Wednesday night I saw Jonathan Richman an Tommy Larkins at a tiny club in SF's Mission district. Tickets were only $11 and we stood right up in front of a seeminly full house. It was really great--they were unamplified but for a simple mic he sang into, and Jonathan played a classical acoustic guitar. I am not extremely familiar with the man's back catalogue, but I knew a few of the songs and enjoyed the entire set.
Yesterday I went back up to the city to go to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, which is unique in that it's free and has zero corporate sponsorship. Also, if you're into anything resembling "bluegrass," it's got some big named attached to it. Or from what I can tell, they're big names--I like bluegrass/americana/whathaveyou, but again, I'm not super into it. But I enjoyed Bragg's performance, certainly, as well as his impassioned speechifying. I'm definitely not one of those people who believes music and politics should be separate, and as such, his words were rousing. At least as much as Steve Earle's flipping off the Blue Angels was hilarious.