I attended last night's first Wordless Music concert in San Francisco, featuring compositions by various contemporary classical composers as well as Jonny Greenwood, guitarist for Radiohead (who is playing in Golden Gate Park tonight). Since I don't get out of the county often on a school night, I thought it important to document my journey. I'll try to blog about the music later but let me say, it was a fun and interesting night of music and I look forward to more Wordless Music concerts...
Ok, starting the drive from work in San Jose again, I was listening to the audio CD of The Rest Is Noise, the Gershwin section in particular. I'm still thinking through why Gershwin was able to hit the sweet spot between Black American, popular and classical music, without, arguably, compromising any of the three.
KALW had that Canadian radio show where journalists interview telephone newsmakers of the day. In this case, it was a San Francisco resident who was trying to take action against the city's efforts to convert car lanes into bike lanes. The twist is he was not a gas loving SUV driver; rather he doesn't own a car (and does ride the bus). However, his most insistent argument against the idea was that bike people were sanctimonious and wanted to change the world. I suppose they do. Regardless, it's good to see some traditions continue during the drive e.g. the brake-light concert prelude on 101.
Still, traffic turned out to be only bad rather than horrendous so I had time to take a quick walk down Market Street to Rasputin Records. That part of Market Street remains as scruffy as always -- cleaning the sidewalks won't make much of a difference. And Rasputin's matches that scruffy ambiance, including their primary anti-theft device, a manned elevator.
This being the Bay Area, no trip is complete without a protest. This was a Filipino-American group who at first glance seemed to be picketing the temporary Slow Food Nation Victory Garden in the Civic Center. Then they continued their march to Herbst Theatre itself. Maybe Thom Yorke said something stupid during Radiohead's last tour of the Philippines? No, it turned out to be a respectful memorial march for the assassinated politician Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino.
By the way, the concert was general admission. General admission? What is this, the lawn section at Shoreline Ampitheatre? I suppose it gave it more of a rock concert-like atmosphere although the many, many young SF hipsters also contributed to that feeling. That gentlemen relieving himself in the bushes behind the theatre also reminded me of the Shoreline Ampitheatre parking lot, except for the fact he was probably in his seventies and was with his annoyed-looking wife.
Finally, although the concert proved excellent, the drive home was problematic due to some construction work and a truck cutting in front of me. Fortunately, all this took place at 2 miles per hour so I easily resumed listening to the neo-psychedelic/garage/drone music of Wooden Shjips.