Top 50 concerts of the decade

I had a hard time getting down to my favorite 10 concerts of the decade, imagine that

  1. Al Green, The Fox Theater, Atlanta May 3rd 2019
  2. Deltron 3030, Stern Grove Park, SF June 30th, 2013
  3. Black Star, Fox Theater, Oakland September 13th 2017
  4. Lee Scratch Perry, Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz September 4th 2015
  5. Bad Brains, Catalyst, Santa Cruz August 23rd, 2010
  6. Magma Slims, SF April 8th 2014
  7. Redd Kross, Great American Music Hall, SF August 8th, 2012
  8. Sun Ra Arkestra, SF Jazz Center August 5 2017
  9. Fred Frith performs Gravity, Slims, SF August 25th, 2012
  10. Atomic Bomb Band, Warfield, SF May 6th 2014
  11. Iva Bittova Paolo Angeli, Palac Akropolis, Prague, CZ June 21st 2016
  12. Terry Riley with Kronos Quartet, SF Jazz Center, June 27th 2015
  13. The Residents, Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz February 28th 2013
  14. This is Not This Heat, Big Ears Festival, Knoxville March 23,2019
  15. Royal Trux, The Chapel, SF November 1, 2017
  16. The Specials, The Warfield, SF March, 23rd. 2013
  17. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s, Rio Theater, Santa Cruz August 16th, 2013
  18. Hieroglyphics, Hiero Day, Oakland, September 4th, 2017
  19. Off and Thee Oh Sees, Burger Boogaloo, Oakland, July 6th 2014
  20. Louis Sclavis, Le Triton, Paris, France September 20th, 2018
  21. Chrome Catalyst Club, Santa Cruz, July 14, 2015
  22. COC and Bl’ast, Catalyst Club, Santa Cruz, August 29th 2014
  23. Blonde Redhead, Rio Theater, Santa Cruz,  Sept. 6th 2013
  24. Peter Brotzmann, Kummbwa, Santa Cruz, Nov. 14th, 2013
  25. Public Enemy, Regency Ballroom, SF August 22nd, 2011
  26. Camper van Beethoven, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk,  July 19, 2013
  27. Raphael Saadiq, Hopscotch Festival, Raleigh, Sept. 7th 2019
  28. Rangda, The Chapel, SF February 23rd, 2013
  29. The Necks,The Lab, SF February 18th 2017
  30. Solange & Flying Lotus The Greek Theater, Berkeley, Oct. 20th, 2017
  31. Fly Lo, Thundercat & P-Funk The Fox Theater, Oakland, Sept. 16, 2016
  32. Robert Glasper Experiment, The New Parish, Oakland, March 8th 2013
  33. Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, Catalyst, Santa Cruz, June 15th 2014
  34. Alabama Shakes and Kurt Vile, The Greek Theater, Berkeley,  Aug, 13, 2016
  35. OM with Sir Richard Bishop, Don Quixote’s, Felton, February 19th, 2013
  36. Black Flag Catalyst, Santa Cruz, July 16th 2013
  37. Fury 66 Catalyst, Santa Cruz, September 10th 2011
  38. Death, Oakland Opera Theater, October 31st 2015
  39. John McLaughlin, The Warfield, SF, December 8th 2017
  40. MGMT & Black Bananas, The Warfield, SF August 28th 2013
  41. Fishbone Outside Lands, SF, August 11th 2013
  42. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Transfigs, Asheville, August 24th, 2019
  43. Ornette’s Prime Time, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, SF Oct. 8th 2017
  44. Eternal Tapestry, Trans Am and Wooden Shjips Independent, SF December 13th 2013
  45. The Rain Parade, Cafe Du Nord, SF December 20th 2012
  46. The Skatalites, Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz, August 14th, 2015
  47. Flipper, Bottom of the Hill, SF, October 10th, 2015
  48. X, Slim’s, SF, March 21st, 2013
  49. Ty Segall with the White Fence, The Fillmore, SF, January 18th 2013
  50. Open Mic Night at Bogobiri, Lagos, Nigeria, December 30th 2016
  51. King Crimson, Saratoga Mountain Winery, Saratoga, June 15th, 2017

Top 10 records of 2019

  1. Redd Kross-Beyond the Door-Merge Records
  2. Raphael Saadiq-Jimmy Lee-Columbia
  3. Lee Scratch Perry-Rainford-On-U Sound
  4. Magma-Zess-7th 
  5. Stoney Hawk-Sunspot Jonz and A-Plus-Outhouse
  6. Louis Sclavis-Characters on a wall-ECM
  7. that dog-Old LP-UMe
  8. Purple Mountains-S/T-Drag City
  9. Lizzo-Cuz I love you-Atlantic
  10. Le Fly Pan Am-C’est Ca-Constellation

The Upsetter: Lee “Scratch” Perry performs his dub masterpiece Super Ape at Moe’s Alley

Rainford Hugh Perry goes by many names such as The Upsetter, Pipecock Jackson, and Lee “King” Perry but most of those in the world of Dub know him as Lee “Scratch” Perry. Scratch, the living legend, has an illustrious history as both the creator of Dub as well as having been the famous producer who helped Bob Marley and the Wailers craft their authentic sound when Reggae emerged from the roots of Ska and Rocksteady from the 50’s and 60’s in Jamaica.

£ee $cratch Perry performing Super Ape at Moe's Alley 9/4/14

£ee $cratch Perry performing Super Ape at Moe’s Alley 9/4/14

Perry’s studio was the infamous Black Ark where some of the greatest names in Reggae and Dub performed such as Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, the Heptones and the Wailers. Scratch’s studio band was referred to as “The Upsetters” and were the session musicians for many of these legendary recordings.  It was in the Black Ark where Perry recorded what many consider the first Dub recording in 1976 on Perry’s own Upsetter record label, Super Ape. Super Ape was released internationally on Island records later in the same year. The use of reverb on percussion was key in creating the impression of a different plane in which the rhythm bounced and shook as if in some sort of vacuum.

£ee $cratch Perry performing at Moe's Alley

£ee $cratch Perry performing at Moe’s Alley

Perry also implemented a variety of sounds that were samples of recordings simulating exhaust, bubbling laboratory experiments and other mind expanding sound effects to give his music an otherworldly element.

Blessed also with an eccentric flair for the strange, Scratch has a wardrobe that gives him the aura of a mystic. On Friday, September 4th, the founder of Dub proved he had more energy than anyone in Santa Cruz including his collaborators, Subatomic Sound System, a band from Brooklyn who help pull of the performance of Super Ape in it’s entirety. The 79 year old icon performed for well over 2 hours endlessly streaming together his quirky rhyming lyrics that are characteristic of his signature sound.

The Upsetters at Moes Alley

Pipecock Jackson with Subatomic at Moe’ Alley in Santa Cruz

Perry’s legacy doesn’t stop as the creator of Dub. In the 80’s Scratch continued to develop his futuristic and Dub sound for the space age while working with On-U Sound producer Adrian Sherwood. The team worked together originally with The Dub Syndicate. In 1990 Perry teamed with The Dub Syndicate to record From the Secret LaboratoryThe collaborations between Perry and Sherwood have continued (though infrequent) and are another important component of The Upsetter’s amazing career. Perry and Co. performed the song Inspector Gadget from the aforementioned Secret Laboratory release in Friday’s performance.

Lee Scratch Perry with Subatomic on 9/4/2014

Lee Scratch Perry with Subatomic on 9/4/2014

After moving to Switzerland, Perry teamed up with 1/2 of the electronic group Yello on the 1997 release Technomajikal on Reachout Interntional Records (ROIR). Other notable collaborators includes a longstanding collaboration with Mad Professor as well as with Bill Lswell aon the 2011 release Rise AgainReleased on M.O.D. Technologies, the recording features Perry’s rhyming dub poetry over the musical stylings of a Reggae inspired grouping of Laswell’s group Material, with many recognizable associates from his Axiom and Celluloid record label days.

“Super Ape” performed at Moe’s Alley 9/4/15

“Three in one” from the album Super Ape performed at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz