Archive for November, 2013

The Independent, San Francisco, CA

I didn’t even know they were still around let alone playing shows and I couldn’t believe when I saw them on the Independent’s list of upcoming shows. I’d never had the chance to see them so I snapped up a ticket as soon as they went on sale which was lucky because they sold out quite quickly as this was one of only two shows in the US.

Television at the SF Independent

Television at the SF Independent. Click for more photos.

For the most part, it’s the original band with the only change being Jimmy Rip now playing guitar. Tom Verlaine’s voice has held up well though he’s lost some of his distinctive nasally tone.

The highlight for me, by far, was a scorching jam in 1880. Jimmy Rip started out with a beautifully textured solo. When Verlaine turned his guitar backed up Rip began to weave the melody in and out of Tom’s rhythm lines which morphed into a breakdown with them the passing the “lead” back-and-forth.  I’d love to hear that again but I didn’t see anyone taping and no bootlegs have surfaced yet.

There are some videos of the show on YouTube.

Set list:
1880 or So
Little Johnny Jewel
Prove It
Torn Curtain
Guiding Light
Marquee Moon

No idea because I left ‘cuz I had an early morning meeting.

Tom Verlaine – vocals, guitar
Fred Smith – bass
Billy Ficca – drums
Jimmy Rip – guitar

Opening act:
Dennis Driscoll


Why I love live music

Posted: November 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

If you have ever traded tapes or even listened toa bootleg you should read the tragic tale of a legendary concert taper. Chances are you have one of his tapes in your collection.

Today is the first time in a long time that I’ve thought about why I love live music as much as I do and a lot of it traces to back to Mike the Mike.

In the late 80s I went to college in Southern California and I remember his tapes circulating amongst my friends. Someone would get a new Mike the Mic and we’d all gather round for a listen. Despite being multiple generations from the masters they were amazing specimens. They captured the 70s arena bands and let me listen to them at their peak even though I first learned of them long past their prime and often after they’d stopped playing live at all.

After college I moved back to the Bay Area, joined The Well, gained access to better trading circles with lower gen tapes, and the mystic of Mike the Mic faded away.
Today is the first time I’ve thought about him in years.

Today is the first time I learned what happened to him.

Today is the first time learned his last name.

Today is the first time I learned that it was Mike the Mike.