|IF SAT prep courses had Nadine
Condon's success rate, the double 800 scores would be the rule,
not the exeception. If body-building milkshakes had Nadine Condon's
success rate, that 98-pound weakling on the treadmill next to you at the
gym wouldn't exist. If laws against selling cigarettes to minors had
nadine Condon's sucess rate, no one would smoke.
What Nadine Condon does is listen to bands. She
sucks the ones she likes out of the quagmire. She showcases them. And
then, more often than not, the bands get signed to lucrative record deals.
Condon's latest showcase is a doozy -- a hip, happening three-day
fiesta featuring Bay Area talent that will take over eight San Francisco
nightclubs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's being dubbed as Nadine's
Wild Weekend. "Bands off of every one of my shows have gone on to be
signed," says Condon, who looks every bit the behind-the-scenes rock type
with her small boxy spectacles, her splotchy, pseudo-animal print
sleeveless shirt and black leggings. "I support them early."
Among bands graced with the Condone embrace have been Counting
Crows, which had 13 offers the day after its showcase. There
also have been 4 Non Blondes, Seven Day Diary, Third Eye
Blind, and just to ruin your theory that Condon picks only bands
with digits in their names, Candlebox.
Condon is confident that this weekend's event, which features close to
70 bands, will have similar results. She doesn't want to say who her
picks are to be tapped by a label because she wants people to see
everything the Bay Area has to offer. But my bet is that the
Kinetics, at Bruno's on Friday at 11p.m., are up there.
"What gets me is when people talk about the good old days of San
Francisco music," says Condon. "I say these are the good old
days. Not too far in the future you're going to say, I saw these bands in
a small club. I really think there is signable talent here."
Condon, whose self-named company was established in 1988, also delves
into promotion, marketing consultation and artist management and
development. She got her start working in the mid-70's for two yearswith
San Francisco bluesman Nick Gravenites; contacts through
Granvenites got Condon her breatout gig with Jefferson
Starship, for which she directed promotion and publicity for nine
Since then, Condon, a self-described 29-year-old in an older woman's
body, has become a mover and shaker in the mucis biz. Nadine's Wild
Weekend was a brainstorm Condon had in early spring when she realized
there wan't going to be a local music festival. With the help of BMI for
which Condon does her showcases, the weekend was whipped together
Befoere you say wait what about Noisepop? That was in San Francisco!
And what about Poptopia coming to Hunter's Point in the fall? Condon
is quick to point out that those events attract a very narrow band of
"This is not an underground, alternative indie type of scene. Mine is a
bit more broad-based," says Condon. "Noisepop, Poptopia, these are very
genre-specific festivals, whole weeend deals, conferences. I don't have a
lot of extremes. My umbrella is a little larger."
The weekend also is a lot more manageable than most. Condon picked
clubs that have in the past been supportive of Bay Area artists --
Bruno's, Hotel Utah, Transmission Theatre, Paradise, Above Paradise, Club
Cocodrie, Bottom of the Hill and VSF -- and unlike behemoth festivals like
Austin's South by Southwest, specified that there shouldn't be too many
bands to wade through, nor should there be a single seminar to
"I'm a commercial person," explains Condon. "I'm looking at the big
picture. I'm looking for bands to succeed."
Doug Tull, marketing director of Push, who has the
incredibly addictive altrock band Skip Holiday slated to
play at the Bottom of the Hill on Saturday at midnight, thinks the
festival is a blessing.
"The San Francisco Bay Area, nationally, is a market that is often
ignored," says Tull. "I'm glad she's doing this. I'm based in L.A., but I
love the bands in San francisco. I think they're superior."
Condon, who's stretched out on a sofa in her Potrero Hill offices,
obviously agrees. Rattling on at 10 miles a minute, Condon is already
talking about Nadine's Wild Weekend II and Nadine's Wild Weekend III and
Nadine's Wild Weekend IV. Maybe they'll block off a street, she ponders.
Maybe bands will play on a cruise around the bay.
"Lets's have fun; let's celebrate what's heppening now" Condon
initially decides. "I really see the scene as being really happeining