FREE: Art, Music & Conversation with Kaja Renkas & Megan Keely Friday, September 28th

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 6.13.18 PM

On Friday, September 28th we’re hosting an informal FREE event at the Haight Street Art Center: Art, Music & Conversation with Kaja Renkas & Megan Keely

Join us for a FREE evening of art, music and conversation while being treated to an exclusive exhibit by Polish graphic designer and poster artist Kaja Renkas with musical accompaniment by the Bay Area’s own Megan Keely. RSVP on our Facebook page or on our Patreon page.

Take in the stunning artwork of Kaja Renkas while enjoying happy-hour between 6-7pm courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery and Whetstone Wine Cellars. This will be followed by an intimate musical performance by Megan Keely.

Kaja Renkas is part of the long tradition of Polish poster artists. After receiving her doctorate she moved into an area of poster creation loosely based around surrealistic collage, working in the digital environment. The work of Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam comes to mind when viewing Renkas’ posters, a Surrealist collage, arising, in part, from the intellectual anarchy of Dada and related early twentieth century movements.

Megan Keely is a San Francisco-based songwriter and vocalist who has dedicated her latest musical efforts towards immigration and women’s rights, transforming personal calamity into transcendent growth on her latest studio album “Bloom.”

Howlin’ Rain + The Easy Leaves In Song & Conversation Thursday, October 4th

howlin rain

Renee & Irish Greg’s Pop Up turns two and we celebrate with our Third Annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Pre-Party at the Haight Street Art Center, Thursday October 4th starring Howlin’ Rain and the Easy Leaves.

We are charging a nominal fee of $8 to stop the rash of no-shows which have been a problem at our once free events. Money raised will go to non-profits Blue Bear School of Music and the Haight Street Art Center.

Purchasing a ticket entitles you to a complimentary adult beverage courtesy of our sponsors 21st Amendment Brewery and Whetstone Wine Cellars. An original event poster by Marq Spusta will be available to purchase with the artist on-site to embellish it. These posters are collectors items and VERY special indeed.

If you are a patron of ours on Patreon at the $5 level there is no need to purchase a ticket. Simply RSVP here. Patrons get to bring a guest at no extra cost. Become a Patron!

Enjoy the amazing rock poster art exhibit “Family Devalues” at our happy-hour from 6-7pm before we take the party upstairs for performances and interviews with Bay Area bands Howlin’ Rain and the Easy Leaves.

Oakland, California’s Howlin Rain recently released The Alligator Bride, their fifth LP of swampy, ragged, unapologetic rock ’n roll. Led by Ethan Miller, it’s their first release on Silver Current Records, the artist-run label owned by Miller, and gleefully indebted to classic rock formations like the Grateful Dead’s Europe ‘72 and Free’s masterpiece of atmospheric, minimalist blues, 1969’s Fire and Water. “The guiding principle for The Alligator Bride was to create ‘Neal Cassady Rock,’” says Miller. “Which is to say, high energy, good-times adventure music, driving the hippie bus, shirtless and stoned, up for four days straight, and extremely fuzzy around the edges.”

The Easy Leaves are proud ambassadors of California Country & Western music; who over the course of 2 full length albums and 2 EPs, under the guidance of Merle Haggard’s music, and countless other barroom heroes, have released their own unique collection of poetry for the common man.

The pairing of these two acts is reminiscent of the late 60’s and early 70’s in Austin, TX, essentially what Willie Nelson was creating there, as well as many shows at famed venue, the Armadillo World Headquarters – Where the outlaws, outcasts, hippies, honky tonkers, freaks, and forward thinkers converged in harmony for a plethora of music happenings; you could see Willie Nelson, Doug Sahm, Waylon Jennings and other Country troubadours playing shows alongside folks like The Grateful Dead.

Lee Conklin & the New Chambers Brothers

Throughout its remarkable 50-year span, Lee Conklin’s career has been well regarded as an essential contribution to the psychedelic poster art movement. Well known for imaginative vision and inventive lettering, this work demands and rewards prolonged, patient exploration. Perhaps his best known work is the cover of Santana’s first album but he also did posters for the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and the Chambers Brothers.

These posters often offer voyages—visual trips—containing hidden messages, elements and value that reveal gradually and perhaps unintentionally. According to Conklin, “I just start drawing … and sometimes it turns into something.”

Lester and Dylan Chambers continue the tradition of the Chambers Brothers, a band best known for their eleven-minute 1968 hit “Time Has Come Today”. The group was part of the wave of new music that integrated American blues and gospel traditions with modern psychedelic and rock elements. Their music has been kept alive through heavy use in film soundtracks.

2nd Annual Dog Dance Party & Crazy Canine Contest, Saturday July 21st, 21st Amendment Brewery, San Leandro

pmanrocco

Rocco & Pirate cordially invite you and your well behaved human to Renee & Irish Greg’s Pup Up 2nd Annual Dog Dance Party & Crazy Canine Contest at the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Leandro, Saturday July 21st from 12:30-3:30pm. This a benefit for Rocket Dog Rescue. No pooch required but the more the merrier!

Music by Tom Luce AND the Jefferson Airdale (feat. Dick Bright + Al and Tommy of the Rubinoos.) Dance with your dog to such canine classics as “Fly Like a Beagle”, “I Want a New Pug”, “S-P-C-A” and many more. Tom will be performing the Luce tunes “Buy a Dog”, “Good Day” and many more.

Crazy Canine Contest with fabulous prizes for Best Tail, Cutest Nose, Highest Jumper and Worst Attitude.

Enjoy delicious beer and food truck eats and lots of cool water for the dogs.

FREE to patrons at the $5 level (+ guest.) Otherwise You must purchase a $5 Eventbrite ticket to attend. This nominal fee is to stop the increasing problem of no-shows.

 

Elettrodomestico (Jane Wiedlin & Pietro Straccia)

Jane Wiedlin is best known as the guitarist and songwriter for the Go-Go’s but her latest project is a band called Elettrodomestico that she formed with Pietro Straccia in Oakland, California.

We were delighted to have the duo as guests at a recent Blue Bear School of Music benefit show at the Haight Street Art Center where they treated us to four original tunes as well as a rousing version of the Go-Go’s classic “Our Lips Are Sealed.”

Jane talked about the legendary 80’s rockers upcoming tour and the musical “Head Over Heels” which features the Go-Go’s songs and is headed to Broadway this summer.

The Sam Chase, David Luning, Mickelson

The “After the Fire: Vol 1” benefit CD was a great excuse to get three of our favorite Bay Area musicians together for a good old fashioned fundraiser. By passing the hat and selling merchandise we raised some money for North Bay fire relief and had a wonderful time doing it.

Mickelson, the mastermind behind the CD, was the perfect man to open the show, explaining how the whole thing came together and performing some compelling tunes.

David Luning is a John Prine loving singer songwriter who manages to walk that fine line between compelling songs and hilarious stories much like his musical hero. He spoke about his brief stint on American Idol and his upcoming appearance at his hometown music festival, Bottlerock Napa Valley.

The Sam Chase is our first three-peat guest and it’s easy to see why. He’s so damn funny and his tunes seem effortless. Go see Sam at every opportunity you get. Either with his band or flying solo, Sam is the real deal.

 

Blue Bear School of Music Benefit With Elettrodomestico Featuring Jane Wiedlin Of The Go-Go’s Thursday May 17th

elettroA Special Edition of Renee & Irish Greg’s Pop Up featuring:
Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) & Pietro Straccia

Tickets available HERE

Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) & Pietro Straccia are psych-pop’s Elettrodomestico and they will be the featured guests on Renee & Irish Greg’s Pop Up on Thursday, May 17th, at the Haight Street Art Center in SF. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as HEAD OVER HEELS, the fearlessly fresh new musical comedy from music legends The Go-Go’s, will have just finished its run at the Curran Theatre. This will be a chance for you to enjoy an intimate evening of music and conversation surrounded by fantastic EMEK X Rock ‘n’ Roll inspired poster art in the gallery. Thanks to Blue Heron for providing the food, 21st Amendment Brewery along with Whetstone Wines will be free flowing, and we invite you to participate in an amazing silent auction featuring:

3 Day Passes to SOLD OUT Bottle Rock Napa Valley

3 Day Pass to Steve & Kate’s Camp

Rock ‘n’ Roll memorabilia

Fine Wine

The Evening:
5:30pm: doors
6:00pm: VIP reception with food, wine & beer, silent auction
7:15pm: Welcome, special guest performance by Blue Bear’s own Periodic Table of Hellaments!!
7:30pm: Intermission, silent auction closes
8:00pm: Featured guests Jane Weidlin & Pietro Straccia
9:30pm: Thank you, good night!

FREE: Jerry Day Benefit Featuring David Gans & Roger McNamee Tuesday June 19th

jerry

The event is FREE but you must have an Eventbrite ticket to attend.

This podcast taping is a benefit for Jerry Day, the annual FREE event in San Francisco’s McLaren Park that celebrates the life of the Grateful Dead‘s Jerry Garcia who grew up nearby in the Excelsior District.

David Gans is an acclaimed musician, journalist and broadcaster who hosts the wildly popular Grateful Dead Hour syndicated radio show. He has played with various members of the Grateful Dead family of musicians over the years as well as continuing to perform solo.

Roger McNamee plays guitar and sings in Moonalice and the Doobie Decibel System and wrote the hit song “It’s 4:20 Somewhere.” Roger is a longtime fan and associate of the Grateful Dead.

Dennis McNally was the publicist for the Grateful Dead and the band’s authorized biographer. He is the author of “A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead” and “Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, The Beat Generation & America.”

Before the show, join us for complimentary drinks courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery and Whetstone Wine Cellars at our 6-7pm happy hour. While sipping your adult beverages you’ll get to enjoy some vintage original poster art spanning the Grateful Dead’s long career.

Photo courtesy of Jay Blakesberg Photography

The Family Crest + Mira Goto

The Family Crest have just released their latest album “The War: Act I” and we were thrilled to have them stop by the Haight Street Art Center to play some new tunes, some old ones and have a lovely chat. The seven piece band combine fantastic musicianship with energy and clever songwriting to deliver a captivating sound.

Mira Goto splits her time between Santa Cruz and Nashville though it’s clear from listening where her songs are born. They have Music City  written all over them with that southern knack for storytelling and melody.  Oh, and just try not crying while listening to the poignantly sweet “Crazy Cat Lady.”

We loved having all these wonderful musicians stop by and we hope you really enjoy.

 

FREE: Sam Chase + David Luning + Mickelson + Poster Art Exhibit

afterfirePOSTER2

Get your FREE tickets here

Before the show, join us for complimentary drinks courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery and Whetstone Wine Cellars at our 6-7pm happy hour. While sipping your adult beverages you’ll get to enjoy the exhibit ARTIFACTS: The Rock Art of EMEK – A Career Retrospective. Emek has created much coveted posters for musicians such as Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, The Pixies and Paul Simon. There is also a smaller exhibit of work by Ralph Steadman including the original art he drew to accompany Hunter S. Thompson’s Rolling Stone article “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

“After The Fire: Vol. 1” is a compilation produced Bay Area artist/producer Mickelson. It features 15 new recordings by many of the top singer/songwriters in the Bay Area including Sam Chase, David Luning and Mickelson himself. We will pass a hat and sell CDs at the event and all sales go to those affected by the devastating Northern California fires.

Sam Chase has a voice like a nun on the lam with a mouthful of cigarettes and curse words in a lonely bar, drunkenly dancing next to a broken jukebox. His songs are scribbled, not written, on lipstick and sweat stained motel bedsheets because he likes the way the ink bleeds. His guitar runs on diesel and leaks like the morning after too much Whiskey. His is a show you’ll probably want to tattoo on your body so everyone will know that you knew him before he was cool.

Forestville singer and songwriter David Luning has been working long enough and hard enough that any day now, as the old show business joke goes, he’s about to become an overnight success.Luning, 30, born and raised in Sonoma County, gave his first performance at a piano recital when he was 5 years old, and music turned out to be his lifelong pursuit.Long popular on the local club and festival circuit, he drew national attention with his televised “American Idol’ audition three years ago, and while he didn’t win, he accomplished his goal. He raised his own profile and graduated to a new level of polish and professionalism.

Through a career that spanned five full-length releases with his band Fat Opie, a struggle with a long-term illness and a career as a children’s book author and fine artist, Mickelson has persevered. In 2015, Mickelson released his debut full-length Flickering which made the Grammy Ballot in two categories, “Best Folk Album” and “Best Roots Music Performance”. His new full length album “A Wondrous Life” will be released May 4th.