Wednesday, July 29, 2009

KQED: When Service Is Just Another Word for Screw

Can anyone explain gig ticket charges to me? What are those "convenience costs" and "building fees?" And why do the supplementary costs get bigger as the tickets themselves go up in price? Are more expensive tickets heavier or made from swan's tears and gold leaf?

By Keith Laidlaw. Read the full article here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

KQED Music: Blonde Redhead - Business as Unusual

New York indie sophisticates Blonde Redhead are hitting San Francisco for two nights this week on a strange and unique musical mission. They aren't in the middle of a tour. They have no promotional schedule to speak of. Their most recent album of idiosyncratic mood music, 23, was released more than two years ago. Sure, they're in the early stages of writing a follow-up, but no one knows when that might be released, not even their PR rep. Indeed, if it wasn't for the dubious claim that their gig is being held as part of the Bicycle Film Festival (yeah, that's right, a film festival) then they would be crossing the country for absolutely no reason at all.

By Keith Laidlaw. Read the full article here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

KQED Music: SF Music Venues Against ABC

As a seasoned music fan who has had the misfortune to follow bands into too many shitty night spots and bars to mention, I was overjoyed when I first heard California state officials had gone on the attack against a bunch of Bay Area venues. They were probably fighting against over-aggressive bouncers and surly bar staff, right? Maybe they planned to clean up the sweat-soaked walls, broken toilets, and sticky, drink-stained floors. Or perhaps they were leading a crusade against those stingy, undersized plastic beer cups. Yes! Go for it, fearless warriors of law and order.

But then I discovered the big problem was that the venues weren't selling enough burgers and fries. Huh? Indeed, it turns out that the dispute between the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and several of San Francisco's finest music venues makes almost no sense to anyone outside the administrative body that started it. Nevertheless, it could yet rip the heart out of the city's vibrant live music scene ...

By Keith Laidlaw. Read the full article here.