Sunday, May 29, 2005

Covering Cover Bands

I grew up watching cover bands, mostly because Bangalore was off-circuit for the popular rock bands except the occasional back-from-retirement Jethro Tull types who charged an arm and a leg for tickets.

Things didnt change much when I moved to the SF Bay Area...I still watch Cover/Tribute bands.

It started with an all-girl band - AC/DShe fronted by band members who go by the names Bonny Scott and Agnes Young. The band was any man's best dream come true- 5 lovely women belting out heavy Bon Scott-era AC/DC songs.

Things quietened down after my car was broken into during a Metallica concert at the Cow Palace and I stayed away from concerts for a bit. My concert-going was ironically revived by a Metallica tribute band...infact a tribute to two bands- Betallica. Inspired by Modest Mouse's Gray Album remixed with the Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album, this band parodied such songs like:

Hey Dude
Leper Madonna
The Thing That Should Not Let It Be
I Want to Choke Your Band
Blackened the USSR
A Garage Dayz Nite
Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band
And I'm Evil

Unfortunately, like the 'Gray Album' both 'Betallica' and 'A Garage Dayz Nite' were brought down by the record labels. Fortunately, If you bought any of Wierd Al Yankovich's albums you would realize that the shelf-life for such parodies is rather short.

Next at the Bay Area Unites Concert at the San Jose Pavilion, I saw Mostly Dylan. I could actually follow the singer's lyrics who sounded more Joe Cocker than Bob Dylan. I was volunteered to sell their CD's with proceeds going towards the Tsunami Relief fund and met the band in the process.

I then watched Blue Floyd at the 12 Galaxies...a Blues band comprising the drummer of the Allman Bros rendering Pink Floyd songs with a bluesy twist.

This week I saw members of the Tea leaf Green peform at the Independent playing mostly Robert Johnson's blues. The highlight however was the last song they performed- Whole Lotta Love, with the leading lady giving a jazzy rendition of the number.

Watching live bands perform is fun...even when the clones are on.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Bay to the Breakers

I took part in the Bay to the Breakers, an annual marathon-walkathon-halloween race. The race results had these stats on me:

Bib #: 34055
Place: 29507
Time: 4:15:20
Length: 12 km or 7.46 miles

Although the results show that I was placed 29507 amongst almost 65000 runners. It doesnt tell you that I had to reckon with almost 100,000 unregistered participants who had packed the course- many of whom were quite a distraction with their fancy attire (and some without any attire at all).

At the finish line

The incentive to finish was a free photo at the finish-line, and entry into the golden gate park to watch Gavin DeGraw perform live at the event cleverly called 'Footstock'. The boy's performance was impressive and even after the gruelling run we found ourself shaking a foot.

So engrossed were we in the music that we disregarded the last call to the MUNI buses from the park. So after the concert, we had to retrace our steps to almost the middle of the course, making it a total of 16 kms we covered on foot in the day.