Thursday, July 8, 2010


One evening while browsing at Amoeba (well actually going in there to buy something specific and then staying until the announcement that the store would be closing in a few minutes) I came across a strange homemade-looking double CD called Frisco Styles with a primitive patchwork picture of the San Francisco skyline on the front. I couldn't resist a five dollar deal featuring bands named Onion Flavored Rings, Veronica Lip Gloss and the Evil Eyes and Nick Denvers Neck and songs such as Positively Treat Street and A Not So Pretty Sight in Steinbeck Country. It turned out to be a two and a half hour mix of punk, reggae, experimental instrumentals, dreamy pop, garage bands.....a whole mix of stuff that was happening on the local music scene.

San Francisco has been known as a music town for many years so occasionally I will write a post about my favorite local music, both old and new. I will begin with one of- if not the- patron saint of San Francisco music, Jerry Garcia. Mission in the Rain is one of my favorite songs from his solo 1976 album Reflections. If you want to hear Garcia I recommend Reflections and also his solo debut from 1972 simply called Garcia. With those two albums you'll hear classic songs like Deal, Sugaree, It Must Have Been the Roses, Might As Well. At first on Garcia when you hear Eep Hour you might think what the heck, but then after a few listens it all flows together.

What about live Garcia? Just a few months ago Rhino released a double CD called Let It Rock, a 1975 show by the Jerry Garcia Band at the Keystone in Berkeley. Featuring Garcia, his longtime cohort John Kahn on bass, the brilliant keyboardist Nicky Hopkins and drummer Ron Tutt moonlighting from his job with Elvis, this is a wonderful way to sit back and enjoy the sounds of an intimate club show. Or if you are lucky enough to find it used, the double CD titled Jerry Garcia Band from 1991 with a very unique colourful drawing of a band and audience by John Kahn is a fantastic live album featuring cover songs like Dear Prudence, Simple Twist of Fate, Stop That Train and Evangeline. Garcia really makes these songs his own.

Happy Listening! More recommendations to come.....

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