Wednesday, July 29, 2009 the Top Hat

Sol Jibe was burning the fucking place down, on Wednesday, July 22. Pardon my language, but these guys were burning the fucking place down. It was a hip riff with jazzy overtones, played with style and energy. It was also another in a long string of outstanding performances offered at the Top Hat.

Check this venue out. "There's something happening here, but what it is ain't exactly clear, is it Mr Jones?" Or something to that effect. Turn off the television, and the damned computer, too, and get out to see and hear some live local music. OK, these guys were from out of town, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Ritz at Midweek

Upstairs, in the Badlander, Andrea Harsell launched into song, and poured her heart into it. Her loyal friend, Louis Bond, accompanied her. Thus the Badlander stage opened, at 10pm, on Wednesday, July 22.

Later, downstairs, the visiting headliners introduced themselves with a vigorous performance.

Noah Ptolemy called me last week. He is now in Los Angles, saying the city of angels offers more opportunity than the Bay Area. While he would like to revisit zootown, a return isn't on his calendar, yet. An interview with him and samples of his latest style can be found here.

Wolf Redboy was the reason I was out on a Wednesday night, with work looming the next day. He was supposed to open at 10, but the line-up underwent late surgery, and he appeared near midnight.

Women worship Wolf. As you can see, this one is obviously praying.

The Ritz has in various incarnations been known by other names. It opened 100 years ago as the Savoy Hotel. Back then it was the corner of West Cedar and Stevens, rather than Broadway and Ryman. It has since been the Palace Hotel and the Ritz. Now it is home to the Badlander and Palace, two of zootown's best music scenes, as well as the Golden Rose and a casino. Look for a centennial celebration later this summer.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hip Strip Block Party 2009

I encountered this striking individual on my way to the Hip Strip Block Party, and again on my way back.

Zeppo opened the big stage at the Hip Strip Block Party, Saturday, July 18, 2009. Look who's back on the bass.

A couple of my favorite people were up front.

Here's a happy crew, who wanted their picture taken. I apologize for taking a week to get this posted, folks.

Mudslide Charley was playing at the same time on the small stage, behind the Boone and Crocket Club. As usual, Marco was up front playing and singing the blues hard, while behind him--one stalwart saxaphone player, playing the harmonica and drums, as well as his sax.

I wasn't the only photographer present.

I've heard him before, love his contemporary poetry, and can't remember his name to save my ass. Well, he's good, and we'll see him again.

Wartime Blues followed Zeppo on the main stage. Below is Bethany playing the cello, as she once did with Good Neighbor Policy. I consider the GNP reunion promoted at another venue false advertising, because Bethany was not there.

Temperatures near triple digits, cooked the sparse crowd on the parking lot asphalt, during the music. The fashion show brought in an audience.

There are more shots of the bands and other scenes around zootown, on this day, on the flickr archive.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Week Ago, Friday, July 17, continued

Another week has flown by, and I still haven't posted the full report on last Friday. If there was more than one alternative to growing older, I would take it. So where were we? At the Wilma for a movie preview.

After the movie, the post-event party moved to the Union Club, where the Full Grown Men were holding forth.

This is a talented and experienced group of musicians. This saxaphone player is particularly versatile, as I saw him the next day, playing with Mudslide Charley. He played the sax, harmonica and drums, behind Marco, at the Hip Strip Block Party.

Meanwhile, over at the Badlander, Pluto's a Planet was giving their final performance, before losing their front man to Portland. They went out with flair, delivering a vigorous and exciting show to say farewell. I first saw this group, when they were known as LP and the Federales, and enjoyed watching them evolve over the last year. More images from this night and previous action at Dauphines may be found on the flickr archive. Shit, we must say good bye to Dauphines, as well, because that great cafe is also gone.

Thomas Pendarvis left the sound booth to join his friends on stage for the finale.

Pluto is not a planet, according to NASA, and now the band is no more, as well.

Bump? I had never heard of them before, but I was glad to get in on their infectious, happy sound at the Top Hat.

There were many smiles around the Top Hat, that night, and more than the usual number asked to be photographed. Here's my favorite shot, as I went out the back door, and called it a wrap on a very busy Friday night.