We here at Blue Bear hope that you all in our community are hanging in there during these odd and challenging times. With that, we’d like to offer a new daily affirmation of sorts. Introducing THE BLUE BEAR VIRTUAL CONCERT SERIES! In these daily posts, we’re offering up examples of great live performances from some of our favorite artists with the purpose of keeping us sane, entertained, and most of all, connected by the unifying Power of Music.
Well I hope you all had a good time yesterday… I know given the circumstances, it’s not the best year for holiday celebrations. In the spirit of giving Thanks (and the origin of the holiday), as I did Wednesday, I’m dedicating another entry in the Virtual Concert Series to our indigenous music makers (aka the first Americans). In this clip, guitar legend,
rolls us through his classic “Rumble”. Thanks to all good people of the world! Stay safe out there, friends!
Guitar Greats – Rumble – Link Wray – 11/12/1984 – Capitol Theatre
Happy-ALMOST-Thanksgiving! Cole Odin back again to curate some great music in our Virtual Concert Series. Since we’re about to hit the day of Thanks, I thought it’d be appropriate to honor those that were here before us immigrants, so here’s Redbone on The Midnight Special, doing their hit, “Come and Get Your Love”… This clip is extra special as it features a native Indian dance to start it off…. Enjoy what you have, friends!
Redbone – Come And Get Your Love – LIVE 1974 The Midnight Special (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Hey pals! It’s Cole Odin once again, to bring you today’s clip in the Virtual Concert Series! Today’s entry is a really cool one… It’s Moon Duo, which consists of a part of SF’s legendary psyche rock band, Wooden Shjips. Their sound is a driving psychedelic sound not unlike CAN and Suicide. Here’s their complete show from last year’s gig in LA, supporting their amazing new record “Stars Are The Light”. As you can see in the photo, they play on a stage completely surrounded by a translucent fabric screen, which shifts with the fog, lighting and visuals that swirl around them to create a truly unique performance. I caught them around this time in Oakland at The New Parish and it was spectacular! Hopefully we’ll be back to seeing amazing shows like this soon…
A new week! A week for thankfulness, and I’m thankful for live music, and the people who play it! Normally for the Virtual Concert Series, I’d put a killer version of an artist or band doing one of their songs, but for this one, I’m going rogue! And celebrating the youth…. I mean REALLY youthful. Here’s 8-YEAR OLD DRUMMING PHENOMENON, YOYOKA as she plays one of the hardest drum parts in rock history… Yes, it’s the dreaded crazy double-on-double kick pattern the makes jaws drop at the start of Led Zeppelin’s classic “Good Times, Bad Times”. John Bonham would be proud, Yoyoka!!! AMAZING!
Good Times Bad Times – LED ZEPPELIN / Cover by Yoyoka, 8 years old
Happy Friday friends! Here’s some fun in the Virtual Concert Series that’s a bit too close to home, literally… “ZOOM” by The Commodores! Ya know… a little music to remind you of the last 8 months where you never really needed to wear pants…. Unless you worked for The New Yorker. Take care and see ya soon!
Ok friends… I’m in a happy mood, so we’re kicking the week off with some genuine beauty. Björk gives us a stellar performance of her amazing track, “All Is Full of Love” in New York and man, is it ever gorgeous. Electronic beats and a string section combined with her voice…. throw in the dress and lighting and it’s stunning. For the full goosebumps effect, turn it up loud, and wait for the booming C# note that she holds like a siren for over 10 seconds at the 2:30 mark. Ugh…. All is full of love.
Björk All is Full of Love (Live in New York) HD
On this veterans day, the one and only Sade urges us to fight for love. Enjoy the sexiness of this killer performance of this killer tune, but don’t forget the message…
Hey there friends… Let’s lighten the air a bit with a groovy mellow clip from Mazzy Star! It’s “Blue Flower”, a sun-shinny kinda tune that seems fitting for a day like today… Wishing you well, Blue Bear community!
It’s Saturday and of course, we’re all a bit distracted. So with eyes on various states, this Virtual Concert Entry takes us to Philadelphia, with Hew Hope, PA’s own Ween! The Deaner and the Gener hold down the lighthearted prettiness that is “Freedom of ’76”. Stay safe America!
I’m gonna end the intensity of the week with a Virtual Concert Series entry that speaks what most people are feeling. Stay safe America!
This seems appropriate right about now….
It’s the beginning of what will certainly be a weird week, so with that… LET’S GET WEIRD. In the spirit of Halloween, I give you the weirdest weirdos, The Cramps! Sweaty and Bizzzarrrre, Lux Interior does his thing while co-founder/wife Poison Ivy hides behind a pole. Enjoy Human Fly and Teenage Werewolf.
The Cramps Live @ N.Y. Mudd Club 1981 Human Fly – Teenage Werewolf
I always get bugged when I people what kind of music they like, and their response is that tired old line, “I like everything except country music”. It’s a trope that forgets that every genre has something to add (some people say it about hip hop too!). So here’s an oldie but a goodie, from a legend of old country music. It might not seem “live” but the great Patsy Cline is signing live to a band off screen playing the classic, “Walking After Midnight”, and it’s a hoot!
Hey.. Let’s dance this morning out! Two legends of the microphone, Patti LaBelle and Mariah Carey give us the goods with Patti’s classic, “Got to Be Real”… I hear you smilin’.. Enjoy that!
Patti Labelle feat. Mariah Carey – Got to be Real (Alternative Live Edition)
Welcome to the weekend! It’s Cole, Blue Bear’s outreach director with some new music for your Friday. In this installment in the Virtual Concert Series, I give you Damon McMahon and Amen Dunes, who’s album “Freedom” was easily my favorite record of 2018. In this live clip, they take on one of the best songs on the record, “Miki Dora”. It’s a tale of the disgraced surfing guru of the same name, but also one of the dichotomy of humanity… taking the bad with the good. The song’s groove reminds me of the Grateful Dead if they teamed up with The Verve. If you’re looking for the definitive version, this is it. They close this amazing show with it and it rules…. The guitar work from Delicate Steve is the coolest of cool… At about 3 minutes in, his line that separates the verses, absolutely blows me away… Take a moment and enjoy one of the best “new” artists of recent times.
Amen Dunes – Miki Dora (Live @ Brooklyn Steel for Pitchfork Live)
We’re back for another Virtual Concert Series entry! This one is a fun one from the world of jazz fusion. Weather Report, featuring some of the greatest players in history, rock us through “Birdland”. Check it…
YES! These three amazing ladies, celebrating one amazing man, through this amazing take of the most amazing love song, is…. well, AMAZING. My only critique is that it’s not longer. Please enjoy, “As” by the one and only Stevie Wonder, as sung by India Arie, Janelle Monáe, and Jill Scott.
India Arie, Janelle Monae, and Jill Scott – As live at the Stevie Wonder Tribute
Happy Saturday! It’s time for another entry in the VCS, and for this one, we’re gonna get purrrrdeee… James Blake performs one of his best tunes, “Retrograde” on Letterman. Listen for the “HIT” when he says, “Suddenly I’m hit”… Be sure to have the VOLUME UP and the BASS LOUD…. The tone is “next level”, “raise the arm hairs” kinda badassery. SUDDENLY YER HOOKED.
It’s Virtual Concert Series time again and for this one, we’re gonna funk! It’s still kinda summer, at least in SF, so to celebrate this hot one, here’s the inimitable SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE! doing “Hot Fun in the Summertime”…. Dig the vocal interplay and the emotions they trade… It’s a lovely slice of cool for a hellica hot day.
Sly and the Family Stone – Hot Fun In The Summertime – Live 1969
For this entry in the Virtual Concert Series, we get weird… The Flaming Lips kinda weird! Have a look at what a concert in 2020 could look like. Me??? Oh, I’M TOTALLY IN!!!!
Happy new week, friends! It’s Cole again, back with another Virtual Concert Series entry. For this one, I’m taking us back to the Shoreline Amphitheater for the one and only, gone-too-soon, Bridge School Benefit, Neil and Peggy Young’s amazing concert for that great school for kids with disabilities. I can’t say enough about this concert and all the amazing shows they had over the years. In this clip, Billy and co, aka The Smashing Pumpkins (sadly, minus Jimmy on drums, but this was a sad time for the Pumpkins) offer a gorgeous acoustic take on one of my favorite cuts of theirs, “Set the Ray to Jerry”. It’s a lovely little groover…. Enjoy.
The Smashing Pumpkins – Set The Ray To Jerry – 10/18/1997 Bridge School benefit
We’re back for another VCS entry and that once again brings us to NPR Music’s fantastic Tiny Desk Concerts. For this one, I’m going where some might not think I would, mainstream pop in the music of Harry Styles, but after hearing about him and then actually hearing them, I’m on the team. I hope the sun is shining where you are… If not, you can bask in the light offered here, cuz it’s sure shining on the Tiny Desk with this fun performance.
Harry Styles: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
It’s Virtual Concert Series time again and for this one, we’re gonna roll back a bit. Once again, The Midnight Special brings the goods in this clip from Hall & Oates, where they roll a trio of their best jams, including my fave, “Sarah Smile”. Pull up to a glass of Martini and Rossi, Asti Spumonti and enjoy the day….
Daryl Hall & John Oates on Midnight Special (1977)
For this entry in the Virtual Concert Series, we head to The White House!!! Don’t worry, it’s safe… they aired it out, and Phoebe Bridgers is there! In this cool Tiny Desk Concert clip, Phoebe and the band transform their studio into their own place to rule… and rule they do. One of the best new singer-songwriters around, Check out three songs from her recent, amazing record, “Punisher”.
Now for something different. Sixteen Horsepower is an American band from Denver that sadly, no longer exists, although David Eugene Edwards still plays as Wovenhand. Their music is totally unique. An intense blend of goth rock and bluegrass, their live shows were stunning, as this clips shows. Never has a concertina (that accordian-like thing) been so ferocious! Their “fire and brimstone” Christian lyrical imagery pairs well with the tones and grooves, which you’ll see here on “American Wheeze”.
So I’ve been on a bit of a Chet Faker tip lately (who also goes by Nick Murphy), particularly as he just put out an incredible new song, “Low”, but since the Virtual Concert Series is about the glory of humans being human in the moment, and that song’s not been performed live yet to my knowledge, I’m falling back to this amazing song and performance. Check out “Gold”, and if ya wanna go deep, check out the video he did for this song. It’s a truly unique video, and features some subtle cool in the form of 3 ladies rollerskating in the dark. Also, it’s one of the sexiest videos ever made. Not dirty, just plain sexy.
Well, if you needed something to shake off the ick from that thing that happened last night, how’s about this? It’s a joyous occasion when Lizzo brings her band into the office, so I hope this helps to ease the pain. Keep in mind that there’s some language that might not be appropriate for err-buddy… Enjoy!
Remember when “MSM” stood for MIAMI SOUND MACHINE? Yes, it was a simpler time, and clearly, from the looks of the band and fans int he video, a more fun one. Step outside the chaos of the world and groove with Gloria Estefan and the Machine!
1-2-3 | Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine – Live from the Palladium 1988
In this gem of VCS entry, CeeLo Green joins Darryl Hall, Live From Daryl’s House and boy, is it a whupper! They do a cooool version of “I Can’t Go For That”. Check it and see… These guys can sing!
I Can’t Go For That | Cee Lo Green Live From Daryl’s House
BOOOoooommmm…. Run The Jewels, aka one of the greatest artists in hip hop, past or present, come in to rock a dose of conscious rap. El-P and Killer Mike roll through the jams and do an interview in this Austin City Limits clip in our Virtual Concert Series. My fave moment is at the 28 minute mark just before they jump into their amazing collab with DJ Shadow, “Nobody Speak”, when they acknowledge the older white couple in front that’s been vibin’ since the get. That’s the spirit folks! FYI… this is DEFINITELY NOT SAFE FOR WORK… F-bombs will be dropped!
Run the Jewels | Austin City Limits (Full Episode) EXPLICIT
On a lazy Saturday, this Virtual Concert Series entry pops in with some sleek smooth jazz inspired hip hop from New York legend, and one of the greatest MCs of all time, Rakim! Joined by a killer jazz band, they run through a new one and then slide into the iconic “Paid In Full”. Pull up to the Tiny Desk and nod your head ta thissss….
Haaay weekend! How you doin’??? Me, I’m goood. Just getting my blood pumping with a little known Billy Joel jam, the fast paced, bluegrass boogie woogie that is “Travellin’ Prayer”. Feelin’ sleepy? Nee a boost? I dare you to keep your foot from tappin’… Play it fellas!!!
Billy Joel | Travelin Prayer Live On The Midnight Special 1975
For this Virtual Concert Series Entry I’m taking you to a truly magical and unique moment in the Bay Area’s rich music history. I was at this show back in 2008, at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, when Sigur Rós accompaniment from mother nature herself. It was the last show of the season for the outdoor amphitheater, and the forecast was definitive rain. Everyone brought umbrellas, but none were allowed in as it would obstruct views. From the moment the band started from behind a mesh screen (with lights and shadows dancing around it all), the whole night had an unique and magical air to it, but the rain never came. Until the very end. At the start of the encore, with the band playing “Untitled #8”, it started to sprinkle. As the song picked up, it started to rain. By the time the song reached its intense climax, it was POURING DOWN. You will hear the screams and laughter from the audience, none of us leaving, all of us revelling in the synchronicity of the lightand sound and weather, as tears of joy mixed with rain. And then, as the final chord of the song and show rang out, THE RAIN STOPPED. If you read the comments, you will understand the magik of that moment. It was easily in the top 3 concert experiences I’ve ever had… The other 2? Stay tuned….
Hey friends. For today’s entry in the Virtual Concert Series, we’re doing a two-fer and doubling up with the Local Band Spotlight. In this gloriously gorgeous clip, local badass (who’s also a member of the band fast times along with members of Geographer) Andrew St. James offers a solo take on his track “Slap City”. He’s one of the Bay Area’s greatest songwriters, and has recently been featured in the news for doing free pop up street concerts around the Bay. Take a listen and become a fan.
Oh boy… What a week! Hope you all were able to keep that positive wine glass half full…. Here’s a quirky moment of sad songishness from the king of cheese and jingles, Barry Manilow. I hope it brings a silly smile.
Well yesterday was a weird one. My apologies for not getting this out in a more timely manner, but I was out rolling through the redness, picking up donations and setting up gear. I’ll let the master, Jimi Hendrix tell you about the red house… which was my vantage point. Stay safe California!!!
Welcome back to me, Cole, and a new entry in our Virtual Concert Series! This time around, I have for you all another great Tiny Desk concert, and this one’s a weirdo, mainly cuz drummer Jim MacPherson uses his roadie as a live human cymbal, but also cuz, THE BREEDERS. Kim and Kelly Deal got the OG band back together for this tour (Josephine Wiggs and the aforementioned drummer Jim) and the record they made is a return to that awesome 90s indie rock glory. Dig it!
The Breeders | NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Hey all! In today’s Virtual Concert Series entry, we have a good ole river funk classic! Levon Helm and the rest of THE BAND whups it on down with “Up on Cripple Creek” from “The Last Waltz”. Check that yodelin’ ending!!! HOT DAMN! Give the drummer some!!!!
The Band | The Last Waltz (1978) – Up on Cripple Creek
Today’s VCS entry (that’s Virtual Concert Series for those that don’t know) is from those Bay Area flag bearers of weird, Faith No More! In this clip from ’97 they rock out a duo of tunes from their best record, “Angel Dust”. Let’s go back to the 90’s where samplers, DJs, cargo shorts and distortion pedals could all share the same stage!
Hey friends! It’s Cole Odin, Blue Bear’s outreach director back to share another Local Band Spotlight! For this week we have Sunshine Jones! A Bay Area legend of electronic music, both as a solo artist and collaborator (in particular with Dubtribe, one of SF’s fabled electronic acts), Sunshine is also a teacher, having ran a live, electronic music seminar recently at Monarch. Have a look at some of his videos on his YT channel, where you can see live performances, and learn more about some of the gear he uses, and see/hear a performance!
Sunshine Jones | Live Ground Tour 2016 – Los Angeles
Hi friends! It’s Cole back again with another curated entry in our Virtual Concert Series, and for this one, I’ve got a classic clip from friend of The Bear, White Denim! While everything they do is amazing, I’ve gone back a bit for a monster performance of “At the Farm”, if only to spur you into practice action by making you watch the 4-fret-finger gymnastics that is the intro to this killer song. I wanna offer big love and support to the fellas and once again, give a “thanks” for playing our Blue Bear Live benefit a few years ago. These guys are great.
White Denim | ‘At The Farm’ live at The Ghost Room
Awww yeah! It’s Friday so let’s get INTO IT. It’s
Hey there! It’s Cole Odin back with you once again with another entry in our Virtual Concert Series. It’s no secret that I love the NPR Tiny Desk Concert Series, as it shows artists in unique, stripped down environments. Well, we have a new one for you today and it’s a beaut… Weirdo-pop mega star, Billie Eilish and her brother/collaborator FINNEAS offer a couple of gorgeous tunes for us, the first sounding like she’s channeling the ghost of Jeff Buckley. It’s a lovely set.
Billie Eilish: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
Alright, so this piece of awesome was recently made into a meme, but it’s such a classic bit of funk, it needed to be showcased without the snark, letting the ridiculousness of Boney M’s “Daddy Cool” to shine like a giant star… all on its own. Dig the dance. Dig the croon. Dig the cooooool….
Hey friends! Cole Odin here again to offer up a bit of joy to your world! For today’s entry in the Virtual Concert Series, we have Tame Impala doing a Tiny Desk Concert! Here Kevin Parker, with Jay and Dominic offer up new, electronic interpretations of 3 tracks from their last album, “The Slow Rush”. It’s a cool reinvention, hearing them this way… simple and groovy, with Kevin using a standard Pioneer DJ mixer to control and effect it all. “Tame Impala Sound System” in full effect!
Tame Impala: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
BEHOLD! It’s the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion! to bring you some needed ferocity on yer Sunday morn’! Now turn that skillet on HOTTT and SCRAMBLE SOME EGGS! HOOOWWWWWL!!!!!
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion live on Australian TV 1997
Hey there! It’s Cole Odin, Blue Bear’s outreach director, back again to offer a new clip of live music goodness to help keep you sane. For this entry in our Virtual Concert Series, we have an oddly relaxed and beautiful tune from 3 heavies of HEAVY- Dave Grohl (from Nirvana/Foo Fighters, Josh Homme (from QOTSA), and Trent Reznor (from NIN). With Dave on drums, Josh on bass, and Trent on piano, here’s a supergroup groove to keep your head bobbing along the road to anywhere…
Mantra – Dave Grohl, Josh Homme, Trent Reznor (live in studio)
HAAY! It’s me, Cole, the outreach director for Blue Bear and the curator of the Virtual Concert Series…. Well guess what? It’s Friday, aka MY BIRTHDAY! and to celebrate, I’m gonna get all wildcat and post something random. The headline might make some people go, “Whuuut???”, but the tune and performance are fun as a big bag o’ nostalgia. Big love to my bud Omar Perez for the tip off to this rad clip from… SHA NA NA!!!!
Sha Na Na – Walk Don’t Run – 9/23/1970 – Fillmore East
Hi friends! Once again, it’s Cole Odin here for Blue Bear’s Virtual Concert Series, and today I’m bringing you a lovely, feel-good moment of our world-wide music community from the one and only Bombino. If’ you’re unaware of Bombino, he is truly a rock and roll outlaw. In his home country of Niger, he has fought for the commoner with the guitar as his tool. Once forced into exile for performing an underground “rave” of sorts (a dance-centric party of music for the people), where two of his band members were caught and executed for playing Western music (as the military-controlled government considered electric guitars weapons of the resistance, and musicians who played “Western music” terrorists of the nation), Bombino continues to use his blues-meets-rock-meets-dance/jam music as a force of togetherness. In this clip, he plays with musicians around the world.
Bombino | Ahoulaguine Akaline (Live featuring Playing For Change)
One of my favorite “new” bands, Sweden/LA’s Viagra Boys are the focus of today’s Virtual Concert Series. In this clip, we get a ferocious version of “Research Chemicals”. Dance punk with saxophone and synthesizers… YAAAAY! Yer Wednesday just got great.
Viagra Boys | Research Chemicals (Live in Sweden)
As promised, here’s part two in the saga of the red-headed tormentor, Dolly Parton’s classic “Jolene”. Flipping the script, Jack and Meg White, aka The White Stripes, offer a scrappy powerhouse of angst and sadness. Easily one of my favorite covers of all time. Jack’s voice drips the pain, while Meg’s stomps and smashes push it to the edge. It’s glorious.
The White Stripes | Jolene (Live Under Blackpool Lights)
The Virtual Concert Series continues with a two-part party of a classic song about a red-headed interloping bank teller. First up, the one and only Dolly Parton precedes an amazing performance of her smash hit with the tale behind the song… and a light-hearted tease to a red-head in the audience. Tune in tomorrow for the sequel!
Dolly Parton | Jolene (Live on the Dolly Parton Show)
The Bay Area has a lot of fantastic local musicians, and for this entry in our Virtual Concert Series, we’re keeping it local for a clip from Oakland’s R&B chanteuse, Goapele. In this stunning performance, she gives us an impassioned version of her hit, “Closer”. Just gorgeous…
Goapele | Closer (Live 2017 @ FlyPoet Summer Classic)
Here’s a sneaky spark as a Virtual Concert Series entry… The one and only Portishead slow it down to a drip for the sultry “Glory Box”. Drenched in cool, Beth and Co. deliver “a reason to love them….”
Well music lovers, this is a JAM for your Virtual Concert Series. DC’s own Fugazi takes us back to the early days when the game was hot and sweaty, and shirts was the crowd and skins was the band. Feel the energy of “Waiting Room”… REAL PUNK ROCK!!!
For this Saturday entry in our Virtual Concert Series, we have an amazing performance by Thievery Corporation. Co-fronted by friend of the Bear, Rob Garza, Thievery has been making some of the most original music around for over 2 decades. In this performance from an appearance on the great Seattle radio station KEXP, they offer the eastern themed groover, “Forgotten People”. If you don’t know the band, I recommend a deep dive. Their work is genre-spanning greatness!