Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thank to all my open mic friends from Paul Pot

You can't talk about 140 characters in 140 characters. Were there that many people there? As Candy said, "It wasn't a school night."

To the musicians and audience let me say, "Thank you for the most wonderful show on this Wednesday's Thanksgiving Eve Open Mic." This was one of those stellar nights that makes me really enjoy what I do every Wednesday. This open mic has got to be one of the best shows around and it's such a shame that it has to be our little secret. I get to throw a party each week, be Ed Sullivan, and not have to pay for the beer. Thank you. Thank you. ...Did I say, "Thank you?" Can't be said enough.

I'm a bit hazy on the details, as I had to make sure that the show ran well (perhaps you noticed I may have been a tad intense all evening) and I was also drinking beer. I started the show in my usual spot of sacrificial lamb. Not too much blood was spilt and some folks seemed to enjoy it. Max and Sam followed. Nice job on the Chris Smither song there, Sam. We had to juggle the lineup a bit to accomodate the TV stars (more on that in a bit), so I am grateful to Guy and Molly for moving up in the list and pitching in to keep things rolling. A big thanks to Guy for playing bass where needed. He can just play a song on the fly so, if he's there, don't be afraid to ask him to join you. Lowdown Jesus did some great harmonies on short notice.

Eventually we got to our TV stars. TV stars? Well almost. For some reason, a TV station in Spain decided that one of the members of the Horrible String Band was the typical California dude and were filming a day in his life. A typical day in the life of a Horrible String Bander just happens to include playing at the Missouri Lounge Open Mic. I just put the microphones around them and they belted out their songs on banjo, violin, guitar, standup bass, and damned powerful vocals while the Spaniard filmed. It was incredible. Also captured on film were Girl George (Madrid is gonna just love "Fucking all the Sailors in Chinatown") and what we like to call the "Soundtrack in his Own Mind" sound of Ken on electric piano (one of those with the programmed rhythm sections) accompianied by Roger Brown on guitar and yours truly on kazoo. It was kinda like the blind following the blind. Some people can't see it, but Roger and I do.

Doggie Jomo did an amazing version of a song called "Dig a Hole in the Meadow". He said he heard it in Ireland. Poor Lulu does not fare well in that story. David Matela came on and wowed us with his guitar playing. There are a lot of guitar players using a loop box, but you can always tell that they are using one. With David, people are always asking, "How does he do that?" It's so seamless when he does. He takes you for a ride. Big Bill followed with a nice couple of songs with David on guitar.

After Bill we got into the lightning round of the show. This is the part where we are running out of time and everybody gets one song and (boy oh boy!) do they ever give us their best. Eric, let me start off by saying, "I love you, man." I listened to you play and, as much as I enjoyed it, I can't remember what you sang. (You did hear the "I love you , man" part, right?) Geoff was a little under the.... okay, okay, he was polluted, but played a series of vignettes in a new tuning without falling off the chair. Staggering genius? Greg had Mike Husser and Roger join him on a Buffalo Springfield Tune. Harlan, Philo and Mike boogied. And then there was Roger. Roger Brown gave us one of those performances where his voice gently soared and his guitar sang most beautifully. Say no more.

At the end Sarah, ex-manager of the Miz, led us in a round of "You Are My Sunshine" in remembrance of Missouri staffer, Jamoki, who left us all too early last week. I only knew him in passing, but I could see he was dear to his friends, who miss him greatly. A good soul that one. Good night, kind sir.

I'm sure I've left something and somebody out. There were a ton of people there and I bet that at least 140 of them were real characters!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lookout Project Runway; Clam Fashion is on the Horizon!

Our young model (and my nephew), Sage, shows off the new look that will soon be sweeping the Clamnation! By the time he's old enough to see us play, he'll be out of diapers and I'll be back in them (on stage, no doubt.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lotsa fun at Chesters

Thanks to those who came out to Chesters. Special thanks to those who requested we play songs they missed from the early part of the set. We didn't account for the two hours as well as we should have. We'll be there again on January 15th. We'll make it a birthday party.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Murder Ballads was killer fun!

The Murder Ballads Bash on Halloween was just about the best one yet! We had so much fun playing our song "Death Becomes You" and our version of Wild Man Fisher's serial killer spectacular, "Jennifer Jones", where I killed Gail in the middle of the song. In it's 8th year, this show has become a Starry Plough classic that should not be missed next year. Incredible performances by Penelope Houston and the Birdboys, Luther Monday and the Magic Hammer, Loretta Lynch, The Bodice Rippers, the list goes on.

Folks were really decked out for the evening, like.......................

A shot of Penelope and the Birdboys (thanks Steve).....

And our hostess Val with her contagious smile..

To see more pictures of the show by Michael Zelner, just click here

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Open Mic Anniversary Fun

I want to thank everbody who came out for the Open Mic 5th anniversary at the Missouri Lounge last night. The whole lot of you had me working hard but I had a great time doing it. The music was fantastic. The lightning round at the end, where everybody got one song, was tremendous as everybody put out there best, one after another. Thanks to all who came and, to all of you who musicians who couldn't make it, I've got a free poster for for you with the names of everybody whose played the open mic waiting for you! (Valid while supplies last)

Great version of "I'm Your Venus", Bill.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I've not been keeping up. I apologize. Earlier this month we had the privilige of being a supporting act at Yard Sale's eastbay CD release show at the Starry Plough. Yard Sale was incredible. So was Joel Murach and the Low Rollers. Yard Sale played all the songs on their new CD and more. You can pick up that new CD "God Bless Our Camper" at Amoeba, CD Baby, and probably on Itunes and the like. I can pick one up, too. I just gave my copy away and now I need a new one. I'll race you to Amoeba.

I have absolutely no photos from this show. I saw flashes so I know there are pics out there. Send them to us! We all wonder what we look like without shaving cream.

We are looking forward to the Murder Ballads Bash on Halloween. It's a big and power-packed lineup of local talent. Killer.

If you are on Facebook. Be a fan of the Happy Clams!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tuesday, Sept 1, 2009 - LNA (Lowtide News Agency) The Bunny Numpkins and the Kill Blow-Up Orchestra, featuring 2/3 of the Happy Clams, plays Kimo's for Jeremy's Birthday.

The Bunny Numpkins and the Kill Blow-Up Reaction (Jeremy, Chrissy, Jason, Leslie, and some guy on drums) were joined by Harlan Hollander (guitar), Joe Rut (drum machine), and Happy Clams members Rawbird (banjo) and Paul Pot (electrified kazoo) to celebrate Jeremy's birthday at Kimos. There may have been more people on stage than there were in the audience. The bright side was that the band was phenomenal and there was plenty of parking because everybody, that you find especially annoying on a summer night, was at Burning Man. The 8 piece wrecking crew was amazingly tight. Later on though, when it was pointed out that the song Lake Elsinore didn't sound like it did at other shows, Jeremy shrugged and said, "Well that may not be how it goes, but that's how it went." Chrissy giggled the whole time and some of it resembled lyrics. Joe Rut said that he played perhaps the best drum machine solo of his career. Harlan Hollander tried to join in on the solo, but it was clear he wasn't machine enough. Jeremy just smiled.

Great fun. Happy Birthday Jeremy!

(hopefully somebody took a picture)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Party at Pot Palace proves pink!

The 11th annual party at the Pot Palace was a rousing success. Everybody had a good time and was well fed and quenched. Rawbird Leigh unveiled his new pink drums. The Happy Clams dressed to the occasion and roared through a 2 1/2 hour set. Much thanks to Harlan Hollander, David Matela, Gary Robinson, Stina, Wild Bill, Guy Michel, and that fellow with the thumb thingy for providing additional music.

The beer cup is well placed, don't you think?

Monday, June 29, 2009

In honor of Michael Jackson, Rawbird had himself surgically altered to be an exact copy Melanie DeGiovanni for our performance at Lanesplitter's Anniversary Party. The surgery was so successful that he completely fooled Mel's husband, Andy, who played horns with the Clams at the show. Their children, who were in the audience, knew something was wrong, but were unable to articulate their concerns with pizza in their mouths. After the show, Rawbird went back under the scalpel and was his old self at rehearsal the next evening.

Completely fooled. ------->

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saw the Zeros last night. Awesome! If you missed it, they are playing again at Gilman St tonight (6/27).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Happy Clams played a solstice celebration at the Albany Bulb with the Cavepainters, Strange Angel and the Ravines. It was a great day where we discovered that some clams don't go bad in the sun. There was great fun and good cheer.

Paul- guitar and vocals
Rawbird - banjo
Gail - bass and vocals
Guy Michel - guest on second guitar
Bongo Barry - what else? bongos

Monday, June 1, 2009

KUSF Charts

Well, it had to happen. We dropped off the KUSF 90.3 charts in SF. It was nice 6 week ride. If any of you had called in and requested the CD during that time, we are grateful. Keep it up. Maybe we'll get back on. -Paul

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wow, finally started the blog. I'll start with the announcement that all the tunes from "I'm All Steamed Up, Baby", the debut CD from the Happy Clams, can be bought, one at a time, as digital downloads from the following dispensaries:


I have no idea what those last three are, but then again, I still buy vinyl and CDs at, of all places, the store. Speaking of the store, there is a used copy of "I'm All Steamed Up, Baby" at Amoeba in Berkeley going for the shocking price of $7.98! Why if I didn't already have another 900 copies I might be interested in that bargain!

(I wonder whose free copy ended up there?)

Anyway the CD itself is still availabe at Force of Habit Records, both bay area Amoeba locations, and at CD baby.