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And They Say Nothing Is Free: Duvet Loves To Give Free Press To Things He Loves And I Love Me Some Free Energy!!

Not only does this band have one of the best albums to come out this year, Stuck On Nothing on the DFA label, but they also have the BEST sense of humor!  Check out this promo video for, the Free Energy Power Hour, that is one of the most entertaining pieces of marketing I've seen in quite awhile.  Click on the above link for further episodes of "The Donny Show"...complete with letter perfect renderings of everything that made the 70's and 80's such a beautiful time.  The Philadelphia band also draws on what made certain bands from those eras so special and in need of re-discovery. Below is some footage shot of Free Energy from earlier this year when they co-headlined with Titus Andronicus at San Francisco's Independent.  And, even further below is a classic Cheap Trick song from a 1981 performance on SNL.  Feel, "the charisma of Robin Zander."


Another Haikiew: The Fresh & Onlys @ The Independent in SF Are Cool And Ask You To Be As Well...

SF's Fresh & Onlys are both fresh and only!...Photo by Halli Forster-Celli
The internet buzz grinder loves to run bands up a flagpole based on the merits of one song or a compelling backstory.  Often, this early point in a band's evolution is a time when they are still finding themselves and experimenting with different sounds.  Having a label pinned on you as the new "it band" almost freezes you in time, just ask Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah.  The resultant critical pigeonholing and the inevitable backlash from the hipsters that first flocked to what they wanted to believe was their own discovery, are the rocky shores today's bands navigate.  San Francisco's The Fresh & Onlys have avoided these pitfalls by sheer force of will, a purposeful emphasis on songcraft, and an almost reptilian skin shedding ability.  Early incarnations of this SF quintet's three year history featured female back-up singers, keyboards, and a decidedly garage-psyche orientation.  With the release of their latest album, Play It Strange, The Fresh & Onlys have achieved the full-blown promise the two previous releases hinted at or obscured in lower fidelity recordings.  The band always possessed a distinct sound and vision which separated them from the rest of the musical herd but the razor tight performance the band put on at San Francisco's Independent last Friday night felt like the dream realized.

Tim Cohen...Photo by RLC
The Fresh & Onlys were back in their hometown in support of England's Clinic, another singular musical experience.  Frontman and bandleader Tim Cohen set the tone for the night when he implored the near capacity crowd, "to be cool to one another, and buy someone you don't know a drink."  While that probably didn't happen much and drummer Kyle Gibson offered a heckler a less hospitable alternative to enjoying the evening, the band definitely made good on Gibson's promise by kicking ASS!  A lot has already been written about Tim Green's production work on the new album as being the most polished of the band's three full-length releases.  While that is undebatable, the real achievement is in Cohen's progression as a songwriter.  He has always had a gift for writing oblique pop gems, quirky and idiomatic songs that also have a familiar quality.  Live, what I was struck by, is how each member of the band puts their own stamp on these compositions without ever detracting from the whole.  Cohen's baritone vocals are somehow light enough to float above the music while giving the songs an anchor for the other instruments to swirl around.  The rhythm section of Gibson and bassist Shayde Sartin provide the band with a restrained but powerful engine.  An added percussionist flanked Cohen and augmented the live sound with the right amount of shimmer and clicks.  He was refreshingly not distracting in his role and a welcome addition to the band.

Wymond Miles bathed in lights...Photo by Robert Celli
For me the real determining strain in The Fresh & Onlys DNA has always been guitarist Wymond Miles.  Miles tone, guitar parts, and leads bring to life Cohen's moody vision.  Notes crackle off his Jaguar like sparks off a beach fire, or reverberate out his vintage Vox amp like an acid soaked Dick Dale riding a wave into the beach.  Songs like "Waterfall", the first single from the new album, reflect the polish and attack he brings to their sound.  Other songs of note from the band's set were "Grey-Eyed Girl" seamlessly morphing into "Invisible Forces" off last year's Grey Eyed Girls.  "Until The End Of Time" whipcracked across an Eastwoodian landscape which would have made Ennio Morricone proud.  The jaunt of "Fascinated" crystalized the direction The Fresh & Onlys seem to be heading in, angular and distilled psyche-pop on par with the best psychedelic music San Francisco has produced.  The hour long set flew by in a wash of cascading sheets of sound.  The audience marching and swaying in place, a glow in the shift of lights and "being cool" to one another.  The following is my Haiku review or, "Haikiew", of the show...and below is some unedited footage shot on my trusty FlipCam of "Fascinated" and "Until The End Of Time".


Space frontier amp sting

Warm and deep voice hung in air

Watched by smokey eyes


The First Installment in a Monthly Music Video/Film Project...Submissions Welcome!

Another work of digital genius or a hackneyed art film, either way enjoy! This time I was inspired by the circular groove of Atlas Sound's "Recent Bedroom" off their eponymous album Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel. All footage was taken with a crappy digital camera with no permissions asked for or granted. Video taken in San Francisco's North Beach, New York City during the St. Patrick's Day parade and when you were not looking.


Ethan Lipton Speaks His Truth: Sometimes The Truth Hurts, Sometimes The Truth Is Hilarious And Sometimes The Truth Can Be Found In A Little Container...

There's nothing black & white about Ethan Lipton + his Orchestra

"What Duvet Said...About Music" is proud to have had a sit-down with one of New York City's prized possessions, Ethan Lipton.  The interview is up on iTunes now and showcases a singer-songwriter that refuses to be caged by both genre and description.  Ethan Lipton + his Orchestra have been playing their whimsical, thought-provoking, and entertaining compositions for the past several years to an increasingly vocal choir of converts.  A mainstay at NYC's Joes' Pub and Le Poison Rouge, Ethan Lipton is not only a talented band leader but also a playwright.  Lipton's plays have been produced in Los Angeles, New York and Edinburgh.  He is the recipient of a 2008 NYFA grant for playwriting, and was chosen to be part of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group for 2008.
Photo by Linus Gelber
His musical origins began when delivering a cappella songs inspired by the "jazz" of everyday life.  No subject was too big or too small for an often hilarious and sentimental sendup.  Lipton  could often be found tapping his toes to the backing of an imaginary orchestra but would soon be joined by living, breathing musicians.  His ever-expanding musical palette is on display on his two live albums (Baby, I Feel the Same Way, A New Low) and two studio recordings (Mr. Softy, Honker).  While many of his songs are rooted in jazz and blues, he mines the entire American songbook (and some of the European songbook, as well) to put everyday life into an always unique perspective.  His latest release, Honker, delivers a rich tapestry of both life's vulgarities and sublimities.  He recently sang back-up to artist extraordinaire Laurie Anderson on the Late Show with David Letterman.  He is definitely receiving due notice and this interview will shine a light on a one of a kind talent.

David Dondero Takes Requests and Makes A Few of His Own If You're Listening...

David Dondero plays it like he means it...Photo by Robert Celli
It seems like every generation post the baby boomers have been obsessed with coronating some singer-songwriter as the "New Dylan".  Bob Dylan himself was working off a time-honored folk tradition that was one part Woody Guthrie, one part Hank Williams, and one part Robert Johnson.  The traveling troubadour tumble-weeding into town armed with a guitar case and a weary suspect of the world they inhabited, is as American as abandoned steel towns and fascist policing.  More often than not these minstrels go unheralded, championed by a few who are lucky enough to have been in their orbit.  Former San Franciscan, David Dondero, returned to the city he called home for an intimate show at the Hemlock Tavern.  Dondero is a gifted singer-songwriter who NPR's All Things Considered labeled in 2006 as one of the, "best living songwriters" alongside Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Tom Waits.  Still, I would bet most reading this have never heard of him.  That is a shame.  Dondero combines heartfelt convictions and wry humor in service of songs that deal with finding love, navigating the music business, politics, and the human condition.  His earnest approach to songwriting and performing avoids the preachy or self-righteous trappings of many who inhabit the genre.
The cold, hard streets of SF's Tenderloin...Photo by Robert Celli
The forty or so in attendance at the Hemlock last Friday night were treated to a little over an hour of music that inspired thought, laughter, and perhaps most importantly empathy with those who quietly live their lives in the world just outside the club's doors.  The atmosphere was like being at a house party, with people shouting out songs they wanted to hear, while consciously being aware that the performer they were watching was their discovery, their "Dylan".  Dondero is on tour in support of his latest release "# Zero with a Bullet" but drew songs from his entire catalogue.  Live, he has a humility and commitment to the material that draws the audience into the stories and worlds contained in his compositions.  Like many folk-based songwriters he works off a familiar musical template but inflects each number with nuanced flourishes that distinguish each arrangement from the other.  He is an excellent guitar player delivering songs that normally feature a full band on the recorded version with plenty of sonic overtones and resonance.  I left his show feeling like I was somehow more enlightened than when I entered the tiny back room club.  There was a camaraderie that was unspoken, hanging in the air we were all sharing.  As I walked out the doors of the club, through the throng of hipsters and onto Polk Street joining the parade of the downtrodden and lives hard-lived, I saw the neon lights through a new set of eyes.  They were eyes that belonged to "Lone Rose".  She was a character, a person, in one of David Dondero's songs.  That is why he is special.  Below are two songs that I captured live and unedited with my trusty FlipCam.


TV Theme Intro Stew...These Cops COP Attitude!!

Below are some of my favorite TV show intros.  Who doesn't like a good cop/bad cop, opposites attract, by-the-book meets play-by-my-own rules, God, I hate you but I'd take a bullet for you because you're my partner...she's sexy but I don't notice because we got bad guys to rid from the streets....with lots of gun pointing, hood sliding, car wheels smokin', slow pans of curvaceous partners...with dead-panning, sly smiling, gut-busting laughter...AND who can forget the undercover outfits!!  And, don't even get me started about the charisma of Chuck Norris as Walker "Texas" Ranger.



The Return of the Haikiew: Kurt Vile and the Violators @ SF's Rickshaw Stop

On Tuesday night at San Francisco's Rickshaw Stop Kurt Vile and Violators brought their street tough, Philly Folk to a near sold out crowd. Vile alternates between acoustic driven space ballads and prodding electric guitar stomps, all soaked in a fair amount of reverb. The Violators added sonic punch and understated flourishes with heavy doses of chiming guitars. Openers Hurling Piss delivered 90's inspired Nirvana meets Sonic Youth cum 12 bar blues, with plenty of guitar solo histronics. Co-Headliner, The Soft Pack, kicked the skinny-jeaned hipsters in their skinny little ASSES! The band has been on a seemingly endless tour and the fruits of their labour are clearly evident as their songs had a crystaline intensity. In attendance were a myriad of Indie Rock "who's whos" including members of Dum Dum Girls, Girls, and Seventeen Evergreen. The following is my Haiku review or, "Haikiew", of the show...and below is some unedited footage shot on my trusty FlipCam of Vile's song "He's Alright".

Echo fuzz ears ring

Hypnotic Dylan transfixed

A Scenster heaven


Trip On This...Could These Twins Have Inspired These Twins?

Alex Weiss & Marisa Kriess of NYC's The Shining Twins "Butt In"
Lost in the anals of Punk Rock history comes this video from kiddie punk duo Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.  The twins perform their punk rock ode "Butt Out" (very punk title indeed) below.  Could they have been responsible for launching New York City's, The Shining Twins career?  Coincidence?  What would their guitar player Xanax Aird say?  Hear one of the most hotly debated topics in rock unraveled. For the definitive story and so much more...listen to The Shining Twins interview on this week's "What Duvet Said...About Music" podcast available for FREE here an on iTunes, search for "What Duvet Said" : The Shining Twins Interview


Robert "Bob" Duvet Enters the Inner Sanctum of "The Rock and Roll Geek Show" or Win a "Dreamdate" With Michael Butler...

Rock Geeks Unite
"Terrestrial" radio stations are rapidly becoming nothing more than syndicated, pre-programed tools of corporate giants.  The freewheeling, payola driven audio havens of my youth are now relegated to the last true frontier for personality-centered "radio" escapism, the podcast.  A podcast is simply an internet radio show and often can be subscribed to for free on iTunes, MEVIO or on individual websites and blogs.  Nobody embodies the spirit of the early/mid 1970's "freeform" progressive radio formats better than Michael Butler and "The Rock and Roll Geek Show".  Butler was one of a handful of the original "podcasters", discovered and later hired by Adam Curry (of MTV VJ fame and credited with coining and developing podcasting technology) at his company MEVIO.  Since 2004 Michael Butler has been producing and hosting "The Rock and Roll Geek Show" from his San Francisco home for thousands of listeners worldwide.  His encyclopedic knowledge of power pop, heavy metal, hard, glam and punk rock, have earned him a devoted following of self-recognizied "rock geeks".  While he would probably recoil at the term "tastemaker", that is what he has become for many who didn't grow up during the glory years of FM radio.  The music he plays on his shows is often the type of rock that can't be heard anywhere else these days.  Bands like Hanoi Rocks, Starz and Nazareth were hugely influential on recognized rock giants like Guns and Roses, Motley Crue, and Poison but virtually unknown to the masses. His background as a musician (American Heartbreak, Exodus, Jetboy) informs his interviews but it's his unabashed fandom that makes them unique.  His subjects range from musicians, producers, artists, groupies, and authors; all delivered with the boyish enthusiasm of a true fan.

Boy Howdy!
Butler has since produced several different shows including his "Indiecast", "Good, Clean, Fun" "Bangin With Butler" and "Cooking with Butler".  The forums for these various shows have developed into tight communities, bringing its members together under the common banner of a love of music with some melody and balls!...or, simply, the love of cooking.  Many of his listeners have become a part of his shows with audio reviews and comments played on air.  One listener in Australia has actually become Butler's "Super Producer" charged with booking  guests and material for shows as far-reaching as legendary record producer Bob Ezrin to famed groupie Roxana Shirazi and graphic artist/record album designer and founder of Hipgnosis Storm Thorgerson.  His segments like "Trolling For Chicks on", built around sponsors have become something of an industry standard in the world of internet advertising.

I interviewed Michael Butler for a feature piece that will be completed early next month and was able to sit in on his most recent episode of "The Rock and Roll Geek Show".  Simply watching him at work was not to be my fate, as he handed me headphones and placed my chair in front of a microphone.  The spirit of radio is very much alive and being broadcast out of bedrooms, kitchens, storage spaces, and closets globally.  Many would not exist if not for the inspiration of Butler and his "train wreck" of a podcast.  Below is the end product...It was one of the best times I've had in quite a while and a real honor to be a part of something that has become ingrained in my weekly routine.

"Rock and Roll Geek Show" #421   On this show I have a guy named Rob Celli watching me do my show. He’s writing a story on the Rock and Roll Geek Show. I find out some things about him on the show and also play a show review of Rush in Florida, play some audio comments, somePAYOLA/BEER FUND requests,  read your emails and lot’s more crap.


Someday We'll Look Back And Laugh At How We Fought The Power: The Photography of Glen E. Friedman...

Fight the power...Photo by Glen E. Friedman

The man behind the lens...
What makes an image iconic?  In the world of Rock and Roll photography it might boil down to three key factors: Access, timing, and subject.  With so many people carrying cell phones and digital cameras, it seems everyone fancies themself a Jim Marshall or Mick Rock.   Still, I am hard-pressed to name a rock and roll photographer or an image today as iconic as the ones captured by the great photo-journalists of yesteryear.  Perhaps, because we are flooded with so many disposable images the craft is being undermined by the technology?  One legendary generator of rock and roll iconography is Glen E. Friedman.  His touring photography exhibit "Fuck You All" , also featuring collaborative works with artist Shepard Fairey, opens tomorrow at San Francisco's 941 Gallery.  Friedman was the early chronicler of the burgeoning Southern California skate scenes (think Tony Alva and the Z-Boys), hardcore punk rock (Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, and Minor Threat), and early hip-hop (LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy).  His stark black and white photos were my first exposure to the above worlds.  In punk rock Friedman along with the visual art of Raymond Pettibon helped to define a punk rock aesthetic that is still followed today.  He was able to corral the aggression, passion and volatility of his subjects.  His is a style that is often mimicked but seldom attained.  Oh, and it required hours spent inside the developing room!  It should be interesting to see his work interpreted by Fairey, who himself is responsible for some modern day iconography.  There will be over fifty photographs, some never before seen, on display starting on Saturday November 6th (opening reception from 6-9pm) and running through December 31st.
I want to be stereotyped...Photo by Glen E. Friedman

More shredding...Photo by Glen E. Friedman

illin...Photo by Glen E. Friedman

Chillin...Photo by Glen E. Friedman

Even more chillin...Photo by Glen E. Friedman

Pool it!...Photo by Glen E. Friedman

Not deep enough to contain Tony Alva...Photo by Glen E. Friedman

Mama don't let you babies grow up...Photo by Glen E. Friedman


These Moustacios Will Change Your Life!! Or, Keeping A Stiff Upper Lip Warm In Fall...

See the movie that launched a thousand ironic moustaches! AT LEAST!! But don't take my word for it, hear what the critics had to say!!

The Tom Selleck Film Society calls this film,
"The Velvet Underground of facial hair pics!  There may have been only 50 people in the room when Los Moustacios played but everyone of them grew a moustache."

Burt Reynolds said,
"There is no Hooper without the moustache...Period."

Ron Jeremy says,
"There's no denying the effect Los Moustacios had on my life...well, that and my 13 inch penis."

Hulk Hogan reflects,
"I was just another man in tights until I saw Los Moustacios, after, I became a HULK-A-MANIAC!!"

Former President Teddy Roosevelt was quoted in one of his famous speeches as saying,
"Absence and death are the same - only that in death there is no moustache."

World Series Champion closer for the San Francisco Giants, Brain Wilson, had this to say,
"I grew a beard because I never had the BALLS to grow a moustche!!"


Cook Like A Man? Well, YOU COULD!!!: Freeballin in Aprons....

How this show never made it on the Food Network is beyond me?  It's the most practical advice I've ever received in the culinary arts...these guys know how to wield a spatula.  Best viewed when baking.


Deer Season Opens In San Francisco: ATL's Deerhunter Kill It At The Great American Music Hall...

Deerhunter's Bradford Cox in action...Photo by Halli Forster-Celli
Touring in support of the release of their latest Halcyon Digest, Atlanta's Deerhunter played two sold out San Francisco shows over the past Halloween weekend.  Both shows were opened by Kentucky's Casino vs Japan and New Jersey's Real Estate.  Deerhunter delivered both a wonderfully nuanced and incredibly BOMBASTIC hour and a half set on Friday at the Great American Music Hall.  While the most recognizable figure is still singer/guitarist Bradford Cox, Deerhunter's latest is decidedly the most collaborative and group focused.  Cox, who also fronts Atlas Sound, is the one most associate with the four-piece band's "Ambient Punk" vision but the band made a statement by opening with the other songwriting force in the band, guitarist/singer Lockett Pundt's tune.  Deerhunter played a wide-ranging set of songs from their three full-lengths and assorted singles.  The band have a penchant for combining Beatle-esque pop with modern-day psychedelia wrapped in a moody, dreamy haze.  Some songs were stretched to nearly fifteen minutes culminating in a fervor inducing dance/trance release.  Their sound was dialed in perfectly for the 500 seat venue.  The pulsing bass of Josh Fauver really drives Deerhunter in the live setting, allowing for the other three musicians (drummer Moses Archuleta rounds out the band) to craftily make use of the space and pockets in their songs.  The genial Cox was still the focal point for most of the all-ages audience in attendance.  Below is the band playing "Hazel St." off their first LP Cryptograms, taken from my trusty FlipCam and totally unedited.

The rapture in four pieces and sixteen strings...Photo by Halli Forster-Celli

The deer caught in the headlights...Photo by Halli Forster-Celli

Caught in the cross-hairs...Photo by Halli Forster-Celli

The SF fog rolls in on Bradford Cox...Photo by Halli Forster-Celli