The Top Ten Top Twenties is a series of posts featuring ten Digital Music mavens with exquisite taste, counting down their top
20 albums from 2000 – 2009. The one rule was they had 2 days to create
their lists and turn them in.  Today’s
featured top 20 is David Katznelson, owner of San Francisco label Birdman Records and founder of the San Francisco Appreciation Society

The first time I heard the name David Katznelson,
I lived 2000 miles away from San Francisco in the capitol hill district
of Denver, Colorado. It wasn’t David who I heard of exactly, but rather
one of the bands on his label Birdman Records.
I lived across the street from indie retailer WaxTrax and the owner
recommended The Warlocks. He knew my taste, I was there most Tuesdays.
And Wednesdays. And most days. 

And he was right. I loved (and still love) The Warlocks.
I turned to my best friend and announced: “I want to work for Birdman
Records, they put out great shit.” The website indicated Birdman was
run by David Katznelson. 4 years later I was introduced to him by way
CEO, Noise Pop founder and native San Franciscan Kevin Arnold. At the
time, Kevin had just hired me and we went out to celebrate. David
joined us and started talking about The Warlocks. Having no idea I was
actually talking to the owner of Birdman, or that Birdman was
distributed by IODA, I had a fan-girl moment: “I love them, I’m
obsessed with them, I used to joke with my friend about working for
their label, Birdman” 

“I’m David, that’s my label, I may have some Warlocks swag in the car, i’ll go get you some…” 

Over time I’ve made  San Francisco my home, and
David has become a friend through the digital music industry community
as well as with the San Francisco Appreciation Society (follow @appreciatesf
for one interesting fact about SF every day), and I have been a speaker
and regular attendee at his monthly digital music event with David
Hyman (CEO, Mog) called Musica Tecnomica.
Katznelson worked at Warner Brothers for 10 years where he signed one
of my very favorite bands: The Flaming Lips (also: Mudhoney,
Nick Cave).  He’s the best kind of music industry maven: passionate,
forward thinking, always working, and always ready to share music.

The most recent time i heard the name “David
Katznelson” was just 2 nights ago, when Flaming Lips front man Wayne
Coyne dedicated an extremely rockin version of the song “Pompeii AM Gotterdammerung” from their album At War With The Mystics – to David Katznelson – at the Treasure Island Music Festival. File David in: Cool.

Just take a look at his bio:

David Katznelson is a San Francisco
native who started hitting the music industry bottle at the ripe age of
15 while ushering and postering for Bill Graham Presents.  KUSF, KALX
followed and then a 10 year stint at Warner Brothers where he signed
bands like The Boredoms, Mudhoney, The Flaming Lips, The Texas
Tornados, Nick Cave, etc.  He jumped the corporate ship and focused his
attention on Birdman, where he has signed bands like The Warlocks, The
Gris Gris, The Howlin Rain, The Aliens, the Ferocious Few, Tamerlane
Phillips, etc.  He is the co-founder of Musica Tecnomica, the
co-founder of The San Francsico Appreciation Society, co-founder of The
Idelsohn Society, the owner of vinyl-only reissue label Sutro Park,
co-producer of the 10 CD box set called Alan Lomax
in Haiti, and in his spare time loves listening to records.  HE also
spends half his time consulting for the San Francisco Jewish Community
Federation and is engaged to marry the lovely BarbaraBersche. He is
about to start reading the new translation of Don Quixote.

David Katznelson’s Naughty 21: Best 21 albums of the 21st century (in no particular order

Note: Every one of the Digital Music mavens
with exquisite taste who were interviewed for this process sent at least one disclaimer. David’s was
an insistence that i mention his top twenty-one
albums of the twenty first century are in no order and, says Katznelson
“there are definitely key records missing” but my strict deadline him
stopped in him his tracks.

As with all of the lists posted, I listened to every single album on this list
and was most thankful for his inclusion of Johnny Cash, Vetiver, Greg Ashley & Twilight Singers. Thanks, David!

Next up in the Top Ten Top Twenties: Steve Jang

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