Moonalice with Bicycle Day

July 26, 2018 - 7:30pm

By Bob Fennessy

On Thursday, July 26, The Grateful Web presents Moonalice at the WOW Hall along with special guests Bicycle Day.

Moonalice is a band of seasoned musicians who feel that live music should be a communal experience where the listener and musicians feed and derive inspiration from each other.  Their songs try to speak to everyone, mixing a variety of genres with extended musical improvisations that evoke a sense of adventure and exploration.  They invented Twittercast concerts, which are free broadcasts to fans over social networks.  The band’s single, "It's 4:20 Somewhere" has been downloaded more than 5 million times. They broadcast every show live via satellite in HD, so that fans can enjoy them on their iPhone, iPad or Android without an app. 

Moonalice is: 

* 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). 

* 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) 

* Big Steve Parish: Road Scholar/Medicine Man/Storyteller. (Grateful Dead crew for 26 years, co-founder of Jerry Garcia Band).

Each of these band members could have a book written about them, but the person in the news these days is Roger.

I was channel surfing the cable news networks one night and came upon Tucker Carlson talking to Roger McNamee about Facebook apps.  I knew Roger as the voice of Moonalice and The Flying Other Brothers, both bands having played the WOW Hall multiple times.  This year he has also been very active in print media and on TV, talking about Facebook and its perceived threat to democracy.

According to Wikipedia, “Roger McNamee (born May 2, 1956) is an American businessman, investor, venture capitalist and musician.  He is the founding partner of the venture capital firm Elevation Partners.  Prior to co-founding the firm, McNamee co-founded private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and headed the T. Rowe Price Science and Technology Fund.”

McNamee met Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2006.  He told Zuckerberg that he would receive offers to sell and urged him to hold on.   Zuckerberg recalls that Roger, "clearly cared about building something long-term and about the impact of the things we build as opposed to just making money in the short term.”

Roger invested in Facebook and became expert using it to promote Moonalice by live-streaming concerts.  In the past year, he has been, “very critical of its impact on society and US democracy, as expressed in his OpEds for USA Today and The Guardian,” states Wiki.  “Earlier, on CNBC, he explained that he had tried to warn Facebook about the impact of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections in the US.  He has also been interviewed by NPR on the topic.  As part of this effort, McNamee joined Time Well Spent as a Founding Advisor.”

As a philanthropist, McNamee has been heavily involved in the creation of the Haight Street Art Center -- which celebrates San Francisco's tradition of music-related poster art.  He sits on the board of the Rex Foundation and is on the advisory board of Wikipedia.

Roger shares his story on the origin of Moonalice.

“The idea was simple: create a band the way I would a tech start-up, leveraging technology wherever possible. Thanks to T Bone (Burnett), our first album was destined to be pretty amazing.  Sadly, the music industry had no interest in it.  That's when we decided we could no longer afford our manager, publicist and label.  We put all of our energy into social networks.  I started a group on Facebook and Tracy Sheridan got me started on Twitter.  We tried a few things and built the beginnings of our social net.

“Soon thereafter, I discovered the amazing Gail Barnes who taught me most of what I know about Facebook and Twitter.  The experiments were really fun: Twittercasts, Twitter Radio, Moonalice Forum.  Then Glenn Evans bought a video camera and things got really interesting. Tim Stiegler introduced us to Livestream. Jon Luini helped me figure out a web strategy, then he brought in PROD to design a site and MobileRider to implement our satellite network and HTML 5.  Together, Jon, PROD, and MobileRider created a site with integrated social networking and HTML audio and video players.  And somehow along the way, 1.1 million people downloaded "It's 4:20 Somewhere."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says Moonalice is helping to "...tell the story of music’s digital revolution; specifically the rise of direct-from-artist (DFA) distribution. Moonalice is the first band without a label to achieve one million downloads of a song from its own servers, direct-from-artist.” 

Bicycle Day is an acoustic rock duo from Eugene. Peter Almeida and Bryan Reed play a variety of instruments (drums, bass, guitar, fiddle, mandolin and harmonica). Their musical influences are likewise diverse: The Beatles, David Bowie, Grateful Dead, Talking Heads, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan to name a few. Both musicians are elementary school teachers who love their work and enjoy their commute by bicycle.

         Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show.  Doors open at 7:00 pm and showtime is 7:30.

 

Door Time: 
July 26, 2018 - 7:00pm
Cost: 
$12 Advance, $15 Day of Show