So initially I was going to start this blog out as a blog about why you should go see Mary Gauthier at the Freight (doors 7/show 8) but then I realized that you can’t really go wrong tomorrow night…
So let’s start with Mary Gauthier because I know that I have wanted to see her perform live since I first heard about her album ‘Rifles and Rosary Beads’ on NPR. According to the interwebs, that was at the beginning of this year; I feel like it’s been significantly longer that I have wanted to see her, so we’ll leave that as a questionable memory. I do know that there have been at least two times that I have wanted to see her at the Freight and I didn’t. I’m not sure about the first time; I know the second time was when my grandmother died and I had to fly east for her funeral in March.
But then all was redeemed as I was able to see Mary in this relatively tiny photography/art studio in East Nashville during Americanafest this year. Thanks to Brian Miller for sharing that show info with me (as well as lots of other tips and show alerts); Sidebar: Americanafest was awesome if you didn’t read my blogs about it.
Now back to Mary… though I did see her in a really intimate setting, it was also a short set so I look forward to seeing a full show, especially at The Freight; I can’t think of a better place in the Bay Area to see her perform. The best part is that the price is within my show budget at $26 – $30 per ticket including the $4/ticket facility fee.
If you don’t know anything about Mary Gauthier, her most recent album is eleven songs co-written with veterans. These songs are a part of the nearly four hundred songs that highly accomplished songwriters have co-written as part of the five-year-old SongwritingWith:Soldiers program. If you are interested in more about Mary and this album, I suggest starting with her bio on her website. It’s lovely!
Though her performance was relatively short, it really touched me. That entire series of singers were amazing that day and included Jaimee Harris who performed with Mary and also performed a song of her own, Jim White (talking about his own mental illness), Steve Poltz with Lisa Saunders and Brown Sugar (talking about illness and death), and Aaron Lee Tasjin. There were several times during that afternoon that I teared up from the stories and performances. This show may have been a highlight except that the entire week was really all a highlight. I can’t say enough good things about Americanafest. The people there were the kind of people who came to see and hear the musicians and not to talk through the entire show (in contrast to last night at Willie Watson and Charlie Parr at the Great American where I felt like Willie Watson had to compete with the audience to be heard though it was still an excellent show).
If you have a little more money at your disposal, Roseanne Cash and Ry Cooder: on Johnny Cash at the War Memorial Opera House (7:30 pm). I am not saying that they aren’t worth every penny of the ticket prices, but when there are so many really great options that are cheaper, it’s pretty easy to justify skipping this. I will admit that I had meant to get tickets for tonight’s performance and it completely slipped my mind. It was not on my actual calendar and I now feel way too over-scheduled this week, so I’m just saying no. This is made easier since my quick check shows the cheapest ticket price available for tonight’s show is $85. That said, if a ticket magically fell into my lap, I’d probably find the $ and change my mind about the staying home and working. It’s wrong to not take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, right?
Or maybe you’d like Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds at the Independent (doors 7/show 8) because they are a GOOD time, lots of energy and great soul/funk/rock music. The good time factor is easily worth the $20 – $23 ticket price. Since the first time that we saw them at HSB, I’ve looked forward to seeing them again and yet every time they play in the Bay Area, their show seems to conflict with some other show (or I’m not in town). I don’t get to see this band as often as I’d like and tonight continues that trend. I really can’t recommend this show enough based on my previous experiences with Sister Sparrow! Did I mention that Arleigh’s outfits tend to be quite amazing as well!
If you want a real experience, you should check out KOLARS, opening for Shakey Graves at the Fox (doors 7/show 8). I have to confess that I’m not familiar with Shakey Graves at all. I always mean to check him out, but it just doesn’t happen. I thought this was going to be my chance because I heart KOLARS hard (see previous blog posts, there are many which should give you an indication of the level of our love — you can easily search our site if you are interested in finding them and in hearing more about the winners of the Best of the Jammies, SXSW 2018.) That said… after all that gushing, I’m not sold on the KOLARS experience at the Fox. Not after I’ve seen them in such intimate settings, especially as part of what I love is the expressiveness of Lauren’s face as she drums and dances. I’m also fond of Rob getting down in the audience to dance and this won’t be my experience at the Fox. That said, if you are a Shakey Graves fan, this show is a total two-fer in my opinion, especially at $29.50 per ticket. If you are going, you should be sure to get there early and check out KOLARS. You can thank me later!
But wait… there’s more!
There’s still Postmodern Jukebox at the Warfield (doors 7/show 8). I was really considering this show. I heard an interview with (or a story about) Postmodern Jukebox that piqued my interest. It was probably on NPR because I am geeky and find a good deal of my music on NPR. Other factors that make the decision to skip this show easier include: 1) it is a completely seated show (and there aren’t many tickets left if you are thinking about going and haven’t purchased tickets yet); and 2) for the kind of seats I would want, the price is $105. That’s more than a little too rich for my blood.
Mary continues to win this time! Going to see Mary instead of Postmodern Jukebox or Shakey Graves is also in keeping with my ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ theme that started back in September and was liberally applied to the choosing of shows at HSB 2018 with no harm or significant loss on my opinion (though I still wish I had seen Steve Forbert, but I don’t feel that was a Fuck the Patriarchy decision so much as a logistics decision.)
Lastly on my radar is Dweezil Zappa at the Fillmore (doors 7/show 8). I’ve always wanted to see him and yet somehow never have. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s Frank Zappa’s son and I love Frank Zappa that makes me want to see him. It could also be because of his former relationship with Lisa Loeb (those of you who know me know I have a huge crush on her and they were a couple that made me a little weak in the knees) or if it’s just because I think he’s kinda cute. Whatever the reason, I have wanted to see him for a long time now and it really has nothing to do with his music as I literally have no idea what his music is like. December 6, 2018 won’t be the time that I finally see him. I won’t lie that this one was an easy decision to make since the tickets are $42.50 which is pricey on a night when there are so many choices for music that I don’t know at all.
So I hope you are able to get out and support live music. With this many choices, the only reason I can see not to go out is because you want to stay in and as I tried to imply in the title of this blog that sentiment is totally legit!