Nadine's Wild Weekend, established last year, takes place again next weekend, officially making the local-band showcase an annual event.
Namesake Nadine Condon, onetime PR person for the Jefferson Starship and a music industry consultant for the past decade, says the informal showcase is a chance for bands to network with labels, producers and radio stations. More importantly, she says, it's a chance for the bands to hang out with each other.
"We are not dependent on outsiders to validate our scene," she says. "We happen. All the time."
For this year's Wild Weekend, August 5-7, Condon has expanded the venue list to include the Great American Music Hall, Mick's Lounge and Cafe du Nord. There's an "Opening Night Bash" on August 5 at the Fillmore featuring Stroke 9, whose major-label debut comes out in September.
The band is the latest in a long line of Bay Area groups that credit Condon's advice and support for part of their success, including the Counting Crows, Train and Third Eye Blind.
This year she has sprinkled other newly signed local bands -- Skip Holiday and Deathray -- among the unsigned acts. "Stroke 9 is a perfect example of a band making it work," Condon says. "I want bands to look at each other and say, 'We can do it.'"
As for handicapping, Condon says there are 10 to 15 bands among this year's crop "that seem very even-steven to me." She likes the bands on the Future Farmer label -- Jackpot, For Stars, Joaquina. Other picks: Blue Sky Roadster, which "should've gotten picked up last year." Fingers "have to be some of best songwriters we've seen in this town." Venus Bleeding "is like the new, modern Heart."
Many of the bands scheduled to showcase are already making connections on their own. Dealership played at the X Games and Live 105's BFD concert. The singing cyclone Storm is writing with Bernie Taupin; Fuse is now working with Smash Mouth's manager.
Condon says she loves her new role as local-band den mother. "For some reason I'm drawn to this," she says. "I've gone from limos to the local scene, and I'm loving this."