I should, although my live music consumption has gone way down. This is partly because I am getting old and tired and most of the bands I love have broken up, and partly because a couple years back I relocated to Darkest Northern California, which is not often visited by the major touring bands. Every once in a while someone throws us a bone — for example, Ozomatli put on a sizzling show at the Van Duzer Theater Tuesday night, complete with encores in the lobby — but mostly we are left with only local options. And some of those are quite good, but they have a tendency to be late-starting shows aimed at college kids (see the second sentence of this paragraph).

One of the better shows I’ve seen since I got here was by Naïve Melodies, who are a Talking Heads cover band; I’m not sure whether they should go on the list (though I have included cover bands before, specifically AC/DShe, the all-girl AC/DC). Another was a screening of Stop Making Sense at the Arcata Theater Lounge (complete with dance floor), and that definitely doesn’t count.

After all these years I’m still missing an “I” and a “Q.” I never saw Queen, Quarterflash, or the Quicksilver Messenger Service, but I would see Q-Tip given half a chance. As for “I,” it may have to wait for time travel so I can see the Ink Spots.

You may notice that several of the entries are followed by question marks; rock’n’roll being what it is, memory loss is a part of the lifestyle. Most of these are acts who played often around town and that I may have seen any number of times. In the case of the Butthole Surfers, their entire show was designed with brain damage specifically in mind, so while I think I saw them three times, there may have been other incidents. Seeing the Buttholes is kind of like being abducted by aliens: The more you remember about it, the less likely it actually happened.

Another special case is Frank Black, who just plain toured so much that I got to see him G-d knows how many times. He once played a show at the Starry Plough, a tiny bar not far from my apartment in Oaktown. I remember when they played “Ten Percenter” and I leaned my head over the railing near the bar, smack into the middle of the wall of sound. That was a pretty good day.

The list:

AC/DShe (x2)
Ade, King Sunny
Amadou & Mariam (x2)
Ash, Daniel
Beck (x3)
Beta Band
Beulah (x2)
Blacc, Aloe
Blackalicious (x2)
Black, Frank (x-many)
Blind Boys of Alabama
Bowie, David (x3)
Breeders (x2)
Brian Jonestown Massacre
Built to Spill
Burnett, T-Bone
Butthole Surfers (x3?)
Camper Van Beethoven (x?)
Cave, Nick & the Bad Seeds
Chao, Manu & the Radio Bemba Sound System
Chilton, Alex
Clinton, George & the P-Funk All Stars
Costello, Elvis
Cracker (x3)
David, Anthony
Del the Funkyhomosapien
Depeche Mode
Devo (x3)
Doe, John (x2)
Dr. John (x3)
Erickson, Roky
Flaming Lips
Funky Meters (x?)
Gabriel, Peter
Gift of Gab
Grateful Dead
Guy, Buddy
Harvey, PJ
Hold Steady
Hooker, John Lee
Jane’s Addiction
Jazz Butcher (x3)
Jesus & Mary Chain (x4)
King, B.B.
Kool Keith (x2)
Levy, Barrington
Lords of the New Church
Los Lobos (x3)
Love and Rockets (x4)
Loved Ones
Low Pop Suicide
Lyrics Born
Malkmus, Stephen
Meat Puppets
Monks of Doom
Murphy, Peter (x2)
Musselwhite, Charlie
Naked, Buck & the Bare Bottom Boys
Overwhelming Colorfast (x?)
Ozomatli (x2)
Pavement (x4)
Pere Ubu (x2)
Perry, Lee
Phair, Liz
Pixies (x5)
Presidents of the USA
Public Enemy
Rebirth Brass Band
Rev. Horton Heat
Richman, Jonathan (x?)
Shriekback (x2)
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars
Sippy Cups (x3)
Sisters of Mercy
Sly & Robbie/Taxi Gang
Soft Boys
Sonic Youth
Soweto Gospel Choir
Spencer, Jon Blues Explosion (x2)
Starlight Mints
They Might Be Giants
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
Thin White Rope
Throwing Muses (x2)
Tin Machine
Trombone Shorty (x2)
Uncalled Four (x?)
Voice Farm (x?)
Waits, Tom
Watt, Mike & the Missingmen
Wild Magnolias
Wolfgang Press
Wu-Tang Clan
Young Fresh Fellows
Ze, Tom