Saturday, January 7th, 2017...21:38

At The Library

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A couple of weeks ago my wife mentioned an upcoming show at 924 Gilman St, a well known music venue in Berkeley California. The lineup for January 7 2017 was curious: The Mr. T Experience, Pansy Division, The Smugglers, Squirtgun, Brent’s TV, The Potatomen and Kepi Ghoulie. I thought she was joking, this was 2016 not 1996 right? We have a dog and a toddler, we’re not in college. The only thing slightly out of place was seeing Kepi Ghoulie instead of the Groovie Ghoulies.

It turns out as part of the 30th anniversary of 924 Gilman St there was a festival of sorts called The Lookouting. Of course my first thought was, “hmm it starts at 5p, we don’t start our daughter’s bedtime routine until between 6:30p and 7p, if we got her some hearing protection she could at least see Kepi.” After all Gilman is “all ages”. And I’m so out of it, that the tickets had been sold out for months ($75 4 day pass) though there would be some $20 day of tickets available at the door (what happened to $2 membership $5 show?). Clearly we did not gamble on those tickets as it sounded like a recipe for disaster, especially with the predicted Atmospheric River tonight. Silly as it may be, Gilman was one of the reasons I wanted to go across the country for college in Berkeley; I’d seen all of the bands except for Brent’s TV at least once ~20 years ago, maybe it’s better this way.

Instead, this morning while putting puzzles together with our daughter, I played her a couple of records: The Smugglers’ Selling The Sizzle and Pansy Division’s Deflowered. And we went to the first 20 minutes of The Lookout! Bookout! Bash (had to leave early to start naptime) at the North Berkeley Public Library.

During that brief time, Larry Livermore spoke about how he stumbled into co-founding Lookout! Records, his roots were in Detroit Michigan, the first two shows he went to were The Supremes and MC5, he was destined to be a factory rat unless he left. He read an excerpt from the end of his recent book How To Ruin A Record Label encouraging the youth of today and the future to follow their heart etc. don’t listen to people who tell them how great the past was and they missed out etc. (fitting since this festival was organized by a 19 year old guy). I also learned the supervising librarian, Jake, of the Berkeley Library’s North Branch is probably about the same age as me. Here’s a photo of Jake introducing Larry.

The Lookout! Bookout!

While I was showing our daughter the Pansy Division record this morning I noticed part of the liner notes had a directory of lesbian/bisexual/gay youth groups in the USA; names and numbers, no web or email addresses since it was printed in 1994. There were only 38 states (and D.C.) listed (Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming were missing). It’s easy to forget how much harder it was to access information 20+ years ago and also how much has changed (and still needs to).

Our daughter is very much into music and I’ve played the piano, acoustic guitar, recorder etc. with/for her but haven’t yet played the electric guitar. I haven’t even shown it to her, though she has seen the black case that holds it and asks me about it every time. “Someday” I tell her.

Guitar Front

Guitar Back

She’s heard some of the music from the band I was in during college (glg20*s) but I don’t think she associates it with me yet. I wonder what music she’ll be listening to 10+ years from now and what she’ll think of it 20 years later. Anyway, it’s raining, The Smugglers are probably getting ready to take the stage and I need to make some bread dough before going to bed.

Oh and who actually read to the bottom and caught the post title reference to a song from the most famous Lookout! Records artist?

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