Monday, June 15, 2009

San Francisco

Now that I have 1 job again and the Lakers are world champs I can finally have some free time. It's been a long stretch, some rearrangements on the trade desk then covering others while they're on vacation, all while depriving myself of extra sleep (yes, I go to bed at 9 pm) to watch the playoffs.

This past weekend I flew to San Francisco to visit my best buddy Dan from high school, see his world, meet his friends, etc. I had a blast. What a great place. So much life and character.

Most of my weekend had in one way or another to do with music. Maybe that's just virtue of hanging out with probably the most knowledgeable punk snobs I know. I learned about many bands and great records that I either passed over previously or never heard before. I am in the midst of making a punk collection that I will post on my blog, it will probably take a couple more months but I'll get it to you eventually.

The first night we hung out at this bar that could have been located in Echo Park, equally grungy and hipster, all with great taste. The DJ was this cute and charismatic brunette that had a killer collection of 7"s, playing tracks ranging from garage to psychadelic to punk. She laid off the soft stuff, and it was pretty killer.

We got pretty hammered, we being everyone in our group, and Dan and I set off to a different bar where we got free shots and beers. Why did I drink more? I don't know. But they were playing such bad music at this place that it was comical, so we laughed and drank. Dan called it a "bridge and tunnel" bar, not nj cats but oakland rather. Not a great place, but we knew the bartender and he hooked it up.

So I'd tell you the rest of my night but it was kind of a blur. All I know is that it was fun as hell. Don't mix whiskey and fernet and beer. I promise you will not have a good time the next day.

The next afternoon, after my 3 pm wakeup, was spent at a bar where Dan DJed. This was exceptionally cool because I got to sit there and listen to his tracks while him and the lead singer of his band narrated. Between talking and listening, I sat on my phone and made lists--albums I need, bands I need to check out, songs I need to revisit. I'll be busy for weeks.

Later on we drove out to the show, Jay Reatard and Thee Oh Sees at the Independent. Thee Oh Sees opened, who are now getting decent hype and I think they are somewhat worthwhile, but I have yet to own a record. The singer had a penchant for putting the microphone in his mouth while he sang or yelped. Interesting guitar work too, at times rocking the 12 string. We'll see how it sounds out of a recording studio.

Jay Reatard put on a pretty good show, although I have to say that the first time I saw them in LA was much better. Dan agreed, his last show was better, primarily because he threw a girl off the stage. That's what you get for fucking with his V. But anyways he played his songs crisp and quick, his drummer is a pretty sharp guy. Playing flawless drums like that for 30 odd minutes is pretty sick, especially with no breaks in between. For some reason they didn't play DOA both times I saw them, and yes, that's my favorite song of theirs.

The crowd was rather interesting. Not the group you would expect to see. Maybe because many came to see Thee Oh Sees. But some douche kept saying "Man, they sound like the Buzzcocks!" behing us, and anyone who listens to Jay Reatard or the Buzzcocks knows that the only similarity is that they fall within the same genre. On another note some fat girl grabbed my ass.

Jay likes to pull people on stage and this time it was no different. He pulled this kid on, gave him the guitar, and the kid was going fucking nuts, playing like he was the fucking star. When the show was over there was blood on the guitar because he strummed so hard and didn't have a pick. Pretty sick.

In the morning I made a stop by Haight and Amoeba before my flight. Amoeba San Fran. Better Rock LP collection than LA, and it's own punk section. That was perfect because most of my weekend picks were punk. The LA store is great, and much much larger, but I think I liked the store on Haight more. The layout was simpler and I enjoyed talking to the staff. Music snobs but didn't show it. I grabbed my Amoeba plastic bag, got into a cab, and took off. But yea, I'll be back sooner than later.

All in all I was frustrated to come back to LA, to my apartment, to the job. But that's virtue of having a great weekend away from things.

In one week I'll be off to London, and that's really all I can think about.

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