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New job(s) and shows!
Hey Coolgrrrls readers. So far, it’s been a gorgeous summer in San Francisco. There’ve been lot of fun things to do, and I’ve tried to do as much as I can make time for. Unfortunately though, I just took 2 jobs bartending 6 nights a week. Lately my schedule is full of work, with little time left for play. I do love bartending, but I didn’t mean to keep myself this busy! In the future, I hope to give myself a little more time off to go to shows and enjoy the city.
Before I over-extended myself, I began the summer with some fun shows. You may have read my Lady Sovereign show review, from Friday June 9th already, but if not, you can click here.
On Tuesday May 23rd, I was invited to a party thrown by Jack Daniels where Flogging Molly played at the Regency Ballroom. This is a beautiful venue, with tall molded ceilings and chandeliers, but the acoustics are not very good for seeing bands. The sound at this show made me unable to really enjoy this talented band as much as I could have. I saw them a few years back at the Key Club in LA, and they were great that time. Anyway, I’m sure most of you are familiar with Flogging Molly, but if you’re not, they are worth checking out. They have bagpipes, violins, and very infectious energy. They play Irish traditional music mixed with rock, which is a rowdy, fun combination that often inspires fan sing-a-longs. www.floggingmolly.com. (The night was fun even though the sound wasn’t up to par. My friends and I spent the duration of the night filling up on free Jack Daniels, as this was a promotional party we all got invited to somehow.)
On Memorial Day, Monday May 29, I had the pleasure of going to see Theo and the Skyscrapers at Café DuNord. Theo is the singer from punk band, The Lunachicks; and the guitarist of the band is (her husband) Sean from the Toilet Boys. Both bands are old favorites of mine, and I really love Theo’s voice, as well as her style. Sean’s signature guitar riffs stand out on the album, and work well with this new band. They performed a flawless set. I really like and recommend their new album, and they sounded as good live as they did on the record. www.theoandtheskyscrapers.com, www.myspace.com/theo, www.ilovetheo.com
My favorite song on the album is ‘Unraveled,’ about how seeing a particular person makes you feel like you’re falling apart. I think anyone can relate to that feeling, as most of us have felt that at some point. The chorus lyrics are, “Whenever I see you, I go to pieces. When you pull my strings, I’m unraveled.”
Theo looked beautiful, and invites the obvious comparisons to Debbie Harry of Blondie, both with her looks and her voice. This album invites those comparisons more than ever before in her career, as the songs and vocals are more melodic, she is fronting a band of rocker guys now, and the music is more new wave and rock than her previous punk rock roots. Any fan of Blondie would probably enjoy Theo and the Skyscrapers. I also occasionally hear something in Theo’s vocals that slightly reminds me of certain Siouxsie Sioux’s vocals, who I also really love.
The beginning of June was my birthday, and as I dressed for my Birthday dinner, I got a phone call saying I was hired for the bartending position I’d applied for at a Bar and Lounge/ Nightclub in downtown SF. It was an awesome birthday present, and I am really enjoying working there so far. Afternoons into evenings, the bar hosts an upscale, mellow happy hour from 4 to 7pm, comprised of local retailers, office people, and tourists. Nights there vary from packed hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, and soul nights, with some occasional slower nights mid week. We make lots of specialty drinks, and I’ll be learning a lot about mixology. So far I like it a lot, even though it is not like the kind of nightspots I normally frequent.
On Thursday June 8th, I went to see Arnocorps at Annie’s Social Club. Arnocorps are totally funny. They talk, dress, and act like Arnold Swarzenegger in his most famous roles – Terminator, Predator and the like. They speak with Austrian accents, wear camouflage, make jokes about working out and nutrition, and reference Arnold’s infamous movie quotes. They have a great time doing it, and the crowd always enjoys watching them. The music is obviously what holds it together, because if they couldn’t play, they would have stopped getting gigs a long time ago. They’ve been at this a while (I booked them over 3 years ago), and the novelty hasn’t worn off for fans yet, especially since Arnold is now the Governor of California! They are a really great, unique San Francisco band, which I recommend seeing if you get the opportunity. www.arnocorps.com www.myspace.com/arnocorps
The next night, I went to see Lady Sovereign, which I already mentioned, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterward, I went to Adrian & Mysterious D’s monthly Mash up club at DNA Lounge called Bootie, which is always a blast. www.bootiesf.com
The following weekend, June 16 and 17th was a debut photography exhibit for Bill Wyman’s (of Rolling Stones fame) work at the San Francisco Art Exchange, called “Wyman Shots.” His photos had not been previously shown to the public, so this was a rare treat to get to attend. He had captured amazing early Stones candid moments, beautiful photos of young Jerry Hall, other musicians, and more. The opening night was really uncomfortably hot though, and I didn’t end up staying as long as I’d like to take it all in. To view some of his work and for more info, go to: sfae.com/gallery
Sunday June 18th, I went to the Zeitgeist to see 2 films showing on the back patio by Cecil Barfeeder (drummer of punk band the Barfeeders). I know him from the music scene and wanted to check out his 2 films, Meter Maid Me Massacre, and the Tamale Lady, which is about the Tamale Lady, who is known for frequenting local bars selling her homemade tamales all over town. www.cecilbfeeder.com I got there and was surprised by a long line to get into the bar, which I waited in until I gained entry. Once I was in, I found out about an offer to pay $10 for all-you-can-drink Speakeasy Brew beer and 2 tamales. I paid the 10 bucks and got a beer and tamale while I watched the film about the Tamale Lady. I was having fun, and the patio out back was packed with tons of people I knew, and even more that I didn’t.
When I went in about 20 minutes later to get another beer, a girl offered to buy me a shot, which I accepted. She ordered it and then she realized she didn’t have the cash on her and needed to use the ATM in the bar to get some quick cash. I guess this made the bartender (who was also apparently the manager) angry with her. I fished out $10 more of my own money and put it on the bar for him, and she returned with her cash about half a minute later.
She then said to me, “Alisha, I didn’t do anything, but he hates me and is throwing me out.” I responded by saying, “Really? That’s lame.” The bartender heard my reaction and started yelling at me, “F*** you too, you’re out of here! Security, escort her out! She’s out of here! F*** off! F*** you!” And I am almost speechless. What? I’m being thrown out of a bar when I’ve only had one beer, and have not caused any trouble whatsoever? I could not believe it. I’ve been going to the Zeitgeist for years, and I have always been a respectable patron.
I said, “I’m sorry, calm down. I didn’t do anything.“ The security is pulling me away from my new drinks on the bar, and saying to me, “It doesn’t matter.” I said, “Yes it does! I work at bars; I don’t get thrown out of them! Hell, my dad owns a bar. I’ve never been thrown out of a bar in my life!” They were still like, “It doesn’t matter, you have to go.”
Needless to say, I missed the films I went there to see. I planned to write about them, but can’t now. I am still livid about this unfair and irrational treatment by a bar manager. I was further irritated by the fact that he kicked out 2 non-trouble-making girls, but continually allows loads of people to smoke illegal marijuana on the patio.
I later found out the guy’s name is Liam and he used to own a bar called Benders, which recently burned down due to arson. Rumor has it, the place was torched by a Molotov cocktail. When I heard this, I was not the least bit surprised. He made me so mad, I would have loved to burn his shit down myself. (I’d never do such a thing to ruin my own life but one can dream.) He probably pissed someone with a crazy streak off, and brought the bad karma on himself. He is the biggest asshole that I’ve met in so long, that I can’t remember a bigger asshole! I am mad enough to say even though I have spent lots of money in both of those bars, I won’t be going back to the Zeitgeist, and I am glad that asshole’s bar Bender’s burned down! Fuck me? No, fuck you.
The following weekend, I was on the list to see Ferry Corsten, an Internationally known and respected Dutch electronic dance DJ and producer. He has remained in the top 10 DJ’s on the planet for over 5 years. I didn’t know anything about him beyond what I read in the press release and bio on him, but I thought the new album he produced, L.E.F., (Loud Electronic Ferocious), was interesting and thought it would be cool to check out something out of my realm of experience for a change of pace.
Well friends, I tried. I just couldn’t stand the venue and it’s sound system. The event was held at Ruby Skye, a big loud dance club for the kind of crowd I just don’t really understand. I still showed up intending to give it a chance, but it was SO LOUD and the people were not cool, so I bounced out of there and on to another club before Ferry Corsten even began his set. All I can say is, if you are open to electronic dance music like I am, he is worth checking out. I obviously cannot recommend anyone ever hang out at Ruby Skye though! www.ferrycorsten.com
That night I ended up at Boca on Jessie Street, which is an alley South of Market between 5th and 6th streets. It was a super fun little club that night. This was Gay Pride Weekend, and I had heard that one of SF’s most well known drag queens, Heklina, was throwing a party there. They played great dance music with lots of old school 80’s and funny video projections, but I don’t recall seeing Heklina by the time I made it to the club. I still had a blast though.
The following night, I went to a club night called Pop Rocks at DNA Lounge. Friends of mine, Adrian and Mysterious D were DJing the upstairs lounge, and I always enjoy the parties they DJ at. The club was packed with interesting and fun people. I made a hundred friends, hung out with new and old ones, danced like a fool, and then stayed up till morning with some of them.
The following day was the big Gay Pride celebration, which I had trouble getting my ass out the door for. I’m so glad I did though, because as usual, it was an absolute blast!
I ran around the Civic Center, listened to Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and Crystal Waters, ate meat on a stick, drank all day, saw a dancing bear, went to another party A & Mysterious D DJ’ed at, then ended up at the fabulous Bambuddah Lounge party at the Phoenix Hotel until the sun went down. It was full of fabulous people, a drag show, naked boys in the pool, drag queens, straight people, hotel rooms hosting parties outpouring into the courtyards, and I even saw some girl climb a tree! When I had finally had my fill of it, I headed over to a private party at the Hemlock called The Bartenders Ball, which featured a midget Kiss band called Mini Kiss (which I tragically missed), and free Jameson’s all night. It was another action-packed, fun Gay Pride weekend. (Never mind that I stopped attending the actual parade years ago. It’s the gallivanting that I most enjoy.)
On Friday June 30th, I went to see a band that is among my new local favorites now. They’re called The All Time Highs. They are loud, fast ROCK and f’***ing ROLL! They were tight, and put on a great high energy set. I will totally go see them again. The singer is Mark from an internationally well-known Death Metal band called Death Angel. (I would never know that if friends didn’t clue me in, as I’m out of that loop). Sammy from The Sick, and Jason from a bunch of local bands: Gun and Doll Show, Tres Pistolas, and Feed, that I know of; are also in the band. I’m sure the other guys have past pedigrees I am unaware of, but the really important point I was trying to make is that this band TOTALLY ROCKS! They rock in an AC/DC, Cult Electric, Motorhead kind of fashion, which I totally dug. Check them out. www.myspace.com/alltimehighs
On 4th of July, I hung out at a bar called the Homestead with friends that had an all day BBQ. Later that night, I ended up going to the wharf for fireworks, which were totally amazing and beautiful. I then ended up bar hopping till last call. It was a fun 4th of July, but mellow compared to the past. The rest of July, all I have been doing is slinging drinks 6 nights a week, and having my day of rest on Sundays. I’ve been working so much I haven’t had time for much else besides popping in at other bars when I get off work occasionally before last call.
On Thursday July 27th, I’m going to see The Buzzcocks at Mezzanine. Then, I am taking the last weekend of July off to go to LA for a big party a good friend of mine is throwing to kick off the remodeled Grand Opening for his hair Salon, The Purple Circle in Los Feliz on Vermont Street www.purple-circle.com, www.myspace.com/pcsalon. Not only am I looking forward to the party, but also it will be great to see some on my old friends in LA again. I haven’t gone back since I moved back to SF at the end of Dec of 2004! LA, here I come! I hope it cools off a bit before I arrive though, as it was over 110 degrees this week there!
I hope to have more to share with you all really soon.
XOXO Alisha Amnesia