Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Moonalice: 2 Nights in L.A.

Hey, now!

Check out my review of 2 nights of Moonalice in the Los Angeles area. You can read it here on (or JBO, for those in the know!), a great new site run by a fellow (female!) Phish fan.

And I'm also busy working with a friend to make some improvements to this blog, so stay tuned for a new look and more details from the Road to West Fest '09 (hint of things to come: I'm going to look at electric guitars next week)!

Joy :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Road to West Fest '09: Part I: Learning Purple Haze

On Sunday, October 25, West Fest will be held on Speedway Meadows in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. It is the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock festival. It is a FREE event and produced by 2b1 and the Council of Light in association with Artie Kornfeld, the original producer of Woodstock '69.

There's a lot more to say about the festival, and I'll post the press release at the end of this post. But what I'm most psyched about (besides an afternoon in Golden Gate Park in October--the best time of year there, in my opinion) is my participation in the effort to break the current world record for largest guitar ensemble! According to the Guinness World Records site, the record was set when 1, 802 participants played "Smoke on the Water" simultaneously in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany, on June 26, 2007. The goal for West Fest is to shatter that record with several thousand playing "Purple Haze" in tribute to Jimi Hendrix, who headlined Woodstock in '69.

So. I registered for the event, which you can also do here. There are also links to some tutorials, which I tried today. Since I'm pretty much self-taught on guitar (I tried to follow along with a Jorma Kaukonen video once...that wasn't too fruitful), I'll be playing a pretty basic part that consists of about three chords per verse and then another three once we get to the bridge/jam-out part at the end ("Help me! I can't go on like this...")

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be consulting with some guitar players who are more skilled than I and will continue to develop my rendition of Purple Haze. Here's what I was able to put together after researching the lyrics and watching this video tutorial:

Stay tuned for more preparations for West Fest. I'll be posting my progress as I go. Let me know if you have any tips for me!

And here is the official press release for the event. See you there!

40th Anniversary of Woodstock
Free Concert Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, Sunday, October 25, 2009

Event: “West Fest” Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock.

Attraction: 72 acts, 4 stages, 2 domes and 26 poster artists. Solar domes, Alternative vehicles, Electric bikes, Native American Tipi Village, Sustainable Living Road Show, Conscious Art Gallery, Light Temple, Holistic Healing Section, Hooper Heaven, Rock’n Green Kids Zone and Eco Village vendors. Narada Michael Walden featuring Vernon Ice Black leading 3,000 guitar players and closing the show with the Hendrix Experience reenactment and Superstar Jam

Admission: FREE
When: October 25, 2009, 9am to 6pm
Where: Speedway Meadows, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA USA
Producer: 2b1 Multimedia Inc. and the Council of Light in association with Artie Kornfeld, the original producer of “Woodstock 1969”
Non-Profit: 501-(c) 3
Contact: Boots Hughston, 415-861-1520 or

Acts confirmed with more to come: Jefferson Starship; Leslie West (Mountain); Lester Chambers (the Chambers Brothers); Country Joe McDonald; Denny Laine (of Paul McCartney, Wings, Moody Blues); The Original Lowrider Band (with Lee Oskar); Narada Michael Walden featuring Vernon Ice Black leading 3,000 guitar players and closing the show with the Hendrix Experience reenactment Superstar Jam; Greg Errico, Jerry Martini, Cynthia Robinson (From Sly and the Family Stone); David and Linda La Flamme (It’s a Beautiful Day); Michael McClure (Beat Poet) and Ray Manzarek (from the Doors); Lydia Pense and Cold Blood; Terry Haggerty (from the Sons of Champlin); Annie Sampson and her band; Nick Gravenites Band; Harvey Mandel and the Snake band; Barry “The Fish” Melton (of Country Joe and the Fish); Jerry Miller and Jim Post; Lost Creek Gang and the Merry Pranksters with Ken Babbs, George Walker, and Mountain Girl; El Chicano; Alameda All Stars (Gregg Allman’s Band); Edwin Hawkins and The New Edwin Hawkins Singers “Oh Happy Day”; David Denny (from Steve Miller) with Prairie Prince (of The Tubes), Diana Mangano (formerly of The Jefferson Starship), Greg Douglas, Carlos Reyes; PF Sloan; Jimmy McCarty (from Detroit Wheels); Peter Kaukonen (from Jefferson Airplane); John York (from the Byrds); Leigh Stephens (from Blue Cheer); Kathi McDonald and Friends; Cathy Richardson band; Joli Valenti and Tony Saunders; Mitchell Holman (It’s a Beautiful Day), Miles Schon Band; Jose Neto and Friends; The Mutaytor; Rock Hendricks (Bobby Womack, The Jackson 5, The funkidelics); Scoop Nisker - KFOG; David Harris – speaker; Matthew Rosenthal – Prevent Hate; Bettina Aptheker – Free Speech Movement; Ben Fong -Torres (Rolling Stone); David Hilliard - Black Panther Party; Benjamin Hernandez – Harts and Hands elders; Blue Thunder – spiritual healer, Teton; Dennis Banks – AIM Wounded Knee; Dennis Peron and Richard Eastman (Marijuana Initiative); David Rovic; Rabbi Joseph Langer ; Ed Rosenthal; Terence Hallinan (Former SF DA); Gene “DR Hip” Schoenfeld; Paul “Lobster” Wells (DJ), Aron “Pieman” Kay (from the Yippies); Alex Reymundo – comedian; Doug Green MC; Some acts can not be advertised until 30days out.

Poster series: Stanley Mouse, Arnold Skolnick (original Woodstock 69 poster artist), Chris Shaw, Mike Dolgushkin, Wendy Wright, David Singer, Mark Henson, Carlon Ferris, Dave Huckins, Lee Conklin, Bob Masse, Andrew Annenberg, Victor Moscosco, Michael Moss, Thomas Yeates, Chrissy Costello, Gilbert Johnson and Dusty Hughston, Michael Rios, Burry Olsen, Pat Ryan, Ron Donovin – Fire House Crew.

In honor of Jimi Hendrix, who headlined the festival in 1969,
Narada Michael Walden Featuring Vernon Ice Black will lead 3,000 guitar players attempting to break the World's Record for the Largest
Guitar Ensemble playing "Purple Haze" -- all at the same time!

Players are encouraged to register at:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Farewell, Casio!

The good news is that in the past nine days, I've seen seven shows: the best Cubensis show I've ever seen last Thursday, two nights with Moonalice in the greater L.A. area (with Nate LaPointe and Cece the second night) over last weekend, Christopher Hawley Rollers at the Venice Bistro on Monday, Greensky Bluegrass at the Mint on Wednesday, Patti Smith at the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday, and, last night, Saturday, Jackie Greene and Ratdog at the Greek.

The bad news is, the camera finally kicked it. Right after it took this final photo just before the Ratdog show last night:

As my husband pointed out, it has truly been a good camera to us over the past three years. It went to Rothbury and the Vibes last year, has been to every wedding and show we could smuggle it into and has given us some great memories. So now, with the passing of the device, I offer you this montage of the last week of my life. Thank you, Casio. You done good. Real good.

Jackie Greene and band - Greek Theatre, Los Angeles - Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jackie is a freakin' rock star. He played "Don't Let the Devil Take Your Mind" and "Ball and Chain," and had Mark Karan come out and join him for a slow blues "Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Right...Where did you sleep last night?" I've said this once and I'll say it again, the man is just Dylan reincarnated early. It's quite bizarre. Amazing, to say the least, because he's not Dylan; he's doing his own thing. At the end of his set, he busted out "Taxman." When was the last time you heard that played live? From there, the evening slid right into Ratdog as members of the band just took their places onstage with Jackie's band and jammed into the "Franklin's," the first song of Ratdog's set. Jackie played a few songs with Ratdog before exiting.

The Ratdog show was not the strongest I've seen. Some very nontraditional song placements and Bob Weir walked offstage for a moment during the second set after he forgot some words and it seemed like an odd moment. But otherwise they sounded great (Highlights: "She Belongs to Me," "Masterpiece", "Terrapin," "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad") and Mark Karan looks very happy.

Moonalice - The Mint, Los Angeles - Saturday, August 29, 2009

Even Molo can't take his own playing full-strength...

Nate LaPointe and Cece Sherman opened for Moonalice at Blue Cafe in Long Beach, on Sunday, August 30, 2009. They sounded great together, with Cece's sultry blues voice, Nate's originals, and two Dead covers they performed with Barry Sless of Moonalice sitting in on pedal steel.

Greensky Bluegrass - The Mint, Los Angeles - Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This was my first time seeing Greensky in a small club. The first time was among tens of thousands at Rothbury 2008, when they were debuting many of the songs from their new album at the time, Five Interstates. These guys put on a great show at the Mint last week and had the audience (a lot of people drinking and talking, not there for the band) eating out of their hands by the last songs. Great covers of Prince's "When Doves Cry" and Paul Simon's "Gumboots" ("You don't feel you could love me, but I feeeel you could!") Amazing banjo picking by Mike Bont. Amazing.

No photos of Patti Smith, although she did tell a great story about coming to Los Angeles. Apparently, she was just coming back from Japan and had forgotten to make a hotel reservation for her L.A. trip. So when a car picked her up at LAX, she told the driver just to take her to Venice Beach! Then she spilled coffee all over herself in the backseat.

Ah, such is life! The death of a camera and the birth of a new day...all in one full moon!

Here's to another week filled with music and love.