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I am loving living in San Francisco again, but my life is very different this year than it has been in the past. In some ways that is good, but in others, it kind of blows! I am working full time at a Commercial Construction Company, which is nice, as far as steady pay goes. The part that blows is that I get up so early, that I don’t go out on weeknights anymore, and I can’t stay as actively involved in the local music scene as I used to be (as far as booking & promoting shows, and doing band publicity). I miss being more involved in local music, but I don’t miss being totally broke all the time! Now, I understand what being a "weekend warrior" is all about!
Last weekend, I danced until 4 in the morning, which I hadn’t done in ages! It was a total blast. I went to a DJ set of Miss Kittin (of Miss Kittin and the Hacker, the electro clash artist). It was at a club that was new to me, called Mezzanine. The place was really big, with several bars, an upstairs, and an outdoor area for smokers. My favorite thing about it besides the thumping bass, was that they actually served champagne! (It’s my favorite thing to drink, but most bars and clubs don’t serve it.) The crowd was diverse and fun, and I ended up being surrounded by even more gay boys than I had arrived with. My calves were killing me the next day from hours of dancing in heels, but boy, was it fun!
Before hitting Mezzanine, I checked out a newly re-opened and remodeled bar called "Cip Lounge" (formerly "My Place") in the SOMA district. It is decorated really beautifully, with a simple, clean, modern style that you’d expect to see in a hip Manhattan lounge. They did a really nice job on the remodel, complete with a waterfall behind the bar shelves. (My friends and I especially enjoyed that you could order a moderately priced bottle of good champagne that is served in it’s own ice bucket.)
About a month ago, I returned to a new haunt of mine, Club Six’s "On Six Gallery," to see a Tattoo Art show and a hilariously annoying band. The band was called "Extra Action Marching Band," and they really were just that. They are a marching band that has a lot of extra action going on- like girls with pom-poms, who strip and then cover themselves in pudding. I actually missed the
latter part though, because after about half of their set, I couldn’t stand big tubas and other various horns coming only a foot from my ears! The place was so crowded, and there wasn’t much room to stand back away from it all, as the band was marching through the sea of people. I finally had to retreat down to the basement, where there were hip-hop DJs and another bar. I really enjoyed the night, and the wide variety of goings-on. My friend Jake Hout had a giant work of art hanging above the bar. His work is really amazing if you are a fan of modern art (www.jakehout.com).
I had another funny night in April too. I went to see a favorite local band, The Black Furies open up for the 7 Shot Screamers and New York’s Turbo AC’s at Thee Parkside. All the bands were totally rad. It was a really great show. The reason it was a funny night though, is because I did something silly and unexpected. The Turbo AC’s had these rock ‘n roll bikinis for sale and I thought they were pretty cute, so I asked how much they were. The merch guy told me $20. I said that was too much, but he said if I came out and let him take my photo with the band while wearing it, he’d give it to me for half price. I was a little drunk, so I said "Sure!" I did it really fast, and then ran back into the office and got dressed. I am now the owner of a new bikini, and I surprised a crowd at a show. I never thought in a million years I’d ever be at a show in a bikini, but I was!
The 7 Shot Screamers were really good. I think they are from St. Louis, Missouri. I saw them play in LA opening up for Demented are Go last year, but I enjoyed this show even more. They are a good mix of psychobilly and energetic rock n’ roll, with a touch of goth thrown in for good measure. The Black Furies are one of the best rock n roll bands that the SF Bay Area has to offer. They really rock. So did the Turbo AC’s, but I was admittedly drunk and don’t remember the show that well, except that I had a really fun night! As Oscar Wilde apparently said, "I find that alcohol, taken in adequate quantities, can produce all the effects of drunkenness!" What a clever, brilliant man he was.
I recently went to see old school punk act, MDC at Thee Parkside. I was actually surprised at how good they were after all these years. I had never seen them, and I was not at all disappointed. They put on a great show, and are still worth going to see if you are a fan of old school punk rock. A local band called Retching Red opened up that night, and I really thought they were good too. They had a pretty, but tough-as-nails singer girl who had the crowd’s attention. Members of Retching Red include Joe from Strychnine and Mike from Oppressed Logic.
An old friend of mine from Dallas who fronts the band Darlington came through recently and played at the Hemlock Tavern. I have known him since the 5th grade! He is very talented, I’d say along the lines of Elvis Costello; who I suspect he is compared to a lot. He sings, plays guitar, and writes the songs, and he hires different bands to play with him for almost every tour. I don’t like seeing bands at the Hemlock because the room is so small, but on this Sunday night, it didn’t matter because hardly anyone was there. They put on a really good show anyway. Two weeks later, they were in New York playing with our very own NYC Coolgrrrl, Kitty Kowalski’s band. I hope Kitty includes their show at CBGB’s in her next update.
This year, upon my return to San Francisco, after a year I didn’t enjoy in LA, I vowed to branch out and enjoy San Francisco a little more than I had before I left at the end of 2003. I have been to several new venues, restaurants, and bars. I finally got to check out a punk show at a little Chinatown dive bar called the Lipo Lounge. They have been having occasional punk shows there for years, and although I have always been interested, I never got to check it out until recently. My friends the Radio Reelers played, whom I really enjoy. They are really high energy, fun punk rock, along similar lines as the Ramones. The Lipo Lounge is very small, and the show was located in a very low-ceilinged basement. It was no frills, but I enjoyed it and hope to see another show there in the future. Next time, I will try to have a lovely cheap Chinatown dinner beforehand. I have always enjoyed Chinatown.
I went to another venue I have never really frequented called the Hotel Utah, to see 2 of my favorite local bands, The Grannies and Everything Must Go. I love both bands, and have seen and written about both so many times, that I have to stop myself from going on about either of them right now. The reason I must mention this show anyway, is that there was a great, funny performer that went on between bands. His name is Roky Roulette. He is active in the burlesque community, and he does a striptease while bouncing on a pogo stick. It is totally hilarious. This was my 3rd time seeing him, and he wins over any crowd. It is funny, goes quickly for those with a short attention span, and even if you are a straight guy (as Roky is), it is just entertaining to watch a striptease happen on a pogo stick! I am all for it! www.rokyroulette.com
I checked out another good local band, The McCools play a while back at the Balazo Gallery located in the Mission District. The Balazo Gallery is great because they have art shows, bands, several different rooms to retreat to for conversations, and the bartender makes excellent Mojitos for $3! You can also get $2 cans of beer, which is nice when you’re watching funds!
Well I have finally managed to get caught up reporting some of the fun I’ve been having the last 2 months. I hope to have more to tell you all in the near future.
One more thing. One of my favorite Bay Area Punk Bands- The Grannies, are about to embark on their European tour. This band is awesome. The music rocks AND they dress up like scary Grandmas. What more could you want? See www.Grannies.com for updates.
01-6 Holland Amsterdam, @ De Diepte
02-6 Belgium Kortrijk, @ Metropool
03-6 Belgium Liege, @ CFCC w/La Fraction
04-6 Germany Düsseldorf @ AK 47 (CD release party)
06-6 Germany TBA
07-6 Germany Bremen/Hannover (tbc)
08-6 Germany Bochum, De Zwischenfall
09-6 Germany Cologne-Koln @ Sonic Ballroom
10-6 Germany Hamburg, @ open air festival /Lobusch
11-6 Germany Berlin @ Wild at Heart
13-6 DE/CZ/CH TBA
14-6 Germany TBA
15-6 Germany Chemnitz, Subway to Peter
16-6 Germany Freiburg, @ KTS
17-6 Switzerland Bern, @ the Dead End
18-6 Switzerland Ins, Schuexenhaus
20-6 F/DE TBA
21-6 F/DE TBA
22-6 F/DE TBA
23-6 DE/B/NL TBA
24-6 Netherlands Leiden @ Q-Bus
25-6 Netherlands Rotterdam @ De Player
26-6 NL end
UPDATED May 08, 2005
contact email@example.com for tour info!