Creative Convergence Silicon Valley, or C2SV,
delivered a festival to remedy San Jose’s lack of a nationally recognized music scene last Thursday through Sunday. C2SV offered a unique angle that incorporated Silicon Valley’s reputation as the international cradle of technological innovation. San Jose, the geeky kid brother to San Francisco, made a clear effort to emerge from the shadows with the event.
C2SV wasn't merely a festival; it was also a conference including panels about current advancements in technology, ranging from the possibility of drones to becoming personal transportation vehicles to apps that help couples conceive.
Among those involved with C2SV was the conference’s keynote speaker, James Williamson, who boasts special credentials. Williamson is not only the former vice president of Technology Standards at Sony, he is also the guitarist for iconic punk band and C2SV headliner, Iggy and the Stooges.
The festival occupied almost every venue in downtown San Jose. On the first night of the festival, burgeoning new alternative bands opened for nostalgic acts, including popular ‘90s band The Lemonheads, who performed at Cafe Stritch located at 374 S. First St.
Dirty Ghosts, who are gaining popularity in San Francisco’s punk scene, opened for The Lemonheads. They were led by androgynous singer and guitarist, Allyson Baker. She is reminiscent of the godmother of punk music, Patti Smith. Baker’s rail-thin arms shredded her guitar as she pugnaciously sang into her microphone.
One of San Francisco’s vanguard indie garage rock bands, Thee Oh Sees, opened for The Stooges at St. James Park located at Third and St. James streets. Audience attendance was mediocre. The band usually draws larger and more enthusiastic crowds at festivals. Front-man John Dwyer acknowledged the honor he felt to “share the stage with The Stooges.”
The most anticipated act of the festival was undoubtedly Iggy and the Stooges at St. James Park. The park swelled with fans as a golden autumn sunset faded into night. The crowd was a cross-section of demographics. There were baby-boomers clad in leather jackets, some with mohawks, nonchalantly smoking cigarettes among young adults who could only wish to be as authentically hip as these fans whom precede them by several generations.
The Stooges, who disbanded in 1974, reunited for a tour this year. Iggy Pop strutted onstage wearing low-cut, skin-tight jeans and no shirt. At 66 years old, he appeared as lean and muscular as he was in the ‘70s, save the sagging skin under his upper arms. He sensually rubbed his hands down his body before opening the show with the song “Raw Power.” He crawled on the stage floor and barked between verses of “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”
He and the Stooges played a new song, “Sex and Money,” because Iggy is “tormented by sex and money,” he shouted to the audience.
Iggy skipped in circles like a frenetic child as he performed. He writhed, unbuckled his pants, mocked hanging himself with his microphone chord, and was largely unquotable because his stage banter was riddled with expletives.
“I could say goodnight or I can say f**k off, but what I really want to say is nothing,” Iggy said to his utterly seduced audience.
There was a young girl in the audience who couldn't be older than 8 or 9 years old wearing a denim jacket with a Ramones appliqué on the back. Bringing a child to a Stooges’ show is either bad parenting or an initiation to preserve the legacy of punk.