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Music in San Francisco

November 3, 2008

This weekend bin and I did a hit and run sweep through SF to see the Black Angels. For those of you not in the know, the Black Angels are psychedelic/drone rock band from Austin using the Velvet Underground (from whence they get their name) as a jumping off point. The venue, the Great American Music Hall, was excellent and the show was fantastic. Pretty much everyone in the band plays a few instruments. Fr’instance, for one song, Stephanie the drummer played bass while one of the guitar players hit the drums. It was drone heaven. Very cool.

The second act was one Roger Kynard “Roky” Erickson. Roky is one of the acknowledged inventors of psychedelic rock and has to his credit one of the great rock songs of all time: You’re Gonna Miss Me. Roky was arrested for possession in ’69 and spent three years in the Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane where he got some nice Thorazine and electroshock therapy. He hasn’t ever been the same. Most of the intervening years he spent in poverty being swindled by one “agent” after another. In 2001 his younger brother was appointed guardian and Roky has been on the upswing ever since. He seemed to be doing pretty good on Saturday night. His voice and guitar skills are in pretty good shape but he was relying on others for cues for pretty much everything else.

And yes, he did sing You’re Gonna Miss Me. I feel sort of blessed that I ever got to hear this song live by Roky. Amazing. Mucho thanks to bin for going with me and braving the high db drone.

Oh, yeah…I almost forgot to add this. The Black Angels not only opened but they were Roky’s backing band. And yes the “electric” jug was present for all of Roky’s old songs. Fuckin’ A.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 3, 2008 6:46 pm

    I thought about going to see Roky play on Halloween night here in LA, but didn’t. I heard a soundbite of Roky talking about how old vampire movies were a big inspiration for his music. He wanted his songs to be scary, like that. Glad you heard him in person.

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