Year in Ears 2014: #9

Best Backyard Show in One’s (Burning) Downtown

December 6, 2014
Bristle & Friends
Maybeck Studio, Berkeley

Thinking we had lost the Maybeck Studio as a venue, Randy McKean’s December convening there proved that all wrong, except for a squish in the Venn diagram that left me outside the sphere of influence of the curators, and calendrically impaired due to a little thing called subscribing. Granted, the people’s revolt against the unconscionable actions of the police also made driving to the Berkeley Hills an adventure on December 6th, but at least the sound of hovering helicopters (they did not protect the citizens, as it turned out) came in at only appropriate intervals and with correct tunings during this show.

Randy consistently presents as the straight man to his own demented compositions (and packaging), but he’s one of the most joyful players I ever seen, magnetizing all kinds of talent to his Seinfeldian meditations on our (lack of) progress, and his easy forgiveness of same. The evening included great compositions from Cory Wright, Lisa Mezzacappa and Jason Levis, back in town. Download that album, why don’t you.