Hats off to Yoshi Kato for his preview of Live 105 BFD, in the Palo Alto Weekly, for focusing on Cathedrals, which is a two-person rock band electronica featuring Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin. Best music news story I’ve seen in the Weekly in many a moon.
Brodie Jenkins has been on my radar for about ten years. I was at a Stanford basketball game and she sang the national anthem and really nailed it. For a while in my “A&R” file I had a ticket stub with “Brodie Jenkins” scrawled on it.
In 2011 I met Grahame Lesh at Jack’s I mean Alex’s Boom Boom Room and chatted him up a bit and at that time he still had a side project with Brodie called Maiden Lane.
I am less active in the rock scene, or any music scene, so it is unusual that I am relatively speaking on top of this.
Just now as I mean to send kudos to Yoshi via Plastic Alto and I suss out Cathedrals it turns out that The New York Times has a preview of Cathedrals in NYC, at Le Poisson Lounge, this week. By Jon Caramanica. Wow! He say:
The singer Brodie Jenkins has a voice that’s both pulpy and ethereal — she leans heavy into big words, her voice robust, then fading ever so dreamily.
Le Poisson Rouge in New York has Cathedrals Saturday, June 20 for $12 advance $15 dos and also Shonen Knife Monday and Andrew Bird sold out the following Thursday.
The other half of Cathedrals Johnny Hwin rang a bell because he was featured in a New Yorker profile about the post-Millenials or whoever they are: he was part of a class at Stanford that got 1 million hits writing social media apps or a 7 figure exit; the kind of stuff that inspired Mike Judges’s spoof “Silicon Valley” on HBO. The article said that Hwin was also hanging with Steve Jenkins of Third Eye Blind, my Terman Junior High and Gunn school mate as in he’s twice their age; he, Steve Jenkins has a penchant for younger girls, for instance Vanessa Carlton, he dated and “produced”. (I doubt Steve and Brodie are related; but Brodie was part of a family band signed to Mike Curb or someone, with her mom and sis. Her parents I think went to Stanford; years ago I had a long mental list of every Stanford grad in the music scene but I’m long out of it. I did scout Siberian Front on a lawn recently, kinda sorta).
I hope Johnny Hwin also cross-pollinates with DVAN the Vietnamese cultural clique. (I presume Hwin is also Nguyen).
this is a Memphis fade out but: sussing this out a few days ago I went down a rabbit hole about Third Eye Blind versus Smashmouth and that the two bands were appearing at some festival, maybe Bottle Rock and Smashmouth brought Kevin Cadogan on stage to sit in, et cetera. Terry and I were at the Fillmore not long ago for a Anders Osborne show which morphed into a Phil and Friends Show, and Grahame Lesh and his band were the opening act, if that is not a tip-off Midnight something I will update. I had invited Grahame into my Wallace Stegner project.
and1: pretty amazing video, the stage lighting, the dancer, decent song and performance and lip-sync; it seems like the long-awaited response to Chris Isaak, “Wicked Game”:
2. (I guess this is like a footnotes section — I am still ambivalent about the practice of long digressons and rambling tail ends of blog posts versus or compared to giving Grahame Lesh and Midnight North his or their own post. And not sure how central to their respective stories — Grahame Lesh and Brodie Jenkins — their brief overlap is or was — ) Midnight North has about 15 dates booked and sort of crosses paths with Cathedrals somewhere back East, they were in Manhattan a couple days ago. There is a Tiny Desk Concert with Midnight North, GL and four others including a female singer I cannot quite find a name for. So it was October of 2013 that we won tickets from KZSU or KPFA to check out Anders Osborne at the Fillmore and then Phil showed up to play Scarlet Begonias. Here is a video. That’s father and son side by side for the jam. I had thought of Anders as a Boom Boom sized act so was surprised that they were at the Fillmore not surprised they were papering the house. But then word leaked that it was a Phil and Friends warm-up and it did fill.
3. Another thought about Johnny Hwin and his scene is I wonder if they overlap with Rupa Marya and her scene of movers and shakers. Might be an interesting cross-over. Rupa from Palo Alto and Casti not I don’t think Stanford. Rupa is rootsier and world music –sings in Spanish — not electronica. Also forgot to say Grahame Lesh band is rootsier. The road is long, let’s see where all these good people cross and criss.
4. Nathan Heller October, 2013 “Bay Watched: how SF culture is changing the world” says that Hwin has been holed up in the Mission since 2009. How San Francisco’s new entrepreneurial culture is changing the country that is.
5. Here also is Johnny Hwin in The New York Times in 2011 described by Miguel Helft as a student of B.J Fogg’s famous app class, which was in 2007. Heller meanwhile quotes Hendrik Hertzberg in Newsweek in the 1960s describing and quoting Jerry Garcia and proclaims that that era they or we were interested in community whereas today there is a bent towards privatization. I wonder how the energy of being a tech inventor or investor differs or contrasts with that of being part of an arts movement. I am atypical but I very specifically left corporate America and ironically SF in 1992 to try something less industrial and less corporate which evolved into Earthwise Productions. Or I am just the worlds worst sour grapes case. Oh, I thought the Richard Hendricks outcome on Judge, with his company surviving but he being displaced or replaced called to mind J.D. Salinger or at least Shields and Salerno on Salinger and his Vendatic philosophy of having the right to work but not the right to expect to be recognized. The fictitious Hendricks still has stock in fictitious Pied Piper, or what was the dilution? I will add this: I used to smoke weed and drink with #@&^ ages 13 thru 16 or so and #@&^ when we were teammates on the Los Altos Hill Little League Expos Seniors pulled me aside one day and said “Do you know why we are kicking butt, why we are both hitting over .300? It’s because we smoke pot!!” (and stay cool, therefore). #@&^ who is with #@&^ and its new $100 M fund for enterprise software but says he is too busy to catch up with me, kind of a snub. And this is way off topic but kudos to Ariel Gore of HipMama who wrote a provocative essay on the Palo Alto youth and admits she did cocaine in the ladies room of Paly circa 1987 and then dropped out of school when she realized it was killing her. She says: get on the train, and leave town, down lay in front of it. Music is its own reward, not the killer app towards a “three commas” exit. If #@&^, or his assistant, reads this and contacts me and says “don’t say that I smoke or smoked marijuana” I will redact.
6. This was supposed to be a post merging basketball and music: “Why Don’t We Do it in or on the road?” about the Grateful Dead covering The Beatles and how the Golden State Warriors should close out Cleveland Rocks tonite, with a embed of GD in Philadelphia in late 1970s or early 1980s. (This is the entire show, but WDWDI is track one)
7. Also, Tim Lincecum is pitching today in SF, a nooner but maybe I can catch a few innings at The Old Pro and have a salad or chicken sandwich and then watch the Warriors at 6? Also, Wednesday tomorrow in Seattle it is Mad Bum versus King Felix – wish I was there.
8. Writing a blog, even one with 500,000 words and 0 readers is like a message in a bottle or a prayer yet it keeps me somewhat optimistic and maybe I am honing the skills of being able to say something important and timely some day some where. But yes I am rooting for Brodie and Johnny and Grahame and even #@&^.
9. Mazel tov to Bija Milagro, son of Rupa. She meanwhile in 2014 says her scene is gone:
“The rent where I used to live was increased by 300 percent — so my entire musical community has been smashed, completely destroyed, in that everyone has scattered,” she says, “It was not so long ago that we had a scene that was vibrant. It does not exist anymore. We miss the weirdos and the ragtag misfits and the eco-libertarians and the wacky San Francisco people.” (Note: I either co-managed with Chris Cuevas the unsigned Rupa And The April Fishes or was his intern, or just a pain in the side once a week up on Claremont, Chris who went to El Sobrante High with Kirk, who had Nosferatu on his guitar game 5).
10. Here is Johnny site. What’s funny or sad is I thought I saw this guy just an hour ago here in Palo Alto at Coupa, which is like the time I thought I saw David Choe working at Country Sun. Well, duh, because they are in NYC!