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 0Posted on Apr 22nd | re: Is BottleRock The Strangest Festival Lineup Of 2014? (27 comments)

OK, so I guess I should probably shed some light on this as a Napa local who has been following this closely…

Last year was the first BottleRock Napa Valley. Big names (Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Jane’s Addiction, Flaming Lips, etc. etc.) over five days. Put on by two guys with no experience and they didn’t negotiate any of the contracts. They also didn’t get their own liquor license, so they “contracted” that out to a local restaurateur who made all the money off the booze. See a problem so far? So the guys that ran the first BRNV went bankrupt, owing a few million bucks to various vendors. Boo, hiss.

Cut to this year…a group of three bought the branding rights to BRNV, paid off *some* of the debt, and is putting on a tighter, decidedly more conservatively-booked festival. They booked a couple of big names (e.g. have fun with Kanye, Outside Lands…we’ve got Outkast) and a couple of wtf-is-this acts (Smashmouth…?) and a couple of “yow, this is really cool” acts (TVotR, Deerhunter)…all so they can hopefully show some semblance of profitability and make a slightly “hipper” festival next year. I hope.

Bottom line? It was a bunch of fun last year, it’ll still be fun this year (albeit, a different kind of “Aw, shit! Look how old that guy from the Spin Doctors looks!” fun). The food will be amazing. The weather will be perfect. And after the festival you can just walk three blocks to downtown.

Yeah, I’m a local shill. But this is worth it.

 0Posted on Apr 14th | re: Watch Pharrell's Star-Studded Coachella Performance (5 comments)

…aaaaand this is what happens when a product of the studio tries to cut it in a live environment. All the preamps, compressors, and (as Michael points out) “live assist” tracks in the world can’t save you if you lack the fundamental talent. Hell, his album has more engineers than NASA. That might tell you something.

Well, at least his backing band sounded good.

 +10Posted on Mar 25th | re: Newly Unearthed Photos Show Kurt & Courtney's Gross L.A. Apartment (10 comments)

Well this is a shock. Junkies are usually so tidy…looks like John Frusciante was their decorator.

 +4Posted on Jan 27th | re: Azealia Banks Begs To Be Dropped From Universal (19 comments)

Yeah, that’s news: ignorant artist gets big label deal and figures out…SURPRISE…it’s run by white guys who don’t give a crap about her “craft”, just her product. Same story, different decade.

 +1Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 | re: Peter Gabriel And Phil Collins Are Both Open To A Genesis Reunion (7 comments)

Phil Collins behind the drums and not the microphone? I’m already interested.

Unfortunately, were this to happen, I’d imagine a tour on the scale of the recent Roger Waters “The Wall” concerts: huge, visually brilliant, but insanely expensive and pretty much only appearing at an acoustically-hostile sports arena near you.

 +8Posted on Dec 3rd, 2013 | re: The 50 Best Albums Of 2013 (498 comments)

Christ…Kanye? Really? When is someone going to point out that the emperor is wearing no clothes? Utter nonsense.

 -1Posted on May 16th, 2013 | re: Watch Kanye West Rant At Adult Swim Upfront (15 comments)

“Cuz all I do is make real music!”

Holy shit. He really is that delusional. Hey everybody, remember when he showed up in a leather kilt for the 12/12/12 concert and was so terrible he made the subsequent prehistoric Billy Joel sound like Mozart?

I forsee a reality television future: Kanye and Kim stuck in a submarine with Amy and Samy Bouzaglo. One SCUBA tank, one handgun, three bullets.

Old? Yeah. White? Of course. But what did you expect for an internationally televised fundraiser? If you want a lot of money you have to cater to those with…(wait for it)…a lot of money. And the people who pay $300 to see the Stones or $500 to see Sir Paul are the people you want tuning in, not the people who accidentally caught 15 minutes of Kanye West at Coachella on their way to the Mumford and Sons tent or whatever.

So what did we learn from last night?

The Rolling Stones stink. Anemic versions of “Rocking” and “Flash”? If anything their performance last night was a commercial for skipping their upcoming tour. What a mess. Yeah, they used to “party hard” and have a lot of miles on them, but jeez guys, if you’re going to play a benefit at MSG you might want to actually put a set together with more than two songs. Crazy, I know.

The Who still deliver a lively performance and they appear like they may actually be having fun up there. Of course, it’s the half-Who, but they still sounded better than they did during the Super Bowl Halftime show they did not too long ago.

After an interminable Kanye West performace (talk about not knowing your target viewing demographic), Billy Joel looked like the greatest songwriter since Mozart. He isn’t, of course, it’s just that Kanye West is really , really, really terrible. Like, hey-Kanye-find-Chris-Brown-and-fly-together-in-a-Mexican-pop-star’s-Learjet terrible.

Alicia Keys doesn’t own a mirror. That dress made her look like an orange sausage.

Chris Martin knows his place. Three quickies and out.

And Paul McCartney. Sheeeeeit. He blew the Stones, the Who, Bruce, Bon Scroti et al off the stage. The friggin’ guy is so old he needs to be carbon-14 dated and he opens with Helter Skelter, busts out Let Me Roll It, plays with Nirvana, does I’ve Got A Feeling, and almost burns MSG down with fireworks during Live and Let Die.

And yes, the NirMacca song was damned good. Not Nirvana good, not Beatles good, but like…dirty, fuzzy Wings good. Deal with it, folks. It worked.

 0Posted on Jun 26th, 2012 | re: David Lowery Blasts NPR Intern On File-Sharing (201 comments)

As a musician, I can confirm this.