San Francisco rock maven Nadine Condon must have gotten tired of hosting mere single-double-triple-band, music-industry showcases for promising local acts. Or perhaps her success ratio was so high - bands previously hand-picked by Condon for showcases include Counting Crows, Train and Third Eye Blind - that she wanted to give breaks to local acts on a huge scale.
Either way, last year the 20-year veteran of the scene realized she needed a full weekend of shows to shine the biggest possible spotlight on the local scene. Armed with the success of 1998, she is about to launch the sequel: Nadine's Wild Weekend II, which will include, starting Thursday, more than 70 bands on 10 stages.
"My only problem was, too many great bands and not enough stages!" says Condon, the former Jefferson Starship publicist who was named last year by BAM magazine as one of the Top Ten Californians in the Music Business.
Regarded as a saint by some in the Bay Area music scene, Condon has a reputation for an easy-going laugh (uncommon in the cutthroat world of rock promotion) and generosity of spirit.
"I'm really trying to bring in a lot of different elements this year," she says, "although the selection process was far from scientific. These are basically bands that I like - who are talented and deserve attention."
Her pick of the litter this year - the band chosen to open the weekend with a Thursday night Fillmore bash - is Stroke 9. The Marin-based rock group already has had the Condon showcase treatment and, after getting a choice deal with Universal, is poised for the next big step. The band's new album, "Nasty Little Thoughts," not yet in stores, already has a hit single - "Little Black Backpack," the most requested song last week on LIVE-105.
"I'm not surprised," asserts Condon. "They have made a great record - even better than I thought it would be. They are going to be big stars."
But rock stardom is not the only payoff bands should expect. "This isn't just about music," she says. "I'm interested in fostering a sense of community among musicians and bands."
Does she have any favorites among the struggling local acts? She demurs, as if saying so would be like saying which child in your family is your favorite.
"Every single one of the bands this weekend is doing great stuff - the best in the Bay Area," she says. "Any of them could be the next big thing."