dear, wilco. mind. blown.

Encore shot

I’m the type of music lover that doesn’t pay attention to a bands followers. Meaning, will the crowd be hipster? Goth? Queens? Whatever. I like going in blind so the crowd can’t taint my expectations. I like to “look up at the stars and not see the big dipper.”

I showed up at the Greek Theater last night completely blind… First time at the Greek. Never listened to Wilco. Don’t know who listens to them. I just went to a breathtaking venue on a gorgeous night to see a band play. Best part was watching Nels Cline willingly seizure while be played the shit out of his guitars.

Check out the set list and never ending encore.


Eat Real in Oakland

“Not highly edited… For freaking real this was just the sunset over the Eat Real Festival” Photo and commentary by: Joe Kostelink

THIS picture should be the official Oakland Eat Real Festival poster. Tell me you don’t wish you had been there! This was the scene just as the sun was setting. If you check the facebook feeds of all your Oakland or East Bay friends around 7 p.m. last night, you’ll see a lot of folks were dazzled by the same sight. But THIS photo kills them all.

What you missed :: There is still time to experience Eat Real Festival, but let’s be clear you missed out on a one of kind opening night. People gathered around haystacks and a stage full of local beer legends for the Master Brewer panel discussions. We heard the thoughts and sometimes rants about what is truly “local”, collaborating with peers, personal stories of entrepreneurship and underage drinking. I don’t pretend to understand or fully appreciate the details of the discussion, but if you’re anywhere on the spectrum from “I drink beer” to “I live beer” then you’ll want to experience the knowledge for yourself. Lucky for you, the panel was recorded and I’ll re-post the link once it’s up.

The highlight and most ridiculous question from the panel was when moderator, Sayre Piotrkowski asked Homer Smith of Oak Barrel Winecraft “what if you had been a dick!?” THAT, Homer is not, which is why the entire panel and audience had a good laugh. But the point was, the panel tribute to Homer is well deserved. If not for his vision as a home brewer, but for his willingness to encourage and inspire the aspiring which included the master brewers on stage. All I can say is I was inspired and excited to be surrounded by original, down to earth experts who love what they do. Here’s a recap of the who and what of the Master Brewer Panel to hold you over until the recording is live.

Shameless plug for Moonlight Brewery: I’ve said this before, Death & Taxes is the best beer on the planet. Feel free to disagree with me, but you will just make yourself look like an ass. This tasty beverage is available at the Beer Shed all weekend at Oakland Eat Real Festival.

Eat Real my indieDarlings

Atlas? Genius!

Atlas Genius EP “Through the Glass”

Aussie band Atlas Genius is on my radar! Each band member is on their game. Keys, bass, and especially the drummer. Normally the sticks just sit there robotically, and who can blame them, that shit is tough! Atlas drummer was feeling the jam just as much as the eager crowd. I’m a sucker for the acoustic solo. So it all elevated when the lead singer pulled his out. “Back Seat” was also a favorite and of course “Trojans” was electric.

Rickshaw Stop and its promoter Popscene-sf have consistently delivered legit acts making it one of my favorite places in the city to hang. So much so, I’ll even go it alone. Something I typically only do for movies. Within the last few months I’ve witnessed Bombay Bicycle Club, Blood Orange, Atlas Genius, and Animal Kingdom all making their SF debuts. All except Blood Orange, were also on their first U.S. Tour. Not to mention these shows never leave your pockets flat! I still can’t believe I paid $12 dollars to watch BBC! Makes me feel guilty because it’s the bands I admire I would want to pay a pretty penny and help their bottom line. But more money comes shitty venues. I’d love to see Atlas Genius and BBC make it big, but then they’d be playing Oracle Arena, and that, I am not a fan of.

Live snippets from the show :: Atlas Genius performing “Trojans” + Animal Kingdom performing “White Sparks”

Another fabulous beer event with a CAUSE

CAUSE we love CommonWealth + Oakland

CAUSE we love Oakland peeps helping Oakland peeps. Be one of them.

I never had a chance to sit down and enjoy the pub experience at CommonWealth in Oakland, but they obviously had a unique thing going before having to close their doors due to a fire. Some friends who work(ed) at CommonWealth swear by its greatness and believe in the leadership. That’s enough for me to be excited about visiting once they’re able to re-open.

Helping them achieve that is where we (Oakland + Bay Area + beer lovers + people who eat food outside our homes) join the equation. Local brewers, foodies, one beer guru, and a delicious venue (which I shamefully just tried for the first time and was blown away) are joining forces and hosting a beer dinner to raise funds to help a worthy business re-open their doors sooner rather than later.

I’m excited to try the Smoked Trout Salad w/ Asparagus and Hop Vinaigrette paired with “Urban People’s Common Lager” from Linden Street. Whoa!

Where: Hawker Fare, 2300 Webster St, Oakland Ca | When: Sunday, Sept 9 – Starts at 6:30 pm | Hosted by: Linden Street Brewing Co, Dying Vines Brewing Co, Beer and Soul Certified Cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski

Get your details, menu, and tickets here.