Note from Jeff:

This is my original "Gig Diaries" page from the Famous Last Words site. I'm in the process of making it more clickable and easier to navigate, but in the meantime, you can check it out in its past glory. There is some writing in here of which I am quite proud, certainly prouder of than the way this sentence is awkwardly turning out...to be (or not...). Ay, there's the rub! Anyway, as I said on the original page, the writing starts to take off as the time goes by, so scroll down liberally and sink your teeth into the later meaty goodness. And enjoy!
...JZ

 

"Our Emails are Educational"
(fan suggestion for our band slogan)

 

Thanks for all of the positive feedback on our highly creative gig announcements! Someone came up with the bright idea of archiving them for you to peruse and share with your loved ones. Hence this page. They're in chronological order so you can follow the concomitant evolution of the band and emails. What I mean is, the emails get freer and more creative right along with the music. I've just been trying to sneak the word concomitant into casual conversation ever since my T.S. Eliot thesis.

Anyway, read 'em all or pick and choose. Novices might want to scroll all the way down to the latest or start with fan favorites "everything's alright" (12/3/2000), "rock and roll jeopardy"(6/1/01), "acoustic at the Utah" (2/26/02) or the legendary Kingfish story (1/28/04).

And even if you don't want to do any reading, scroll down for more photo fun...

(6/9/2000) Gig this Saturday!

Hey everybody:

Famous Last Words is playing electric at the Bistro in beautiful downtown Hayward (at the corner of B Street and Main) this Saturday June 10 (which is tomorow but since we're sending this out so late by the time some of you are reading this it will be yesterday...).
Anyway, we play from 9-12. There's no cover. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Hope to see you...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar and vocals Kate Burkart: vocals and tambourine and rare egg Zack Fleitz: bass and vocals Brian Kent: drums

 

Viva la Revolution...(7/11/2000)

Hey Everybody:

If you're just hanging around tonight (Tue.) between midnight and 2 am and are looking for something to do, flip your radio to 104.1, and listen to Berkeley Liberation Radio. Jeff and Kate will be in studio performing some tunes as promotion for a benefit show that will include Famous Last Words this coming Sunday at Ashkenaz to support the Oct. 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality.

We'll send out more info on that show later in the week. Berkeley Liberation Radio is a small station that you may not be able to pick up if you're not actually sitting in the studio with us. Well, it reaches farther than that, but not too far outside of Berkeley.

Anyway, have a good week...


Famous Last Words

 

Save the World (7/14/2000)

Greetings comrades:

Famous Last Words is playing a benefit show this Sunday July 16th at Ashkenaz in Berkeley (1370 San Pablo Ave, Gilman St. Exit). The show is a benefit for the Oct.22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality.

And hey, even if you support police brutality, you can come out and hear some good music. Other performers are Resin, Caesar Myles and the Dreaded Truth, Rebecca Riots, Erika Luckett, and Liz Anah. Doors open at 3:30 pm, show starts at 4:00, we go on from 5:00- 5:45. There is a sliding scale cover of 8 to 25 $. Ashkenaz is an all-ages venue so bring the kids!

We will be playing acoustic and joined by master percussionist Stan Ginn which makes our sound pretty hip.

Hope to see you...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals, harp Kate Burkart: vocals Stan Ginn: percussion

 

 

Gig! (7/20/2000)

Hey everybody:

Famous Last Words is taking time out from our busy political action schedule to play a show on Tuesday night, July 25 at the very hip Hotel Utah, located at 500 4th St. (at Bryant) in San Francisco. Come check out our new drummer, the amazing Stan Ginn, in one of his last days before tying the knot. We start at 8:30 and play for an hour, and then you can stay for the Broun Fellinis who are a cool funky acid jazzy trio.

We are also continuing our summer tour of pirate radio stations on Monday night, July 24, when Kate and Jeff will be in studio at San Francisco Liberation Radio (93.7 on your FM dial) from 8-9 pm. If you're out of range, which you probably are, you can listen in live on the web at http://www.interzone.org/radio. Tune in for all the shenanigans including Kate's olive escapades...

Hope to see you...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: vocals, tambourine Zach Fleitz: bass Stan Ginn: drums

 

Test (8/25/2000)

Hi everybody:

Jeff has recently acquired a Mac G4 "supercomputer" so powerful it is used by the military and cannot be transported across international lines...or something. He is planning on using it for relatively benign purposes, however, such as creating a new Famous Last Words mailing list.
Hence this email.

This is a test. This is only a test. If this were real, you'd be told where to go and what to do, etc. (Just as a suggestion, though, you might want to go to the Hotel Utah next Friday, Sept. 1 to see Famous Last Words rock the house...more info on that in a later email).

Anyway, hopefully this worked and wasn't too time-consuming to read...
Have a good weekend...

Famous Last Words: (yes, you're starting to need a scorecard...)
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: vocals, tambourine Stan Ginn: drums, percussion Zbynek Bozbezh (but you can call him "ZB"): bass

 

Fri. at the Utah! (8/29/2000)

Hey everybody:

Famous Last Words is playing the fabulous Hotel Utah Saloon in San Francisco (500 4th St. at Bryant) this Friday, Sept. 1. We are the second of 3 acts and we go on at 9:30 pm. Come and see who is the latest player to be voted out of the band at the last tribal meeting!

I will send this out before the brand new "super" computer pulls any more flakiness...

Incidentally, if you do not want to be on this mailing list any more, just reply back and tell us to take you off. (Mom, this does not apply to you...)

Hope to see you Friday!


Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: vox ZB: bass Stan Ginn: drums

 

 

C'mon Get happy! (10/8/2000)

Hello World (there's a song that we're singin'):

Famous Last Words is playing HAPPY HOUR at the Paradise Lounge in San Francisco this Thursday, October 12. The Paradise is located at Folsom and 11th streets, south of Market, and for those of you old enough to remember, is the site of the famous Esme's Dream band photo shoot. Happy Hour is from 6 to 8 pm, it's free, and it's fun, so, as the Partridges used to brazenly enthuse, "c'mon get happy!"

For this show, we are proud to announce the addition of drummer Doug Stringer, (somewhat) fresh off a tour with Natalie Merchant where they opened for one Mr. Bob Dylan.

In other band news, we just played a successful acoustic trio show at Borders Books in SF, where we went on after Branford Marsalis rode off into the sunset. The thrilled crowd was happy that we premiered two new songs at that show and they may make their way into the electric show at the Paradise (the songs and the crowd). We promise to try to learn all the words.

And in sports news, a shout-out to Bay Area baseball fans who had a rough Sunday, but an exciting season. Perhaps Kordell Stewart's 2nd consecutive triumph, in which the Steelers dominated the previously unbeaten Jets, will grant us all some sense of victory over New York.

Anyway, hope to see you at the Paradise!


Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: vox, tambourine ZB: bass, vox Doug Stringer: drums (but absolutely no tambourines)

 

(10/20/2000) Fwd Pres.Debate Transcript

Hey Everybody:

The show at the Paradise went well, and it looks like we'll be there again in December, but this time on a downstairs stage. For those of you not in the rocking throng that was there, highlights included two new originals plus a surprise sizzling cover of "Love Me Like a Man" , an old chestnut that hadn't been performed on stage for close to a year.

On another note, here at Famous Last Words, we believe that democracy is best served by an informed electorate. With that in mind, we offer up the following forwarded email.

See you soon...

Subject: Presidential Debate Transcript        Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000

Forwarded message begins here:

For those who didn't have time to watch the presidential debate Wednesday night, we have prepared this transcript of what was actually said:

Jim Lehrer: Welcome to the second presidential debate between Vice President Al Gore and Gov. George W. Bush. The candidates have agreed on these rules: I will ask a question. The candidate will ignore the question and deliver rehearsed remarks designed to appeal to undecided women voters. The opponent will then have one minute to respond by trying to frighten senior citizens into voting for him. When a speaker's time has expired, I will whimper softly while he continues to spew incomprehensible statistics for three more minutes. Let's start with the vice president. Mr. Gore, can you give us the name of a downtrodden citizen and then tell us his or her story in a way that strains the bounds of common sense?

Gore: As I was saying to Tipper last night after we tenderly made love the way we have so often during the 30 years of our rock-solid marriage, the downtrodden have a clear choice in this election. My opponent wants to cut taxes for the richest 1 percent of Americans. I, on the other hand, want to put the richest 1 percent in an ironclad lockbox so they can't hurt old people like Roberta Frampinhamper, who is here tonight. Mrs. Frampinhamper has been selling her internal organs, one by one, to pay for gas so that she can travel to these debates and personify problems for me. Also, her poodle has arthritis.

Lehrer: Gov. Bush, your rebuttal.

Bush: Governors are on the front lines every day, hugging people, crying with them, relieving suffering anywhere a photo opportunity exists. I want to empower those crying people to make their own decisions, unlike my opponent, whose mother is not Barbara Bush.

Lehrer: Let's turn to foreign affairs. Gov. Bush, if Slobodan Milosevic were to launch a bid to return to power in Yugoslavia, would you be able to pronounce his name?

Bush: The current administration had eight years to deal with that guy and didn't get it done. If I'm elected, the first thing I would do about that guy is have Dick Cheney confer with our allies. And then Dick would present me several options for dealing with that guy. And then Dick would tell me which one to choose. You know, as governor of Texas, I have to make tough foreign policy decisions every day about how we're going to deal with New Mexico.

Lehrer: Mr. Gore, your rebuttal.

Gore: Foreign policy is something I've always been keenly interested in. I served my country in Vietnam. I had an uncle who was a victim of poison gas in World War I. I myself lost a leg in the Franco-Prussian War. And when that war was over, I came home and tenderly made love to Tipper in a way that any undecided woman voter would find romantic. If I'm entrusted with the office of president, I pledge to deal knowledgeably with any threat, foreign or domestic, by putting it in an ironclad lockbox. Because the American people deserve a president who can comfort them with simple metaphors.

Lehrer: Vice President Gore, how would you reform the Social Security system?

Gore: It's a vital issue, Jim. That's why Joe Lieberman and I have proposed changing the laws of mathematics to allow us to give $50,000 to every senior citizen without having it cost the federal treasury a single penny until the year 2250. In addition, my budget commits $60 trillion over the next 10 years to guarantee that all senior citizens can have drugs delivered free to their homes every Monday by a federal employee who will also help them with the child-proof cap.

Lehrer: Gov. Bush?

Bush: That's fuzzy math. I know, because as governor of Texas, I have to do math every day. I have to add up the numbers and decide whether I'm going to fill potholes out on Rt. 36 east of Abilene or commit funds to reroof the sheep barn at the Texas state fairgrounds.

Lehrer: It's time for closing statements.

Gore: I'm my own man. I may not be the most exciting politician, but I will fight for the working families of America, in addition to turning the White House into a lusty pit of marital love for Tipper and me.

Bush: It's time to put aside the partisanship of the past by electing no one but Republicans.

Lehrer: Good night.

 

Gig This Friday! (11/6/2000)

Hi Everybody:

Famous Last Words is playing a return engagement this Friday, Nov. 10, at the always hip Hotel Utah Saloon in San Francisco. The Utah is located south of Market at 4th and Bryant Streets. We go on in the coveted middle slot at 9:15 pm.

Don't miss the opportunity to look at the stage and say "Now who's...That Drummer?" It's not Marlo Thomas, but Rich Snider, Bay Area longtime drumming fixture who will definitely flex a jazz chop or two in the course of the musical proceedings.

The Utah is a great venue and a lot of fun so come on out, swing a mug, and say "hi"!

Hope to see you...


Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: vocals, tambourine ZB: bass, vocals, power play forward Rich Snider: drums


p.s. And in the saving/destroying the world dept...

Nader? Gore? Bush? Flutie? Remember the immortal words of Bob Weir, just before walking off the stage of Berkeley's Greek Theater 8 or 12 years ago, after a particularly rousing set closer: "Don't forget to vote..."

 

Everything's alright, everything's fine (12/3/2000)

Brothers and Sisters:

Let us all recall in this email subject heading those soothing words of Yvonne Elliman as she tried to comfort Ian Gillan's Jesus to give him a good night's sleep. They were famous last words as well, of course, since not long after he found himself hung out to dry and cried out some famous last words of his own, which perhaps we've all felt at one dark time or another: "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He did have time to modify this to "Forgive them; they know not what they do"( which, while pretty memorable, are still perhaps less profound than Oscar Wilde's looking up from his deathbed and saying "Either those curtains go...or I do" as he expired.)

What (in God's name) are we rambling on about here, you wonder? Is Famous Last Words pulling a Bob Dylan circa 1979? (ie, You gotta serve somebody...)

No, but in the spirit of the season, we are playing a show at the Paradise Lounge next Thursday night, Dec.7, right after a production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" on the main stage.

You think crucifixion of the Western Savior figure is a tough act to follow? Well, they didn't want to follow us, either.
Anyway, Jeff promises not to set his guitar on fire and, in the words of Jimi Hendrix, "sacrifice something I love" in order to compete.

We'll just play a good show.

Thursday, Dec.7
11:00 pm. (!)
Paradise Lounge
Folsom and 11th, San Francisco

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: vox ZB: bass, vox Rich Snider: drums

 

Gig this Friday! (1/22/01)

Hey Everybody:

Hope you are enjoying the start of the new millenium. If not, another one will begin in a short 1,000 years. It'll fly by, really...

In the meantime, you can kill a couple of hours this Friday, January 26th, when Famous Last Words plays a show at what has become one of our favorite digs, the (eternally hip) Hotel Utah Saloon, on 4th and Bryant Streets in San Francisco.

Going on before us, at 7:30 is the Greg Howard band. Greg Howard played with the Dave Matthews band and his instrument of choice is the Chapman Stick. This is a cool instrument which will make you sound very musician-ly when you talk about it.

Never ones to be outdone, Famous Last Words is instituting an upgrade at the bass position. We will have sitting in with us local bass luminary Uriah Duffy. Mr. Duffy is a real virtuoso, and we don't toss that word around lightly here. If you dug us before, you will really dig this. We go on at 9:00 pm.

Come on out, have a beer, and say hi!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: vocals, percussion Rich Snider: drums Uriah Duffy: bass

 

Headlining at the Utah! (3/3/01)

Hello Everybody:

Next Saturday March 10, Famous Last Words will be HEADLINING at the Hotel Utah Saloon on 4th and Bryant Streets in San Francisco. Opening up for us will be a Ted Hoagland cd release party and Blue Max. We go on at about 10:45 pm and play until closing...

In our continuing interest in exploring our own bottom end (...um... don't think about that too much...) we will have David Duenas sitting in with us on bass. David is a local musical fixture best known for his classical guitar excursions, and he adds some serious modes and expression to our sound. Plus he rocks.

Come on out and say hi!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: vocals, percussion Rich Snider: drums, attitude David Duenas: bass


p.s. We may be bothering you with another reminder of this show next week. As always, if you would like to be removed from this list, reply back and ask us (nicely) to remove you. (As always, mom, this does not apply to you...)

 

a (short and sweet) reminder (3/8/01)

So here's the reminder we warned you about last email... We're headlining at the Hotel Utah (4th and Bryant St. in SF) this Saturday, March 10. We go on at about 10:45 pm.

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals, plate juggling Kate Burkart: vocals, percussion, visual pleasure Rich Snider: drums, attitude David Duenas: bass, modes, and expression

 

Unplugged gig Monday Night! (4/22/01)

Hey There:

Tomorrow night (Monday, April 23) Jeff and Kate will be performing as a duo in an "unplugged" acoustic show at the "Brokedown Opry", Kimo's ultra-hip Americana showcase.

This is your chance to experience the incredible depth and soulful quality of the band's songwriting and musicality in an intimate setting without the mindblowing jamming pyrotechnics that fuel the electric shows...
Plus we don't have to lug around as much equipment.

The show starts at 8, and we go on at 9. (The Penguins will have dispensed with the Capitals by then...)

Kimo's is located at 1351 Polk St. (at Pine) in San Francisco, with ample parking.

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: vox, Fender P-bass

 

Uhh...Gig Rescheduled! (4/23/01)

Hey everybody:

As Butt-head might say: "uh....huh huh...the gig tonight has been...like, rescheduled or something..."
"Yeah, yeah, rescheduled...with chicks and explosions!"
"Shut up Beavis, it'll still be...like, huh huh, an intimate acoustic evening"
"Yeah, yeah, intimate...that's what I said...chicks and explosions! Heh heh!"

Forgive us, it's early and we are trying to get this late-breaking info out to our loyal community before they show up at a closed venue and start a riot. It was festival seating, also...

The scoop is that Kimo's needs to do some extra soundproofing and it was pushed to this week. Therefore their music has been put on hold for the week. We have been tentatively rescheduled for Monday May 14th. Just 3 short weeks away. We will keep you informed.

We hope this is not screwing anyone up. Rock and roll can be a cruel and unforgiving mistress (and although in San Francisco people pay good money for that, in this case please accept our apologies...)

Famous Last Words: Beavis: air-guitar, vox Butt-head: air-guitar, vox, remote

 

An intimate acoustic evening this Monday...(5/10/01)

Hi Everybody:

This time we're serious... The Kimo's Americana show which was postponed from last month is happening this Monday, May 14.
Jeff and Kate will be playing as an acoustic duo. Now's your chance to experience the subtleties of songwriting and performance that sometimes get lost amidst the pyrotechnics of electric shows.
We go on at 8:45. After us will be "Doug Blumer and Friends." Kimo's is still located at 1351 Polk St. (at Pine) with plenty of ample parking. (which is better than only a little bit of ample parking...)

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: vox, bass

p.s. go pens!

 

Gig this Friday June 8! And rock and roll jeopardy (6/1/01)

Hello Everyone!

For your entertainment, we invite you to take a moment to play rock and roll jeopardy. Remember, the answer comes first:

1. Answer: Talking Heads, the Feelies, Throwing Muses, Belly, the Bellyachers, the Giblet Dribblers.
Question: What bands have a chick bass player?

2. Answer: Famous Last Words
Question: What band can now be added to that list?

3. Answer: Well, this one is sort of rhetorical, but the answer could be "extremely".
Question: How cool is that?

4. Answer: If you look on the bottom of the stool she brings to acoustic gigs, you'll see her initials are "K.B."
Question: Who is this mystery woman?

That's right. Following in the grand tradition of Genesis replacing Peter Gabriel in 1975 by going within the band, our new bassist is none other than vocalist Kate Burkart. As Robert Plant said when asked why he and Jimmy Page did not invite John Paul Jones to the Led Zeppelin reunion, "One million divided by two is more than one million divided by three."

And now you can come witness the new Famous Last Words Experience this Friday June 8 at the Hotel Utah Saloon ( at 4th and Bryant) in San Francisco. We have secured the coveted middle slot and will go on around 9:15.

But wait, there's more! Joining us on drums is drumming maestro and New York transplant Kevin "Moose" O'Brien. A New Yorker named Moose: Do NOT try to break into his car.

All of this would be an incredible value, but there's STILL MORE! Sitting in on "rhythm" guitar is Dan "the man" Carr. For those of you old enough to remember Shirking Violet (more a legend than a band, really... apologies to the Flatlanders), you know why "rhythm" is in quotes. Along with monster grooves, Dan can create sounds that were born on a different planet.

So anyway, to recap:
Cool chick bass player Kate.
Big New York drummer Moose.
Psychedelic groovy rhythm guitarist Dan.
And Jeff.
Hotel Utah Saloon
Friday June 8th. 9:15 pm.

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Kevin O'Brien: drums Dan Carr: guitar

p.s. Jeff and Kate are also playing a duo acoustic show on Monday June 11 at Kimo's "Brokedown Opry" Americana Showcase. More on that later... p.p.s. Due to the extreme length of this email, it may not be suitable for all recipients. As always, if you would like to be removed from our list, simply reply back and ask us (nicely) to remove you. thanks.

 

Gig Monday June 11 (6/10/01)

Hi Everybody:

You can give your ears a rest when Jeff and Kate play an acoustic duo show this Monday June 11 at Kimo's "Brokedown Opry" Americana Showcase. Kimo's always gets really good bands for these country/folk/bluegrass hootenannies so we recommend all three acts for the night. We get a chance to do some other kinds of material plus new arrangements of your favorite FLW classics.

The music begins at 8:00 pm. We go on at about 9:00.

Kimo's is located at 1351 Polk (and Pine) in San Francisco.

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart (#22 on your scorecard): vox, bass

 

Web Site! (7/18/01)

Hi Everybody:

Famous Last Words has finally crossed that bridge into the 21st century and we now have a presence on the web. We have a site; therefore we are.

After the frustration of dealing with unreliable "pro" designers, we took matters into our own hands and done did it ourselves.

The "D.I.Y." attitude enabled us to experience the unique thrill of watching random files get uploaded for no discernible reason and other fun computer mishaps, and after a few panic-stricken phone calls Jeff concluded that the computer test makes the acid test a veritable walk in the park (and there's some famous last words that are primed to come around and bite later on...).

Still, mucho thanks to the people on the receiving end of those phone calls, Dan at Dan Carr Designs, Henry at Huge Media, Kari, and Robin. As Joe Quirk said in the acknowledgements to The Ultimate Rush, "Anything stupid about this book is entirely their fault, and I take credit for all the cool stuff."

Hope you like our web site. Any comments are appreciated. Remember, the web is the epitome of our ephemeral existence. A site is not a static thing. It is continually being updated and tweaked. As the reissued double cd I just bought emphatically muses: "All things must pass."

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: vox, bass Kevin O'Brien: drums

 

Gig this Friday! (7/30/01)

Hi Everybody:

Famous Last Words is playing this Friday, August. 3 at the way cool Hotel Utah (4th and Bryant Streets) in San Francisco. This will be our last full band electric show until the fall, so come on out and celebrate the end of summer school. You don't want to spend the end of your summer jonesing for a Famous Last Words electric gig and kicking yourself over the missed opportunity...

A band called "5 AM" opens the show, and then us and "Snufkin". We'll go on at 9:45 pm. Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: vox, bass Kevin O'Brien: drums

check out our website! http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
Let us know what you think! We'd like to purge our email list, so if you would like to be removed from this list, please reply back and ask us (nicely) to remove you. No questions asked and nobody gets hurt. Thanks.

 

Gig and Thoughts (9/23/01)

Hello Friends:

I hope this email finds you all well. The past 12 days has been a shock which is still hard to put into words. I feel the need to say something though. If you don't want to read my ramblings, feel free to skip to the bottom for our gig info.

One thing which really helped me was an email forwarded to me by my friend Margie saying the country (and world) has gone through a collective near-death experience. This can actually bring about positive change.

I'm looking for that: Trying to get some respite from the news I turned to ESPN, and was struck by the dignity and depth of responses of everyone from Randy Moss to Vinny Testaverde. NY Giants coach Jim Fassel said he would never feel sorry for himself after a loss again.

My friend Nick emailed me from Brooklyn just a day after the attacks, saying "I'm praying for some form of enlightenment to come out of all this, a maturity in world relations...Be positive. And help in any way you can."

How does this relate to the surge of patriotism? My sister Laurie, a university professor in international relations and expert on the Middle East, had this take on the Friday night telethon: " [I felt proud that ] here we suffer this horrible attack and while we prepare to fight back with one hand (hopefully in an efficient, surgical and responsible manner) we are singing songs about hope and love and reading poems and celebrating ordinary heroes with the other. No surging crowds in the streets or hyped up artists screaming for blood."

And the way I am looking at that telethon, while the American hero Clint Eastwood may have ended the actors' roles with a necessary hard-nosed resolve and dignity, it was the American hero Willie Nelson, famous for his voice of gentleness and compassion, open enough to sensitivity to spend years playing the simplest heart-wrenching beautiful solos on an acoustic guitar with a hole in it, who closed the evening with "America the Beautiful."

Tom Hanks began the evening by quoting the passengers on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania: "We're going to do something."
Which is some serious resolve. Which we should be able to pay heed to.

I'm thankful for the thoughts of family and friends and strangers who have all said "Practice acts of kindness."

Aside from that, what I do is teach and play music. Since most of you will not be attending my classes, I invite you to hear some music.

love,
Famous Last Words

Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: vocals, bass Pete Gilroy: percussion, vocals

Kimo's Brokedown Opry
Tues., Sept. 25 (Happy Birthday Mike Niber!)
1351 Polk St. at Pine San Francisco 8:30 pm (with the fabulous Jenny Kerr Band)

we'll be full band electric at the Paradise next week also...more on that to come...

"Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
And the poet and the painter far behind their rightful time
We gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing...
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones and worse
And for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
We gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing"

Paradise This Wednesday! (10/1/01)

Hi everybody:

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Kimo's show last Tuesday. It was a great vibe and included the surprise treat of former FLW bass player Chris Jones joining the band onstage to sing harmony on a rousing rendition of "Bank Robber."

We are playing a special mid-week show this Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the Paradise Lounge in San Francisco (308 11th St. at Folsom ). This will be very cool since we are playing on the big Main Stage. Come see us before we get too big for our britches. (Yes, there is an "r" in that last word).

Anyway, the Main Stage is a lot of fun with great sound and visuals. The show starts at 8:00 and we go on at 9:00 so you don't have to worry that it's a school night. Also appearing are local fixtures the Kuntry K's and the Jenny Kerr Band, both of whom are great.

Come on out and meet our newest band member, the drumming maestro groove machine harmony vocalist all -around good guy Pete Gilroy, whose resume includes stints with Spencer Davis, Steve Kimock, Carmine Appice, and his brother.

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Pete Gilroy: drums, vox
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. Yes, we are still thinking about the state of the world. In the interest of trying to make it a better place, we would like to tell you about a website that does a nice job of promoting various progressive causes. It is easy to get involved.
If you're interested, you can check out:
http://www.workingassets.com
Thanks and have a nice day!

 

Kimo's this Tuesday! (10/22/01)

Hello Everyone:

Famous Last Words is playing at Kimo's ultra-cool Brokedown Opry this Tuesday Oct. 23 (tomorrow night if you're reading this today, tonight if you're reading this tomorrow, and, um, last night if you're reading this on Wednesday...)

Also appearing will be "Drag the River" a band which includes members of the legendary bands The Descendents and ALL. Pat Johnson opens and we go on at 9:30. Kimo's 1351 Polk St. (at Pine) San Francisco

We'll be doing the electric trio thing, complete with drums and Jeff's SG. For those of you who are gear-heads and care about this kind of stuff, Kate will be using her SWR amp.

Hope to see you there! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Pete Gilroy: drums, vocals

 

East Bay Gig This Friday! (11/12/01)

Hi Everyone:

Famous Last Words is playing an electric East Bay show this Friday Nov. 16 at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. The Plough is a great venue and we're looking forward to seeing all our east bay friends. (If you're not from the east bay we still look forward to seeing you, too. If you're from the east bay and not our friend, then you should still come, but we must admit we probably wouldn't technically be looking forward to seeing you.)

The Starry Plough is located at 3101 Shattuck Ave., just south of Ashby. "Stumbling distance from the Ashby BART," as they say. We go on at 9:30. This is our only east bay show of the month, so now's your chance!

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Pete Gilroy: drums, vox

 

Gig this Saturday 2/9! (2/3/02)

Hello FLW friends and fans:

It's been over a month since we've been in touch but we're back, and with a vengeance, I might add. Before telling you about the upcoming gig, we'd like to fill you in on the wise ways in which we did not waste our winter break:

1. Jeff and Kate played a highly successful duo acoustic show at the legendary FILLMORE AUDITORIUM in San Francisco for the LEFTOVER SALMON/members of LITTLE FEAT show on Jan. 25. We got a great response, had a blast, and just generally enjoyed rubbing shoulders with the rock and roll mythology that permeates that venue. Very cool. We'll be back. (Jeff's Kordell Stewart jersey went over big as well, certainly bigger than it would have gone over on Jan. 28...)

2. We've also been working/playing hard with newest band member, drummer Jason Bartulis. Jason did session work in LA for 8 years and is now pursuing the life of the mind as a grad student in English and Philosophy at Berkeley. This means he actually listens to some of our lyrics. But as a former graduate student myself, we're also keeping him away from the mind and in the body and spirit as we all entrain to the intoxicating FLW vibe. This guy is good and we sound good with him. As Mark Knopfler would say, "Check it out..."

Here's a grand opportunity: This Saturday night , February 9, at the Hotel Utah (4th and Bryant) in San Francisco. We go on at 9:30 pm. We would love to see you there. It'll be worth your while! For our friends in suburbia, see you at the Roundup on Thursday February 7!

Rock on,
Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitars, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Jason Bartulis: drums

p.s. Check out the new, updated website! Recording photos, new bio and bandmembers page, links, etc etc. Let us know what you think! http://www.famouslastwordsband.com p.p.s. If you wish to be removed from this email list, just hit reply and ask us (nicely) to remove you. Graceful Distancing and we each go our separate ways. Everything is cool.


East Bay Gig: Blake's 2/24

Hello FLW friends and fans:

Now's your chance to help us rock the East Bay when we amble into Blake's this Sunday night. Blake's is a very cool club located at 2367 Telegraph Ave. in the heart of Berkeley's hip college district. Good food, good beer, good tunes, good deal! We go on at 9:15 pm. (So for those of you for whom it's a school night, everything is cool...) This will be our last electric show for a while, so don't miss your chance to come out and rawk!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Utah last weekend. A special shout-out to old friends Chris Jones (former flw bassist) and Jim Clark (drummer for Absent Iris and the Personal Demons) who made surprise appearances, Jim coming all the way up from San Luis Obispo. Come on out and support local music this Sunday! If a tree falls in the forest and no one comes to hear, it won't get booked again. We're looking forward to seeing you.


Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Jace Bartulis: drums, classical ethical theory http://www.famouslastwordsband.com (we've finally got some music up there on the music page! tell us what you think...) As always, if you want to be removed from this list, simply reply back and ask us (nicely) to remove you. No fuss, no muss...


Acoustic at the Utah Tues. 2/26!

FLW friends and fans:

This message comes to you from the midst of a haze, after a whirlwind and sleep-deprived 24 hours, but the news must get out, so clear thinking and typos be damneddd.

Why the whirlwind? And whither? Well, we whipped through a wonderful show at Blake's last night, thanks to all our friends who came out and helped to people the audience. We appreciate your support as an audience with no people may as well be an empty room. Highlights included Kate's secret divulgence of where on her person she got poison oak last week (and why she was scratching...or itching there) and Jace's spontaneous drum solo in "Maggie's Song" after Kate's mike mysteriously went silent and Jeff's guitar mysteriously went horrendously out of tune. "Something always happens when we play that tune" whispered the ghost of Mick Jagger portentously, yet before anything ominous could be captured on documentary film, Jace held the ship aloft with a jazz roll or ten, the technical demons were defeated, the band recovered, and rock and roll lived to conquer another day. Anyway, after a thrilling and spontaneous after-hours party hosted by local novelist, agent provacateur and purveyor of witty banter Joe Q., (no relation to John) during which much steak, tomato juice and cheese and crackers were graciously offered and consumed and then the requisite unloading of equipment along with the requisite passing from night to dawn the brave soldiers of FLW caught a wink or two and then stumbled into the duties of the newborn day.
Hence the haze.


Whither the haze? It should continue at least until Tuesday, when FLW continues this mini-tour of our beloved Bay Area with an acoustic duo show at the Brokedown Opry Americana showcase, which has moved from Kimo's to the Hotel Utah. We'll miss the goth rock nightmare paintings which graced the walls of Kimo's, but the Utah offers wood grain interiors and a long and storied history of San Francisco musical inspiration. It's perfect for the harmonies, harmonica, and folk vibe that permeates our acoustic shows.
Anyway, in a clearer form:
FLW acoustic duo Hotel Utah 4th and Bryant, San Francisco 9:00 pm This Tuesday 2/26!
This will be our last "normal" show for a while, as we are melding into the weird and wonderful Borders circuit for the next month or so.

Hope to see you!
Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, harp, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox

 

Blake's this Saturday 3/9!

FLW friends and fans:

This is an unexpectedly earlier greeting than we thought we'd be sending. Due to our stellar show at Blake's last month (thanks again to everyone who showed up and showered the place with good vibes) we've been offered a great show this weekend. We are excited to be playing with super guitar maestro Will Bernard and his latest jazz/funk/groove/jam project "Motherbug." In honor of the extreme musicianship of the night, Kate has procured a new bass and we have all gone down to the crossroads and joined Robert Johnson in selling our souls in exchange for new musical inspiration.

Not that we were previously chop-less. Our acoustic duo show at the Utah last week was quite well-received. The leader of the blazing rockabilly trio that headlined the night remarked to Jeff as we were heading off stage (read this with a very heavy twang) "Nice pickin' partner" and the guitarist that opened the show told us he said to a friend during the solo on "Playing Heaven", "now what were we doing when that guy was practicing?" As Hugh Grant said to Jay Leno, "I don't want to blow my own horn..." but , hey, if your horn gets blown at a gig and no one else hears, does it make a sound?

I apologize for that last paragraph. Now might be a good time to restate our usual disclaimer that if anyone wants to be removed from this email list, go ahead and ask us (nicely) to do so. And we will nicely comply. Although (Hugh Grant warning again) none other than musician/dancer/mastercraftsmanartist/philosopher and supershaman Steff Moody has enthused "You have the best spam in the universe."

Anyway, here's the info: Famous Last Words Electric Trio with Will Bernard and Motherbug Saturday 3/9 Blake's 2367 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley 9:15 pm. It's the East Bay! It's a Weekend! It's with a Great Second Band! Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: Brand spankin' new Fender P-bass, vocals Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
p.s. Don't forget to vote! And, if you're politically (and environmentally) inclined, check out http://www.savebiogems.org/arctic/takeaction.asp?step=2&item=1123 just tryin' to do our part...

 

Gigs! (3/18)

FLW Friends and Fans:

Two gigs: This Thursday, March 21, Famous Last Words is doing the bar-band thing at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette. There's good drinks and pool. We play all night. We do our originals plus kick out the jams on classic covers that you won't hear us play anywhere else unless you stop by our rehearsal space right before a Roundup gig.

Roundup Saloon 9:00 pm - 1:00 am 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Take Hwy 24 East past Orinda, do your best to ignore the evil SUV's, and get off at the Oak Hill Road exit. It's right there in front of you!

Also, next Monday, March 25, Jeff and Kate are playing the very hip Monday Night Hoot at the Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco. This is the place to see and be seen as all the local luminaries come out and shine in an atmosphere that really appreciates the music. A variety of quality acoustic acts get up and play short sets of quality songs in a quality venue to a quality crowd. Robert Pirsig would be way down... (Now that Dennis Miller has been replaced by John Madden (which, while not as depressing as the Senate cowardice on fuel efficiency standards, is still a small portent of a decaying culture), someone has to take over the task of injecting semi-erudite references in inappropriate places...)

Now what was I writing about? Oh yeah, the music!

Cafe Du Nord 2170 Market St.
Coming from the East Bay: Bay Bridge - Stay on 101 toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Get off at the Mission St. exit. There is a light at the exit. Drive straight through the light and that road will end at Market Street. Turn left on Market Street and Cafe Du Nord will be on the right side of the street one block past the Safeway. If you're coming from somewhere in SF, it's on Market past the Safeway... 9:00 pm Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Gig Reminder (3/23)

FLW friends and fans:

Just the other night we were told once again to keep the emails comin', so here's a reminder that Jeff and Kate are doing the acoustic duo thing at the Cafe Du Nord, this Monday night (March 25). It's a showcase called the "Monday Night Hoot" during which local bands or members thereof get up and do 3 songs as the stripped-down uplugged thing. It's not an open mic, the quality is consistently high, and if you like the mellow, Americana (read: drinking, the road, heartache, sin and redemption) songwriter vibe, you will like this. The show starts at 9:30 and we'll go on about 10:30. Cafe Du Nord 2170 Market St. (at Sanchez) SF

On a different note (ouch), thanks to everyone who came out to the Roundup in Lafayette the other night. The all-night jamming on covers bar band thing can be cool, also. It was one of those nights where after fulfilling an audience request by ripping up a smoking "Folsom Prison Blues" someone remarked "What can you do after THAT?" Jeff responded by pulling an even bigger gun out of the arsenal (no Jim Morrison visions, people, this is a metaphor for a song...), and the band launched into "Turn On Your Lovelight" and proceeded to, as they say, "turn that mutha' out." Couples were dancing, people were yelling and for the length of one song and two chords all was finally right with the world. Somewhere the two Bobbies, "Blue" Bland and Weir, tipped their hats and the 1st set ended.

Other highlights included a Hendrix-y (if I do say so myself) interpretation of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" a swinging version of Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" and the debut of the BoDeans' "Still the Night" which popped along enough that the audience was singing along, which was a good thing since we were forgetting the order of the verses and could surreptitiously get the words from them, like a sea of human teleprompters. Anyway, Monday will be more introspective, but still HAPPENING... Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, harp, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

For those who like to plan ahead, we'll be at the Hotel Utah on Friday April 5 (less than 2 weeks) with notoriously partying funky rock jamband "Shady Lady" closing and Austin Americana songwriter Nathan Hamilton opening up. We'll bridge the gap between the two...

 

Utah this Friday 4/5!

FLW Friends and Fans:

Hope you can join us for a great gig at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco this Friday April 5. Austin-based Americana Singer/Songwriter Nathan Hamilton is opening up and Bay-Area-Favorites- Hard-Partying-Chick-Fronted-Funky-Jam-Band Shady Lady is closing the festivities. We are sandwiched cozily in between and will provide the crucial musical bridge between Americana-songwriting and party-jamming over which you can hop, skip and dance your collective ears.

...an image of which Dali might be proud...

Hotel Utah Saloon 4th and Bryant, San Francisco Friday Night 9:15 pm Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Jace Bartulis: drums, vocals coming soon http://www.famouslastwordsband.com For those of you planning ahead, we'll also be back at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette Thursday of next week (4/11)...

 

Roundup this Thursday

Hello FLW Friends and Fans:

The jammin' bar band experience hits the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette this Thursday when we take off the gloves and rip up three sets of smokin' covers along with your old FLW favorites. Those of you who were present or at least take the time to read these gentle missives will remember that last month's Roundup show smoothly hit cruising altitude and then went a nice distance...furthur...

So come on out and help us, um, tear the roof off the sucka...

Roundup Saloon 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette (Take Hwy 24 East past Orinda, do your best to ignore the evil SUV's, and get off at the Oak Hill Road exit. Turn right and it's right there in front of you at the next light!) 9:00 pm - 1:00 am Good drinks, good tunes, good times... Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Jace Bartulis: drums, vocals (coming soon!) http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Blake's This Saturday

FLW friends and fans:

Mark your calendars for our return engagement at Blake's this Saturday 4/20 (and if you're hip to that set of numbers you don't need me to mention it...) We're playing with LA jamband Pseudopod . As of now, this is our last electric show until mid-June so come on out to get your FLW fix!

Thanks to all who came out to the Roundup last week! We had two Doctors John, which is not something you see everyday, and they helped lead the dancing and festivities, particularly during the epic jam on a cover of "Lay Down Sally" a jam which increased its epic-osity when Jeff broke a string and with everyone dancing deduced it made more sense to continue the jam on this song rather than finish and then have to take time out to change the string before beginning the next song. People kept dancing, the band kept playing, the cycle of energy increased and it turned into a game of musical chicken, neither side wanting to stop first. Drummer Jace even opened his eyes to glance at the clock midway through, briefly thinking about the philosophy paper he had to write the next morning, and Kate shifted arm postions as her left hand began to cramp but still the jam continued. Sally would lay down, dammit, if we had to be here all night! Eventually both band and audience came to an unspoken agreed upon mutual ending as the dancers needed to rest their legs as much as the band needed to rest their arms. The set break gave Kate time to down a few shots of Jack, which, as she said "didn't necessarily help my playing but it sure improved my stage banter." Other highlights included a "Playin' Heaven" so tender that one of the doctors John remarked "that brought a tear to my eye" and a solo on "Sweet Old World" that bravely ventured into a sweet new world causing the other doctor John to enthuse to the rest of the bar "now that's some serious shit!"

These quotes and many others can be found on the newest addition to our webpage, the Reviews section. Check it out...you may be on it... And come on out to Blake's! Saturday, 4/20 Blake's 2367 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley 9:00 pm. Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Let us know what you think of the updated web page including the new "Reviews" section!

p.s. Jeff and Kate will also be rubbing shoulders with the jamming elite when we play as an acoustic duo in the Poster Room of the legendary Fillmore Auditorium this Tuesday night, with Robben Ford and the Derek Trucks Band on the main stage!

 

Blake's This Saturday 4.20

FLW friends and fans:

Here's a reminder that we're playing tonight (Saturday 4/20) at Blake's on Telegraph in Berkeley. We start at 9:00 pm and LA jamband Pseudopod goes on after us. As of now this is our last electric gig until mid-June, so come on out!

In other exciting band news, our duo acoustic show at the Fillmore Poster Room last week got a rock history shot in the arm when none other than Carlos Santana happened by and watched some of our set. He was there as a surprise guest to sit in on a couple of songs with Robben Ford. When talking to him afterwards, did I remember to tell him that I think "The Swing of Delight" is one of the great underrated albums of all time? No, but I did shake his hand and say something and Carlos told us that our set was "lovely." I think by that he meant that it was one of the great underrated sets of all time. He was just a little tongue-tied.

Anyway, hope to see you at Blake's! Blake's 2367 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley 9:00 pm. Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Jace Bartulis: drums, no vocals till finals are over http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Acoustic at the Opry 6.4

FLW friends and fans:

Hey there! We're doing our acoustic duo show at the Brokedown Opry at the Hotel Utah (4th and Bryant, SF) this Tuesday night, 6/4. For those of you who did not read the feature in the Bay Guardian a few weeks ago, the Opry is a showcase for Americana, bluegrass, alt-country, and twang. That's why we play acoustic and I bring my harmonica. The Opry is cool and always gets good bands.

This is true for our night. Also appearing on the bill with us are the Real Sippin' Whiskeys and the Circle R Boys, local bands both with a bit of a buzz, in both senses of the word. We start things off at 8:00 so get there early! This of course is good news for those of you for whom it's a school night...

We have not been idle over the past few weeks. We played the Fillmore Poster Room for the Steve Kimock Band this week and more importantly made an emergency recording of our Tanya Donelly covers and presented them in person to Tanya after her show at Bimbo's last month. We hung with Tanya, took some pictures, and then got on the freeway and calmly discussed the evening until we realized we were at the airport and had been driving for 15 minutes in the completely opposite direction from where we wanted to go, the Bay Bridge. The result of a "Tanya tizzy" as Kate called it. Well worth it, I say.

Anyway, hope to see you at the Utah, where we'll probably be a little less giddy... Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com (with a redesigned photo gallery) p.s. For those of you planning ahead, we're doing the full electric jammin' band thing at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette the following Thursday, June 13. Mark your calendars!

 

Roundup this Thursday 6.13.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

It's been a while but we're finally back at everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood tavern, that cheery place where everyone knows your name and a happening psychedelic jamming rootsy rock band sets up in the corner and in the course of the evening inspires much dancing, drinking and carrying on so that good vibes are spread to all, life and music are much appreciated, and for at least a few hours the world is a better place.

Okay, back from Mars... We're playing at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette this Thursday. It's free, we play all night and we pull out some fun covers you won't see at our regular gigs. Stay around long enough to witness Kate get tipsy after a few between-sets shots and reveal all kinds of personal things into the microphone. Jace is out of school so his alter-ego-lampshade-on-the-head-life-of-the-party-personality has emerged (that is to say he's not obsessively contemplating Conrad), and your humble narrator, on the eve of collecting 40 final papers to grade in the next week, will be thinking, as Blue Oyster Cult quoted (and cleaned up) the MC5, "Kick out the Jams, brothers and sisters!"

This might be our farewell to the Roundup show...Come help us kick its ass goodbye!

Thursday, June 13 Roundup Saloon 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette (Take Hwy 24 East past Orinda, do your best to ignore the evil SUV's, and get off at the Oak Hill Road exit. Turn right and it's right there in front of you at the next light!) 9:00 pm - 1:00 am FREE!

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals, interesting stage banter Jace Bartulis: drums, still no damn vocals http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Blake's Saturday JULY 6!

FLW Friends and Fans:

Come join us for a very special show this Saturday JULY 6 at Blake's on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. The date is important in birthday history, for both George Dubya and your humble narrator. One of us is the other's evil twin; you decide.
I'll probably be louder though.

This will be a rare electric show for us this month. Among other odds and sods, in a couple weeks we'll be doing a special acoustic duo performance in the psychiatric ward at SF General Hospital for the "Bread and Roses" foundation, but we don't expect to see any of you there...

In our most recent rock and roll celebrity shoulder-rubbings, we had the good fortune of jamming at a party last weekend with, among other venerable players, the keyboard player from Spinal Tap. His amp did not go to "11" but he sure could play. Now there's a unique addition to the resume. We will however not start covering any Tap material, although "Lick My Love Pump" has some nice intertwining melody lines. And of course Kate wanted to play the bass showcase "Big Bottom"...

Hope to see you at Blake's! Catch us electric while you can!

Saturday JULY 6 2367 Telegraph Ave. (near Durant) Berkeley 9:00 pm

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums

p.s. RIP to the Quiet One, John Entwistle... We incorporated a tribute into our acoustic shows this weekend and may surprise you at Blake's...

 

Blake's This Saturday 7.6.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a quick reminder that we're playing at Blake's on Telegraph tonight. It's a double birthday for George Dubya and me. He got a colonoscopy for his birthday; don't let us get similarly screwed!

Blake's 2367 Telegraph Ave (near Durant) Berkeley 9:00 pm Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums

 

Jerry's Birthday Celebration 8.1.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

For those of you wondering how you'll mark Aug. 1 this year, we suggest an evening of music at the Tongue and Groove, located at 2513 Van Ness in San Francisco. Mood Food and Groove.Org will be playing as full bands while Kate and I opted to not lug around so much equipment and will open the show as our famed acoustic duo. The show is a celebration of Jerry Garcia's birthday (he was the guitar player for a local Bay Area band) and a portion of the proceeds will go to the very worthy REX Foundation. (http://www.rexfoundation.org)

We'll be doing a very Jerry set in honor of the occasion. And for those of you jonesing for the full FLW electric experience, we've got our Last Day Saloon debut in SF on Thursday Aug. 22. Make room in your busy social calendars now!

Until then, walk together little children...

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo
Jerry Birthday Show
Tongue and Groove
2513 Van Ness San Francisco
Thursday Aug.1 9:00 pm (remember, we're on first...)(...I don't know's at third...)

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Last Day Saloon 8/22/02

FLW Friends and Fans:

You are chordally invited to an FLW "Double Debut" this Thursday Aug. 22 at the Last Day Saloon in San Francisco. This will be our first show at the very cool Last Day, which is a great club with a great stage and sound system, and great selection of drinks. It should be... great. We are also excited to announce the debut of new FLW trapmaster Rocky Vogler. Like Jason, Rocky is a thinking man's drummer and he notices the cleverness and deep profundity of the lyrics in the FLW oeuvre. But he's also got his own unique big strappin' energy infusing every beat he plays. We will settle for nothing less. It's time to rock.

Thursday Aug.22 Last Day Saloon 406 Clement (at 5th Ave) San Francisco 9:00 pm We're on first (what's at second) and funky jamband Homunculus is coming all the way from Indiana to play after us...

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox  Kate Burkart: bass, vox  Rocky Vogler: drums, Fred http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

8/22/02

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a quick reminder that we're playing full band electric at the fabulous Last Day Saloon this Thursday 8/22. We'll be doing a show in Fairfax in 2 weeks and some assorted acoustic shows but not another local full band electric show until the end of September. So come on out and see us now. Life is too short for regrets. This email is too short for any more witticisms.

Last Day Saloon 406 Clement (at 5th Ave) , San Francisco (conveniently located near Dan Carr's apartment for those of you living in that particular space...) 9:00 pm (we're on first...I don't know - THIRD BASE!)

hope to see you! Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate "Killer Dana" Burkart: bass, vox Rocky Vogler: drums, seeing http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Brokedown Opry 8.27.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Last Day Saloon last week! Special mention and props to the Quirk Contingent (which I hearby submit as a title for the next Robert Ludlum novel-turned motion picture starring Matt Damon), "Shakey" Shane and Bob all the way from our drunken bar-band nights in Lafayette, and the Pat Harmon extended family...thanks!

The circle surrounding new drummer Rocky Vogler allowed me to actually croon "Lisa it's your birthday, Happy Birthday Lisa" in my best Bart Simpson/Michael Jackson imitation, but I did it from my knees on the stage as I was changing a string and Kate and Rocky's more traditional "Happy Birthday" sentiment was more prominent (and that's probably a good thing...). The string had broken smack dab in the middle solo of "Matter of Time" and I spent the rest of the song debating whether or not to abort the Santana "Gypsy Queen/Soul Sacrifice" jam that segues out of the end jam. "Adapt and improvise" John Cleese once said on Monty Python as he went in to rob a bank and found out he was in a lingerie store. "Uh, yes...two pairs of panties, then..." he demanded, and I decided to do the same. Alas, no panties, but we did make it into the Santana jam not limping, but rather gracefully lurching along on 5 strings (9 total if you count the bass...and Kate did play all 4 of 'em...)

Anyway, the Last Day is a great stage with great sound. We're looking forward to a return engagement...

In the meantime, Kate and I are doing the duo acoustic thing at the Brokedown Opry Americana Showcase this Tuesday night, 8/27. Jeffrey "Luck" Lucas opens the show at 8:00 with his singular style of songwriting influenced by (to my ears) the heroin-country tradition, followed by Uncle Boyde's Sawmill and the Borracho Wranglers whose name is so long I have no room to describe their music although I suppose I could have used that space to do that, and then yours truly close out the show with our introspective heartfelt harmony-drenched country/folk flavorings at 10:00.

Brokedown Opry Hotel Utah Saloon 4th and Bryant, SF 8:00 pm (we're on at 10:00)

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Once again, we are purging our list. If you would like to be removed, please reply back and ask (nicely). We will then take it under advisement, send copies to appropriate parties, introduce the request at our next board meeting, adopt a resolution, establish committees, submit further studies, and then call you at home to ask you to reconsider.

But seriously, we will simply remove your name and you will no longer be bothered. We want to be lean and mean. He travels the fastest who travels alone...travels alone...

 

Gig in Fairfax 9.5.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

Come help us make our Marin Debut this Thursday Sept. 5 at Peri's in Fairfax...Peri's is a very cool bar which gets very cool bands. So it should be... very cool. Rocky is still on the traps for us which is certainly an epic amount of longevity for a drummer and is causing our sound to come together right now over me. As an added bonus, Marin singer-songwriter Darren Nelson, NOT from "Nelson" but from legendary Marin band "Jumbo" (who would have made Aerosmith's "Behind the Music" seem quite wimpy) will be opening the show for us at 9:15. We then get to play until after midnight when we're gonna shake your tambourine... It's all gonna be peaches and cream...

...anyway...

Famous Last Words (full band) Thursday, Sept. 5 Peri's 29 Broadway Fairfax 9:15 pm

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Rocky Vogler: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com p.s. For those of you planning ahead, our next East Bay full band show is Saturday Sept. 28 at Club Muse in Albany...

 

Jupiter 9.7.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

Enjoy the acoustic jazzy all-instrumental stylings of the FLW ensemble at the Jupiter Lounge tonight in Berkeley. That's right, the Jupiter has a noise policy which prohibits vocals and prefers jazz trios. We at FLW are proud of our ability to adapt and improvise and our show at the Jupiter in July was a lot of fun. We sit down, we jam, and I have a mike next to me which I only use to talk between songs so I get to feel like a totally respectable cool jazz player. The Jupiter's at 2181 Shattuck Ave. in downtown Berkeley. We play outside, there's good food and beer, and it's free. What more do you want, other than, uh, more advance notice? Rocky's out of town so our good friend Jace will be sitting in on drums for a reunion.

By the way, my computer lost our entire emailing list and I had to recreate this in painstaking fashion. As difficult as this is to say, some mistakes may have been made. For those of you who shouldn't be on here I apologize and just reply back saying you would like to be removed and I will do so. For those of you who aren't on here but should be...it's a little trickier. Try to contact drummer Rocky Vogler in Non-Ordinary Reality please, and let him know you need to be put back on the list.

Thanks, and happy trails... Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: acoustic guitar, harp, between-song-banter Kate Burkart: bass Very Special Guest Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Beckett's 9.12.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

They're coming fast and furious now...But this time the late notice can't be blamed on me. This is a last minute fill-in for another band...who you gonna call...famous last freakin' words.
For this engagement we get to become a drunken Irish band...Beckett's Pub in the heart of downtown Berkeley has lots of good beer and paintings of famous Irishmen adorning the walls, such as James Joyce and their namesake, but not Dan Rooney, particularly after last night...and it's free admission... It's an intimate and lively atmosphere so we'll be playing acoustic, but we'll be strumming hard and singing this time...though it may be somewhat slurred...

For those of you who've missed the last few gigs, a particular Rev. Gary Davis tune has lately been asserting itself as a show-stopper. Its ascendency was hinted at way back when at a Borders' show when Borders manager Robert observed, quite correctly: "Death Don't Have No Mercy - the feel-good song of the night!" Perhaps this says something about my state of mind these days, staring into the abyss with Samuel Beckett. Or maybe I just shouldn't read the news before bedtime. Or I should just follow Drew Carey's lead when he said "I don't have to watch the news, I just read the book of Revelation"...

Well, Ireland at least may be on the way to peace...Come on out to Samuel Beckett's Good Time Pub for some good times...Have a beer, swing a mug, and laugh the past (present, and future) away!

Famous Last Words (acoustic trio) Beckett's 2271 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley 9:00- 11:00 or so... hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, harp, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Very Special Guest Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Club Muse 9.28.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

We'll be doing the full electric thing at the Club Muse in Albany on Saturday Sept. 28. Opening the show will be Chester, a band we checked out last weekend who sounded to my ears like a very cool cross between Little Feat and Neil Young (and Wilco for all you young 'uns...)

Now a story: (If you want just the facts, ma'am, on the Muse show, just scroll down to the bottom):

To update the band-brushing-with-greatness chronicles, we went to see the always depthful Eliza Gilkyson in Pt. Richmond last week. When I saw her on "Austin City Limits" last year she had a full band including the brilliant Nina Gerber on lead guitar, but she has been touring recently as a solo act, which is still quite moving and powerful. I saw her before the show and told her I had my guitar in the car if she wanted someone to sit in with her on a few songs. Lo and behold, a couple of songs into her second set she announced into the microphone "I don't know this guy but he says he can play guitar...and he looks like he can play guitar...so he's gonna come up and join me...is your name Mark?...no... Jeff!"

I sat down and she launched immediately into the title cut from her classic cd "Hard Times in Babylon" which luckily Kate and I had worked out ourselves to perform at the Brokedown Opry last month, so I knew the changes, although the bridge seemed slightly different than we had worked out...nevertheless I wisely deferred to her interpretation of her own song.

The song ended and there was no awkward dead silence broken only by someone saying "I paid good money to see Eliza ! What the hell is that guy doing up there like he thinks it's an open mike?" On the contrary, there was applause and Eliza, placing her hand on my knee, said "That was fun, how about "Love Minus Zero"?" She proceeded to play the old Dylan chestnut which I know, but in a different key and, if you know anything about me, you know I also play it with my own arrangement...but I adapted and improvised and at the end of the solo our guitars were starting to sound like they were dancing into one voice, which drew more applause.

Things were warming up. "Do you want to do another one?" she asked and I said "How about "Twisted"?", which is a bluesy original of hers. I'd never played it but she said it was a pretty straightforward blues. "The changes all make sense" she said. "So it's not all fucked up?" I said, making a clever allusion to the chorus in which she sings "I'm fucked up." "Get it?" I said. "Yeah, I get it" she replied, probably pining for Nina. Then she went into the song, which actually wasn't that straightforward at all, and since I was sitting slightly behind her I couldn't watch her hand for the chords. I began pining for Nina myself, but then switched from chords to adding blues riffs behind the vocals. We got cheers and some "whoo's" during the solo so it sounded pretty good. "You're all I ever wanted in a man" she sang and I tried to hold up my end of the bargain.

It was nice to get some positive feedback from people after I sat down, including Irv and Joan Koffler who were there with their daughter Kathy and said "You seem like a seasoned player, certainly doing more than just winging it!"

So...another musical stepping stone...thanks for listening...

Anyway...back to our show! It'll be a good one!

Famous Last Words Saturday Sept. 28 Club Muse 856 San Pablo Ave. (next to the Ivy Room) Show starts at 9:30 (we go on at 10:30) Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, mouth organ Kate Burkart: bass, vox Rocky Vogler: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. My hard drive crashed and I have recreated the mailing list yet again. If you know of any errors (ie you're on here and don't want to be, or you know someone who should be on here) my apologies, and I'd be happy to correct them. Well "happy" might be an overstatement and not a word I'm associating with computers right now, but certainly "willing" would be appropriate. Yeah that's it...I'll be willing...(just give me weed, whites, and wine...)

...and you didn't think I'd be able to circle all the way back to the first paragraph where I described Chester...

 

Beckett's 10/10/02

FLW Friends and Fans:

Do not be alarmed by the strange sending name on this email. I am sending this from the alias of our bass player as my computer and dsl service have combined to make my own account inaccessible. You may blame the uncreativeness of this email on the fact that I am sending it from a bizarre and unfamiliar place. Oh well, as Hunter Thompson famously opined: "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..."

Anyway, we're back at Beckett's Irish Pub this Thursday Night, Oct. 10. We'll be playing from 9 to 11 or so. This is a hybrid of our bar band and acoustic shows. We play acoustic but Jace will be sitting in on drums and we'll be keeping it lively with some fun covers you won't hear at our regular electric shows. Beckett's is a fun place with good beer and no cover conveniently located in the heart of downtown Berkeley at 2271 Shattuck Ave.

In other (name-dropping) news, I rapped with John Doe after his performance with Kristin Hersh at the Great American Music Hall last weekend. What an inspiring guy. Brilliant singer, great songwriter, real emotion and intelligence, and totally authentic and cool. He's really living out his punk roots, too, as he told me he was heading home the next day "to get the kids back to school." He signed my program and I put it in my newly acquired X "See How We Are" cd. Someone asked us at the Muse show if "Smells Like Candy" was an X song, which was a high compliment and pretty perceptive, too, as I've been playing X's "True Love" for drummers to explain the feel I want on that song. I guess we're doing something right...

For those of you who plan ahead, we'll be back at the Last Day Saloon in SF with our regular electric project next Thursday, Oct. 17. Also appearing will be Liza from Zuba (whose latest recording is with Billy Nershi from the String Cheese Incident) and special guests from JGB and Box Set.

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Last Day Saloon 10.17.02

FLW Friends and fans:

You get a little more reaction time on this one... We are extremely happy to be making a triumphant return to the Last Day Saloon in SF this Thursday Oct. 17. The Last Day has a great stage and a great sound system so it's a great place to come see us do our full electric thing.

Going on after us is Liza from Zuba. Her latest recording is with Billy Nershi of String Cheese Incident and she will have some friends from JGB and Box Set sitting in. So it should be a very jamming double bill.

As an added incentive to our hard-core fans, we've got a new song which we introduced at the Muse show but which we will now know all the words to when we play it on Thursday. I call it a cross between Bob Weir and the Pretenders...but then I'm in the band and have a limited perspective. You'll have your own take. As Ice-T once said, "You should never think everything I'm thinking because then only one of us is thinking." (Ice-T also obsessively tells people who disagree with him to suck his d**k but I like this quote better...)

Moving on... We've got a very cool and well-written review of the Muse show up on our website. You can check it out at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews

Nothing else too creative, funny or profound to say. The Steelers destroyed the Bengals. Organic food really tastes better and lasts longer. The world's a mess it's in my kiss (still on an X-kick after meeting John Doe).
Come on out to the Last Day!

Famous Last Words Last Day Saloon, San Francisco 406 Clement St. (at 5th Ave) Thursday Oct. 17 9:00 pm

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Rocky Vogler: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Metro 10.26.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

Our full electric band will be playing a late-night show this Saturday 10/26 at the Metro in Oakland.

Here is the press release for the show:

"On Saturday, October 26, 2002 The Oakland Metro is hosting three Americana/Rootsrock bands for an evening that promises to be enjoyable for all. Headlining is Famous Last Words, an Americana Jamband power trio that's been playing the local Bay Area scene for 3 years. With great guitar work, cool double vocals, happening original songs and transcendent jams, FLW evokes echoes ranging from X to Dylan to the Dead with shades of Santana and Pink Floyd. "Jeff's deep, soulful voice and Kate's clear alto create a primordial, earthly harmony. You get the sense that you've been here before." Also on the bill are the Trailer Park Rangers, a band truly like no other and capable of amazing live performances. The band is fronted by David T. Carter, of Australian origin and nature, and who contributes excellently crafted songs with his baritone voice shining through the guitar, violin, pedal steel, dog-house bass and drum strains that surround. Opening up the show will be fan favorites Jasper Thresh, playing wonderful, rock and roll extravaganzas in your living room, your bar, your secret, little world. Thundering arena rock to moody, jazz-inspired contemplations to down south soul. Summed up, this is an evening not to be missed."

The Metro is a cool theater/warehouse type space...The show starts at 9:00 pm and we'll go on at 11:00 or so...

If you can't make the Metro or are simply jonesing for our acoustic trio doing the bar-band thing, we'll be back at Beckett's in downtown Berkeley this Thursday 10/24. We'll be downing pints and playing upbeat and familiar yet cool covers along with some of our originals. At our last Beckett's show a couple of weeks ago we debuted both "Tangled Up in Blue" and "Lodi" but not at the same time..."oh lord, tangled up in blue again..."

FLW acoustic trio Thursday 10/24 Beckett's 2271 Shattuck Ave. 9:00 pm

FLW electric band Saturday 10/26 The Metro 201 Broadway (at 2nd) show at 9:00, we go on about 11:00

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, harp, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Rocky Vogler: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Two Gigs! 10.28.02

FLW Friends and Fans:

We'll be on the other side of the tunnel at Dan's Bar in Walnut Creek this Saturday Nov. 2. This is one of our electric bar-band gigs so along with our originals we'll be pulling out, dusting off, and setting on fire many of our favorite jammin' covers. Kate will also be downing her customary shots of Jack between sets which always lends an extra air of danger to the proceedings and is an event not to be missed for those with any sense of adventure, which is of course a commonality amongst the FLW-minded crowd.

Then on Tue. Nov. 5, come on out to the Hotel Utah's Brokedown Opry Americana showcase in SF where we'll be doing our acoustic duo with very special guest Paul Bonanos (veteran of local bands Petrol and the windily named Here are the Facts You Requested) sitting in on pedal steel and perhaps some other assorted and sundry instruments. Paul is a supremely talented musician and our songs will sound extremely cool with the new flavors added in the Utah's intimate setting. Also on the bill are the Trophy Husbands and James Apollo Trio. We've got the coveted middle slot at 9:30 so it will fit right in between voting and getting to bed since it's a school night.

Speaking of which, FLW AT THE MOVIES recommends "Bowling for Columbine."
Really.
Jeff-Bob says "check it out."
See the film, see us, and don't forget to vote...

FLW Full Electric Band Dan's Bar, Walnut Creek 1524 Civic Dr. (at Main) Sat. Nov. 2 9-1

FLW acoustic duo plus pedal flippin' steel Hotel Utah Brokedown Opry, SF 500 4th St. (at Bryant) Tue. Nov. 5 with Trophy Husbands and James Apollo Trio 9:30

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox, Jack Rocky Vogler: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a quick reminder that we're playing at the Hotel Utah's Brokedown Opry Americana Showcase this Tuesday, Nov. 5. We'll be doing the intimate and sensitive yet powerful and heartfelt acoustic duo thing. Plus joining us on pedal steel (and mandolin, egg, and trumpet) will be Paul Bonanos, local jack-of-all-instruments luminary, sitting in with us before he gets flown out to record an album in Chicago. Come hear your favorite FLW songs in a new context, plus a song or two you probably haven't heard before. We are sandwiched in the middle of the night between the James Apollo Trio and Trophy Husbands, so you have time both to vote and get to bed early.

Speaking of which, don't forget to exercise your power while we've still got some semblance of a democracy. A drummer/poet/painter/artiste/philosopher-king friend of mine sent me an email after my last gig announcement urging me to be more specific about telling people who to vote for. However, I generally prefer the Jerry Garcia think-for-yourself black t-shirt statement, ie. "ascribing dogma to me?...don't even go there..."

Jerry did of course speak out to try to save the rainforests and the always valuable work of the Dead's charitable Rex Foundation, however.

That being said, I will say this:

"Save Pepperland, people! Don't let the Blue Meanies take over! (and it's pretty clear who they are...)"

Tue. Nov. 5 Famous Last Words acoustic duo with special guest pedal steel Hotel Utah Saloon 4th and Bryant, SF 9:30 pm

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest Paul Bonanos: pedal steel, mandolin, trumpet, egg http://www.famouslastwordsband.com p.s. For those of you planning ahead, we'll be full-band electric next Friday 11/15 at Peri's in Fairfax...

 

Peri's, Jupiter, Fillmore 11/15

FLW Friends and Fans:

In keeping with the times, we are continuing our pursuit of world domination with a whirlwind three-day tour of the Bay Area next weekend. Foremost amongst the dates is next Friday 11/15 at Peri's in Fairfax. Peri's is a cool rockin' bar that gets lots of jambands. Opening the night for us at 9:00 pm is Natural Selection playing "homegrown rock" with influences from Linda Ronstadt to Eric Clapton. We'll go on at about 10:30 and play until we've had our way with the place. This will be our last electric show for a little bit so come on out and help us, um, turn the motha out.

The following night, Saturday 11/16, we'll be doing our all-instrumental acoustic jazz impersonation at the Jupiter in downtown Berkeley from 8 to 11. And the next night, Sunday 11/17, Kate and I will be doing our acoustic duo in the Poster Room at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium playing before the legendary Leo Kottke and Phish's Mike Gordon do THEIR acoustic duo on the main stage. Once again, in keeping with the times, shall we consider this a war of the acoustic duos? "Yeah yeah war! Heh heh! Battles...Battles!" Dubya Beavis chortles in the odd zeitgeist of the age. No, I live in Berkeley where progressives have boldly retaken control of the city, so in homage to hope we will play as a compliment to Leo and Mike, not as a short-sighted power struggle. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

Sitting in with us on drums for the first 2 shows is our friend Jace Bartulis.

FLW full electric band Friday Nov. 15 Peri's 29 Broadway, Fairfax 9:00 pm (we're on at 10:30) FLW all-instrumental acoustic trio Saturday Nov. 16 Jupiter Berkeley 8-11 pm FLW acoustic duo Sunday Nov. 17 The Fillmore Poster Room San Francisco 7:00 pm hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Road trip to the Old West with FLW 12/7

FLW Friends and Fans:

Leave your good job in the city workin' for the man and join us in beautiful Pt. Reyes Station this Saturday Night 12/7 when we'll be rockin' the famous Old Western Saloon from 9 to closing. Are you ready for the country, baby 'cause it's time to go...

Pt. Reyes is the kind of extremely picturesque little Western town that looks like it would get painted red in a certain cool Clint Eastwood movie. As the Let's Go guidebook (hey, it got Hank Sobel through Europe a generation ago) states:

"Pt. Reyes is a paradise for birdwatchers and mountain bikers (and doubly so for mountain-biking birdwatchers). If you happen to be around in the evening, by all means mosey on into the Old Western Saloon, at 11201 Rte. 1 in the middle of town. (663-1661. Open daily 10:30am-2am.) It's an old brothel from Pt. Reyes's days as a bustling railroad town, and though the prostitutes have moved on, it can get pretty raucous, especially on weekends. IF FAMOUS LAST WORDS IS PLAYING YOU'LL HAVE FINALLY FOUND HEAVEN ON EARTH."
[Last sentence emphasis mine.]
[Actually the entire last sentence is mine.]

Anyway, come enjoy the beauty of California before the Bush administration cuts down the trees, kills the animals, drills for oil and unilaterally and pre-emptively bombs the "eco-terrorists" and the poets and painters far behind their rightful time.

(What have they done to the earth? What have they done to our fair sister? Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her, Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn and tied her with fences and dragged her down...)

What can a poor boy do, 'cept to sing for a rock'n roll band... (I'm going to forego my first Steelers game of the season for this...it must be worth it)

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. As usual, if you would like to be removed from this mailing, just hit reply and ask us (nicely) to remove you...Go ahead, make my day. (Just getting in the Old West spirit, where men were men and Clint ruled...Yeah I know the quote is from a later Dirty Harry but it's the archetype I'm referencing) Speaking of which, the 5th email to name the 5 music allusions in this email(don't worry about the film and politics) gets put on the guest list!

 

Acoustic Trio at the Kingfish, Friday the 13th

FLW Friends and Fans:

Looking for something to do on Friday the 13th besides watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns? Then look no further: We'll be doing our acoustic trio bar-band thing at the Kingfish Bar in Oakland from 9-12. The Kingfish is conveniently located at 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph). I'll have my acoustic guitar but Jace will be sitting in on drums and we'll be doing a Beckett's-type show, meaning lots of fun covers and spirit-imbibing.

Speaking of which, Buffy is over at 8:00.

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums, impressions of people laughing http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Beckett's 12/19

FLW Friends and Fans:

Thanks to everyone who came out to our debut gig at the Kingfish last weekend. That wasn't just rain that was pouring down, it was extreme weather conditions resulting from the freezing over of hell as even my old college buddy Henry braved the elements and made it to the show. It was fun to kick it in the cozy confines of the cool Kingfish, downing brews and playing tunes. As we relaxed over pints at the end of the night with friends new and old we were treated to the spectacle of some patrons actually dancing on the bar. The place has some character. The Slaughtered Lamb it ain't. We'll be back there next month.

In the meantime you can check out our final show of the year this Thursday, Dec. 19 at Beckett's (2271 Shattuck Ave) in downtown Berkeley. We'll be doing our acoustic trio bar-band thing from 9:00 to 11:00 or so.

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. We spent a productive couple of days in the studio this past weekend and are aiming to have a good-sounding cd of choice elements of our electric set ready to go by the end of next month. Hang on tight and we'll keep you updated. In the meantime let's just enjoy Trent Lott's latest time in the spotlight...

 

Electric at Pat O'Shea's Fri. Jan 3

FLW Friends and Fans:

Hope the holidays are treating you right...We will be kicking off the new year with a full electric bar-band show at Pat O'Shea's in San Francisco this Friday Jan. 3. Coincidentally my grades are due on that day so I will be emerging from a mass of papers on death, fate, sacrifice and tragedy, and therefore as you might imagine, ready to kick out the jams. "It's only by the music..." sang Pete Townshend on his underrated first solo effort, "...I'll be free".

And with that word bandied about these days in service of all kinds of questionable actions, let's remember what freedom really is...

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words electric band Pat O'Shea's 3848 Geary Blvd (at 3rd Ave.), SF 9:30 pm Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. Searching for moral clarity? Take comfort in this wisdom:
"Fire bad. Tree pretty."
Buffy

 

Starry Plough 2/13

FLW Friends and Fans:

After our successful acoustic duo show at the Fillmore Poster Room on Saturday night, where we kept the hungry crowd satisfied between sets of David Lindley/Wally Ingram and the Blind Boys of Alabama who turned the place into an old-time Gospel Revival, we will be picking up our drummer Jace and heading to the Starry Plough for a full electric show this Thursday Feb. 13. In between we'll be checking out Blue Oyster Cult at Slim's,(I've decided to keep reliving my high school days...until I get it right) so who knows what sounds we'll be conjuring at the Plough from the eclectic influences of the week. Don't Fear the Preacher? GOD-zilla? Anyway, you don't want to miss it.

The Plough is a great East Bay venue with a cool stage and sound system. Come check us out electric!

Thursday Feb. 13 Starry Plough 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley with 7th Direction and Pocket show at 9:00, we go on at 10:00

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Plough

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a quick reminder that we're playing full band electric at the Starry Plough in Berkeley tonight (Thursday 2/13)! The Plough is a great east bay venue, easy to get to and park, and with a cool stage and sound system. It's located at 3101 Shattuck Ave., just south of Ashby. There are 3 bands and we play in the coveted middle slot. The show starts at 9:00 and we'll go on at about 10:00.

And yes, we're still working on our cd. For those of you who want a preview, right now there are 3 songs in good ol' G, one in E, one in E minor, one in open D, and one in the very daring key of B flat minor.

Hope to see you at the Plough! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Beckett's 2.20

FLW Friends and Fans:

Thanks to everyone who came to the Starry Plough last week! It was a good crowd and a lot of fun so hopefully we'll be back there soon. Those of you there were afforded the added spectacle of witnessing me stuck in equipment hell for a while, which culminated in all of my sound going out right at the dramatic solo guitar break in "Faith in the Dark." This is a literal solo guitar break, where the rest of the band stops playing and all you hear is the guitar. Or would hear, if it was making any sound. That's right, I turned into Marcel Marceau for an agonizing eternity, playing a guitar that was suddenly a true air guitar. Amazingly enough, and this could be seen as good or bad, the crowd was with us so they were silent too, the whole room just staring at me frantically hopping back and forth on foot-switch buttons to no avail. As impotent as Spike with a chip in his head, if I'd been naked it would have been the classic cliched nightmare. Suddenly however, I noticed the problem and stuck my cord back into my wah. (That's no risque metaphor, by the way, it's "gear talk.") Knowing my sound would be back,I flashed on the classic Buck Dharma move I'd seen a few nights before at the BOC show: I looked at the sea of expectant faces, and slowly and deliberately cracked my knuckles...and then launched into the solo riff and the rest of the song. Yay. FLW lives to fight another day.

Which will be tomorrow, Thursday 2/20 at Beckett's in Berkeley. We'll be doing our acoustic bar-band trio. Lots of covers, drinking, and good times. 2271 Shattuck Ave. 9-11:00.

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. Whatever your take on the current world situation, it's heartening to me to see we haven't lost our sense of pun and humor. In that spirit FLW presents:

Top Ten Signs at the SF Protest Rally:

10. Duct tape the White House with Bush inside
9. Jews for Burning Bush
8. Don't Enron our Worldcom!
7. BU**SH**
6. Got Oil? (With a Picture of Bush with a black oil mustache...looking like Charlie Chaplin in "The Great Dictator")
5. Bush as Ashton Kushner saying "Dude, Where's my War?"
4. Weapons of Mass Distraction (with a picture of a tv with Fox and CNN)
3. This is Worse than Reagan! (other side: "This is worse than Nixon!")
2. Drunken Frat Boy Drives Country Into Ditch

and the #1 sign (actually on a t-shirt)

1. My country took away all my civil liberties...and all I got was this lousy t-shirt...

 

Opry 3.11

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're bringing our duo acoustic show to the Hotel Utah's "Brokedown Opry" Americana Showcase this Tuesday, 3/11. The Opry always gets quality acts and this time we're playing with the Jenny Kerr Band and Steve Owen. We go on about 9:15. This is your chance to see us do our beer-drenched harmony-laden authentic acoustic folk-country songwriting and soloing...um, thing. There might even be a couple of new songs...

Hotel Utah 500 4th St. (at Bryant), San Francisco 9:15 pm

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Opry 3/11

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a quick reminder that we're bringing our duo acoustic shenanigans to the Hotel Utah's "Brokedown Opry" tonight, Tues, March 11. The Opry showcases great Americana acts. And these days it's good to remember there are some things about America that you don't have to be embarrassed by. What is the true American Sprit? (Why in the world are we here? Surely not to live in pain and fear.) See us and reclaim the flag! Also appearing are the Jenny Kerr Band and Steve Owen. We go on far between sundown's finish and midnight's broken toll...um, that is, about 9:15.

Hotel Utah 500 4th St. (at Bryant), SF 9:15

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate "Hot Pastrami" Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

"I'm Uncle Sam, that's who I am, I been hidin' out in a rock 'n roll band..."

 

Jupiter 3/15

FLW Friends and Fans:

If like many of us you've been racking your brains to come up with something special to commemorate the Ides of March this year and celebrate the birthdays of both H. Eisenberg and T. Montgomery, then look no further than the Jupiter in the heart of downtown Berkeley. We'll be doing our all-instrumental acoustic trio set, acting like a cool jazz band and exploring the stellar regions of our repertoire, sans vocals. The Jupiter has good food and good beer and there's no cover.

Incidentally, we got many of our lyrical ya-ya's out at the Brokedown Opry this week. I knew we were making a deliberate statement by opening with Bob Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom" but then realized in the middle of "Sloe Hank" that the originals were also timely and relevant. "Is the artist truly a conduit for his historical moment, consciously or not, just as T.S. Eliot asserted in his landmark essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent"?" I pondered...and then remembered I better concentrate on the lyrics of the song. "Yeah!" I said into the mike, infusing the word with all of the affirmation-in-the-face-of-the-void meanings it asserts.

Just thought you might want to keep this in mind as our ship of state continues its hard-right Poseidon Adventure veer and the Senate once again debates opening up our Alaskan veins to feed our ugly oil addiction.

What would Buffy do?

"Shadow-boxing the Apocalypse and wandering the land..."

Famous Last Words all-instrumental acoustic trio Jupiter Lounge Saturday March 15 2181 Shattuck Ave (at Center), Berkeley 8-11 pm

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, harp, no vox Kate Burkart: bass, no vox Jace Bartulis: drums, why are you even reading this there are never any vox here http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Rabbit Hole, Portland OR, 4.11.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

For those of you who want a change of scenery we will be playing a very special acoustic duo show at the Rabbit Hole in Portland, Oregon this Friday night. We go on at 8:30 pm followed by Heavy Petting Zoo. For those of you not familiar with the Portland area, the Rabbit Hole is at 203 SE Grand Ave.

After that we continue our trek north to Vashon Island, Washington where we will commune with the legendary singer-songwriter/Rumpus-frontman/super-shaman/clown-care-worker/self-descri bed-American-mutant Steff Moody and perhaps perform at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Why this northward push? Let me answer by quoting Thoreau's timeless 1849 essay on "Civil Disobedience":

"They who know of no purer sources of truth, who have traced up its stream no higher, stand, and wisely stand, by the Bible and the Constitution, and drink at it there with reverence and humility; but they who behold where it comes trickling into this lake or that pool, gird up their loins once more, and continue their pilgrimage toward its fountain-head."

Don't worry - next email I'll go back to quoting Buffy. In the meantime, gird up your loins and meet us at pure truth...uh, that is at the Rabbit Hole...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, harp, vocals Kate Burkart: bass, vocals http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Kingfish 4.25.03

"The road was our school. It gave us a sense of survival; it taught us everything we know and out of respect, we don't want to drive it into the ground...or maybe it's just superstition but the road has taken a lot of the great ones. It's a goddam impossible way of life."
Robbie Robertson, from "The Last Waltz"

FLW Friends and Fans:

I don't know what road Robbie Robertson was on, but we had a great time playing our first shows out-of-state. Special thanks to John Toorock for his hosting and social-organizing prowess in Portland, and to Steffon and Arlette for hosting and playing with us at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. On our way back home we stopped in Portland again and hopped on stage to jam with new friends we had played with on the way up. A couple of favorite FLW covers and then "Good Shepherd", "People Get Ready" and a particularly spacey version of the ubiquitous "Lovelight" (hey, how can you beat 2 chords?), complete with trumpet, 2 basses, and fiddle.

"What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies."
(who else but) Jack Kerouac

We could have stayed and jammed all night, but the road beckoned, and we tossed our axes into the car and headed back to the Bay Area. Where the next crazy venture is this Friday at the Kingfish in Oakland where we'll be doing our acoustic trio bar-band thing. This is a very special night since a good friend of ours is hitting the road himself and relocating to the east coast. Come help us send off Shane in style!

FLW acoustic trio Friday 4/25 Kingfish Pub 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:15 to close

hope to see you... Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

"I'll hit the road again..."
JZ, "Playing Heaven"
Incidentally, it looks like we'll be playing Eugene in June and will have our full-length cd available soon, sooner when I stop typing this and can send the final inside liner notes to the designer.

"We are free, we go travelin' together, we spread a little love and then we keep movin' on"
Keith, Danny, Laurie, Tracy, Chris, and Shirley
what, this quote doesn't fit with the other ones...?

 

6.1.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Picture Steve Martin in "The Jerk" leaping around at his gas station job exclaiming "The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!...I'm somebody!"

We're not quite as giddy but...the new cd is here! We're somebody! (We will conveniently ignore the continuation of the parallel in that Steve Martin's listing in the phone book is then randomly chosen by a crazy sniper who spends much of the rest of the film trying to kill him. Of course when the sniper barely misses him and instead hits one of the oil cans at the gas station, Steve Martin deduces that he's trying to shoot the oil cans and frantically tries to move them all out of harm's way, being shot at all the while. Anyway, um, back to our cd.)

It's done, it looks cool with a vibrant painted cover, pictures on the back and inside and a 3-page insert complete with all the lyrics. Full-length versions of many of your favorite FLW tunes, complete with special guests. One track is live at the legendary Fillmore Poster Room. We're proud of it and we think it will make a wonderful addition to your cd collection.

You can order it online from cdstreet at this link: http://www.cdstreet.com/artists/famouslastwords or call them toll-free Monday-Friday 8-6 CST at 1-877-692-7999
If you live in the Bay Area, you can buy it at Down Home Records on San Pablo Ave in El Cerrito (across from Guitar Center). It's on the rack between Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac...
That's right, between Bob freakin' Dylan and Fleetwood freakin' Mac.

So you don't forget, order before midnight tonight! Let us know what you think of it!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp, Wurlitzer electric piano Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com


Luckey's 6/7/03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Much thanks to everyone who's heeded the call and bought our cd! You have done a good thing, not just for us, but for the world, and you should therefore feel good about yourself. We certainly appreciate the support, and you will feel even better when you hear what your hard-earned bucks have gotten you. For those of you who haven't, I just have one question:

Do you feel Luckey?

That's right, FLW is packing up and heading north for the weekend for a very special show at Luckey's (933 Olive St.) in Eugene, Oregon. A cool guitar/poetry/flute ensemble called "Maybe Happenings" is opening up at 9:30 and then we rock the place.

For those of you not residing in the Eugene area and not free to spontaneously travel there, you can still enjoy our music by purchasing the cd, at Down Home Music in El Cerrito, Amoeba Music in Berkeley, or on-line at: http://www.cdstreet.com/artists/famouslastwords

How many have we sold so far? I kind of forgot myself in all the confusion...so you've got one question to ask yourself...

Do I feel luckey? (sic)

Well...do ya?

See you down the road! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. For those of you whose bell didn't ring from this email (some of my students don't even recognize references to Star Wars...), I just want to make clear that there is an allusion going on...I'm not just adopting some kind of odd attitude...that is, I'm not JUST adopting some kind of odd attitude... sorry...it's late...

 

6.17.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

I am heading out of town in a few days so wanted to give the heads up about two shows next weekend after I return. We'll be doing our acoustic bar-band trio at the good ol' friendly Kingfish (5227 Claremont at Telegraph in Oakland) on Friday June 27, and then our all-instrumental acoustic "jazz" trio the next night, Friday June 28 at the Jupiter on Shattuck in downtown Berkeley.

There are some other BIG things brewing behind the scenes that I will refrain from enumerating for prudence of not jinxing them. But you will be the first to know. Well, actually not really, instead I'll try to get the timing, as they say, "right." But you will know in an appropriately timely manner.

Meanwhile, in the "It's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle" department, certain external circumstances have sent me into a tailspin, struggling quite mightily (and some might say pretentiously) with an identity duality that reminds me of a description I once read of Pete Townshend: "the thinking man's rock musician, the rock musician's thinking man." When does an harmonious assimilation become a diametrically opposed gulf? Do thesis and antithesis inevitably become synthesis? Does the yin/yang sphere ultimately comfortably interlock, nestled like spoons?

I warned you that it was pretentious. But it feels so real. No peaceful yin/yang, no synthesis. Left brain vs. right. Metaphor vs. reality. Between thought and expression lies...the shadow.

And poor Pete, dragged away unshaven in a cop car in a computer kiddie porn sting, although he said and I believe him, he was doing research for his autobiography as he was abused as a child. And for the record (npi), he has been cleared of the charges.

Who knows what lurks in our psyches...and who better to explore and evolve, the artist or the scholar? Nothing, alas, is either/or and assimilation trumps assassination. "I accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me."

Who could have said that? The next lines should give a clue... "I would rather model harmonica holders than discuss aztec anthropology/english literature or history of the united nations." (Of course it's easier to say that when you're 24 and it's on the back of your 5th or so successful record).

Where to now, St. Peter?

See you at the shows, where thankfully I'll, as Joe Perry so eloquently stated on his unsuccessful solo project, "let the music do the talking."

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Still need the new cd? Buy it at Amoeba or Tower in Berkeley (Telegraph area), Down Home Records in El Cerrito, or online at: http://www.cdstreet.com/artists/famouslastwords (While there, check out the brilliant new review of the cd - and post your own if you're so moved!)

Bibliography:

B. B., quote
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock
"Hegel's Dialectic"
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., "Slaughterhouse Five"
Lou Reed, "Some Kinda Love"
T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"
Bob Dylan, "Bringing it All Back Home"
Elton John, "Tumbleweed Connection"
Joe Perry Project, "Let the Music Do the Talking"
T.S. Eliot, "The Waste Land" (Notes)

 

Jupiter and Kingfish 6/27,28. 03

FLW Friends and Fans:

No new installment of "As the World Rocks" this time. Just a straight, to-the-point reminder of the gigs this weekend.

FLW acoustic trio bar-band Friday, June 27 The Kingfish Pub 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph), Oakland 9:00 pm

FLW all-instrumental acoustic "jazz" trio Saturday June 28 The Jupiter, Berkeley 8:00 - 11:00

I will mention, however, that Kate and I did a cool radio interview at KRVM on our trip to Eugene a few weeks ago. They played "Sloe Hank" and "It's All Over Again" from the cd and we discussed our various musical adventures. Jason heard the show in his car on his way up and spent the rest of the weekend proclaiming "celebrity status" ad infinitum. As an added bonus, our cd also made it into the box of another dj at the station who dug it enough that he wants to feature the entire cd on his show. We will let you know when that will occur as you can listen in on the web if you're so inclined.

Other developments are still percolating behind the scenes...stay tuned...

Hope to see you at the shows!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Still need the new cd? Buy it at these fine stores:
Amoeba Music, Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
Tower Records, Durant Ave., Berkeley
Down Home Music, San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito
Hear Music, 4th St., Berkeley
Rasputin Music, Telegraph Ave., Berkeley (will be in stock the middle of next week)
and online at: http://www.cdstreet.com/artists/famouslastwords

 

FLW on KRVM! 7/6/03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Looking for a way to stomach Dubya's birthday? Tune in (turn on and drop out) to KRVM radio Eugene on the web this Sunday to hear the new Famous Last Words cd featured on Rome Hamel's "Rock-n-Rome" show from 5 to 8 pm, Pacific Time. That's right, Rome received the cd in his box from the deejay we did our interview with when we were up there last month and dug it so much that he wanted to feature the entire cd on his very popular show.

You can listen in at http://www.krvm.org and click on "listen on line". (I know, rocket science it ain't...) It works great on my computer - no muss, no fuss - which is where I'll be listening...

Meanwhile, other happenings are still brewing behind the scenes. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! This is the music business, great and terrible!

Sorry, I'm out of ideas...We'll keep you informed though...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Don't be the last on your block to get the new cd... Available at: Amoeba Music in Berkeley Rasputin Music in Berkeley Tower Records in Berkeley Down Home Music in El Cerrito HEAR Music in Berkeley and on-line at: http://www.cdstreet.com/artists/famouslastwords and coming soon to CD BABY!

 

Brokedown Opry 7/15/03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Hola Amigos! We'll be bringing our acoustic duo act to the Brokedown Opry at the Hotel Utah in SF this Tue. night 7/15. The Opry showcases only the highest quality Americana acts and we'll be sharing the bill with Michael Koppy and Kim Lembo and the Dirty Secrets. Show starts at 8:00.

Our acoustic duo highlights our harmonies, songwriting and overall acoustic prowess, set to the uncontrived attitude of a cool, kicked-back yet intense beer-drenched vibe.

Thanks again to Rome Hamel who rocked the Rock-N-Rome show at KRVM in Eugene last Sunday with our entire rockin' cd. And thanks to internet wonder cdbaby our music has been flung to all corners of the earth, including Norway, Spain, Belgium and Cambodia! So THAT'S what the world needs now...

Hope to see you at the Utah! Famous Last Words acoustic duo 500 4th St. (at Bryant) San Francisco

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Buy the (damn) cd (already) at these fine stores: Amoeba Music, Berkeley Rasputin Music, Berkeley Hear Music, Berkeley Tower Records, Berkeley Down Home Music, El Cerrito

Not in the area, or just too lazy to crow for days? Buy online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords
It's a great experience - I bought a cd from them the other day (not ours...) and it's a totally cool site to check out - a whole world of music that's not concocted and force-fed down your throat by corporate drones - reality still exists dammit - in art is truth, take refuge in that - damn the doublespeak - uplift the workers - rock the casbah - bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan -
and never ever forget who you am...

 

8.3.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

CD Baby, the on-line music store which is selling our cd's, is having a special contest in August. The top 100 bands with the most sales for the month will be featured on a cdbaby compilation that will go out free to 1000 cd baby customers. This is good exposure. So...if you've been thinking about purchasing the FLW cd and just haven't gotten around to it yet, now would be a good time. Just click on the link below.

http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords

Have I become an annoying salesperson? Just looking to make a quick buck and the world be damned? Seeing nothing but dollar signs when I look at people? Living a "mean and sneaking life..." (yes, Thoreau again). Forgetting that the best things in life...aren't things?

Not much of a sales pitch, I guess. But as you ponder clicking on that link remember also that Thoreau was "committed to saving himself rather than his money."

Not a bad deal.

Plus it's on sale this month.

http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords

Famous Last Words http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

8.17.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're back at the Kingfish (5227 Claremont at Telegraph) this Friday Aug. 22, bringing our acoustic bar-band incarnation to one of the coolest bars in Oakland. Our hip originals and some rollicking covers, with Mr. Smooth drummer Frank India sitting in. If you pay close attention you'll see him casually hit cymbals with his backhand and twirl his sticks between beats, not in an MTV-heavy metal in-your-face way, but in a confident nonchalant every body movement-is-part-of-the-groove way. That's style, and that's Famous Last Words.

As for the rest of us, you can have a few drinks and yuk it up with Kate and watch me battle for my soul. If I win, we'll be playing outside at the Pyramid Brewery in Berkeley on Sept. 6 for a benefit performance before a screening of "This is Spinal Tap." That's assuming we can find the stage and Kate can break out of her plastic pod and we don't trip over Stonehenge. At any rate, we'll turn up to "11." We're billed just after the puppet show.

And then, mark your calendars for a very special CD RELEASE PARTY at the Hotel Utah on Saturday Sept. 20. Cd giveaways ("It's just a giveaway oo-oh-ay-oh"), culinary treats, and most importantly great tunes. It will be a really fun night that you don't want to miss...although you might be able to read about it in the "society gossip" section of the Chronicle after the fact.

In other exciting news:

a. "Matter of Time" was played on the radio in Belgium!

b. Our cd was chosen as an "Editor's Pick" in the "Extended Jams" section of Cd Baby! You can check that out here: http://cdbaby.com/style/112

c. "Faith in the Dark" has gotten airplay in Colorado and Utah.

Anyway, hope to see you at the Kingfish - and down the road at the Utah cd release! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Frank India/Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

The cd is ON SALE this month at cdbaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords Plus, if you buy more than one copy, you get an additional 30% discount!

You can also pick it up locally at these fine stores: Amoeba Music, Berkeley and San Francisco Rasputin Music, Berkeley Tower Records, Berkeley Hear Music, Berkeley Down Home Records, El Cerrito

 

8.25.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Kate and I have suddenly been asked to play the opening slot for the NIGHTFIRE Band at two shows. This band is serious music veterans who have been around the scene. You can check out who they've played with in their announcement which I've pasted down below. I don't have any more time now to engage in my usual witticisms and deep musings. But there will be more emailings to come...

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

blah blah buy the cd at http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords

The shows say they start at 9:30 but we'll go on at 8:30. That's why we're...um...the opener.

And don't forget about our cd release party SATURDAY (that's ess-ay-teeyooar-deeaywhy NIGHT!) Sept. 20 at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco! More later!

Pasted Message: BAY AREA LEGENDS!! NIGHTFIRE BLUES / ROCK THE NIGHTFIRE BAND EUGENE HUGGINS-HARP/ VOCAL- Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy. HARVEY MANDEL-GUITAR-Canned Heat, John Mayall, Rolling Stones. MICHAEL BORBRIDGE-DRUMS- Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite. MICHAEL WARREN-BASS- Merl Saunders, New Riders, Bob Weir. FREDDIE ROULETTE-LAP STEEL GUITAR / VOCAL- John Lee Hooker... GUESTS COMING: HENRY KAISER-GUITAR- Merl Saunders, Bob Weir, Steve Kimock. JOSE NAJERA-Percussion- Merl Saunders, Quicksilver Gold, Santana. Other Special Guests Coming as well. 2 SHOWS The BALTIC SWEETWATER Pt. Richmond Mill Valley August 30th Sept. 5th Times 9:30-1PM

 

9.3.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

We had a great time opening for the Nightfire Band at the Baltic last weekend and we're doing it again at the Sweetwater this Friday for their cd release party.

Here's an interesting story about the Sweetwater:

The last time I played the Sweetwater was at an open mic and after I got off the stage a big guy with long blonde hair got on afterwards and proceeded to play "Melissa" and Jackson Browne's "These Days." He dedicated them to his brother Duane. His name was Gregg Allman. I went up to him at the bar afterwards and told him I really dug his version of the Jackson Browne song (at the time I didn't realize he had recorded it on one of his solo records) and he told me he liked what I had done also. I had done an acoustic duo with my friend Rick and Gregg said "you guys remind me of some friends I used to cut school with - Phil and Don Everly." I told him I was a teacher and that cutting school was bad. No wait, I didn't say that. He then said "what other kind of music do you play?" and I said "hey, I'm in a band that plays (the Allman Bros. classic) 'Whipping Post'". He looked at me and shook his head and said "you know what the best song is - the latest one!" as if I was wasting my life living in the past. I told him "Melissa" and "These Days" were not exactly the latest songs riding the wave of the future. No wait, I didn't say that either. He then said "Where's your shit man? Do you want to jam sometime?" I told him I was too busy. No wait...We exchanged numbers. After a few phone calls to his house where a woman answered ("...oh yeah, he mentioned he met you guys...like the Everly Brothers") and I was always too busy to jam...playing at the Super Bowl, the Grammys, etc...No wait, that was him that was doing those things and was too busy...well anyway, we never did hook up.

BUT...the point of this story is that the Sweetwater is the kind of place where all kinds of rock royalty wanders in. And there's some big names being floated around that could be showing up to sit in with the Nightfire Band. So come on out and check it out and be seen at the scene.

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo The Sweetwater 153 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley 8:30 pm opening for the Nightfire Band http://thenightfireband.tripod.com/

And we'll hope to see you at our full band electric cd release party Saturday 9/20 at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

You can get our cd at: http:www.cdbaby.com/famouswords And at Amoeba in Berkeley and SF Tower in Berkeley Hear in Berkeley Down Home in El Cerrito Rasputin's in Berkeley

 

9.20.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Well, this is it. There comes a time in every band's life when the cards are on the table, the stakes are on the line, and the proof is in the pudding. When talk is cheap and action precious. When we toe the line at the meeting of eternities. When all are one and one is all. Yeah. To be a rock and not to roll.

This means I really need to get my digital delay fixed...

Anyway, we're playing our cd release party at the Hotel Utah Saloon in San Francisco this Saturday Night. There will be delicious hors d'oeurves, cool t-shirts, cd giveaways and much rejoicing. yay. Opening the show will be acoustic singer-songwriter Lindi Wiggins and playing after us will be Band-like jamband 7th Direction. We are nestled cozily in between, but will play a nice long set, giving us ample opportunity to get our collective ya-ya's out.

We hope you will join us for a very special "FLW"...

Famous Last Words CD RELEASE PARTY Saturday Sept. 20, 2003 Hotel Utah Saloon 4th and Bryant, San Francisco 9:00 pm Look for the ads in the Guardian and SF Weekly...! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

RIP J. Cash...

 

9.24.03 Acoustic Duo at the Fillmore Tonight!

FLW Friends and Fans:

Yes, that says "tonight." It's after midnight and I'm typing with bleary eyes and tired fingers. Silver threads and golden needles. Big Hits and Fazed Cookies. Green Grass and High Tides. Cabbages and Kings. Tyranny and Mutation. Dominance - Submission, Radios Appear. Rosencranz and Guildenstern.

I better get to the important info because the train of thought thing is sort of slowing down and running off the track into the census of hallucinations that is la-la land.

We're playing our acoustic duo show at the Fillmore Poster Room tonight...Martin Sexton plays on the main stage and we play before his set and in between sets. We start when the doors open at 7:00.

The flippin' Fillmore - how cool is that.

As Steelers coach Bill Cowher advised his players against extravagant endzone celebrations, though: "Act like you've been there before."

So, hey, it's the Fillmore. Again.

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Thanks to everyone who came to the Utah and made our cd release party a big success! I will send out another email with more details and other exciting FLW news when I'm not falling asleep and making pointless allusions...

 

10.4.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Call me Ishmael.

Actually, don't worry, the gig info is located conveniently at the bottom of this email so those of you living the harried life can quickly scroll down and skip the epic Quirk-ian length tome that starts now.

First off, thanks to everyone who came out to the cd release party at the Utah and made it a big success. Special congratulations to cd winners Dr. John who correctly identified the significance of the t-shirt I'm wearing on the back of our cd and to Patricia Posada who nailed the Led Zeppelin allusion from my gig announcement email. You see, it pays to read these things with a fine tooth comb and a series of reference books nearby. You can even try a lifeline if you want and call an especially erudite (read: nerdy) or trivia-minded friend.

Thanks also to everyone at the Utah who bought cd's and our brand new black t-shirts, smartly emblazoned with our slogan: "We rock. And we're deeply sensitive." Both of which we did at the show. Yay. Nice to feel a little bit of success every once in a while. And nice to see everyone there. Listening, rocking, and meeting each other. A community bonded by music, art, and occasionally incessant (how's that for an oxymoron) emails.

But what are we doing for you lately?

Save the date of Friday Oct. 24 for a very special out-of-town gig at Smiley's Saloon and Hotel in mythic Bolinas.

Consider this sentiment: "Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."

Or, as they resolved in "Animal House" just after being put on double-secret probation: "Road Trip!".

Just off of Hwy 1 past Stinson Beach, Bolinas is a very cool artsy beach town famous for its practice of taking its road sign down so random lame tourists don't wander in and ruin everything. They welcome bands and their fans, though, so much so that if you tell Smiley's you're there for FLW, they'll give you a lower rate on your room. So come on out and stay over - we'll rock all night, 9 to close - (and the law come and get you if you don't walk right...) We're doing our full electric bar-band trio which means both your FLW favorites and stretched out cool covers, which get cooler and more stretched out as Kate pours down the Jack. Call Smiley's at 415.868.1311 to reserve your room - and mention us for the special rate!

With Smiley's you can feel like you're getting away from it all for only a 1 and 1/2 hour drive. Hell, in the late afternoon it sometimes takes longer to get from my house to the store...And it's certainly a wink of the eye compared with the travel times to see us when we play across the various seven seas. That's right, we've been getting airplay in England, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, France and even Japan and Australia! So naturally a world tour can't be far behind...

In side project news, I played some cool distorted guitar for three performances of an improvised dance piece by the X Y and Z Company at the Marin Showcase Theater last weekend. Dancers suspended from the ceiling with huge butterfly wings, bouncing off the floor and caught dying in cocoons, while the musicians wailed in the orchestra pit below, no one sure what would happen next musically or physically, all straddling that profound line between creation and destruction. Nothing is Everything is Nothing is...

And what about Kate? Well, ask her "What about London?" as she laid down some beautiful harmony vocals for a number of tracks for a Beatles-esque pop/theater cd.

But the rilly rilly big show is FLW. Come on out and get away to beautiful Bolinas for a bodacious band blowout bash! Famous Last Words Full Electric Trio Friday Oct. 24 Smiley's Saloon 41 Wharf Road Bolinas, CA 9 pm - close

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and locally at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Tower (Berkeley) Hear Music (Berkeley) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito)

p.s. For those of you in California, don't forget to vote on Tue. for, as Jon Stewart said, "the lesser of 200 evils." For the rest of the country and the world, we here in the Golden State humbly apologize for this circus that is impersonating democracy...Melville would certainly head out to sea...or Bolinas...

 

10/10/03

FLW Friends and Fans:

There's a famous zen koan that says:

"If you have a staff I will give you one. If you don't have a staff, I will take it away."

Rest your weary mind on that for a while. And note, that although I hadn't sent out an email announcing our Kingfish gig this Friday, we did have posters up, it was on the website, and you may have heard about it from the ubiquitous word on the street. It was to be a reunion with the renowned Richard Dry on percussion. However, it ain't happenin'. But don't despair; Richard will join us at another date and we will be at the Kingfish again.

In the meantime, Kate and I played a couple of acoustic tunes at the Starry Plough this week and since they had some video and digital recording equipment set up, we partook of those services. We also played on a few songs with featured performer Lindi Wiggins (who had opened up for us at the Utah), backing her up with much aplomb, much like The Band in "The Last Waltz."

Anyway, this is supposed to be a quick email, warning you to "Stay Away From the KIngfish this Friday night". Actually, it's not supposed to sound so foreboding (sorry, I've been showing Buffy episodes in class this week), just be aware that we won't be playing there if you do show up.

And don't forget about the cool gig at Smiley's in beautiful Bolinas on Friday, Oct. 24! It'll be the full electric power trio with Jace on drums!

stay in touch... Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: zen koans Kate Burkart: the sound of one hand playing bass Special Guest Richard Dry: Leaving http://www.famouslastwordsband.com (check out the new home page picture and tell me Kate doesn't hold her bass like Gene Simmons...)

Buy the cd at: Amoeba (SF and Berkeley) Hear Music (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) and online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords

 

Smiley's 10/24/03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Need to get away? (sorry, I seem to be temporarily out of original opening ideas)

But you can get away this Friday to beautiful Bolinas nestled just off Hwy 1 past Stinson Beach. Actually, you could do that any Friday or any day at all for that matter but if you do it THIS Friday you can stop in to Smiley's (located at 41 Wharf Road - but it's a small town (think Cicely, Alaska) with one road - you don't really need the address) and see us play...

We're doing the all-night bar band thing - meaning cool jamming covers along with your favorite FLW originals. Also meaning we'll be hittin' the juice, as they say (actually I don't know anyone who says that), so it'll be footloose (but not in a Kevin Bacon way) and fancy-free (but not in a Rod Stewart way). Call Smiley's at 415.868.1311 and say you're there to see us and they'll give you a special rate on a room.

In the meantime, you should check out our redesigned website - particularly the Photo Galleries. There are EXTREMELY hip new pictures along with new EXTREMELY witty captions, and most importantly, a more meaningful feng shui. Yes, it flows. Like a river to the ocean, like a germ in a seed grows, we've finally been freed to get back home. The sea refuses no river. I wanna drown - in cool water. Sailing - takes me away - oops, sorry... http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Meanwhile, speaking of rivers (and this is a non-musical digression so you can safely skip this paragraph and still make it to our shows, conveniently listed below), I'd like to issue a public service announcement about "Mystic River":
Don't Believe the Hype.
This coming from a big Clint fan (and Sean Penn and Tim Robbins and actually Kevin Bacon, too, discounting, of course, Footloose...boy, he really is within 6 degrees of everything). Anyway, the movie DOES NOT work on so many levels. I still stand behind "Unforgiven" as a true flippin' Masterpiece, but in this case, the emperor is really bare-ass naked.

Now what was I talking about? Oh yeah, come on out to Smiley's in Bolinas this Friday and party with FLW!

Famous Last Words Full Electric Power Trio Friday, Oct. 24 Smiley's 41 Wharf Road, Bolinas 9 to close
opening up is acoustic ironic sarcastic duo-chick "Pickin' Trix"

and then:

Famous Last Words All-Instrumental Acoustic "Jazz" Trio Saturday, Oct. 25 The Jupiter 2181 Shattuck Ave, Downtown Berkeley 8 - 11 pm

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jace Bartulis: drums

Check out the new pix (and feng shui) on the website! It's way cool! Really! http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords (where we're an "Editor's Pick"!) and locally at: Amoeba (Berkeley and San Francisco) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (where we've been chosen to be on a listening station! - but the paperwork has to go through - so probably by next week - just didn't want you to go in today and think I had no clothes either...)

 

11.03.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

For those of you not in California, there's a bite in the air, the leaves are turning red and gold (setting us on fire), and winter is beckoning us to come hibernate and take a load off the ol' rack of life for a while. For us in the Bay Area it's raining. But still, what better time to relax with a string of acoustic shows - or better yet, 6 strings on a Taylor and 4 on a Fender bass.

Um, anyway...we're doing our acoustic duo this Tuesday, Nov. 4 at the Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck, stumblin' distance from the Ashby Bart) in Berkeley. Yes, I know that's open mic night there, but we're the "Featured Performer" meaning they liked us enough at our past showings to give us a full 25-minute set in the middle of the proceedings instead of just 2 songs. We'll go on around 10:00 pm.

Then next Friday, Nov. 14 we're doing a short acoustic duo opener for the Alexis Harte Band at Papa Tobey's Revolutionary Cafe. And if that name isn't cool enough for you, Papa Tobey's is located at 3248 22nd St. (between Valencia and Mission) in the heart of the Mission in San Francisco. You can't get much cooler than that. Show starts at 8:00 pm.

But that's not all - The following Friday, Nov. 21, we're returning to the always cool Kingfish in Oakland with our acoustic trio. Just us, um, provin' it all night. 9:00 to close.

There's more I'd like to wax on about but some of us work for a living - nevertheless, more emails to come...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com (Did ya check out the new feng shui yet?)

Buy the cd at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and at: Amoeba (SF and Berkeley) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Tower (Berkeley) Hear (Berkeley and Palo Alto) - coming soon to a listening station!

All right, just a quick bit of waxing - spreading the word about some quality tunes:

(For those of you who are interested) The cd's currently enjoying rotation in my cd player (and pithy comments about each) are:
Mary Gauthier - Filth and Fire (folky singersongwriter: world-weary, beautiful and edgy, not afraid to make the big statement in a small song)
Earl Scruggs and Friends (even Sting pulls off a country tune on this)
Josh Clayton Felt - Spirit Touches Ground (grooving pop-rock from the former frontman of School of Fish - ironically lots of life in a sadly posthumous release)
Nina Gerber - Lullabies for Guitar (virtuoso solo acoustic guitar from a local master - certainly soothing for all of us children in these times)
Keith Moore - The Fluorescent Shaded Teddy Bear Murders (not as soothing as Nina - a concept as off-the-wall as its title from a local player with whom I played at the off-the-wall (and ceiling) xy and z company's aerial dance performances in Marin.

In Art is Truth: Take Refuge in That.

http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

Papa Toby's 11.14.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Short and Sweet:

FLW Acoustic Duo Friday, Nov. 14 Papa Toby's Revolutionary Cafe 3248 22nd St. (Between Mission and Valencia) 8:00 pm We are opening for the Alexis Harte Band, a very cool jazzy/folky/singer-songwritery project.

And next weekend we're doing the acoustic trio bar-band thing at the Kingfish in Oakland.

Clear. To the point. Less is more. Hemingway. Flaubert. "Le mot juste." B.B. King. Steven Wright. The truest musician understands silence. The best writer understands a blank page. The best football team wins no games (no sour grapes here...). The sinner is closest to God. The world is a ghetto. Hieronymo's mad againe. The dot of yin in the yang and the dot of yang in the yin are the strongest parts of each. Life is a carnival. Believe it
or
Naught.

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley, SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home Music (El Cerrito) Tower (Berkeley) and coming soon to (and featured on the listening stations at) Hear Music (Berkeley, Palo Alto)

 

Kingfish 11/21/03

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're donning our acoustic bar-band trio face this Friday for a cool gig of originals and hip covers at the Kingfish Pub in Oakland. Kate calls the Kingfish the "Cheers" of Oakland, which might lead you to want to make all kinds of jokes about not wanting everyone to know your name, but what she means is it's a very friendly, neighborhood bar, but with dark lighting and a Raiders helmet hanging from the rafter. Sort of. (What do you want, she's from Boston...) Maybe it's the "Moe's" of Oakland. Or "Kelsey's." Or "The Regal Beagle." Or "The Peach Pit." Or "The Brick". Or - yeah - "The Bronze."

(Now that was some seriously useless drivel crowding this ol' brain. Sorry to spill it out all over your computer screen. But if I missed any crucial ones, please email me...)

Anyway, we'll be adding some new songs (assuming Kate is practicing as I type this...) as well as a new drummer sitting in, the very tight Nadir Jeevanjee. If all goes well tomorrow, we may also have a new p.a. or at least new speakers, which should interest all you gearheads. I may even try a new gauge of string and Kate will use a new tuner. I have a new sticker on my guitar case. Papa's got a brand new bag. It's a new dawn, people. (You knew I had to get some more allusions in here to counteract all that t.v. effluvia...) Anyway, FLW - always moving forward.

So come on out, have a beer, and enjoy yourself!

Friday, Nov. 21 Kingfish Pub 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) Oakland 9:00 pm - close hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Tower (Berkeley) and coming soon (really!) and featured on listening stations at: Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto)

 

Kingfish 12.8.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

Check out this review of our cd from the latest issue of WEST COAST PERFORMER Magazine:

"The song construction in this self-titled album is solid and the vocals have loads of depth and range...Solid lyrics grace the songs effortlessly, striking out of the woodwork to capture the imagination of the audience. ..flashes of brilliance jump out of the ordinary into the transcendent, pulling you into the moment like only the fiery guitar sound of Zittrain's electric, or Kate Burkart's soul wrenching vocals can. Jeff Zittrain obviously is a true student of his instrument being able to take a song into his capable hands and transform it at will."

Or, as we used to say in high school (and I'm still not sure why), "Cool beans."

Check out more reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html You can buy your own copy of the cd at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords

We're also being spun on about 100 radio stations these days, in the U.S. and Europe...

Or you can buy the cd at our next show, a return engagement to the always cool Kingfish Pub in Oakland this Saturday night, Dec. 13. We'll be doing our "bar-band acoustic trio" again. "Acoustic" in this case does not mean "unamplified", as we'll be using our new JBL p.a. speakers. It means Kate and I sit down, I play my Taylor acoustic guitar, the drums are pared down to the essentials of rhythm, and we throw in a ton of fun covers along with your favorite FLW originals.

Last month the lucky Kingfish crowd witnessed the debut of our cover of Mary Gauthier's brilliant "Goodbye" complete with us cleverly playing the bridge as if it were a verse - not because we weren't paying enough attention when we learned the song the week before - but because we were deliberately molding it into our style, "transforming it at will" you might say

... yeah, that's the ticket...

anyway, it'll be a real bridge this time...(where's that confounded bridge? Take me to the bridge...it is certainly not a bridge too far - it's not like it's the bridge over the River flippin' Kwai...But rather...Sail on silver girl...)

Handling the trap set duties once again will be supreme rhythm ace Nadir Jeevanjee - boy did we get a rippin' "Mama Tried" out of him last time...

It's weird; I keep thinking I should say more in these emails - what, you ask - beyond the train-of-thought allusions shtick? Yes- dammit. We are living in times where there are things that need to be said. 'Nuff said. No wait a minute. These trains of thought do sometimes find their way to higher ground. Yet it seems I always think of some meaningful thing in the split second after I hit that little "Send Now" icon...

Solution: hit "send now" and then quickly send a second email, like those pre-flashes on cameras to prevent red eyes...

Don't worry - it may be late and I may be weary but I know your plans don't include more emails - my eyes always turn out red anyway, it seems.

I will say this: You may notice the new political stumping on the bottom of our home page - for those of you in SF, rock the vote. For those of you not, check out the potentially pretty progressive positive politics of this place. http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

And come on out to the Kingfish!

FLW Acoustic Trio Sat. Dec. 13 Kingfish, Oakland 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:00 pm - close
Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now up at the store's choice listening station!)

 

12.13.03

FLW Friends and Fans:

A reminder that we're donning our acoustic bar-band trio face for a gig at the Kingfish Pub in Oakland this Saturday night. Included with your favorite FLW originals will be many and sundry covers. If it's raining, all the better - the Kingfish is cozy and warm, temperature-wise, yet extremely cool, vibe-wise. Come in, I say, we'll give you, shelter from the storm.

And we all know that regardless of the weather, there's a storm out there - I remember last year at about this time (and probably the year before that) thinking about all the money everyone was spending as a matter of course during the holiday season, and thinking - what if everyone put at least some of the money THEY WERE SPENDING ANYWAY to some sort of gift they felt was also contributing to something they believed in - instead of just supporting the ol' military-industrial complex.

In this spirit of social responsibility, moral integrity, and just plain being cool, we at FLW offer the following websites for at least one cool gift idea:

http://www.greenpages.org/
http://www.greenmoneyjournal.com/
http://www.planetfriendly.net/gifts.html
http://www.wildlifeadoption.org

And there's always simply supporting your local bookstore or record store instead of the big chains - (break your chains, people!) - or browsing through the independent music on cd baby at http://www.cdbaby.com

Yes, it's not just us on there...although we are on there and now that I think about it, screw the wussy moral stuff and just send tons of FLW cd's to everyone you know...

Just kidding. First of all, that's still supporting the cool independent artist scene. And regardless, it's all a win-win situation. I think back to college when we would get...um, very hungry at the end of a night - and after 2 years of cookie dough and ice cream (see, we were ahead of the times, combining those two by painstaking manual labor before they made it easy for all these pampered college kids nowadays...), I realized by junior year that (almost) EVERYTHING tasted good and enjoying yogurt (yes, yogurt) at those times was equally satisfying and left you respecting yourself (and your stomach) in the morning. (Of course I added lots of cookie dough and ice cream to the yogurt...then you put the lime in the coconut and mix it all up...)

I remember my good friend Steffon introducing me to his good friend The Avocado in the parking lot of a post-Grateful Dead experience and feeling the healthiness surging right through my cells into my bones. And an extremely memorable grapefruit at another Grateful Dead show that infused life-giving nutrients through my bones into the very core of my soul. And when I bite into a York Peppermint Patty - oops, sorry...Anyway, maybe they should have been called the "Grateful Fed"...I'm probably losing mucho credibility here. Just remember, dammit, I'll go back to quoting Thoreau and Melville and the Tao te Ching soon enough...

But you get the point - as long as you're doin' it anyway, why not do it for something positive... "Cast your whole influence, not merely a strip of paper" (I told you I'd get Thoreau in there...)

And anyway, happy flippin' holidays!

Missed the "West Coast Performer" Review? Here it is again:

"The song construction in this self-titled album is solid and the vocals have loads of depth and range...Solid lyrics grace the songs effortlessly, striking out of the woodwork to capture the imagination of the audience. ..flashes of brilliance jump out of the ordinary into the transcendent, pulling you into the moment like only the fiery guitar sound of Zittrain's electric, or Kate Burkart's soul wrenching vocals can. Jeff Zittrain obviously is a true student of his instrument being able to take a song into his capable hands and transform it at will."

Check out this and many more insightful and funny reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

We'll also be featured in the upcoming issue of "Independent Musician" Magazine!

Hope to see you at the Kingfish!

FLW acoustic trio Kingfish Pub, Oakland 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:00 pm - close

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now up at the store's choice listening station!)

 

Jupiter 1.7.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

We return to the always cool Jupiter in Berkeley tomorrow night, Wednesday 1/7. Those of you who have seen us there before know that the Jupiter has a large selection of great beer as well as consistently quality jazz acts along with a "no vocals" policy.

"Let the Music Do the Talking" declared Aerosmith's Joe Perry in a pretty unsuccessful solo venture. "Talk is Cheap" countered Keith Richards in a probably better solo statement. "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love" sang Van Halen in an only marginally-related sentiment. The point is, none of them, however, got up and played a 3-hour trio gig at the Jupiter with no vocals. Yes, instrumental prowess is the name o' the game here and we at FLW are proud to stand up (actually we sit down) and wave our prowess high. Be impressed. Be very impressed.

It's like the famous (to some of us) bold move in season 4 of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" when critics contended the show was too dependent on witty dialogue - so they did an episode called "Hush" (where everyone in town lost their ability to speak) which was almost completely silent.

Yes, we are multi-faceted, deep and chock full o' layers.

It's like Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck winning the coin toss in OT against his former team the Packers and declaring not only "we want the ball" but adding - over the p.a. in Green Bay, mind you - "we're gonna score" - oops, scratch that one. Throwing an interception returned in your face for the winning touchdown will go some ways in revealing pride to be hubris - Although Seattler Steff Moody exuberantly proclaimed "I'll take a well-placed smart aleck remark over the 2nd round of the playoffs any day." Which is precisely why he's a shaman trickster and not a quarterback.

but I digress...
("is it perfume from a dress? - It is impossible to say what I mean!" - which brings us, courtesy of T.S. Eliot, full circle to the music beyond words that is the Jupiter gig)

yeah, yeah, back to the facts, ma'am -

Famous Last Words All-instrumental Acoustic "Jazz" Trio Wednesday Jan. 7 The Jupiter, downtown Berkeley 8 - 11 pm

Joining us on drums will be the always slick, smooth and stylin' Frank India.

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar Kate Burkart: bass Frank India: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (featured on the "emerging artists" listening post!) Check out our cool reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

Electric at the Kingfish 1/24/04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Yes, you read that right - we're plugging in and playing electric at the Kingfish this Saturday night. We'll ignore all cries of "Judas!" as I strap on the SG and we rock the casbah. I will be using my new smaller and more portable Fender Princeton 65 amp instead of the large Fender Showman you've grown accustomed to at electric gigs but, as I tell my students when they ask how long their papers need to be, "size doesn't matter." Whether that's true in all areas of life is up for debate, but we also know, as Eric Clapton sang in a Robbie Robertson-penned song for a Tom Cruise sequel to a classic Jackie Gleason film, "it's in the way that you use it."

Okay, now that my quota of allusions has been filled I can get on with the facts, ma'am. (okay, that was an extra one...)
Famous Last Words Electric Band Saturday Jan. 24 Kingfish Pub, Oakland 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:00 - midnight

It's a bar-band gig: lots of drinking and covers along with the originals!

Rumor has it that the estimable Richard Dry will be sitting in on percussion at some point during the proceedings - as fans of Esme's Dream and the Personal Demons can attest, you don't want to miss those fireworks...

One more thing: FLW highly recommends Al Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right". To this guitar player/book reviewer, Al is a modern day Mark Twain, laugh-out-loud funny and critical, with a common-sense wisdom that slices directly to some very profound truths. "Like a diamond bullet between the eyes" recounted Marlon Brando in "Apocalypse Now" which actually isn't very funny, but it gets my "slices directly" point across. "Like a corkscrew to my heart" sang Bob Dylan which also isn't very funny and besides adds an emotional anguish that Al manages to sidestep with his humor. "Like a Virgin" chirped Madonna in a truly bizarre video with a guy in a lion head and a boat in Venice - and I suppose it's also relevant to my point regarding the scary number of people who get only Fox-approved views of the world. And in the absurdity of our times, when so many powerful people casually and constantly and brazenly manipulate truth for their own ends, Al's simple stance for basic reality seems all the more vital. And that, rather than size, is what matters in my student's papers as well. Dammit. Gimme Some Truth.

See you at the Kingfish!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums Very Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now up at the store's choice listening station!)

Check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html And at the risk of getting too partisan, check out Michael Moore's endorsement of Wesley Clark at: http://www.michaelmoore.com or http://www.clark04.com/moore/

 

1.24.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a reminder that we're playing the very cool Kingfish Pub in Oakland tonight (Sat. 1/24). In keeping with my razor-sharp ability to make clear decisions I'll have both my acoustic and electric guitars. In this way we can capture the vast expanse of the FLW vision. As Walt Whitman proclaimed of himself and America a century and a half ago: "Very well, I contradict myself - I am large, I contain multitudes!"

We are still a trio, although the whispered word on the street is that Richard Dry will be sitting in on percussion as well (Richard, if you're reading this: THERE IS A GIG TONIGHT).

Famous Last Words Acoustic/Electric Band Saturday Jan. 24 Kingfish Pub, Oakland 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:00 - midnight It's a bar-band gig: lots of drinking and covers along with the originals!

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums Very Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) Check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html And at the risk of getting too partisan, check out Michael Moore's endorsement of Wesley Clark at: http://www.michaelmoore.com or http://www.clark04.com/moore/

 

1.28.04 The Legendary Kingfish Story

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just wanted to send back the good vibes from the Kingfish gig this past weekend. Let me set the scene:

We arrive at the bar to load in. Good news: we get a parking space right in front. Bad news: The Bar is fricking empty. Literally. Zero people. Also the door is locked. After a bit of knocking the owner lets us in. We carry in our guitars and are making our second trip with p.a. equipment when the owner, who is tending bar to no one (think "The Shining") says "uhhh...it seems like a slow night - none of my regulars are here...I don't think any of them will show up - are you sure you want to play?"

We look at each other. We check the paper for movie listings. Just kidding. We say: "Hey, we are frickin' Famous Last Frickin' Words and we have a frickin' email list and people who may be coming out to see us - and I don't care if it's one fan, one poor soul with music in their heart, but if we tell them there's a show and they come out to see it - by God, we're gonna give 'em a show - We rock, mo'fo'. And we're deeply sensitive."

Now he looks at us like WE'RE in "The Shining." "Okay guys, careful with that axe Eugene - I'm just tellin' you - it's not much of a night."

We sit down and play our first set acoustic. Three patrons had wandered in and we try not to disturb their tv watching as we play to their backs. We open with Lucinda Williams' "Sweet Old World" - nice and mellow, Kate's soft and pretty vocals, some extremely laid-back soloing on the Taylor. They clap when it ends.

And this to me is a defining moment. It's where you come in. Literally and figuratively. Suddenly the night turns into one of those music videos that never happens in real life, where the band starts out playing to no one and the wonder of their music brings in a crowd and builds and builds until by the end of the song the place is packed and everyone is getting their groove on and loving life. Extend that out over two sets and that's how the evening felt.

The second set I plugged in my SG and Kate and I kicked away our chairs (actually we just moved them to the side) and stood up and rocked out. Covers of the Clash's "Bankrobber" and Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" opened the set and the sweat was pouring into my eyes. But in a good-really-feelin'-it-Marvin-Gaye kind of way. As we began the next song, the sex-drenched original "Smells Like Candy", Richard Dry made his much ballyhooed (by this writer anyway) appearance and added all kinds of cool percussion. We had moved from "The Shining" into "Stop Making Sense."

To make a long story shorter, we played a bunch more songs, originals and covers, such a big bunch in fact that we forgot to take our customary second break - no, we played a (I'm sure soon-to-be-legendary - at least if people buy these email descriptions) monster 2nd set all the way to closing time.

But anyway, the thing is, what I really mean - it was great to see everyone who showed up and made the night - new friends and old - we really appreciate the support and we wanted to throw some good vibes back at ya.

So thanks again - I was dreaming when I wrote this - forgive me if it went astray - And hope to see you all again! hey (hey) come right away, come and join the party everyday - party on wayne (party on garth) - it's my party and I'll rock if I want to - party me Badd - oops, sorry.

See you further on up the road!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

2.6.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

This Friday, a very special "Ed." The SEASON (AND SERIES) flippin' FINALE of the four-year running tv show will feature a track from our very own Famous Last Words cd! I have not seen the episode so I don't know how prominently it will be featured, but it will be on there.

Which of course is very cool, but you should have seen the footage they shot of us performing - at the end of which Kate reached over and ripped my Blue Oyster Cult t-shirt, causing a wardrobe malfunction and, as Roxy Music suggestively sang, "you can guess the rest." Unfortunately this was so steamy it caused NBC to edit out this segment.

A full federal investigation is underway, however, which I wholly welcome, since this is what our government should be focused on in these important times.

But Friday night, our government, the country, and you should be focused on "Ed", and particularly one scene with music by Famous Last Words...

ED Friday, Feb. 6 NBC, Across the U.S.A. 9:00 pm

Turn On, Tune In, and Rock Out!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. Mark your calendars for Mon., Feb. 23, when we'll be playing the ultra-cultural "Viv and a Movie" in San Francisco - art, music, and film - you can't get much cooler than that...more details to follow... Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) Check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

2.9.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

First off, thanks to everyone's kind emails on our "Ed" gig! I am reminded of an essay by one of my favorite writers, Joe Quirk: "Television is to world mythology what English is to world languages - across the globe and inside my brain, TV has conquered the ancient kingdoms of collective imagery."

Yeah, I'm not totally sure what he meant either, but it sure sounds good...

As regards our bit of imagery last Friday night, however, I'll quote Dr. John who wrote to me: "It was a little like playing 'Where's Waldo?' with music." Still, the good doctor correctly identified the song, scene and standard by which all TV music must now be forever judged.

Another milestone, another step on the (Eight-Fold) path (down the Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion), another brick in the wall, another notch on my guitar/lipstick case - hey - another Saturday Night...

And now - the next step: We would love for you to join us at the ultra-cultural "Viv and a Movie" at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco on Monday Feb. 23. Listen to an acoustic opener, watch independent short films, meet artists whose cool work will be displayed on the walls, and listen to Viv (featuring original Counting Crows drummer Steve Bowman), and of course yours truly, the Famous Last Words electric trio. A Monday night hasn't been this chock full 'o culture since Dennis Miller left Monday Night Football - and turned into a little bit of a scary right-wing looney - Don't let the same thing happen to you!

And now for the important info:

In the "Hey mister, do you want to buy a watch real cheap?" dept:
You can go to the Red Devil on the night of the show and plunk down 10 bucks to get in
OR
You can get in touch with us and buy a ticket in advance for only 5 bucks. Of course you only get to listen to half the show then - wear one earplug. ("...you know where to put the cork...")

Just kidding - same great show, same great bands, same great art, same great movies - for Half the Price! Those of you who know how to get in touch with us already, feel free - and anyone can call the Famous Last Words business line at: 925.200.2656 to order tickets and talk about all things FLW. Operators are standing by, eagerly awaiting your call!

Famous Last Words Electric Trio at Viv and a Movie Monday, Feb. 23 Red Devil Lounge 1695 Polk (at Clay), SF Show starts at 8:00 pm, we go on at 9:45 If you don't know the Streets of San Francisco, you can get directions at: http://reddevillounge.com/map.html (Do you now have a cool wah-wah guitar sound in your head?)

hope to see you! And to hear from you about advance tickets!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) Check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

2.16.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a reminder that it's one week to the "Viv and a Movie" show at the Red Devil on Monday 2/23 - so you still have time to get in touch with us for the special 5 dollar advance discount tickets. Five dollars! Remember, if you will, Steve Martin's take on that ticket price for his own San Francisco show: "I've got 5 dollars, I think I'll throw it in the street - oh, I can go in here for 5 dollars - okay..."

Those of you who have ordered your tickets - the check is in the mail. No seriously, they are in the mail tomorrow. Now all you have to do is pat yourself on the back and when you see your letter carrier simply say "Stop - wait a minute - Mr. Postman..." Try to get some friends to back you up if necessary.

If you still need to order, you can get in touch with us by your regular means, or call the FLW business line at 925.200.2656. Operators are standing by. Simply say "Operator, can you help me, help me if you please" or "Operator - could you help me place this call" or if you're feeling especially chipper, "you're a smooth operator, smooooth - operator". If you're lucky, you might get a response of "One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingy..."

I wonder if the brain has a saturation point and then instead of being moved and inspired and stimulated it just turns to mush...

Oh well, no great matter -
Anyway - "Viv and a Flippin' Movie": acoustic opener, independent short films, artists-in-person displaying their art, and 2 cool bands (Viv -featuring original Counting Crows drummer Steve Bowman, and Famous Last Words - who need no introduction to their own emailing list). A taste of Europe in the heart of San Francisco. This is why people live here! Music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air!

Hope to see you - and hear from you about advance discount tix!

Famous Last Words Electric Trio at Viv and a Movie Monday, Feb. 23 Red Devil Lounge 1695 Polk (at Clay), SF Show starts at 8:00 pm, we go on at 9:45 10 dollars at the door, 5 dollars advance through FLW If you don't know the Streets of San Francisco, you can get directions at: http://reddevillounge.com/map.html (Do you now have a cool wah-wah guitar sound in your head?)

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

(An aside tip to the film-wise: "The Dreamers" - don't believe the hype...)

 

2.23.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a short (yeah, right) reminder that we're playing the ultra-cultural "Viv and a Movie" tonight (Monday 2/23) at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco. As I'm pressed for time, I will quote my previous email:

"Acoustic opener, independent short films, artists-in-person displaying their art, and 2 cool bands. A taste of Europe in the heart of San Francisco. This is why people live here! Music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air!"

But wait, I am not so pressed that I can't give you a quick (and highly relevant) story: I go out this weekend to check out "The Trenchermen", some friends of ours who describe themselves as:

"Geek-rock, via vaudeville/cabaret, punk/metal, and barber shop/folk, all run through a filter of WWBWD (What Would Brian Wilson Do). In their day jobs, the Trenchermen proudly make their living as accountants for the porn industry."

Not needing an accountant, I just went down to hear the tunes. I thought they were on first so I showed up at showtime. The doorman, however, told me they were headlining so I was fortunate enough to have 3 hours to kick back and wait. You would think, as I did, that this would suck mightily. Imagine my surprise when the opening acts got up and made music. The second band was particularly arresting, a guitar/drums duo which can truly and accurately be described as "Kurt Cobain meets Cat Stevens meets Keith Moon meets Dylan meets the White Stripes." Really. And it meant something. I was watching them and thinking - "yeah, this is art."

So I'm talking to the guitar player after their set and I tell him I dug the musical allusions in his songs (he introduced one political song as "written by Tom Brokaw" and then played the melody of "With God on Our Side" on solo harmonica as an intro before launching into the tune which ended up quoting "Dark as a Dungeon.")

"It's good to know people are noticing that stuff" he told me. "Sometimes I wonder if I'm losing people."

"Tell me about it" I said, "I sometimes put so many allusions into my gig emails that you can use up two lifelines just getting through the first paragraph".

"Oh yeah?" he said, intrigued. "What kind of pretentious dork are you? I mean, what band are you in?"

"Famous Last (frickin') Words" I proudly proclaimed.

"I know you guys!" he exclaimed.

"Well, we're kind of all the buzz" I replied humbly.

"Yeah, but it's something else..."

"Did you happen to be channel surfing last Friday night?" I asked casually.

"Yeah...let me see...right! The season, and series, finale of the 4-year running NBC tv show "Ed"! - in the 5th scene in the bar - "Lullaby", the opening cut on your cd, was playing for over a minute in the background when they were talking about Ed's bachelor party! That rocked!"

"Right" I calmly demurred.

"But that's not it" he said "there's something else...where are you playing next?"

"Red Devil Lounge this Monday" I said, "Viv and a Movie - an ultra-cultural blah blah -"

"THIS Monday night?" he cut me off, (thankfully) halting my spiel - "That's it! WE'RE playing Viv and a Movie! We're replacing Viv!"

So you see, gentle readers, there was a very important point to this story - check us out AND check out this other very cool band: Two Gallants.

Still - whether there was a point or not, at that same show a very talented local musician on our mailing list told me that these emails were good enough that I should write a novel. This encouragement probably should be taken with a grain of salt or, more appropriately, a shot of whiskey since the conversation occurred in a drunken stupor - but still - the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, right? Although the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference. I'll hit the road again, setting my mind on fire. The road goes ever on, all you Tolkien fans. The road is life.

 

and that's the end of a fairly novel email: ("tis a far, far better thing I do than I have done before...")

so here's the facts, ma'am:

Famous Last Words Electric Trio at Viv and a Movie Monday, Feb. 23 Red Devil Lounge 1695 Polk (at Clay), SF Show starts at 8:00 pm, we go on at 9:45 10 dollars at the door, 5 dollars advance through FLW If you don't know the Streets of San Francisco, you can get directions at: http://reddevillounge.com/map.html (Do you now have a cool wah-wah guitar sound in your head?)

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html and check out more gig diaries at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/gigarchives.html

 

2.28.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Red Devil last week! As archivist Dr. John pointed out, you witnessed an FLW first: a song played AFTER our traditional set-closer "Bid You Goodnight." I assure you this was unplanned - but with the room clamoring for more, what else could we do? If music be the food of love, we say, play on - or something like that...

This week holds 2 special events in FLW land. This Wednesday night (3/3) we've been asked to perform on the renowned award-winning Bruce Latimer TV show. If you're in Pacifica from 9 to 10, switch on channel 26 to see our acoustic duo live and uncensored, as nasty as we wanna be. 3 songs and an interview. 3 chords and the truth. For that small portion of you who won't be in Pacifica on Wed from 9-10, the show will then be "rebroadcast to Bay Area markets with 2-3 million subscribers."

First "Ed", then Bruce, you say? Has video killed the radio star? Well, I admit that we are boldly conquering the final frontier of American success - the glowing box where watching is being and images are made manifest. Invisible airwaves crackle with life, bright antennae bristle with the energy - turn it on, turn it on again - I'm so sick of dud tv, next time you switch on you might see me - The revolution WILL be televised...

However, don't fear - our wildly successful tv career and hobnobbing with the beautiful people has not torn us away from our (mandrake) roots: we will get down and dirty and indulge the classic route of the sweaty bar-band gig next Friday night (3/5), when we return to the Kingfish in Oakland.

Hmm, that came out kind of smellier-sounding than I intended. The Kingfish is cool. We'll do an acoustic set and then 2 electric sets - 9 pm to midnight. That means lots of fun covers along with the originals, a possible guest appearance by percussionist Richard Dry, and the overall cool Kingfish vibe. Check us out live before we turn into Mike TeeVee and the oompa-loompas have to stretch us back into shape.

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo Wed. March 3 The Bruce Latimer Show, Pacifica 9-10 pm, channel 26

Famous Last Words Acoustic/Electric Band Friday March 5 Kingfish Pub, Oakland 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:00 - midnight

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html and check out more gig diaries at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/gigarchives.html

 

3.5.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a reminder that we're doing our fun bar-band thing at the Kingfish tonight (Friday 3/5) in Oakland. Witness our impressive range as we do the first set acoustic and then 2 sets electric. Nadir on drums and Richard Dry on percussion. Covers and Originals. Drinking and Carousing. We rock - and we're deeply sensitive. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

And now, the Bruce Latimer Show story:

We cruise through light Bay Area traffic in a breezy 2 hours and arrive at the station at the scheduled load-in time. We meet the whole crew - floor manager, sound man, switcher, etc - and finally Bruce himself. After an exchange of pleasantries he says:

"Hey man, I like to do an opening monologue with music behind me - now this is live tv - do you guys think you could play something improvised while I talk?"

"We're Famous Last Frickin' Words" we reply, "'Improvised' is our middle name!"

"It sounds like 'Frickin'" is your middle name" he says.

"Very funny, Mr. Big-Shot TV Show Host - So we're Famous Last Frickin' IMPROVISED Words, Guy Smiley" we reply, maybe sounding a little too much like Jack Black.

"Cool, man" he says, unfazed. "Now remember - I'll do my monologue with you playing, then I'll walk over to my desk and formally introduce you - the camera will cut to you and you just launch into your first song. After 2 songs you'll come over to my desk for an interview. Do you think you can handle that?"

"No problemo" we say, "We're Famous Last Frickin' Improvised Words"

And now the important part of the story -

We have about a half hour before showtime so we walk a few doors down to a sushi place. We eat sushi and drink sake and beer. There's not a lot of time so we do this very quickly.

We come back to the studio with a cool 37 seconds to spare and take our places on our stools next to Bruce's spot for his monologue. The show begins. Bruce walks in and we start improvising a jam on "Sweet Old World". We smoothly morph this into "Death Don't Have No Mercy." Everything is fine. Bruce finishes his rap and walks over to his desk. "Ladies and Gentlemen" he announces, "Famous Last (Frickin' Improvised) Words!"

Somewhere the sake in Kate's head puts 2 and 2 together and comes up with 53. She gets up off her stool and puts her bass down to walk over to Bruce's desk. The camera cuts to us. Here's what you see: Kate turned around with her back facing the camera, still perched on her stool holding her bass out and me sitting on my stool in mannequin-like prepared posture, my hand all carefully set for the opening "A" chord of the first song, looking half at the camera and half at her with a frozen expression of bewilderment while trying to telepathically communicate "Sit down, young lady" and "Do not 'go, girl'." I give up on telepathy and motion my stiff head to her stool and she casually sits back down, bass in position, like Steve Martin's smooth jazz guitarist in the beginning of "All of Me". We launch into "Maggie's Song." All is right with the world. We follow with "Sloe Hank", the interview, and close with "Matter of Time." Just like we said, no problemo.

As a reviewer on "Amazon.com" enthused about us: "If you like your rock-n-roll close to the raw edge and not product for some record company executive, get this cd!"

The Kingfish is always a good time at the raw edge - come join us and party on (Wayne)!

Famous Last Words Acoustic/Electric Band Friday March 5 Kingfish Pub, Oakland 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:00 - midnight

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Tower (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html and check out more gig diaries at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/gigarchives.html

 

3.6.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

"And while I'm away, I'll write home everyday..." Yes, it's me again - so soon because we have a last-minute show this week to tell you about along with 2 shows next weekend.

(This) Monday March 8 "FLW and a Movie" (We're sitting in for Viv who is on tour...) Our full electric trio plays two sets sandwiched amongst independent short films. There's also an acoustic opener and another band at 10:00. We play 8- 8:30 and 9 - 9:30. Red Devil Lounge 1695 Polk (at Clay), SF 10 dollars at the door, 5 dollars advance through FLW Get in touch with us by usual means or call the FLW business line at 925.200.2656

If you don't know the Streets of San Francisco, you can get directions at: http://reddevillounge.com/map.html (Do you now have a cool wah-wah guitar sound in your head?)

And then next weekend:

Saturday March 13 Time Out, Concord 1855 Grant St. FLW full electric band 11:30 pm Don't miss the Dr. John birthday celebration!

Sunday March 14 West Coast Songwriters Association Showcase The Englander, San Leandro 101 Parrott St. FLW Acoustic Duo in the round with 5 other singer-songwriter acts! 6:00 pm (Note the early start...)

I'll keep this one short and sweet - thanks to everyone who came out to the Kingfish last night - and to everyone who bought cd's... - you saw the debut of Kate's new song "The Most" as well as some ripping jams - we left it all out there on the field, as they say. So today is a little...laid-back. As Mick Jagger explained in "Some Girls", "I just don't have that much jam..." And Jack Black imparted in "School of Rock", "it means I was drunk LAST NIGHT". But hey, it feels good - "You can keep on using me" sang Bill Withers, "until you use me up.."

Hope to see you at a show!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html and check out more gig diaries at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/gigarchives.html

 

3/12/04 Famous Last Words Yin/Yang Double Dose this Weekend!

FLW Friends and Fans:

Witness two sides of the FLW experience this weekend:

We roll into the Time Out in Concord on Saturday night. We start at 11:30, well-past the John Ashcroft family hour. Other rock bands and adult soft drinks will have warmed up the crowd. We'll have our full electric power trio with drums. The room is hip and dark with a big stage. The kind of place where fans crowd the stage and high-five the band during particularly happening musical moments. It's Saturday Night in Concord. Dr. John turns 29 (again). We will (we will) rock you. Saturday Night's alright - get a little action in. At the rockin' stroke of midnight, whole place is gonna fly. Someone takes his pants off and the rafters knock - rock is dead they say, long live rock.

Then on Sunday we play at the Englander in San Leandro. It's an all-ages show so bring the kids. Kate and I will play as our acoustic duo. We start at 6:00 pm so you can get home early. The Englander has full meals and is well-lit. We are proud to be part of this showcase for the West Coast Songwriters Association. Five other acoustic singer-songwriter acts as well as us, culminating in a session "in-the-round" where we all trade songs and sit in on each other's material. It's laid-back, it's mellow, and no one will be high-fiving the performers during their sets. It's easy like Sunday morning. A sleepy city sidewalk - and Sunday morning coming down.

"I will breathe freely and stretch myself, it's such a relief to both the physical and moral system - and I am resolved that I will not through humility become the devil's attorney."

"Of physiology from top to toe I sing, Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far, The Female equally with the Male I sing."

"In football we wear helmets - in baseball we wear caps"

Famous Last Words: We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive.

Saturday March 13 FLW full electric band The Time Out, Concord 1855 Grant St. (Dr. John birthday celebration)

Sunday March 14 West Coast Songwriters Association Showcase FLW acoustic duo The Englander, San Leandro 101 Parrott St.

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (Yes, we are now on the "emerging artists" listening station!) check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html and check out more gig diaries at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/gigarchives.html

Special Offer! - first person to correctly identify all 9 allusions in this email gets a free beer at the show! (is that pompous? very well, then, it's pompous - I am large I contain multitudes!) (plus it was Kate's idea...) (that makes 10...)

 

4.10.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Here's a light thought for a beautiful California Saturday:

"April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain."

The Beach Boys you ask? Doesn't sound like something from "Endless Summer." Certainly it would sound out of place between "Surfin' USA" and "Fun, Fun, Fun".

Regardless, whether you're feeling that you just weren't made for these times, or you're feeling like you catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world, come on out to the Jupiter tonight, where we'll be playing as our acoustic "jazz" trio - that means all-instrumental, extended jams, mellow vibe. Relax and play. We play outside on the large patio and you sit in the audience and drink from a wide selection of brews. Fun, fun, fun...

Then on Thursday, April 15, after dealing with the Taxman, come on out to the Starry Plough to party down with our electric trio. We're headlining (yay) so we play longer. Opening up will be the always quality LizAnah Band and acoustic duo Green and Root. Celebrate your refund or drown your sorrow in tunes. It's a win-win all around. Cool bar, cool stage, cool beans. Even more fun, fun, fun.

The Starry Plough and Jupiter - we're playing heaven.

and in the too much time on my hands dept. here's what that might mean:

"Music heard so deeply That it is not heard at all, but you are the music While the music lasts... Only by the form, the pattern, Can words or music reach The stillness... Not the stillness of the violin (or Taylor guitar) while the note lasts, Not that only, but the co-existence, Or say that the end precedes the beginning, And the end and the beginning were always there Before the beginning and after the end. And all is always now."

Or, in other words, "I'm picking up good vibrations"

Famous Last Words acoustic "jazz" trio Saturday April 10 Jupiter, downtown Berkeley 8-11 pm (we think - it might also be 9-12 - but, hey, what does it matter if all is always now...)

Famous Last Words electric power trio Thursday April 15 Starry Plough, Berkeley 3101 Shattuck with LizAnah Band and Green and Root showtime 9:00, we go on at 10:45

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (featured on the "emerging artists" listening post!) Check out our cool reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

4.15.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

I received enough email queries on the 2nd bit of poetry from the last email that I'll let you all know at once that it was T.S. Eliot - the opening quote was from "The Wasteland" and the 2nd one was from "Four Quartets." If you're interested in more behind-the-scenes expanded feature material, I actually removed the closing lines from the Wasteland which I had originally put at the end of the email, thinking it was getting too obscure and esoteric and very un-rock-and-roll-like. (yeah, yeah too late). They were "Shantih Shantih Shantih" - which means "the peace which passeth understanding." But, still, maybe peace is not what you want to remove ...particularly if April is still continuing its cruel ways...

Anyway, now that the literary section of this email is concluded, we can get to the meat of it all, the crux of the biscuit, the eye of the hurricane, the still point of the turning world. That is, the gig:

Famous Last Words electric power trio Thursday April 15 Starry Plough, Berkeley 3101 Shattuck Ave. (just south of Ashby) Openers LizAnah and Green and Root Show starts at 9:15, we go on about 10:45

The Starry Plough is a cool place to play with a nice stage and revolutionary posters on the walls. And when a government becomes tyrannical, is it not time for honest people to rebel and revolutionize? A "peaceable revolution" though, with music to balance the Taxman.

Shantih shantih shantih

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

p.s. I write this with a fever - my hands feel just like two balloons - we'll see what comes out of that guitar tonight...

Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (featured on the "emerging artists" listening post!) Check out our cool reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

4.21.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Starry Plough last week and watched me play through a feverish haze - I've been working at regaining my strength and wits all week, though, (raw egg shakes, "gonna fly now", etc.) and should be ready to lay it all out there again this weekend -

Yes, FLW - always an epic...

We're back at the always-fun Kingfish pub in Oakland this Saturday night, 4/24 - we'll be doing one full set acoustic and then 2 sets electric, so you can catch the full range of the FLW experience. As a special bonus, joining us on traps will be Sonny LaRosa, fresh off a stint with a Tower of Power side project...we've worked up a couple of new songs with Sonny so there will be no predicting our sets...

There won't be a lot of shows next month, so come out and catch us now!

Famous Last Words Acoustic/Electric Band Saturday, April 24 Kingfish Pub, Oakland 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:00 - midnight

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Sonny LaRosa: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (featured on the "emerging artists" listening post!) Check out our cool reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

4.24.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a lightning quick reminder that we're at the Kingfish tonight (Saturday 4/24) doing one set acoustic and 2 sets electric. Sitting in on drums will be Sonny LaRosa - which means we're going to do some new material...

Word on the street is that Richard Dry may show up for some percussion work as well -

This might be a very rare FLW email - no jokes and no allusions - I guess the fever has taken its toll - left with blankness - like the day after cocaine - (don't forget this fact you can't get it back) - fear and trembling and the sickness unto death - if you want to study a granfalloon just remove the skin of a toy balloon - hey hey it's Krusty! Music will soothe the savage beast and lift the embattled spirits - dust off those rusty strings just one more time... Gonna Have a Good Time (hey hey hey - it's Fat Albert!) Beware the screamin' heebie jeebies! Hieronymo's mad againe!

Okay, deep breath, says Hunter T...

Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs - Ohh mama, can this really be the end - It's such a fine line, I hate to see it go - Don't get off the boat - unless you're goin' all the way - people are strange when you're a stranger - these fragments I have shored against my ruins - runnin all around my brain - and can I make it cohere?

Remove all structure and let it explode - "the function of art is to imitate nature in her manner of operation and nature operates from chance simple minds cling to the illusion of an orderly powerful universe because it gives them a sense of security" - John Cage

"(Yeah? I'll) Take you to the leader of the band" - Robert Hunter
And John ("damn the rules I play all 12 notes in my solo anyway") Coltrane hit some stellar regions in his "quest for pure sanity..."

Come all without, come all within - you'll not see nothin' like the Mighty Quinn!

(I know, either Kate starts writing these or I stop writing them late at night...)

There won't be a lot of shows next month, so come out and catch us now!

Famous Last Words Acoustic/Electric Band Saturday, April 24 Kingfish Pub, Oakland 5227 Claremont (at Telegraph) 9:00 - midnight

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Sonny LaRosa: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (featured on the "emerging artists" listening post!) Check out our cool reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

5.3.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

April may be the cruellest month, but when it's cold outside (literally or figuratively), you've got the month of May.

What can make you feel that way?

How about a Famous Last Words gig - the ONLY one in May. That's right, next Monday, May 10, we return to the multi-cultural "Viv and a Movie" at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco for our sole May performance. I will quote myself (hmm-that sounds kind of Divinyls-ish - but if I had a chance I'd ask one to dance - now how's that for two quick and uncharacteristic 80's music references of which Jocelyn Elders would be proud...) from our previous shows at this event:

"Acoustic opener, independent short films, artists-in-person displaying their art, and cool bands. A taste of Europe in the heart of San Francisco. This is why people live here! Music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air!"

It's a special Mother's Day show, so, um, all you motha's come out and get down for free. Seriously, if you say you're a mom at the door, they'll let you in free. And I say if you're of the female persuasion, just tell them you're a mom - I'm sure you've given birth to something. And even if you're on the testosterone side of the aisle, do not despair - this is San Francisco and there are drugs and operations and just plain good ol' fashioned J. Edgar Hoover chicanery and in the meantime you can simply send us an email and we'll put you on the guest list where you get in for half price.

Scroll down for show info at the bottom of this email - Or keep reading for our previous show diary:

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Kingfish! It was a very intimate acoustic opening set, so intimate that we passed our set list around the crowd and had them tell us what to play next. It was like John Cage consulting the I Ching to compose his pieces - remove the artist and let the universe shine through.

This led to a nice version of Kate's new song "The Most" which I'm starting to think Emmylou Harris would love to cover, if only she could get the Hot Band to play the cool David Grier bluegrass cross-picking pattern I put underneath the chords.

And to continue patting myself on the back (would you rather more Divinyls-like body play...? - "...and to continue spanking myself on the monkey...") we also did a very driving version of Creedence's "Lodi" where I sang high harmonies with enough Keith Richards authenticity (to my ears anyway) that I considered getting a full blood change next time we tour Europe. And if that's not the pinnacle to which we all aspire, then rock and roll has grown up and died. Or overdosed, I guess. Or taken a full-time job. But you can grow up I say and not die - there's not enough catchers in the rye - can you jump over that cliff into something that's still real - though you're thinking that you're leaving there too soon - time makes you bolder (maybe). Although it was a child in the story who said the emperor had no clothes, so does Robert Byrd all the time. (So quit your job - workers of the world unite - I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore - We're not gonna take it!)

We ended the set with a rousing version of our very own "Maggie's Song" wherein new drummer Sonny LaRosa showed he's the real deal and harbinged (and if that's not a word it should be) even greater things to come.

The electric sets rocked in their sweaty bar-band way, and included a surprise (well, to the crowd anyway - we were sort of expecting it) cover of the Beatles' "Rain" (reality is in your mind, people!) as well as the debut of another new original, "Freeways and Marriotts" (and sometimes your mind frickin' wrenches your heart like a Stretch Armstrong doll - no, not another Elders metaphor, but well, it could be - "stretch him and he returns to normal size!" they proclaimed to not-so-subliminally entice young males everywhere).

Um, anyhoo, Guest Percussionist Richard Dry chose the rollicking set closer, "Smells Like Candy." It, um, rollicked. (And nothing subliminal there - in the interests of this (really Mr. Ashcroft, unintended) email theme I am bound to quote: "shake it up, shake it down, take it in my hand...")

Okay - back up for air...

So - this is it for live shows in May - we have a recording date set at the end (they're okay, the last days of May) and will be working on some new material - but unless you're the recording engineer or my roommates (which you aren't since they aren't on the mailing list), you won't be hearing us live the rest of the month.

So come see us while you can!

Famous Last Words Electric Trio at Viv and a Movie Monday, May 10 Red Devil Lounge 1695 Polk (at Clay), SF Show starts at 8:00 pm, we go on at 10:45 Moms get in Free! 10 dollars at the door, 5 dollars if you email us and tell us to put you on the guest list...

And the first person to correctly identify all 8 unidentified song references in this email gets a free beer at the show! What, you say you have something better to do...?

If you don't know the Streets of San Francisco, you can get directions at: http://reddevillounge.com/map.html (Do you now have a cool wah-wah guitar sound in your head?)

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Sonny La Rosa: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (featured on the "emerging artists" listening post!) Check out our cool reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

5.10.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

This is it - our one show in the month of May (we've got sunshine...)!

Famous Last Words Electric Trio at Viv and a Movie Special Mother's Day Extravaganza Monday, May 10 Red Devil Lounge 1695 Polk (at Clay), SF Show starts at 8:00 pm, we go on at 10:45 Moms get in Free! 10 dollars at the door, 5 dollars if you email us and tell us to put you on the guest list...

What is "Viv and a Movie" you ask?

"Independent short films, artists-in-person displaying their art, and three cool bands. A taste of Europe in the heart of San Francisco. This is why people live here! Music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air!"

If you don't know the Streets of San Francisco, you can get directions at: http://reddevillounge.com/map.html (Do you now have a cool wah-wah guitar sound in your head?)

Email or call the FLW business line (925.200.2656) to be put on the "guest list" and only pay half-price!

Get your FLW fix before it's too late...we'd love to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Sonny La Rosa: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com Buy the cd online at: http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords and in the Bay Area at: Amoeba (Berkeley and SF) Rasputin's (Berkeley) Down Home (El Cerrito) Hear Music (Berkeley and Palo Alto) (featured on the "emerging artists" listening post!) Check out our cool reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

that's all folks - the email is over -
this
is
the
ehhhhhennnnd.

 

6.11.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a note (pure and easy) to let you know what we've been doing on our summer vacation:

1. We've recorded 3 new songs for our all-acoustic cd:

They were Kate's new song "The Most" as well as perennial favorites "Matter of Time"(with a harp replacing the, um, blazing guitar solos) and "Maggie's Song."

I'm damn proud of "The Most" as we knew we wanted the classic country/bluegrass sound and instead of hiring some fancy Nashville session players we went in there and done played it ourselves. I even did the (mandatory rippin') solo live and although I'm hanging on for dear life and it reminds me of what a road-wizened bassist once said to me right after I'd finished a particularly creative interpretation of "Lost Highway" ("I know some bars in Nashville where you'd get killed for that"), I still feel that the respect and the heart is there. Yes, I'm sure Hank would have appreciated it that way. Anyway, we now need to mix and then - um, they'll be done. And we'll have a new cd capturing (but not containing) our all-acoustic incarnation. Yay.

2. We've also just returned from Seattle where our acoustic duo opened up for the cd release party of "United Sheep":

This is a cd I co-produced for my longtime friend, sometime mentor, and, as he introduced me to the crowd in Seattle, "trippin' buddy," Steffon Moody.

"United Sheep" is a collection of really great songs that really say something significant in a really honest and funny and insightful and unique way. Really. I added my signature acoustic guitar to 4 tracks on the cd and my ear and arranging to the rest. It's political and it's visionary. Pink Floyd's "Animals" meets Tom Lehrer meets John Lennon meets Randy Newman meets George Lucas (yes, you read that last name right...)

With Steffon's background in performance art and flair for profound visuals (even without the "trippin'" part...) we played in front of an enormous American Flag. Stars as big as our heads (again, even without the trippin'...). "Fleas the size of rats suck on rats the size of cats" - and if anyone gets that very cool allusion I'm impressed...but back to politics...

"It occurs to me" wrote poet Allen Ginsberg back in 1956, "that I too am America." An important sentiment to remember in these all-important times.

Check out the cd at: http://www.cdbaby.com/irreverentduet

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll have done something worthwhile - Because we're putting our money where Steffon's mouth is: 20% of the proceeds supports progressive causes!

While in the great Northwest we also played a cool open mic ("Sloe Hank" and "Maggie") and participated in a wild jam with the Vashon musical elite (Kate on bass and me on drums (!) pumping the powerful rhythm section like a great pitcher/catcher battery, at least until my arm got tired and I was pulled for relief in the bottom of the 5th). No pictures of that unfortunately, but I will send some soon of the cd release party featuring the grand old (high flyin') flag.

3. Other major happenings behind the FLW scene - radio play, interviews, gigs in the works, and press across the country - I'll update that soon also.

But it's exciting - what a time to be alive. And RIP Brother Ray...

See you next email...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

7/04/04

FLW Friends and Fans:

In these essential political times, how will you spend Independence Day? Thoreau declared his independence by moving to Walden on July 4, 1845. A mere 159 years later we will head out to the very end of the country, the westest of the west coast stretching along the mighty Pacific and make independent music. As Jack Kerouac exclaimed about the exuberant jazz of this free-spirited city "Everybody in Frisco blew - it was the end of the continent - they didn't give a damn."

You can join us at the beautiful Beach Chalet (1000 Great Highway) overlooking Ocean Beach, San Francisco on Sunday July 4 from 3-6 pm. Easy to get to and easy parking. We will be playing as our acoustic trio, combining our unique cover interpretations along with your favorite FLW originals and blowing like it's the end of the continent, which it is. (Ed. note: "blowing" in the jazz sense, not the M. Lewinsky sense) (Hopefully, at least...)

In the spirit of July 4, I am attaching a photo from the stage of the "United Sheep" cd release party in Seattle last month. Yeah, it's not a great picture of the dynamic duo but the flag is REALLY BIG. And that's not even the half of it. As Michael Palin's preacher said in "Monty Python's the Meaning of Life" : "Oh Lord, you are so incredibly...large...so very, very...big...so immensely...huge...well, we're just all very impressed down here."

In the interests of our Constitution, however, I will now leave church and state separate and just remind you to check out the very politically happening United Sheep cd. I produced this cd for a longtime friend of mine and it's already getting radio airplay and selling like hotcakes at his shows. I add my guitar to 4 tracks. Best of all, at least 20% of the proceeds goes to making the world a better place. Check it out - you'll feel much better about yourself: http://www.cdbaby.com/irreverentduet

And come check us out on Sunday: Sunday, July 4 FLW (acoustic trio) Beach Chalet 1000 Great Highway, San Francisco 3-6 pm

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

George C. Scott ain't got nothin' on us...

7/11/04

FLW Friends and Fans:

I will repeat a zen koan from a previous email: "If you have a staff, I will give you one - if you have none, I will take it away."

I am using this koan to announce a non-gig - I need to tell you that the show at the Jupiter in Berkeley scheduled for this Wednesday (7/14) that I didn't tell you about is not happening anyway. But it will be rescheduled. Why tell you this non-news, you ask? A good question with a simple, non-zen answer: You may have seen it listed on the website. Besides, as I read in a Grateful Dead zine once, "The China tour is cancelled but the memories remain." (This was accompanied by a 2-page foldout of drawings from the non-tour and I've got to tell you, that kept me for at least a few minutes in an odd little mental corner of the world). And though she feels as if she's in a play, she is anyway...

Koans are like the positive, playful side of a "Catch-22", a phrase put into our lexicon by the Joseph Heller novel based on his experiences in World War II. I happened to catch the film version on TV a few weeks ago - a movie which I think is misunderstood because, despite Bob Newhart and Alan Arkin and Buck Henry, it's not really a comedy at all. "MASH" came out that same year (1970) with a related style of black humor, but in that movie the fun-loving doctors succeed in jerking the system - In "Catch-22" good people are truly destroyed by insane bureacracy (fueled by greed, vanity and stupidity) in a very real and tragic way. The human race: sigh.

And made maddening when you see it played out again right now in real/reel time as at least partly captured by a certain contemporary temperature-referenced documentary. ("Fahrenheit 9/11" for the non-coy - Joe Bob says check it out).

Seeing those 2 films so close together reminded me of the final chorus of Sophocles' Antigone: "The words of the proud are paid in full by mighty blows of fate, and at long last those blows will teach us wisdom" they declare - but wistfully I think - how long is long last? Those blows have been coming for 2500 years since and there doesn't seem to be a lot of accompanying wisdom or, as a 20th century poet sang, white doves sleeping in the sand...

What can a poor band do?

How about playing a benefit concert for regime change at home? That's right, next Tuesday July 20 Famous Last Words will be donating our efforts to a Berkeley Beat Bush Benefit Bash. Proceeds will go to the Kerry/Edwards Campaign. And they will be no small potatos as the price of admission is 250 bucks per head. You read that right. 250 bucks. If you can afford it, you probably don't need directions - just tell your driver or enter it into your on-board navigation system. It's at the Berkeley Mills Furniture space. 6- 9. We are the only band and proud to be doing our part.

If you can't afford the 250 dollar cover charge, you still have some options:

1. To save the world, check out the political cd I produced for Seattle artist Steffon Moody. "A brilliant, scathing, searing 'full monty' on American Politics" says Jeff Hoyt of Greater Radio. "Both artful and politically relevant...Funny, poignant, and infectious!" says Bill Moyer, founder of the Backbone Campaign. 20% of the proceeds goes to progressive causes. http://www.cdbaby.com/irreverentduet

2. To party like it's 1999, come see Famous Last Words play at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette on Thursday July 22. No cover charge at all. We are the only band and will play from 9 until we keel over. Which we might actually do since Kate likes to down the Jack between sets - or songs - or, on really slow songs, between notes.

I suggest both options. Do your part to make a change and then, just in case, heed the sage advice of Jim Morrison as the Doors launched into "Roadhouse Blues": "I'm gonna get my kicks in before the whole sh*thouse goes up in flames..."

Tuesday July 20 Famous Last Words acoustic/electric trio Kerry/Edwards Fundraiser Berkeley Mills Furniture 6-9 pm 250 dollar cover

Thursday July 22 Famous Last Words electric trio The Roundup Saloon, Lafayette 9 - we keel over No cover

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Check out our reviews! http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html Check out the new photos on the gig diaries page! http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/gigarchives.html

 

7.20.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Three gigs this week! See 'em all or pick and choose!

1. Tuesday July 20
Kerry/Edwards Fundraiser, Berkeley
Acoustic/Electric Trio
Berkeley Mills Furniture
6-9 pm

Is that unwieldy wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket? Put it to a good cause with this $250 a head fundraiser to try to restore Democracy to the United States.

Along those same lines, check out this link about the new documentary exposing Fox News - Not officially released through conventional channels, I saw it last night at a cool houseparty - I felt like a minuteman bonding with other idealistic rebels in the early days of the American Revolution - plus there was shrimp cocktail and good guacamole. Anyway, here's the link: http://www.moveon.org/fox/

2. Thursday July 22
The Roundup Saloon, Lafayette (right off the Oak Hill Rd. exit and close to the Lafayette BART)
Electric Trio
9 - we keel over

This one is cheaper - NO COVER - but you are required to have a good time and drink a lot. We will be jamming on lots of fun covers as well as your favorite FLW originals. The Roundup has been the scene of some legendary FLW jams in the past and the vibe should be even better now that they're under new mgt. and have canned the bartender who was running his own illegal business from behind the bar.

3. Friday July 23
Canvas Cafe and Gallery, San Francisco
Acoustic Duo
We are part of the Americana/Alt country showcase night!
Show starts at 9 - we're on at 11:30
"Progressive Art, California Cuisine, Open Air Patio, Stellar Cocktail Lounge, Great Live Music"

Our later start time should give us time to recover from the Roundup - plus we get to sit down. And you do too - in that cool SF atmosphere - music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air!

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums on gigs 1 and 2

http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Check out our reviews at: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

Check out the United Sheep cd I produced for Seattler Steffon Moody - proceeds support progressive causes! http://www.cdbaby.com/irreverentduet

Check out the link about the evil Fox network: http://www.moveon.org/fox/

"It's coming through a crack in the wall,
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A."

 

7.28.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

No rest for the weary. Two shows this weekend. Friday night July 30 at the Park Chalet in San Francisco, at Ocean Beach, astride the mighty Pacific Ocean. As Jack Kerouac exclaimed about the exuberant jazz of the West Coast: "Everybody in Frisco blew - it was the end of the continent - they didn't give a damn." I'll be pickin' on the acoustic and sitting in on traps will be RhoyalBaibe, local drumming maestro whose latest recording is with the legendary Jazz Crusaders.

Then on Saturday July 31, FLW brings our acoustic duo to the Pacific Coast Brewing Company in Oakland. We're opening for the Bad Penny Boys. We had a great time doing the acoustic duo last weekend at the Canvas Gallery Americana/Alt. Country Showcase - a short set but every note counted and everyone there knew it. Short enough that I'll give you the set list and let you listen in your mind:

Maggie's Song
Nothing But the Wheel
The Most
Matter of Time
Playing Heaven
Bid You Goodnight.

Yeah...

We'll have a longer set on Saturday but we'll continue our policy of "No Note Left Behind."

Thanks to everyone who came to the Roundup last week also!
Highlights included a rousing "Rock Me Baby" (Kate's been studying her Jack Cassady video), a really ripping "Smells Like Candy" - one of those times when it builds from underneath the floor and billows out and lifts you up and carries you away - something so strong - and an electric "Maggie's Song" whose middle solo went to a place so new that we became giddy and kept laughing while the last verse rolled on by without us. Maybe that was also a function of the free double shots of Jack that kept appearing by Kate that she kept sharing with us. Careening along that fine line between inspiration and incompetence. It's life and life only. And when the morning light comes streaming in, we get up and do it again.

Amen.

Famous Last Words acoustic trio Friday July 30 Park Chalet, San Francisco 1000 Great Highway, Ocean Beach 8- 11 pm

Famous Last Words acoustic duo Saturday July 31 Pacific Coast Brewing Company, Oakland 906 Washington Street with the Bad Penny Boys 8:45 pm (we're on first)

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox,harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest RhoyalBaibe: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Check out our reviews! http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

And news on the United Sheep front: (For those of you just tuning in, this is a political cd I produced for songwriter/theater artist Steffon Moody which was just released end of May). Steffon has been flown out to Boston by the Kucinich campaign and Backbone campaign to perform at rallies outside the Democratic Convention. He's got some new pictures on his website, including some with Kate and me performing with him last month in Seattle. Check it out at: http://www.unitedsheep.com

Special Bonus: Attached is a photo of us and a fan at the Kerry/Edwards fundraiser - incidentally, all 3 of us send out props to Linda Ronstadt...

(If you're wondering, Kate has since requested to be cropped from this picture - but her shoulder proves that she was there, too - Ed.)

7.31.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

A reminder that we're doing our acoustic duo tonight at the Pacific Coast Brewing Company in Oakland. We play with the Bad Penny Boys - show starts at 8:45 - we're on first so don't be fashionably late. We'll think you're quite fashionable even if you're right on time.

And next Saturday Aug. 7 we're back at the Roundup in Lafayette with our electric trio.

This is our fun bar-band gig - we're the only band and we rock you baby all night long just like your back ain't got no bone. That's right, lots of jammin' covers along with your favorite FLW originals. Depending on the number of free drinks we've gotten, we'll even stumble into the crowd and dance along - rock and roll: breaking down the barriers - Whites literally jumped over the balcony to dance with Blacks at Little Richard concerts in the 50's - "Tear down the Wall!" Pink Floyd climaxed psychologically back when I was in high school and then globally when the Berlin Wall came down - Vaclav Havel's "Velvet Revolution" was some kind of a tip of the hat to the Velvet Underground - and he hung out with both Lou Reed and Frank Zappa.

That's right people, when you come to a Famous Last Words show, you're not just rocking out - you're revitalizing the human spirit and changing the world. We're FLW - and we're reporting for duty. (Just keep those free drinks coming...)

And if you're wondering, the Kerry/Edwards fundraiser we played last week raised 40,000 dollars! No chump change, as they say. But back to the Roundup - sitting in on traps will be human groove machine RhoyalBaibe - and with a name like that it's no surprise that so far no FLW quirks and curve balls have fazed him - which bodes well for the journey as we have far stranger and deeper places to go....

In other FLW news:

1. We just found out we're living on the air in Cincinnati - a dj sent us an email that he's spinning our disk - Those of you in that part of this great country, tune into WAIF and laugh without a license, walk the night alone and face the fear within you - (1000 big bonus points to anyone who gets that allusion...)

2. We also did a phone interview with radio station WMWM in Boston last week - I think there was something else happening in Boston also but thanks to maverick dj Tim Cullinane we grabbed our slice of the pie - those of you who are out there (in both senses of the phrase) should check out his Sunday radio shows on 91.7 FM.

3. And on the United Sheep front:

(For those of you just tuning in, "United Sheep" is a great political cd I produced for Seattle artist Steffon Moody)

Steffon just got back from the Democratic Convention where he was flown out to perform at rallies by the Kucinich and Backbone Campaigns. Today at 4:20 (really) he will be performing at Jim Hightower's Rolling Thunder Festival in the prime spot right after Jim himself speaks. You can check out Steffon's website which includes pictures of FLW performing in Seattle at http://www.unitedsheep.com

Anyway, here's the FLW upcoming gigs scoop(s):

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo Saturday July 31 Pacific Coast Brewing Company, Oakland 906 Washington St. with the Bad Penny Boys 8:45 pm - we're on first...(I don't know - THIRD BASE!)

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Saturday Aug. 7 The Roundup Saloon, Lafayette 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 9 - we keel over

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest RhoyalBaibe: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

have you checked out our reviews? http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

How about all the other fun gig emails? http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/gigarchives.html

I guess if you've taken the time to read this far you better hurry up or you'll miss the show tonight - and catch us at the Roundup next weekend!

 

7.6.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

In the spirit of Fox News' non-partisan, un-hyped approach to giving you information:

FLW NEWS ALERT!!!!: Kate has a new pair of tennis shoes.

This is actually crucial to the upcoming gig because they allow her to stand up all night and pump out the bass pulse while you, the people, shake your groove thangs on the dance floor.

Not that we're turning into KC and the Sunshine Band - FLW is committed as always to meaningful, passionate and profound explorations of transcendence as personal and political evolution - but, as we've always said (or at least implied, and, well, certainly have seen on a t-shirt), who wants a revolution if you can't dance?

If you've read these emails before, you know that the Roundup is a great bar-band gig - We're the only band and we play lots of fun covers along with your favorite FLW originals and everything is as stretched out and jammin' as it wants to be. Libations flow with the music and we make our own little corner of the world the way it should be. Dammit.

Sitting in on drums will be groove maestro RhoyalBaibe - and as I said before (as, once again, you know if you read these emails - (Bob Weir said once to quiet some unruly fans "Be aware that there will be a test at the end of the show - those of you shouting out requests for songs we've already done will not do very well")) - anyway, as I said before about RhoyalBaibe - with a name like that it's no surprise that he's yet to be fazed by any quirks and curveballs we've tossed his way - which bodes well for the continuing journey as we want to go deeper, further, and longer...

sit with that for a moment...

...like your back ain't got no bone -

Um, anyway - back to the gig:

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Saturday August 7 Roundup Saloon, Lafayette 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 9:00 - until we're good and done

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox, (don't step on her) new suede shoes Special Guest RhoyalBaibe: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

FLW NEWS ALERT!!!!: We have been chosen by a UK label to be on a compilation cd to be released in the fall - more details later...

Check out our reviews! http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html
Check out more fun gig emails!: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/gigarchives.html
Check out the cd I produced (and play on) for Seattle artist Steffon Moody!: http://www.unitedsheep.com "A brilliant, scathing, searing 'full monty' on American Politics" says Jeff Hoyt of Greater Radio - 20% of proceeds benefit progressive causes!
And most importantly (well, after all the FLW stuff): Defend America: Defeat Bush!

 

8.11.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

After much civilized debate in FLW land - I am sending out this notice for a very special out-of-town show at Smiley's in Bolinas on Saturday Sept. 11. That's 4 and a half weeks from now. However, Kate tells me that some people actually plan and commit to things in advance, instead of waiting and seeing how they feel from moment to moment. I didn't want to bombard our email list with such an early email and we had some heated exchanges that you may have seen in the Metallica "Some Kind of Monster" documentary, that were rewritten and reenacted by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.

I'll give Kate the benefit of the doubt on this one - people tell me they enjoy these emails anyway, and some would certainly appreciate being able to plan for the Bolinas show. Just know that we are aware and respectful of all email boundary issues.

Bolinas is a very cool little independent-minded town (think Cicely, Alaska) and right on the water - if you want to make it a very cool getaway road trip, you can reserve a room at Smiley's and say you're there for the Famous Last Words show and get a discounted rate! Just call them at 415-868-1311.

We'll be doing our acoustic trio with some possible room for my SG and little electric amp - the date may be set in advance but the music will be, as always, authentic to the moment and riding the Tao.

As Jack Kerouac explained his writing style:

"Not 'selectivity' of expression but following free deviation (association) of mind into limitless blow-on-subject seas of thought, swimming in sea of English with no discipline other than rhythms of rhetorical exhalation and expostulated statement, like a fist coming down on a table with each complete utterance, bang! - Blow as deep as you want - write as deeply, fish as far down as you want, satisfy yourself first, then reader cannot fail to receive telepathic shock and meaning-excitement by same laws operating in his own human mind...

...If possible write 'without consciousness in semi-trance', allowing subconscious to admit in own uninhibited interesting necessary and so 'modern' language what conscious art would censor, and write excitedly, swiftly, with writing-or-typing-cramps, in accordance (as from center to periphery) with laws of orgasm, Reich's 'beclouding of consciousness.' Come from within, out - to relaxed and said."

So - It always comes down to sex I guess - as Jim Morrison mumbled in an interview I saw once, the movement of the universe is the movement of the snake - and maybe this is where Adam and Eve "fell" - embracing the inspiration of every cell of your body - and of course isn't this the original coded meaning of "rock and roll"? Good golly, Miss Molly - sure like to ball. It all started with a big bang.

But I digress. (yes! it's perfume from a dress!!!)

Here's the gig info:

Famous Last Words acoustic/electric (possibly) Trio Saturday Sept. 11 Smiley's, Bolinas 41 Wharf Road (it's a one-road town - you can't miss it) 9-midnight

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Check out our reviews! http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

Check out the latest goings on with "United Sheep", the political cd I produced (and play on) for Seattle artist Steffon Moody, that is gaining steam across the country! "A brilliant, scathing, searing 'full monty' on American Politics!" says Jeff Hoyt of Greater Radio - 20% of Proceeds benefits progressive causes! http://www.unitedsheep.com

and

DEFEND AMERICA: DEFEAT BUSH!

 

8/23/04

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're putting aside our quite impressive vocal pipes and playing an all-instrumental acoustic "jazz" show at the Jupiter in Berkeley this Wednesday night. The Jupiter has a "no vocals" policy which doesn't affect the impressive array of jazz talent they feature - we are proud to be perhaps the lone rock band amongst them. We sit down, we focus, and we jam. Not every rock and roll band can pull that off and we're tootin' our own Whoville horn to the hallowed halls of Valhalla on that one. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Right on.

Words are overrated anyway. They:

"crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
will not stay still."

And that from a poet.

Hell, you could probably even be President of these United States and leader of the free world having only the most tenuous grasp of the english language.

But people still yearn for reality somehow...

Does this explain the rise in popularity of the documentary film in the last few months? In the interests of "Wake the hell up people" I'd like to acknowledge the documentaries I've seen recently and their main points:

1. The Corporation: Corporations have legal status as people - and when we examine them as such, we notice they are destructive sociopaths.

2. Supersize Me: McDonald's is not very healthy or even really "food" if by that term we mean something you eat which helps you survive.

3. The Control Room: War definitely has two sides and the news doesn't give both.

4. Outfoxed: Fox News is a scary propaganda machine right out of some creepy disutopian novel.

5. Festival Express: Bob Weir has some integrity and genuine morals and is not afraid to assert them.

6. Some Kind of Monster: Metallica has some integrity too.

7. Fahrenheit 9/11: The country would be a lot better off if Bob Weir and Metallica were in charge.

REALLY.

In the meantime, sleep with one eye open...

Um, anyway - back to our gig:

Famous Last Words impressive all-instrumental acoustic "jazz" trio Wed. Aug 25 The Jupiter 2181 Shattuck Ave, Downtown Berkeley 8-11 pm

Come on out, have a beer, and - as an old high school friend enthused recently, recalling his post-college Berkeley days - "Get stupider at the Jupiter."

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, NO Vox Kate Burkart: bass, NO Vox Special Guest RhoyalBaibe: Drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

And don't forget about the Smiley's show in Bolinas on Saturday Sept. 11! Stay the night and make it a Famous Lost Weekend! Call Smiley's, say you'll be there for the show, and get a discounted room rate!

Don't forget to check out the political cd I produced (and play on) for Steffon Moody that's raging across the country, rescuing our fragile democracy with humor, insight, and catchy tunes that keep you boppin' along through the wasteland of the free. http://www.unitedsheep.com (Website includes pictures of Kate and me at the cd release parties in Seattle)

And if you want to see our smilin' mugs RIGHT NOW, here's one from the Roundup. Well, Kate's smiling while I concentrate on an all-consuming 7th chord. Nadir is playing behind us beyond the reach of the camera's eye...

 

9/3/04

FLW Friends and Fans:

There is a moment in U2's "Rattle and Hum" where Bono announces "Charles Manson stole this song from the Beatles - we're going to steal it back" - and they launch into "Helter Skelter."

I keep thinking about that when I tell people about our show in Bolinas on 9/11. It was traumatic enough 3 years ago when Al Quaeda hijacked that date into terror, but it feels particularly offensive and even abusive now that BushCo is hijacking - yes, hijacking - that very deep, personal and absolutely non-partisan human experience for their own manipulative political gain. Along with their hijacking - yes, hijacking - of the country.

I listen to Dick Cheney and Fox News and Dubya himself and it seems to me they're really banking on their unwavering belief in the stupidity of the American people - (in some cases, perhaps, themselves included) - but I gotta admit, I can't tell which way we're going to go...when sheep get scared, they are easily led... (Is it coincidence or effects of the zeitgeist that I heard Green Day's new single, the subtly-named "American Idiot" for the first time today...?)

But on Sept. 11, 2004, Famous Last Words is going to try to steal the date back. Dammit. What else can a poor boy do?Acoustic and Electric - 3 sets. We'll rock and be deeply sensitive. Originals and Covers. Creation and Destruction. An attempt to partake of the life beyond our puny conceptions. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy -

And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden.

Um, on a lighter note, we saw the great Tanya Donelly again in San Francisco a few weeks ago. Those of you who follow these gig diaries are surely wondering with great anticipation: Would she remember the cd we gave her in April 2002 of us covering 2 of her songs? (And by "covering" I mean "tearing a new a-hole into"). Well, I don't want to boast in an unseemly way, but I will boast in a way that is quite becoming. You can check out the picture below - notice the cd she's clutching in one hand while the other one's giving a peace sign - and that's what it all comes down to.

See you at Smiley's on SEPTEMBER FRICKIN' 11TH!

Famous Last Words Acoustic and Electric Smiley's, Bolinas 41 Wharf Road (it's a one-road town - you can't miss it) 9:00 - 1:00

Rumor has it that at least 6 hotels are already booked - We may have to get up on stage and say "The freeway's closed, man! - Far Out!"
But if you want to stay the night, you can try: Bolinas Bed and Breakfast 415.868.1757 Stinson Beach Motel 415.868.1712
I'm sure there are other options also but you can google as well as us - And there's always camping...

Hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Did I mention the crucial political climate? Check out the cd I produced and play on for Supershaman Seattler Steffon Moody - it's getting airplay all over the country and selling like hotcakes at his shows. Proceeds go to a little thing called SAVING THE WORLD. http://www.unitedsheep.com

And I also just found out Famous Last Words will be featured in Relix Magazine in November! stay tuned for more updates... And here's our cool reviews page: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

And....heeeeere's Tanya...

 

9.18.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Ask how our show in beautiful Bolinas went last weekend and I will reply by quoting a sticker on my guitar case:

"I slayed. My work here is done."

Sometimes T.S. Eliot doesn't cut it and you need Buffy to hit the exact turn of phrase you're looking for.

Anyway, we did. Following a suprise opening act of a cooking 7-piece bluegrass band, we got up as our humble little trio and did what we needed to do. Took care of bid'ness, as they say. Acoustic opening set to segue from the bluegrass and then the electric came out and the gloves came off. Highlights included the end jam of "Maggie's Song" which had Nadir rising out of his drum throne, yet another rousing "Lovelight" which had the whole place turnin' it on and leavin' it on, and an impromptu psychedelic blues grinder at the end of "Love Me Like a Man" which said in no uncertain terms, "(like Hendrix) You know I can."

We're bringing the circus back to Lafayette this Saturday night (9/18). It's a rainbow full of sound, it's fireworks, calliopes and clowns. Actually it's just us, but it's us all night, 9 to closing, burning up fun covers along with your favorite FLW originals.

Famous Last Words electric trio Roundup Saloon, Lafayette 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd Take Hwy 24 East past Orinda to the Oak Hill Road exit. Turn right and it's straight ahead. (Mt. Diablo Blvd is closed for a street fair but you can park on Oak Hill Road or at the easily accessible BART) 9 - closing

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest RhoyalBaibe: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Check out the political cd I produced in Seattle, "a brilliant, scathing,'full monty' on American Politics" says Jeff Hoyt of Greater Radio. http://www.unitedsheep.com

Be prepared to check out the November issue of Relix Magazine which will have a write-up on Famous Last Words!

Check out this avant-garde dance collaboration to which I am contributing some Hendrix-y guitar. My piece only lasts about 5 minutes - but the website looks very cool regardless: http://www.danceoutre.org

Looking for some quality tv? FLW recommends the dvd release of the one-season long "Freaks and Geeks" - As a testament to its quality, I predict some allusions will be finding their way into these emails...

And most importantly:

DEFEND AMERICA: DEFEAT BUSH!

 

9.26.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

There's so much to say about this one that my usually verbose and free-flowing fertile emailing prowess is feeling overwhelmed. Progressive politics, cool bands, a premiere SF club and a 70 ft puppet. No this isn't a flashback - it's the real thing.

In less than two weeks we're putting our axes where our mouths have been (that actually sounds more unhealthy than I intended) and producing an exciting Benefit Concert!

Here's what the flyer says:

It's Crunch Time!
Seattle meets San Francisco
Progressives unite with art, music, and politics to beat Bush and benefit:

The Backbone Campaign
WeCount.org

Thursday October 7th, 9 pm 12 Galaxies 2565 Mission (at 22nd), San Francisco sliding scale $5 -15

featuring:
United Sheep (Seattle)
Famous Last Words (Berkeley)
Brad Wolfe (San Francisco)
and the famous 70 foot Backbone Puppet (Seattle)

12 Galaxies won a "Best of the Bay" award 2004 for music venues - it's a 2 floor, great sounding, accessible parking, easy to find, very hip vibing place! http://www.12galaxies.com

United Sheep is the cd I produced in Seattle that I've been bragging about in these emails - they've played at Jim Hightower's Rolling Thunder Democracy Festival and the Democratic Convention - now you can experience them live in your own backyard! http://www.unitedsheep.com

And in this earthly game, where there's Sheep, there's always a big Brad Wolfe - http://www.bradwolfemusic.com

Backbone and WeCount are entirely well-deserving non-profits: http://www.backbonecampaign.org http://www.WeCount.org

In other words, THIS WILL BE A COOL SHOW, folks - mark your calendars now...

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums, no vox no way
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Thanks to the Roundup crowd from our last show! - we got pretty far out at the end - Under the influence of my new Led Zeppelin dvd, the political zeitgeist, the sweaty bar vibe, and a number of shots of Jack, we took "Love Me Like a Man" into a grinding psychedelic space out of which spontaneously arose - The Star Spangled Banner.

It yet waves - if we will speak our peace and reclaim our country...

On Oct. 7, get a backbone, have a ball, make it count and, um, change the world!

(See? - I'm a psycho activist and a cunning linguist...)

 

10.4.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a friendly reminder about the big benefit show this Thursday at 12 Galaxies (2565 Mission at 22nd) in San Francisco - Coming down from Seattle is political satire band United Sheep (produced by legendary Bay Area musician JZ) and the famous 70-foot Backbone Puppet.

This is in addition to Bay Area Bands Famous Last Words (to whom you need no introduction) and (the big) Brad Wolfe.

We're also excited to have added to the bill Ira Marlowe, who has won numerous songwriting awards, been featured on SF's KFOG, and has been called "one of the three or four best lyricists on the planet" (Michael Laskow, Taxi).

But that's not all! The show is being sponsored by Independent Musician Magazine - the editors will be there covering the festivities.

That's right - 4 bands, a 70-foot puppet, Independent Musician Magazine in-person, one of San Francisco's coolest clubs, and all proceeds going to a great and worthy cause during a crucial time in our nation's history - what more do you need? A cookie? All right, there'll be cookies there too! (Sorry, I'm running on empty - but that's it's own zone, where spirit trumps the material world - runnin' into the sun - yeah, mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun, but mama, that's where the fun is...)

And we won't just be playin' chopsticks...

The official info is all right here:

SEATTLE MEETS SAN FRANCISCO - PROGRESSIVES UNITE WITH ART, MUSIC, AND POLITICS

Bay Area progressive political action committee WeCount.org and Bay Area bands Famous Last Words, Ira Marlowe and Brad Wolfe are joining forces with Seattle band United Sheep and the Backbone Campaign's famous 70-foot puppet for an exciting benefit show on October 7 at 12 Galaxies. The show is sponsored by Independent Musician Magazine.

United Sheep has performed at rallies and benefits across the country, including Jim Hightower's Rolling Thunder Democracy Tour and the Democratic National Convention. "A brilliant, scathing, searing 'full monty' on American Politics" (Greater Radio).

Berkeley-based Famous Last Words is a 'Band on the Verge' in Relix Magazine with airplay nationally and abroad. "Fronted by dual male/female energy, FLW is that rare band that can tenderly caress and rock like it's the last time"(Editor's Pick, CDBaby.com).

San Francisco-based Ira Marlowe has won numerous songwriting awards, been featured on KFOG, and has been called "one of the three or four best lyricists on the planet" (Michael Laskow, Taxi).

Brad Wolfe is a compelling San Francisco singer-songwriter with an ever-growing fan base.

All proceeds benefit the following:

WeCount.org "seeks progressive policy changes in national government by establishing a continuing forum for coalition building, research, advocacy, and voter mobilization". The Backbone Campaign is "a progressive grassroots effort to embolden the Democratic Party and rescue it from irrelevance".

Tickets are $5 - 15 sliding scale. Show starts at 9 pm. 12 Galaxies is located at 2565 Mission (at 22nd) in SF.

www.unitedsheep.com
www.famouslastwordsband.com
www.iramarlowe.com
www.bradwolfemusic.com
www.backbonecampaign.org
www.wecount.org
www.12Galaxies.com
www.immagazine.com
www.irefusetotypeanymorewebaddresses.com

Have a backbone, make it count, and save the world!

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

 

10.15.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Double your pleasure, double your fun next weekend with 2 shows from everyone's favorite rock and roll ensemble.

Friday night, Oct. 22, we play as our acoustic duo, opening up for Grapefruit Ed at the Oakland Metro in - you guessed it - Oakland. The Metro is a cool venue with accessible parking located just one block from Jack London Square. Grapefruit Ed is comprised of former members of Buffalo Roam, Vicious Hippies, Box Set, and the Deadbeats, boasting 2 drummers, 2 guitars, one bass and keys. They play lots of Dead, Dylan, and Neil Young covers. It will be a par-tay, as they say.

We go on first, doing our much-loved (by us at least) intimate acoustic thing, which will include the debut of a new FLW-penned political song, which, if enough people hear it, will save not only our country but the entire world and yes, humanity itself. And in fact all life as we know it. (That may sound like a tall order but it's a really cool song. And hey, we're Famous Last Frickin' Words). So bring your ears and do your part.

Bonus: the Metro is a rare All-Ages show, so take advantage!

Then the very next night, Saturday Oct. 23, we charge into the Roundup in Lafayette, this time with big ol' amps and a big ol' drummer. We'll rock the house 'till we got no rock left. Lots of fun covers along with your favorite FLW originals - all primed to smoke. And as Kate downs the Jack, the jams follow. For instance, last gig at the Roundup, end of set 3, sweaty and barely able to stand, "Death Don't Have No Mercy" morphed into Space out of which emerged, tattered, torn and frayed, but still bravely waving, the Star Spangled Banner. Lighters were held aloft and for a few distorted guitar tones this nation was free.

Let it be so again.

Famous Last Words acoustic duo Friday, Oct. 22 Oakland Metro 201 Broadway (one block from Jack London Square) 8:45 pm - show up on time - We're on First! All Ages!

Famous Last Words electric trio Saturday Oct. 23 Roundup Saloon 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 9:00 pm

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox RhoyalBaibe: drums on gig 2

http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

p.s. If you're looking for reading material, check out our recent reviews!

Here's a snippet from the world-famous All Music Guide:

"...the primary compositional combo of Zittrain and Burkart weave a fulfilling sonic tapestry of unsheltered emotion and instrumental prowess...Zittrain's incisive lead fretwork at times recalls an inspired Neil Young..."

Hey hey, my, my - Read the whole thing here: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1

And how's this for an opening sentence from Jammed Online?:

"I love it when I can pop in a CD and not only does every song sound different, but all of the songs are actually really good. This is the case with Famous Last Word’s self titled CD..."

Read the whole thing here: http://jammedonline.com/famouslastwords.html

But don't just take their word for it - come on out to the shows!

And keep on rockin' in the free world...

 

10.22.04 Tonight (and Tomorrow)'s the Night!

FLW Friends and Fans:

Those of you who recognize the quote in the subject heading of this email can nod your heads knowingly and and rest assured in the calm knowledge of its relevance to both of our gigs this weekend.

To avoid any confusion, those of you who are reminded of Rod Stewart - I will remind you that (although we may be footloose and fancy free) none of us has even remotely spiky hair, and redirect you to this great review from the All Music Guide where we got 4 stars!

"...the primary compositional combo of Zittrain and Burkart weave a fulfilling sonic tapestry of unsheltered emotion and instrumental prowess...Zittrain's incisive lead fretwork at times recalls an inspired Neil Young..."

Hey hey, my, my - Read the whole thing here: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1

And then check out the gigs:

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo Tonight! Friday, Oct. 22 Oakland Metro 201 Broadway (one block from Jack London Square) 8:45 pm - show up on time - We're on First! All Ages!

This is an opening slot for Grapefruit Ed, an all-star jamband which plays the music of Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, and...Neil Young. We're doing our intimate acoustic duo thing.

And then:

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Saturday Oct. 23 Roundup Saloon 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 9:00 pm This is just us provin' it all night. We're doing our rocking drunken bar-band thing.

No Roundup gig next month - so catch it now...

In fact, see both shows - it's better to burn out than fade away! Ride my Llama! Roll another number! Keep on rockin' in the free world!

We promise we'll aim for that perfect moment when time just slips away between us and our foggy trips...

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox RhoyalBaibe: drums on gig 2 http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

p.s. Is this world at your command? - Don't forget to Vote!

And for your viewing pleasure, here's a shot from the 12 Galaxies show - as you can see, we're both on the same fret - now that's a tight band...

 

10.31.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

SPECIAL BONUS: FLW NEW SONG LYRICS AT END OF EMAIL!!!

Since all the rooms sold out so quickly last time, we're giving you even more advance notice for the show at Smiley's in Bolinas on Dec. 4. Call 415.868.1311 - say you're there for FLW and get a discounted room rate!

And of course how could I not enter into the election fray with only 2 days to go...

There are so many ways to process it can be overwhelming, but as a teacher I would suggest one approach as follows -

Ask yourself this: Do I want the president of my country and most powerful man in the world to be a thoughtful person or someone who openly despises the thinking process?

As NASCAR driver Daryl Waltrip said to Wolf Blitzer "I'm not an issues person - I support Bush."

(To which Jon Stewart then commented: "What do you expect from someone who's spent the last 20 years driving around in circles?")

However, this is not an attack on NASCAR - Dale Earnhardt Jr. took his crew to see "Fahrenheit 9/11" publicly declaring it was something everyone should see.

It is an attack on the rejection of the most basic critical thinking.

Consider these facts, courtesy of Joe Quirk:

72% of Bush supporters think Iraq possessed illegal weapons of mass descruction

75% of Bush supporters believe Iraq gave Al-Qaida "substantial support" in the Sept 11 attacks

Joe's response: "This really is a contest between the educated and the betrayed. The GOP actively lied to the TV watchers of America and it paid off. It's the responsibility of the educated to inform the betrayed. That's why I'm letting Planned Parenthood fly me to Oregon for the 4 days before the election to go door-to-door talking lapsed Democrats into voting."

As I consistently tell my students - I don't want you to think what I'm thinking - I just want you to think.

Plato turned his back on democracy when he saw what the masses did to his teacher Socrates, whose famous basic message was simply to think, to live "the examined life." Why? To improve both themselves and their city.

Democracy depends on a reasonably-informed - or at least not completely lied-to - electorate who are encouraged - or at least allowed - to think.

Remember, we're not talking Kerry as Hamlet-like indecision and Bush as zen-like action. We're talking Kerry as being responsibly informed and Bush as being arrogantly uninformed. And that's how they each want their supporters.

Bush is not "plain-spoken" in the great American tradition of honesty and clarity of vision. Huck Finn was "plain-spoken." Woody Guthrie was "plain-spoken." But they weren't anti-thinking. They were anti-manipulation and they saw through the lies of the powers that be. The little kid who declared the emperor to be wearing no clothes was "plain-spoken." The emperor, however poorly he spoke, was simply a dolt.

It's not so hard - we don't need or want an electorate of elitist intelligentsia philosopher kings:

As Bruce Springsteen said on the Rock for Change tour: "Bush misled this nation into war - The man loses his job. It's not rocket science."

And that doesn't even cover his all-out assault on the economy, environment, civil rights, health care, and education - and perhaps most creepily, thinking itself.

So, as I said after an impromptu rendering of (a very Hendrix-y sounding, if I may be so bold (as love)) "Star-Spangled Banner" in sweaty set 3 at the Roundup last weekend:

"Don't Forget to Vote!"

Let us not talk falsely, now - the hour's getting late.

We will banish those that we never chose, and from this dream awake.

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox RhoyalBaibe: drums, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Did you check out our All Music Guide Review?: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1
More review links coming soon!

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Saturday December 4 Smiley's, Bolinas 41 Wharf Road (it's a one-road town - you can't miss it) 9-midnight

For what it's worth, here's the lyrics to our new political song. (For those of you with perfect pitch, imagine it in "C"):

And I dreamed we lost our way
And the people couldn't see
'Cause their eyes were closed by the fear that rose
from a great catastrophe.

And the fear was spread by leaders
With an agenda and a plan
We were easy marks and they took our hearts
We played right into their hands

And I dreamed the TV stations
And the print and radio
Had all lost their voice and their right of choice
And were hijacked in the show

And the shows were all for war
And the lies were piled deep
I'm not satisfied if the ones who died
Can't revive us from our sleep.

In the shadow of the bomb
In the shadow of the end
They will waste our lives and control the skies
And they'll steal this land again.

And I dreamed that all the people
Were just monsters underneath
Lift the face and show there's a skull below
That grins life and death for each

But I know we gotta choose
When I'm looking back at you
And my eyes meet yours and our mortal cores
Know the meanings that are true

And the meanings that are true
Will expose the lies and hate
We will banish those that we never chose
And from this dream awake

(repeat last 2 lines until it happens...)

 

11.06.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Life goes on - at least for now - at least for us...

Can music soothe the savage beast? Or drive a stake through its evil heart? We've got a last-minute duo acoustic show tomorrow (Sunday) night at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette. Here's what I know: Kate and I will be doing a 40 minute set - there will be 3 other acoustic acts. It's called the Sunday NIght Beat. The Roundup is a cool place where we usually play as our full electric drunken rockin' bar band. This will be more understated.

We will do our new political song.

Which smoothly segues me back to the processing of what is happening to our (once and hopefully future) great nation:

uhhhhh....

I'm kind of just scratching my head here.

Perhaps the England Daily Mirror Headline put it best: "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?"

This election truly ended up being a no-brainer.

Regarding the "moral values" vote, Jon Stewart said:

"The American people all know that we have over a thousand Americans (and 100,000 Iraquis) dying in a disastrous unnecessary war in Iraq, a surplus irresponsibly turned into a record deficit, unprecedented assaults on our environment, the shame of Abu Graibe, we've alienated our allies in the rest of the world, Osama's still out there threatening us - but I guess it was all trumped by...the fear of two guys kissing."

The truthout.org website said it was a stunningly disillusioning day for those of us who believe educating the public can lead to social progress.

Here's some excerpts from a great truthout article by Jonathan Schell about Bush's mind-blowingly IMMORAL exploitation of 9/11:

"What was damaged was not only the quality of political discussion and decision-making but something that might be called the dignity of the real.

Surely our reaction suited bin Laden well. He had no power to "change everything" unless the government of the United States agreed. Then everything could change. The government of the United States did agree. And a lot of things - if not everything - did change. President Bush seemed to accept Bin Laden's invitation to enter into the world of an apocalyptic comic book...

...The comic-book aspect became even more pronounced when the President turned himself into a sort of real life action figure, donning a pilot's suit and landing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to declare success in the Iraq war (though in his National Guard service, in which he was trained as a pilot, he was grounded for failing to show up for a physical). But the fullest realization of a fantasy world built on the foundation of September 11 was the Republican convention, where a collection of villains abroad was blurred into one mass of evil-doers who were in turn blurred with John Kerry, depicted as their domestic accomplice...

...The injection of fantasy into the real offends the aesthetic sense, but the true price is paid in blood - in the torture of prisoners, in the launch of wars..."

So - now what? Do we have to play OUR roles (as Jerry Bruckheimer extras/innocent victims) in this pathetically stupid apocalyptic fantasy?

uhhhhhh... I guess we'll see what we can do.

The election was quite a crushing disappointment. But as a follower of a Kordell Stewart-led Steelers team for 4 years, I've tasted that before - and now we're back with a vengeance!

Yes, if "Big" Ben Roethlisberger can lead the Steelers to victory over the unbeaten Eagles then Bush will not have won! The world is not lost! The country is not taken over by lunatic right-wing repression, intolerance, greed and militarism! That's it, yeah - I will cling to MY comic book, dammit! Note to Kerry: Hines Ward would not concede a game even if he was down 100 points and there was only ONE SECOND left! He would THROW himself head-first towards the end zone - TOWARDS the GOAL Line - he may not get there with all of us but we see the promised land! - and...umm...we'll sign our football with a sharpie and...ummmm...

Just no one tell me who Hines or Ben voted for...I will live in my own fantasy world as the real world becomes increasingly unacceptable and creepy. Besides, if this ain't the real thing, it's close enough to pretend. (It's been working for Bob Weir all these years...)

In the meantime - there still is work to do: be thankful Peter Coors lost his Senate bid. Keep your own brain. Recall the Buddhist Eightfold Path of Right Action, Right Thought, etc...

And stay in touch...

Sunday Nov. 7 Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo Roundup Saloon, Lafayette 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. show starts at 9:00, we're on at 10:30 pm

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Here's some sanity! -
Check out our All Music Guide review: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1

And to read all of Jonathan Schell's article (not that long but well-worth it): http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102404I.shtml

Wordsmith Steffon Moody's take on that article: "An Orwellian McDisney reality aptly described..."
And Steffon's own apt descriptions of our country on a cd I produced, the (sadly still-relevant) "United Sheep." http://www.unitedsheep.com

And for some humor, insight, and ACTUAL LEADERSHIP -
Michael Moore's "17 reasons not to slit your wrists":
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/110604G.shtml

They don't have "a mandate." Half the country hates them passionately. Don't let them control reality. Go Steelers.

 

11.12.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Famous Last Words has a song selected for a "Songs as Poetry" competition
um...really, it's true...

Pretty impressive, no? It just flows out, everything I say rhymes.
Except that.

The point is, "Sloe Hank" has been chosen as a finalist by the National Poetry Association for their "Songs Judged as Poetry" competition. The chosen songs will be performed live and the audience will judge the final winner this Sunday Nov. 14 at SOMArts Dance Hall (934 Brannan (at 8th St) in San Francisco).

Let us go then, you and I
When the evening is spread out against the sky...

(Actually it's from 2 - 6pm...)

And how serendipitous - The W.B. Yeats allusions in Sloe Hank are seeming particularly prescient these days: the worst are certainly full of passionate intensity - and what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Washington to be born...

But leaving behind the ol' apocalypse for a moment, in other FLW news, check out our "featured review" from KyndMusic:

http://www.kyndmusic.com/n104/flw.htm

It's good! And fun to read! Go ahead - click on it!

And here's our All Music Guide review that I've been proudly touting the past few emails:

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1

And don't forget about the Smiley's show in Bolinas on Saturday Dec. 4...

But most imminent: Sunday Nov. 14 Famous Last Words acoustic duo doing "Sloe Hank" National Poetry Association's "Songs Judged as Poetry" Competition SOMArts Dance Hall 934 Brannan (at 8th), San Francisco 2 - 6pm

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Special Bonus!
Set List from the Roundup acoustic duo show 11/7/04:

Maggie's Song
JZ's Dream
The Most
Nothing But the Wheel
Folsom Prison Blues
Playing Heaven
Matter of Time
Sitting at the Bar
Ripple
Bid You Goodnight

(this is from memory - which is not exact - misty, water-colored - truth will never match my sweet remagination - I don't remember, I don't recall, I got no memory of anything at all - games and daisy chains and laughs - (and for all you Northrop Frye/Led Zeppelin/James Brown fans (and I know there's a lot of you) - where's that confounded "mnemonic adhesiveness"?).

Can you trust your own memories anyway? Is there a blue sky on Mars?

But bypassing the epistemological connotations, don't be manipulated by the unscrupulous powers-that-be! The chimes of freedom strike for the guardians and protectors of the mind! Read this article: http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102404I.shtml

The dream police, they are inside of my head...

They will use any cheap trick - Really - now more than ever, hold true to art (and the art of reflection) Read the truthout article and tell me what you think: http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102404I.shtml

Read the whole Yeats poem at: http://www.well.com/user/eob/poetry/The_Second_Coming.html

Oh yeah - and keep on rockin' in the free world...

 

11.25.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Come on out to Smiley's in Bolinas next Saturday (12/4) for our rocking drunken bar-band electric trio - we play all night - get a room so you can rock, crash and stumble out blinking into the beautiful beach town morning. Call 415.868.1311 to make a reservation. Ask for the Famous Last Words discount when you check in. Really.

(Aside: Rock, Crash and Stumble - not a bad cd title...)

Just a gig you say? No, this is important, folks. Consider these words from NY Times Correspondent Chris Hedges' book "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning" :

"Art takes on a whole new significance in wartime. War and the nationalist myth that fuels it are the purveyors of low culture. States at war silence their own authentic and humane culture...By destroying authentic culture - that which allows us to question and examine ourselves and our society - the state erodes the moral fabric. It is replaced with a warped version of reality. All is dedicated to promoting and glorifying the myth, the nation, the cause...It is left only to those on the margins to keep the flame of introspection alive..."

As the Bohemian credo proclaims (at least according to Baz Luhrmann's vision of turn-of-the-century Paris) - "Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love."

Note to certain voters: Put those "moral values" in your pipe and smoke it.

Um, anyway - we're not just whistlin' "Like a Virgin" here. Along these lines, we're contributing a track to a compilation cd put out by Pax Records, called "Voices in the Wilderness". We'll keep you updated.

In the meantime, we'll keep exploring Furthur - fighting the bohemian fight - for the right - to pahrr-tee - (and think)

Hope you can join us!

From the margins,

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox RhoyalBaibe: drums, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Did you check out our All Music Guide Review?: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1
How about this one from Kynd Music? http://www.kyndmusic.com/n104/flw.htm
And how about the cd I produced, Steff Moody's United Sheep? http://www.unitedsheep.com

okay, enough questions - on with the show (this is it)...

 

12.4.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Last announcement on the Smiley's show tonight 12/4. It's in the very cool beach town of Bolinas, just past Stinson Beach. 41 Wharf Road (pretty much the only road in town - you can't miss it). We play from 9:15 to 1. Come join us. It will rock.

And in the spirit of the comsumerist season, if you're looking for a gift that will make you feel good about where your money that you're ALREADY SPENDING ANYWAY is going, how about these suggestions:

Global Exchange: http://store.gxonlinestore.org/

Amnesty International: http://www.amnestyusa.org/store/

Circle of Life: http://www.circleoflifefoundation.org/store

EcoExpress: http://www.EcoExpress.com/

Not to mention the United Sheep cd which benefits the Backbone Campaign: http://www.cdbaby.com/unitedsheep

Yes, Famous Last Words, wielding our vast influence against the reefs of greed, through the squalls of hate - sail on, ship of state, sail on...

(From "Democracy" by Leonard Cohen) - and speaking of quotables that keep rearing their sometimes arcane heads in these emails...

I've had some inquiries about some of the allusions in the last 2 gig notices. In an effort to resolve all controversy, here are the sources of the references (in order):

T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Northrop Frye, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bob Dylan, Cheap Trick, Neil Young, Chris Hedges, Moulin Rouge, Madonna, Ken Kesey, the Beastie Boys, Bugs Bunny.

Now that would be some party...

But it'll all be there in Bolinas - in our minds - in the music - in the very lifeblood and vibegeist that is - FL flippin' W.

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox RhoyalBaibe: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Here's our 4 star review on All Music Guide: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1

 

12.23.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Come enjoy some pre-Christmas cheer with one of our famous drunken Roundup shows next Thursday Dec. 23. If your memory serves you well, FLW afficianadoes will recall this brief snapshot of just a few mythical Roundup moments from the past, including:

1. An epic "Lay Down Sally" (in which Sally would lay down, dammit, if we had to play for 20 minutes)
2. Kate mixing it up on the dance floor while simultaneously anchoring an epic "Smells Like Candy"
3. A double-shot "Folsom Prison/Lovelight" that for 3 chords in 2 keys and 20 (yes, epic) explosive minutes made everything truly all right with the universe
4. A jam that sounded so Hendrix-y that it grabbed us by the wrist and led us spontaneously into the Star-Spangled Banner, complete with lighters held aloft

Speaking of which, a cool thing happened at the Smiley's show last weekend:

Thanks to the kind Jagermeister-purchasing tendencies of an Irish couple we met at the bar, we staggered into our final set and hurtled speedingly into uncharted territory like a Jamaican bobsled team. The muse struck and we answered her call, although she seemed to be requesting songs we didn't know - the Beatles' "Rain", and then two truly unrehearsed wonders, "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Purple Haze."

Which of course raises the classic Morning After questioning: Does this kind of devil-may-care spontaneity translate into a quality listening experience? Certainly we can't trust our own addled performance memories but I'll stand by the owner of the bar handing us a bunch of cash with a big grin and saying people were raving out on the street about the band playing Hendrix inside.

So let's trust others' addled memories.

(And in set 2 we had played a nicely extended version of our very own "Faith in the Dark" which perhaps sums it all up)

And on the subject of our own songs, we just got a sneak preview of our latest review, from Amplifier Magazine. Here's an excerpt:

"A world class jam band in the best sense of the classification...FLW makes their case with power and grace and a refreshing lack of cliche"

The full review (right next to Steve Earle!) will be in the January issue. I'll link you up when it's out for public consumption. Until then, see you at the Roundup!

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Thursday Dec. 23 Roundup Saloon 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 9:00 pm

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox RhoyalBaibe: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Here's our 4 star review on All Music Guide: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1

Still reeling from this once proud country's immense electile dysfunction? Wondering what can a poor boy (or girl) do? How about checking out these sites for your Holiday shopping:

Global Exchange: http://store.gxonlinestore.org/ Amnesty International: http://www.amnestyusa.org/store/ Circle of Life: http://www.circleoflifefoundation.org/store EcoExpress: http://www.EcoExpress.com/ Not to mention the Jeff Z -produced United Sheep cd which benefits the Backbone Campaign: http://www.cdbaby.com/unitedsheep

Although someone did respond to my last email with these suggestions: "These gifts are okay but what about something I can really use - why don't they sell hardcore porn for peace?"

Yes, our fans may enjoy the mighty erudite-y T.S. Eliot references but we all know when we come home you better butter my bread -

after tea and cakes and ices, have the strength to force the moment to its crisis -

that IS what he meant, after all...

 

12.23.04

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a quick one (while he's away) to remind you of the gig tonight (12/23) at the Roundup in Lafayette. We play 3 sets, lots of fun covers with the originals, everyone drinks, yay. Rock is dead they say, long live rock. (That's 2 Who allusions in one paragraph - something about calling up the spirit of Whoville this time of year - and I'll try to wear shoes that aren't too tight).

Speaking of which, if you have some last-minute Christmas shopping, why not try this:

Global Exchange: http://store.gxonlinestore.org/

And in the latest internet phenomenon, check out which stores give to which political party here and vote now and year-round with your hard-earned root of all evil:

http://www.buyblue.org/bluexmas.html

But more important than saving the world, mark your calendars for our debut gig at the Ivy Room in Albany on Friday Jan. 7. The Ivy is an extremely cool haunt, easy to get to, and, believe it or not in the Bay Area, blessed with lots of accessible parking. Sometimes I go there just to park. But it gets cool bands, too and Jan. 7 is no exception - the "folkadelic" stylings of Mars Arizona and Pat and Sam from the increasingly legendary Grapefruit Ed, with yours truly headlining. It will be a great night, made greater if you're there.

(Sandwiched in between is an acoustic duo show at the Roundup on Sunday 12/26 as part of their "Sunday Night Beat" series. It will be us along with 3 other mostly acoustic acts.)

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Thursday, Dec. 23 Roundup Saloon, Lafayette 9 - we keel over

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo Sunday, Dec. 26 Roundup Saloon, Lafayette We're one of 4 mostly acoustic acts in the "Sunday Night Beat" 8:30 pm

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Friday, January 7 Ivy Room, Albany 858 San Pablo (at Solano) with Mars Arizona and 2 sections of Grapefruit Ed 9 - close

hope to see you!

Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox RhoyalBaibe: drums, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

I'll keep you posted on a long featured interview for Kynd Music that we did a few days ago. We'll see what it looks like in print, but I think we give good phone. In the meantime, you can check out our revamped "Reviews" page: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

happy holidaze from your FLW crew!

 

1.7.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Hope you rang in the New Year in your own special way. We were at a small party playing an acoustic jammy version of "Midnight Hour" as the old man gave way to the baby and the bell tolled for us all. Not as intense as a jam I played at a NY's party a few years back involving copious amounts of mushroom tea and pulsating walls - but still heading into some nether regions - time makes you bolder, even children get older - but old men ought to be explorers. (T.S. Nicks for those of you wondering...)

Anyway, enough of that interesting image and on to the business at hand. We are playing the Ivy Room in Albany this Friday night, Jan. 7. It will be a great show - Two sections of Grapefruit Ed (Pat and Sam) will be opening with some Gram Parsons-ish ear-candy to mellow your mind, then the "folkadelic" Mars Arizona, and then yours truly. The Ivy is a very intimate venue and easy to get to, easy to park at, and easy to dig.

So come on out and tell 2005 you're ready to take it easy, baby, take it as it comes. It's so easy to slip - easy's getting harder every day - it's not easy being green - she's an easy lover (2 Genesis references in one email...) - you're my woman now, make yourself easy (that line always works, especially in the Bay Area...) - love was such an easy game to play - christ you know it ain't easy - because it's easy come, easy go, little high, little low...

It's the Robin Williams/John Cage/Ezra Pound method of gig emails: When in doubt, just randomly scroll across the vast reaches of the cultural radio dial - these fragments I have shored against my ruins - (with #1 Christmas seller iPods we can channel surf endlessly, catalogue, own, carry, and never absorb, never even pay attention - here we are now, entertain us!) Yet not entirely random - for any one thematic (or not) thread, dangling, dangling, can reach around and wrap around and rap a round - and prove, that beyond the blown-out chaos, beneath the sputterings of the universal mind, exists, perhaps, for sure (with enough indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call on the field) - well, let's just say: IT is here, IT is now, IT is RAEL (that makes 3...)

The world of dew is just a world of dew
And yet
And yet...

hope to see you! (In case you lost track, we have a show...)

Famous Last Words electric trio Friday, January 7, 2005 The Ivy Room 858 San Pablo (at Solano) With Mars Arizona and 2 Sections of Grapefruit Ed Show starts at 9:00

http://www.famouslastwordsband.com We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive.

Okay, back to earth to let you know the obscure opening song at our acoustic duo show last week was a cover of "Time is Passing" from Pete Townshend's first solo record. All in all a good show, although somehow my "C" harp got put into my "G" case which made for a rather "jazzy" solo interlude on "Matter of Time"...

And the Kynd Music feature interview with FLW will be online the middle of this month - I'll let you know and "hook you up" - nudge, nudge, say no more...

In the meantime, check out our "reviews" page: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

1/7/05

FLW Friends and Fans:

A quick one (really) to remind you of the show tonight at the Ivy Room. The Ivy is easy to get to, right on San Pablo Ave. at Solano Blvd. And it has its own free parking lot right next door, which will make the experience already a night to savor far into the future.

Add to that two very cool opening acts: Mars Arizona and Grapefruit Ed. Due to the cold and flu season, Grapefruit Ed is down to one section, the inimitable (Neil Young excluded) Pat Nevins, but he may have some guitar help on a few tunes courtesy of your friends in FLW.

But wait, that's not all - as an added bonus, we at FLW are jazzed to have the inimitable (Charlie Watts excluded) Dave Rhinesmith sittin' in on drums for us. Dave is moving to Austin TX next week and having a farewell fling with FLW to prepare for when we follow him down to play "Austin City Limits"...it'll happen, I can feel it...

So come on out, have a drink, say hi, and kick back to some quality tunes!

Famous Last Words electric trio Friday, January 7, 2005 The Ivy Room 858 San Pablo (at Solano) With Mars Arizona and a section of Grapefruit Ed Show starts at 9:00

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest Dave Rhinesmith: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

 

2/3/05

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're back at the Roundup in Lafayette next Thursday 2/23. We're the only band and we play all night - lots of covers along with FLW originals. Lots o'jamming since the night is long and the Jack flows free...Lots o' laughs and good times...

Thanks to all who came out to the Ivy Room - a fun show that got very loose and free by set's end. You can tell by the set list:

Big River (Jeff and Kate sitting in with opener Pat Nevins)

Bank Robber
Maggie's Song
It's All Over Again
Matter of Time/Santana
Sitting at the Bar
The Most (with mandolin)
Ripple (with mandolin)
Folsom Prison Blues
Pale Blue Eyes
4th of July
Don't Fear the Reaper
Love Me Like a Man
Rain

Thanks to Andon Davis of Mars Arizona for sitting in on mandolin on "The Most" and "Ripple" - Other highlights included yet another Hendrix-y jam on "Love Me Like a Man" and people Beavis and Butthead-ing at the front of the stage during the end solo of "Don't Fear the Reaper." Which rocked. And of course special thanks to trapmaster Dave Rhinesmith for sitting in on - traps. Which also rocked.

Thanks for the condolences on the abrupt end to the Steelers' magical season. It was certainly not a fun game to watch, although I think had we gone for it in the 4th quarter with 4th and goal at the 2 - whether we made it or not - we would have had a fighting chance - yes, we made the field goal, but we sapped our own momentum, shrunk our own sense of ourselves.

"In the long run, men hit only what they aim at, so though you might miss at first, aim high"
Thoreau

"I'd do it again"
Cowher

Regardless, I feel much worse about the confirmation of the evil lying Condoleeza Rice. And Gonzales to follow. (Props to Barbara Boxer for straight shootin' 2 weeks running)

Speaking of which, I recently wrote a column for Kynd Music about social responsibilty as it relates to makin' music, based on the Buddhist concept of "Right Action", and all wrapped up by the great Jack Black. It will be posted soon, and our interview will be up there second week of February. I'll let you know.

Until then, see you at the Roundup where we'll aim (as always) high!

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Thursday Feb. 3 Roundup Saloon 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 9:00 pm Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Here's our 4 star review on All Music Guide: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1

and here's a few recent pictures:

 

      

 

Doh! Gig correction

The gig is Thursday 2/3 as it says in the heading, and not 2/23 as it says in the body of the email...

my mistake

but note that I have admitted and corrected the mistake - am not "resolutely staying the course" -

sigh

I should not type these while watching the news

see you at the show - Thursday February flippin' third!

 

2.3.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

A quick reminder that we're playing our electric trio drunken bar-band gig tonight (Thursday 2/3) at the Roundup in Lafayette. Fun covers along with the originals and lots of room to jam. Sitting in on drums will be old friend Nadir Jeevanjee. Word on the street says the very fly Richard Dry might make an appearance on percussion.

Various inquiries were made about my column for Kynd Music - so I am including it as an attachment to this email - it will be posted officially for the world to see on Monday, but FLW fans, always the first on their block, get this exclusive sneak preview. Hope you enjoy.

Hopefully that makes up for not much else in this email. I thought it would be richer, but, in the words of Mick Jagger, "I just don't have that much jam."

But there'll be buckets of jam tomorrow night...hope to see you!

Famous Last Words Electric Trio Thursday Feb. 3 Roundup Saloon 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 9:00 pm

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Special Guest Nadir Jeevanjee: drums Possible Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Here's our 4 star review on All Music Guide: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:2wsqoaraeijm~T1

 

2/13/05

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're doing a short acoustic duo set tonight (Sunday) at the "Sunday Night Beat" at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette. We play from (approx) 10 to 10:30. There are 4 other acts. This is such late notice because I figured it was too short of a set to announce but Kate demurred. She's been right before so I acquiesce. No reason to censor our own show announcements. We'll report - you decide.

And speaking of the evil Fox news and the concomitant ethical issues it raises, my "Right Action" column is up and published at Kynd Music. Check it out here: http://www.kyndmusic.com Let me know what you think - does it achieve the dizzying heights of poetic prose FLW gig emails to which you've grown accustomed?

On the Kynd Music site you'll also see a feature article on Famous Last Words. I think there's some other bands and articles on there too. I'm not sure, blinded as I am by the ego-pumping glory of all things FLW.

Speaking of acoustic shows, I've got another cool story:

A few weeks ago I read an eco-article about a cafe/music venue in Oakland receiving an award for being a "Green Business". It was only a few blocks from my house so I went by and discovered, this being the Bay Area, that they were booked until July. Lo and behold, two days later my phone rings and the cafe is saying they have an opening earlier than July - could we play in an hour and a half? I made a few quick calls to Kate but she was inconsiderately not sitting by her phone waiting to hear on any possible FLW news. I left 2 messages.

The cafe was desperate - they needed music. I looked at the boring playoff game playing off on my hopeless little screen and thought outside the box. I'd been reading Bob Dylan's "Chronicles." I hadn't played solo for years - I could do one short set - but 2 hours would be pushing it. If only there was a phone booth handy, I'd slip in, reemerge and hold down the show as long as I needed to. Maybe Kate could show up for set 2.

I spent a quick half hour literally blowing dust and cobwebs off an old song list looking for tunes that focused on finger-picking. I ended up playing "Don't Think Twice", "Girl from the North Country", "Spanish Harlem Incident", "Chimes of Freedom" and even some non-Bob Dylan songs like "Romeo and Juliet" and "Pigs on the Wing." Kate showed up and it became an FLW show - "Death Don't Have No Mercy", "Maggie's Song", "Matter of Time", etc.

So there you go - life goes on, FLW saves the day and music and poetry resound along the streets...right action.

This email is now longer than our set will be tonight. Nevertheless - Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo Sunday Feb. 13 Roundup Saloon, Lafayette 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd. 10:00 - 10:30 pm

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

p.s. Mark your calendars for a special intimate full-length acoustic duo show Thursday 3/3 at Epic Arts in Berkeley. Then we're heading up to Oregon for two shows and will be back at the Roundup full-band electric on 3/31. I'll keep you updated. Until then, happy trails...

 

2.23.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Here's a heads-up for our show next Thursday (3/3) at Epic Arts Teahouse in Berkeley. Epic Arts is an extremely cool and unique venue - an actual comfortable living room where people pay attention to the music. They are committed to supporting the local arts scene and we are proud to be considered art. (Not that we don't enjoy rocking out to Dionysian thrills of ecstatic inebriation - but, as John Fogerty said, "if I only had a dollar...").

Check out their mission statement, pictures, etc here: http://epicarts.org/studios/index.html We're playing as our acoustic duo. This is your chance to hear the subtleties, the nuances, the spaces between the notes, the time between the beats, the very mastery of sound and emotion - sorry, I don't know who wrote that. The show is all ages, so bring the kids, and enjoy our songs in a very intimate acoustic setting. Word on the street is that the estimable Richard Dry may sit in on percussion for a few tunes. The very cool Tom Waits-ish Joshua Eden opens the show at 8:30 and we'll go on shortly after 9:00.

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo Thursday March 3 Epic Arts Teahouse 1923 Ashby Ave (at MLK - right across from the Ashby BART) 8:30 pm Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vocals, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vocals Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Thanks for the feedback on my column in Kynd Music AND the FLW Article there! If you missed them, click here: http://www.kyndmusic.com But they're only up for the rest of the month. So check them out now...

RIP HST...

 

3.8.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

"We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, MOVE. And we moved!...We all jumped to the music and agreed. The purity of the road. The white line in the middle of the highway unrolled and hugged our left front tire as if glued to our groove. And significantly we didn't support the military-industrial complex since we were in a Prius"
(Jack Kerouac/J. Zittrain)

We're taking our acoustic duo On the Road for two shows in Oregon this weekend. Sandwiched in between we'll be doing an in-studio performance and interview on KLCC 89.7 FM on the "Saturday Cafe" show, which airs right after the very appropriate and always brilliant "Car Talk." (Now that's possibly our highest honor yet). While setting up the show, the host gave me a taste of my own potent quotin' medicine, dropping an allusion to "Sloe Hank" - luckily I recognized the lines... Show info is below.

In other news, the second installment of my "Right Action" column is up at Kynd Music. Check it out at:
http://www.kyndmusic.com
(the "Right Action" link is right smack dab in the middle of the page)

Let me know what you think!

and spread the word on FLW in Oregon...

Famous Last Words acoustic duo Friday March 11 Squirrel's Corvallis, Oregon 100 SW 2nd Ave 9:00 pm Famous Last Words acoustic duo Saturday March 12 KLCC 89.7 FM in-studio Eugene, Oregon 11:30 am Famous Last Words acoustic duo Saturday March 12 Tolly's Oakland, Oregon 115 Locust St. 9:00 pm

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Don't forget to check out the "Right Action" column - http://www.kyndmusic.com

 

4.6.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Wanted to alert you to the new issue of Kynd Music - which means a new installment of the popular "Right Action" column, penned by your humble narrator. Check it out at: http://www.kyndmusic.com and let me know what you think...

(I've also written a review of the "Fly Jefferson Airplane" DVD for the upcoming issue of "An Honest Tune" magazine - I'll let you know if that's accessible online).

And through all this flurry of digital inkslinging I've still found time to...um, play music... We've got gigs coming up at the end of this month - at Swig in San Francisco on April 28 and doing our all-instrumental acoustic "jazz" trio at the Jupiter in Berkeley on April 27. For those of you who plan way ahead, we'll also be at the Epic Arts again on Saturday June 4.

In the meantime, we're gearing up to record the next cd - it will include fan favorites that didn't make it onto the first cd (Maggie's Song, Sitting at the Bar, Playing Heaven, The Most, etc), as well as some new compositions. Due to popular demand, there's also been some talk of officially releasing our all-acoustic "underground" cd. As always, you'll hear about it here...first.

There's been some clamoring for a live cd as well - someone posted to our CD Baby page requesting a triple-live cd which got me thinking:

"FLW Comes Alive", "FLW - Without a Net", "FLW at Budokan", "FLW at the Fillmore East/West", "FLW - the Koln Concert", "FLW - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!", "FLW at the Montreaux Jazz Festival", "FLW Rolling Thunder Revue Tour", "FLW at the Hollywood Bowl", "FLW at Knebworth and the Isle of Wight", "FLW - Live at Leeds" - the possibilities are endless - as soon as we play all those places.

In the meantime, check us out live and in person. And read "Right Action"... http://www.kyndmusic.com

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jeremy DeGroot: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

 

4.22.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

We've got a gig at Swig - (um, you dig...?)

Here's the skinny:

FLW electric trio
This Thursday, April 28.
San Francisco. 571 Geary (at Taylor).
8:45 - 10 pm.

For all you San Franciscans hip to past scenes, Swig is the converted result of the old Blue Lamp, "reinvented and transformed into a landmark" as it says on their website. It's true - we checked it out a couple of weeks ago. We go on at 8:45. The next band goes on at 10:00. They are called "Old Dead Bug." Odd name, cool lyrics, good jams. We'll be playing electric, with Nadir on drums. This will be a fun night - all the more fun if graced by your presence.

For those of you planning ahead:

We'll be at Smiley's in Bolinas on Saturday June 18 (2005). If you want to reserve a room, do it early and say you're there for FLW - they'll give you a discounted rate. Call them at 415.868.1311. Last time we played there the rooms went fast so remember, a stitch in time saves nine. A wrinkle in time however is very cool. Time waits for no one. Time - you played and smiled on the beach. You've got to deep-six your wrist-watch, try and understand, the time it seems to capture is just the movement of its hands.

All well and good - but in terms of the show, book your room now - remember, the sun is the same in a relative way but you're older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death...

Speaking of death and hopelessness, Famous Last Words is on a new political (vast left-wing conspiracy) compilation cd put out by Pax Recordings, called "Voices in the Wilderness: Dissenting Soundscapes and Songs of G.W.'s America". Lots of experimental avant-garde sound collages, spoken word and free jazz - plus 3 actual songs, including yours truly's "Banish". The cd is getting airplay across the country. You can check it out at: http://cdbaby.com/cd/vitwilderness

And the wheel is turning for the imminent release of our all-acoustic cd - Shouldn't be long now - although time...whoops, don't get me started, again...

Plans are also being...planned for some East Coast dates this summer - and we'll soon be heading into the studio for our much-anticipated next cd - keep your dial tuned here at your source for all things FLW and we'll keep you in the know...

See you at Swig!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Check out our reviews: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

 

4.27.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

FLW in the middle of the week - and make it a double.

Tonight (Wednesday 4/27) we're doing our all-instrumental acoustic "jazz" impersonation at the Jupiter in Berkeley. We play FLW favorites and copious covers and while they may appear relatively harmless at first glance of the earball, we turn them inside out, deconstruct them, and somehow find our way back at the end. Sitting in on traps will be the stellar Jeremy DeGroot, known for occupying the drum throne with fusion stalwarts The Wayward Monks, thereby pushing our jazz credibility up a notch or two. Keep in mind, there's a no-vocals policy at the Jupe, so we will be focusing on pure instrumental prowess.

Tomorrow (Thursday 4/28) we're at the very hip Swig in San Francisco. We're playing electric, we're singing, and we'll make the place move. After us is Old Dead Bug, a psychedelic, funky jam band. Old (live) friend Nadir will be handling the drum duties for us. We're on at 8:45 and play until 10:00.

FLW acoustic "jazz" trio Wed. April 27 Jupiter, Berkeley 2181 Shattuck Ave. 8 - 11 pm
FLW electric trio Thur. April 28 Swig, San Francisco 571 Geary (at Taylor) 8:45 - 10 pm

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jeremy DeGroot/Nadir Jeevanjee: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." more exciting news in a future email...stay tuned...

I forgot to mention that Friday is Kate's birthday so the Swig Gig on Thursday will have that pre-b-day vibe - and if you stay past midnight, will be, as Phil Lesh said at Jerry's memorial, "no longer becoming, but being."

 

5.3.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

It's the beginning of the month and that can mean only one thing in the hearts of FLW afficianados - the new "Right Action" column on KyndMusic.

It's up and it's ready to be read. In fact, KyndMusic has reconfigured itself to highlight its social impact - it's now called "Kynd Music/Right Action" and my column occupies an important part of that second section. But don't take my word for it - check it out yourself: http://www.kyndmusic.com

Word has it that Right Action will be a blog next month so the masses can participate as a true Jeffersonian democracy - until then, send me your comments through conventional email - As Roger Waters sang in Berlin (and earlier), "Tear down the wall!"

After all, Democracy is coming...to the USA...

In band news - we are waiting for the final proofs for the "Underground Acoustic" cd artwork - we're looking at a release date of June 1...

June will also bring us gigs acoustic and electric:

Saturday June 4
An intimate Acoustic evening
Epic Arts, Berkeley

Saturday June 18
A rockin' Electric lost weekend
Smiley's, beautiful Brigadoon-like Bolinas
with trapmaster Jeremy DeGroot on...traps!
(make it a FLW weekend! - reserve a room at Smiley's and get a discount by saying you're there for FLW - 415.868.1311 - don't procrastinate too long as rooms filled up last time...)

We're also in the process of redesigning our website to more accurately reflect our ever-increasing professionalism while still retaining our DIY charm (in other words, someone is graciously giving me tips on using Dreamweaver...and you know, I believe it can get me through the night)

stay in touch...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jeremy DeGroot: drums http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Check out our reviews: http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html Don't forget to read Right Action: http://www.kyndmusic.com

 

5.25.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Word from our cd manufacturer says that we will have our cd's in time for our CD Release Party at Epic Arts next Saturday June 4. Which is a good thing because to have a CD Release Party with no CD's would take some serious Marcel Marceau chops on the part of everyone involved and leave us all ultimately feeling unsatisfied and kind of silly.

So it's a great thing that we'll be at Epic Arts in Berkeley AVEC cd's.

The new cd is called "Underground Acoustic" and is...um, acoustic. The story goes: We recorded it pretty bare bones, without overdubs (exception being a Hammond B3 I added to "Playing Heaven"), sometimes with just one mic, intending to use it only to get acoustic gigs (as the blazing intensity of some of the electric cuts on our eponymous cd belied what we would do in our acoustic incarnation).

However, KyndMusic editor-in-chief Dave Terpeny got a copy, wrote a review, and convinced us this music needed to be made available to the public. Nothing less than the fate of the free world hung in the balance, he declared on CNN - no wait, that was Tony Blair and he was lying...Anyway, we were convinced to release the cd. So here ya go.

Highlights include "Maggie's Song", "The Most", "Playing Heaven", cool covers of songs by Tanya Donelly and Don Williams, an acoustic "Matter of Time", and guest spots by Richard Dry, Nadir, Jace, and Mark Pistel on "faux-bro."

Sitting on the drum throne at Epic Arts will be trapmeister Jeremy DeGroot. We are extremely happy about this. If you haven't seen us with Jeremy (and you probably haven't since this is only our 2nd show with him) you owe it to yourself to check it out - the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Really. It's that significant.

Epic Arts is a very cool, intimate arts space located conveniently across from the Ashby BART in Berkeley. It's a rare FLW "All Ages" show since we normally "play in adult bars" (as Will Burkart wrote in a school paper on "What My Mom Does"), yet there will also be alcohol available. So have your cake and drink it too!

Famous Last Words CD RELEASE PARTY! Acoustic Trio Saturday, June 4 Epic Arts, Berkeley 1923 Ashby Ave (at MLK) Doors 8, show 8:30 All ages! And alcohol! Absolutely amazing alliteration!

hope to see you...

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jeremy DeGroot: drums, financial planning http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive." Have you checked out our new homepage? http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

And mark your calendars for our rockin' electric show at Smiley's in Bolinas on Saturday June 18 - Jeremy on drums again - right on...

 

6.2.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Summer's here and the time is right for having a cd release. As I type this the door's open, the sun is shining, birds are winging, no rain is falling from a heavy sky.

Our new cd is called "Underground Acoustic." 10 tracks of acoustic guitar, bass, harmonica, percussion, harmonies, one overdubbed B3 organ, and a "faux-bro". Songs of love lost and found, tales of the road, longing and redemption. And good jams. 7 originals and 3 cool covers.

It's already been compared to "Dylan/Emmylou on "Desire" with a healthy dose of the Dead." (Christopher Waters, Nomad Music Series)

It will be available on CD Baby next week - but you can get an advance copy in person at our CD Release party this Saturday at Epic Arts in Berkeley. Plus you can hear us play - Jeff, Kate, Jeremy DeGroot on drums and (the very fly) Richard Dry on percussion.

Epic Arts is an intimate, artist-friendly space perfect for this show. Cool paintings on the walls, hip bohemian atmosphere, all ages and alcohol too. Easy parking and right across from the Ashby Bart. http://www.epicarts.org

What more could you want...

How about some cd and classic FLW t-shirt giveaways at the show?

Okay.

Famous Last Words CD RELEASE PARTY! Acoustic Trio Saturday, June 4 Epic Arts, Berkeley 1923 Ashby Ave (at MLK) Doors 8, show 8:30

hope to see you!

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jeremy DeGroot: drums, Kiplinger's column Very Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Have you checked out our new homepage? http://www.famouslastwordsband.com And mark your calendars for our rockin' electric show at Smiley's in Bolinas on Saturday June 18 - Jeremy on drums again - right on...

 

6.11.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Thanks to everyone who came out to the CD Release at Epic Arts last weekend! Hope you're enjoying the cd's - for those of you who got them signed, I apologize now for anything I wrote - It's funny; I can write these gig emails, cd and dvd reviews, and a monthly column, but when it comes to putting a sharpie to a cd my brain freezes and sputters and the next thing I know I've handed it back and repressed whatever I managed to scrawl.

Kate's of course say "xoxo - Kate" - that just wouldn't work for me...

but if only it were that easy...

We did sell out of the classic FLW t-shirt - new designs are now in the "creative" phase...

We played a nice long set, and a short, informal after-set. For those of you who keep track, here's the set list:

Bank Robber
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Restless/Long Black Veil
Maggie's Song/Drums/Maggie's Song
Sitting at the Bar
The Most
Sloe Hank
Matter of Time/Drums/Matter of Time

After-set:
Playing Heaven
Ripple
It's All Over Again
Folsom Prison Blues
We're All the Way
Bid You Goodnight

Special thanks to Richard Dry for sitting in on percussion - He and Jeremy got it going on so much that we gave them two spontaneous drum breaks - (subtly signaled by me shouting "drums!") - that churning powerful motor opened up behind you - it was like playing with the flippin' Allman Bros - nice job, guys.

We're at Smiley's in Bolinas this Saturday 6/18 - where we'll really open it up electric.

In other news:

Check out my new Right Action column "Serendipitous Synchronicity" on Kynd Music:

http://www.kyndmusic.com

Hendrix, Brazil, Ted Nugent and the Blackfoot Indians - how can you go wrong...

And the "Underground Acoustic" cd will be up and available on CD Baby this week - maybe even tomorrow - I'll let you know...

In the meantime:
Saturday June 18
A rockin' Electric lost weekend
Smiley's, in beautiful Brigadoon-like Bolinas (make it a FLW weekend! - reserve a room at Smiley's and get a discount by saying you're there for FLW - 415.868.1311)

hope to see you! Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jeremy DeGroot: drums, gentle ribbing http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

p.s. note to Dr. John: I actually was correct in the last email - there are 3 cool covers on the cd - "Restless", "We're All the Way", and "Bid You Goodnight".

 

6.15.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Yay. We are basking in the afterglow of the fruits of our creative process. It's idea made manifest, inspiration made material, spirit dancing in the flesh.

T.S. Eliot, although not referring to cd creation, probably put it best:

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

Screw the shadow, I say - we are triumphant!

What I mean is that our new cd, "Underground Acoustic", is now up at CD BABY! You can click a few keys online and they'll send it to your door! How magical is that?

As Steve Martin said (much more profoundly than Mr. Eliot) in "The Jerk":

"The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here! I'm somebody!"

Our new cd baby page looks cool - it's at least worth checking out for that:

http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords2

And if you've already got the cd, you can go to the page and post a review - to make the page look that much cooler...

Here's the quote they use to describe the music - "Like Dylan/Emmylou with a healthy dose of the Dead - ragged transcendent Americana"

When I read that I want to buy one myself until I remember that I have a box sitting here in my living room...

Anyway, check it out - let us know what you think - we'd love to hear what you have to say -

To quote the Buffy sticker on my guitar case: "I slayed. My work here is done."

The rest, as Peter Gabriel used to say at the end of "Biko", is up to you.

http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords2

Famous Last Words: Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox Kate Burkart: bass, vox Jeremy DeGroot: drums, dog stewardship http://www.famouslastwordsband.com "We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

p.s. And see you at Smiley's in Bolinas this ess-aye-tee-you-are-dee-aye-why NIGHT! We'll get about as oiled as a diesel train! Hey - another Saturday night - hah!

And on a more serious note - I am upgrading my computer - and since computer companies don't consider the common man when dealing with compatibility issues - this means I might lose everything I've got - including this mailing list - so if you don't hear from us and still want to be on it - drop a line...

 

6.23.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

First things first - this is the first email with the new computer - therefore some of you may have gotten scrambled in the import/export business - if you're not supposed to be receiving emails about the Famous Last Words band, and somehow got plucked out of the nether regions of my address book or just from somewhere a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away in the brave new reality of cyberspace - just send a friendly reply asking to be removed - no problem, no questions asked and nobody gets hurt.

If, on the other hand, you're supposed to be on here but aren't - it's a little trickier - maybe the universe will work it all out, as Kate sometimes seems to believe...Show a little faith, there's magic in the night, as Mariel Hemingway might say to Woody Allen via Bruce Springsteen in the jumbled high art of the 70's.

A quick recap of the Smiley's gig in Bolinas last weekend:

As you can see by the setlist, this was FLW in full-blown drunken bar-band mode. Lots of fun covers, plus dancing, hollering, and people literally falling all over the dance floor (no serious injuries, thankfully).  Props to new drummer Jeremy for playing an almost completely different set than the previous gigs. With great aplomb.

Anyway, without further ado:

Set 1:
Bank Robber
So Far Away
Walkin' After Midnight
Love Minus Zero
Lodi
Tangled Up in Blue
Maggie's Song
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Folsom Prison Blues

Set 2:
Sitting at the Bar
The Most
Matter of Time/Santana
Smells Like Candy
It's All Over, Again
Don't Fear the Reaper
Rain
Turn On Your Lovelight

But enough of the past - what I really want to say is,  we're playing at the Starry Plough in Berkeley next Saturday July 2. This gig is more focused than Smiley's - one set - we set up and slay. We're on first (at 9:15) so you don't have to wait around cooling your heels all night. The Plough is cool - good beer, accessible parking, stumbling distance from BART. We'd love to see you there!

Saturday July 2
Famous Last Words Electric Band
Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley
9:15 pm
Followed by George Pederson and the Natives

come on out, down a pint, and say hi!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: ye olde drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive"

p.s. Thanks for the props on the new all-acoustic cd! Check it out at:

http://www.cdbaby/com/famouswords2

Some reviews have been posted - add your voice if you're so inclined - "Be the ball" as Chevy Chase said when he was still funny... (that's the 6th 70's reference in this email - first one to send me an email and identify them all gets a free cd at the show...)

 

7.11.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Lots o' News and a semi-saga-length but "well-worth the ride" (Rex Reed)
email. "Chock full of goodies" K.B.
Call me Ishmael. My 4 Quartets. My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums, should
I leave them by your gate?

First off - the gigs! We are free, we go travellin' together, we spread a
little love and then we keep movin' on. We're heading up to Oregon this
weekend for a series of shows. We'll be making our triumphant return to
Tolly's in Oakland (yes, Oakland Oregon) on Saturday July 16. We start early
(7:00) and we play outside. Last March a good time was had by all.(Probably
since then too, but last March is when we were the catalyst for the good
time). Now we have Jeremy on traps, which will certainly have you movin' to
the groovin.

Then on Sunday, July 17 Kate and I will bring our acoustic duo into the Fox
and Firkin in Corvallis, Oregon. We played Squirrel's in Corvallis a few
months ago and doubled their pleasure enough that I came away with two
(count 'em) cool t-shirts to prove it.

And on Saturday the 16, before the Tolly's show, we're doing another
in-studio on KLCC. As I remember from last time, only one pair of headphones
worked and I couldn't really hear the full sound (plus the sun was in my
eyes) but our witty banter and heartfelt renditions of "Sloe Hank" and "It's
All Over Again" still compelled the throngs to our show. FLW, overcoming the
obstacles, its tattered flag still waves. Plus we were on right after "Car
Talk" which is about as cool as it gets.

We'll charge back into Berkeley and then roar out again to the Western in
Pt. Reyes for another electric show up in the mountains on Saturday July 23.

And mark your calendars for Wed. Aug. 3 when we're opening up for Robbie
Fulks at 12 Galaxies in San Francisco.

"The road is life" says Kerouac.

But so is recording. In cd-reviewing news, our song "Banish", which we
contributed to a compilation cd of avant-garde political soundscapes which
benefits the War Resisters League, got a great mention in Altar Magazine.
This is worth reading:

"Most of the cuts are strong and each listener will have individual
favorites. But nothing addressed the third intent; nothing seemed likely to
convince anyone not already right-minded; nothing really qualified as a
“song.” Until the thirty-second of thirty-three tracks. Banish (Famous Last
Words). “And I dreamed we lost our way. And the people couldn’t see.‘Cause
their eyes were closed by the fear that rose from a great catastrophe …”
Great songwriting. Great lyric. Great truth. A great climax to a very good
album. So, find a place to buy this CD. Or get someone to burn you a copy
(unauthorized duplication is explicitly encouraged). Play it for all your
friends, and even the occasional enemy. And if you rip it off, send some
money to the WRL – they need it, and they deserve it."

You can read the entire review here:
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberjoel/id2.html

And don't forget about our own new "Underground Acoustic" cd - there are
some rave (or "raving", I suppose, depending on your perspective) reviews on
the cdbaby page - read 'em, buy it, add your own - it's a win-win!
http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords2

And in the continuing journey of my writing career - I've got a review of
the "Fly Jefferson Airplane" DVD in the current issue of An Honest Tune
magazine (unfortunately the review is not part of the online issue) and a
review of Nick Mason's Pink Floyd autobiography in the I think soon-to-be
current issue of Relix.

Plus my cat seems to be feeling better...just didn't want to leave anything
out...

Anyway, come on up to Oregon or out to the Western - we'll, um, rock your
world.

Famous Last Words Electric Band
Saturday July 16
Tolly's, Oakland OR
115 Locust St.
7:00 pm

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo
Sunday July 17
Fox and Firkin, Corvallis, OR
202 SW 1st Ave
9:00 pm

Famous Last Words Electric Band
Saturday July 23
The Western, Pt. Reyes, CA
11201 Rte. 1 (smack dab in the middle of town)
9:30 pm

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot, drums, dog
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

 

7.28.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

We've got two shows coming up. Most importantly, we're opening up for Robbie
Fulks at the 12 Galaxies in San Francisco next Wed, Aug. 3. (Yes, it's
almost August already...summertime done come and gone, my oh my...). We are
very excited about this - we just can't hide it. We're about to lose control
- and I think I like it. Robbie Fulks is a great singer-songwriter from
Chicago, and a pretty accomplished, smart and very funny writer, too. Check
him out at:
http://www.robbiefulks.com

Yes, it's a school night, but we're on first so you don't have to wait
around all bleary-eyed cooling your heels - the 12 Galaxies is one of the
coolest venues in cool San Francisco, plus Robbie Fulks is great (have I
mentioned that?) so - it'll be a worthwhile evening - "satisfaction
guaranteed" as the Atlanta Rhythm Section said many moons ago.

In the meantime, this Saturday night, Kate and I will be doing our acoustic
duo thing at the low-key Nomad Café in Oakland. The Nomad won a green
business award for its environmentally-friendly policies, and serves
delicious organic beer. We play early, 7:30 - 9:30, so you can feel good
about saving the planet, hear us play, and still go out and paint the town
afterwards.

And don't forget to check out our new "Underground Acoustic" cd - getting
rave reviews at Cd Baby:
http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords2

And my new "Right Action" column, getting rave reviews on Kynd Music:
http://www.kyndmusic.com

And just rave on, it's a crazy feeling...

Famous Last Words Acoustic Duo
Saturday July 30
Nomad Café, Oakland
6500 Shattuck Ave
7:30 pm

Famous Last Words Electric Band
Wednesday August 3
12 Galaxies, San Francisco
2565 Mission (at 22nd)
Opening for Robbie Fulks!
8:00 pm

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums, road stories
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

 

8.2.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a reminder that we're playing with the great singer-songwriter Robbie
Fulks tomorrow (Wed) night at the great 12 Galaxies in San Francisco.

Although it may seem that these emails are coming fast and furious, this is
the last gig we've got on the books for now - so it may be a while before
you can see us again - we're beginning the recording of the next electric cd
later this month - but the studio would get kind of crowded if you were
there for that. It may have worked for Groucho Marx in "A Night at the
Opera" but we need a little more...lebensraum.

Okay, obviously I need to stop writing..."Don't mention the war!" I hear
John Cleese shouting in Fawlty Towers.

But come on out to 12 Galaxies tomorrow night!

Famous Last Words Electric Band
Wednesday August 3
12 Galaxies, San Francisco
2565 Mission (at 22nd)
Opening for Robbie Fulks!
9:00 pm (we're on first)

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums, Kiplinger's column
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive"

Don't forget to check out our "Underground Acoustic" cd:
http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords2

And my Right Action column on Kynd Music:
http://www.kyndmusic.com

And here's Robbie Fulks' site:
http://www.robbiefulks.com

 

8/24/05

FLW Friends and Fans:

This one is truly the end of the summer tour. But seasons don't fear the reaper - it's simply transition.

We've been invited to bring our acoustic duo to the Brainwash in SF this Friday 8/26 for the Chameleon Music monthly "Heavy Hitters Fridays" series. We're on first at 8:00 followed by acclaimed local singer-songwriter Cas
Lucas and full band Evolution Eden.

For those of you keeping score, set lists for our previous 2 shows are as follows:

12 Galaxies (Full electric band plus Richard Dry on percussion):

Sloe Hank
Matter of Time/(highly abbreviated) Santana
It's All Over Again
Maggie's Song
Sitting at the Bar

Archivists note: This one is notable for the unprecedented "Sloe Hank" opener - pretty risky, but pulled off with some aplomb...

Somarts Benefit (acoustic duo):

Maggie's Song
Matter of Time
Playing Heaven
The Most
Masterpiece

This one is notable for the rare "When I Paint My Masterpiece" (how could we not do that when playing at an art gallery?) and the fact that one of these songs is not like the others. That's right, "Playing Heaven" is the anomaly
in the otherwise perfect "M" set. But it certainly rocked - at the post-show party, Will Burkart, ignoring the first letter of the title and tossing back some peanuts and coke, declared it the best of the set, demonstrating with some nifty air guitar that gave me a run for my money.

But enough living in the past - come on out to the Brainwash this Friday! (Pick up a brand spankin' new guaranteed fresh FLW sticker while you're there and wave your flag high - 'cause you can live your life...the way you want to...)

Famous Last Words acoustic duo
Friday Aug. 26
Brainwash
1122 Folsom (between 7th and 8th), SF
8:00 pm sharp

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums, wordy emails
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

As I said, our new stickers have arrived! Come get one at the show!

And check out the "Underground Acoustic" cd!
http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords2

 

9.8.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

First off, we have been asked by the REX Foundation to allow them to stream our music on their website. How cool is that. We thought about it, consulted, took it under advisement, and then in the second second we said
"yes." You will find us nestled within the likes of the Dead, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, String Cheese Incident, etc. As Adam Sandler would say, "not too shabby."

Check it out at:
http://www.rexfoundation.org/connections.html

In other pressing news, my new "Right Action" column, "The Substance of Shadows" is up and running at Kynd Music.

Check it out at:
http://www.kyndmusic.com. And let me know what you think!

And in exciting band news, we are heading into the studio tomorrow to begin laying down tracks for our new long-awaited, much -anticipated, brushed, cut, combed and braided, full-band studio cd. Favorites that didn't make it
onto the other cd's will rear their heads as will some (pretty-much) brand spankin' new songs. As Homer Simpson would say, "Mmmmmm...spanking".

So no gigs to announce at the moment - we'll be spending most of the next 2 months toiling over a hot mixing board - but you never know...and we'll be back at Epic Arts for sure in November...

So happy trails, stay in touch, and keep on rockin' in the free world...

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums, Smirnoff Ice
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Don't forget:

http://www.kyndmusic.com
(in which Angel, the Dead, Johnny Cash, Marquis de Sade, Columbo, Graham Greene, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Ozzy and others make their way out of my brain and into a remarkably cohesive (to me anyway) essay.

And the "Underground Acoustic" cd
http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords2
Buy it! Write a review! Share the love!

 

10.7.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Mark your calendars for Saturday Nov. 19, when we'll be back at the Epic Arts in Berkeley doing our acoustic trio. The Epic Arts is an extremely cool space, very bohemian and community-oriented with fancy couches and pillows in a room that looks like the inside of Jeannie's bottle - check it out at:

http://www.epicarts.org.

Epic Arts is all-ages plus alcohol - have the best of all possible worlds - bring the kids, get drunk, and deal with all of those ramifications - Voltaire would be pleased...(anyone who sends me an email explaining the
logic of this paragraph gets a free FLW sticker...)

Speaking of ramifications, I've also got a new, very hip "Right Action" column for the October issue of Kynd Music. Check it out at:

http://www.kyndmusic.com and let me know what you think!

Regarding our next full-band cd:

We've laid down basic tracks for a few tunes and will do the studio magic of adding other instruments (keys, more gtr, pedal steel, etc) in the coming weeks. Songs are "Freeways and Marriotts", "Sitting at the Bar", and a
rocking Dylan meets the Stooges (in my mind at least) full-band version of our unabashedly political song "Banish" - which has up until now only been available as an acoustic lament/dirge on the "Voices in the Wilderness" avant-garde compilation cd - which has actually been getting lots of airplay across the country, and as I just found out today, across the pond in Italy. Check that out at:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/vitwilderness

And check out our "Underground Acoustic" cd at cdbaby while you're there, or here, or, as Paul McCartney once crooned, everywhere:

http://www.cdbaby.com/famouswords2

We'll also be playing the Fillmore Poster Room with Susan Tedeschi on the main stage on Nov. 16!

So we're doing our part - all you have to do is click on these links - send us an email, or snag a cd - and come on out to Epic Arts!

See ya!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums, groom
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

 

10.21.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Always riding the razor's edge of the newest and hippest trends, FLW has now carved out yet another slice of cyberspace with our very own My Space page. It's what all the kids are doing!

The thing is, we need some "friends". And we want to know what you think. So check it out and leave comments on our page and our pictures so they're not all just from Will.
http://www.myspace.com/famouslastwordsband

And look forward to a new Right Action column plus a review of a FLW live acoustic show in the next Kynd Music! We'll also be reviewed in the next issue of "An Honest Tune" magazine. And we're at Epic Arts in Berkeley on
Nov. 19.

Until then, see you in Hell. Oops, I've been watching too much "Angel." I mean, happy trails...

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums, vacationing
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

11.07.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

It's the first Monday of the month which means a new JZ-penned "Right Action" column on Kynd Music - Never one to shy away from the big statement, this one is called "This is the Way the World Ends." It's about my new iPod and it's dual yin-yang highly ambivalent Frankenstein/Orgasmatron heralding of our future - Mary Shelley meets Woody Allen and Bob Weir says: it's here, we are it, we are on our own...

Check it out at:
http://www.kyndmusic.com

And while you're there, check out a well-written review by Rachel Curry of a very special FLW live show - the cd release party at Epic Arts in Berkeley for "Underground Acoustic." It's nestled comfortably with reviews of shows
by Trey Anastasio and Umphrey's McGee, and across from "Garcia Plays Dylan."
And some other lightweights.

At: http://www.kyndmusic.com

Read 'em both and let us know what you think!

We also received word that we'll be reviewed in the upcoming issue of "An Honest Tune" - the "Southern Journal of Jam."

You can also check us out live and in person at Berkeley's Epic Arts again on Saturday Nov. 19. We'll be in the acoustic format with Jeremy on drums and Richard Dry on percussion, just like the cd release, recreating the
magic just like Frampton Comes Alive 2! - whoops, scratch that last comparison. But keep in mind - the Epic Arts is both all-ages AND serves alcohol so you can bring your kids and get drunk. Whoops, scratch that last
part, too - but you know what I mean - it's a Win/Win!

We'll also be doing our acoustic duo at the legendary Fillmore Poster Room with Susan Tedeschi on the main stage on Wed. Nov. 16.

And we're still working in the studio on our next full-band cd...

So click our links, flick your bics, and stay in touch!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
http://www.kyndmusic.com

 

11.19.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Here's a reminder that we're playing tonight at the Epic Arts in Berkeley.
1923 Ashby Ave (at MLK) right across from the Ashby BART.
Show's at 8:15, all ages, plus alcohol.

We'll be doing our acoustic trio, plus Richard on percussion. The Epic Arts is a very hip, mellow, bohemian scene. But don't take my word for it - check it out at: http://www.epicarts.org - and check it out LIVE!

A funny thing happened on the way to the FLW Fillmore gig this week. It turned into an Esme's Dream gig. Kate struggled to the phone a half-hour before she was supposed to come over and managed to say she was too sick to stand up or walk or be conscious (this part isn't funny) and she probably wouldn't be able to make the show.

Richard showed up a few minutes later and I told him it was just me and him - in the car on the way to the show as he was trying to learn the lyrics to Kate's part of "Maggie's Song" (which he used to sing back in our Personal
Demons days) and we were trying to come up with other songs that wouldn't fall apart without Kate's bass - we hit upon another idea. We called information to get the number of old friend and musical cohort Fritz Mueller, whose incendiary Jack Cassady-style bass playing used to fuel Esme's Dream, back in the flippin' dark ages, all those years ago.

"Fritz, it's voices from your musical past - do you want to play the Fillmore tonight?...about 45 minutes - we're in the car on the way there"

Luckily, Fritz had had dental work that day and was cruising on Vicodin and up for anything. (This wouldn't help his navigational skills in getting to the Fillmore but after he called us from the Mission we guided him in safely).

Meanwhile, Richard and I argued about how to get to the Fillmore until Richard realized he was thinking about the Warfield.

But on to the important stuff - we threw out most song structures and did what we always did best back in the heady days of Esme's Dream - we improvised and flew by the seat of our pants, letting the music dictate
where we should go, having to focus on the present moment because - well, there was no practice. Loose jams from the past including "Inner City Blues", "Shot of Love" and "Love Minus Zero" went into whatever spaces they
saw fit to take us.

And it must have worked, because people were asking afterwards where they could download our music.

"In another time's forgotten space" we said, and strode off into the San Francisco night.

Actually, no - I told them about FLW - which you can see tonight, live, and with Kate back! Yay, music!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive"
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

12.5.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're playing at the very cool "Festival of the Fans" next Sunday 12/11 at the Stork Club in Oakland. 12 bands, all-you-can-eat BBQ, 2 - 11 pm. (Doors open at 1:30).

Since there's 12 bands, sets are short and sweet, 25 minutes and no lollygagging. You will therefore witness an FLW first - a gig with an actual set list, with every millisecond accounted for. With room for audibles at the line of scrimmage, of course, if the audience gives a different look than we expect. But regardless, be there on time or it'll blow by you like the summer breeze. We play from precisely 3:45 - 4:10 pm.

Lots of other cool bands will play also - I'm copying the press release below.

In the meantime, check out my new "Right Action" column on Kynd Music, in which I let the readers speak - if you sent me an email, you might be quoted...

http://www.kyndmusic.com

See you on Sunday...

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums, pedal-monkey
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

Here's the gig info:

THE FESTIVAL OF THE FANS
Sunday Afternoon BBQ & Live Music

12 great local bands & a tasty afternoon BBQ

www.FestivalOfTheFans.com <http://www.festivalofthefans.com/>

Contact: FestivalOfTheFans@gmail.com

Sunday, December 11th, 2:00pm
@ the Stork Club,
2330 Telegragh ave, Oakland, CA

The Festival of the Fans is a musical celebration of electric fans, and the
people who love to sing through them. Folks are encouraged to bring fans,
yes fans of all types, from hand held Asian paper style fans, to small
battery powered fans, to larger household plug in types. Why fans? Well, why
not? A limited amount of paper fans will be provided. And yes, attempts will
be made by performers to sing into the fans.

$6 at the door.
$1 - $2 extra donation for BBQ food fund, which includes a lot of BBQ,
basically all you can eat until we run out.
The Stork Club will provide $2.50 Pabst beer, $3.50 well drinks all day.

List of festivities for Sunday, December 11th, 2005:

Doors open @ 1:30pm.
BBQ available from 2:00pm - 6:30pm.
BBQ menu: Hamburgers, vegiburgers, tater tots, salad, marinated chicken
wings

Bands (in order of performance)
(Live music will start promptly at 3:15pm)

3:15 - 3:30pm ........... Bob Hammer

3:45 - 4:10pm .......... Famous Last Words
(Dylan meets Lucinda Williams meets Jefferson Airplane)

4:25 - 4:50pm ........... Pickin Trix
(sharp as a whip country girl duo)

5:05 - 5:30pm .......... Tara Linda
(Spaghetti western circus torch)

5:45 - 6:10pm .......... Bunny Numpkins
& the Kill Blow Up Reaction
(Lou Reed-ian rock with a mouthy, genius puppet show)

6:25 - 6:50pm .......... the Trenchermen
(rock/pop influences from everything but the kitchen sink)

7:05 - 7:30pm .......... Lindi Wiggins & Kim Digiacomo
(influences from Dolly Parton to Radiohead to Lauryn Hill)

7:45 - 8:10pm ........... David & Joanna
(Twang meets Leonard Cohen meets the VelvetUnderground)

8:25 - 8:50pm ........... Val Esway
(of Ramona the Pest & Loretta Lynch... a little bit torch, a little bit twang)

9:05 - 9:30pm ........... Death by Stork
(Loud dark girl/boy aural assault featuring members of She Mob)

9:45 - 10:10pm .......... Pillows
(girl duo aggressive folk meets Sleater-Kinney ... missing half their drum set, return if found)

10:25 - 10:50pm ......... the Blue Canadians
(dance-able bubble-gum garage rock from
Canandian ex-patriots)

Dance DJ till closing

The Stork Club is located at 2330 Telegragh Ave, just a few blocks from the
19th st BART Station in downtown Oakland, CA.

 

12.18.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're headlining full-band electric at the Starry Plough in Berkeley this Thursday 12/22! Opening the show will be the Jury and the Bottomdwellers (http://www.bottomdwellersmusic.com). We're on at 11:30 - this will give you
time to do some other holiday parties first if you need to...

Famous Last Words electric trio
Thur. 12/22
Starry Plough, Berkeley
3101 Shattuck Ave (S. Of Ashby)
Show starts at 9:30, we're on at 11:30

Also, check out my latest (Dec) "Right Action" column AND the "Top 10 bands to watch in 2006" article on Kynd Music - you'll see a familiar name beginning with F and ending with W - and an L in the middle:

http://www.kyndmusic.com

Archive masters, here are our last 2 set lists:

Epic Arts 11/19 (acoustic trio):
Set 1
Bank Robber
Maggie's Song
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Matter of Time
The Most
Big River
Freeways and Marriotts
Ripple
Banish
Playing Heaven

Set 2
Sitting at the Bar
Time is Passing
Drowned
Pale Blue Eyes

According to one reviewer on our MySpace page: "The epic arts gig rocked more than anything that has ever rocked before" - Will Burkart
(http://www.myspace.com)

Stork Club 12/11 (electric trio):
Matter of Time
The Most
Maggie's Song
Big River

This one was video-ed, so maybe we'll have something to show you soon...

Hope you're having a good holiday season...

See you at the Plough!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

12.22.05

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a reminder of our last show of the year tonight (Thur 12/22) at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. It's raining as I type, and I got soaked today going to lunch. Still, at times like these I recall the words of John Lennon:

"Do you hear me, that when it rains and shines, it's just a state of mind"

Unfortunately, I also think of Led Zeppelin:

"If it keeps on rainin', levee's gonna break..
.and when the levee breaks, I'll have no place to stay"

And the always optimistic Bob Weir:

"All my life I've seen rain and I've seen rain - I can't take it one more fucking day, now"

However, I can then remember Pete Townshend transcending it all and finding spiritual fulfillment in the happiness of the drop to die in the river:

"I'm flowing under bridges, I'm flying through the sky,
I'm rippling over canyons, just a tear in a baby's eye...
I wanna drown - in your sweet, sweet, love..."

Yes, welcome to my world - one continuous connected shuffle radio station. A plethora of voices ride the ranges of spirit, mind, and emotion - but maybe - just maybe - in search of the lost chord, the note pure and easy, a love
supreme, one nation under a groove.

(First person to identify those four allusions - I'll buy you a beer at the show...)

After all, the Thunder expressed both fertility and "the peace which passeth understanding" in the last section of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land".

In the meantime, it looks like the rain has stopped...

Which makes me think -

"I can see clearly now..." and "Good Day Sunshine" (well, that's pushing it...), etc, etc, etc...

See you at the Plough...

Famous Last Words electric trio
Thur, Dec. 22
Starry Plough, Berkeley
3101 Shattuck Ave (just south of Ashby)
Show starts at 9:30, we're headlining at 11:30

And happy holidays...

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

And check out "Top 10 Bands to Look for in 2006" on KyndMusic:
http://www.kyndmusic.com

 

1.16.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're playing a full-band electric show this Thursday 1/19 at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. The show will be "3 bands throwing down a socially conscious vibe" and benefit the very cool Code Pink campaign (More on them
later in this email). The other bands are Robert Temple and his Soul Folk Ensemble, and Dynamic. "Americana, Soulfolk, and Neosoul-hip hop" as the press release says,

We're on first so show up at 9:00!

In a week that begins with Martin Luther King Day, how can you not follow the alignment of the stars to show up and do your part to make the world a better place?

As we all know, the world is crazy:

Witness the insanity, sports fans, of the Steelers' up and down, topsy-turvy, heart-stopping victory over the formerly charmed/suddenly cursed Indianapolis Colts yesterday.

It was a game with mythic implications both on-field and off, too many to go
into here except to say:

Inexplicable rulings from the powers-that-be referees, once-in-a-blue-moon occurrences in ironies that rival the ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles, and through it all the puny humans making greater-than-life efforts to snag that weirdly-shaped bizarrely bouncing bean of a ball, and each other.

"The agony and the ecstasy" observed my friend Steff Moody from his perch in Seattle, "which is ultimately meaningless"

I paused for a moment as that sunk in with more weight than I expected.

"It IS sports" I replied, "that you're referring to....?"

But MacBeth's famous lines from Shakespeare wouldn't leave my head:

"Life is but a walking shadow...
It is a tale told by an idiot,
Full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing"

Although they echoed nasally, like they were recited by Howard Cosell, they resonated with the existential despair the Bard intended.

I felt the creeping void and thought back to the game. In the closing minutes, our drummer Jeremy (who also came of age in the glory days of the Steel(er) City) and I had been on our feet, swearing at the TV and literally
yelling "this reality is not happening!" as impossible defeat was snatched from the sure jaws of victory - yet quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made a backwards, falling, one-handed shoestring tackle that saved the game, the season, and at the time it seemed, life itself, at least for the moment.

He probably wasn't thinking of MacBeth. Maybe it was Gandhi in his head:

"Everything we do is futile, but we must do it anyway."

We live to fight - not necessarily with violence but hope. As Angel draws his sword and aims for the dragon in the overwhelming Apocalypse of his series finale, and as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid make their 2-person
suicidal stand against the Bolivian army.

Like Code Pink - a small group of Bay Area women on a peace mission to Afghanistan and Iraq, their name a symbol of hope against the color-coded"terror alert" system instituted by Bush/Cheney's hard-hearted Machiavellian reality.

Is it too obscure if I mention the Myth of Sisyphus saving Albert Camus (at least for a year or so) from existential despair? Sorry - I think sometimes I write to save myself - the same way I play. (But when I hear that whistle
blowin'...)

And regardless, as Will Burkart enthused, "that was the greatest game I ever saw!"

And he's seen a few.

Yeah, I know this email is long, but 2 more things. For the archivists, here's the short solo sets I played at Raoulapalooza and the Bistro last week:

Raoulapalooza (I went on after Etienne De Rocher and the Moore Bros):
Sloe Hank
Sitting at the Bar
Banish

The Bistro:
Matter of Time
Banish
Sitting at the Bar
Long Black Veil

And my January "Right Action" column is up at Kynd Music:
http://www.kyndmusic.com
(I think it's shorter than this email...)

Anyway, see you at the Plough...

Famous Last Words Electric Trio
Thursday January 19
Starry Plough, Berkeley
3101 Shattuck Ave.
9:00 pm
(We're on first - don't be late!)

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Possible Guest Richard Dry: percussion
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

http://www.bayareacodepink.org
http://www.roberttemplemusic.com
http://www.myspace.com/dynamicisth

 

2/6/06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a quick note that my new "Right Action" column is up at Kynd Music. Check it out at:
http://www.kyndmusic.com
And let me know what you think...

Careful FLW readers will recognize a whole section of the piece ringing a bell (it tolls for thee, Johnny - go, go) - but don't dismiss it as pure retread - read through to the end - in true artiste fashion, it's a gig email redux. The new director's cut. At least as original as the work in Jorge Luis Borges' short story "Pierre Menard, author of the Quioxte".

But enough convoluted references - Blame it on the cold and flu season which has claimed my usual clear-headedness for the past week - A heads-up: the column is somewhat football-centric - how could it not be after yesterday's game which actually did occur between all the hype, spectacle, and advertising - but also included in the column is some serious feminism. And I think it's clearer than this email...

And for the serious FLW archivists, here's the short set list from our short set last week:

Matter of Time (acoustic duo)
Nothing But the Wheel (acoustic duo)
Turn On Your Lovelight (with guest drums and keys and me playing a borrowed electric guitar)
Sweet Old World (ditto as above)

Seeing it here in stark black and white, I notice a theme running through the set - but I'll let y'all discern that on your own...

Hope the new year is treating you well!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
Check out our reviews:
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews.html

P.S. I forgot to pay my respects a few emails ago - but I did show one of his movies in class at the time as a gesture.
To someone else who rocked and was deeply sensitive:
RIP Richard Pryor

3.5.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're playing the very cool Uptown club in downtown Oakland next Friday March 10. Doors at 8:30, Show starts at 9 - We're on at 10. Also appearing is the Justin King band (featuring our old friend Nadir) and Unagi.

The Uptown is at 1928 Telegraph, former site of the Black Box, where I saw many an improv comedy show and poetry slam. Easy to get to, easy to park, easy like Sunday morning. Except that it's Friday night, which is not
alright for fighting - (thank god).

We'll be playing full band electric, with special guest Richard Dry on percussion. We've been working on some new tunes which may get pulled out of our collective hat and sent into the Oakland night.

In other news, we're putting the finishing touches on a roaring "Banish" for the new cd - Our acoustic dirge version of "Banish", incidentally, is the top downloaded song on iTunes from the "Voices in the Wilderness"
compilation!

See you at the Uptown!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

 

3.8.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a friendly reminder that we're going to rock the Uptown in Oakland this Friday night (3/10).

The Uptown has a really big stage so there will be room for me to do my Pete Townshend acrobatics while Kate breathes fire and spits blood like Gene Simmons. Jeremy will hold it down behind all the madness by pretending he's playing with the Wayward Monks - as well as special guest Richard Dry on percussion.

It will be an exciting show at a new venue for us - hope you can be a part of it!

The Uptown is easy to get to - 1928 Telegraph Ave (at 20th).
Parking is also easy - a very rare experience in the Bay Area.

Also appearing is Unagi and the Justin King band.

Friday March 10
Famous Last Words electric band
The Uptown, Oakland
1928 Telegraph (at 20th)
Doors 8:30, show 9:00, FLW at 10:00

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
http://www.uptownnightclub.com

3.14.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're hosting a night of music at the Sea Mi Restaurant in Albany this Thursday night. The Sea Mi is the new incarnation of the Club Muse, located at 856 San Pablo Ave., right next to the Ivy Room. This means easy to get to and its own parking lot.

We'll be doing a couple of sets - both Jeremy and Richard will be there and whether we play acoustic or electric is a game time decision.

Also appearing will be old friend "man with a gun" Rick DiDia - an extremely talented singer/songwriter picker/grinner/lover/sinner I know from back in my Freight and Salvage days. Also singer/songwriter Aireene Espiritu who gets more soul out of a ukelele than I thought possible. And Anthony DeRosa,
known around these parts for his songwriting/singing/guitar-slinging with the Trenchermen.

That's a whole lotta talent on one night and one stage.

In other news, my new Right Action column is up at Kynd Music: read it and connect the dots between Ingmar Bergman, David Bowie, Keanu Reeves, the Beatles, Godzilla, and many more:

http://www.kyndmusic.com

For the archivists - here's our set list from the Uptown 3/10:

Bank Robber
Maggie's Song
Smells Like Candy
It's all over Again
Folsom Prison Blues
Bloody Knife
Matter of Time/Santana Jam

Now back to the show this week:
Thursday March 16
Famous Last Words and Friends
Sea Mi Restaurant
856 San Pablo
Albany
8 -11 pm

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

4.7.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

April is the coolest month. Here's a few dates to keep in mind:

Friday April 14
Famous Last Words acoustic trio
Epic Arts, Berkeley
All ages plus alcohol!

Tuesday April 25
Famous Last Words Electric Band
AMP3 Showcase
The Uptown, Oakland

Saturday April 29
Famous Last Words Electric Band
Kate Burkart Birthday Bash
Sea Mi, Albany

There will be some other scattered news, gigs and info - we'll keep you
informed right here.

In the meantime, here's part of a review of our first cd from the current
issue of Honest Tune magazine:

"The opener 'Lullaby' works in its own right as a cross between
Workingman's- era Dead and Surrealistic Jefferson Airplane. Guitarist Jeff
Zittrain captures the open-tuned Kaukonen-Garcia blues picking style, and
his harmonizing with lead vocalist and bassist Kate Burkart sails high above
the band's progressive instrumentation...FLW's broad-based appeal lies in
the urgency of their beat."

More reviews at:
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com/reviews

See you at a show!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

4.12.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're bringing our trio to the Jupiter tonight (Wed 4/12) for 3 sets of uncompromising/take-no-prisoners/let-God-sort-em-out laid back acoustic stylings. We are honored to be one of the few non-jazz bands the Jupiter books - and this time we'll throw in some vocals. 8 - 11, shine (we play outside) or rain (they try to make us play outside and when it gets ridiculous we go rushing inside). Seriously, though, if it's raining you can enjoy us in the cozy confines of the club.

And then we have one day off and go hurtling to the very cozy Epic Arts on Friday (4/14) for more fun with the acoustic band. Possible surprise guest sitting in. The Epic Arts is an uber-hip venue with comfy couches, paintings, and an all-around bohemian vibe. It's all ages plus they serve alcohol - a win/win by all accounts.

Here's a cool review of a show we did at the Epic Arts last summer:
http://www.kyndmusic.com/monthlyissues/november05/flw.htm

For the archivists, here's the set list from the Sea Mi on 3/16:

Death Don't Have No Mercy
Maggie's Song
Freeways and Marriotts
The Most
Matter of Time
The Weight (with Rick Didia and Aireene Espiritu)
Folsom Prison Blues
Bid You Goodnight

But enough living in the past...

Wed. April 12
FLW acoustic trio
Jupiter
2181 Shattuck (across from downtown Berkeley Bart)
8-11

Fri., April 14
FLW acoustic trio
Epic Arts
1923 Ashby (at MLK) (across from Ashby Bart)
All ages! And Alcohol!
8:30 - 11

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

4/14/06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're at the very cool Epic Arts tonight (Friday 4/14)! Epic Arts is a community arts space located just across from the Ashby Bart. It's one of our few all-ages venues so take advantage - plus they serve alcohol so you can take advantage of that too. We always have a good time there so we hope you can be a part of it!

But don't take my word for it - Here's a cool review of a show we played there last summer:

http://www.kyndmusic.com/monthlyissues/november05/flw.htm

And here's their site:
http://www.epicarts.org

For the archivists, here's the set list from the Jupiter on Wed. 4/12.

Set 1
Sweet Old World
So Far Away
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Maggie's Song
Low Expectations
Time is Passing

Set 2
Bank Robber (with cool and rarely played intro)
Sitting at the Bar
Nothing But the Wheel
The Most
Freeways and Marriotts
Pale Blue Eyes

Set 3
Matter of Time
Playing Heaven
Faith in the Dark
Encore: Rain

Keep in mind - the Jupiter gives us 4 drink tickets each - we're clear on
the first few songs from set 1 and the songs from set 3 - and we know we
played the other stuff - but it may not be in the precise order listed
here...

But back to tonight:
Famous Last Words Acoustic Trio
Epic Arts
1923 Ashby Ave (at MLK - across from the Ashby Bart)
8:30 - 11:00
All ages! And Alcohol!

See you there!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

4.20.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Here's a couple o' musical extravaganzas to brighten the gloom and doom of life's rich pageant in the cruelest month of April, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. (Apologies for the gratuitous T.S. Eliot references...)

Next Tuesday, April 25 we've been invited to bring our electric band to Oakland's hottest new hot spot, the Uptown, for a very special Showcase show presented by San Francisco's Association of Music Professionals, AMP3. Also appearing will be Jeff Campbell and a surprise guest who comes from the land
down under where women glow and men plunder. Show starts at 8, we'll go on at 9:30. Be there or be very very (unhip to be) square. (Apologies for the I Love the 80's elements of this last paragraph...because I really didn't).

Then, on Saturday April 29 we'll bring the electric band to the Sea Mi in Albany for a rollicking good time rock and roll circus that just might have birthday implications - and if we say it's someone's birthday, we're gonna have a good time, we're glad it's their birthday, happy birthday to them.

The always fly Richard Dry will be sittin' in whacking his djembe or doumbek (I can never keep those straight) for us all, which certainly sounds intriguing - hey, everybody's got something to hide except me and my monkey. (Apologies for the I Love the Beatles elements of the last 2 paragraphs...but who doesn't, and isn't love all you need?)

And in other apologies, sorry for the Kynd Music technical difficulties as apparently hordes of FLW fans and philosophy students have been swarming to the site trying to access my latest Right Action column. Word from the grand Pooh-Bah editor-in-chief is that the site should be up and running smooth and easy by Thursday or Friday. And my latest column, a detailed and piercing critique of "24", will be there in short order. As Jack Bauer would hoarsely shout: "You gotta trust me on this - NOW!"

In the meantime - see you at a show! (Just do what I'm asking - NOW! Or more accurately, NEXT WEEK!...)

FLW electric band
Tuesday April 25
AMP3 Showcase
The Uptowm, Oakland (1928 Telegraph at 19th)
8 pm (we're on at 9:30)

Saturday April 29
FLW electric band
Sea Mi, Albany (856 San Pablo)
8:30 pm

And anyone going to the Jackie Greene show at the Fillmore this Saturday, come check out the FLW acoustic trio in the Poster Room between sets. Always a good time playing at the...freakin' Fillmore.

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Special Guest Richard Dry: percussion
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

P.S. Oh yeah, Set List (as best we remember) from Epic Arts 4/14

Set 1:
Bank Robber
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Maggie's Song
Nothing But the Wheel
The Most
Playing Heaven
Folsom Prison Blues
Time is Passing

Set 2:
Matter of Time
Pale Blue Eyes
It's All Over Again
Ripple
We're All the Way

 

4.25.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a (relatively) quick reminder that we're bringing our electric band to the Uptown in Oakland tonight for the very prestigious AMP3 (Association of Music Professionals) Spring Showcase. Opening the night will be Jeff
Campbell and Jamison Young, the latter described by one New York critic as "like drinking an electric fruit smoothie while lying in a hammock on the dark side of the moon" - let that sink in and check out that review and others at http://www.jamyoung.com.

Tue, April 22
AMP3 Spring Showcase
Famous Last Words Electric Band
The Uptown Nightclub
1928 Telegraph (at 19th), Oakland
Show starts at 8, we're on at 9:15

And don't forget, we'll be doing the electric thing again at the Sea Mi in Albany this Saturday night (4/29) from 8 - 11 pm.

In other news, the new and improved Kynd Music website is up and functional, including my latest Right Action column on "24." You can now easily leave a comment for the world to see on the kynder and gentler blog-style site:
http://www.kyndmusic.com.

For the archivists:

FLW acoustic trio at the Fillmore 4/22

Set 1:
Sweet Old World
Love Minus Zero
Maggie's Song
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Ripple
Matter of Time

Set 2:
Simple Twist of Fate
Nothing But the Wheel
Time is Passing

I don't need to tell you that playing a Dead tune at the Fillmore is a cool thing - like drinking an electric fruit smoothie while lying on a hammock in the mountains of the moon...

See you at the Uptown!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Richard Dry: back-seat percussion (he's got a back seat rhythm...)(like drinking an electric fruit smoothie on a highway to hell...)
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

4.28.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're closing out the month of April with a show tomorrow night (Sat.4/29) at the Sea Mi in Albany. The Sea Mi is in the spot of the old Club Muse, right next to the Ivy Room, and more importantly, right next to a parking
lot, which makes life a veritable dream in the Bay Area. They have good Thai food, a good bar, plus it's all ages.

We'll be playing as our electric band but for you gear-heads out there I'll be using my smaller amp without my effects rack. It's Kate's 29th birthday again so come prepared to party down - we're an American band, after all.

Next month will be pretty quiet on the gigging front, since we'll be focusing on the recording of our 3rd cd, so catch us while you can...

A story from the AMP3 showcase at the Uptown:

The stage monitor for the drums was adjusted to exponentially increase all of my vocals to ear-splitting levels and shrink Kate's to a gentle whisper - Jeremy informed me of this over the roar of "Bloody Knife" with accompanying looks of woe and misery.

I first tried to sing way off the mic but then realized this made no sense since nothing could be heard plus I looked stupid, standing in the middle of the stage and tilting my head away from the mic like I was George Bush and it was the truth - thinking quick I rushed over to Kate's mic - and Kate, thinking not quite as quick perhaps, assumed we were doing a musical chinese fire drill and ran over to sing in my mic. Needless to say, Jeremy's woes continued. The crowd, I think, assumed we were just enjoying a big stage where we could run around and around like Van Halen.

I tried to explain to Kate that my mic was too loud and should be out-of-commission, a strangely not-impossible task as the song somehow continued to play itself underneath us. Thankfully, we were heading into the experimental psychedelic jam section, and we worked out our frustrations on the sound waves of the room, emerging to sing the final reprise chorus into one mic. The song ended, the room cheered, and we survived once more to fight another day. As a loyal fan remarked to me at the end of the night"You know, it's never predictable with you guys."

For those of you who didn't witness the stage scrambling set:

4th of July
Maggie's Song
Bloody Knife
Folsom Prison Blues
It's All Over Again
Ripple
Matter of Time/Santana Jam
Encore:
Romeo and Juliet

Note the rarities - we'll pull out some cool songs at the Sea Mi - hope you can make it!

Famous Last Words Electric Band
Saturday April 29
Sea Mi, Albany
856 San Pablo (at Solano, next to the Ivy Room)
Just us all night, 8 - 11 pm

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Richard Dry: percussion
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

My new Right Action column on "24" is up, blog-style, at Kynd Music - now you can read it, read the comments, and post your own with no muss or fuss!
http://www.kyndmusic.com/?p=30

5.12.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Hope you're all well! Karl Rove will be indicted and resign!
Here are some shows you should know about:

Saturday May 27
FLW electric band
Sea Mi, Albany
856 San Pablo
8 - 11 pm.
(This will be like Kate's birthday gig at Sea Mi - except that, um, it won't be Kate's birthday...)

Friday June 9
FLW electric band
The Uptown, Oakland
1928 Telegraph (at 19th)
9:15 pm
This one will be barrels of fun - so it will be like Kate's birthday gig at Sea Mi - except that it's not Kate's birthday and it's also, um, not the Sea Mi.

But (and this is a big but - as Pee Wee Herman lamented in the classic "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" "Everyone I know always has a big 'but'") - there's a big stage with a drum riser so it will look really cool, too. Easy parking, easy to get to, you don't know how easy it is to love you)

Thursday June 15
FLW and Friends acoustic showcase
Sea Mi, Oakland
856 San Pablo (still)
8 -11 pm
(This will also not be Kate's birthday...)

In the meantime, you can catch our acoustic duo tomorrow (Saturday 5/13) at the very green Nomad Café in Oakland. A very intimate, low-key setting where we'll be exchanging tunes with Rick DiDia and Nate Cooper. The Nomad is an early show 7:30 - 9:30. All ages and they serve beer and organic food. 6500 Shattuck (at 65th) - just south of the Starry Plough.

Very special thanks to Meghan Jeanes for copious notes on last show's set list. She gets an "A."

Sea Mi 4/29
Set 1:
So Far Away
Sweet Old World
Lodi
Mama Tried
Walkin' After Midnight
Maggie's Song
It's All Over Again
Death Don't Have No Mercy

Set 2:
The Most
Playing Heaven
Ripple
Smells Like Candy
Sitting at the Bar
Matter of Time/Santana Jam
Turn on Your Lovelight
The Weight (w/Rick DiDia and Aireene Espiritu)

encore:
Don't Fear the Reaper
Bid You Goodnight

I'd like to point out that this show frickin' rocked. A special shout-out to mild-mannered drummer Jeremy and his on-stage demand to rock out instead of doing the customary "Bid You..." encore. I guess you never know what lurks inside those Kiplinger's boys. Kate's birthday JD helped, too.

See you at a show!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Richard Dry: percussion
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Also check out all the bloggin' comments on my "24" column:
http://www.kyndmusic.com/2006/04/25/rightaction-24-hours-at-the-bottom/

And if you're runnin' the world-famous Bay to Breakers in SF next Sunday,
watch for us jammin' in Golden Gate Park!

 

5.22.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We've got two great shows coming up - this Saturday May 27 our electric band
at the Sea Mi in Albany, then Friday June 9 our electric band at the Uptown
in Oakland. Details at the end of this email.

We are primed to play after a mythic musical experience yesterday at the Bay
to Breakers race in San Francisco.

It all started inauspiciously enough - in fact, downright gloomily with
defeat and despair staring us straight in the face. But we stared right
back.

The Bay to Breakers is a 95 year-old SF tradition, where they close the
streets for a 7 mile race that traverses the city and ends in Golden Gate
Park where bands line the sides every quarter mile or so to inspire the
runners and keep the party happening for the onlookers. It all starts at 8
am - our load-in time was 6:30 am. I'll take a paragraph break here to let
you absorb that load-in time.

Okay - I won't go into all the gory details, but as the day broke, we were,
um, tired and running a little late, the generator we rented and would have
to move weighed enough to collapse the universe around it, all the forecasts
were calling for the already slight drizzle to turn to thunderstorms, and
then Richard called us from the drive-through at McDonald's with a dead
battery. It was 7:00 am. This is the part where defeat and despair were
staring at us. A lesser band would have whined and cursed and given up. We
just whined and cursed. I think we were too tired to give up.

Richard's call had even more magnitude because Jeremy was home in bed and
Richard was gallantly assuming all drum duties. Somehow we got Richard
jumped and got to the park by 7:45, Kate engineering multiple moving
infractions in front of multiple police vehicles to get us to our designated
spot. We set up lots of cords and wires under imposing clouds - and started
to play as the first runner hit the park. Actually we weren't quite fully
set up so Richard played his drums as we plugged things in. It was good that
Richard had this 3 minutes of practice time since he hadn't played an actual
drum set for about 5 years and he needed to get the rust off. Literally.
Richard had just gotten his drums out of storage the day before and they had
some rust on them. And we had 4 hours to fill. As the next few runners
approached we slipped on our axes and fell into a laid-back blues to warm
up.

Bad call. I looked out as more runners ran by and our lazy blues wafted into
the air and sucked the very life out of everyone within hearing distance.
Kate could barely keep her head up, Richard was wishing he had his Egg
McMuffin, and the runners were trudging, stumbling, and slip-sliding away.
We may as well have been singing "I have no energy and want to fall over and
die." We stopped, thankfully. And Kate called for a song we've never opened
up with before - it was so crazy it just might work.

Then occurred one of those moments where music and life come together to
create a synergistic energy and you're not playing but channeling the energy
of the moment. And the moment lasts and lasts. As the ever-increasing crowd
of what would eventually be an estimated 62,000 runners came into Golden
Gate Park in the last leg of the race, the first thing they heard was FLW
tearing into "Turn On Your Lovelight". And they were pointing at us and
pumping their fists in the air and the people gathered around us were
grooving and dancing and more runners kept on coming and pumping their fists
at us and the song just kept going and we looked at each other and realized
this was the perfect song and we were loving life.

And then after about 10 minutes we realized we couldn't stop playing this
song BECAUSE this was the perfect song and everyone else was loving life and
these thousands of new runners kept pumping their fists at us. And we had 4
hours to fill and probably 60,000 runners left and even the most epic of
epic Lovelights probably couldn't do that (although it did cross my mind to
try...) but the runners kept coming and coming and the song kept playing and
playing.

We finally did stop after probably about 20 minutes. We remembered that we
knew some other tunes that rocked and as the hours went by the serious
runners passing by morphed into partiers and revelers dancing by, some in
costumes and some famously naked, so we could vary up the grooves and play
other songs. We played one song with a group of bears dancing with us and
singing into our mikes, and a blues that had big drunk people air-guitaring
all around us, and a closing "All Along the Watchtower" (which we'd never
played before so I had to show Kate the chords quickly before we started -
thank God there's only 3 of 'em) that had scores of young girls swarming all
around the one of us who was singing, which was certainly rivaling the swarm
of big drunk air-guitarists, and the cool thing was that we were part of the
holy weirdness that is San Francisco, not just at the 2006 Bay to Breakers
but as part of the Grand Mythic Golden Gate Park Grateful Dead Be Naked and
Free And Out of Your Head San Francisco celebration of non-conformity of
poets and beats and artists and painters that's been happening for 95 years
and more in this (in a nickname with really odd connotations now) Baghdad by
the Bay. Put that in your pipes and smoke it, GOP.

Join us for the continuing tradition at the Sea Mi and Uptown:

Saturday May 27
FLW Electric Band
Sea Mi, Albany
856 San Pablo
8 - 11 pm

Friday June 9
FLW Electric Band
The Uptown, Oakland
1928 Telegraph (at 19th)
9:15 pm

And for the archivists:

Nomad Café, 5/13
Acoustic Duo (alternating sets)
Set 1:
Maggie's Song
Banish
Matter of Time
Set 2:
Playing Heaven
The Most
Sloe Hank

Bay to Breakers, Golden Gate Park 5/21
As best we can remember:
Turn On Your Lovelight (and leave it on - really - for a long time)
Bank Robber
Ripple
Don't Fear the Reaper
Smells Like Candy
So Far Away
Lodi
Tangled Up in Blue
Chimes of Freedom
Matter of Time
Lay Down Sally
The Weight
Red House/Rock Me Baby
Love Me Like a Man
All Along the Watchtower

16 songs in 4 hours - you do the math. That's some long jams...

See you at a show!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Richard Dry: percussion, (drums at Bay to Breakers)
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."


6.2.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

A pretty quick reminder about our show next Friday (June 9) at the Uptown in Oakland. Located at 1928 Telegraph (at 19th) it's easy to get to and easy to park. Two bands, we're on first and we get a nice long set. The other band is "Sleepy Alligator" - playing lots o' Grateful Dead - come help us give them a run for their money (what they want) - now that our Bay to Breakers epic "Lovelight" has comfortably nestled its way into FLW mythic lore...

Here's the skinny:

Friday June 9
FLW Electric Band
With Sleepy Alligator
The Uptown, Oakland
1928 Telegraph (at 19th)
9:15 pm

For the archivists, here's set lists from our Sea Mi show (5/27) - one electric set sandwiched between 2 acoustics:

Set 1 (acoustic):
Restless
Simple Twist of Fate
The Most
Sloe Hank
Time is Passing
Playing Heaven
Lodi

Set 2 (electric):
Maggie's Song
Matter of Time
Ripple
Freeways and Marriotts
Witness

Set 3 (acoustic):
Love Minus Zero
It's All Over Again
Pale Blue Eyes
We're All the Way
Bid You Goodnight

And my new "Right Action" column is up at Kynd Music - check it out at: http://www.kyndmusic.com/2006/06/01/rightaction-sacrifice-something-you-love

See you at the Uptown!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
Richard Dry: percussion
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Note to Dr. John (and anyone else with lots of time on their hands and lyrics on the brain): Are you satisfied with the relatively obscure musical allusion buried herein? A beer at the show to the first person to identify it!

 

6.17.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Summer's here and the time is right...

First off, Kate and I are hosting a night of acoustic music at the Sea Mi in
Albany, next Thursday 6/22. We'll play some songs as our acoustic duo, have
some space for open mic adventures, and will also feature sets by
vocalist/ukelele master Aireene Espiritu (who has lent her considerable
vocal talents to FLW encores of "The Weight") and
singer/songwriter/guitarist Jayde Cronin, a friend from back in the day.

Jayde was part of a Berkeley contingent of singer/songwriters who hung out
at the Freight open mic's and then would repair to her house for late-night
jammin' and shenanigans until her upstairs neighbor called to tell us to
stop (she didn't mind the loudness, but for some reason she hated the
Beatles and once made it to her phone to call after the first 3 notes -
literally, I'm not making this up - of Sir Paul's "Maybe I'm Amazed" were
gently sounded by yours truly on Jayde's old piano. We were all truly
amazed). And by the way, Paul's 64 this Sunday and I say we still need
him...

And mark your calendars for Saturday July 8 for our only electric show of
the summer at the Starry Plough in Berkeley. It'll be a blast, with Rick
DiDia (who's also lent his vocal skills to FLW's "The Weight" encores)
opening up and us in the coveted middle slot.

The rest of the summer will include some acoustic duo shows in LA (where
we'll drive through her suburbs into her blues. Yeah into her blues. Whoa
c'mon.) and finishing up our much ballyhooed 3rd cd.

Thursday June 22
Famous Last Words acoustic duo
With Aireene Espiritu and Jayde Cronin
Sea Mi, Albany

Saturday July 8
Famous Last Words Electric Band
With Rick DiDia
Starry Plough, Berkeley
3101 Shattuck Ave

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
And my "Right Action" column:
http://www.kyndmusic.com/category/columns/rightaction/

For the archivists:

Uptown 6/9/2006:
Bank Robber
Maggie's Song
Folsom Prison Blues
It's All Over, Again
Smells Like Candy
Playing Heaven
Ripple
Matter of Time/Drums/Santana Jam
Turn On Your Lovelight

And attached is a visual to go with the set list...

 

6.30.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Here's a reminder for the Starry Plough show next Saturday July 8. It's our
last Bay Area full-band electric show before the acoustic duo hits the road
again for our SoCal tour. We've got the coveted middle-slot, with old friend
singer/songwriter Delta-slide-guitar-ace Rick DiDia opening up. The Plough
is a cool venue with a storied past - its stage having been graced with
legendary performances by the likes of Esme's Dream and Personal Demons - as
well as some bands that I haven't been in.

And for those of you who plan way ahead, mark your calendars for 10:30 am on
Sept. 26 when we'll be guests in studio on the Bay Area's KFOG - 104.5 on
your FM dial - ("World Class Rock" - San Francisco's answer to Pittsburgh's
WDVE - for those of you not residing in these environs...). By then
summertime will have come and gone (my, oh my) and our new cd should be in
the can, as they say.

But back to more pressing concerns - come on out to the Starry Plough next
Saturday - It's summertime and the living's easy...

Saturday July 8
Famous Last Words Electric Band
Starry Plough, Berkeley
3101 Shattuck Ave.
With Rick DiDia and Future Pilgrim
9:30 pm

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com (click and check out the SoCal tour
dates...)
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

And for the archivists:

Sea Mi 6/22 Acoustic Duo Showcase in-the-Round

Set 1:
Maggie's Song
Nothing But the Wheel

Set 2:
Sitting at the Bar
The Most
Playing Heaven

Set 3:
Matter of Time
Death Don't Have No Mercy
We're All the Way
Bid You Goodnight


7.7.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Just a quick reminder that we're playing at the storied Starry Plough in
Berkeley this Saturday July 8. Opening the show is old friend and
singer-songwriter/slide-guitar maestro Rick DiDia. We're in the coveted
middle slot and Future Pilgrim closes the show. The fun starts at 9:30 pm.

The Plough is easy to get to and easy to park at, and it's our last full
electric show before our SoCal acoustic duo dates, so come out and enjoy the
summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime.

Also, check out my new "Right Action" column on KyndMusic. Neil Young, Live
Aid, Woodstock, and the Secret Policeman's Balls...(no I didn't make that
joke in the column but yes, they made it on the cd's). Also includes
Thoreau, Bowie, Bono, and Spandau Ballet for those of you really looking for
the flavor-of-a-long-ago-day that you never thought would cross your
consciousness again. Blame it on Rio, blame it on Cain, let's say it was the
moonlight, it must have been the roses. It's already garnered some worthy
comments which you can read at the bottom:

http://www.kyndmusic.com

That's all folks - I told you this would be A Quick One...

Saturday July 8
Famous Last Words Electric Band
Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Ave (just south of Ashby)
With Rick DiDia and Future Pilgrim
9:30 pm

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

7.12.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

FLW - coming into Los Angeleeze.

Yes, we're heading to tinsel town, la-la land, the city of angels, lonely as
I am, together we cry. We'll be drivin' down her freeways as the midnight
alleys roam. We'll get a steady job, hauling items for the mob. We'll drive
for miles and miles up those twisting turning roads, higher and higher and
higher we'll climb. After 5 shows in 5 days, just like sheeeeee - had to
leave - Los Angeles - we'll head on back to the Bay Area. But hopefully with
Randy Newman echoing in our heads - "I love LA - we love it!"

For those of you in the area or who know anyone in the area (excluding
Wolfram and Hart), here's the
FLW Acoustic Duo "I'll Hit the Road Again" SoCal Tour dates:

Friday, July 14 - Cafee Luna, San Luis Obispo
Saturday, July 15 - Cisco's, San Luis Obispo
Sunday, July 16 - Synergy Café, Culver City
Monday, July 17 - Kulak's Woodshed, Hollywood
Tuesday, July 18 - Room 5 Lounge, Los Angeles

We'll be back in time to host another acoustic showcase at the Sea Mi on
Thursday July 20. Open mic from 8- 9, then alternating in-the-round sets
with FLW acoustic duo, vocalist/ukelele-ist Aireene Espiritu (both of whom
need no introduction to this mailing list) and newcomer-to-us Deborah Crooks
who writes "blues-edged songs in the tradition of Lucinda Williams and Patty
Griffin." Bring your axe and show up for the open mic!

Thursday July 20
Sea Mi, Albany
856 San Pablo (next to the Ivy Room)
8 - 11 pm.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Starry Plough on Saturday! A good
time rock and roll show with a psychedelic jam in "Bloody Knife" so
happening that I think I pulled a muscle. "A Guitar Odyssey!" enthused local luminary Joe Rut,
perhaps intuiting that Bloody Knife actually references "The Odyssey" a few times.
Here's the set list:

Starry Plough 7/8/06

Bank Robber
Maggie's Song
It’s all over, Again
Folsom Prison Blues
Playing Heaven
The Most
Bloody Knife
Matter of Time
Bid You Goodnight

See you at a show!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

 

7.20.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're hosting an open mic and acoustic showcase tonight at the Sea Mi in
Albany - Open mic is from 8 -9 and then our acoustic duo will alternate sets
with Aireene Espiritu and Deborah Crooks for an "in-the-round" vibe. The Sea
Mi is easy to get to and has its own parking lot so life is good.

There were some questions on the LA allusions in the last email so I will
provide the following answer key, in order of appearance:

1. Arlo Guthrie, "Coming into Los Angeles"
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Under the Bridge"
3. Doors, "LA Woman"
4. Grateful Dead, "West LA Fadeaway"
5. Bob Seger, "Hollywood Nights"
6. X, "Los Angeles"
7. Randy Newman, "I Love LA"

And for the archivists, here's the set lists from our first and last shows
of the tour - the rest is a blur...

Caffe Luna, 7/14
Sweet Old World
So Far Away
Simple Twist of Fate
Death Don't Have No Mercy
Maggie's Song
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Romeo and Juliet
Nothing but the Wheel
Big River
Matter of Time
The Most
Still the Night
Mama Tried

Room 5 Lounge, 7/18
Maggie's Song
Matter of Time
Playing Heaven
Sitting at the Bar

See you at the Sea Mi!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums (but not at this show)
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Don't forget to read my latest "Right Action" column:
http://www.kyndmusic.com

7.26.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

We're doing an acoustic duo show this Thursday 7/27 at the Calypso Bar and
Grill in Orinda. Caribbean food and a sterling bar, according to Kate, an
aficionado of this sort of thing (though I've never been...Daniel says it's
the best place he's eh-eh-eh-eh-ever seen). We play from 8 - 10.

No other news to report so maybe I'll eject now before another questionable
allusion strikes.

Famous Last Words acoustic duo
Thursday July 27
Calypso Bar and Grill
2 Theater Square, No. 153 (off Moraga Way), Orinda
8 - 10 pm

Hope to see you!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums (but not this time - no you're never gonna get it...)
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com

 

9.14.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Long time, no communicado - but I wanted to let you know about a special
acoustic showcase we're hosting next Thursday 9/21 at the Sea Mi in Albany.
The evening starts with an open mic from 8 - 9 pm so this is a great
opportunity to bring your axe and shred (acoustically, that is). Then we'll
do the FLW acoustic duo thing and alternate short sets in a round (rockin')
robin with Joel Murach and Jolie.

Joel Murach is a great singer-songwriter whose credits include the band "86"
and the song "It Looks Like I'll Never Be a Rock Star" - both of which I
gave much props to in a "Right Action" column a few months back. You can
refresh your memory here:
http://www.kyndmusic.com/2006/06/01/rightaction-sacrifice-something-you-love
/
Jolie is Kate's contribution to the night so I can only vouch by relying on
Kate's good name and taste, plus assuming that you've got to have something
going for you if you go by one name only, eg Bono, Sting, Beck, Madonna,
Cher...

Anyway, it should be a fun night and a great opportunity to catch our
acoustic duo show in a cool collaborative setting!

Parking is insanely easy - there's a frickin' parking lot right there for
free...

FLW and Friends Acoustic Showcase and Open Mic
Thursday Sept 21
Sea Mi Restaurant, Albany
856 San Pablo (at Solano, next to the soon-to-be-defunct Ivy Room)
8 pm

See you there!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox, harp
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums (but not at this show)
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

P.s. I noticed that along with our All Music Guide review, there's room to
write customer reviews on our iTunes page. Feel free to pen a few lines if
the mood strikes you...

Also attached - a kind of mellow shot from the Uptown show to get you in the
acoustic mood, and a shot of what I did on my summer vacation in L.A....

11.15.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

My new "Right Action" column is up at Kynd Music:

Clapton, Dickey Betts, the Dead, Richard Dry, Sting, Fleetwood Mac, Wynton
Marsalis, Spinal Tap, Elton John, Layla, Jimmy Buffet, Mark Knopfler, Pink
Floyd, and the Beatles -

Take a gander and tell me what you think...or post a comment right there...
http://www.kyndmusic.com

In other FLW news, I've gotten word from the street that some raw, one-mic
FLW studio jams of previously unreleased material will be up on the web soon
- I'll let you know where and when you can sneak preview the 3rd cd...

Hope all is well out there...

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

P.s. Santorum and Pombo who?

12.2.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

It's come to my attention that my name has been bandied about in a
"guitarslingers" forum along with fellow axemen Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen
(of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna), and Steve Kimock. Very flattering -
you can check it out at:

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=76474

(The thread begins with robthewordsmith)

You will also notice on the last post there that you can now stream 4 FLW
songs on the Kynd website. These are upolished studio jams of tunes not
previously available on any cd. Included are 3 original songs that will be
on the upcoming cd (Bloody Knife, Freeways and Marriotts, Playing Heaven) as
well as a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes" and a mammoth
epic-length (think Dazed and Confused, Sister Ray, Supper's Ready, Dark
Star, Echoes, Thick as a Brick - well, maybe not Thick as a Brick) version
of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" interpolating with one of the
originals.

The jams are long, the spaces trippy, the chances taken. No overdubs or even
minor adjustments. One mic hanging from the ceiling capturing the reality of
the moment. It's the truth, the whole truth, and nothin' but the truth.
Listen in all of their "unpolished glory" and then, if you're so inclined,
leave a comment!

http://www.kyndmusic.com

And speaking of the truth, note all the comments on the latest Right Action
column - get on the bus before the next column comes around...

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."


12.12.06

FLW Friends and Fans:

Hope you're having a good holiday season...As John Lennon sang "War is over,
if you want it, war is over now"

We've gotten quite the enthusiastic response to the "unpolished glory" of
our extended studio jams streaming on Kynd. If you haven't checked them out
yet, head on over, click on the song titles, and enjoy the ride. Included is
an epic Rockin' in the Free World > Freeways and Marriotts > Rockin' in the
Free World. You didn't have to be there then because you can be there now.
At the very least, check out the fun comments...

The link is too long to copy here and have it work. But you can just go to
Kynd and click at the bottom of the page on "more articles" - it's called
"New Tunes: Rockin' in the Freeways and Marriotts World" - you'll see it.

And speakin' of Kynd, there's a brand spankin' new Right Action column up
now. Advisory: some material may not be suitable for all audiences. It's a
real life psychedelic take on "Borat" - you probably haven't seen that
before.

You'll see that right at the top of the home page.

http://www.kyndmusic.com

Happy reading and happy holidays!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com


1.8.07

FLW Friends and Fans:

It's been a while but we're back - Friday Jan. 19 at the Starry Plough in
Berkeley. Full electric band in the coveted middle slot. Tracy Rice opens up
and Culann's Hounds will have to light their axes on fire to follow us...

And the next week we're hitting the road for a very special acoustic duo
show at Tangier's in L.A.

If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, check out some streaming
live jams and fan comments at:
http://xrl.us/t45n

If you missed the latest Right Action installment, you've missed quite the
ride. Check out:
http://www.kyndmusic.com/rightaction

We hit the sack, it's been too long, we're glad to be back. We're let loose,
from the noose...got 9 lives, cat's eyes, abusing every one of them and
running wild (plus teaching an intersession course...)

Friday January 19
Famous Last Words electric band
Starry Plough, Berkeley
3101 Shattuck Ave.
9:30 pm

Thursday January 25
Famous Last Words acoustic duo
Tangier's, Los Angeles
2138 Hillhurst Ave.
9:00 pm

Come on out and have a pint with your FLW friends!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."


1.15.07

FLW Friends and Fans:

Happy MLK Day - here's hoping the dream becomes reality...

Just a quick reminder that we're bringing our electric band to the Starry
Plough in Berkeley this Friday night. Tracy Rice opens the show and SF's
Culann's Hounds closes the night. We have the coveted middle slot.

Personally, I'll be ready to play having just finished teaching an
intersession course (or as one student put it in their final paper "thanks
for the great intercourse"...)

Friday January 19
FLW Electric Band
Starry Plough, Berkeley
3101 Shattuck Ave (just south of Ashby)
9:30 pm

See you there!

Famous Last Words:
Jeff Zittrain: guitar, vox
Kate Burkart: bass, vox
Jeremy DeGroot: drums
http://www.famouslastwordsband.com
"We Rock. And We're Deeply Sensitive."

Our jams are up at archive.org. Check it out and leave a comment if you'd
like!
http://www.archive.org/details/flw2006-09-00.studio.shn

If you haven't yet seen us live, check out this description:

"...and we played our wanting of the world like the possessed patriots of
freedom that we really were. No wonder the Establishment was afraid of us.
We had gone Dionysian! Pan was with us. The maenads were with us. The muse
Euterpe was with us. And they were all whirling and dancing in a delirium of
ecstasy, of exhilaration, of joy. We were in the divine moment and all
pretense was abandoned. We were our real, naked selves and we were playing
our instruments with our souls. Everything was on the line and because it
was...everything was alive. That's the reward you get when you make the leap
into the void. Into the energy!"

Okay, so that's Ray Manzarek's description of a Doors show in 1967...but you
get the point...