Musical Chairs, February 2011

Posted on February 2, 2011 – 11:06 AM | by OldManFoster
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Ed Carroll is  best-known among beer and history buffs for Sacramento Breweries, his history of beer in the region;  the rest of us know him best as one of Sac’s tastiest drummers.  Carroll has played in a long line of primo Sac rock n’ roll  bands, including Nar, the Pretty Girls, FM Knives and most recently the English Singles.  We asked Ed for his take on the Musical Chair and he gave us five of his top musical things.

The Kinks

Although an obvious Number One, who can deny the Kinks? Not much left to be said about the North London lads, but there was no way I could leave them off my list. Bought my first long player in 4th grade and never looked back. Their well-deserved and relatively recently-garnered adulation by all types of folks is a simple case of justice. From Mick Avory’s incredible drumming on Arthur, the humility and humanity of Muswell Hillbillies or the straight up rock riffs of Schoolboys in Disgrace and Sleepwalker, the Kinks have something for everybody.


In 1994 a group of us drove, hitchhiked and/or levitated to San Francisco to see an upstart British pop band with only an ace 45 to their name play to about 10 people. Their set was short but unforgettable and almost instantly Supergrass had repaired the damages to rock n ’roll sustained by Pearl Jam and Company in their relentless attempt to totally ruin the genre once and for all.  One of those rare opportunities to see a band moments away from embarking on an epic career.


Outrageous (if oft amateurish) cover art, haunting melodies, mind bending rhythms, prodigious catalogues and dodgy vinyl quality can only add up to one thing: the fine art of dub. The genre is rife with amazing talent and some of the most outlandish concepts in the free world, not to mention the ace production.

The open road.

Nothing beats jumping in a van with band mates and stragglers for a jaunt across the states or maybe up to the great northwest. Gas station cassettes, crappy food, copious brew consumption, sleep deprivation, and cool people are always waiting in the wings. It’s like a V.I.P. pass to any town you arrive in. Not to mention a venue that might be a burned out tavern, a bowling alley, a vineyard or some dude’s grandma’s pad. For me, touring has always made the recording, practicing, bickering and the other rigmarole that accompanies band membership worthwhile.

Sacramento shows.

Can enough be said of the stellar shows we as a city have experienced over the years? Not really. Can enough be said of the unconventional and innovative venues in which they have occurred despite the authorities? Probably not. From trashed living rooms to leaky basements, parks to garages, (and parking garages), Club Minimal to the Loft to the Hub, and even a few of the traditional clubs, Sacramento has championed them all.  Our fair city has welcomed so many incredible acts who could have easily skipped right on by (not to mention the plethora of home grown talent Sacramento has unleashed on the world) it is almost unfair. Not too shabby for San Francisco’s ugly sister.

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