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Doubleplus Alright at Tamarack 10/7 photos

By: Chris Greacen - 10/12/2023
Couple of great photos worth sharing from our double-double on Saturday 10/7 shot by Paul Ivey.

We're grateful for the chance to share these songs with friends at a place like Tamarack. Grateful also to the other bands who played: Da Pupz and Cassowary. Would do this again in a heartbeat.

Next up for us: we have to record some music. We've started work on Record #3 and we haven't even really done #1 yet. We'll get there...

More about Doubleplus Alright over on the website.

Double Double Saturday 10/7

By: Chris Greacen - 10/05/2023
My band Doubleplus Alright is doing a "double double" (animal style) on Saturday 10/7 playing two of our favorite spots in the bay area:

Two flyers for Doubleplus Alright shows on Saturday 10/7.

First, we're taking a batch of brand-new songs for a test drive at the coolest spot on the bay: the Solar Van Saturday event at Rocky's beach (aka Barkley Beach). The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be doing their level-best to distract us while we bring the goodness. It's not just us though, some of the coolest bands around will be in the crosshairs.

Find more about the Solar Van Saturday event on the FB event.

Then that evening at Tamarack Oakland, we'll play with Da Pupz making their first appearance in a club and Cassowary who are getting back to the groove of playing live shows after a short hiatus. Fun fact, Doubleplus Alright was supposed to play at Winters Tavern at the beginning of the year but they had to drop for some personal reasons. We're psyched to make it happen now.

Find more in the FB event for the Tamarack show.

BE THERE!

Trip Down Memory Lane: Black Market Music

By: Chris Greacen - 01/02/2023
The flipping of the calendar is an obvious time for retrospection and brief trips down memory lane. I've tried journaling and writing but I don't really have the discipline or habits to keep that going. The mechanics of picking up a pen or putting hands on keyboard doesn't always work for me (evidence: the lack of action on this blog).

I like to keep track of the happenings in my life through photographs - the time and geo stamps are especially helpful in the storytelling. Lately I've been shooting a little video too. It's been sweet to revisit moments of life, to hear a voice or sound, to see someone's gesture that prompts a small flood of memories.

Every once and a while I stumble across someone else's video on YouTube that brings me right back to a moment, a place, a person. Here's one that happened recently...

The video below is two and a half minutes of someone's rando walkthrough of Black Market Music in West Hollywood probably in the late 90s or early 00s. There's not much to the video - it's poor VHS quality, shaky, no narration, awful sound, blurry, bad color. Totally charming.

We see a random view from the street (72 and sunny in west Hollywood), piles of amplifiers, guitars hanging everywhere, people chit-chatting (even eating lunch), racks of gear, display cases full of pedals and effects. It's a mess. It's full of action. If you know anything about music gear it's just a disgustingly opulent - absolutely ridiculous.

Black Market Music specialized in used gear and was thriving at this point. The music industry was at its absolute apex (file sharing was JUST starting - we hadn't yet heard Lars whining about Napster). Mega bands and labels were making piles of money with their recordings and tours. And if the major label music biz was a gold mine, Black Market Music was a major purveyor of second- hand shovels for all the miners.

I had the chance to walk through the shop right around that point in time when I went to LA with Steve Bell & Seth Freeman for a Little John show. I'm pretty sure it was Steve who led us to the shop. He was a master of material things - he helped me buy my bass amp and taught me about microphones, effects, amplifiers, tubes, drums. He was way over the horizon as far as his awareness and understanding of all kinds of gear.

At that point I didn't really know squat about Marshall amps or Gibson guitars. I probably didn't own a guitar amp. I had a Fender Lead II guitar and a Music Man bass, maybe that Ampeg Amp that Steve helped me buy. But I was solidly in Peavey Solid State-land as far as my understanding of amps went. I remember the smell of the place - musty, kinda sweaty, definitely dusty. I remember seeing piles of gear that had spray-paint logos from Van Halen and hair metal bands - gently used gear from tours or big shows. I remember seeing OLD guitars - like don't touch it old. Things that went for $5k (something like $12k today).

I remember a pile of Magnatone amps - I had just been introduced to Magnatone by Joe Gore who played a slide guitar through his to show me how it sounded - naturally overdriven full and juicy and perfect. They were hard to find, probably not in production at that point (though they've recently come back to life) - unobtanium, a unicorn. And here on the floor at Black Market were like 10 of them.

I remember things that were obviously used by pros - oh there's Alex Van Halen's drum cases, those are Tom Petty's amps, that's one of ELP's keyboard rack system. I'm sure there were even better examples that just went over my head.

It's one of the parts of life that I've come to appreciate lately - there are topics and subjects we can learn about that have infinite complexity. The more we learn, the more we see yet to be learned. The amount you could learn blooms and grows and goes and goes. Steve Bell was great at learning all of the stuff. He inspired me to do the same.

Through Steve and much later some of my YooToobers (Johan Segeborn, Kyle Bull, Pete Thorn, Warren Huart, the Guitologist (before he went nuts), Hermansson to name a few) I've learned just enough to realize how much gold was in that room. Looking through today's eyes, this scene is just bonkers.

Couple of droolworthy call outs worth mentioning: That droopy strat thing at 00:38, the hummingbirds hanging in the background next to the hofner bass at 00:42, the red tolex Marshall PA with two (pa) cabinets at 02:20, the pile of JCM800s at 01:03, the spread of snare drums at 01:09, the mountain of 4-hole plexis or JMPs at 01:48, the heap of old EHX pedals at 02:36, the tonebenders and similar pedals at 02:00. Gibson Jumbos sprinkled throughout. Marshall 8x10s tucked into the scenery... Park, Hiwatt... Stuff you just don't see around many places.

Go watch it:

Couple parting thoughts: who's that guy sitting on the Orange cab? Maybe one of the Eels? Some of my friends have told me of their star-sightings at BMM (maybe I'll post a part 2?). Did they let just any band put their show flyer or 8x10 glossy on that bulletin board by the door. There's another walkthrough from another date that shows more purple tolex and more of the keyboard and combo-amp stock.

Outdoor Doodles

By: Chris Greacen - 09/08/2022
I took a field trip a little while back to test out playing guitar outside. I want to do more of this. Get ready.

New Day Undone

By: Chris Greacen - 10/05/2021
Hey- Sssshh... Don't tell anyone, but we've put our new record New Day Undone onto Bandcamp before it shows up everywhere on Friday 10/8. It's just for you, so get a sneak peek! Blast it.

As you may have heard, this new record has taken the scenic route through a couple of decades to get here. We wrote a bunch of those songs in the early 00s (maybe even the later 90s?), recorded the band in our SOMA rehearsal space before blert took a long long nap.

As you probably already know, the really good things that happen are usually the result of a group of people coming together to give their best. New Day Undone is no exception - the whole band dug deep to complete these songs. We even roped Dan and Nolan into performing on "Frozener" our reprise of a tune from our last record, For Obvious Reasons.

But as you'll definitely hear, the biggest boost to this rocketship came from Tasha whose vocal performance sparked the fire that'll propel these songs into your head and heart.

We think you'll love this next incarnation of blert. If we're right about that hunch, could you do us a favor? Tell a friend about blert. You probably know someone who would dig it just as much.

10/04/2021  —  MUSIC  — 

Blert album release: New Day Undone

03/09/2021  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-A-Day 2021: Mile On Ice

12/07/2020  —  MUSIC  — 

New Blert Song: Escape

11/22/2020  —  MUSIC  — 

Bump Doodle on Instagram

09/09/2020  —  MUSIC  — 

New blert song: CTRL-Z

08/23/2020  —  MUSIC  — 

Blert - For Obvious Reasons

07/17/2020  —  MUSIC  — 

Doodles 2020

12/07/2018  —  MUSIC  — 

#MyMusical2018 Part 5: Other Shows

12/06/2018  —  MUSIC  — 

#MyMusical2018 Part 4: Doodles (something New)

12/05/2018  —  MUSIC  — 

#MyMusical2018 Part 3: Open mics and other gigs

12/04/2018  —  MUSIC  — 

#MyMusical2018 Part 2: Song-A-Day 2018

12/03/2018  —  MUSIC  — 

#MyMusical2018 Part 1: Doubleplus Alright

05/10/2015  —  MUSIC  — 

Doubleplus-Alright

03/06/2015  —  MUSIC  — 

Om One

02/19/2015  —  MUSIC  — 

Music is all around us.

02/17/2015  —  MUSIC  — 

Leftovers from MP3 Compression

02/20/2014  —  MUSIC  — 

Observed: Scat/Rap Counterpoint

09/25/2013  —  MUSIC  — 

Manatee gig 9/27/2013 at Hemlock Tavern!

06/25/2013  —  MUSIC  — 

Manatee gig 6/28/2013 at Thee Parkside!

06/05/2013  —  MUSIC  — 

Manatee gig 6/6/2013

05/06/2013  —  MUSIC  — 

Manatee KXLU session

02/22/2012  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-A-Day In-Progress

02/25/2010  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-A-Day what a difference 25 days make

10/19/2009  —  MUSIC  — 

HELL -- Your Soundtrack For Halloween

03/09/2009  —  MUSIC  — 

Top 10 things to do now that Song-A-Day is done:

03/02/2009  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-A-Day 2009: DONE

02/23/2009  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-A-Day Notes From The Studio

02/15/2009  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-A-Day Week 2: Still truckin'

02/09/2009  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-A-Day Week 1: Awesome

01/26/2009  —  MUSIC  — 

29 Again: Song-A-Day

01/17/2009  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-A-Day Shopping List

12/04/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

The Darjeeling LTD. Tunes

10/31/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

A Great Pumpkin

09/22/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

Seth Adds To His Music Store

03/04/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

29 done...

02/28/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

Song-a-day almost done!

02/25/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

I can see the light!

02/19/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

Still playing catchup

02/14/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

More Lack of Engineering

02/13/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

Engineering... and lack of

02/07/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

29 Songs: Day 4,5,6:

02/05/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

James Blackshaw, wow

02/05/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

29 Songs: Day 3: More To Come

02/04/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

29 Songs: Day 3: If Yes, Then No

02/02/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

29 Songs: Day 2: On The Other Side

02/01/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

29 Songs: Day 1: Took To The Air

01/31/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

29 Songs Starts!

01/31/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

Jon Brion on Eli Somethingoranothers

01/24/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

February 2008: Song-a-Day a.k.a 29 Songs

01/13/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

OMG

01/10/2008  —  MUSIC  — 

Tuesday night covers