Surplus 1980-Classic Cars West, Oakland CA; 10/13/17
Riding over to Oakland from Richmond on Friday night, naturally my thoughts and prayers and sadness were directed toward Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties. The air was thick with smoke and ash, the news tragic and horrible. Such a bad week for this area. Thankfully, the vibe on 26th St. in Oakland was stony and festive, I guess mostly on account on it being a Friday night. Surplus 1980 were kind of in a weird spot, being sandwiched between the pure Electronic Music of Piano Rain and the Witch House of Religious Girls. I gather that this made some members of the group kind of nervous or out of sorts in a way. To quote Moe!, "one of these things is not like the others". Despite the nerves, I think that we sounded pretty good navigating our truncated set. It's always a drag to cut a set short, but time constraints made it a necessity to do so. I was happy to get through Temporarily Present again, gaff free, especially since I'd be mucking its changes up in rehearsal and practice all week. No such problems on Friday the 13th! Alright! Question After Ended Question came out pretty good, too, as did Motivated Song About Procrastination. Again, despite feeling a bit like the odd folks out, Surplus played pretty well, at least in my opinion. We donated any earned money to animal rescue groups in Sonoma. Religious Girls, with their swirling, percussive rainbow of sounds, are really great. It was their night, and I can absolutely see and hear why. Great band.
Compared to the previous evening's high strung feels, the quiet and care free action at Free Oakland UP! was in effect. Crow Crash Radio set up and breezed through about eight songs in two hours, stretching out their forms and going to whichever places they lead. It was a nice, airy couple of sets, to be sure. Whenever we play at Jocelyn's great shop/art project, we always have a relaxed, enjoyable time creating the soundtrack for people as they walk in and peruse the free stuff. We worked on a few new ideas and some purely improvised pieces, which was exciting. A fine way to spend a warm Saturday afternoon in Oakland.
Below: Moe! digs on his new drum kit at Classic Cars West; Moe! and Bill, guys that tune