Peter Case, Adams Avenue Street Fair, San Diego, CA [09.26.10]

Peter Case at the Adams Avenue Street Fair, San Diego, CA [09.26.10]

This Sunday on September 26th, on what was the second day of the annual Adams Avenue Street Fair (not to be confused with the annual Roots Music Festival that happens at the same location) Peter Case closed the event’s festivities (on the 34th Street stage) by playing a high-energy, one-hour set that focused on material from his latest album Wig!.  With DJ Bonebrake on drums Peter came out rocking on electric guitar and with the exception of one Leadbelly folk tune played on his acoustic (Thirty Days In The Workhouse) he didn’t stop rocking for the entire hour, in spite of the fact that the temperature was hovering around 95 in the shade with Peter resplendent in black dress shirt and a black and grey hat.  He didn’t seem to flag for an instant as he wound his way through a 12-song set that included covers of Bob Dylan’s “Pledging My Time” and Chuck Berry’s “Nadine.”

By the end of the afternoon I felt pretty wilted by the heat, but the show itself was fantastically rejuvenating and was one of the best sets that I’ve ever seen at the annual street fair.  I hope that there is more music like this next year when 2011 rolls around. Thanks Peter and DJ (and to the organizers of the street fair who had the good taste to hire them in the first place!).

1) Colors Of Night
2) ‘New’ Old Blue Car
3) I Shook His Hand
4) Two Angels
5) Nadine
6) Banks Of The River
7) Ain’t Got No Dough
8) Thirty Days In The Workhouse
9) Words Of Red
10) House Rent Jump
11) Pledging My Time
12) First Light/Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die/Everybody Got To Change

Robyn Hitchcock/Joe Boyd, Largo, Los Angeles, CA [09.23.10]

Robyn Hitchcock with Joe Boyd, Largo at the Coronet Theatre, Los Angeles, CA 09.23.10

Last evening (Thursday, September 23rd) I drove up to Los Angeles with Layne Sterling and witnessed a unique event where one of my favorite musician/songwriters in the world, Robyn Hitchcock, provided musical accompaniment for a reading by Joe Boyd. Mr. Boyd was reading excerpts from his 2006 memoir entitled White Bicycles [making music in the 1960s], where he shares many stories from his long and successful career as a manager, record producer and film executive.

The evening began with both gentlemen coming on stage and Robyn approaching the microphone to state that Joe was “Frankenstein and I am his monster,” essentially stating that he had stopped listening to music after he turned 13, but that when he was 13 and still open to listening to new music that everything that Joe touched affected him greatly. And with that as an introduction to an evening entitled Chinese White Bicycles Mr. Hitchcock launched into “My White Bicycle,” the 1967 song by British psychedelic group Tomorrow. By the time the song was finished the mood had been properly established and Mr. Boyd commenced reminiscing.

And as the night progressed the audience was treated to one anecdote after another, learning how Boyd put on shows at London’s legendary UFO club back in 1966 and 1967 [launch pad for the original Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett] and how he fell in love with the Birmingham group The Move, a quintet that Boyd was in such thrall of that he tried to convince his then-boss Jac Holzman [owner of Electra Records] to sign them to his label. Alas, it was not to be and as the story wound down Robyn again approached the mic for a fantastic rendition of The Move’s classic “I Can Hear The Grass Grow.”

And so it went throughout the next two hours as Joe and Robyn traded licks: Joe would relate an incident from his life and Robyn would respond with an appropriate song. And what a life that Boyd has had thus far: a trip to Scotland that led to meeting and managing the Incredible String Band; stage managing the 1965 Newport Jazz and Folk Festival, site of the infamous controversy where Bob Dylan “turned electric” before a sea of folk purists; managing and producing classic LPs by both Fairport Convention and Nick Drake; assembling the 1973 documentary for Warner Brothers A Film About Jimi Hendirx and finally, concluding with his program notes (a eulogy basically) for the London-based tribute concert on 05.10.07 for recently departed Syd Barrett.

All-in-all a great night of intimate stories and music and should you happen to be in Portland or Seattle where Robyn and Joe will be in the next few days I HIGHLY recommend going and checking them out for yourself.

I’m off to read White Bicycles in peace…ta!

Here is Robyn’s set:

1) My White Bicycle [Tomorrow]
2) I Can Hear The Grass Grow [The Move]
3) Chinese White [Incredible String Band]
4) It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry [Bob Dylan]
5) Reynardine [Fairport Convention]
6) River Man [Nick Drake]
7) The Wind Cries Mary [Jimi Hendrix Experience]
8) Bike [Pink Floyd]