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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]