Broiling in the sparse shadows of lemonade stands
Organizers Golden Voice had a clue: they gave away free water sporadically and provided campers with free Internet use and showers. But there were too few laptops, the wi-fi was too erratic, and the showers were locked down too early — and you knew there was too little shade in general when audience members broiled in the sparse shadows of lemonade stands.
The crowd — weighted with Rage Against the Machine fans eager to see the band's first concert in more than five years — was also heavy on the testosterone. But maybe that's just the state of Rage love: the band never really seemed too underground to me but has historically worked to surface activist subversion via modern rock radio. And their audience was still boiling — and amazingly good-natured despite the sleepless nights. As for myself, I finally woke up hours after the helicopter early April 29 to the sound of a random dude shouting, "Whoo!" and yammering loudly in Portuguese to the tentizens the next flap over. Later I was tempted to put my own spin on Zack de la Rocha's onstage suggestion that Bush and Cheney be "tried for war crimes and shot." I know the 12-hour roller coaster ride of quality hallucinogens can be a bitch — but then, so can I: is it so wrong to want the early morning shouters and the dude with the air horn to be tried for crimes against humanity's sleep schedule and shot? I'd settle for finding out where they were dozing it off and delivering a special whoo-gram of my own.
BOB DYLAN STUDIED HERE That's the rumor, anyway, at the Blue Bear School of Music, which has seen Tracy Chapman and more than 20,000 other musicians come through its doors in the past 36 years. Executive director Kevin Marlatt told me the nonprofit's second annual fundraiser — showcasing 2007 Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner Booker T. Jones as well as Blue Bear staffer Bonnie Hayes and Sista Monica — will include an appearance by the James Lick Middle School Band, the result of the organization's efforts in the last year to get more involved in public school music education. Since it took over the James Lick music program and brought in 30 guitars, he says, more than a dozen bands have popped up at just that school. So Stax around for a good cause. *
BOOKER T. JONES
Sat/12, 8 p.m., $45–$125
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF