‘Waiting for a Train’ the Toshio Hirano documentary now online!

If you know him, you love him. Toshio Hirano has been charming the hell out of Mission audiences with his country yodeling and hilarious stage banter for over a decade.

In 2009, director Oscar Bucher made a short documentary about how this fella from Tokyo fell in love with early country music and followed that passion to the United States. It had limited screenings, one of which I was lucky enough to catch then.

Finally, the film has been posted online for the rest of us, so check it out:


Toshio still performs at Amnesia on 2nd Mondays and the Rite Spot Cafe on the 4th Tuesdays.

The early word from Outside Lands 2014

Virtual gamelan ensemble

My sister Elisa Hough built a web-based virtual gamelan ensemble! It’s very simple and incredibly fun to play. Check it out!

Diarrhea Planet is the best live band in America

(Despite their name.) And they’re playing this Thursday night at Brick & Mortar Music Hall right here in the Mission.

That is all. I don’t think you really need to listen to them first, or watch YouTube videos, or read about them or anything. Just go see Diarrhea Planet perform live, tomorrow night, right here in the neighborhood.

Okay fine, here’s a pic of them last weekend at Pickathon:

I was there. It was a fucking mindblower.

(I was gonna preface this with something about how Thee Oh Sees used to be the best live band in American before they turned grumpy and less good, but I’m trying to be less grumpy myself.) (Long live Diarrhea Planet!)

UPDATE: They’re also playing Friday night in Oakland.

[Photo by Anthony]

Here are the 3 songs I sang at karaoke in the month of July

Pretty sad compared to the 45 I sang in May and the 18 I sang in June, but this monthly listicle series has been exceedingly popular, so here they are:

  1. Ever Fallen in Love — The Buzzcocks
  2. Someday — The Strokes
  3. Taken for a Fool — The Strokes

With DJ Purple doing his Dance Karaoke show at SoMa StrEat Food Park on Saturday nights throughout August, hopefully I’ll be able to get my numbers back up this month ;)

3D City: Crashing Faster

3D City is a year long stereoscopic photography project by Doctor Popular

Crashfaster, a local chiptune rock band, have just released a brilliant new EP called “Superchroma“. A couple months back they invited me to hang out and document the process as they recorded at Different Fur Studios in the Mission. I wanted to pick a format that worked with their lo-fi electro sound, so I created this experimental series of glitched out 3D images of the band in action.

All shots taken on my little Lumix 3D1 then glitched in text editors. BTW, I’m teaching a series of artist’s workshops in The Secret Alley throughout August, including workshops on creating 3D Wigglegrams and glitching images in text editors. Basically, how to create images just like these.


Nicholas Krgovich is playing an early show at Rite Spot this Saturday afternoon!

This song should be all you need to know:

Nicholas Krgovich rules! (And seeing live music at Rite Spot rules.) (And being able to go see a show at 5:30pm on a Saturday and still being able to go out and do something else afterward rules.)

Here’s the tour info:

UPDATE: L.A. Takedown? Also rad…

(Thanks, A!)

Perform on the same stage M.I.A. and Jonathan Richman performed on

The invite explains:

SINGIN’ & PINGIN’ happens at a lot of venues around SF and the region, but only Rickshaw Stop is a legit legendary concert venue. When you sing onstage at Rickshaw Stop, you’re gracing the very same stage as an ever-growing list of rock superstars. Check it out:

• M.I.A.
• Vampire Weekend
• Jonathan Richman
• Grimes
• Neon Indian
• The Dirtbombs
• Diplo
• Matthew Dear
• Jolie Holland

You get to perform on the same stage as M.I.A. for goodness’ sake! Let’s party!!

The Sonics too. The Sonics. The Sonics!! RSVP and invite your frens!

Rad show at the Makeout Room this Sunday!

With Wing Dam visiting from Baltimore and featuring members of Dan Deacon’s recording outfit, as well as local bands Balms and Couches (fresh off their recent tour)!

Damn, with Last Nite returning and cool shows happening again, the Makeout Room is starting to make its case for best bar in the Mission!  Not to mention Primo holding down Tuesdays with Slow Jams for like FOREVER.

That tinsel ceiling seals it.

Hey no big deal but here’s Terry Zwigoff and Robert Crumb getting down to Craig and Meredith

Craig Ventresco and Meredith Axelrod are San Francisco legends in my book. Glad to know I’m in good company with Robert Crumb and Terry Zwigoff. Why don’t you join this elite club of ragtime, early jazz, and blues fans and get down to Atlas Cafe on Saturdays 4-6pm?

Don’t forget we interviewed inverviewed Mr. Zwigoff in 2012! He was a delight.