Tag Archives: San Francisco

Moonalice Interview: Music Technology and Art With Roger McNamee

Moonalice Interview: Music Technology and Art Discussion with Roger McNamee


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


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


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


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.)

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.

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.


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.

Metallica 30th Anniversary Party at The Fillmore

English: The Fillmore, San Francisco, California.
Image via Wikipedia

Metallica continues to knock the cover off the ball, 30 years on ;).  They have taken up a week-long residency in San Francisco (their hometown) at The Fillmore. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary as a band. Metallica is performing for their fan club members for four nights, 12/5, 12/7, 12/9, and 12/10. The guest star list so far has been fantastic, ranging from Jason Newsted rejoining them on Monday night to Kid Rock, Marianne FaithfulBiff Byford from Saxon to just name a few.

I must applaud Metallica for how well they treat and care about their fans. To attend the concerts you had to enter and win a lottery, travel and transportation was up to you. Fans are coming in from all over the world. I am reading about Monday night’s show, learning about how Lars Ulrich is hanging with the audience, how they invited another fan up to shred with them, who else does that these days. The mutual love between Metallica and its fans is strong and genuine.

Listen to one fan shout out, “Oh My God, We’re Not Worthy” in the video below and you’ll get my drift.

I can only imagine what that is like at The Fillmore, a 1200 person venue as I have seen Metallica rip the roof off at the Garden. The night we saw them at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary (2009) the stage looked like a city block of stacked with amplifiers and equipment. When they played they lifted me right out of my seat, they cranked it up so loud and crushing (which I loved). The Fillmore block must be quaking if you don’t mind my saying.

It’s important to point out that those fans who were narrow-minded in their reactions to Lulu, Metallica is more than that single collaboration. I like Lulu and I believe in what the music accomplishes strongly. I got a kick out of Lars Ulrich’s tongue in cheek comment after Metallica and Lou Reed played three songs from Lulu. “If you’re not nice, we’ll play the whole thing,” Ulrich cracked.

Can’t wait to read about last night’s and tonight’s shows. Metallica you rule!

Lou Reed Metallica

American Rock Poster Art

I wish I had more wall space in my house to accommodate rock poster art. I have several rock posters hanging on my walls that I really enjoy looking at and studying for hours.

What brought this subject more into focus today were two points of intersection. I was looking at the Europe ’72 Vol. 2 CD on the Grateful Dead Web site. The new artwork from my favorite poster artist, Stanley Mouse for the Europe ’72 Vol. 2 CD, (which releases on September 20, 2011), captured my imagination once more. :)

I began to browse more about Stanley Mouse’s art when I discovered the Rockin Roses Web site. I became enchanted with the poster art I found there by Stanley Mouse and others…

“Stanley Mouse drew and painted from inside the music. The spirit that drove the music of the ’60s was the same spirit that drove his art.”
Joel Selvin

This browsing then lead me to the American Artifact Web site which furthered my excitement when I learned that a rock poster artist documentary film by the same name had premiered last year. The DVD of the American Artifact film was for sale on their Web site and I soon placed an order for it for our movie night consumption.

I love that San Francisco serves as the origin of rock posters and also has The Rock Poster Society (TRPS) where you can become a member. I think I might join this fine organization in celebration of my 60th birthday later this year. I’d love to be able to attend the TRPS Fes­ti­val of Rock Posters event held on October  Sat­ur­day Octo­ber 8th, 2011 at the Hall of Flow­ers in Golden Gate Park in the beau­ti­ful city of San Francisco.

Festival of Rock Posters poster by Carolyn Ferris

As I thought further about art rock posters even more resources came to mind. I must come back to this topic again soon :)


1) Bill Graham Presents: The Art of the Fillmore – The Poster Series 1966-1971 – Acid Test Productions

2) The Art of Rock Posters from Presley to Punk by Paul Grushkin

3) The Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion by Paul Grushkin and Dennis King

4) Gig Posters: Rock Show Art of the 21st Century By Clay Hayes

5) The Small Stakes Music Posters By Jason Munn

6) Rock, Paper, Show by American Poster Institute

Poster Companies

Hatch Show Print

Wolfgang’s Vault

Poster Organizations

1) American Poster Institute

2) The Rock Poster Society – TRPS

Poster Events

1) Flatstock 31 – Seattle

(Part of the fantastic Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival September 3-5 2011, Seattle Center)

2) TRPS Fes­ti­val of Rock Posters – October 8, 2011, San Francisco

Web Sites

1) Gig Posters

2) Jason Munn

The Prolific Ray Manzarek

I’m elated to see the prolific Ray Manzarek creating and releasing new music and poetry in the form of some exciting grooves for us to enjoy.

Two new works of Ray’s are coming sharply into focus. The first recording is Translucent Blues a collaboration between Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers. Translucent Blues is due to be released next week on Tuesday, May 24th on Blind Pig Records.

I’ve only been able to sample Translucent Blues as I haven’t found a full listening edition available anywhere on the Web yet. Based on the sample tracks and mp3 download I’ve heard the music takes on a solid groove with a gritty texture.

As a blues fan, I love the feel of this recording as it builds on the foundation of the blues and then takes us on some interesting journeys of sound, mind and dimension. I especially like the use of poetry not just from a lyrics basis but more from the standpoint of how the poetry is intertwined with the music. I love the woven artistic tapestries, which are very evident and striking throughout.

The Manzarek-Rogers band is touring in support of their new recording and we plan to see them next week at The Ridgefield Playhouse on May 25th. (See related article below)

The other work that I am eager to hear and learn more about is the next phase in the collaboration between Ray Manzarek and Michael McClure, Live in San Francisco. It was recorded live at an old wooden church which I bet had a great ambiance for their synergy. Ray Manzarek plays a Steinway piano, by far my favorite sounding piano. We own a Baldwin piano but a Steinway sounds so grandiose. The CD is due out later this year, fall 2011 would be my guess. I love Michael McClure’s poetry offset by Ray’s musicianship.

I am content that we have more to digest and discern from Ray Manzarek and friends going forward in 2011 ;)