Monday, September 12, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #274: Hey, Can You Turn Up the Vocals?

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Ever want to tell the sound guy at a show how to do his job? Sound engineer John Karr guested on September 12th, and you'll have to excuse us both, but when two absolute music geeks get together, there's not much that can stop the conversation. Almost each tune was presented by John with a story to go with it. This guy has a lot to say, and if you enjoy music as much as we do, you're going to eat it up.

John Karr is a well-established sound engineer, having worked clubs for over 30 years, and been the man at the controls in the studio for about the same length of time. If you've been to the Great American Music Hall then you have probably heard his mix. Check out his site here for Ear Relevant Recording, and if you are in a band then you MUST hire this man!

John has worked with The Mermen, Big City Orchestra, Brian Jonestown Massacre, George Clinton, Primus, Peaches, Mike Patton, Eric name it, he's probably worked it.

My only regret is how long it took me to get this show up for you to listen to.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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I Love Living in the City: Danko Jones
Presence of the Lord: Blind Faith

Cosmic Strut: Mahavishnu Orchestra
Villanova Junction Blues: Jimi Hendrix

One Hundred Foot Lemon: The Mermen
Stomachache Due To The Sincere Belief That The Rest of My Band is Trying to Kill Me: Rumah Sakit

Neo Dada: Jono El Grande
Moeris Dancing: Art Bears
The Ocean is the Ultimate Solution: Frank Zappa

Please Keep Shopping: Quietworld
Red Motorbike

Shinjiro (ft. Mos Def): DJ Krush
Stumpy Meets Firecracker in Stencil Forest: Happy the Man
Take Me Out to the Ballgame: The Melvins

In 1995 The Mermen came to Burning Man. I was up front and center. I know the film is grainy (shut up!), but it's totally worth the viewing. Here's part one of two.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #273: Let Me Work For You

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What this Hell is this Labor Day thingy all about anyway? Did you have the day off? Thank the Union. Did you have to work? Then join a union! It's all about the worker on tonight's show...mostly. For two minutes it's about Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, but mostly it's about the worker. And you know it should always be about the worker, right? Why do so many people vote against their own interests? It boggles the mind.

Are you getting educated about the upcoming election? It's not just about Hil and the Donald. There are so many propositions on the Cali ballot that it makes my head spin. Legalize Weed? Ban the death penalty? You better get reading, kids. And please be sure to vote this November. I'll be talking up the election during my last show in October to get you all ready for it.

Until then, enjoy this deep dish of labor delights from yours truly, Hell's Kitchen Radio, and Radio Valencia.

See you on the radio.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Work Song: Butterfield Blues Band
The Feeling is Gone: John Lee Hooker and Canned Heat
Mean Old Frisco: John Hammond Jr.

Volunteers: Jefferson Airplane
San Francisco Bay Blues: Jesse Fuller
Graveyard Shift: Uncle Tupelo
I Don't Want To Be A Soldier Mama: John Lennon

On The Road Again: Jack Broadbent
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Gil Scott-Heron
Tommy in 7 Minutes: Various Artists

War: Bob Marley and the Wailers
No, Ah Lissen: Texas Preacher
N.E.S.T.A.: Antibalas
Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin Reunion: Jerry Lewis Telethon 1976
Mean Machine: The Last Poets

She Watch Channel Zero: Public Enemy
Let It Down: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Heart of the Sunrise: Yes

(Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Gonna Go: Curtis Mayfield
Career Opportunities: The Clash

Joe Hill: Utah Phillips

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #272: We Are The Dreamers Of Dreams

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Well 2016 continues to be a shit show when it comes to amazing
entertainers who have influenced so many lives. This week we say goodbye to the great Gene Wilder, star of so many great movies from my childhood; and recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who was at the controls of thousands of legendary jazz recording sessions, that it's fair to say the his ear was as important as the musicians and the producer in creating some of the most memorable tunes from the 1950s up until just a few short months ago. Both we be missed, but luckily for all of us we have more than enough material to enjoy them for decades to come!



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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The Wonderous Boat Ride: Gene Wilder
Loran's Dance: Idris Muhammad

Locomotion: John Coltrane
Tequila: Wes Montgomery
I Got A Woman: Jimmy Smith

The Turnaround: Big John Patton
Blues March: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Love for Sale: Cannonball Adderley

For Mods Only: Chico Hamilton
Maiden Voyage: Herbie Hancock
Evil Eye: Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore

The Sidewinder: Lee Morgan

Warsawng: Glitter Wizard
Disorder: Meatbodies
The Sadist: Zig Zags

Dead Man's Gun: Thee Oh Sees
Pure Imagination: Gene Wilder

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #271: The Music Plays the Band

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Some nights the music plays the band. That would be this night. What a ton of fun this show was to host. Lots of new music and hidden gems.

For those of you looking for something fun to do this week, I have two shows I recommend.

Thursday night at the Fillmore is my favorite Japanese drone, ambient, metal band Boris! They are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their breakout record PINK! Earth is opening. Come to this show! Bring ear plugs and a chest protector. Trust me.

Friday night at the Uptown in Oakland is a fundraiser for Sean and Monique Lyons, whom many of us know from the local music scene. They moved to Louisiana a year ago only to have a house fire, with no insurance coverage, the day after their one year wedding anniversary. We love the Lyons' and want to help them with all we can, so on this night we gather on their behalf. Tickets and donations at the door night of show. Featuring performances by MoFu!, Maximum Bob, Kehoe International, CACA and MCM and the Monster. Master of ceremonies Sean Boyles.

Caca is some of the best local SF musicians covering FRANK ZAPPA!!! You do not want to miss this show as well. 

So many wonderful opportunities to see live local music. Get out and get yours.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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I Love Living in the City: Danko Jones
When the Levee Breaks: Led Zeppelin
September Gurls: Big Star

Gelatinous Cube: Thee Oh Sees
Come Undone: Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
Deeper Well: Emmylou Harris

Girl Loves Me: David Bowie
Oh Bondage! Up Yours!: X-Ray Specs
Born on the Bayou: Betty Davis
Trickle Down System: Giant Sand

Rich Old White Men: OBNIIs
Battle of Algiers: John Zorn
Famous Blue Raincoat: Leonard Cohen

Black Coffee: Altamont
The Movie: Ken Nordine
Delta of Venus: Anywhere

Fall on Me: REM
Poems: Jack Kerouac
Incinerate: Sonic Youth
Journey in Satchidananda: Alice Coltrane

The Pill: Loretta Lynn
The Rocker: Thin Lizzy

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #270: Someone Saved My Life Tonight

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This week I was proud to have Delynn Parker on my show to speak about suicide awareness and prevention. Delynn has a MS in psychology and is working on her MFT. She works with young kids in Bay Area elementary schools. We spoke for the two hours about suicide, why it's such a taboo to speak about, how friends and family can support their loved ones, what to say, and what not to say to someone who is contemplating suicide, and a lot of music from people who have committed suicide, or from those who have lost someone to it.

Though the topic is a heavy one, Delynn's soft and loving heart filled the two hours information as well as humor. The more we know, the more we can save.

Delynn has a gofundme page for her campaign bringing suicide awareness to the masses. Please visit the page and consider giving. And share the link far and wide. It could save a life.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the suicide prevention hotline 24 hours a day at 415-781-0500, or go online to

There's even a crisis text line, which offers 24 hour support, text MYLIFE to 741741

Other providers include:

National Suicide Prevention/Crisis Line
(800)-273-TALK  (1-800-273-8255)

NAMI- Help Line: 415-905-NAMI (6264)

Mobile Crisis Treatment Team (MCTT) The Mobile Crisis Treatment Team is made up of a diverse multidisciplinary staff providing psychiatric crisis intervention services for adults located in the City and County of San Francisco.
Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 11 PM (last field visit at 10PM)
Saturdays and Holidays  12 Noon to  8 PM  (last field visit at 7PM)
[Closed Sundays]
Services Provided:
•    Emergency crisis assessment/intervention services conducted in the field
•    Early intervention before situation escalates to critical crisis point
•    Consultation services provided to consumers, housing/support systems, mental health providers, and other concerned parties
•    Assistance with linkage to outpatient mental health services
•    5150 evaluation capacity and determination of appropriate level of care
•    Short-term medication services may be available
•    Spanish, Russian, and Cantonese/Mandarin speaking staff (schedules vary)

San Francisco Peer Run Warm Line
(855) 845-7415
Monday-Friday, 7:00am-11:00pm
Saturday-Sunday, 11:00am-7:00pm
Peer counseling providing emotional support and information about mental health resources.
Friendship Line (Institute on Aging)
(800) 971-0016
The Friendship Line at Institute on Aging is the nation’s only 24-hour toll-free hotline for older and disabled adults. Trained staff and volunteers make and receive calls to and from individuals who are either in crisis or just in need of a friend.
Mental Health Association of San Francisco
(415) 421-2926
870 Market Street, Suite 928
Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm
Contact us for information about mental health and various mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, clinical anxiety, schizophrenia, and more. We also provide information and referrals for mental health treatment and other community resources. MHA-SF does not provide direct clinical services.
San Francisco County Behavioral Health ACCESS
(415) 255-3737
(888) 246-3333
Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
ACCESS is the first point of contact for individuals enrolled in Medicaid, Medi-Cal, Healthy San Francisco, and other state healthcare programs. ACCESS can also assist individuals in enrolling for healthcare and finding mental health services.
(415) 808-HELP
Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:30pm
Provides information and referrals for mental health services and information for self-help groups in Bay Area. English, Spanish, and Chinese operators
San Francisco Psychological Association
(415) 681-3063
Information and referrals for mental health services. Multi-lingual
Northern California Psychiatric Society
(415) 334-2418
1631 Ocean Avenue
San Francisco, CA
Information about mental health practice specialties. Referrals to mental health practitioners.
Community Health Network of San Francisco
(415) 206-5166
Patient advocate visitor’s center.
Network of Support for Community Living
Comprehensive, Internet-based community resource for the adults with disabilities and seniors, as well as their caregivers and service providers.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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I Love Living in the City: Danko Jones
Negative Creep: Nirvana
Somebody Saved in My Life Tonight: Elton John

The Shape I'm In: The Band
Sushi Girl: The Tubes
Time of no Reply: Nick Drake

The Eternal: Joy Division
Changes: Black Sabbath
The Trolley Song: Judy Garland

Sweet Old World: Lucinda Williams
Click Click: English Beat
Oh Candy: Cheap Trick

Emma: Hot Chocolate
I Drove Her Out Of My Mind: Johnny Cash
Rock of all Ages: Badfinger

Sentimental Lady: Fleetwood Mac
What A Wonderful World: Louis Armstrong

Monday, August 08, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #269: Eagle Wing Palace of the Queen Chinee

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My musical tastes are anything but conventional, and I think that should be the norm. I was raised by a father who loved Chicago blues, and was also around two older sisters who were into the popular rock of the 70s. My first favorite band was KISS, followed by the Beatles a few years later, and then Led Zeppelin. I've written at length about my introduction to the Grateful Dead, and my subsequent love affair with them. My 25+ years in non-commercial radio has introduced me to too many genres to count, and it's just as common to hear me play the Melvins on my show as it is James Brown.

For my most recent show I wanted to pay homage to the musician who made the deepest impact on my musical soul: Jerry Garcia. I don't love every one of his songs, and I cannot stand his voice after 1982. It was the deep spiritual, true American message that most resonates with me. It's because of Jerry's love of American musical history that encouraged me to dig deeper than what was commonly offered up on mainstream radio. I think it's safe to say Jerry Garcia is one of the main reasons I chose a life of left-of-the-dial radio.

Tonight's selection runs from early raw-Dead, to some screaming jams. Take a dive and enjoy the ride.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider: Grateful Dead (11-14-73 San Diego Sports Arena)

Samson and Delilah: GD (10-10-80 Warfield Theater, SF)
Candyman/Cumberland Blues: GD (05-02-70 Harpur College, Binghampton, NY)
It Hurts Me Too: GD (05-19-66 Avalon Ballroom SF)

Hard To Handle/Cosmic Charlie: GD (04-05-69 Avalon Ballroom, SF)
Bob's Dog Story/Bertha: GD (04-14-72 Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen, DK)

Help-Slip-Franklin's Tower: GD (06-09-77 Winterland, SF)
Loving Man: GD 1969 Pigpen/Bobby/Jerry demos

Beat it on Down the Line: GD (02-24-74 Winterland Arena, SF)
Friend of the Devil: GD (07-07-78 Red Rocks, Morrison, CO)

Promised Land: GD (12-26-79 Oakland Arena)

August 9th is the 21st anniversary of the passing of Jerry Garcia. I wrote the following on my Facebook page earlier today:

I was waking up listening to Ann Arbor on KFJC when I heard that Jerry had passed. Actually I hit the snooze button, but something in her tone that I briefly heard made me turn the radio right back on. Sad doesn't put it quite right. I was full of anguish for the next number of days. I knew it would eventually happen, I just didn't think it would happen so soon. I called my friends Nichole and Zion to see how they were faring. I think it hit us all like a ton of bricks. Zion's mother came to town a few days later and we all went to the Jerry memorial in GG Park. She told us some amazing stories of touring. She told us she had never been to a Grateful Dead concert before and wanted to go to the middle of the crowd, which I know made Zion nervous.About 30 or so minutes into it a tall, lumbering hippy came through the crowd and walked right up to us. He looked at Zion's mother and said in his sprite southern accent "Donna Jean?! Why, I haven't seen you in a coons age." He then looked at Zion, and said "why you're the spittin' image of your old man.", which he is. They spoke for a while and then he (his name is Sunshine) said so long, and walked off. At that moment people around us started to kindly say hello to Donna and show their love. If there was ever a bitter-sweet day, it was that one.
That moment reminded me that even without Jerry physically being present anymore, he doesn't need to be for all of us to still feel his presence and what he and his musical message means to all of us who took the time to listen and embrace it. To mourn his passing, even after 21 years, is to fail to see that as long as we sing his songs, then we still sing his praises.
I don't know what happens to us when we die, but I do know that as long as I live I'll continue to enjoy what Jerry brought to my life, with a smile on my face, the same as when Sunshine saw Donna and Zion as he tripped his way through the fields. Take pleasure in what you have now, and share the love as you go.

There are a few great Grateful Dead-related events happening in San Francisco this weekend. I hope you can make them all.

Thursday, August 11 - 7-8:30PM - Deadheads: Book reading/signing with author Linda Kelly
Excelsior Library 4400 Mission Street at Cotter
Come down and hear author Linda Kelly read from her book. You can buy a book-themed trucker hat too!

Saturday, August 13 - 8PM-2AM - Pre-Jerry Day Dance Party with John Hell
Doctor's Lounge 4826 Mission Street in the Excelsior District
In association with Jerry Day 2016, will host a Grateful Dead dance party in a pre-celebration of Sunday’s 14th annual Jerry Day.

Sunday, August 14 - 10:30AM - Jerry Garcia Plaque Unveiling
4550 Mission Street at Harrington Street
The first Jerry Garcia plaque is finally being forged, and we're going to have an unveiling celebration the morning of Jerry Day! Join us at the corner of Mission and Harrington Streets, and then we can all head up to Jerry Garcia Amphitheater to celebrate!

Sunday August 14 - 11AM-6PM - 14th Annual Jerry Day 
@ Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park
From the website: Jerry Day is a civic and cultural event that celebrates one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time and San Francisco native son – Jerry Garcia. This event captures the true spirit of Jerry Garcia as we celebrate his legacy, the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, and recognize his childhood roots from the Excelsior District of San Francisco. By uniting the diverse communities of San Francisco through Jerry’s music, we are creating something extraordinary for Jerry’s childhood neighborhood – the Excelsior District, McLaren Park, and the City and County of San Francisco.

I sure hope to see you all at some or all of these upcoming events. Have a grateful week.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Hell's Kitchen Radio #268: Hell's Squad

This is where a picture of my daughter and I is supposed to sit. I don't see it either, but I can tell you it's really quite something to behold. You'll just have to use your imagination.

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Lauson and I had so much fun last Monday night. I think you can tell by the playlist, but mostly through the banter. We spoke a lot about her love of sloths. Lauson's songs are designated by "LH".

The second hour has a couple of tunes celebrating the birthday of the late, great local boy, Jerry Garcia, who would have turned 74 on this date, August 1st.

In celebration of the 14th annual Jerry Garcia Day coming up this Sunday, August 14th at Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park in SF, I will be spinning two hours of Jerry and Grateful Dead tonight on Radio Valencia. This coming Saturday night, August 13th, I'll be spinning six hours of live Dead, from 8PM-2AM at Doctor's Lounge, located at 4826 Mission Street in the Excelsior District of SF. Come on down and dance.



Hell's Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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I Love Living in the City: Danko Jones
Rent Control: Bongos, Bass and Bob
Intergalactic: Beastie Boys - LH

Youth Culture Killed My Dog: They Might Be Giants
Panda: Desiigner - LH
She Watch Channel Zero: Public Enemy
Black People What Y'all Goin' Do: The Last Poets
Little Red Hen: Taj Mahal

Heathens: Twenty One Pilots - LH
Little Child Running Wild: Curtis Mayfield
People Get Ready: Aretha Franklin

Gangster's Paradise: Coolio - LH
I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement: Ramones
Tamale Lady: Rube Waddell

Russian Seagull: The Reliables
Deep Elem: Jerry and Sara
No More: Hubert Laws

Gold Rings: Unlikely Heroes - LH
The Pusher: Nina Simone
Higher: Sly and the Family Stone

Don't Stop Me Now: Queen - LH
Midnight Moonlight: Jerry Garcia Band
Take Me To The River: Talking Heads

Fly Me To The Moon: Frank Sinatra - LH