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Scene Report: San Francisco
by Ian Webster

Naked Lady Wrestlers
Naked Lady Wrestlers

February 28, 2009, Annie's Social Club.

The Naked Lady Wrestlers
opened the show featuring the fluid guitar virtuosity of Max Volume playing on his finely-crafted home made electric guitar. Max later accompanied No Alternative on bass, using another instrument of his own making. It was good to see Johnny Genocide performing his classic punk set again. Finally, Negative Trend performed their set, including two numbers featuring Zach, Ricky WIlliam's son. of whom, no doubt we will hear more of in the future. Among the audience were Michael Belfer, Paul Draper,
Meri St. Mary, Alan Korn, Penelope Houston
and V. Vale.

March 21, 2009, Bender's.

The Struts opened the evening with their high-energy rhythm and blues. Farah Ancell's vocals growled and rolled with the music, which featured some nice harmonica playing by "Harp." Following them came the Hi-Nobles, featuring Greg Ingraham (also of the Avengers) on guitar, Jeff Ject (also of the Pleasure Kills) on keyboard, Scotty (of Borstal Holiday) on vocals, Henry Austin (of Djellybeans) on bass, and Guy (of Glitter W. Zord) on drums. Greg's guitar work was tightly integrated into the band's pop-infused rhythm and blues, while Jeff displayed the showmanship that makes the Pleasure Kills' shows so entertaining. At this show, Danika Ingraham (Greg's daughter) mentioned that she would soon be performing an acoustic set at the International Cafe. Congratulations to Johnny Davis on being named "Craziest Bartender" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

March 28, 2009. Li Po Lounge.

I caught the Capp Street Girls performing their 
'Iggy and the Stooges'-inspired
brand of rough-hewn hard rock.

Minus One

Minus One

April 4m, 2009. Thee Parkside. 

5 Days Dirty opened the evening show with a roller coaster ride of metal-thrash punctuated by relatively moderate interludes which descended into more meta-thrash. Especially nice was the reggae infused "I Will Survive" interlude. Next came Minus One which played a rockin' set of old school punk. Dana Alberts did not let a broken E-string slow him, down, but very ably improvised as he played on. Frontside Five followed Minus One with what I think of as classic mosh pit thrash, followed by Hightower, which played the type of skate-metal-thrash that I remember from the On Broadway circa the mid-80s. There were some nice guitar riffs and lots of energy. In attendance were Zack Farwell (Greyceon, Walken), Lizzard, and Alanna Wiitala, among others.



April 11, 2008, Bottom of The Hill. 

Khi Darag
opened the evening with their intriguing mix of 'klezmer meet Eastern
un-Orthodox music. Following them came Kehoe Nation, which began their set with a dissonant number followed by tunes that ranged from Southwestern-flavored to thrash, all performed with virtuosity. Finally, San Francisco's own synth-polka band, Polkacide, capped off the evening with the drinking, dancing and revelry that typifies their shows. It was the first time that I noticed Bill (formerly of The Witnesses) playing drums for them. Among those attending the show were Eve Becker (Caroliner Rainbow, formerly of Ugly Stick) and Lani Lithman (Girls with Guns). Congratulations to Geno and his bride!

throbbing gristle

Throbbing Gristle

April 23, 2009, The Grand Regency Ballroom. 

Erika Anderson,
a tall bobbed-blond was the striking opening act, not only in stature, but in her strong,
evocative voice that was folky – not in a twangy way – but in its accurate intonation, devoid
of the 
warbling vibrato that so many affect.

Her clear, ringing voice gave way to oceans of feedback backed by driving drums, as if one had been plunged into the pure power and turmoil of emotion that ranges beyond that which can be conveyed by mere words. Her voice re-emerged, Phoenix-like, from the feedback only to descend once again into it, as if drowning in emotion. Her song ended not so much with a bang but a note of resignation. The context of the feedback took what is commonly the domain of testosterone-driven maleness and made it feminine, and therefore her own.

Headliner, Throbbing Gristle, was true to their philosophy that no song can ever be performed twice in an identical manner and therefore should be performed in an organic manner with the idiosyncrasies of each performance accepted as integral to the song itself. Despite the presence of laptops, which might disappoint analog purists, T.G. retained their unique sound intact. By the close of the show it was clear that San Francisco still loves T.G. even after a hiatus of twenty-eight years.

April 25, 2009, El Rio. 

King City opened with a set that ranged from hacienda horns to looney tunes-type melodies that injected a mood of jazzy humor into the crowd. 'Love Songs' then performed their set of thrash that was infused with a Buzzcocks-type of energy. Finally Flipper closed with a set that inspired some audience members to debate
which hallucinogens go best with seafood.

Check out --
The Mutants
at the DeYoung Museum on May 15
D.J. Lebowitz at the Hotel Utah on June 3 
d the Go Gone Girls at the Bottom of the Hill on June 20!

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