JIM WELTE. Writer. Editor.

Robin Williams Rips Through Comic Tour de Force at 142 Throckmorton

Originally published on October 7, 2010 | The Mill Valley Patch | written by Jim Welte Rare is the laughter that exhausts you. To see local legend Robin Williams perform live, as he did at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre twice this week, is to sit in a chair and laugh incessantly with 300 other people for nearly […]

Thomas Dolby to Unveil ‘Invisible Lighthouse’ Transmedia Show at MVFF36

The phrase “one-of-a-kind performance” gets bandied about in excess, but an Oct. 10 event at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre as part of the 36th Mill Valley Film Festival might boast enough rarities to qualify. Thomas Dolby, the British musician and technology pioneer whose song “She Blinded Me With Science” became a hit in 1982, is debuting a live show in […]

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October 1, 2013 Features, Film, Music, Patch, Q & A

Bob Weir’s TRI Studios Hosts Slightly Stoopid Webcast

The sheer breadth of legendary Mill Valley musician Bob Weir’s career was palpable Monday afternoon as he described the then and now bookends of his nearly 50 years in music. At the SF MusicTech Summit in San Francisco, Weir spoke of performing with Jerry Garcia and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan as Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions […]

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September 13, 2011 Features, Patch, Q & A

Alela Diane: All in the Family

Jim Welte | published on October 28, 2009 Alela Diane Menig grew up in Nevada City, CA, a former gold-rush town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The tight-knit community, anchored by a main street that has changed little since its heyday in the mid-1800s, is a haven for hippies and creative types, and its schools […]

The Roots: How They Got Over

To longtime fans of The Roots, there was something exhilaratingly fresh about the band’s two-hour set at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco late last month. That familiar Roots’ sound, jazz-inflected and grounded in the essence of hip-hop, was certainly front-and-center, louder than a bomb in the same hall where Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the acclaimed San Francisco Symphony. All of the familiar elements were there: Black Thought’s yeoman-like wordplay, Questlove’s dynamite back beat, the virtuosic instrumental solos, and the ability to mix bits of oft-sampled classics like the Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache” and Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” into its own tracks. The band played material that spanned from 1994’s Do You Want More?!!!??! to 2008’s Rising Down, and even mixed in some new joints from its forthcoming ninth studio album, How I Got Over.

Chris Darrow: Under His Own Disguise

By: Jim Welte | published on August 4, 2009 Chris Darrow Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise (United Artists, 1973 & 1974; re: Everloving, 2009) You probably haven’t heard of Chris Darrow, but if you own a pair of working ears, you’ve likely heard him play music. Darrow’s musical footprint is colossal. In addition to being a member of lesser-known […]

The Beyman Brothers: Amongst Friends

This is a story about friendship, one that traverses a brilliant career in comedy and a stalwart tenure in the meditative arts. The seeds of the bond between Christopher Guest and David Nichtern were planted before either was born. They took root in musical jam sessions in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park in their teenage years […]

BLK JKS: Rebirth of a Nation

By: Jim Welte | published on April 23, 2009 “No idea’s original, there’s nothin’ new under the sun / It’s never what you do, but how it’s done…” In 2002, the rapper Nas spit that lyric on a track fittingly called “No Idea’s Original”, his attempt to sum up a sonic landscape he saw as being chock full of […]

Marked for O’Death

By: Jim Welte | published on April 17, 2009 “Oh, death, how you’re treatin’ me / You’ve closed my eyes so I can’t see / Well you’re hurtin’ my body / You make me cold / You run my life right outta my soul.” Those words, most famously crooned a cappella by bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley on the song […]

Spindrift: The Legend of God’s Gun

By: Jim Welte | published on December 3, 2008 It’s 1965, and Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone wants to screen his new film, A Fistful of Dollars, in the United States. But instead of introducing the spaghetti Western in Hollywood or New York, United Artists makes the rather batty decision to screen it at the Longshoreman’s Hall along Fisherman’s Wharf in […]

Catching Up With… TV on the Radio

BY JIM WELTE | Published at 7:00 AM on September 25, 2008 For the second year in a row, a 70-year-old, man-made island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay was home to some of the finest live bands in the country. Over two days this past weekend, the Treasure Island Music Festival welcomed the likes of the Raconteurs, The […]

Jolie Holland: Pastoral Folk Musings and Old World Damage

By: Jim Welte | published on September 17, 2008 On her latest effort, The Living and the Dead, a gifted singer-songwriter continues to grow, putting panic attacks and stress-induced illness behind her. At last month’s Pickathon Roots Music Festival near Portland, Oregon, singer-songwriter Jolie Holland sported sunglasses throughout her nighttime performance. But the choice of eyewear was no act of […]

Rodriguez: An Unexpected, Enduring Legacy

By: Jim Welte | published on May 29, 2008 Few American cities have faced a colder dose of reality over the years than Detroit. Motown had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation last year, is home to a crippled American automotive industry, and just endured a tawdry scandal that forced its mayor out of office and into jail […]