Tag Archives: San Francisco

Moonalice Interview: Music Technology and Art With Roger McNamee

Moonalice Interview: Music Technology and Art Discussion with Roger McNamee

Roger

Moonalice continues their 2014 East Coast Tour this week. The band will be performing concerts in Connecticut and New York. I urge you if you are in the vicinity of any of these events to come out and see Moonalice perform live.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, Fairfield, C.T., StageOne

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014, New York City, N.Y., The Cutting Room

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Thursday July 31, 2014, Norfolk, C.T., Infinity Music Hall

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I had a 75-minute Web discussion with Roger McNamee last week. I am providing “teaser” highlights of the interview that further explains Moonalice’s command of music technology. The next intent is to publish the “entire interview” along with the Moonalice Infinity Music Hall July 31st concert review at the end of the week.

It was my sincere hope that Roger McNamee and I would mesh as music technologists and rock music poster fans. When you read the interview Q&A I’m proud to say that goal was met. Roger is an affable person who openly shared his love for music, people, society and art throughout our conversation.

Question 1: Does Moonalice plan to make recordings available in high-resolution audio for Neil Young‘s PonoMusic?

Roger: It’s a great question. When we did our first album, Moonalice with T Bone Burnett the answer was an emphatic Yes! We recorded it on an optimized audio DVD with the music in high-resolution stereo 24/96 WAV. The expectation was that you had a mega DVD which had images that went by while you were listening to it, etc. As it turned out T Bone Burnett was nominated for a Grammy as Producer of the Year for our album and T Bone Burnett’s recording. His pioneering work with packaging, high-resolution and high-end masters gained him that recognition. (The album was produced using XOΔE (CODE), a high fidelity audio standard and optimization system created by Producer Burnett.)  

We’re very focused on high-definition video, 1080p and we embed the audio into the video so the high-resolution audio is there. When we got started T Bone, Bono and I were working on a project designed to help artists in a very meaningful way. The first album started us on this commitment with what I knew about technology and anything that came along to see what we could do with it. This notion where we can produce live concert videos at 10% of normal cost was really exciting, the math starts to be pretty interesting.

Can I just tip my hat to you? You are the first person to ask me about high-definition audio and its significance in at least five years.

Questions 2: What is the next technological achievement that you seek to achieve with Moonalice?

We’re more likely to do vinyl before we do another experiment in high-resolution audio. Within our fan base there is a really serious market for vinyl. I believe oddly enough a larger percentage of our fans would be interested in ultra high-definition audio if we could figure out how to deliver it. (We discussed Neil Young and PonoMusic at length which I will include in the full Web audio interview.)

Question 3: I wanted to ask if you would give more information about the Haight Street Art Center?

We created the Haight Street Art Center, okay. The reason you can’t find any information about it is because we haven’t said anything. But I’m really happy to talk about it. The original notion is that I am somebody who has always loved studio art. I always loved poster art from the first time I saw it in the sixties. When I moved to San Francisco in the seventies I had no money at all. But posters weren’t expensive in those days you could get one for $15, a first printing was $25, I could afford that.

T Bone told us we should be part of the San Francisco psychedelic roots ethos. I suggested we should be doing rock poster art. I spoke with Chris Shaw, a natural leader with great organizational skills about how can we create posters for the band. Chris then helped us produce a poster for every show, 100 posters a year and we’re up to 735 different posters now. Wow!

We’ve now had 24 posters artists do posters for us, at least half get 50-100% of their income from that poster art. The problem became how do we get their poster art to be appreciated as fine art and put them in a position to make fine art.

What I realized is that we had to move from doing mass volume posters in offset printing to make great screen art and lithographs. What really came together was that we needed a museum, promotional infrastructure and printing capabilities. The Haight Street Art Center becomes that reality. (There is more to this benevolent art story which I will share later this week.)

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The Haight: Love, Rock, and Revolution By Joel Selvin (Author), Jim Marshall (Photographer)

I love the immediacy of Jim Marshall‘s photographs. I own several of the late Jim Marshall’s music photography books. I treasure what his camera lens captured for rock music legacy.

Speaking of cultural history later this year we will have a new book of photographs culled from the archives of Jim Marshall, The Haight: Love, Rock, and Revolution.

Here is the book’s description from the publisher, Insight Editions.

Widely regarded as the cradle of revolution, California’s Haight-Ashbury grew in the sixties from a small neighborhood in San Francisco to a worldwide phenomenon. Legendary photographer Jim Marshall visually chronicled this area as perhaps no one else did. Renowned for his powerful portraits of some of the greatest musicians of the era, in this one-of-a-kind book the full extent of Marshall’s Haight-Ashbury work is stunningly displayed: live concerts, powerful candids, intimate sessions with icons of the day, street scenes, crash pads, and more.

Featuring hundreds of images, from Bill Graham, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane to Carlos Santana, Donovan, The Beatles, Allen Ginsberg, and Timothy Leary, The Haight tells the complete and comprehensive story of the revolutionary aspects of the day. Written by bestselling San Francisco music journalist Joel Selvin, the story behind each of these incomparable images is disclosed through an intimate and revealing narrative, lending the images a fascinating context and perspective.

I welcome this future book and the history it portrays.

© Jim Marshall Photography LLC

 

Special Collectors Edition, Rolling Stone – Grateful Dead, The Ultimate Guide

Rolling Stone Magazine, San Francisco and The Grateful Dead. A match made in heaven collaborated on earth.

There is nothing like a Grateful Dead show. The music, the feeling that you experience at their concerts is the most original cosmic force existent.

This magazine does an incredible job in 100 pages of capturing and documenting the 48 years of America’s greatest band. It’s a tremendous value at $11.99 to have a well curated, cross-functional collection of excerpted articles from the original pages of Rolling Stone Magazine.

I urge you to buy a copy of this special collectors edition for your very own. The photographs by Jay Blakesberg, Herb Greene, Baron Wolman, Jim Marshall and others beautifully articulate the halcyon era of Rock’s Longest Strangest Trip.

 

Saying Goodbye to Scott McKenzie

I learned earlier that Scott McKenzie passed away this weekend. A statement on McKenzie’s website says the 73-year-old died on Saturday in Los Angeles. McKenzie battled Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease that affects the nervous system.

He sang the song that defined my generation and the Summer of Love  in San Francisco, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” which became a huge hit in 1967.

The song was written by John Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas.  It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival. Scott McKenzie was good friends with John Phillips and was asked to join The Mamas and The Papas but he declined John’s offer.

I love his voice and the eternal feeling contained within this song. It always moves me every time I hear it. Truly sad today that he is gone. Truly happy for where his soul journeys.

Jerry Garcia – Happy 70th Birthday – August 1, 2012

 

Wednesday, 8/1 vs. NYM 7:15 p.m.
SOLD OUT!

Presented by McAfee
The Giants invite you to the ballpark to celebrate the 70th Birthday of legendary musician and San Francisco Native Jerry Garcia! Garcia was born in San Francisco on August 1, 1942, and grew up in the city’s Excelsior District, before becoming a founding member of the iconic rock band The Grateful Dead. AT&T Park will be rocking with pre-game music on the field, compliments of the band Moonalice and entertainment, featuring some of Jerry’s most famous hits throughout his illustrious career. Your special event ticket package includes a seat in one of the Jerry Garcia 70th Birthday Bash sections for the August 1st game against the New York Mets, and a special birthday-edition Jerry Garcia bobble head! Ticket proceeds will be donated to the Rex Foundation, along with other non-profits affiliated with The Grateful Dead! Come support a great cause and help us celebrate the birthday of one of San Francisco’s biggest legends!

 

San Francisco Music and Art Scene – R. Crumb, Jim Marshall, and Stanley Mouse

I was thinking about San Francisco today.I often transport myself there.  The music I played in the car today was recorded in San Francisco at Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium in 1968, Cheap Thrills, Big Brother & The Holding CompanyThe album cover was drawn by underground cartoonist, R. Crumb. The liner notes for the remastered edition has photographs by the late Jim Marshall.

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I was browsing my Facebook stream this afternoon when I happened upon a very cool picture posted by Robert Altman.

There was a photo from a 1985 book on the San Francisco music scene of famed poster artist Stanley Mouse taken by the great rock photographer Jim Marshall. The copy of this book is from autograph collecter Matt Tadevich. Mouse took the time to add his touch.

I love the synergy of San Francisco’s music, Janis and Big Brother, Bill Graham, R. Crumb, Stanley Mouse, Robert Altman and Jim Marshall, who figures in both references.

Quicksilver Messenger Service – Just For Love

My favorite Quicksilver Messenger Service recording is Just For Love. It’s a trippy, surrealistic series of songs that say flower power, Haight-Ashbury and psychedelia to me.  I am especially fond of the cover art as displayed in this vinyl fold out image.