Boots v Two Boots

It’s both a tour de force and a, if you excuse the expression, and sorry to spoil ya, tour de horse.

Did i mention time got The Coup their first gig at Fillmore? This guy.


edit to add (and i aint even wrote the mother fucker yet): I’m going East Bay today and I will divert to 30th and West in honor of Pam the Funkstress, who was Boots Riley’s partner in crime (blowing up tall buildings, killing CEO’s so to speak, in Roberta Flack sort of way methinks) in The Coup. I hope I didn’t lose their cds in the move. I had the original cover that got them investigated. It was the bomb. Also, I will try to wear purple, I may have to buy purple. Bye, Purple. (Movie ends with two dedications. She was 52 and went to Burlingame High. Reminds me of the time I hired Brown Fellinis and Charlotte the Baroness came but could not play because nobody advanced the show enough to tell shithead promoter to provide the turntables. I paid her a kill fee. I may or may not have met Pam. At the Fillmore. Maybe she’s in the Heavy House Band wit Candye Kane.


and1(this is the way Plastic Alto rolls, or roils or riles):

Peter Hartlaub (2006)
“Pop Culture” columnist
San Francisco Chronicle
Dear Peter:
I enjoyed reading your column Wednesday (“Shaq
O’Neal’s off-court oeuvre”) and thank you for the fact
that it has inspired in me such an effusive response:
I agree with you wholeheartedly that recordings and
concerts by celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal say
much more about the nature of celebrity per se than
they do about any specific topic or lyric, that they
are more about the medium than the message, if you
will. More precisely, if I can add my two cents worth,
Shaq’s work is problematic specifically because it is
a vanity project.
In my opinion, if Shaquille O’Neal calls a press
conference at the conclusion of the NBA finals, win or
lose, and announces that he is retiring from
basketball to devote his life full-time to recording
and touring as a rapper, I would find that laudable.
Notwithstanding his ineptitude as a performer, by
joining that ranks of a nation of starving, struggling
and “emerging” artists — more like the Boots Rileys,
Brendan Fowlers and Kamir Sen’s of the world than the
movie-star wannabes like Russell Crowe et al that you
list in your story — he would be doing them a tribute
and a great service. Even more so if he was able to
work in the indie realm and try to bypass, boycott  or
destroy* the major label system (i.e. refusing to do
business with the four or five multinationals that
produce and benefit from 80 percent of all records
sold in the U.S. and thereby arguably hold back
thousands of worthier artists that the system is not
backing; bypassing or boycotting Live Nation and its
venues including the Fillmore; selling tickets on not Ticketmaster, etc.).
I’ve worked as an artist manager and concert promoter
in the “indie realm” for a number of years now and
have come to believe that there is something viable
and commendable about every artistic utterance and
striving and that likewise there is no minimum level
of acceptance or acclaim that validates an emerging
artist’s career or skill set or oeuvre. In that
context I believe that even Shaquille O’Neal — as bad
as you say he is — can atone for his sins and refute
your article by taking the steps I’ve suggested here.
Worse than bad, his vanity work is a mockery of hip
hop, yet not hopelessly irredeemable.
(His output might be more deplorable for example if he
merely slogged his way through lame covers of other
artists’ previously released rhymes and beats — at
least he’s setting a straw-man standard of expression
that today’s youth can go out and surpass; maybe he
can start a “Shaquille O’Neal Music Camp” where
campers will after one week surpass their master or
money back!!!)
Mark Weiss
reader in Palo Alto
(not for publication)
*Is it also possible that Shaquille O’Neal is aware of
the pernicious nature of the major-label dynamic and
his own celebrity and is in fact secretly trying to
sabotage or monkeywrench the system by producing such
losing efforts and performances?


Posted in filthy lucre, music, sex, spiked | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letter to Jon Jang, pianist composer historian, possibly Palo Altan (diasporic)

not by konitz I mean but i left “knit” because it was once a venue in ny.

Jon, excuse me if I have this wrong but i mentioned you on my blog Plastic Alto in a long list of Palo alto jazz musicians. Did you go to school here?
Are you old enough to have heard Thelonious Monk at Palo Alto High in 1968, produced by sophomore Danny Scher who went on to work for Bill Graham for many years?

did you hear they changed name of Jordan School to Greene School (I suggested Stanley Jordan School) and Terman became Fletcher. If you went to Wilbur School it became JLS or Jane Stanford School a while back.
I went to Terman and Gunn. I’m 54. I produce jazz concerts, a bit of artist management and write a blog. I did some shows at Cubberley.

excuse me if this is way off. I wrote about Fred Ho in same article, although he was only born here.
mark weiss
plastic alto blog (its an ornette reference)
i hope to learn more of your work.
do you know Connie Young Yu? the author? her daughters were at my school. son, too, i guess. Jessica Yu.

edit to add: yeah i don’t really know jon jang music that well but something in my gut says I should, and I found this lickety-split but only two minutes worth that maybe Kevin Chen of Intersections at least booked him into if not commissioned a new work, about 1913 exclusion (racist) legislation here, and the Japanese first gen peoples, Oyama Canon D which reminds me of a lady I met who manages musicians in Berkeley with a similar name:

andand but not anand: also just yesterday i was wondering around inside City Hall, 250 Hamilton and told at least 3 people, Jim Keene’s assistant I think Judy Ng or Julie Ng and then Phyllis Davis and Robin Ellner (she of pegasus tattoo on her left cleavage exposed flesh, for starters — both longtime public servants thank you!!) about my idea I told Jim about, about six years ago, and he took a note, that when people call city hall, like 329-2413 or something — non-emergency – -they could hear a elevator or ringback music of Lee Konitz “Palo Alto” although it is not a very discernible hook — I told Robin and Phyllis that it took about 3 minutes to hear the hook — so maybe we’d have someone re-record the melody or head and have it simplified or exaggerated so that it became like a contrafact or a deriviative work. I ran this by at least in weird email or website box form Leah Garchik’s son the trombone player, that bassist guy who went to Stanford and then met him later at the Jazz Camp and Workshop and maybe a couple others. I’m suggesting that beyond the bother of making the phone system play this for “hold music” that we might as well record or compose our own version of “Palo Alto”. Maybe for PALO ALTO Day, in 2019 celebrating 125 years of incorporation and Judy Kleinberg or same year, 201 which is 250 years since 1769 and Portola from Spain and San Diego looking out on horseback for Monterrey Bay and finding a big tree instead. I think I also thank or thunk recently in the shower or rising that we should stop at 125/250 and change name to Oak Creek or O K Creek, something less phallic than Big Tree.

music music music more music

edit toa ddle: david rubien in the chron outed jj as pa:

Raised in Palo Alto along with two siblings by a single mother after his father died in a plane collision above the Grand Canyon in 1956, Jang always had an altruistic-activist bent, which he began integrating into his music after graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1978. Along with musicians like Fred Ho, Francis Wong and Glenn Horiuchi, Jang helped popularize the Asian American jazz movement, which combined Asian musical strains and instruments with jazz and was modeled in part on the ’60s civil rights activism of jazz artists like Roach, Charles Mingus and Archie Shepp.

Jang has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Cal Performances and the Kronos Quartet, among others, and in 1994 he traveled to China on a fellowship to study the Beijing Opera.

Jang’s political approach is reflected in album titles like “Never Give Up!,” “Self Defense!” and “Tiananmen!,” while others like “Two Flowers on a Stem” and “River of Life” evince a more contemplative side. Though absorbing Chinese sounds is his business, his language is definitely jazz, and his work with cutting-edge artists like flutist James Newton, saxophonist David Murray, not to mention Roach, is evidence. As a composer, his main models are Mingus and Duke Ellington, and you can hear their influence in the broad pastels of “Paper Son, Paper Songs.”

Posted in music, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free

Billy Taylor wrote “I Wish I Knew” in 1963, before I was born. Nina Simone recorded the most famous version, in 1967, on “Silk and Sumpin'”, released as a single, later used in recent times out of context by some big goods (as compared to “good”) companies for commercial consumerism propaganda films — tv. I don’t think I knew I knew the song until quite recently. For example, Lisa Fay Beatty (the late great) and I discussed creating a show about her memoir about Nina in Portland, circa 2010. When I ran for City Council ¬†in Palo Alto in 2014, I opened my remarks at one of the panels by quoting that line: I wish I knew how it would feel to be free.

I don’t feel free now. Maybe untethered.

Not sure people believed me. That I didn’t feel free or that I cared about blacks and the oppressed. Oh, well. You can lead the observers at a horse race to a non-segregated drinking fountain, but you can’t make them not put their lips on the faucet.

Henry Butler and I met Billy Taylor December, 2002 when Henry was on the famous piano players public radio show the good doctor hosted. I remember that there was a last minute change in the order of performances and Henry in a moment of self-doubt fretted that he was moved around as a sign of disrespect. I didn’t sense that. The others on that show were Bill Charland, Freddie Cole (Nat’s brother), Jason Moran and that Brazilian lady. Eliane Elias. Unless she was the one that cancelled. Someone cancelled. I stupidly asked Bill Charlap who else he played with (as if he filled his schedule as a side-man).

Anyhow, now Billy Taylor and Nina Simone (and Lisa Fay Beatty) and Henry Butler can jam together in heaven. (I think I once here in the Plastic Alto version of the afterlife also put Paul Motian and Mia from the Gits in a band together — that’s a pretty large band. It would take quite the arranger to make that sound like angels. I hear Sue Mingus is taking lessons. That’s kind of a joke. Sue Mingus has done an excellent job keeping Charles Mingus music alive — although Jack Walrath told me that the scores were simplified from the versions he knew.

Posted in Uncategorized, music, sex, Plato's Republic | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cop watch

Since it is zoned Public Facility, we should restrict the development of the lot at Page Mill and El Camino to public safety workers housing, (police and fire, and maybe teachers, and maybe an artist in residence).

As it stands, it is essentially a give-away to the developer.

Also, I’ve been saying since 2009 (election) that there could be a more seamless continuum from neighborhood watch to sworn officers, maybe by recruiting Palo Alto youth (from Paly, Gunn, Casti) to aspire to pubic safety here, and by having more subsidized housing for our sworn officers.

I’m missing Dennis Burns. Large boots to fill. Good luck (and thanks in advance) Chief Jonsen.

(posted to leading local website, albeit the one that I think is pro-developer and once called me “agitator”)

“Copwatch” is a group in Berkeley and maybe other large cities that looks out for rights of the accused, especially at the moment of engagement or apprehension. Here in Palo Alto we did have an alleged “death by cop” incident, which is somewhat related, in which a disturbed young man may have tricked the police into lethal force. Also, just yesterday I was describing for a young M-A grad my view of what 2009 was like, in which, when I ran for Council I suggested to Pat Burt that leadership should hold off on picking successor to Lynn Johnson (she of the racial profiling lack of leadership situation) until after the 2009 elections, which I somehow thought would be a sea-change. I thought that Dennis, who I had never met, might be too close to the rot and maybe an outsider could right the course. Boy, was I wrong. Over the ensuing ten years, when I was actively engaged (and sought leadership ten times!) I met Dennis numerous times, and read many reports and met with him twice and came to think of him as a treasure of a leader and public safety officer.


coinky-dinky, I thought of Rebecca Riots, the Berkeley based folk group comprising Andrea Pritchett, Lisa Zeiler and Eve Decker recently because there was a local acappella group covering their song at Farmers Market. (I could post that as well, if that’s not too much of a digression)

I hosted Rebecca Riots, I think opening for Cheryl Wheeler at the Cub in 1997 or so. (with Allette Brooks, poster by Callie Withers, the Gunn and Stanford and WPSL soccer star, who also draws, and sings and is not the former writing partner of that Indian comedy star from Dartmouth, “Matt and Ben” which I so indelicately butchered a few posts back Mindy Kaling –weird how brain works or not)

I was going to say I ran into Andrea Pritchett first time in years at a Rachel Garlin show in SF. She gave me her card. I’m imagining a one-woman show or testimony combining deep political thought and story and song. “Swimming to Alameda” based on Spalding Gray “Swimming to Cambodia”.

Posted in Plato's Republic | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Henry Butler, 69

hbtimesobitIt’s appropriate if the New York Times ran Henry’s obituary on July 4 because he was an American original.

I just sent out some thoughts to another of his former agents or managers, and left two voice mail to total strangers as well.

I presented Henry Butler at Cubberley Center in Palo Alto in 1998 (with Venus Opal Reese a wordless story teller) and was his personal manager for about six months in 2002-2003. I missed my 20th high school reunion because I was with Henry Butler in France.

The fuckers at the French airline wanted to inspect his fucking eyesockets as a security measure, then put us in the very back of the small plane.

Good times, some bad. Le bon temps roulette. Not only is Henry in heaven but he’s driving the bus, that big old cloud.

Goodbye, HB.

(Some of this is like Plato’s allegory of the cave. I remember waking up in Clermont-Ferrand and thinking it was a bunch of cement boxes but then wandered over to the old city and a cathedral and a violin shop. Mostly when I think of Henry I think of a flury of big black hands banging away on a Kurzweil keyboard and practically knocking it off the stand and a clang of notes like angels or demi-angels building a Brooklyn Bridge from Alpha Centuri to Valhalla or sumpin’ sumpin’)

Posted in music, nola, sex, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Counting coup v. counting crows

Counting coup is a Native American concept, sometimes depicted in art or especially ledger art. Whilst I am pecking away on my lap top, with dog by my side, my wife, yes wife, Terry naps in front of the tv while PBS is talking “Antiques Roadshow” in next room, a rerun, about a ledger drawing and I count that term.

There’s a link I will make for reference.

But it reminded me of having seen Friday the rock concert with the great indie 90s band Counting Crows featuring Adam Duritz son of a dentist in Berkeley.

Also, Adam Duritz — who I think of as voice of my generation or tribe, being my exact age and coming out about 50 miles from here — and we had connections in about six ways over the years — wears a weave that is extensions that is to say his dreadlocks are not his. And they showed him with courtside seats at an NBA game maybe the Warriors and it looked like an animal sitting on his head, a black sheep or something. Which, in this context, thinking Native American, especially since I just added a note to a post about True Margrit and “True Grit” Adam Duritz’ hair reminds me of the trapper trader in Coen Brothers “True Grit” I’ll try to Swede in.

I should update with shots from the show. Terry and I had eight row seats I bought for $250 each from Ticketmaster Live Nation but it took an exhausting long time to find my tickets at Box Office at Shoreline of Mountain View and Marvin was patient but it turns out I bought from secondary market from a season ticket holder but that was not in evidence and it seems that I had to download the ap from Ticketmaster that is give an evil corporation full check-spread access to my phone just to attend the show. I was sort of upset when i made that purchase — they call it “mobile only” — that I tried to contact machers at the former BGP and corporate like some dude again my exact age (and AD’s, AD’s age) that makes $24M per year salary and Michael Rapino and a publicist who is clickable on the Live Nation site but actually left the company years ago and probably did not read my email anyway. Wait, check that. I actually tried to apply for a job as a secretary or assistant to a outreach publicist for a major talent agency as a way to get my note accross about the frustration of dealing with Ticket Master Live nation. I filled out some type of computerized job application with something like a synopsis of my carrer. and in the moment I conned self into believing that I would go to LA a couple times a week to do outreach for some agency. Why not, I went to Dartmouth–? Did I mention I have 25 years now as Earthwise Productionsof Palo Alto?

Did I also mention I am, as part of my rebirth and reboot, trying to hire an intern or junior partner or producing partner the son of a Dartmouth alum and homeowner who is Paly ’83 or ’84 and Dartmouth ’87 or ’88 and a lawyer and his son is musician and illustrator and attends or attended Oregon and was wearing a Van’s Warped Tour coming out a chain hamburger store I was almost going to eat out of.

my tag feature suggested a gratuitous coda about Adam Johnson, the Native American Stanford author who wrote about teen snipers and North Korean prisons.

Crow-Cheyenne-fightand1: this is weird seque but I tried to contact Jaune Quick to See thusly:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen any work by Jaune Quick To See Smith, but I like the article in NYT about 50 Shades of Brown in New York. I’m going to New York in two weeks for one week for my honeymoon having married the Pilipina American artist Terry Acebo Davis and we met Mildred Howard here in Palo Alto when she installed a bottle house and we went to Santa Fe that year, 2011 and Mildred suggested we look for or up Jaune. Also, I wish I could hire Jaune to design a 50 shades of brown city on 50 acres here in Palo Alto near Fry’s that is up for development. We will contact Garth Greener or whatever they are called when we get to NYC.

andand but not “anand”:

neighbor Hadar the Israeli rang door bell and liked my Cody Sanderson bracelet. Cody whose son has cameo in same Coen Brothers True Grit movie. He plays a youngster who the anti-hero protagonist literally kicks off the porch of a trading post. Racist moment, but for effect, expedient? Jeff Bridges or his stand in does the whupping.

We also — andandand — have a Nathan Oliveira sheet that shows a fake ledger drawing or Native American scene. Andandand I tried to buy a Fritz Scholder dog print but we weren’t too sure about the lack of a chop.

Posted in ethniceities | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Two stylish girls

Dmitri From Paris, Sacrebleu 1994 v. Demetre Chiparus, porcelain, died 1947


Very stylish porcelin girl


How do i look:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment