Monday, February 23, 2009

Donavon Frankenreiter - The Independent - 2/21/2009

photo: Dan, Lotti, Brooke, Nicole with Gary Jules.

by Nicole Parisi-Smith, San Francisco Chapter

What a great show! A big thanks to everyone who facilitated a very smoothly run evening - the Independent's House Manager, Jason (coincidentally, a fellow Surfrider member), and the chapter's amazing on-site volunteers - Dan, Brooke, and Lotti.

We had a cocktail table in the far right corner, right next to Gabe and the merch booth. We distributed our brand new 2009 beach cleanup schedule postcard, National's "10 Ways" and "Rise Above Plastic" handouts, and the wallet-sized seafood and sushi guides.

The show sold out in advance of the show night. It was a full house, with a line of fans snaking down Divisadero Street, in place before the doors had even opened.

Lotti and I circulated through the crowd with these handouts, and talked with fans before the music started, and between breaks. I met 2 Surfrider Lifetime Members, a lot of people who were already familiar with Surfrider but weren't on our Chapter's email list, and a handful of people who were not familiar with the organization. Thanks to Dan and Brooke who took care of the t-shirt sales, Surfrider membership registrations, and fans who stopped by the table!

photo: Dan and Brooke at the Surfrider table.

We signed up a few new Surfrider members, and helped 1 or 2 fans renew their Surfrider memberships. Everyone who completed a membership form with us received a free Surfrider t-shirt, which turned out to be a great incentive to get people to register on the spot. We also sold a few t-shirts to fans who were already Surfrider members.

We also held a successful raffle. Fans who gave us their name, email address, and for the purposes of the raffle - their cell phone numbers - were entered into a drawing to win a Surfrider t-shirt, that night. The winner of the drawing was a great Surfrider member that I met while circulating throughout the audience with Surfrider handouts, named Cory. It was great to see such an enthusiastic Surfrider and Donavon fan win the raffle.

photo: Surfrider volunteers, Gary Jules, and Corey.

After the show ended, since we were right next to merch, and since Gary Jules came by to say hello to us (creating a buzz around our table), we were able to reach a few more fans on their way out of the show. It was great! We tossed our Surfrider San Francisco branded Chico bags into the crowd that had gathered around our table, and received a very positive response from fans who appreciated the free reusable bags:)

The show itself was great. Gary Jules played an opening set to an enthusiastic audience, and later joined Donavon and his band on stage for 3 songs. The show ended with an acoustic performance of "Call Me Papa." At several points during the evening, Donavon held the mic out to the audience, to sing into. There was a lot of singing along, generally speaking, throughout the night. What a fun show!!

Thanks to Chapter members Damian and Zeina who came by the table, to say hello, while they were at show.

Additional thanks to Tony at the Independent, Tom at Partisan Arts, Allen at Another Planet Entertainment, Tito, Donavon, and Gary!

Special thanks to Surfrider San Francisco Chapter members Andrea, Adelina, Woody, Barbara, Sara, and Carolynn, and Washington, DC Chapter member Chris, who helped out in the days leading up to the show.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Absynth Quintet - The Starry Plough - 2/19/2009

The San Francisco Chapter launched their brand new Music Outreach Program last night, at the Starry Plough Irish Pub in Berkeley, CA, thanks to the support of the Nor Cal band Absynth Quintet. Mandolinist Bird Jowaisas contacted us through our Music Outreach Program page on the Chapter website, and invited us to come table at the show. We were so excited to work with these guys - who are all active Surfrider members and surfers, from the Humboldt Surfrider Chapter.

San Francisco Chapter members Zeina Barkawi, Damian Sinnott and I headed over to Berkeley, where we received a warm welcome from the Starry Plough staff, and the band. Utilizing a cocktail-sized table, we set up our materials right inside the front doorway, next to the stage, and the merch tables. We were able to hang our brand new, smaller-sized banner on the wall behind us, directly facing the audience. It was a great spot!

photo: Zeina and Damian working the table.

We met some great people, gave away some Surfrider San Francisco Chapter branded, reusable Chico bags, signed some people up on our mailing list, handed out information about safe seafood choices, and talked a lot about our Chapter's 2009 strategic plan.

Members of the Absynth Quintet came by several times to check in on us, and to talk with us about Surfrider, and the surf that they're catching while on tour. The band is in Santa Cruz today. The Santa Cruz Chapter will have a table at tonight's show.

The music was phenomenal. There were 3 bands on the bill. We got to catch great sets by The John Howland Trio, The Cyndi Harvell Band, and Absynth Quintet.

The Absynth Quintet is composed of Ian Davidson on banjo, Bird Jowaisas on mandolin, Ryan Roberts on guitar, Mike Schwartz on drums, and Rudy Luera on upright bass.

The Eugene Weekly places the sound "somewhere along the spectrum of acoustic-improvisational-gypsy-jazz...plucky and tight à la David Grisman" with "a dash of Eastern European exoticism that puts you in a smoky, understated hash bar kind of mood". Check them out, here! They played a lot of great material off of their new album, "Indigo Shoes."

After the show, the band came over to our table, where we got to thank them for their support, and take some group photos. It was a great night!!! Thanks again to Absynth Quintet, and particularly to Bird, for the invitation, and for coordinating all of the details with the venue, for us! Thanks to Zeina and Damian for all of your help!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Upcoming San Francisco Chapter Shows

photo: Damian Sinnot, Emma Shlaes, Sara Dack, Nicole Parisi-Smith.

The San Francisco Chapter's Music Outreach Program Committee met on Wednesday, February 4th at Coffee to the People to talk about these upcoming shows, at which we will have a presence:

** Thursday, Feb 19 - Absynth Quintet - Starry Plough, Berkeley, CA.

Show is at 9pm, tickets are $8. Multiple bands on the bill - The John Howland Trio, The Cyndi Harvell Band and The Absynth Quintet. The Absynth Quintet is composed of Surfrider members from the Humboldt Chapter. They contacted us, and invited us to come table at the show. The Santa Cruz Chapter will be tabling at the band's Santa Cruz show.

** Saturday, Feb 21 - Donavon Frankenretier, with Gary Jules opening - The Independent, San Francisco, CA.

Doors are at 8:30pm, show is at 9pm, tickets are $20. The venue expects this show to sell out, but tix are still available on the Independent website.

** Wednesday, Feb 25 - Matt Costa - Slim's, San Francisco, CA. (Part of Noise Pop Festival.)

Doors are at 7pm, show is at 8pm, tickets are $20-22.
Multiple artists are performing at this show: Matt Costa, An Horse, Robert Francis, Two Sheds.

If you attend one of these shows, then please come by the Surfrider table to say hello!

Thanks to the staff at the Starry Plough, The Independent, Slim's, Noise Pop Festival, as well as management and agents for Absynth Quintet, Donavon Frankenreiter, and Matt Costa!