Sunday, April 9, 2017

Any Song. Anywhere. Anytime. Six Years Of Live Broadcasts For Live-Streaming Pioneer Moonalice

Moonalice live broadcast on an iPad
Six years ago this week, San Fran psychedelic roots jam band Moonalice began live satellite broadcasts using HTML5. What began with iPads and iPhones streaming without an app has now extended to Android, PC, you name it. “The system is surprisingly inexpensive,” Moonalice front man and founder Roger McNamee commented at the time. “We paid a guy to write an HTML5 API and we found a carrier willing to provide bandwidth and storage at cost. The satellite system offers more bandwidth than alternatives at the same price.” 

Why the broadcasts? “People couldn’t have cared less about Moonalice, so we had to use technology just to get off the ground. We figured out Twitter, Facebook, live streaming. It’s not that nobody had ever done it, but nobody had ever been dependent on it the way we were. Instead of a manager or publicist, we spent money on technology and social media. Technology was a lot cheaper and we have built a whole community was around this,” Roger elaborated.

“Moonalice is more like a tribute to a style of show,” Roger explained. “That communal, artistic, very hippie-driven model we grew up with. Technology allowed us to do it. Before buying a ticket or an album, fans could listen to our music online and decide if they liked it. I don’t understand why younger bands aren’t aggressive around this. If your audience was 18-25, this would work 100 times better than it does for us.”

Poster by Chris Shaw
"The original decision to use HTML5 was economic: it was obvious from day one that native apps on iOS and Android would be more expensive and would leave us at the mercy of platform vendors who would never give us the time of day. The app market has been a train wreck for all but a few players, yet almost everyone still makes them," said Roger.

Fast forward to today. "How time flies ... this week is the 6th anniversary of MoonTunesTM  the HTML5 player that enables Moonalice to stream concerts live to PCs and smart phones,” Roger reminisced. “We have broadcast many hundreds of shows since then, including the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Weather-permitting, we will broadcast today's show from the Good Old Days Festival in Pacific Grove at 1pm PT in HD on http://www.moonalice.com."

Moonalice was also the first band to broadcast all its shows via Facebook Live. Below is the first set from the band's show at Paciaifc Grove yesterday. The benefit of these live broadcasts on Facebook is not only that fans can make comments and communicate with each other during the broadcasts, but the reach is orders of magnitude higher than sharing via link or even an upload. How much larger? Moonalice's reach is regularly in the region of 300- 500K, which translates to a lot of very happy fans!


"Thanks to our amazing Moonalice team, MoonTunesTM remains the highest performance and lowest cost streaming platform on earth. Thanks to our fans, it has an enthusiastic following. We're proud of it," Roger concluded.

Any song. Anywhere. Anytime. Yesterday I watched the three Moonalice sets from the Good Old Days Festival in Pacific Grove, from a park, on the Interstate, and from my favorite Indian restaurant. Rock on, Moonalice!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Re-Live The Summer That Rocked The World

"The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll" reception last night at the de Young Museum saw Partner, Enthusiast, Sustaining, Supporting, and Contributor Members celebrating the 50th anniversary of the colorful counter culture that blossomed in San Francisco, as they enjoyed an exclusive first look at the exhibition before it opens to the public on Saturday 8 April. 

The experience immerses you in the sights, sounds, and cultural achievements of a summer that rocked the world. Turn back time as you enjoy music, film screenings, art-making, artist-led tours and more while helping celebrate the 50th anniversary of San Francisco's 1967 Summer of Love. Highlights include screen-printing demonstrations by poster art activists, live music from San Francisco Airship and a community-led Human Be-In(volved).

Photograph by Marc Margolis
Featuring a wide array of iconic rock posters, period photographs, interactive music and light shows, “out-of-this-world” clothing, and avant-garde films, this exhibition celebrates San Francisco’s rebellious and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the 1967 Summer of Love. This immersive experience explores, through a succession of themed galleries, the visual and material cultures of a generation searching for personal fulfillment and social change. Presenting key cultural artifacts of the time, San Francisco’s Summer of Love introduces and explores the events and experiences that today define this dynamic era.

“This show is incredible!!! It tells a wonderful story, including, art, music and clothing. The archives of the Haight Street Art Center and Center for Counterculture Studies are well represented," commented Roger McNamee of Bay Area psychedelic jam band Moonalice. "There are 25 or 26 pieces ... keep your eyes peeled!!!” 

Photograph by Marc Margolis
Check out the full program for opening day, and use the hashtag #SummerofLoveSF to share your thoughts and photos during the day via Twitter and Instagram, and watch out for a special Summer of Love geofilter on Snapchat.

All activities are free and open to the public. Pop-up tours require an exhibition ticket. Seats for ‘REVOLUTION’ and 'Berkeley in the Sixties' are free and offered on a first come, first served basis. Fees apply for admission to the special exhibition, ‘The Summer of Love Experience.’

The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll runs April 8th through August 20th at the de Young Museum. Tickets can be purchased at deyoungmuseum.org.

Venue: de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco , CA 94118

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Moonalice - The Dream Continues

Image: Bob Minkin
Flashback to an interview that Roger McNamee, founder of American folk/roots-with-jam band Moonalice gave in 2015:  

“What I would say to anyone who is reading this is just remember…if you’ve got a dream, never let go. Not ever. You’re gonna have setbacks. I’ve had dozens of them. Some of them have been really horrible. You just, you don’t ever really want to let go because there’s always a chance to have an up after a down. And, in my case, each down has lead to a more interesting up. I don’t know what the next one will be, be, but I look forward to it whatever it ends up being,” he said.

Following your dreams is a recurring theme for both Moonalice and Roger, who has commented about fan favorite, ‘Nick Of Time’ saying, “The song is deeply optimistic, which reflects my philosophy.”

High tech. meets high touch

Moonalice is unique for both its tech. and its tribe - The Tribe is how Moonalice fans describe themselves - with nearly half-a-million fans on social media. 

“We were consciously created to apply technology to the music industry. Being our age, and playing original music and not being a tribute band, we had to use technology to reach people. So the combination of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and then, especially, the video broadcast of every concert. That has been transformational. What’s been really funny is it turns out it wasn’t that expensive to broadcast all the shows,” Roger explained.

The dream continues

After a winter hiatus, Moonalice fans were thrilled to see the announcement of 2017 tour dates which include a SoCal tour, a number of festivals as well as the highly popular and regularly sold-out "Gathering Of The Tribe" at Slim's in San Francisco.

“The 2017 Moonalice tour begins on March 30 with four shows in SoCal with our friends, Cubensis- Grateful Dead Music Experience,” Roger recently posted on Facebook. “Click through to see the dates through early May ... including 4/20 at Slim's!!! Please bring your dancing shoes!!!”


Moonalice is a psychedelic, roots-rock band of seasoned musicians mixing a variety of genres with extended musical improvisations that evoke a sense of adventure and exploration. Everyone is a part of the experience and the music inspires dancing and other acts of self expression.



Every show has an original art poster created by a well-known artist memorializing that event and given to all attendees…each poster has its own Moonalice legend. All concerts are broadcast live in HD and available in archive shortly after their set.


Moonalice plays mostly original material mixed with several covers, and during their extended freeform jams the band moves as one, drawing from many musical genres honed from years of experience playing with various major acts. Their single "It's 4:20 Somewhere" has been downloaded over 6 million times.

Moonalice is:
  • John Molo: Drums, Vocals. (Bruce Hornsby & The Range, John Fogerty, Phil Lesh & Friends, The Other Ones, David Nelson Band).
  • Barry Sless: Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Bass. (Phil Lesh & Friends, David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Cowboy Jazz).
  • Roger McNamee: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Bass. (Guff, The Engineers, Random Axes, Flying Other Brothers)
  • Pete Sears: Bass, Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals (Sam Gopal Dream, Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Jerry Garcia, Hot Tuna, John Lee Hooker, David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh & Friends).
  • Big Steve Parish: Road Scholar/Medicine Man/Storyteller. (Grateful Dead crew for 26 years, co-founder of Jerry Garcia Band)
Fun fact - Moonalice's first show was in May, 2007, which means that the band has a milestone birthday in 2017!





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Making The Pokémon GO - World Water Day Connection

Image: The Pokémon Company
In January Niantic and The Pokémon Company teamed up with the Global Goals and Project Everyone campaigns to raise awareness of issues through special Pokémon GO locations at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was described in the media as more of an encouragement for conscientious, tech-savvy WEF attendees than a concerted attempt to sway influencers - it's helpful, but not game-changing. 

Today, World Water Day, Niantic announced a new promotion, Make a Splash in Pokémon GO, but did not make the connection to the relevance of the day.
Waves of Water-type Pokémon are coming your way in Pokémon GO  
Starting at 1 p.m. PDT on March 22, 2017, more Water types are headed to Pokémon GO! Look for the Water-type Pokémon Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their Evolutions to appear more frequently all around the world. Additionally, when you're out exploring areas where Water types commonly appear, you'll have a greater chance to encounter several of the Water-type Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region. If you're fortunate enough, you might even encounter Lapras!
The deluge of Water-type Pokémon will last until 1 p.m. PDT on March 29. Good luck discovering more of these Pokémon around the world in Pokémon GO.
Co-incidence? I’d like to think not. But since Niantic are not making the connection, I will.

I’m celebrating World Water Day by watching Watershed #mywaterstory streaming live from the Vatican. This afternoon I'll head out in search of Totodile.

Making the connection. That’s #mywaterstory today.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Old books exquisitely repurposed into whimsical tea time items

Image: Cecilia Levy
Swedish artist Cecilia Levy makes beautiful art objects - including everyday items like cups, saucers and tea pots – using small pieces of paper taken from old books and comics, preferably from the last century. 

Trained originally as a graphic designer and bookbinder, Cecilia’s passion for books led to some creative experimentation beginning in 2009. 

“I began experimenting with 3-dimensional shapes; taking apart an old book, tearing it into small pieces and pasting them back together again (resulting in a wobbly, but expressive, bowl). I had suddenly found "my" material. Ever since then I'm on the lookout for suitable old books,” she explained.

Cecilia’s work celebrates the passage of time - original stains and marks on the paper remain and add both depth and character. The art objects are created using papier-mâché techniques, and are not varnished, so that the emphasis remains on the paper itself. This means that works like the teacups are for appreciation in terms form rather than in actual function. With these cups one sips with one’s eyes as opposed to one’s lips, and the refreshment comes from an appreciation of an art form that is an ingenious as it is exquisite.
“The book is recreated in a way, but takes on a new form. The two-dimensional becomes three-dimensional. The process is slow and meditative,” Cecilia Levy.
Image: Cecilia Levy
The words on the pages Cecilia selects are more than decoration on the beautifully made art pieces - they are the entrance to a world of enchantment. 

It is easy to let one’s imagination follow those thoughts down a rabbit hole to a magical place where the March hare or the white rabbit are sipping from these at a tea time table. 

The content of books that may otherwise have gone to waste lives on in memory’s mystic band in Cecilia’s whimsical and magical art.

Follow Cecilia's art journey on her website and on Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

New High Pressure Processing Council Launches at ProFood Tech

Council aims to advance High Pressure Processing (HPP) as a critical technology for the food and beverage industry. 
Jeff Williams, President, Avure Technologies
PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, has announced the formation of an industry council focused on the advancement of High Pressure Processing (HPP) as a critical technology in the food and beverage industry. Convened by PMMI, the HPP Council will address questions about the technology while developing and formalizing industry best practices. The new council will also promote networking among professionals using this processing technology.

High Pressure Processing transitioned from the lab to the production floor almost 20 years ago. Now, it is gaining greater recognition among consumer packaged goods companies for a variety of products. “In this age where consumer choice is critical, HPP is a cost-effective method for processors to maintain taste, texture and nutrition while providing the clean label consumers are looking for,” says Jeff Williams, president of Avure Technologies, and a founding member of this Council.

In today’s regulatory environment, the technology is gaining importance. “HPP allows food processors to achieve significant benefits in terms of food safety and extended shelf-life. The formation of this Council will help us take this technology to the next level,” adds Jaime Nicolas-Correa, Director Hiperbaric USA, one of the founding members of the Council.


The Council officially launches at ProFood Tech (April 4-6; McCormick Place, Chicago). Founding members will share the latest process insights and successes in a session on the ProFood Tech Innovation Stage on Wednesday, April 5 at 2:30 p.m. The group will also host a booth (Booth #937) on the show floor and will participate in the OpX Leadership Network’s Executive Council meeting.

“HPP is a critical technology in the food and beverage industry and it only makes sense to launch this Council at the most comprehensive food and beverage show in North America, ProFood Tech,” says Justin Segel, Chief Executive Officer of American Pasteurization Company, LLC, and a founding member of the Council.

Bringing together more than 6,000 processing professionals, ProFood Tech is an ideal venue for the industry to come together and share information about this technology. “We encourage show attendees to take the time to learn more about the benefits of HPP and get involved in this new Council. We look forward to an open exchange of ideas and best practices among industry professionals interested in this technology,” says Mark Duffy, CEO, Universal Pasteurization Company LLC and Universal Cold Storage LLC, another founding member of the Council.

A breakfast session on Wednesday morning, April 5, 8:30 a.m. at ProFood Tech will enable all interested parties to meet the founding members and hear more about the objectives of this organization as well as opportunities to join. Check profoodtech.com for the final agenda and location of the breakfast.

ProFood Tech is the only event in North America focused exclusively on all food and beverage sectors, including Baking & Snack, Beverage, Frozen/Prepared Foods, Dairy and Meat/Poultry/Seafood. This event will offer a full range of food and beverage processing solutions from both large companies that serve several market segments and smaller niche companies that focus on more specific needs. ProFood Tech will include 400+ of the world’s top suppliers, 150,000 net square feet of exhibit floor, and 45 hours of blockbuster educational programming.

For more information and to register, go to profoodtech.com.








Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Daydream Doodling Inside The Box

I spent a fascinating morning in The Pfister Hotel's Pop-Up Gallery today. 

Artist Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri’s INSIDE THE BOX exhibit invites you to literally step inside the boxes entitled The Lounge, The Drawing Room, and my personal favorite, The Retreat. The immersive environments invite you to leave a mark on the world, to share part of your self.
"This project is a metaphor for that inner place we go to when we take creative risks.  It also represents the playful creative spaces we built as children, like a tent made of blankets, or a shelter made of branches, places where we felt secure and free to express ourselves."
"It was a knee-jerk reaction to the phrase ‘think outside the box.’ To me, it’s trite and empty.  I mean, every brushstroke, every creation, is a risk.  When we take our biggest risks, we go inside.  That’s why this is called ‘Inside the Box,’ because it’s like getting inside the self."
Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri

Inner playful places to go when we take creative risks? That also offer an emotional oasis? That could only mean one thing...and with a mental hop, skip and a jump it was down the rabbit hole for me, and a happy couple of minutes spent daydream doodling about Moonalice - my favorite band, and about to start their 2017 tour.

What good is a doodle without the requisite Instagram to record it? Which of course involved a further few happy minutes as I fussed to get the shadows just right for my handiwork.
"I don’t like the word ‘should.’  It’s a difficult word.  I’d prefer ‘I could do ___.’  This is all about letting go of ‘should’ so that people have the freedom to create what they want.  These are safe spaces, then, with no requirements.  I ask people to try to refrain from using the word ‘should’ while they create in the boxes."
Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri
I like to think that Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri would have smiled if she could have seen me daydream doodling and having so much fun inside her art today.


Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri’s INSIDE THE BOX exhibit runs through March 4th 2017 in The Pfister’s Pop-Up Gallery.  

The Moonalice 2017 Tour begins 30 March. Fans of San Fran psychedelic rock can find details of their tour here


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Don't Let Your Love Story Be Another Creature's Unhappy Ending

This balloon was untangled & recovered from the tree.
If you love them, don't let them go. Hang onto those balloons. What goes up will come down, and when it does, it will be litter and may also kill countless creatures through ingestion, entanglement or strangulation. And let’s not forget the possibility of getting stuck in power lines and the resultant outages. 

This post, which came up in my Facebook feed last night describes an all-to-often seen scenario:
“At Moss Landing today: two women walked up to the edge of the Jetty with 8 heart shaped Mylar balloons. I was hoping they were just going to take a photo but watched in horror and disbelief as they released them to be taken by the wind to the waters of our Marine Sanctuary. Some kind of memorial or celebration? What they thought was positive was actually seriously negative! I let them know kindly that those balloons could end up killing marine life (thousands of turtles, birds and mammals die from balloons every year). Please, please do not release balloons...and share with everyone the tragic consequences balloons visit on beautiful and precious marine life.”
Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
In another a post this morning a friend shared photos showing how he had filled his car with balloons for his son’s birthday. There were photos of some of them floating off into the sky. So pretty to look at, and I could imagine the delight of his son looking at them float away. So potentially deadly to other creatures.

Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “Sea turtles are especially hit hard as they surface to breathe and eat and commonly eat balloons.”


There are so many ways we can show our love. Our love story shouldn't mean another creature's unhappy ending. 


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Augmented Reality At Milwaukee Icon - The Pfister Hotel


Cold doesn't keep me from walking, but cold combined with freezing rain? That's a horse of a different color, which is how I found myself walking indoor laps and playing Pokémon GO during a recent stay at Milwaukee icon, The Pfister Hotel. As I meandered along the second floor corridor overlooking the lobby, to my delight, I found that The Pfister has an augmented reality art tour – called appropriately enough, The Pfister Augmented Reality Tour (PAR). 

Melding 21st century technology with the history and tradition, PAR allows guests and public alike to tour the hotel’s historic features and expansive Victorian art collection in an immersive experience. It is a modern twist on the traditional art tour offered by the hotel, providing users with additional historical features, games and video content to view on their smartphones.

As we were about to check out I didn’t have a lot of time to play with PAR, but what I did experience was enough to have me looking forward to my next visit so that I can explore more.

Set up is easy:

1. Use your phone and simply download the Wikitude app. For iPhone/iPad: Visit the Apple App store to download The Pfister Hotel - AR Art Tour. For Android: Visit the Google Play store to download The Pfister Hotel - Art Tour

2. Now you’re ready to begin interacting with the artwork. Throughout the hotel you will find several pieces of scan-able artwork marked with score cards located next to each “active” piece. To help finding these there are maps showing where the scan-able pieces are located.

3. Once you have interacted with the pieces, you can check them off on the list in the app. For completing the tour you will be rewarded with a special pricing on the award-winning book, The History, Art and Imagery of The Pfister Hotel, available for purchase at the Front Desk.


Current pieces with augmented content include: Dick & Harry (Lion Sculptures), Breakfast, Ben Marcus Bust, Ceiling, Fireplace, Time Capsule, Royal Love Feast, Thermostat, Fortune Teller, Kittens, Flirtation, Card Game and Mahomet.

High tech. meets fine art in an environment that is steeped in history, and with spectacular architecture as the cheery on top. It doesn’t get much better than that! 


Friday, February 3, 2017

Mark. Your. Calendars. Moonalice 420 Gathering Of The Tribe Returns To Slim's In SF On 20 April!

In a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer Of Love, the psychedelic scene lives on in the band Moonalice. Formed in 2007, Moonalice reverberates the essence of rock music and is composed of Barry Sless on lead guitar and pedal steel (Phil Lesh & Friends, David Nelson Band); Pete Sears on keys, guitar and bass (Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna); John Molo on drums (Bruce Hornsby, Other Ones, Phil Lesh & Friends) and Roger McNamee on rhythm guitar and bass (Doobie Decibel System, Flying Other Brothers, Guff, The Engineers). 

“We are a psychedelic roots-rock band of seasoned musicians mixing a variety of genres with unexpected musical improvisations," said Roger McNamee describing how Moonalice began when T Bone Burnett approached him and others to form a new band not a heritage act. “What initially was simply a project to make an album of songs, then turned into a force of music all its own,” said McNamee.

What intrigued McNamee and the other band members was the emphasis on making new music, not simply repeating the same material over and over. "Psychedelic lends itself to what is happening today, in terms of technology and social media. Even back in the 1960s and 70s, psychedelic was truly 'a multimedia event' even before that term was being used,” said McNamee. “The light shows, the art work and as far as social networking…back in those days when psychedelic was new and emerging, it was mostly all word of mouth. That was the original social media/networking thing," he explained.

Moonalice streams all its shows live in HD via satellite on its website and also on its Facebook page to its more than 420,000 fans. "With the new technology said McNamee, people can take a peak at the music - our previous performances and decide whether or not they want to come see a show. That way they will know what they are paying for." He emphasized that what they will get is a complete experience. “The live music, the lights, the art work, and the stepping into new horizons of music-expression. It’s kind of like a stew,” he said, “It is experimental, it is meant to be fun, and with the audience being there, it all ties together."

The 2017 annual Moonalice Gathering Of The Tribe will take place at Slim’s in San Francisco on Thursday 20th April. Doors are at 7:00pm with the show starting at 7:20pm. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 at the door, and $34.95 for dinner.



In addition to the fine music, psychedelic light show and sundry surprises, attendees can expect an amazing display of poster art and to take home a pack of posters which in the past have included more than 20 posters by legends of poster art. Many of the artists will be present and be happy to sign their work!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ocean Plastic Is Turning Our Seas Into A Synthetic Soup

It was the morning after the storm the night before. As I stood on what the evening before had been a pristine picture-perfect beach, I could hardly believe my eyes. The beach was covered in debris – as if someone had emptied a garbage can and scattered the contents over the sand. There was plastic wherever I looked. Plastic cups, plastic toys, sections of plastic rope and tangled up in the seaweed which had also come ashore, more plastic bags than I could count. Slabs of polystyrene, plastic bottles and even a container large enough to be the proverbial kitchen sink. I was reminded of the quote by Sir Richard Attenborough, “There is no away – because plastic is so permanent and so indestructible. When you cast it into the ocean, there is no away.” 

Sky News in the United Kingdom has launched an Ocean Rescue campaign with a 45-minute film released on 25 January called “A Plastic Tide” that puts the ocean plastic problem into perspective.

“The ocean where life on Earth began is being turned into a synthetic soup,” the narration begins by Sky News science correspondent Thomas Moore, as he embarks on a journey to explore the immense problem of plastic pollution. He begins in Mumbai, India, where a city beach once used for swimming and playing is now completely covered in plastic garbage. Surprisingly, it’s not from direct littering, but from the ocean tide; every day brings a fresh layer of garbage, which could come from anywhere on the planet. No beach or shoreline is unaffected by this pollution. Due to the ocean currents and waterways that flow into those oceans, plastic waste that’s tossed in Australia or Japan could just as easily end up in Scotland or Nova Scotia.



Read more about ocean plastic and what we can do about it in my guest blog for TIPA.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Roger McNamee Free Super Bowl Tailgate Party Show At Sweetwater Music Hall 5 Feb. 2017

Roger McNamee, founder of San Francisco jam band Moonalice and acoustic duo and band Doobie Decibel System, will be performing at Sweetwater Music Hall on 5 February in a "Super Bowl Tailgate Party." For fans on the "Couch Tour," the show will be broadcast live, starting at 12.30pm PT, in HD, on the Moonalice website as well as to Moonalice's more than 420,000 fans on Facebook.

"My solo concert at Sweetwater Music Hall will begin at 12.30pm PT. Jason Crosby will join me for a Doobie Decibel System duo reunion, too," said Roger. The show is free, the food is great and I would love to share my music with you!!!"

Roger, who spent the majority of his career in the emerging tech industry and is a regular contributor to broadcasts like CNBC’s Squawk Alley, has returned to his roots as a musician. He described his inverted path to the stage in a recent interview, “Here’s how it worked. When I was in college, I was in a really awesome band called Guff.  I think we really had a real shot.  It was 1980 and we were playing really at the intersection of the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa and punk, and it was a good time to be playing that kind of music.  We were a quartet and the guy who wrote the songs fell in love and ran away.  I had been supporting myself through all of this and I had all these student loans and then, suddenly, the notion of going off and trying the band thing without our core songwriter just seemed really risky.  So I went off and got a day job.  By a series of total miracles…it worked out really, really well!”

He elaborated, “What was weird is the fact that I was a musician turned out to be the key to it.  I got involved in the personal computer industry when it was just starting out, and the thing that was so funny was that everyone that was in that business was my age.  We all listened to the same music, we all liked the same drugs, and at the trade shows and conferences people would bring instruments and we would have jam sessions…and I knew more songs than everybody else.”

Chuckling, he continued, “So I was sitting there paying with Paul Allen from Microsoft and the head of R & D from Apple, and I got to know all these people as musicians, and if you know somebody from playing music you know them a lot deeper than from just a conversation.  I just…I was just really lucky.  I showed up in the right place at the right time.  The only place a hippie could be successful in business was the tech world.  Steve Jobs, bless his heart…famously said “Never trust someone who hasn’t taken acid.”  And that WAS the personal computer industry.  And that felt pretty normal to me, weirdly enough right? I’m not really a business person, but I did have a really lucky run in the tech world and that allowed me to get back to playing on my own, being able to play in bands. I’m blessed.”

Roger is the lead vocalist and plays bass and guitar with Moonalice, playing 90-100 shows a year since 2007. Moonalice has been a pioneer in leveraging technology to build a national audience and has one of the most engaged fan bases on social media with more than a half a million fans. The Moonalice Couch Tour™ on Moonalice.com enables fans to watch any show on a smartphone or PC without an app. Moonalice works with a group of more than 24 poster artists to produce a unique poster for every concert. In 2014, Roger and Jason Crosby (Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Susan Tedeschi Band) formed a duo, Doobie Decibel System that has since expanded to a band including Dan Lebowitz, Pete Sears and Jay Lane. A special version on the band will be performing at this year’s BottleRock Napa Festival.


Attendees at the Sweetwater Tailgate Super Bowl Tailgate Party can expect an acoustic show with a of a range of original ballads as well as covers, like this rendition of The Beatles’ “Here There And Everywhere” that he recently shared via a live Facebook broadcast – and to take home memories of a jolly good time out as well as a commemorative poster by Moonalice art director, Chris Shaw.





Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Doobie Decibel System Over The Moon To Be Performing At BottleRock Napa

“I’m blown away. Everything about BottleRock is just amazing,” said Roger McNamee of Doobie Decibel System, whose other band Moonalice has been repeat act since the very first BottleRock. “These guys have something unique,” added McNamee of the event promoters, Latitude 38. “It’s something that fits the Napa community. The food is amazing and I’m not a wine drinker, but if I were, I think this is probably as close to heaven as you can think.” 

A special Doobie Decibel System Band will be joining a BottleRockNapa Valley 2017 lineup presented by JaM Cellars that includes Foo Fighters, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Maroon 5 as headliners.

The event will run in Napa Valley from May 26 to 28 and will include over 80 musical act​s, including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Modest Mouse, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, The Roots, Silversun Pickups, and dozens more will perform at the 3-Day music, wine, food, and craft brew festival. Passes go on sale on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, 10AM PST

One of the most innovative and enjoyable festivals in the U.S., BottleRock Napa Valley features an unparalleled combination of the world’s biggest bands and artists alongside the hottest up-and-coming music acts. In addition to the three renowned headliners, the 2017 festival will showcase Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Modest Mouse, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, The Roots, Silversun Pickups, Band of Horses, Fitz & The Tantrums, Dirty Heads, Live, The Naked and Famous, The Devil Makes Three, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Gavin DeGraw, St. Lucia, House of Pain, Bob Moses, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Saint Motel, The Strumbellas, AlunaGeorge, Frightened Rabbit, Andra Day,Galactic, Charles Bradley&His Extraordinaires, Mavis Staples, Ani DiFranco, Bishop Briggs, Lewis Del Mar, Highly Suspect, Judah & the Lion, Elephant Revival, WarrenG, Bad Suns,Giraffage, gnash, The Staves, The Barr Brothers, Pell, Hippo Campus,Jessica Hernandez&The Deltas, Barns Courtney, HissGolden Messenger, The California Honeydrops, The Hunna, 888, Prinze George, Con Brio, La Santa Cecilia, The Shelters, SWMRS, Run River North, James Hersey, Day Wave, DREAMERS, HIRIE, Baskery, City of the Sun, Cobi, PARTYBABY, A R I Z O N A, The Heydaze, Parade of Lights, little hurricane, Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra, Josh Kelley, Jessica Childress, Corey Harper, WILD, Saint Mesa, Hibbity Dibbity, The Helmets, Pacific Radio, The Redwoods Revue, Doobie Decibel System, Troubadour 77, Silverado Pickups, Tracksuit Wedding, Secure the Sun, Serf and James, Kadin Yeahmon, Alec Lee, and the Napa Youth Symphony.

Doobie Decibel System at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2016
“We are very proud of this lineup. In addition to our amazing headliners, the lineup has something for everyone,” said Dave Graham, CEO of BottleRockNapa Valley and Latitude 38 Entertainment. “It's exciting to see BottleRock develop, from the performers, to our wine and culinary programming, our layout…we make great strides each year to elevate the overall event. BottleRockers expect an amazing experience and we believe they will be very happy with all the upgrades we are planning for this year’s festival.”

In 2016, BottleRockNapa Valley welcomed more than 120,000music, food and wine fans during its fourth annual installment in historic downtown Napa. The sold-out 2016 festival featured more than 90 performers on five stages including Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence + The Machine, and more. BottleRock Napa Valley also features its legendary Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage, showcasing a unique mashup of cooking demonstrations with renowned chefs, celebrities, performers, and rock stars. Details on the 2017 culinary stage will be announced at a later date.

Get ready to get your BottleRock on and enjoy this taste of Doobie Decibel System treats to come from a show at San Francisco's Union Square in 2016, A special version of the Doobie Decibel System Band will be performing at BottleRock 2017!