Monday, October 03, 2005


  • September Gurls - Big Star
  • Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day
  • The September Of My Years - Frank Sinatra
  • September Song - Kurt Weill (Lou Reed's version)

Battlestar Galactica - Season One DVD - The new version of Battlestar has little resemblance to the cheesy 70's show. The new Battlestar is THE best SciFi show... EVER. I shit you not.

Cheap Trick - In Color (Albini Session) CD - The unreleased 1997 re-recording of the In Color album with Steve Albini turning the knobs. The songs have more bite than the 1977 versions and it made me a Cheap Trick fan all over again, for the first time. RAW. POWER. POP. Music Geek Moment: At the conclusion of "Oh Caroline" when Rick Nielsen throws in the riff from The Yardbirds' "Heart Full Of Stone".

Devo - Live 1980 DualDisc DVD / CD - Filmed and recorded at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, CA on 8/17/80. The spud onslaught of Uncontrollable Urge > Mongoloid > Be Stiff > Gates Of Steel > Freedom Of Choice is pretty damn great. Trivia: This very show was Tour Manager Doug's 1st concert..

Bob Dylan - No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7) - Man, I'll never go see Dylan live again, but I can listen to this stuff forever. Listen to the likes of "Visions Of Johanna" and "Desolation Row" and you'll realize that Techno music you listen to is gutless.

Iron Maiden - 1983 Fan Club Magazine Issues - I didn't have the money to join the Maiden F.C. back in The Day.. But a mere $10 on Ebay allowed me to live the magic 23 years later.

The Rebirth of Casa de Umlaut's Front Yard - Skychick works her magic over the Earth.. She can also communicate with animals.


S.F. Botanical Garden Society - Monthly Plant Sale - Sept. 10th - Umlaut was wearing a Motorhead shirt and a woman wearing a Care Bears shirt exclaimed "MOTORHEAD?!" in a "That's the last thing I thought I'd see here" way. Umlaut digs 7" import singles with picture sleeves. Skychick digs Native California drought resistant plants. Somehow it works.

Oasis / Jet / Kasabian - Shoreline Amphitheater, Mt. View, CA - Sept. 11th - This event marked a spike in Umlaut's Music Geek year since he saw 3 of his favorite bands within a month of each other (Iron Maiden, Dinosaur Jr., and Oasis).

I'm not even going to bother explaining why I dig Oasis. To quote Tour Manager Doug: "OASIS??" It reminds me of the reaction Metalhead friends gave me in 1985 when I said I liked "Fade To Black" (Metallica's blasphemous 1st ballad).

Oh yeah, Umlaut also likes Jet (I can hear those mouse clicks as disgusted readers move on to another web site..). For the record, despite what some Cool Kid Critics say, just because Jet are from Australia doesn't make them an AC/DC clone. In reality, Jet are more like a Humble Pie clone. Cool Kid Critics who don't know their Rock History annoy the fuck outta me.

At the bar, Umlaut, Skychick, and Miatomic discussed the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica.. Could it get more pathetic?! It's all in your perspective I guess.. Dyaknowwhatimean?

Despite the fact that this was Oasis' first S.F. Bay Area show in 5 years, I was expecting a small crowd.. Mainly because their Yank audience has become more "selective" (to quote Spinal Tap's manager Ian Faith).. However, Shoreline's reserved section was filled with Anglophiles and British ex-pats.

Oasis are better live than Venom ever were.

Of course, we were sitting behind THE biggest Oasis fanboy.. The guy air drummed and air guitared the entire show.. However, he wasn't annoying since watching someone air guitar to Oasis is not something you see every day. Dyaknowwhatimean?

Cheers to the Sheriff for the leg-up. If you bought one of every Oasis merch item you would have spent around $290 (I think). On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. For those who care, they played "Acquiesce"! I'm still mad for it.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Great American Music Hall, S.F. - Sept. 12th - Supposedly this show was oversold by a substantial amount... However, at showtime the place didn't seem that crowded, so perhaps time portal technology was utilized to solve the crowd vs. space conundrum. Then again, maybe not.

I don't know... Four years ago I was fanatical about this band.. Truth be told, they lost me with their recent 21st Century neo folk album.. BRMC have always walked a thin line between clever and pretentious.. and IMO they've tripped over to the latter.

Opening the set with 8 (EIGHT) of the new songs before playing a familiar old song did nothing to change my mind. When they did launch into that 9th song of the set, the old tune ("Punk Song") was a slap to my face that screamed "OH YEAH! THIS is the band I like..." Fuzzy 'N Loud.

If BRMC were a person it would be a 20-year old English major who just read Ginsberg for the first time. Oh well... Part of being a Music Geek is having bands let you down. I saw the best minds of my generation blah blah blah.

If you bought one of each BRMC merch item you would have spent around $260. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. I can't decide if BRMC is better live than Venom were... It's too close to call.

The Rambler 12-Hour Composition - S.F. - Sept. 22nd - Dude, The Rambler was like Pink Floyd Live @ Pompeii, only on wheels... but... Umlaut didn't go as planned. Blame Miatomic for scheduling a dinner party that evening.

Green Day - PacBell Park, S.F. - Sept. 24th - The last time Umlaut saw a band 4x on the same tour was during his Darkness Obsession. The Cool Kidz will always dismiss Green Day, but Umlaut loves 'em. Green Day has also been a convenient excuse to stalk Tour Manager Doug around the globe over the past year.

I thought I'd be a smartass and be the most Metal person by wearing an Iron Maiden shirt to the show.. However, I was quickly put in my place by the guy walking in front of us as we approached the stadium who was wearing a DIO jacket. In my head, Dio sang "You're the last in line!" and pointed the Devil sign at me.

When you've been in this Music Geek game as long as Umlaut, sometimes the world is *this* small. Case in point: The first band on was Flogging Molly with one Dave King on vocals.. In the early 80's King was in a band called Fastway with Fast Eddie Clarke of Motorhead and Pete Way of UFO. Umlaut saw Fastway open for Iron Maiden in 1983. Shock and awe.

As with any Big Rock Show, getting to the VIP Area was an adventure. I would like to state for the record that the guys working PacBell's "VIP" elevators were all smartasses. It must fuck with your head riding up and down in an elevator for a living.

Umlaut, Skychick, and Miatomic discussed the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica.. Could it get more pathetic?! It's all in your perspective I guess.. Dyaknowwhatimean?

I would like to state for the record that Green Day did their VIP Room the right way compared to another band whose name rhymes with Metallica. I also ran into more Old Metal people at this show than at the last Metallica show I attended. WWLD (What Would Lars Do)?

Best Quote: Hanes Beefy-T. to Umlaut the next day - "People sure abused the open bar."

They threw in a cover of Journey's "Lights" that made me laugh out loud.. For the number crunchers: Twas the highest paid attendance for any event at PacBell (inc. the Stones, Springsteen, and World Series games).. over 42,000. At least there's still one Rock band that can still fill a stadium and put on a proper show. One word: PYRO. THE best Pyro show I've seen since KISS... maybe even better.

Green Day are WAY better live than Venom ever were.

If you bought one of every Green Day merch item you would have paid $690 for 31 different items. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. During the After Show backstage action, Miatomic was hit on by an extremely creepy older guy. The Summer of Love is over, dude!

Green Day - Arco Arena, Sacramento, CA - Sept. 30th - Unintentionally, Green Day's American Idiot Tour turned into one of Umlaut's biggest Music Geek adventures... San Francisco > Amsterdam > London > San Francisco > Sacramento... but alas, all things must come to an end.

I know what you're saying: "Green Day AGAIN??".. But when an old friend like Tour Manager Doug (TMD) ends up with the biggest Rock band on the planet you gotta take advantage and embrace the concept of Carpe Diem. It seems like only yesterday that TMD and Umlaut were standing on a table at The Mabuhay Gardens in S.F. watching an out of control Metallica show (see below).

What's the difference in seeing shows in Sacramento vs. S.F.? Outside it was still 90 degrees at 7:00pm in Sac... Central Valley gridlock traffic.. The arena parking was $15 cheaper in Sac. The frightened looking Sacramento soccer moms escorting their teenage daughters to the scary Big Rock Show.

As Timo and I settled into our excellent seats next to the soundboard, I made eye contact with an old familiar face standing next to the board wearing a Discharge shirt.. and the following ensued:

Best Quote: Dave Ed of Neurosis (so loudly that heads turned) - "IS THAT [Umlaut's Real World Name]?!"

We both were like "Uhhh, what are YOU doing here??" Umlaut went on tour with Neurosis a couple of times back in The Day. We both probably felt that our MaximumRockNRoll cred was blown by being seen at the show (Trivia: Neurosis played with Green Day at Gilman St.).

However, if anyone asks, we both had valid excuses for being there: Me = Tour Manager Doug. Dave Ed = Members of the band. Or as Discharge sang "Hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing.."

Click HERE for a PDF of Umlaut On Tour With Neurosis from Umlaut #4 (Spring 1992)!

Jason, Green Day's 2nd guitarist, plays a Brian May model guitar onstage during their cover of "We Are The Champions". It is so obvious that Green Day are no longer a Punk band! If they were still Punk (or Punx), Jason would be playing a Mosrite during a Ramones cover or a Dan Armstrong during a Black Flag cover. So, all of you MaximumRockNRoll traditionalists can declare victory and continue to do whatever it is you do now that you can buy your Punk uniform gear and accessories at Hot Topic in Any Mall, U.S.A.

Misfits shirts = 1. I was amused by the "Too Cool For The School" Punx sitting to our left. The lads had "the right" look (the right haircuts, pegged jeans, Creepers, etc.) as did their girlfriends (standard Hot Topic fishnet girly Punk attire). The lads were obviously in a band since they wore matching Dickies jackets with the band's name screened on the back (The Phenomenauts). As they stared at the Big Rock Show, I could imagine them thinking "That SHOULD be US up there..." I should check 'em out.

On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Umlaut Trivia: The last time Umlaut was at Arco Arena was in January, 1992 for a Metallica show. It was in this very parking lot that some pimply-faced teenagers really did call me a fag... and thus a catchphrase was born. So now you know!

This road trip was capped off at midnight in a Vacaville Denny's by a 2 Egg Breakfast and a beer ("The Umlaut Classic" as Timo calls it). As we were leaving, 4 Jocks were being seated.. All of them were still wearing their Green Day backstage passes to show them off and one of them excitedly said "I'm never taking mine off!" AWW.. Even Jocks have a Geek side.

On the way home, there was a 5 car accident just outside of the arena parking lot.. and as we approached the Albany / Berkeley border there was a scary accident involving a car and a UPS tractor-trailer. The contents of the car were strewn across all lanes of Hwy 580. Livin' after midnight, Rockin' til the dawn.

Cheers once again to old Umlaut friend TMD for the hospitality and +1 into his All Access Pass World. Umlaut still lives vicariously through his Rock 'N Roll Lifestyle. Keep it real out there, for The Kidz.


The year was 1984.. Ronald Wilson Reagan (666) was in the White House. A young Kevin Bacon and Footloose enchanted the nation. Meanwhile:

Metallica @ The Mabuhay Gardens, S.F. - 7/20/84 (Pic by Umlaut)

Metallica had just returned from their debut European Tour and played a "secret" show at The Fab Mab. Umlaut took this pic while standing on a table. Tour Manager Doug was standing on the table next to him.

"Gotta cut loose, Footloose..."