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Home BLOGS Music Music: Highschool

Music: Highschool
Written by Jennifer Maerz   
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 14:05
Jennifer Maerz blogs up some CMJ and goes to sweet highschool parties
I've been feeling my teenager roots the past couple weeks. Maybe it's the kick-ass rock 'n' roll high school birthday party that went down the night after dancing at an 18+ magazine bash, right after a couple 15-year-old punks opened a Budget Rock showcase….or maybe it's just that I still say things like "kick-ass." Either way, there was a lot to be stoked about musically since I last wrote ("stoked" being another word I still use from those underage years... there's a lot of them. What can you do?)

Speaking of the kids, I went to visit my younger sister Melissa in New York recently. This is someone I used to throw blocks of frozen food at when we fought as kids, but that's all bygones now. She's grown up into a very fine young lady -- a lady whose boyfriend lives on a street lined with giant bags of trash.

My sister and I both love and write about music, so it was only natural that we'd get sucked into the CMJ music showcases while I was out there. I'm kicking myself for not bringing a camera with me the first night I was in town - the Black Lips played the basement of a tiny café called the Cake Shop at like 3 in the morning. They went on an hour late -- during which time people got really smashed on Sparks and baby bottles of champagne and any personal space around the stage had completely evaporated. When the Black Lips actually played it was like uncorking a bottle that'd been shaking for 60 minutes straight. So much fun. But not caught on camera. Possibly for the best?

But I did have my camera out for the slightly tamer shows, like Melbourne's the Drones, who I've been spazzing out on for a couple months now.

Their songs can be kinda serious, lyric wise - there's a lot of gothic Nick Cave sensibilities in there, but the music is noisy as shit, like the Birthday Party meets Sonic Youth.

Live the Drones add a third layer, which is a wicked sense of humor. The few Australians I know are total wiseasses, and the Drones were no different. They cracked lines between every song, calling everything from their broken guitar strings (snapped one song into the set) to the unyielding mic stand a "cunt." When they play though, they're incredibly passionate.

By the third day in NY my sister and I were zombies. So we went on a dazed tour of the galleries in Chelsea. I wish I could remember the name of this one particular gallery, or even the name of the artist. But when it comes to proper nouns, my sister and I both inherited the memory bank of a goldfish. Anyway, the instillation was a sheer circus tent setup and you had to put this shower cap thingy on your feet to enter.

Once inside, everything was squishy and smelled like lavender. There were brightly colored, amoeba-shaped pillows everywhere. The pillows were filled with little balls and the floor had a bunch of foam underneath it. It was the cushiest piece of art I've ever been in. We stayed in there a long time.

Then it was back home to S.F., where I think I hit a personal maximum of five shows in two nights. Started off with a little reunion with some music buddies thanks to a show by Seattle's the Lights, who were in town at the Hemlock.

Imagine the Fall dropping the curmudgeonly bit and banging out some incredibly agitated post punk and you'd get close to the Lights. They're pretty unique in sound and style -- the singer has a deep baritone, an ominous bassline snakes through everything, and the drummer skillfully scatters the beats all over the place.

Then it was time for the first of many culture shifts, as we hit the Rickshaw for Gucci Time with Mesh Magazine. When we got there it was a jam-packed hip-hop party with DJs and local hyphy pro Trackademicks. Dude is super charismatic on stage.

From there things somehow segued into Lemonade, a hippie looking trio carrying masks and walking sticks who bang out ridiculously catchy dance jams in the style of Black Dice and Gang Gang Dance.

Lemonade is all beats/percussion and bass and echoing vocals that are so distorted the songs just smear into your ears and wiggle your legs into action. They're like a drum circle for people who hate drum circles …a lot of banging on objects and getting the kids to flail across the dance floor.

Definitely psychedelic. I really dig these guys.

And then the DJs went right back into the hiphop, totally seamless -- you could dance to it all, all night long.

Saturday was day two of the annual local garage rockathon, Budget Rock, which was in Oakland this year at the always festive Stork Club.

So much fun - a marathon of music, a swap meet, a garage sale, a BBQ, and a hot dog eating contest. The consensus was that you could still catch a high rubbing the white dust off these mirrors, although I didn't see anyone quite make the effort.

Our Budget emcee was a sweet dude name Joe (he used to play in the Spits), shown here buddying up with Senior Hot Dog

The dog-shoveling was a little painful to watch. There were only a couple competitors committed to cramming as many fleshy rods of processed meat down the hatch as possible in five minutes.

So... Many... Hot... Dogs

But only one winner, the frontman for a band called the Touch Me Nots (they're a married duo, and I heard the wife cheer out when he won, "That's my husband! He ate seven hot dogs"... or whatever the final number came down to. It was really cute.

The absolute highlight of my Budget Rock experience, though, was seeing the Rock n Roll Adventure Kids

They're all about the woo-hoo'n, knee slapin', krazy punkrocknroll, and I totally and completely dug it. The RRAKs are a duo (two brothers) but the singer alone has enough manic energy to propel five bands combined. He was a jumpin' and a hoppin' and a hollerin' all over the stage with a lovely shit eating grin plastered all across his face. It's bands like this that made me fall for garage rock in the first place. If you're a fan of the Cheater Slicks, Bob Log III, the Coachwhips, Immortal Lee County Killers, and the like, these dudes are so up your alley.

And in case you have a hard time with song titles, as I always do, they keep the names short 'n' sweet. Songs are about "Boobies," "Orgasms," and "Chuck Berry" -- although "Panties in My Pocket" is definitely a crowd pleaser for a reason.

My instant enthusiasm meter for this band kinda high -- so when I hit a party back in S.F. late night and they were on stage there too, well, my weekend couldn't really get any better.

The party was at this amazing loft space downtown. I'm not sure how many stories it went up but it allegedly contained a hot tub and a huge bird cage on the upper floors. The ground floor alone was pretty sweet, though. The ex-punker who owned the place is a big collector of pennants and they were hanging everywhere.

The party was being thrown in honor of the daughter of the family who lived there. She was turning... 15? 16? One of those ages where I think for my birthday I was still renting scary movies and having makeover parties with my friends. I did not have a blowout bash with all the cool Birdman bands playing in my honor -- but then you take one look at this kid and you know both she and her mom rule the school. Really friendly as well.

The party was so much fun, people dancing to all kindsa rock n roll while the place was decorated like a prom for Rock n Roll High School

Gotta love the teenagers who rocked with the rest of us.

At the end of the night the Rock n Roll Adventure Kids got the birthday girl on stage, brought up a huge bag of spray confetti, passed out those cans of confetti, and played a song in her honor as the crowd shot streams of that goop into the air. It was insane. Spray confetti may have made a mess of my bed the next morning, but that night it was a pretty brilliant idea.

Happy birthday Lulu.

Upcoming show picks:

  • Ezee Tiger, the Sic Alps (11/18, Hotel Utah)
  • Luke Vibert (11/18, Boca)
  • Hot Chip (11/17, Mezzanine)
  • The Psychic Paramount (11/17 & 11/18, the Hemlock)
  • Folk Yeah Fest in Big Sur (w/ Vetiver, Whalebones, tons more; Nov. 17 & 18 at the Fernwood)
  • The Mall (w/ the Slits, etc., at Mezzanine, 11/18)
  • Peter Walker (11/21, Hemlock)
  • Lemonade (11/25, Bottom of the Hill)
  • The Melvins (11/29, Great American Music Hall)
  • No Doctors (11/29, the Hemlock)
{moscomment}

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contact FF

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur
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When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old high thing. Which—unless, like me, you think we need a vessel for our inner life—is nothing much to mourn.

lead

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


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ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

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//////////
Wednesday, 25 August 2010 12:50


 

 


 

 

 

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Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


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Gator Skater +video

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5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


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FRENCH in Melbourne

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Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

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Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

NYCHOS completed this great new mural on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco on Tuesday. Looks Amazing.


Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

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Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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