Swingin’ accordion

Porto Franco Records hipped us to this video of the Rob Reich Trio looking sharp and performing Puttin’ on the Ritz. It was shot in that weird store that sells a bunch of neat expensive old stuff (AKA Viracocha).

Be sure to watch for the drum solo at the end. Drummer Beth Goodfellow kills me every time. She reminds me of Sonny Payne on some of that killer small combo Count Basie stuff on youtube.

You can catch Rob and Beth at Amnesia every Wednesday 8-10pm as part of Gaucho.

Craig Ventresco and Meredith Axelrod – Cold Mornin’ Shout

Here’s Craig Ventresco and Meredith Axelrod killing at Porto Franco Record’s Mission HQ. She’s just playing guitar in this one, but Meredith is also a remarkable singer. Check out this clip of her singing about the lost San Francisco dance sensation, the Grizzly Bear.

In case you missed it, they play every Saturday at Atlas Cafe from 4-6pm.

Quinn and Meklit play Arcade Fire

Check out Porto Franco’s new video of local hit-makers Quinn DeVeaux and Meklit Hadero covering the Arcade Fire! Didn’t know what to expect with this pairing of a classic rhythm and blues man and a folky world music songstress. The result sure is purdy:

Any requests? I’ll put in Huey Lewis and the News – The Power of Love, especially after the Hold Steady recently butchered it.

Seth Augustus @ Porto Franco Art Parlor This Weekend

Seth Augustus is playing two record release shows at Porto Franco Art Parlor this weekend, on Thursday 3/4 and Friday 3/5 at 8pm.

If you don’t know about Seth, he’s a mission-based bluesman who incorporates Tuvan throat singing techniques into his songs. It’s pretty much impossible to describe what this sounds like, so you’re just going to have to click this link to see the current world master droping jaws on the Letterman show.

You may have seen the incredible documentary on San Francisco’s late/great Paul Pena, Genghis Blues who was the first American to self-teach himself the Tuvan way and even went on compete in the annual throat singing festival in Tuva. Seth was a great friend and caretaker to Mr. Pena in his later years.

Check out this video I shot of him freaking out the normals at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley with an old Tuvan classic: “Eki A’Ttar” (Good Horses).

Seth’s new album, “To The Pouring Rain” will be on sale. Pre order tix here.

Behind The Scenes At A Chasing The Moon Shoot

Chasing the Moon is a great video podcast that highlights local bay area bands. The performances are filmed in HD and recorded in a professional studio one block away from the best Vietnamese sandwiches in town. I’m serious about the quality of these productions; they make Nirvana: Unplugged In NY look like it was filmed in Super 8. Ok maybe not, but that shit looks good considering their budget of no budget.

In the pagan tradition, the podcast is posted every full moon, which works out to just about every 28 days.

This past Saturday, I was fortunate enough to sit in during their session with the Nice Guy Trio, a very unique jazz group on the Mission’s own Porto Franco Records.

The Nice Guy Trio in action. I had little reason not to believe that they are actually nice.

Producer Brian Berberich and recording engineer Scott McDowell do all of this work out of the goodness of their music-lovin’ hearts. They see is as an opportunity to keep their industry chops up and promote the awesome local music that’s going on.

The atmosphere at the session was really professional and they seemed to have things streamlined well. If they were stressed out, they hid it well. Once things got rolling the whole filming and performance took less than an hour.

Spectators sat in a corner of the studio on comfy cushions from the couch and were asked to stay quiet during recording. Restraining applause until "CUT!" was actually really difficult and awkward.

Chasing the Moon is expanding to do monthly premiere events with live performances at the newly opened Viracocha on 21st and Valencia. Their first was on Jan. 29 and you can expect to see more soon. The Nice Guy Trio premiere will be in 2 or 3 months.

Thanks to Brian, Scott, and the Chasing the Moon team for hosting and chatting with me! More pictures after the jump.

Update: Brian had this to add:

Elijiah Pahati is actually the biggest reason Chasing the Moon is so great.  He is the Director, Director of Photography, and Editor, and is why everything looks good.  He is also our partner, every bit the owner Scott and I are.

So yeah, props are due to the Directory Elijiah Pahati! Sorry for leaving him out.


Mark Growden @ Porto Franco Art Parlor This Friday

San Francisco’s Mark Growden is finally back from months of touring and he’s playing at the Porto Franco Art Parlor on Liberty and Valencia this Friday. The last Mark Growden show of this type sold out pretty quick, so only advance tickets are available. Grab them here.

Mark is an amazing songwriter and musician who plays the chromatic button accordion, an instrument that is pretty damn rare in the states. You pretty much have to walk into an accordion shop, glaze over the bountiful piano accordions, and say, “fuck it, I want to play the harder one”. I guess the added bonus is that no one will ever ask to play it during your set break. If only I had a nickel for every time some dude walked up to my guitar and said, “hey dude nice axe, hey can I show my friend this RHCP tune I just learned?”

Oh, have you seen that video of Mark Growden playing bicycle handlebars? It’s outta sight!

BTW if any of you musically-inclined cyclists are into collaborating on an all bike parts band (“bikestra”), he’s totally down.