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The Life and Times of Grandpa Parm & Scheme-On

Sound Tribe Sector Awesome…

picture-1Sound Tribe Sector Awesome
Electronic Jam Band Destroys SF
(Live Music, Shows, Concerts)

(San Francisco, CA – 2/28/09) – Any band that locks down the Fillmore four nights in a row better have some serious fucking talent and a hell of a following. Turns out the Santa Cruz-based, 5-piece electronic jam band STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9) most definitely has both and they’ve managed to sell out the Fillmore from 2/26/09 thru 3/1/09 with ease. Apparently the “Sector 9” is a reference to the current era of the Mayan calendar, so you know these guys are gangster. I’ve know about them for a couple years now (at least the name), but didn’t listen to their shit until about a month ago. I assumed it was just a few DJs and nothing that unique, but turns out I was utterly fucking wrong. Their music is a mix of instrumental rock with analog-generated sound, making it difficult to classify. The band consists of a guitarist & bassist (who both use a midi keyboard at times), a percussionist, a keyboardist, and a ridiculously sik drummer named Zach Velmer. When it all comes together the result is captivating to say the least and manages to fuse elements of rock, jazz, funk, reggae, drum & bass, and hip-hop into one intense concoction for the ears. This combined with a seasoned lighting technician makes for a surreal experience. Each member possesses much talent, but Velmer is the most impressive by far. Anyone who can pull off live drum & bass like this dude is a fucking god. I was lucky enough to get myself a ticket to opening night before it sold out and it might have been the best $26 I have ever spent. Seeing these dudes live is definitely an experience not to be missed. I went with my cousin, a proud affiliate of the STS9 cult, and I think I may have been recruited myself. We ran into a handful of his friends, some of which he said he only knows from other STS9 shows, which created a vibe like everyone knew each other. I definitely felt like the new kid who just lost his virginity; it was awesome…

Get Sectored or Go Home


March 1, 2009 Posted by | Concerts, Music | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The One-Man Band…

The One-Man Band…
Independent Mastermind or Anti-Social Scumbag???
(Music, Life)

picture-15San Francisco, CA, 11/15/08 – So last night I wandered into this little black hole of a concert room at Hemlock Tavern, through the pieces of industrial car wash plastic to find what sounded like an extremely sloppy Wolfmother-type band. I couldn’t fully see the stage, only the top of the singer’s head, so pushed my way closer to try and spot the drummer and to my surprise realized that this band was not a band at all. It was one super exhausted dude, pounding Pabst Blue Ribbon, wailing on a guitar, screaming into a mic, with his right foot on a bass drum and left foot on a high hat… it was awesome. Witnessing this demonstration of musical multi-tasking made me start thinking about how one makes the decision to start a one-man band. What’s the natural progression? Do these people usually start off in a normal band then end up going rogue, or are they just hardcore one-man banders from birth? What’s the motivation? What type of individual has the passion to take on what a group of 3-5 people generally do? Are they just independent musical masterminds with exceptional creativity and talent, or are they anti-social panhandling scumbags who are so awkward and annoying that they can’t even find 3-5 other people who want to be in a band with them? There are plenty of solo artists out there, but this shit’s on a whole ‘nother level. You have to give them props for their talent though, I mean I can barely pat my head and rub my belly at the same time let alone play 5 instruments simultaneously and sing. The closest I can get to multi-tasking is drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette at the same time, and shit, I’ve even had trouble with that. That being said, I leave you with this quote from Joe Barrick’s one-man band webpage:

“The one-man band exists, in all its uniqueness and independence, as a most elusive yet persistent musical tradition.  As a category of musicianship it transcends cultural and geographic boundaries, spans stylistic limits, and defies conventional notions of technique and instrumentation.  Defined simply as a single musician playing more than one instrument at the same time, it is an ensemble limited only by the mechanical capabilities and imaginative inventiveness of its creator, and despite its generally accepted status as an isolated novelty, it is a phenomenon with some identifiable historical continuity.”

Get Independent or Go Home…

November 16, 2008 Posted by | Life, Music | , , , , | 4 Comments

Download Your Life Away…

Download Your Life Away…
Fresh Tunes at Your Fingertips


The World Wide Web, CS, 9/11/08 – Ah yes, the Internet… servin’ up fresh tunes and whatever the fuck else you want round the clock. When I moved into the dorms and got my first hi-speed connection it was like releasing a raging pedophile at a gymnastics meet. I ran wild in cyberspace downloading everything from movies, to software, to porn, but my embezzlement of choice was an art form in which the medium is sound organized in time… yup, you guessed it, MPmotherfuckinThrees! I spent countless hours on LimeWire hitting pause, resume, preview and loving every goddamn second of it. I built my library to an insurmountable size, but eventually my 27gig laptop caught viruses, slowed down to the pace of an 82 year-old woman on methadone, and exploded. I was then forced to head back to Amoeba and sift through millions of used CDs with all you other schmucks until I got a new comp. Since then there has much discussion questioning the ethics of music piracy and even laws passed such as the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which deems copying of copyrighted music (with the exception of making a copy for your own use) as illegal. I understand that my plunders in the open seas of cyberspace haven’t provided artists with their well-deserved royalties, but to be honest, it’s not like I would have gone out there and bought thousands of albums with my milk money anyways. The simple fact that there are fresh tunes right at my fingertips is why I seek it, and shit, when I find something I dig online I let people know and they might be stupid enough to go pay for it? Bottom line, I don’t think music piracy has had as drastic of an effect on the music industry as some people may think and if I’m wrong… fuck, they’ll get over it.

P.S. – I just downloaded the new TV on the Radio album, “Dear Science”, and it doesn’t even get released for another week… fucking awesome!

Get Downloaded or Go Home…

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Three Reasons to Keep Living

One: Portishead – Third

Almost six months old now, this album has blown me away in more ways than one over the last month or so. They say it’s a more industrial album, straying from the traditional trip-hop sound we’re used to from Portishead. I say it rocks! Some of the songs put me in a trance while others feel like they are synchronized to the beating of my heart. True musical coordination. Beth Gibbons continues to deliver meaningful lyrics with a hint of sarcasm and a tone like no other. Check out the track titled, “Small”. A definite banger.

Two: The Genius/The GZA – Pro Tools

At the tender age of 42, Wu-Tang’s most mysterious and talented mc shakes the earth by dropping another solo gem to add to his discography of pure genius (tons of pun intended). I pre-ordered this album cuz I like to be spontaneous like that, but it did not disappoint. Unfortunately, all the guest appearances are simply beat by a better mc on this album. That mc being the GZA, with his same monotone style that brought him fame every since “Liquid Swords” hit the suburbs. Having said that, some of the mc’s that got destroyed are the RZA and Masta Killa to name a couple. These guys are just as famous but lack the quality and consistency found with Genius’ lyrics. He makes me laugh with shit like, “I brought butter for the popcorn, dips for the chips, egos for you to trip, and scripts for you to flip…” -Alphabets. F-ing genius huh? Check it before he turns 60 and quits.

Three: Murs – Murs For President

My man Murs never disappoints and I assure you I know nothing about his new album cuz it ain’t out yet. Even so, I expect nothing but gems and bangers from this long time Living Lengends storyteller. He’s got a track with Snoop Dogg on this one, so at least he’s gonna surprise us a little. Having Humpty Dumpty/Shock G on an album was kinda cool, but Snoop Dogg is another story all together. Can’t wait!

Go Home!


September 12, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bang the Drum 2008…

Bang the Drum 2008…
Sunshine, Tall Cans, & Canibus


San Francisco, CA, 8/31/08 – Now I’m all about the environment, going green, fighting global warming, saving the world and all that shit, but damn, it has been so fucking nice and warm in SF the past week I’m thinking about opening up my own industrial processing plant and letting fossil fuels and oil just spew out freely into an ocean full of baby seals. Lounging in the grass under the warm SF sun was nice. Lounging in the grass under the warm SF sun with tall cans was even nicer. But lounging in the grass under the warm SF sun with tall cans, watching Canibus and Das EFX live for free was fucking epic! This was what the better part of Sunday afternoon consisted of for me and roughly 500 other ExxonMobil CEOs who happen to be hip-hop heads??? Weird. This splendid event was brought to us by Kevvy Kev, a legendary bay area hip-hop DJ and host of the world’s longest continuously running hip-hop radio show, The Drum. To celebrate 24 years on the air, Kevvy Kev hosted the free Bang the Drum concert, featuring 24 DJs and 24 MCs (which included Canibus & Das EFX) for an afternoon of bliss at Peacock Meadow in Golden Gate Park. I’m definitely not the hip-hop head that I used to be, let’s say… circa 2001, and I’ve definitely received plenty of shit for it from Gramps and Danamacha alike, but I have to say, sunshine, tall cans, & Canibus go together like ecstasy and Radiohead…

Go Green or Go Home…

September 1, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments