Tag Archives: RIP

We Lost A San Francisco Legend Today:RIP Kathi Kamen Goldmark

It is perhaps odd for me to write a eulogy for Kathi Kamen Goldmark because in truth I Kathi Kamen Goldmarkbarely knew her. I can say this: she always volunteered to speak or answer questions for the NCBPMA, and because of her friendliness and approachability she was one of the first local producers I knew by name. She was one of those vivacious people that seems to be everywhere, and always smiling to boot. Being a producer is a tough job, and yet she never hesitated to answer a question or offer an explanation about why a certain guest would or wouldn’t be a fit for her show. She somehow managed to do this job while writing books and performing in the literary group the Rock Bottom Remainders.

As I’ve embarked on this journey in the Bay Area publishing world, I always imagined the day when Kathi and I would be friends. Not because she was some milestone of important authors (though she was!) but because she had that kind of warmth that made me think I could do this, that the writing and publishing scene isn’t a clique, but a community.

In the coming weeks there will be numerous posts from people who knew her well, that will explain better than I ever can why the loss of this luminary light will affect the Bay Area forever. I only wish to contribute this to make it known how many lives she touched, even among her acquaintances. It breaks my heart to know that I will never be able to tell her what a role model she was for me, and for so many others. But perhaps if you are reading this now, it will remind you of all the lives you may touch, and the special place you may find if you keep following your dreams. A space that is all your own—like Kathi, whose presence in the literary world is irreplaceable. Kathi Kamen Goldmark, you are missed.


RIP Maurice Sendak, Author of Where the Wild Things Are

A Fan Letter So Good The Child Up and Ate It
If you were born in the 80s or any time thereafter, you probably loved Where the Wild Things Are when you were a child. Which means today is a sad day for you. Did you know Maurice Sendak was gay? And snarky? Is the “Wild Rumpus” a euphemism for sex? Check out this interview Stephen Colbert did with Maurice Sendak.

RIP Etta James

Nooooo! Etta James died today. Leukemia.

My friend Achterom introduced me to Etta James. Of course I knew who she was, like everyone else I knew she was the old broad who sings "At Last." A pretty enough song, with very little spunk. I wasn't too impressed with it. But he went to go see her live, and wouldn't shut up about it. There she was, a woman in her late sixties, making raunchy stage jokes and treating the microphone like a dildo. She was feisty and larger than life, like a queen of the Blues should be. Having (at last) upped my respect for the the Matriarch of R&B, I started playing her more rockabilly songs in my DJ sets. Somehow tracks like "In the Basement" seem to fit in just fine along with heavy dance numbers with thumpin' bass. Maybe that's why Avicii's chose to sample her song "Somebody Got A Hold On Me" for their huge 2011 dance hit, "Levels."

Etta remixed:

Etta James – 7 Day Fool (Whiskey Barons Edit)
Avicii – Levels (feat. Etta James)

Etta served straight:

Etta James – In the Basement (Part I)
Etta James – the Wallflower
Etta James – Tell Mama
Etta James – Spoonful (WMA file)
Etta James – I Just Wanna Make Love to you (WMA file)

Fun facts about Etta James:

  • It's rumored that she dated BB King when she was only 16, and that the song "Sweet Little 16" was written about her.
  • She is believed to be half-white, though no one can say with certainty as Etta never knew who her father was. She suspected it was the pool player, Rudolf "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone.
  • She was a heroin addict and one of the many celebrities who received treatment at the Betty Ford clinic.
  • After Beyonce inaccurately portrayed her in a movie, Etta James said she couldn't stand the singer and threatened that "she would get her ass whooped," though her children claim this was said because she had begun suffering from Alzheimer's.
  • James has received more than 30 awards throughout her life, including six Grammys and entry into The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, The Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame.
  • Etta claimed to have written many of her songs, but didn't take the credit for tax reasons.

Def Jef feat Etta James – Dropping Rhymes On Drums (1989)

Etta James singing "I'd Rather Go Blind" with BB King

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RIP Gil Scott-Heron


There was a time in my life when I only wanted to listen to political music. It was then that someone passed along to me a cassette of Gil Scott-Heron. This was around 1999; tape players were already hard to come by. But I managed to wear out that tape in several months.

He was more than a musician, he was a poet that happened to be a multi-instrumentalist. He was a radical agitator with piano and bongo to sweeten his message. He was a visionary, but then again, in some ways he wasn’t: It wasn’t his intention to foster the forthcoming genre of rap. He created poetry set to music, in the tradition of Bob Dylan. He created poetry infused with Jazz in the tradition of Amiri Baraka. His style was never pretensious but always bold. I couldn’t believe that this amazing and diverse poet was undiscovered by most of the people in my social circle. I tried to impose it on everyone with the fervor of a newfound love.

Well, time passes and new loves come to you.  I just found out that Gil died this week. I don’t know what to tell you except that I hope you can take some time out of your day to listen to some of his work.

I know he recently released an album but I want to share with you some of the songs that inspired me when I was a teenager. I’ve also included one of the recent songs that Kanye West sampled him on.








Gil_Scott_Heron_-_Whitey_on_the_Moon.mp3 Listen on Posterous

Gil_Scott_Heron_-_Whitey_on_the_Moon.mp3 Listen on Posterous

Kanye_West_-_lost_in_the_woods.mp3 Listen on Posterous

Posted via email from Like Dancing About Architecture