Thursday, November 06, 2008

Russell Brand. (He's famous in England you know...)

We've been fans of Russell Brand since discovering him on the Jonathan Ross Show a few years ago and then again as one half of the famed "Goth Detectives." So when we discovered that he was going to be in town this week, we jumped at the opportunity to see him on stage at Cobb's Comedy Show in North Beach.

Russell was at his low-brow/high-brow best: one minute he is providing a Foucauldian deconstruction of the Jonas Brothers' chastity rings, and the next minute he is discussing British schoolage phenomenon of
"seagulling" (don't ask).

Prancing about on stage, Brand discussed his failure as a VMA-host, repeating jokes that MTV unfortunately cut from the show (the original introduction of Kanye West was very funny) as well as his deep-seated need for fame in
America. What is wonderful about Brand is his open-book attitude about discussing his vanity and overly
self-involved ego. Not once does he hide his flaws from himself or his audience, and in fact, continuously laughs at himself for all of his fallible ways.

It was nice to see that Brand didn't dumb-down his act for a new audience and we hope he finds the recognition in
America he so craves.

Bridge School, third time around

Last weekend, we drove down to Mountain View with Lily and Jason to watch the 22nd Annual Bridge School Benefit concert at the Shoreline Ampitheater.

The line-up was fantastic and the performances were brilliant. On stage this year were:

*Neil Young
*Cat Power
*Death Cab for Cutie
*Smashing Pumpkins
*Josh Groban
*Norah Jones
*Jack Johnson

The weather was beautiful. When we met our friends Mer and Eric at the show, it was sunny and warm in the high 70s. We spent the next eight hours chatting, listening to the music and lying in the sun until the sun sunk beneath the hills and the temperature dropped 30 degrees. Then we bundled up in our wool socks and ponchos and held each other for warmth.

As was the case in 2006 (though not last year), Neil came on stage and played with most of the performers. Some of the "with Neil"highlights were Cat Power's Fortunate Son, Wilco's I Shall Be Released (with both Neil and Pegi), Josh Groban's Harvest Moon, and Norah Jones' When God Made Me. Norah's whole set was fantastic. Her country-girl set, which she called her "having fun" set, included covers of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.

Here are some videos from Youtube that The Bridge School posted:

As always, we had a wonderful time at Bridge School and we were able to introduce new people to the show (which we enjoy just as much as the concert itself). Please consider coming with us next time ~ it is always a fabulous time with Neil Young and his big family at Bridge School.