Award for welltimed silence

1454960135525843473991I appreciated Bet Ratliff’s think-piece about jazz solos and the Grammy awards.

and here is a screen shot of my favorite graph:

(which is the newspaper equivalent to a jazz solo)

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.15.44 PM

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How I mistook Christopher Walken for Willem Dafoe


Broncs bust pumas in Super BowL, as Jimenez laughs, in



Live dustpartch from our Centennial correspondent Dr. Brian E. Moore, pictured below:





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Ten Palo Altans praying to their respective gods, 5:45 on a Tuesday in February


File under the new Tower of Babel (I took note that everyone else in the room was working on their computers and not interacting with others in the room, whereas I was merely checking — and posting via — my hand-held; I am 10)

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Henry Plotnick (Field 5) at 4

Henry Plotnick the teen minimalist composer does a live mic at 4 today at KZSU Stanford, 90.1 on the terrestial radio dial but since I can literally see the station out my window — well, I can see Hoover Tower which is very near the station, which is actually under the old Mem Aud — maybe I will ambush he and his parents, who I know slightly; his mom Allison Faith Levy played improvised but not untuneful solo piano once at Cubberley on a bill with A Great Laugh (Victor Krummenacher post-Camper Van Beethover project and in fact Allison and Victor are or were in a band together McCabe and Mrs Miller or something — mostly covers I think) and dad or hubby Danny Plotnick I met a couple times via Mudwimin but I think I am an extra in a movie he made about a fictitious SF punk band, that was shot at the old Cyclone Warehouse space. Dig?


Posted by Illuminato
a resident of another community
36 minutes ago

Okay, so that’s why I tuned in to the Saturday morning blues show this morning and got some obnoxious noise instead. After about one minute, I said that’s enough of that, and turned it off. Maybe I’ll give it another try later.

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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
0 hours ago

Mark Weiss is a registered user.
Yeah, #Illum, try at 4 p.m. to hear teen prodigy henry plotnick of san francisco do minimalist piano which might sound more like going to the ear doctor and listening for subtle changes of pitch, for 30 minutes.

Live performance on community radio is a miracle even if de gustibus non disputandem.

Or (links back to here)

and and: the embed is actually also by Danny Plotnick i.e the film features his son’s music. Also, the film I mention above is “I’m Not Fascinating” with Anthony Bedard, who I saw the other night on Polk Street, where he books a club. From Dan’s site

I’m Not Fascinating-The Movie!

1996, super 8, 49:00

Brace yourselves for one of the most resplendent footnotes of rock ‘n’ roll anti-history ever to grace the silver screen. I’m Not Fascinating-The Movie! chronicles the pointless shenanigans of San Francisco rock ‘n’ roll ne’er-do-wells The Icky Boyfriends and their futile quest for rock stardom. Undaunted by the universal hatred of both their music and their look, the band perseveres, netting themselves a hefty major label contract. But stardom proves elusive as they descend into a world of murder, intrigue, nepotism, consumer research groups, excessive use of caffeine-laden soda pop and death. Who kills the Ickys? You’ll wish you had!

“A Monkees-meet-Hate-comics slice of cinema non-vérité.”

-San Francisco Weekly

“Move over Magical Mystery Tour, take a seat Tommy: San Francisco’s Icky Boyfriends and Danny Plotnick have topped the semifictional rock-drama genre with their epic I’m Not Fascinating The Movie! A weirdly beautiful spectacle of self-defeat. An instant classic.”

-San Francisco Bay Guardian

Starring: Anthony Bedard, Shea Bond, Chris Enright, Jonathan Swift, Claudia Vlasak & Ray Wilcox.

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Stanford Wanted Posters and Earthwise posters

I walked thru at a brisk pace the installation of “Wanted” posters on the second floor of Cantor, the modern room, maybe part of the Marmor collection, yesterday (Terry my Terry and I also walked thru the new McMurtry art building, including the roof terrace).

It reminded me of a couple of my Earthwise Productions concert posters, from my series at Cubberley Community Center in (off-campus) Palo Alto, from the late 1990s.


Jon Hess of BGP helped me design this poster for John Doe, (with Matt Nathanson and Jonah Montranga, pka onelinedrawing). The artwork comes from a Rolling Stone magazine article about the fact that George Bush’s Texas executed a huge number of people, all of whom used a public defender as defense (or rather, none of whom could afford private defense). These are more likely booking mugshots rather than from “Wanted” posters. I recall asking John Doe, thru his management company — Jordan Kurland at Zeitgeist or was it Figurehead — for the ok and the response was the fact that John Doe had done a recent benefit for the West Memphis 3.




Jon Hess designed this second poster, for Pansy Division. I think the artwork was from a book he had about Alcatraz. Not sure what he was saying but close enough for punk rock (was he confusing “patsy” with “pansy”?)



3. Item 3 I art directed and Lane Wurster designed, with Sal Maglie the former Giants pitcher for SF Seals, named for a defunct baseball team — get it? Sal looks like a hood, that is all.


4. Further lost in left field or in foul territory, a quickie flyer i.e. from Kinkos and not offset printed, for Mermen using one of the Three Stooges, from a lifted milk ad.


5. another flyer, I made, I call “talk to the hand”.



I would donate all five of these, to Stanford Cantor, if they wanted them. In fact, I could make a set of 75 posters I had produced or helped design, for the Cubberley series, 1995-2001, just let me know. I might take the chutzpah manuever to send to Connie Wolfe the first 2 posters, but will take a closer look at the show first.

edit to add: I’m a wee bit off in my construct: the show is “Missing Persons” and “wanted” is one of three sections therein. To wit:

Following this introductory section, the exhibition is divided into three sections: “Wanted,” “Remains” and “Unseen.” In “Wanted,” artists consider systemic injustice—from slavery to mass incarceration, gentrification and political violence. The word “wanted” takes on multiple meanings in this section; the artists might “want” justice, freedom from oppression, or representation on the walls of museums and in the pages of history. Historical objects such as a 19th-century runaway slave advertisement and the F.B.I. wanted poster for Angela Davis ask the viewer to think about those who intentionally flee from a system of enslavement, imprisonment or institutional racism. Contemporary artists Glenn Ligon and Kara Walker provide a modern-day lens on the legacy of slavery in America. Up thru March 21 and features Kara Walker and Glenn Ligon. I thought of Veronica De Jesus of SF mission, who draws the recently deceased.

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Honcho honcho


Rod Mauby Newman, like the boat drink although this is a beer and wind and tree bar

I met Rod Newman in front of 235 1st Street in Los Altos, and he gave me a quick tour of his work in progress Honcho Bar. He

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Satchmo under the Geary


Writer Terry Teachout, director Gordon Edelstein & artistic director of ACT Carey Perloff, under the Geary Street Theatre, opening night, 2016

I’m working past thinking of “Satchmo at the Waldorf” as a take-down of both Louis Armstrong and his agent Joe Glaser. It starts with the Satchmo character admitting that he just crapped his pants, literally. The big revelation is  not only that agent Glaser cheated his client but he did so because he was being blackmailed by the mob.

At a certain level, it does promote the musician and the scene, and is a great showcase for John Douglas Thompson, who plays both of those guys, plus Miles Davis. (It reminds me of Anna Deavere Smith, but also Robert Dinero in “King of Comedy” and the parallax view of how we see Rupert and how Rupert sees himself).

Terry my Terry and I sat in front of direct Gordon Edelstein on opening night, and heard him speak at a reception. He told me that he was just here for the week, then back to New Haven, (where he has been honcho of Long Wharf since 2002). The show runs thru Feb. 7, which I notice is just short of overlapping with the Pollstar Live concert business convention.

To flesh out my reaction, I also bought Terry Teachout’s book, “Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong” (Houghton Mifflin, 2009, New York). Terry my Terry (aka Terry Acebo Davis), ambushed Teachout in his seat and got him to sign my book — she said it was my birthday. His kind inscription: To Mark — Happy birthday from a fellow blogger Terry Teachout 1-16.

There’s also Words on Plays, Vol. XXII, No. 4 which is a booklet put out by the producers to help promote the shows, 48 pages and the program, which has some of the same material. Ok, well, the Teachout book lists roughly 200 more books in the “select bibliography”, plus he apparently discussed all this with Ted Gioia, who is super smart (and a decent pianist, or so I’ve heard, or not heard — Ted Gioia, brother of Dana Gioia, whose poetry is set to song by Helen Sung, whose cousin married my former business partner, if co-editing the high school rag is business).

One of my notes, and not that anyone wants my notes, is that early on Armstrong (Thompson) describes his wife “brown sugar” and then goes on to say he “brought my horn around to various cities” and I hear “whore-in[g]” as in consorting with professionals, probably not a deliberate pun, or it’s just me. In Teachout book version, he notes that he has consulted with the “650” tapes that the star created to document his life, and I note that that particular number I use as a geographic reference, as in the Peninsula is 650 and SF is 415 — actually Herb Caen used to play this game, about the difference between 415 and 408 (San Jose), but I digress. (I’ll try to update with a page reference — Teachout by the way is also drama critic for Wall Street Journal and claims he played jazz bass in Kansas City, MO for 15 years before his writing career kicked in, and that fact, his musical prowess distinguishes his book about Pops from numerous others, such as that by Gary Giddins, who must not be a musician).

I also thought of experiences with two former clients, Jack Walrath (trumpet player, and an expert on Mingus) and Henry Butler (piano, from New Orleans). Managing a club sized act for a short time gives a scintilla of insight into working with a collosus like Louis Armstrong (which I am pronouncing, in my head, “Louis” and not “Lou-ee” because he is not French or Creole).

A little off topic there is “Inside Llewyn Davis” which depicts a fictional folk artist, 1961 and his manager-contender, based on Bob Dylan’s actual manager, Albert Grossman. (The film is by the Jewish team known as The Coen Brothers, although in that film neither Llewyn Davis nor Oscar Isaac are; in a certain way I started to think of Teachout/Edelstein on Louis Armstrong’s Jewishness as like a shaggy dog story coda to Adam Sandler’s famous holiday song “but his agent is”).

Is it good or bad that if I were asked to book this, like a traveling show, me as a buyer, promoter I would call about five people to see what they think?  I have my ideas, but even better I know people with really good ears and deep, deep knowledge bases.

This is more gossipy than insightful, but I overheard Edelstein tell his actual party that the man next to him was his friend Basil Twist the world’s greatest puppeteer.

edit to add: when I say “Geary” in the headline, do I mean 450 Geary, as in the address of the Theatre — and the room under is actually sometimes referred to as “Fred” for a donor, where the picture was taken — or 38 Geary, as in the muni bus as in they threw the guy under the bus, or I am?

andand: I found this vinyl record just last week — I was looking for David Bowie — in my crate, which now includes a handful of items from my dad’s collection. I noted in the liner notes that the marquee of the 1947 show says “by arrangement with Joe Glaser”:

Satchmo at Symphony Hall


3. It says here on ABC booking home page that Forrest Whitaker is starring and directing a biopic on Louis Armstrong, based on the version of his life told by Oscar Cohen who was Joe Glaser’s assistant and succeeded him as Satchmo’s agent when Glaser died in 1969.{Ok, that was from 2008, and in 2013 the L.A. Times –in Los Angeles– noted that the movie was slowly gestating. I don’t know how often ABC updates its site — I also found an interview with Lisa Cohen about the firm, Oscar’s daughter — in the years, late 1990s that I was booking twice-a-month club shows into the Cubberley Auditorium, I was dealing with about 75 agencies and do not recall if I ever randomly called or was called by ABC.

4. jazz writer Gary Giddins who I mention in passing and “Satchmo at the Waldorf” director Gordon Edelstein are both graduates of Grinnell College, in the 1970s. In the remarks it was said that this is the eighth theatre to mount the show, I believe that means all with Thompson.

5. As I said above, I have a weird take, given my small-fish role in the (Palo Alto) music community. Two other filters are my obsession with David Shields (“Reality Hunger”) especially on autobiography and the blurring of truth and fiction, and “Passing Strange” the fictionalized Broadway version of the fast-talking and world-wandering black rocker Mark “Stew” Stewart, also a former client, and come to think of it I do recall name-dropping him or it when “Passing Strange” was at Berkeley Rep, or just after and Carey Perloff was schmoozing with us small-timers in the lobby after “Blood Knot” — we also discussed the upcoming gig at ACT for my friend Madigan Shive.

6. And again, even as a footnote I’m off topic but sussing around on this topic — compared to either thinking about the work per se or reading “Pops” — has me wondering about Langston Hughes poem about the Waldorf-Astoria from 1931. Also, and this is sort of a humble brag, the Waldorf salad was always fruity but like Plastic Alto soon went nuts.

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