We saw Gomez at the Fox in Oakland – my favorite Bay Area venue – Sunday night. They’re doing a 20th anniversary tour. How’s that for making you feel old. I first started listening to them around 1999 and used to get them confused with Travis. It wasn’t because they sounded the same, it’s because a lot of bands had one word name names.

It was a good show. They sounded great but only played 3 songs from “How We Operate”, my favorite album of theirs. If I were one of those guys who rated shows, I’d give it 6 out of 10. If I were a hard core Gomez fan, probably an 8.

Original Gomez lineup.
Looks like Ben Ottewell has been working out or working at a startup.
You’d think it was 1999 judging by that marquee.

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus Christmas Show comes to town

Last night the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus brought their Christmas show to Livermore for the second year in a row. The 300+ ensemble did two sold-out shows at the Bankhead Theater. We saw their show in the city a couple years ago and couldn’t miss this opportunity to see them so close to home. Lucky for us, our friend Eric (Santa in the pictures) joined us for dinner before the show.

This year’s theme was “Making Christmas Gay Again”. It was a tribute to the grinch-in-chief in the White House. Santa was crabby because no one seemed to care about him anymore. Meanwhile the elves tried everything to gay it up from Karaoke to opera.

Santa’s Elves
Santa Claus, aka Eric Carlson
I want a Lumber Sexual for Christmas
Mean, mean, Melania
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Dinosaur Jr. at the Regency Ballroom

My brother-in-law and I caught the original lineup of Dinosaur Jr. at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. They put on a great show. For the encore they played a few songs with the Necros.

I haven’t seen Dinosaur Jr. since 1989. Back then it was Murph, J, and Lou as well.

Dinosaur Jr and the Necros
J, Murph and Lou

Mayer Hawthorne tonight

We have tickets to see Mayer Hawthorne tonight at one of my favorite theaters, the Fox in Oakland. I’ve been dying to see him for years. I became a fan with his debut album, “Strange Arrangement” in 2009. I first heard him on KCRW’s Eclectic 24 stream and a free Starbucks download of “Maybe So, Maybe No”.


The show was excellent. If you get a chance, check him out.

It was a great evening all around. We had dinner at Flora in downtown Oakland, right across the street from the Fox. I’m loving downtown Oakland in general. Years ago, there was never any reason to go there, but now it’s happening. It hasn’t been totally updated like San Francisco, Chicago, or New York. There’s a still a good mix of old an new businesses.


Replacements concert rundown

So I went to the Replacements show at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco last Monday. I was not disappointed. It was as good a show as when I saw them in 1991. In fact, they seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot more this time. They played close to 2 hours, and mostly old, old stuff. They did get in all the best stuff.

The crowd was full of superannuated hipsters who totally forgot how general admission works. There was a lot of pinched faces when you stepped into the gap to get a better look. I managed to weasel my way up to the front row and to get some pictures. Sorry to say, I was one of those guys for a couple moments. You know the ones, the stiffs who stand there and film the whole thing instead of experiencing it. I couldn’t resist getting a couple pictures.

Up close, Tommy Stinson looked like Cloris Leachman. Not aging well, but at least he's still alive.
Up close, Tommy Stinson looked like Cloris Leachman. Not aging well, but at least he’s still alive.
They were tight and nearly sober.
They were tight and nearly sober.
Opening act, John Doe was decent.
Opening act, John Doe was decent.