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-
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.