The guy driving the boat is Buck and he has a sweet job as a small town postmaster -- the importance of which is that this job gives him six weeks of vacation. He spends a good chunk of that time off in a remote part of Lake Spaulding, where he's built a super rad Never Never Land pirate summer camp. First off there's the view.
Then there's the floating tiki bar with AstroTurf carpeting.
And the itty bitty baby puppy dog.
And the ukulele serenades from random strangers.
Boat Party Rules (no little shits around camp).
During the day, people floated on air mattresses and canoes.
But at night, that place turned out a wild dance party. It was everyone's favorite DJ, the iPod, playing Ludacris, OutKast, Zeppelin, whateverthefuck. And because there was no one even remotely close to our campground, no one got arrested.
When you're in the woods, you don't have TV. It's like the olden days, where you have to make your own fun. Like when the menfolk try and kill the rattlesnake that gets a little too close to a tent. This can take a good 45 minutes and involves rocks and pick axes and it doesn't matter if the rattlesnake gets free in the end (or that it was only a baby).
But the sad thing about camping is that eventually everyone needs a real shower and a shitter that isn't surrounded by like a bizzilion flies. So it was back to the city the next week. I went to First Thursday and ran into Mr. Trippe.
And saw some cool shit on my walk from the Lower Haight back home
Later that night I went to the Early Man/3 Inches of Blood show at Slim's. I really like Early Man, even though they're the kind of band that makes people pull out the hilarious "false metal" tag every once in a while because they're on Matador Records. (Does that also mean there's "false indie rock"? Kids who pretend to have grown up on Pavement and Sonic Youth but who really only got into the genre when, like, We Are Scientists put out a record?) Anyway, Early Man is a two guitar, one drummer operation -- which makes frontman Mike Conte yell retorts like, "What? You think we need a bassist? I think you need a dick in your mouth." You tell 'em!
You've got to hit least one amphitheater show in the summer and do the whole shebang - tailgate the thing on the early side, spent $20 on a beer and a disgusting wet mess of a bean and cheese burrito, and be transported back to your youth. This summer I hit Nine Inch Nails (my uncool high school band of choice) with Bauhaus (my friend Darrick's uncool high school band of choice) and Peaches (she just happened to be on the bill).
The great thing about amphitheater shows is people don't pay all that money and drive all that way to stand around bored shittalking the bands all night and giving you the stink eye because you've somehow invaded their personal space. They dress up, they get fucking into it. And while anyone can drop $60 for a t-shirt, nipple tape can make for a more personalized show of fan support.
The ladies love Peaches.
I can kinda take her or leave her, as funny as that whole "Teaches of Peaches" record was when it first came out. Live, though, she's a lot more entertaining now that she has a full band (that includes the drummer from Hole, JD Samson from Le Tigre, and Radio Sloan from the Need). Peaches is a crasser Joan Jett all swaddled in leather and neon, and I'll admit she still made me laugh that night.
Sunday, while everyone else and their Italian grocer was watching the World Cup, I went to the symphony in Stern Grove. Sometimes you have to class your shit up a bit. Plus it was my friend (and great local artist) Rene Garcia's birthday (that's him with his wife Holly and baby Rene Valentino) Check out Rene's glittery eye candy at http://www.renegarciajr.com/ (although it's hard to tell just how huge a lot of his pieces are from a website. I commissioned the giant Mick Jagger portrait out of vinyl and it takes up most of one wall).
Last week I also hit the Cosmic Wonder openings first up the Cosmic Satellites show at Triple Base Gallery, where the vibe was most definitely one of pungent hippie. When we got there the room was jam packed around this little candlelit drum circle with photographer Mark Borthwick at the center jamming on bells and bongos and other tinkling noisemakers.
I ran into my friends Derek Fagerstrom and his wife Lauren Smith at the show. They just moved back to SF from NY and are opening an art gallery in Bernal Heights called The Curiosity Shoppe. Keep an eye out for it.
Yerba Buena Center guest curator Betty Nguyen in watermelon (she's responsible for the truly psychedelic Cosmic Wonder show) and her pal Madeline
Betty again with Cosmic Wonder artist Hisham Bahroocha (left) - who used to be in Black Dice. Now he makes similar sounding ambient soundscapes as Soft Circle. I really dig his music he burned me a rough mix of what's going to become his debut and it's beautifully celestial, droning electronic passages with crazy bird sounds and bits of Eastern music. Next to him is Mark Borthwick again, who filmed the Cat Power DVD and has a folky act called Will Shine that performed at the big YBC Cosmic Wonder opening (as did Soft Circle).
Followed that up with yet another metal show. Which means I have too many photos of dudes with long hair obscuring their faces. I will say that Oakland's Saviours (pictured below) killed it that night. Really dynamic, heavy songs without any fancy effects making. Raw as a dog bite. The Sword, however, are one of those bands that I keep forgetting that don't really like. They played with Saviours and there just ain't nothing new or interesting about the Sword's take on stoner rock.
Thursday night the haircuts were significantly shorter for the backpacker hip hop show at Bottom of the Hill. This dude warmed up the crowd. He's a local guy who I believe is called Silent Army. He dressed like a member of Weezer but modeled his delivery after Eminem (which I appreciate because I hate that whiney nerd hop shit). He seemed a bit nervous (I don't think I've been to a hip hop show where the artist fast-forwards the beats to get to "a better song") but he still had all the right kind of energy. The only real cringe-inducing moment was when he rapped over Ice Cube's legendary "It Was a Good Day" with some emo line like "It was a good day didn't have to check my MySpace page."
I'm gonna go out on a limb though and say most of the young ladies in the house were there to see Bart Davenport's new band, though -- Honeycut.
They're a fun summertime funk act that lands somewhere between Jamie Lidell and Beck - but much more casual party vibe than the Velveeta occasionally sliced out by those bigger names. (Although again, some of the lyrics could use a little work. Do we really need another song about impeaching the president? Wasn't Neil Young's take on that subject punishment enough?) But Davenport is a charmer on stage - he's goofy, he throws his hands and legs all over the place, he makes you want to dance, he's got a keyboard player with some fancy footwork, and the band got the girls squealing with excitement.
All of which was small potatoes, though, compared to last weekend, when one of my favorite people in the universe, Kelly O., came to town. She's my girl from Seattle, and we've hosted some of the craziest punk-rock-in-the-basement Xmas parties I was lucky to have survived with only a fractured foot. She's also a great photographer, and writes a column for a paper I used to work for (and dearly miss) called the Stranger. (Her column is called Drunk of the Week ). She shoots a lot of crazy shit, though, including the "100 Balls" show that Noah randomly blogged about here a little while back.
We hit Aunt Charlie's in the Tenderloin because the cocktails there are potent and only $3.50 a pop (even less when the bartender forgets to charge you) and the crowd is usually really friendly. Fridays the bar hosts the Hot Boxxx Girls, a straight-outta-John-Waters dive bar drag show scene by some crazy looking queens. This is the emcee, the glamorous Gina LaDivina (the "$65,000 silicone wonder") with two fistfuls of dollar bills from prancing down the aisle a couple times.
No time for the finest yellow watermelon Turk Street had to offer...
We were heading to Annie's to see the Spits, one of my favorite punk bands. They're from Seattle. They always dress in costumes. And that night they were cavemen.
The Spits' repertoire is full of yer classic delinquent material - songs about skating and fucking with the cops and this shitty world and taking back the alley, all sung in a Ramones/Kids style chantalong that lifts the fists skyward every time.
We were right in front and I got smashed into the stage so many times my knees are now the color of eggplant. The Spits make people go apeshit.
But it was so worth it.
God bless the Spits
..and their fans
..and all the good times I've had with that Kelly O .(I'm still not sure how she took this photo of us but I know it was a good night)
Recommended shows: Oneida/No Doctors (7/22, 12 Galaxies); Os Mutantes/Brightblack Morning Light (7/24, the Fillmore); the Cops (7/26, the Hemlock); Buzzcocks (7/27, Mezzanine); Om (7/29, Bottom of the Hill) Hot Chip (8/1, Independent), Mammatus (8/3, Café Du Nord);
|< Prev||Next >|