August 01, 2010
Rapper Chamillionaire Rocks & Not Just His Music: He's One Cool Dude!I had the opportunity to meet and hang out with rapper Chamillionaire this past week at AlwaysOn and again at TechCrunch's Social Currency Event, where he was a panelist at both events.
Not only was his energy welcoming to an 'always-on' overly techy crowd, but refreshing because of his authenticity, humor and charm. Chamillionaire is also very smart and engaging, not to mention (and he'll likely shoot me for this one)....adorable.
Below, Robert Scoble, Renee Blodgett and Chamillionaire. THANK YOU for showing up. Remember that 80% of it is just about 'showing up.' It was also a joy to meet @chamillionaire 's "entourage" - @digijeff #roffles and @beatbullies, who btw are Sidekick users for the record, a device I haven't used or heard about in donkey's years.
Below is a 20 minute fun chat between Mike Arrington and Chamillionaire. And yes, he really has two publicists. Two when I thought publicists were deemed useless. Like lawyers, the role for a damn good publicist won't go away anytime soon. Has anyone noticed that ENGAGING is almost a full time job?
July 12, 2010
365 Things to do in Austin Texas
I just discovered the Facebook Page 365 Things to do in Austin Texas. While its not my stomping ground, its great to hear about summer events in other cities and like most others, they have outdoor free concerts.
It's their 7th Season of Music Under the Stars, the kick off which was held at the Bob Bullock Museum. In Texan style, they had free Rudy’s BBQ, Mighty Fine Burgers, and Blue Bell Ice Cream.
Concert Series Schedule for July includes:
July 9 – Cornell Hurd Band
July 16 – Brave Combo
July 23 – Charanga Cakewalk with John Pointer
July 30 – Omar and the Howlers
July 08, 2010
Pandora and Google?Vator TV's Bambi Francisco interviews Steve Carpenter, who provides financial insight about the "high-profile yet opaque private company sector."
In this interview, Steve predicts that personalized music site Pandora, will likely double its revenue to $125 million this year, "due to its popularity on the iPhone and its ability to extract more money from advertisers, thanks to its skyrocketing subscriber base." And, he also shares with us why Google might be interested.
July 04, 2010
Groove 8 in From North Carolina Knows Their JazzNorth Carolina-basedGroove 8 (formerly Audioform) performed at San Francisco's Fillmore Jazz Festival this weekend. Jazz, Funk and Rock are in harmony. Have a listen:
July 03, 2010
Dancing in the Streets in Pac HeightsPeople dance in the streets at the San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Festival this weekend.
Fillmore Jazz FestivalFillmore's Jazz Festival is in full play this weekend in San Francisco. A few random shots below including a bunch of swing dancers who showed up to dance up a storm to The Lost Cats.
Also performing was Dave Rocha Quintet, Art Khu, Marcus Shelby Orchestra, Calvin Keys Trio, Brent Kimbrough Band, Pamela Joy Quintet, Bobbie Webb, Native Elements, Bartron Tyler Group and more.
June 21, 2010
World Cup Soccer & Brazilian Samba
A reasonably thorough inspection of soccer pubs and restaurants in San Francisco and Berkeley over the past ten days reveals that while there may be more people supporting the English and Mexican soccer teams in the Bay Area there is nobody having as much fun as the Brazilians.
On Sunday the Brazilian World Cup team once again gave its fans a reason to dance (as if they need an excuse) with a 3-1 trouncing of Cote d'Ivoire. Of the several places in the Bay Area which are hosts for Brazilian fans this time we chose Martin Macks on Haight St. in San Francisco. You might ask yourself how an Irish pub has become a place to samba....
So we have Thierry Henry and FIFA to thank. What a way to convert the Irish mourning and outrage at being cheated out of the World Cup into something positive that we all get to share. In addition, the pub burned down less than two years ago so we're lucky it's here at all. This is a review shortly after it re-opened.
On this perfect San Francisco Sunday the seats were gone 30 minutes before the match and most of the standing room taken by the national anthem, as you can see.
The kitchen and floor staff did an excellent job of getting food and drink to the mob, no easy task. There were plenty of TV screens, flags everywhere, and even a samba band at halftime and after the match. There is nothing like a room full of happy people doing the samba to make you want to move and to remind you to make sure that at least part of life be a party.
Brazil's next match is Friday against Portugal, the match soccer fans have been waiting for since the first round groupings were announced. Brazil is ranked first in the world and Portugal is third - it's unusual for two highly-ranked teams to be in the same group so expect a great match. Play hooky.
June 09, 2010
Or Matias Plays a Mean PianoI had the pleasure of chatting with and listening to Or Matias on piano at this year's Israel Conference. Listen to his story and his music.
June 07, 2010
Cool Music Site: TuneWikiCheck out TuneWiki, a cool music site, which I learned about at last week's Israel Conference. The below video gives you a taste of what you can do using TuneWiki....I only wish it was a little easier to find out what they do on their website since they don't even have an About Us section. Click play to learn more.
May 31, 2010
Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk Gets Santa Cruz Moving
The Santa Cruz Blues Festival is one of the Bay Area's Memorial Day weekend traditions, and Saturday's opening-day concert was a perfect introduction to the season, with a warm sun, cloudless sky, and happy dancing people stripping off winter clothes and starting on summer tans.
There were five performers on Saturday, including a group from New Orleans called Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk.
With a name like that you think of George Clinton and that's in there, but it sounded more Sly and the Family Stone with an extra bass and a rock-n-roll drum kit, almost like a funk garage band. I even thought about Edgar Winter a couple of times.
Two of the members are descendants of the Neville Brothers, with Ivan singing and talking from the keyboard like he was preaching from the choir, and Ian on lead guitar moving comfortably from funky counterpoint for the bass lines to guitar hero solos.
Ivan Neville Raymond Weber and Ian Neville
Drummer Raymond Weber played like the guy you want in charge of your Neighborhood Watch - substantial and secure without drawing attention to himself except when necessary.
What makes their sound, though, is that they have two bass players, Nick Daniels (below left) and Tony Hall (below right), and you can spend the entire set completely absorbed in what they are doing. Sometimes Daniels would put out a traditional funk sound while Hall would provide a lower rock-n-roll thump, at other times one line would be a quasi-solo with some wa-wa while the other was an accompaniment.
They used four-string and five-string basses to give them more range. With the variety in texture and pitch they often found that place between the bass and lead guitar, almost like the way violas sit between the violins and cellos in a symphony. It was always interesting and sounded new.
You'd worry that all this low funk would mean nothing but bass would be coming off the stage but the swirly keyboards and the vocals and Ian Neville's guitar, sometimes filling, sometimes virtuoso, all shone through. The absence of brass is another thing that gives this band a flavor that goes beyond traditional funk. It's bottom-heavy but doesn't get stuck in its swamp.
For the last number Ivan came off the keyboard and picked up the
that Hall had played for some of the numbers. Ian played a solo that
wouldn't have been out of place in early Pearl Jam and the rest of them
met in that perfect place where only music can takes you and not often enough and with their playing confirmed the
Nietzsche quote about how life without music would be a mistake.
What I liked most about the band was that I felt like I got to know them a little bit. I could imagine them playing around in the studio or a local club. There was nothing about their playing that made me think about market research, or that they built their sound or personality based on what someone told them would sell.
Some bands all you hear is how they sound like someone else, but not these guys. It's also easy to imagine them fitting into the ecumenical New Orleans soundscape, where the primary requirements are that you get your music to move and that you not be boring in how you do it.