always a lowercase f

The first time I saw fIREHOSE was at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC(back when it was on F Street). I just saw them play a reunion show at Slim’s on 11th street in San Francisco after an 18 year break! They were working out the kinks that night but it just didn’t matter. There was a whole lot of heart in that room. This band has a deep appreciation for the time on stage playing and their audience.

I’m really in love with Mike Watt’s playing. His bass, or his word for it -‘”thudstaff” is noble, joyful, and powerful. In terms of his stature in culture he has this combination of talent and work ethic while being humble. He is up there, concerned less with building of his brand than the quality of his performance and sound making.

I find their music to very American in that it combines various genres in a way that makes it their own. That night we heard elements of punk, garage rock, lounge-y jazz, and even calypso. It was good to be reminded, first hand, how good this music is.

At Slim's, 11th Street in San Francisco

Mike Watt's bass rig

drummer, George Hurley making contact with fans after the show.

You can read Mike Watt’s compelling this tour diary here

Here is Brave Captain from their first record, Ragin’ Full-On.


All Together Now

I’m so glad I went to see Moe!kestra last night at The Uptown in Oakland. Moe! Staiano is a percussionist/composer. Last night he conducted a performance of his Piece No 9, When Terrie Had Six (a composition dedicated to the Ex). There were about 30 musicians on (and off) the stage playing his graphical score while paying attention to his cues via a baton, index cards, and a small hand held stop sign. Moments of repeated pattern were countered by spontaneous solos and silences. Once in a while he would step down from his conducting post(a wobbly folding chair) and run into a section of the band cueing individual members to come forward in the sound mix. Listening to a recording of this is almost missing the point – there is no substitute for experiencing this kind of music live.

Moe!kestra - there wasn't enough room on stage for all of them. There were 7 electric guitarists.

Moe! Staiano (yes, the exclamation mark is part of his name).

Index cards used to cue the orchestra to play certain parts of the score.