Thom Yorke, the singer of the British rock band Radiohead, has been thrashing against a bleak and bloodless future for more than two decades. He has a reputation for seriousness, and he has committed a good portion of his musical career to airing dystopian fears: that we are all cogs in a horrifying late-capitalist techno machine, that whenever we choose to measure the fullness of a life by how productive it was, we’re really only judging how subservient a person has been to corporations. Sad emoji.
The relationships between the punks and the proprietors could be … complicated. Esther Wong, the Chinese owner of Madame Wong’s, became infamous for her strong opinions; she insisted on vetting every band that played at her restaurant, and even told one Los Angeles Times reporter in 1980 that if she was given a bad tape, she liked to “throw it outside the window.” (Shigekawa says the restaurateur was also fiercely competitive, sometimes calling the fire department on the Hong Kong Café to break up its shows.) In the end, Wong was demonized by the scene when she became exasperated with the fights breaking out in her restaurant and banned certain groups—such as the Alley Cats and the Bags—from playing there.
In most movies, a fight with red-robed doppelgängers to the tune of N.W.A.’s “F— the Police” would be the showstopper. But Jordan Peele’s “Us” has an even better musical trick up its sleeve — its deft dissection of the 1995 Luniz hit “I Got 5 on It.”
“I Got 5 on It” comes from an underrated school of hip-hop that discusses low-stakes and even trivial problems with high-level musicality. The “5” refers to a five-dollar bill kicked in toward the purchase of marijuana. The song basically says, if you want to smoke some of my weed, please kick in some cash. It’s a gripe everyone’s had at some point about weed, gas, or french fries.
By Michael Moniz | @fosheezymonizee
Now fourteen years into their storied reggae careers, Rebelution took some time in between waves and California burritos in sunny San Diego to record their newest album, Free Rein. After achieving huge success (Grammy Nominated) with their last work, Falling Into Place, the expectations were high for all of the “Rebelutionairies” that were waiting for the next drop from the guys who started playing ten person shows in garages in Isla Vista, Santa Barbara in college back in '03/'04.
Their first single “Celebrate” did exactly that. Similar to their patented roots reggae sound, this is an energizing shout-out to one and all and celebrates the oneness of artist and audience. This jam really sets the tone for the album and lets everyone in the band showcase their skills.
Eric Rachmany (lead singer and writer) is a native San Franciscan, so when he wrote "City Life,” he talks about that feeling where you just need to get out and escape from where you are. We all have those days where you just need a “me” day. This song is that. Escaping to the beach, going to the redwoods, or camping by the river are things that Rachmany envisions when leaving the “City Life.”
“Healing” is something of a new sound that we’ve never really heard from Rebelution. An acoustic, country sound, Rachmany explained to Rock Cellar Magazine, “I wrote that song to remind people that life is always worth living, and to provide some healing energy to a person listening. Music certainly has been something I’ve turned to when I needed a pick me up. I only hope I can do the same for other people listening to this song.” This one is my favorite for sure.
To me, this album is one of those you put on during a Sunday morning when you’re spring cleaning or on a long road trip. As with all Reb albums, the good vibes and positive energy is contagious throughout each song and will probably lead you to listen to more of their early stuff if you haven’t already.
I am super excited for their tour that is about to kick off and hopefully going to see them at Red Rocks for the first time in Colorado. They come to The Bay to play the Greek Theatre in Berkeley on Friday, August 31st, so get your tickets fast. You know it will sell out.
The National at Berkeley's Greek Theater, Saturday, October 14th
Van Morrison at Oakland's Fox Theater, Friday, October 20th
Arcade Fire at Oakland's Oracle Arena, Saturday, October 21st
Real Estate at Oakland's Fox Theater, Friday, October 27th
Trey Anastasio at Oakland's Fox Theater, Friday, November 3rd
LCD Soundsystem at SF's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Wednesday, November 15th
Dispatch at SF's Fillmore, Thursday, November 30th
Angus and Julia Stone at SF's Fillmore, Sunday, December 3rd
By J. Tribe
Two words encompassing life’s dictionary, encyclopedia of intangible experience, sensory perception of life’s palpability, of the infinity of selves, oceans of emotions, deserts, jungles, turquoise and the world’s biggest necklace, Cecil B DeMille, Fat Nancy, Georgia Sam, William Zanzinger, highways of diamonds with nobody on them, Jesus in the Garden, Jokerman and The Man in the Long Black Coat, booze, brothels, floods, Acapulco, San Franciscah, Ashtabula, Lenny Bruce, Joey Gallo, yass... Bob Dylan means princes, paupers, peasants, kings, pawned diamond rings—Bob Dylan is infinity gone up on trial, acquitted by God, of everything. And everything, he serenades us, is broken.
Bob Dylan says Woody Guthrie songs teach you how to live; well, my friend, Bob Dylan songs teach you how to express. And in this dance of death we call life, it’s expression that’s savior – our internal voice, the messianic mechanism unknown by names less opaque than Spirit or Soul. Bob Dylan knows that Bob Dylan Knows nothing, that none of us really Know anything. He is the Dragon, the Knight, the Mirror of the Mind where all deals go down. Bob Dylan is here to remind us that only a fool here, would think he has anything to prove. Uncle Bobby, always available to anyone willing or able to accept it… THAT IT IS NOT HE OR SHE OR THEM OR IT THAT YOU BELONG TO. They told him to sing while he slaved, but being of Slavic extraction, he just got bored… But he sang alright…
To live outside the law you must be honest, what’s it mean? Just an observatory obviousness unsaid & unsung till harpooned from the Good Ship Zimmy, god-shipped, as god still sends his godsends everywhere but the worldwide web and no amount of youtube rabbit holes or memes or facecunt instafuck fuckface social malice, mayhem or psychic murder can unring bells Bobby smashed with gongs, the hits from Rolling Stone bongs, everybody must get stoned is a Biblical tune, Rainy Day Women welcomed aboard the USS Zimmerman, refugees of Gomorrah, Joshua and his genocidal trumpets of Jericho, Bob Dylan, living miracle: a man doing what he’s born to do, like Bo Jackson or Steph Curry, Pollack, amid the imposition of mindless consumerism, societies of guilt and fear, free from the trials of metaphysical persecutors within, in the background of all the black & white news, indecipherable still (Nobel Prizes withstanding) to Time magazine, on the hilltop looking down on the lynchings, of which they still sell postcards, there’s god blessed goddamned Bob Dylan to tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it, to reflect from the goddamn mountain (of his own making) so any motherfucker willing & able to accept it can see it, that The Law is anything but honest, that shit is fucked, if you don’t look away, if you have the balls to not look away, to look at one’s bed and say whether or not it’s fucking made, the simple (yet impossible feeling) act of telling your daughter the dog is dead.
Bob Dylan exists in karmic payment for other rock stars’ sins, the stars nothing more than something they invested in, chiefly their addiction to the pleasure of praise, the hedonistic zeal with which they crave yacht-loads like bankers with nothing more to say or add to the human equation than bankers can add which is nothing and this is true and to test it scientifically, put on any Bob Dylan record and say it ain’t so. Any of ‘em. But make it vinyl (why not—a hipster within arm’s reach’s got a fucking phonograph, I’ll bet my right nut)—fuck that, whatever the fuck, put on a Bob Dylan song and explain the humanity of the law, of any set or system of human institutions, where’s the humanity? Where’s the humanity, the humanness, the Holy Spirit God how can there not be more humane words for human beings? Daniel saw the stone; Jeremiah foretold the calamities we encounter – these times ain’t no different than those of Early Roman Kings…
Bob Dylan sees the simple things. Every grain of sand – it’s just a perspective… not A perspective, or Perspective C, B, or G, it ain’t dogma or doctrine that’s Dylan, it’s the orthodoxy of unorthodoxy, spiritual autonomy, the gall to ask if birds are free from the chains of the skyway. It’s the perspective to see the silver lining in failure, perspective as a muscle – the kinesiology of perspective – Robert Zimmerman could have done his PhD on it – the karmic influence on endocrinology; no doubt, had old Bobby Zimmerman become a dentist, he wouldn’t have been stingy with the Novocain. He’s a human being, Bob Dylan. He’s a lot of open tuning, a lot of let’s try it in uh, b-flat, he’s Tweeter and he’s the Monkeyman, guys we know, he’s America and it’s not our fault but there it is nonetheless: Ira Hayes, Hattie Carroll, Hurricane Carter, Hollis Brown, Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Old John Brown and unknown good old boy off to fight the good old-fashioned war john brown, it’s there, we’re here, he’s there, Together Through Life, Time Out of Mind, the catalogue itself a lexicon – see the Network’s Programming Board in masked & anonymous… see that fucking movie…
Bob Dylan is uncomfortable truths said straight-faced with the ease with which Clint Eastwood murders, Bob Dylan truth-tells, and it’s because Clint Eastwood will always be out-adored by the American public that we have Trump… We prefer even Trump, to Napoleon in rags, and the language that he uses. Bob Dylan is there to hear the chimes of freedom flash for the warriors whose strength is not to fight, and to America, still, today, on the right, on the left, that’s Crazy Pinko Commie Anarchist Nonsense, we need Hillary! we need Trump! we need Nobody! But nobody, and I mean nobody is looking for warriors whose strength is not to fight… nobody but Bob Dylan is out there saying to take the orphans and place them at the feet of harlots; ain’t no Ashkenazi but Bob Dylan with the brains he was born with to know that even the President of the United States must sometimes stand naked and it’s Bob Dylan who reminds us it matters not who the president be, when one takes the perspective of the storyteller, we’re all unintentional native sons of the first ever, wholly unconscious empire.
Bob Dylan: scribe, court-jester, carny, song & dance man, Huck Finn, the best white man any of us can be, Bobby D, though they murdered six million, in the ovens they fried, the Germans now too, have God on their side, it’s not cute, the overriding irony… it ain’t postmodern or post-postmodern, it ain’t semantical or academic or intellectual or trite – but goddammit it’s funny – it’s fun and funny both – to attune to your own wavelength, as it appears Dylan does, absolutely immune to outside influence, at one with one’s breath Bob Dylan… he’s Joyce, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Leadbelly, Guthrie, Chaplin, Marlon Brando, Mister Bojangles, Little Richard, Rimbaud … he’s Muhammad Ali trapped in the body of Woody Allen. He’s NOT everyman. He’s not all of us. He’s the apotheosis of the opposite of the voice of his or any other generation. He’s him. You are you. He and she and them and it are he and she and them and it and you do not belong to them. You may be tangled up in blue, mighta spent a day too long in Mississippi, coulda had a world war go thru your brain, worried over the city fathers’ fearfulness of the reincarnation of Paul Revere’s horse, realized that the national bank for profit just sells roadmaps to the soul to the old folks home and the college, maybe you ain’t lookin’ for nothin’ in anyone’s eyes, maybe the preposterousness, pretentiousness, unusual cruelness of American justice, maybe for you too, it’s all just a given …
It’s Alright, Ma, it’s life and life only and Bob Dylan, the vessel he be, seafaring, like Melville but better, the Captain Ahab of his times, Robert Zimmerman created Bob Dylan to harpoon songs from the oceanic abyss – the mind of god – I don’t write them he rightfully insists … they’re there, he just writes them down with a pencil. And sings them. Because he feels like singing. And sings from the heart, from the soul, the solar plexus, the back of the brain, it ain’t pretty, it’s the blues, but the blues is happy music, and all music is blues or zippity doo-dah and I know one thing, nobody can sum up such things like Townes Van Zandt… He said that. Impervious to peers, impervious to time, impervious to crime, even and most importantly Maritime Law, the Good Ship Bobby D, where so-called sinners and miscalled saints co-mingle, are they willing and able to adhere to a strict to-each-their-own non-doctrine and uphold absolute abstinence when it comes to yelling Which Side Are You On? Lest that is, you’re referring to that iconic yet unknown Henry Miller ultimatum in which he sought to divide America once and for all between those for the book which says Thou Shalt not Kill and the infinity of munitions manuals – Bob Dylan is American Gospel, the purest ever produced by a paleface…
Fecund Bob Dylan, redemptive grain of American sand, thank you, for rhyming sonsuvbitches and orphanages, for thinkin’ bout Alicia Keys, for sharing your Visions of Johanna, for being the Tambourine Man, for rediscovering dignity in an undignified age, for not thinking twice, for not looking back, for being another man in black, for walking the line and for hosting Bob Dylan Radio Hour… Thanks for those deep knee-bends the past quarter century. Thanks for the funky black key organ riffs from 2009 and the Warren Zevon covers from 2002-3. Thank you for opening with Wait for the Light to Shine when my brother was dying and playing Boots of Spanish Leather for first true love Tia in Sacramento and Love Minus Zero in Frisco for my sister Jessica. Thank you for your scowling skulk when receiving the Medal of Freedom from Obama, and for the awkwardness, the true nobility with which you received nonsensical Nobel grace. Thank you, Bob, for not ever giving one single fuck. Thank you for saying it ain’t me babe to so many fucks who wanted you to give us things we did not need. Thank you for remaining forever young. And for mentioning all the ghosts. The ghost of slavery ships, that old ghost road Ku Klux Klan, the ghost of our old love taking so long to die, the ghost of ‘lectricity that howls in the bones of her face… Thank you for playing in Ho Chi Minh City. Thank you for the subpar 80s albums littered with throwaway genius… Thank you for Brownsville Girl… Till the wheels fall off and burn, here’s to you Bob Dylan… Chuck Berry is dead. I’m proposing a toast to the king.
By Josh Tribe, for Bob Dylan, on the occasion of his 76th birthday
24 May, 2017
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
By Josh Hunsucker | firstname.lastname@example.org
Just over 19 years ago, I heard "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan and never looked back. In the past 19 years I have countless missteps and wrong turns, but there is one thing that I never took for granted or got my signals crossed on, DYLAN.
America's poet laureate turns 76 today. In celebration of his birthday, our in house Dylan sommelier has given us five vintage Dylan offerings:
2) This Wheel's On Fire
3) Forever Young
4) My Back Pages
5) My Back Pages (because both are too good to leave the other out)
By Kyle Heise
The first Youtube comment reads “It was hot and early in the day...” And I’m sure it was. Now, I didn’t attend the festival held in the desert out in Indio, but I can imagine the hardcore festival go-ers were not up early to see San Francisco-via-Chicago transplant Ezra Furman give the most relevant monologue of the festival. Angled shots of the crowd confirm the scant attendance. But that doesn’t stop Ezra, a gender fluid punk rocker dressed in a black dress, pearls and hot red lipstick, from dropping some very real and apparent truths towards the beginning of his set. Furman began speaking “isn’t this a joyful kind of music” as the drums kicked in to his strident track “Tell ‘Em All to Go to Hell”, adding “it’s about frustration, I’d say.” The saxophone began tooting and Furman drizzled into riffing across the stage.
As the song breaks down into heavy breathing and what Furman describes as a “good B-flat rhythm,” Furman unloaded a heartfelt monologue to the crowd. He prefaced by dedicating the song to the parent company of Coachella, AEG, and its owner Philip Anschutz. Coachella is owned by Golden Voice, who is owned by major conglomerate AEG, Anschutz Entertainment Group. What followed was a scathingly powerful, yet very real truth about Coachella and consumerism.
What many people overlook in regards to the festival’s past is that its roots began in 1993 as a free concert put on by Pearl Jam against the service charges added on top of regular ticket prices by Ticketmaster. Following a public tussle, the band opted to play far out in the desert for free rather than play in LA proper and subject their fans to the service fees. Fast forward over two decades laters Now the festival is one of the most corporatized events in California each year; Hollywood loves to hire and pay people to attend to help market themselves. It’s almost less about the music and more about taking a sweaty and delirious photo in the desert. The festival even went full corporate minion in 2012 by spreading the festival over two weekends under the guise of better attendee experience. Safe to say, profit margins drove that decision.
And money does drive our society, says Furman in his attack against his “main man” Anschutz. Furman begins by explaining Anschutz is the “son of an oil tycoon, oil tycoon himself” and describes him as a complicated man who is “big proponent of wind energy” and has dabbled in “highly invasive” oil exploits. Easy to see that Furman recognizes power in Anschutz and his role in the Establishment. Furman belts that Anschutz “sues towns” that refuse to allow him to frack in there and paints a powerful image of Anschutz’ ambitions. But Furman also hints at knowing the history of the festival and how money (or in Pearl Jam’s case lack of it) can make a statement.
Furman, himself, a member of the LGBT+ community, revealed Anschutz donates wildly to anti-LGBT+ causes and far-right Christian groups. “So,” Ezra says addressing a crowd most likely in support of his side of the cause, the “triple-digits” (certainly many people spent thousands) paid to attend the festival “line billionaires pockets, do you understand?” He’s reminding the audience that they made a choice to attend the festival and are fortunate enough to have the funds to be there. In our modern consumer American society, money is speech. And Furman concurs. In turn he essentially told the audience how spending money is how we express our political beliefs in the modern society: “You do have a say in that shit,” he remarks. And it’s entirely true. So, when AEG and Anschutz or whoever the corporate tycoon is who markets products ignores “the values you [the consumer] profess to try to live by,” Furman delivers some telltale advice with just “seven little words:” Tell ‘em all to go to hell. Don’t remain silent and realize that your money can actually be used to fight back. Just like Pearl Jam decided to opt away, so can consumers. I don’t think Furman is suggesting people skip attendance of the festival. On the contrary, I think he is just reminding people of the matrix in which money is entangled these days and that your money can be speech in regards to many contemporary issues. As if we didn’t realize, Furman reminds us midway through his monologue: “It’s protest music.” Yes indeed, Ezra: you tell ‘em; keep telling us all the truths we need to hear.