Last week I was driving home around midnight through San Rafael. Checked out 4th Street Tavern, no one there, then into Fairfax, went in through Peri’s swinging wooden doors, . No kidding, just like a western movie. This rockabilly trio, The Continentals, was playing — really good.. Two other people at the bar. One woman in 40s, the other maybe 60. And me, audience of 3.
Years ago, I was in northern Massachusetts on a press check, driving a rental car on a rainy night. I got some fish and chips and saw a bar on a corner that said “Live Music.” $3 cover charge. Maybe 20 people in audience, and an absolute kick-ass little rock ‘n roll band. One guy had a bad complexion — not darling boys like the Beatles, but they were musicians in a groove. Channeling the Stones, raw and pure.
I treasure these unanticipated moments of good music. Little bands. Obscure bars. No stress. Oh yeah, there was that night at a bar in Victoria, the sun hadn’t even gone down…
In 1987 I was passing through Santa Fe on my way to CA and saw a line of folks outside of some club, stopped to see what that was all about, it was Donovan so we went in for the show. It was an intimate venue and a magical performance, very serendipitous.
Those years were generally poor for hearing quality original music because all the good FM radio stations had been accumulated and homogenized into commercial products. Now days I pretty much listen to Fat Music Radio and KPIG exclusively on my internet radios but there are thousands and thousands of great stations worldwide available on the internet. Those two stations are kind of the descendents of the old KFAT out of Gilroy. Felton runs Fat Music out of his house in Grass Valley, KPIG is subscription for streaming but no commercials on either station. If you have a Roku Soundbridge or a Logitech Squeezebox you can program your favorites for easy access off your wireless around your house, I keep one in the kitchen and one in my office.
It's now the best of times for commercial free access to quality music around the world, thanks be to the internet.
Sirius Radio has changed my life. I listen to it in the truck and in the office when writing or doing fun stuff like layout. BB King's Blues channel, Outlaw Country, Reggae, Blue Grass, the '50s, Raw Dog (and Blue Collar) Comedy. I listen to it on my iPad when doing dishes at night. You could listen to it off a smartphone with speakers. Just amazing quality, no commercials.