San Francisco Chronicle’s TotalSF Podcast Premieres “At the barricade” by James Morehead

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 17, 2023). James Morehead (Poet Laureate – Dublin, California) was the featured guest on the San Francisco Chronicle’s TotalSF podcast “The 9 best live music venues in S.F.” episode (Feb 17, 2023, hosted by Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight). The episode featured a lively debate of San Francisco’s top live music venues with Peter, Heather, and James debating their top three picks, round robin-style. The episode also included the world premiere of James Morehead’s poem “At the barricade”, the title poem from his upcoming book of poems and photographs inspired by San Francisco Bay Area live music venues.

At the barricade

Packed in the Fillmore, hordes of t-shirts, no
signs of color just shades of ebony. 
Crushed bodies at the barricade below, 
my refuge above in the balcony

where I wait for blackout and tell-tale beams 
guiding shadows to the stage. Guitars are
slung on shoulders, a pair of drumsticks seem
to float on fog from hidden reservoirs. 

The crowd erupts, flash pots trigger war cries
and from the first, deep, subwoofer rumble
we are one. Speaker towers amplify
each beat, chord, strum, and lead singer mumble.

I lose myself in the torrent of sound, 
flashing color, seething masses—spellbound.

First performed on the SF Chronicle’s TotalSF podcast February 17, 2023 
copyright 2023 James Morehead

Creating the book “At the Barricade” was inspired by a friend who has been the recipient of many “check this out!” concert photos. Ever since smartphones have been capable of taking quality photos, part of my concert experience has been capturing cool visual moments for reliving and sharing the experience. This book also includes poetry I’ve written inspired by live music.

James Morehead (Poet Laureate – Dublin, CA and author of “At the Barricade”)

“At the Barricade” features images taken at nineteen concert venues across the San Francisco Bay Area featuring thirty-nine artists. All of the photographs were taken on smartphones, no flash photography / no tripods. The poetry attempts to fill in the sensory blanks that images can’t fully capture. It’s a love letter to the San Francisco Bay Area’s vibrant live music scene. Pre-order sign-up for this limited edition, signed and numbered book, is available here.

James Morehead in the San Francisco Chronicle Archives to record TotalSF

TotalSF is “a San Francisco culture podcast featuring celebrity guests, non-celebrity guests, personalities from the San Francisco Chronicle and a celebration of Bay Area life. Hosted by culture critic Peter Hartlaub and columnist Heather Knight and recorded on the streets, hilltops, parks and landmarks of San Francisco. The pair’s focus on the whimsy and wonder of San Francisco began in 2018 when they rode every bus, train, cable car and street car in the city in one day. They believe in highlighting the eccentric characters, independent bookstores, burger joints and bars that make the bay so great.”

The “The 9 best live music venues in S.F.” episode was recorded in the San Francisco Chronicle Archives in downtown San Francisco and also featured James reciting “She sings in cursive on the Fillmore stage” (which first appeared in the University of San Francisco’s Ignatian Literary Magazine), along with his top three picks for live music venues in San Francisco.

Excerpts from “At the Barricade” by James Morehead:

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