Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New Absolutely-Must-Visit Poster Print Shop And Gallery In San Francisco

If you’re going to San Francisco - or if you’re lucky enough to live there - the Haight Street Art Center (HSAC), a first-of-its-kind poster print shop and gallery that supports a collective of poster artists, is a must visit.

Dennis Larkins' incredible "Eyeconic" flies high above a wall of rock posters.
With 7,000 square feet of gallery exhibition space, HSAC is one of the largest galleries devoted to poster art in the United States. In addition to the print shop, the Center features community engagement facilities, including a classroom for teaching poster art techniques, a special events space, and a large gallery. Permanent and temporary exhibitions will be free of charge to the public, and the Center and its artists will sell silkscreen and offset prints.

Founded on a cooperative operational model, the HSAC features a state-of-the-art print shop to be managed by and for artists. The Center’s business model offers artists low overhead costs to improve the economics for creating and selling poster art. 

Exercising public art’s proven power to attract, inspire and connect, HSAC will serve not only the Lower Haight, but the city at large with educational programming for the San Francisco community: from students to seniors, apprentices to master artists, and the local residents to visitors.

The Art of Consciousness 

Mariusz Knorowski, Chief Curator at Poster Museum at Wilanów, Warsaw, Poland.
The inaugural exhibition, “The Art of Consciousness,” features more than 90 seminal works from 1965 to 1967. On display will be never-before-seen Family Dog original art from the “Big Five” of San Francisco rock poster art – Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson – whose vision inspired thousands of young people in San Francisco and provided the visual vocabulary for the vibrant community that formed in the Haight-Ashbury.

“It covers the evolution of poster art before the Summer of Love, from the Seed and Are We Next in 1965 through the psychedelic Avalon and Fillmore posters of the spring of 1967,” said Moonalice guitarist and poster philanthropist, Roger McNamee. “Check it out!”

The Art of Consciousness” runs through September. Entrance is free. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. 215 Haight St., San Francisco: https://haightstreetart.org

About Haight Street Art Center

The Haight Street Art Center (HSAC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit San Francisco arts collective established to promote poster art production and education. The Center’s community outreach relates to poster art history and cultural impact along with a deep commitment to extending San Francisco’s proud heritage of publicly accessible artwork—artwork created to celebrate, advocate, and connect people.

Left to Right: Roger McNamee, Jeremy Fish and Peter McQuaid at the Grand Opening of the HSAC.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Celebration Of Poster Art At The Haight Street Art Center

Situated in the heart of Haight at 215 Haight Street, near the corner of Laguna, the Haight Street Art Center opened its doors to the public on Saturday 1 July with a Grand Opening that included activities for kids, printing demonstrations for adults, gallery tours, and a welcoming address from Mariusz Knorowski, Chief Curator at Poster Museum at Wilanów, the oldest poster museum in the world located in Warsaw, Poland.

Festivities began at 1pm with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the iconic Bronze Bunny, gatekeeper to San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood. 

A series of galleries displayed 90 posters from the breakthrough years of 1965-67 in the opening exhibit entitled “The Art of Consciousness," while artists demonstrated the silk screen process, enabling visitors to walk out with a freshly inked poster.

Celebration of poster art

The “Big Five” of poster art, who made San Francisco the epicenter of the genre are well represented: Stanley Mouse, Wes Wilson, Alton Kelly, Victor Moscoso and Rick Griffin. 

The purpose of the art center is to invigorate poster art by providing a print shop and gallery that dramatically lowers the cost of creating and selling poster art,” said Roger McNamee, the Moonalice lead singer and guitarist with a passion for poster art. “It also provides a platform so that the artists can form and manage a collective for mutual benefit."

When Moonalice started in 2007 as a ’60s-style San Francisco psychedelic roots band, one of the founding precepts was a freshly produced poster for every show. “We figured we’d play 30 or 40 shows a year,” said McNamee, adding, “And we’ve played 100 shows a year for 10 years.” There are now close to 1,000 Moonalice posters, many of which paper the walls as well as the stairwell between the floors at the art center.

Moonalice model

In the day of the Big Five, poster artists were paid around $500 for a poster plus a dozen copies. The promoter, or the band, got the copyright, which meant that if a design hit it big in the aftermarket, the income from all those concert posters sold in bookstores and record stores went to someone other than the artist.

This is in stark contrast to the Moonalice business model, which is to pay the artist more up front, plus allow the artist keeps the copyright. There are some 35 artists in the Moonalice stable, and they will be the first to benefit from the art center’s platform.

Living history museum

The building is part of a Spanish Revival complex put up by the Works Progress Administration in 1934 as San Francisco State Teachers College. It sits on a huge lot, most of which has been developed into market-rate housing by Wood Partners.

“This is like a living history museum on top of a museum,” said Peter McQuaid, executive director of the center, who will oversee a staff of four. “We want to return to the craftsmanship where the artists print the work themselves.”

The art center includes the original San Francisco State entrance on the southeast corner of Haight and Buchanan streets, and occupies the down-slope annex, its mid-block entrance marked by the Bronze Bunny sculpture by Jeremy Fish. The entry is on the gallery level, with the print shop above it fully outfitted with scanners, printers and racks of paper.

Opening exhibition

The opening exhibition, “The Art of Consciousness,” runs through September. Entrance is free. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. 215 Haight St., S.F. https://haightstreetart.org

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Celebrate The Summer Of Love With A Psychedelic Light Show And A Surrealistic Summer Solstice Jam!!!

Flowers will power the night this summer as the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park becomes the canvas for an elegant light art installation to honor San Francisco’s city-wide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. 

Developed in partnership with San Francisco Recreation and Parks by Illuminate, the nonprofit arts group behind The Bay Lights, and Obscura Digital, a world-renowned creative studio specializing in large scale light-based art, the installation will use gobo projectors to transform the all-white landmark with a series of exquisitely illuminated scenes inspired by the rare tropical flowers within, and the legacy of San Francisco’s flower children.

“The Summer of Love was always about an energy – a spark – bringing love and light at a time when the world needed it,” said Ben Davis, Director of Illuminate. “We are bringing that light back to where it all began in Golden Gate Park fifty years later with an electrifying, contemporary tribute.”

“Obscura has done projections on iconic buildings around the world, and we’re thrilled to be using Golden Gate Park’s architectural crown jewel as our latest canvas, here in our hometown,” added Chris Lejeune, CEO of Obscura Digital.

Davis and the Obscura team promise a nightly spectacle of spinning flower mandalas, animated butterflies, and much, much more. The free public installation will be on view nightly from sundown until midnight throughout the summer, June 21 through October 21, 2017.

Surrealistic Summer Solstice Jam

The opening night on 21 June – which coincides with the Summer Solstice – will include a musical celebration from members of the best jam bands San Francisco has to offer, featuring most of the surviving band members of the great bands of 1967.

“The Surrealistic Summer Solstice Jam will combine the music of 1967 with an epic Illuminate and Obscura Digital light show on the Conservatory of Flowers! It will be the most monumental light show the city of San Francisco has ever seen! Dan Lebowitz is music director. The house band will include members of ALO, Moonalice, and other great SF musicians. Jack Casady, Lester Chambers, David Freiberg, Linda Imperial, RonKat, Norman Greenbaum, Barry Melton, Steve Kimock, Dave Getz, Peter Albin, Darby Gould, Joli Valenti, Melvin Seals, Paula Frazer, Leslie Grant, Mark Karan, Jay Lane, Jason Crosby, Steve Adams, Grahame Lesh, Alex Jordan, Greg Loiacono, Lech & Johnny ... and many others are scheduled to perform. The concert and light show are free … no tickets are required, and it's the longest day of the year,” explained Moonalice’s Roger McNamee.

There will be three free posters for those attending, by leading poster artists Alexandra Fisher, John Mavroudis and Darrin Brenner, members of the Haight Street Art Center collective.

"We're really excited to be a part of this thing," Roger continued. "It's part of the on-going Summer of Love Festivals in San Francisco. We encourage you to attend or to watch the live stream, because it'll be fun!" How much fun? This video from the Surrealistic Superjam SF Summer Of Love 50th Anniversary Concert earlier this year gives a taste of musical treats to come on 21 June!


Folks with mobility challenges are encouraged to either be dropped off or park near the Nancy Pelosi and Bowling Green corner - or - park in the Music Parking lot under the De Young Museum. Public transportation is HIGHLY recommended!

The following items are not allowed at the event:
No Tents, Canopies, Tables, or other structures
No Unpermitted Vendors
No Coolers larger than 9”x12”
No Barbecues or cooking equipment
No Amplified Sound Equipment
No Generators
No Glass
No Backpacks larger than 9 x 12
Please take the public transportation to the event if possible:
The closest MUNI bus is 5 Fulton bus which runs until the event ends and beyond. You can catch the bus at Fulton Street and 6th Ave, and it is also the closest bus stop to the event.
For Bus Schedule: https://511.org/…/schedules-ag…/agency/363/schedules/route/5
Or Plan Your Travel with Public Transit: www.511.org
However, if you must drive, you can park at Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse Parking Lot, entrance at Fulton Street and 10th Ave:
Parking will available at the Music Concourse Parking Lot as it will be open late until 11 pm to accommodate parking for the event.

Cars can enter at Fulton Street and 10th or at Lincoln near the Academy of Science. Please note JFK Drive will be closed from 8th to Kezar Drive staring 5AM on Wednesday, June 21st, it will be one of the closest locations for parking.
For maps how to enter – please go to: http://goldengateparking.com/. Cost is a flat $17.
Street Closures -- starting 5AM Wednesday, June 21st until 9AM Thursday, June 22nd the following streets will be closed to vehicles traffic:
JFK Drive between Kezar Drive and 8th Ave
Nancy Pelosi Drive between JFK Drive and Bowling Green Drive
Arguello Street at Fulton Street (entrance into Golden Gate Park)
Surrealistic Summer Solstice Concert and Grand Lighting!
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)
date Outside of the Conservatory of Flowers
100 John F Kennedy Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Organized by Conservatory of Flowers

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.