1) Bridge School 25th Anniversary DVD/CD Collection


Official video clip: http://youtu.be/oO2Vz_AIdJE

Reprise Records has released two very special and highly anticipated packages: a three-DVD set and a two-CD collection that feature unique live performances from many of the phenomenal artists who have performed at the beloved Annual Bridge School Benefit Concerts over the past 25 years.

Some of the biggest names in music are included on The Bridge School Benefit Concerts – 25th Anniversary Edition, performing rare, acoustic versions of songs, never heard anywhere else. Proceeds benefit The Bridge School, a non-profit, innovative organization educating children with severe speech and physical impairments through the use of augmentative and alternative communication systems and assistive technology. This once-in-a-lifetime collection is sure to become a treasured artifact for many years to come.

Artists featured on the three-DVD set include Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, The Who, Tom Petty, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and much more. Neil Young organizes the event each year with his wife Pegi Young. A documentary DVD includes “The Bridge School Story,” which gives a special look into this wonderful school and the truly phenomenal services they provide to children with advanced physical and communication challenges. Another documentary on the DVD, “Backstage At The Bridge School Benefit Concert,” offers a bird’s-eye view of the event itself, along with special features that include heartfelt interviews with the students and the artists themselves.

The two-CD set features exclusive performances from Sheryl Crow, Thom Yorke, Norah Jones, No Doubt, Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Sonic Youth, and more.

Bridge School co-founder Pegi Young and Executive Director Dr. Vicki Casella explain: “The success of The Bridge School has been ensured over these many years through the extraordinary generosity of performers, artists, and musicians. The funds raised by this benefit have allowed us to have a positive impact on children, families, and professionals throughout the world.”

And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to get Pegi Young’s brand new CD, Bracing For Impact. We recommend it!

2) Tickets to see Green Day’s Broadway musical American Idiot in San Francisco


Green Day’s American Idiot returns to the Bay Area for a special run at the Orpheum Theatre. Direct from Broadway and a six-month national tour, the smash-hit musical American Idiot tells the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. Their quest for meaning in a post 9/11 world leads them on an exhilarating journey. Through incredible spectacle, thrilling performances and with the hope embodied by a new generation, American Idiot ignited Broadway with a dynamic jolt when it opened in March 2010. Based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album and featuring the hits “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday,” and the blockbuster title track, American Idiot boldly takes the American musical where it’s never gone before. With direction by Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), choreography by Steven Hoggett (Black Watch), and orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), the result is an experience Charles Isherwood of The New York Times declares “thrilling, emotionally charged, and as moving as any Broadway musical I’ve seen this year!” American Idiot returns to the Bay Area as part of the Shorenstein-Hays-Nederlander 2011/2012 Season on June 12-July 8, 2012. Tickets are currently available only as part of the subscription package. For updates regarding sale of single tickets, visit: http://www.shnsf.com/shows/AmericanIdiot.

3) Metallica’s Lulu with Lou Reed


For those who like their holidays more on the darker side, this two-CD collaboration between rock legend Lou Reed and the Metallica boys was inspired by German expressionist writer Frank Wedekind’s “Lulu plays,” about a sexy young dancer who falls on hard times.



4) Tickets to Bill Graham’s 81st Birthday Bash at The Fillmore, Jan. 7, featuring Hot Tuna (electric)!


From Bonnie Simmons:

I think a pair of tickets to Bill Graham’s 81st Birthday Bash at the Fillmore on Jan. 7, featuring Hot Tuna(electric) and the David Bromberg Quartet, would make a great holiday present. The Bash is an annual fundraising show which benefits the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, and helps the Foundation continue to give grants to worthy non-profit organizations. The Bash is also a blast! Tickets available through livenation.com.

We have a wealth of great local musicians who have new or recent CDs out, all of which are cool: Laurie Lewis has a Bill Monroe Tribute record, Skippin and Flyin; Mother Hips has a box-set out, commemorating their last 20 years, Days of Sun and Grass; Raphael Saadiq’s Stone Rollin’; or the most recent Cake CD, Showroom of Compassion.

A pair of tickets to see live music at any of our great local clubs is a great gift. Buy a pair for a friend to something you know they would really like to see, but that you might not be as familiar with yourself. That way, they are grooving and you might discover something musically new for your own self.

Think about making a donation to your favorite local local listener-supported radio station, whether it be KPFA, KALW, KQED, KCSM, etc.

Bonnie Simmons Executive Director Bill Graham Memorial Foundation and KPFA DJ

5) Journey’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 spans hit singles, album tracks and rarities from 1978 to 1996


Former Journey front man Steve Perry put together a list of what he thought should be on Journey’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2, and everyone in the current band agreed.


6) Greg Kihn’s Kihnplete


This three-CD set of classic Kihn tracks includes studio tracks, acoustic recordings and live cuts.


7) KFOG Live from the Archives Vol. 18


From Rosalie Howarth:

The ideal gift for the music collector: KFOG Live from the Archives Vol. 18… because it’s music you can’t get anywhere else! At 21 live tracks this year, it’s the longest single-disc release of the series so far. All the songs were recorded exclusively for KFOG, in the radio station’s Playspace, and at clubs and halls around the Bay Area. The artists range from big names like Melissa Etheridge, Snow Patrol, Iron & Wine, and KT Tunstall, to up-and-comers like The Civil Wars, Swell Season, , and Scars on 45. Plus: local guys Matt Nathanson and Brett Dennen. Best of all, with this disc KFOG will bring to $5 million the total raised so far for Bay Area food banks, through the KFOG Live from the Archives series. This gift is easy to mail away to friends and family outside the Bay Area (give ’em a slice of San Francisceana!), and it also fits right inside a holiday stocking. And it becomes a real collectors’ item after it sells out each year! Available at Peet’s Coffee & Tea locations (but call ahead; they are running low) and through kfog.com.

A warm and wonderful Holiday Season to you and yours, from all of us at KFOG!

8) Grace Slick artwork–original paintings, original drawings, and hand-signed limited edition prints by the former Jefferson Airplane singer.



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