Sunday, May 25, 2008

5/23/08 Carnaval (San Francisco, Ca)

Carnaval is a huge multi cultural festival in the mission district in SF. Tens of thousands of people tons of music, food and everything in between. We were on the main stage for the Burger King "Tu Ciudad, Tu Musica" competition. There are ten cities nationwide who host the event, each city choses a winner. We were competing with about 5 other band who had also been selected to perform. The styles ranged from latin jazz to to latin rock and I'm not sure where we fit in. The winners got $2500, a guitar, airtime on national TV and radio and a spot on Burger Kings website. We hammered out a quick 15 min set and crossed our fingers as all the bands converged on the stage for the winning announcement. Like I said before every band has its ups and downs I was just hoping this would be an upswing, plus gas had been killing us and we could really use the money. "And the winner of Tu Ciudad Tu Musica is..........40 Watt Hype!" We needed that more than anybody knew. We proceeded to accept one of those huge checks (Something I've always wanted to do) and had some interviews with the beautiful Patricia de Leon (former miss panama and Univision reporter). I had to focus and flip into Spanish amid the excitement for the subsequent interviews. Ah and up after so many downs, this is why we play music right?? The mini tour was a success and we loaded up the van to head back home after another roller coaster week.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

5/23/08 Sweetwater Station (Mill Valley, Ca)

Mill Valley is a nice little town nestled in the hills, north of San Francisco. Sweetwater Station is a legendary venue where just about everybody who is anybody has played. We load in and the setting is very different than we're used to. But anything would be better than the night before in Berkeley. It is a dinner theater setup. The stage is very nice with a red velvet curtain behind it and there are tables instead of a dance floor, people eat dinner while they listen to the music. We all had a bet backstage of how many songs it would take for us to clear the place out. Surprisingly, not only did they stay, but they danced and picked up cds afterwards. Only in the bay would an audience in a dinner theater get down like that, it was refreshing. We also ran into an old friend lisa morningstar, thanks again for coming out. After us was Manicato. Wow, these dudes killed it. Great band, Salsa/reggae, dope harmonies and really cool guys. We hung out after the show and chopped it up. If you're in the bay check them out.

Friday, May 23, 2008

5/22/08 Ashkanaz (Berkeley, Ca)

Like most things in the life playing in a band has its ups and downs. Aside from the 45 min we were on stage, it was a downer. It was one of those humbling experiences that takes me back to when I was 14 playing gigs for the first time, to the bartender and a couple of friends. One of those nights when I probably didn't even need a mic and the panhandler outside the venue probably doubled what we made that night. I remember him hitting us up for some money as we left and I said "sorry, but you made more money than me tonight." Here is a lesson kids, you might make more money with an acoustic guitar on the street corner playing 12 bar blues in Berkeley, than rehearsing, renting a van, paying for gas, driving to another city and playing original music. Do the math, stay in school, don't become a musician. Its the life we chose, but when its down....its really down.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

5/16/08 The Vibe (Fresno, Ca)

The Vibe is a new event in downtown Fresno meant to attract people to the area before and after Grizzly games. It's a great idea, but like most things in Fresno, people need to get used the idea of an new event. It didn't help that it was a million degrees that day. It was a fun gig after all with lots of potential. Robert Rufner sat in on trombone and sounded really good, thanks again Rob.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

4/5/08 Caspar Inn (Caspar Ca)

Like the fine wines of Napa Valley the hash and various assortments of weed sprinkle Mendocino County. The drive from Sacramento is nice, once you get close its just like the forest in E.T. Then you hit the coast and it feels like Treasure Island. Its a trippy and mysterious vibe on the norcal coast. The people are chill and like music and the seclusion of the area, which makes it nice for a gig. We played with Al Howard and the K23 Orchestra. Very nice guys and a very funky band. Overall it was a great night. Staff was great, food was amazing. After the show we went upstairs to the rooms above the venue where various hippie sea zombies crept in and out throughout the night. All I know if that at the height of the weirdness there was a make shift bowling lane set up in the hallway. Empty bottled waters were the pins and a tangerine was the bowling ball. Kevin was playing bass that night and was the first to go to sleep. To reward him we slowly added random objects to his bed as close to his face without waking him up. In the morning he woke up to broccoli, a bottle of wine, a doll and a lampshade in his bed. Thanks for the good times Casper Inn, you're one of a kind, hopefully we'll be back your way soon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

4/4/08 G St Pub (Davis, Ca)

Its a friday afternoon and we are headed to norcal for a weekend of gigs. We loaded up the van and hit the 99 for Davis, Ca. We hooked up with Tyson from Diego's Umbrella and couldn't decide who would go first and instead of armwrestling we flipped a coin. DU started off the night with their unique brand of surf/mexi-cali/groove music(its good trust me). I had a couple of their songs stuck in my head for the rest of the weekend. Sometimes its hard for me to relay the correct atmosphere and emotion of a trip(being that I'm a college drop out) so we brought along a camera so you could see for yourself (its been heavily edited to delete all talk of women, wine and such) Check out the video below for more on the night......We hit the stage about 11:15 and stopped about 1:15 or so. G St Pub is always a good time, part locals, part college kids with jeans and sandals on. Woodstocks pizza across the street is amazing, nothing sounds better at 2 am than woodstocks after a long day of driving and a 2hr gig. Thanks to Diego's Umbrella, we'll be playing with them again May 22nd in Berkeley at the Ashkenaz. Enjoy the video