Audio of Entrance Band in Big Sur, 07/24/09…
The Ferocious Few are a local San Francisco rock duo that I’m assisting because they’re truly great and are undoubtedly heading to stardom, whatever that means. The frontman and songwriter, Francisco Fernandez is a true rock star in the traditional sense of the word, not the made up, puffed up, commercialized up, bogus modern sense of the term since the death of Curt Cobain. This duo is legit in every sense of the word and they have the goods to deliver. The world has been sadly missing true rock stardom in favor of soundalike one hit wonders backed by phony monied interests and video game / ringtone mentalities since the early 90′s. It’s been a barren landscape of bullshit, if you ask me, pretty maybe and danceable, but empty of true passion caught on tape for all the ages.
Francisco is assisted on drums by Daniel Aguilar – a truer, nicer, more authentic individual with exacting taste could not be found. His drumming style – using brushes primarily – is so far out of vogue that one wonders where it comes from.
Your mind stops all questions when you hear them live (if they’re given then chance for a good sound check, that is) because they rock and they’ve developed a truly unique sound over the past two or three years of busking in the streets of San Francisco to make a living. They have plenty of help lately, with everyone knocking down their door and they’re ready to explode with a first official record due to be released on Birdman Records sometime this winter.
Full discosure: I’m not making a dime on this venture nor am I getting paid at any time in the future for this article or any other. I believe in great music and great personality and this is it, folks. Jump on board – this space will continue to follow their ascending progress in pictures, audio and anecdotes. Feel free to drop me a note and I’ll pass it on to the guys.
Now, the first stop on the journey is Big Sur, to go see The Entrance Band at the Henry Miller Library and to tear it up along the way developing our road skills. We recently hooked up a system utilizing the car’s battery to power all the amps and these guys can literally play in the Redwoods – and that’s exactly what they did – but not before a fine roadtrip South along beautiful Highway One, making a stop in Santa Cruz to play on the streets for a little cash (that always seems to be the limiting factor, but they manage to make scads of it because people literally throw money at them all the time) until the got kicked out by “hospitality” and I’d gone ahead on my new KZ650 to scout out future locations and to make sure I didn’t miss the big show.
I was looking forward to this for three months when I’d bought the tickets. I’d met a girl at Tartine Bakery in the Mission that turned me onto them (Entrance) via her exceptionally cute autoharp Myspace page. The girl wasn’t feeling me ultimately, but I learned about Entrace through her so all was well in the Universe, just about (she and her little doggie were exceptionally cute and lovely in their own right).
Anyway, the Few arrived and Entrance rocked amazingly hard and the venue was sans pareil in the redwoods with a little fog in front of the Memorial Library of one of my heroes and I was pretty much beside myself though I was starting to worry about the guys enjoying themselves because they were busy trying to make a connection with the organizer hoping to play on the grounds between bands or something.
Well, that wasn’t gonna happen so we just set them out in the parking lot, just outside the gate and they collected a nice little crew of new followers who were streaming out of the exit. Stephen Malkmus himself stopped by for a good long while, until they quit and wanted to play a song himself through the gear, until I pointed out the fact that Francisco is left handed and that would certainly pose a huge problem.
It was quitting time, the kids had a nice little dance session in the dirt, and it was time to find a camping spot. Some random blond girls were in a similar predicament without reservations and I led the way through the fog to a scary place with crazy weasels at Andrew Molera State park. The girls were fun and we drank their gin and made hand puppets and funny faces and woke up refreshed and went for a walk to the ocean in the morning.
We were off, though, to breakfast and we chilled our heels in the river and tried to calm down and made it to Nepenthe’s for some more relaxation while we made the next move. I was staying, wouldn’t miss this scenery and environment for anything and the guys peaced out for more feduciary gains and plus, they had an interview at KALX in Berkeley later in the evening.
I stayed, made friends with the waitress, who told me about the Pink Floyd cover band etc…but first I ran into Paz and chatted her up in a little gift shop, very nice and then after I ate a sandwich in the Spirit Circle I went down the cliff and witnessed the most epic surf day of the year and all the super stoked locals, totally beside themselves. It was pure magic.
House of Floyd was pretty epic although some of their tones were questionable especially that fake acoustic thing on “Wish you were Here”. What the hell was that? But, it was a nice foggy tripping evening and the Beats would have been proud and so would their spiritual leader, RIP, and it was off to the same scary campground.
But first I made a stop at Fernwood where a very good funk band was tearing it up, Naomi Wilder, who was so damn sexy I could barely control myself, but alas she was aloof. To bed.
Next day up at Seven and on the road with nary a stop. The guys were playing a poolside show at the Phoenix Hotel for some fashion show and there was no time to lose. They depended on me for sound, and although it was total crap with more feedback than a dying elephant, good times were had and we met some fascinating people and nobody got hurt.
Francisco stayed behind to make some connections and I rode straight home, after saying Hi to one of the models/talent and went directly into the hot tub. Paradise.
In this review:
The “Whoever shows up on Sunday” Jazz Band
Track listing: 1&2 – Jazz Band; 3&4 Classical Revolution (Sundays from 8:30).
Revolution Cafe (22nd btwn Valencia and Mission) is a funky little hipster cafe with a few outside tables for smoking and more smoking and they have quiet live music just about every nite, things that run from gypsy jazz to fusion and thousand year old classical or Balinese gamelan. It’s a nice little spot that serves coffee, beer, wine and a small selection of eats including sandwiches and they serve a pretty mean little sangria for $5.00.
The music is surprisingly good, though a little tough to hear sometimes over the cafe din of espresso machine and local wiseguys discussing Nietzsche or their latest art project for burning man or the movie they envision. Outside is particularly smokey and purple hazy and it doesn’t seem like the cleanest place on the planet but the vibe is strong and the music fantastic and free. Tips are encouraged.
I had a pretty rough Sunday of mixing the album and so I rode on down the hill with a mean hunger to Vallarta’s tacos on 24th and planned to hit Tartine, but I rode past Revolution on 22nd and heard a pretty nice jazz band and so had my tea out on the patio with the stoners. The pretty barrista was there and I went against my plan of not drinking today and it was nice.
After the jazz guys I took a bunch of notes to myself about what the next year might have in store for me and Fran came by for a bit and we made some tentative plans, and vowed to talk about it further. We never got the chance because I got home and we started watching the final amazing set of the men’s finals of Wimbledon until the Tivo ran out of space and we switched over to the Tour De France and he peppered me with questions until I got disgusted and went to bed.
One final thought traipsing up the stairs; put the big JBL speakers together and get a few more things to round out a mobile Club and take it with us on the road and create our own shows in barns and such with the local acts. It’s brilliant. That’s what show promoters do, duh.
July 2nd, 2009
In this Review:
Gaucho at Tartine
My bike at Cassanova
The Ferocious Few on the corner of 16th and Valencia
Terrence McManus and Scott Amendola at Blue Six Center
Tacos at Vallarta, 24th at Treat
Track listing of audio:
1) Gaucho at Tartine
2) Magpie by The Ferocious Few on the corner.
3) McManus and Amendola at Blue Six.
It started out on a low note. Racing down upper Market I hit a number of potholes and ended up with a pinchflat. City, do your job, it’s really hazardous out here. But then it got better. I fixed the tire and my Biology experiment went very well, finally, and I got the beautiful data out to JB and headed out early to the Beanbag Cafe. I was scheduled by the band to go home to re-amp all the vocals through the Crate Limo, but I had a bunch of photos to edit and I was on a roll, focused by all the “tea” and the pretty flowers. They looked gorgeous and some were even band related so i didn’t feel too bad about shirking my mixing responsibilities.
I told myself I would have only one beer (just $1.75 plus tax, $1.92 for Fat Tire or Prohibition or IPA or some micro special from 3-10PM every day) but I was really on a roll and I ended up getting a burger and another Fat Tire and my head was already swimming from the flowers and all the Peet’s Phoenix Mountain Oolong and I was a little afraid for my life riding back through the Western addition to my place up the hill. I had to stop by and pick up some more film at Photoworks on Market and then I raced up 18th as fast as I could on my beautiful LeMond Sarthe with a new tube and everything.
The singer was up and about, smoking the little cock pipe and wondering where I’d been because they made the effort to get the amp up there, but that’s the way it goes. I’m planning on taking the whole next day off to work on this stuff, although now it’s the next day and all I’ve done is clean my room, ride the Stingray down to the Mission for lunch in Dolores Park and now I’m at Tartine with my recycled coffee cup.
Anyway, it was about that time to meet Andrew, Joss and the word was out to Holly to come out to Cassanova. The plan was to meet there an hour before the show at Joe’s Blue Six Center and so I rode through the park and down the hill early because I wanted to cruise around the Mission on my newly refurbished 1969 chrome Schwinn Stingray.
I cruised through Dolores Park, popping a wheelie all the way down the grass, and made it straight to Tartine where Gaucho had a couple more songs in them. They have a great Tuba player and the accordion guy seemed like a standout and they’re well worth seeing, usually at Amnesia on Wednesday nights, I believe, but don’t take my word for it.
I was looking forward to seeing Holly, who has been elusive, but stays in touch and now she’s says that she’s rehearsing until 9:00 and so I move onto Cassanova and wait for Andrew, a new bro from work who just moved into the Marina to be near all the pretty girls, but I’m riding in and out with my bike and using it as a barstool and I feel pretty retro and notable and I’m smoking a Drum outside and coming in for a swig and riding here and there checking to see if the Few are on the corner and I cruise by Monks Kettle to say Hi to Katy through the glass and she gives me a hard time for not seeing Amanda any more, but she can always
contact me you know, and then I cruise around and the Few are setting up and I go finish up my beer, wheel out, and now I’m rolling a Drum for the singer and I’m sitting there on my banana seat when Drew rolls up and is digging the scene.
We stay for a couple of songs, the guys are just phoning it in, but I get a better sense of their well developed street sound and I take some mental notes about Gasoline and Cocaine for my mix. It’s gonna be tight.
And now it’s time to head out to 24th and so I wheel on down, Drew’s gonna take a bus but he’s envious of my sweet wheels, as is everyone just about, and I take my
time cruising by Latin America Club and Revolution but nothing is going on and so I keep it alive and lock up right in front of the little “club” which is already underway.
I enter the dimly lit space, David is at the bar/door and Joe is seated on the left. I whisper Hi because it’s decidedly quiet and respectful, like a church and the guys are in the middle of a hushed section of their avant-garde Jazz masterpiece that lasts about 25 more minutes of masterful drumming that hardly consists of any traditional drumming at all, rather rimshots, cymbal scrapes, clanks on the side of the heads or the hardware, just about anything but stick on head, and guitar playing that has hardly any notes but rather, fun with 60Hz electric hum, hand squeeking on the neck and back of the guitar, controlled feedback, bow scraping, random fingering and paperclipping. It was rad. I had a couple of beers and wondered if Drew was feeling it because there was hardly anyone here, no girls to speak of, and I’m sure the difficult nature of the music wasn’t anyone’s cup of tea although the two were clear experts at their
instruments and he said he really got into it, so there you go. The space is great and Joe clearly has good taste and it’s about as chill as it gets and so I highly recommend it.
It was time for a smoke with Joe, but first we went nextdoor to Vallarta for their amazing $1.50 tacos, best I’ve had since L.A. or San Diego and it’s my new late night spot even though Farolito is nearby, but fuggut, this place is less crowded and even more legit. The salsa was really hot and good and the smoke was great and Joe showed us the greenroom and I really wanted to ask him about some of the details about running a little club but now
was not the time and we just laughed about women and how they turn our alpha off and then they’re through with us. I guess it’s just a test, I said, to see just how alpha we really are.
It was off to Beauty Bar for Drew and I but we stopped in at The Attic first and there were some really pretty girls in there all hanging out with what we referred to as their Zeta males. It was a Mission conundrum. Here were were too alpha and too beta in the Marina. What’s a guy to do? We just couldn’t get over what these hot girls had for these guys. I’m sure it makes perfect sense, but it’s still a mystery and endlessly mindblowing. Like the guys that go out with those hot girls at Tartine. They must have amazing talents that are not immediately obvious.
The girls were were talking to at The Attic were a dead end and so we downed our Jamisons and made it straight to Beauty Bar, pointing out Medjool on the way
down because I thought he might appreciate although I will never step foot in that dooshy place again for as long as I live.
Beauty Bar was going off although the only good song he played was a Jackson Five song, and all the girls were super wasted and we made the most of it but it was a fools errand and I talked to a bunch of French guys outside and let them ride my Stingray and the one guy told me I should take it to Paris with me because I would have a lot of “success”. It was rad and they all had huge smiles on their faces as they rode around and popped wheelies and then I just took off and rode up the hill.
Yes, I went up Cumberland and I was planning on dropping off a flower but I could remember the license plate number of her car and I wasn’t sure if it was even there and I got a vision of her parked at some other guy’s place and so I kept walking up the hill and I didn’t feel too bad after all.
Holly completely flaked though and so she gets only a half a star out of five. The half comes from keeping my informed of her progress by text all night, but she never made it out so subrtact 4 1/2.