Cy and David's Picks: Benefits for the Ghost Ship Fire, the Blasters Return, and a Perfect New Years Eve

7 min
A memorial for those who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire. (Brittany Hosea-Small/KQED)

The Do List is such an uncomplicated show to do most weeks. We look for performances and concerts that may be about the big issues of our time, but are also a lot of fun. But the Ghost Ship fire and the response from local artists has touched us so deeply, it's been hard to cover sometimes. Thirty-six people died in the warehouse fire, among them artists, musicians, and art lovers. As my colleague Gabe Meline has written, it could have been any one of us who attends live shows and cares deeply about the music and art. My co-host David Wiegand and I have compiled a few fundraisers for survivors and families, including an appearance by Moby. If you're feeling lost and sad, these would be good places to find consolation and a hug. We've all needed a few this week.

Dec. 9: The members of the Oakland City Chorus are dedicating Friday night's concert to chorus member Nicole Renae Siegrist and other victims of the Ghost Ship tragedy. Siegrist, a.k.a. Denalda Nicole Renae, was at the warehouse as a performer, with bandmate Ben Runnels, who also died. The chorus is performing the beautiful Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, and other pieces, at the First Presbyterian Church in Oakland. Details here.

Shannon and the Clams perform at Eli's in a fundraiser for families of those killed in the Ghost Ship fire
Shannon and the Clams perform at Eli's in a fundraiser for families of those killed in the Ghost Ship fire. (Photo: Courtesy of Shannon and the Clams)

Dec. 9: Shannon and the Clams are playing a Ghost Ship benefit at 7pm at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland.  Details here.

Dec. 9: The Oakland Museum of California is dedicating its Friday Nights @ OMCA program to the victims of the fire.  The museum is providing a living memorial wall for the community to add their memories, reflections, and messages of love and support. Details here.

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Dec. 10, 11 and 14: Bottom of the Hill is mourning the death of Barrett Clark, a sound engineer who often worked there, and staging three benefit concerts. Details here.

Dec. 11: Electronic music legend Moby is flying in on his own dime, and playing this show at the Mezzanine for free. San Francisco's Richie Panic (Jason Letendre) is the DJ organizing the show with help from Another Planet, and he told me he's having a really hard time with the fact that he’s lost some of his friends and colleagues. "It’s been really difficult to go back out," Letendre said. "But I’m really looking forward to this event, to fully embracing physically all my friends, and to get back on my feet in the nightlife." Expect a raffle and a silent auction to raise more funds. Details here.

Dec. 14: Josette Melchor of the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, which launched the primary fundraiser for fire victims, is hosting Oakland United, another show with major bands at the Fox Theater in Oakland, featuring Hieroglyphics, Rogue Wave, Primus, Boots Riley, Thao Nguyen, and many others. Details here.

And we have a constantly updated list of other benefit shows here at KQED Pop.

Dec. 9: The Blasters formed in 1979 in Downey, California. With their devotion to R&B, blues and rockabilly, they're a kind of negative image of the Beach Boys' sunny California sound. The Blasters are a saloon band, and proud of it. Phil Alvin is still leading the band (and no longer feuding with brother and Blasters co-founder Dave) and he's playing with original members Bill Bateman on drums and John Bazz on bass. Their show at the Ritz should be a blast. Details here.

Dec. 29, 30, 31: We're looking ahead to New Year's Eve the next few weeks to help you plan that perfect date. And we're starting with three shows by Con Brio, the San Francisco band featuring the dazzling dance moves of the young Ziek McCarter, tight horn arrangements, and blazing guitar work by Benjamin Andrews. They’re spiritual, they're political, and they're so funky. On Dec. 29 they're opening for War in San Jose. Details here. And then they're doing two more intimate shows at the Chapel on Dec. 30 and 31. Details here.

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