JIM WELTE. Writer. Editor.

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

Live Show Review: Mayer Hawthorne at Bimbo’s, San Francisco

By: Jim Welte | published on November 15, 2010 Mayer Hawthorne November 11th at Bimbo’s 365 Club, San Francisco There are plenty of lessons to be learned from digging in the crates. But few have applied those lessons as well in recent years as Mayer Hawthorne. Steeped in the classic sound of late 1960s and early ‘70s […]

Live Show Review: Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 2010

Jim Welte, Josh Rotter | published on August 17, 2010 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival Sunday, August 15th By Jim Welte On a day that featured a number of his offspring, both literally and sonically, Al Green was the toast of the second day of the Outside Lands Festival. Under a late-emerging blue sky and backed by a […]

Gil Scott-Heron: My First…

BY JIM WELTE | Published at 6:00 AM on March 8, 2010 The revolution still isn’t on your flat panel, but hip-hop godfather and author Gil Scott-Heron is back with I’m New Here, an album produced by XL Recordings owner Richard Russell, who soaks the 60-year-old poet/jazzman’s lyrics in a Burial-meets-Portishead brine. On this stark 28-minute set, Scott-Heron covers […]

Call of the Wild: The Rise & Fall of the Record Plant Studio

On Halloween night in 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono walked into 2200 Bridgeway, in Sausalito, dressed as trees. The occasion was the grand-opening party for what was then called the Record Plant Studio. Chris Stone and Gary Kellgren, who had helped launch the Record Plant’s Los Angeles and New York City outposts, wanted to open one in the Bay Area to serve the region’s fertile music scene and provide a getaway for bands looking to record in a remote spot loaded with amenities. They picked a building near the waterfront, just down the street from where, legend has it, Otis Redding penned the opening lyrics of “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” on a houseboat in 1967. The Record Plant had its own Jacuzzi, guesthouses, organic chefs, a basketball court, and a speedboat docked in the harbor. The conference room had a waterbed floor.

New Orleans Gets Wired: David Simon Turns His Sights on the Big Easy

BY JIM WELTE | Published at 12:30 PM on November 17, 2009 On a late spring day in the early 1990s, a Baltimore Sun reporter named David Simon wandered into the now-defunct Funky Butt jazz club on North Rampart Street in New Orleans, where Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias were burning through a scorching set of percussive […]

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 […]

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 […]

Review: King Sunny Ade, The Independent, SF – 06/29/09

Although he remains hugely popular in his native Nigeria, it’s been more than a decade since King Sunny Adé’s heyday in America. Adé’s last album release here, Seven Degrees North, was off the market since 2000 (it was recently re-released). But that hasn’t stopped a litany of Western artists from digging into his immense catalog of […]

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 […]

Dengue Fever and The Lost World: May 5th at the Castro Theatre, SF – 5.8.09

By: Jim Welte | published on May 8, 2009 Dengue Fever andThe Lost World May 5th at the Castro Theatre, San Francisco With funky basslines, surf guitar, stout brass, and a Cambodian pop princess as its singer, the sound of Dengue Fever is otherworldly. So it was little surprise that the LA-based band proved a perfect match as the […]

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 […]

Dan Auerbach at Bimbos, SF – 3.13.09

By: Jim Welte | published on March 18, 2009 Dan Auerbach March 13, 2009 at Bimbo’s, San Francisco Side projects rarely turn into much more than the work of idle hands. For every successful act launched by a musician who already had a “day job”—the Raconteurs, the Breeders, and the Tom Tom Club come to mind—there are countless solo […]

Andrew Bird at the Fillmore – 2.19.09

By: Jim Welte | published on February 24, 2009 Andrew Bird is a classically trained violinist and a deft multi-instrumentalist. His lyrics are deeply literate, almost professorial at times. The Chicago-based singer-songwriter has spoken in the past about the painstaking detail with which he records his albums, having twice scrapped his second solo release, 2005′s The Mysterious Production of Eggs, […]