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BAM - Friday August 14, 1998  -  Wlld In The Streets of San Francisco

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EMBEDDED WITHIN THIS CRYPTIC NIGHT FEVER OFFERING YOU'LL (theoretically) find references (lyrics, song titles, numbers, artist names) to all of last issue's Top 50 California Songs of All Time. Happy hunting chump.

Please understand how rare it is that I find some band to love. All too often our planet's finest remain unknown in places I'm not -- New York, Tokyo, Nova Scotia, San Onofre, Sunset, Redondo Beach, Compton, Pasadena (where you at?) or Long Beach, for example. What a joy then to discover what I'll here declare one of San Francisco's finest song-based rock bands. Everybody's Angels, playing their red, white and blue guts out at the ever-humble Boomerang. I didn't see the drummer's hair 'cause, well, he doesn't have any (apparantly no one had seen his wig around), but I heard actual songs with interesting lyrics and urgent guitering and rewarding choruses and wailing outros -- the night time crap of the pop singer. Following the gig I approached Angel hea, Orville something,. "They just don't write 'em like that anymore," I said.

"Thank you," he replied. "Can I buy you a drink? How about a 7 and 7?" "No thanks," I said. "All I want is a Pepsi. Just one Pepsi." Also on said 'Rang bill, a band called Lucky who shared the bald beater guy with Everybody's Angels but precious little else. You know that it would be untrue to say I enjoyed Lucky's keyboard art-rock, a strange mix of Velvet Underground antipop and bad poetry often centered around intentionally discomforting scientific names for human genitalia. Hey pal, I'll take my rock vulgarity the old fashioined way, ya know, F-, D- and P- word stuff.

Nadine Condon's "Wild Weekend," was more a live local festival than the purported A&R showcase, a three-day chance for what passes as our scene to further solidify itself or heaps more chances to feel guilty about missing your friend's band. While the Bay's brightest played their boobs and balls off in high hopes of catching Jim Contract's ear between cell phone chats and tee times, a local institution, the Kinetics, tired of the waiting (always the hardest part), and no longer happy together, chose Friday night at their old haunt, Bruno's, for a closing salvo. Those old enough (21) danced the night away, if not there than at the Cocodrie (providing they could drive eight miles hight across town) where those white gals in Cherries' brand of femme emo-pop hardly bombed and Mover's gritty soul-rock swagger brought the star-hunting laminate crew to their na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-knees.

So I'm,watching Julie Plug at the Paradise and this lovely harmony fills the hall when suddenly I realize, "Hey the pretty one's lips are sealed!" My darling dear! It's the dreaded pre-recorded vocal track, rock's preeminent live no-no! 'Cross the room, the incessant beeping of my beeper damn near spoiled the For Stars further gorgeous exploits into the logical boundaries of reluctant rock, a take-it-easy type of intoning that had all the label folk talk talking. KGB's funky stuff went down okay in the city but Red Planets's set closing stab at the Cars' "Bye Bye Love" (or some such Ocasek classic) was far superior. Perhaps yo no soy the guy to prognosticate but expert full-tilt abandon (and too many guitar solos) time again from their quartet in tight pants.

Chris Von Sneidern sometimes does it by himself; his dreamy California folk vibrations recalled Elvis of the Costello variety and that nutso Wilson guy. Chantay, the Lilith recruiter, took sips of Bern's over-emotive femi-folk through her hairy nose. I knew right from the beginning of the Mac Swanky Trio's lounge set that I'd believe what they sang. Think Soul Coughing instrumental invention and quirk meets Cake off-kilter groove. Upright bass, '50's guitar and simple kit evolve into something entirely unique, and acid-jazz pop experience with white guy hip hop hooks, flooring harmonies and low-riding minimalizm delivered with barroom chutzpah. Suits hellbent on breaking rock's next big thing, lined up.

Mama Cass's polar opposite, all 12 pounds of Wilson Gil and his Willful Sinners honky tonk collective took the Transmission stage for what could all too easily have been just another twangy set of anonymous tunes by some anonymous band of house players but what was instead a spirited run at gritty greatness sloppy enough to booze to hooky enough to sing-a-long to and heartland enough to bring a tear to Buck Owen's spellbound eyes. Perhaps the perfect truckstop pop, skinny legged Gil and Co. found a curious border and crossed it there own way. Tom Petty's wit. Haggards's smooth chops and Kermit's stems. It was a gold-hearted graze in the grass on a pleasant valley Sunday following 23 wicked games of Cambodian bowling. You send me.

Fri/31-Sun/2, 9p.m.-2a.m. (Sun/2 begins at 2:45 p.m.). $8 a show, $40 weekend pass. (415) 821-6299.



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