Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Second Doug Gillard / Richard Buckner San Francisco Show Review

(amazing Toronto show photos courtesy of Erin Leah Pride- thanks!)

(post originally written the week of the 11th- sorry for the delay!)
Wow, have I been slammed this week. Work has been crazy. For unknown reasons, my laptop at home has not been connecting to the internet. So whatever scant free time I've had at work is all that I have for blog posting, emailing, DTS news gathering, porn downloading (just kidding)... Plus it is my and my older brother's birthdays this week so that's factored in. The good news is that I have a little time right now (obviously). And my leg is feeling much better (bruises fading, little to no pain) so I will be back full time in class this weekend. Good for my well-being and kung fu, not so good for Pop Zeus.

Regardless, its been over a week since the Richard Buckner/Doug Gillard show here in San Francisco and its about time for this post! Last Tuesday was kind of a rough one for ole Phil. I had too vigorously massaged my busted leg with Tiger Balm the previous night (sexy) right before I fell asleep. So of course it was aching all night and kept waking me up. Plus it was my first day back at work after the holiday so I was drained. I actually considered bailing out all together on the show (boy, am I glad I didn't). But I caught a second wind by early evening and decided to at least swing by the venue and scope it out.

The Swedish American Hall was a pretty surreal venue, literally a Swedish American Hall (thought it might have just been a clever name). It sits in the 100 year old building atop the cave-like Cafe Du Nord club on Market Street, the main drag through town. Parking nearby, I walked over and asked the security dude which co-headliner was going on first, Richard and Doug or Eric Bachmann (who I was unfamiliar with). He said Bachmann, which gave me enough time to grab a slice of pizza at the excellent Marcello's in the nearby Castro (dang their pizza is good- closest to the real deal NY pizza that I've had out here). On the way there, I randomly saw Richard Buckner looking very much like Richard Buckner, sitting outside a cafe chilling in the sunshine. After the slice, I hung out in a nearby bookstore for a while before heading back to the Hall. I was too groggy and hungry to sit through an entire opening act. Plus I get really impatient waiting for the headliner and the day had already tried my patience.

So I stomped up the large ornate staircase of the Hall to the upstairs area. I had never been there, so I had no clue what to expect. Eric Bachmann was already half way through his set, and I could hear the music and polite applause as I climbed. The rooms upstairs were very small but ornate with dark wood crossbeams and thrones along the walls. Kind of a cross between a Bavarian Octoberfest and Lord Of The Rings. The main concert hall was also small, with about a hundred chairs in a semi-circle and a small balcony behind us, rounding the room on 3 sides. The stage was merely a small raised platform with a curtain behind it. A very intimate space though- just perfect for a more mellow evening of music.

Before I took my seat, I grabbed another Salamander tee-shirt (different color) and a copy of Meadow from the merch counter. As luck would have it, Doug and Richard were both standing by the counter when I arrived. So I had a chance to chat with Doug before they went on, which was very cool.

Thankfully the wait was short before they began their set. Buckner's blistering and heartfelt storytelling was just the antidote I needed for my day. And as in the last show, Gillard's contribution was the perfect balance between supportive guitar backing, beautiful and subtle little electric flourishes, and jaw-dropping solos. Doug Gillard's musicianship knows no bounds, easily spanning the gap between the hard rock of GBV to the southern twang of Buckner. And this time I was more prepared for the show, having picked up and spun Buckner's brilliant Dents & Shells (featuring the great A Chance Counsel) and Devotion & Doubt. My greater familiarity with the tunes certainly helped, and I remembered many of them from the last show. And a lot of the set was new material from Meadow, which I can't wait to dive into.

Again Buckner and Gillard blended the songs together by bridging the songs with guitar loops with occasional guitar touches and tonal shifts. And this time I noticed that those loops were really outros for the preceding songs- drawn out and dreamy fades, leaving the listener with time to contemplate and absorb the often dark mood of Buckner's ballads. The following song often began abruptly on the tail of the cut-off loop, snapping the listener back into focus. Unfortunately, the audience at this show was far sleepier and tepid than at the Bottom Of The Hill gig, perhaps because it was an odd Tuesday. But my enjoyment was not diminished one iota.

Thanks to the good people of DTS, I have recently discovered Richard Buckner's amusing and honest tour blog, a great place to follow Buckner and Gillard's extensive and roughshod tour. And if you have a chance to check out Richard Buckner and Doug Gillard in your neck of the woods over the coming weeks, by all means go! It truly was a deeply touching and amazing live music experience, one that I was glad to be a part of again. Here are the remaining shows on the tour...

Tuesday, 09.26.06 - Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
One Cannery Row, off 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203. 615.251.3020. 18+, $10. 8pm doors.

Wednesday, 09.27.06 - Blueberry Hill, St. Louis, MO
The Loop at 6504 Delmar, St. Louis, MO. (314) 727-4444 21+, $12. 8 pm doors.

Thursday, 09.28.06 - Sokol Underground, Omaha, NE
Sokol Auditorium, 2234 South 13th Street, Omaha, NE 68108. 402-346-9802

Friday, 09.29.06 - The Walnut Room, Denver, CO
3131 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205 21+ $12. Doors TBA. Buy tix online.

Saturday, 09.30.06 - The Opolis, Norman, OK
113 N Crawford Ave, Norman, OK All ages, $8 advance, $10 at doors. 9 pm. Tickets will be available online thru OKC Tickets.

Sunday, 10.01.06 - Emo's, Austin, TX
603 Red River, Austin, TX 78701. 512.477.EMOS

Monday, 10.02.06 - One Eyed Jack's, New Orleans, LA
615 Toulouse Street, New Orleans, LA 504-569-8361 Call club for more information.

Wednesday, 10.04.06 - Bottletree, Birmingham, AL
3719 3rd Ave S.,Birmingham, AL 35222. 205.533.6288 18+, $10. Show at 9pm. Opening band is The Saturdays.

Thursday, 10.05.2006 - Andyman's Treehouse, Columbus, OH
887 Chambers Rd, Columbus, OH 43212 614.294.2264 Call club for more information.

Friday, 10.06.2006 - Parish Hall Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
6205 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102. 8pm - Also on the bill are The Black Swans and Brian Straw. Please call venue for more information.

Saturday, 10.07.06 - Castaways, Ithaca, NY
413 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca, NY. 607.272.1370 Please call the club for more information.

Monday, 10.09.06 - Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY
47 East Mohawk St, Buffalo, NY 14203 716.855.3931 $10, 8pm. Please call club for additional information.

Tuesday, 10.10.06 - World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. 215.222.1400 $10, 9pm.(Upstairs Live room)


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