February 2005: Alisha Amnesia is back in the city she loves, updating you on S.F.’s punk scene and more…

Hey Readers! I am so excited to be back in San Francisco again! This city has so much to offer that I enjoy. On any given week, I might go to a couple of punk shows, an art exhibit, a gay bar, an indie film screening, a dance club, a burlesque performance, a warehouse party, or a drag queen performance. Since I’ve been back, I’ve done all of the above! I even attended a Botox Party, which you can read about here (add link here). I thrive on constantly doing new and different things, and I never seem to get bored in this city. I am also happy to be able to wear more fur and leather, which Los Angeles’ warmer climate prevented me from doing most of the time. I love this city.

In my last update, I mentioned that I went to see Turbo Negro back on Dec. 19. I wanted to share some photos from that show, so they are at the end of this update.

One new thing I have been enjoying now that I am back is going to Art Exhibits at the On Six Gallery at Club Six. I have always liked this club’s space when I’d been there in the past, but there were rarely events happening that were of interest to me. Recently though, they hired a curator who sets up art exhibits on the main entrance floor, and there are shows and DJs down in the basement. The first one I went to was to see one of my favorite punk bands– Everything Must Go perform, which was a lot of fun; and hip-hop was played by DJs throughout the night. A bunch of punk rockers were getting down to hip-hop, which was totally funny.

Another really fun show I went to see was on Thurs Jan. 20 was The McCools and The Avengers at the Eagle Tavern. The Eagle is usually a gay leather bar, but they often have rock shows on Thursday nights. It is a fun place to see a show, as it has a large outdoor patio (with heaters on in the winter), so people who might not be interested in whatever band is playing can go to another part of the club. Since there is no smoking in most bars and clubs in California, it’s nice for the smokers to have a place to go with their drink and still get to smoke.

The McCools are a fairly new rock n roll band that formed a few months ago, with members from other (and former) SF bands, The Loudmouths and the Jack Saints. They were great! They had great energy and really rocked. I look forward to seeing them again.

The Avengers— who are legendary Bay Area Punk Veterans who formed in the late 70s or early 80s, also put on a great show. (I saw them in Los Angeles last year and enjoyed them then, but this time I enjoyed them even more.) There were 2 other bands that I didn’t watch, but this show was more than worth the 8 bucks I paid to get in the door. It was really cool to see a band like the Avengers in a small, intimate venue. I can only speculate that it may have been similar back in the early days of Bay Area Punk.

There is a new monthly event at Studio Z (the old Transmission Theatre) called “Punk Rock School Bus.” I went to the first one on Wed Feb. 2 to see The Grannies and Fracas. (There were also 2 other bands I didn’t care about). The Grannies were funny, as always. The guys in the band wear awful looking dresses and wigs in an attempt to look like Grandmas, and it is so funny to me while they are blasting out great punk rock. http://www.thegrannies.com/

Fracas is great because I love the singer Joe’s voice, as well as his stage antics. The guy is always injuring himself, which is usually pretty entertaining to observers. He has a deep, resonant voice like Glen Danzig’s, so people are often calling them a “Misfits rip-off,” (which I disagree with). They put on a good show, but this whole night was way too loud! Even the DJ music was too loud between bands, making it difficult to talk to people, which bummed me out. There was a really good crowd, and some added entertainment for the fellas, with dancers from The Lusty Lady (a local nude peep show in North Beach where most of the city’s nudie bars are located) go-go dancing onstage between bands. Even though the sound was too loud, I will probably go to the next installment of “Punk Rock School Bus” because Everything Must Go will be performing. It is held the first Wednesday of every month.

I also recently went to the re-incarnated “Stinky’s Peep Show” at Café Du Nord. I got there pretty late, so I didn’t get to see Pepper Spray— a local drag queen cover band I wanted to see. (I have seen them several times though, and they are a lot of fun.)

The last band of the night was an 80s cover band that were funny, but I was more interested in talking with friends I haven’t seen in the last year while living in Los Angeles. (Stinky’s Peep Show was my favorite weekly club a few years ago that had great punk bands booked all the time and had an excellent local following. It lost it’s home when the Covered Wagon Saloon closed down around September 2002, and has not been a regular event since. Currently, it is a monthly event held on Thursdays at Café Du Nord.)

I recently stopped by a newly remodeled club called The Cellar, (a dance club on Sutter and Taylor) on a Thursday for hip-hop night, which I really enjoyed. This club is a basement space that had to close down for about two years because the floors were caving in. It’s back, and as good as new. They have different types of music every night.

Friday, Feb. 11, I went to see an indie film that featured Heidi Fleiss, Alexis Arquette, Tammy Faye Baker, Angelyne, and several SF and LA drag queens that I know. It was a riot. From there, I went on to The Arrow Bar to see a rap band, and then to the old Covered Wagon, which is now a club called the Cherry Bar, where a punk band called The Smut Peddlers were playing. The show was fun, and it felt like the old CW days. When I was done with that, I hit my favorite gay bar, The Cinch. (In LA, there is no way I could have fit in that many things in one night, with the distance and traffic factored in, not to mention arranging a way to drink without driving. Nights like this are why I love San Francisco.)

Saturday, Feb. 12, after going to a friend’s birthday party, I went to see Hammerlock play the Devil Dolls Motorcycle Club party at Thee Parkside. The Devil Dolls MC is an all-girl biker club. Hammerlock is a favorite band of mine that has a Motorhead feel to them. They put on a great show as always, and the crowd loved them. I missed the band that went on before them– Thee Merry Widows, who are an all-girl Psychobilly band who I think are great fun. They had another gig that night over in Oakland, so I caught a ride over to the warehouse where they were to play with The Phenomenauts for a “secret make out party” for Valentines.

This party was a lot of fun, although I didn’t want to make out with anyone! The Phenomenauts are one of the most entertaining bands ever to come out of the Bay Area music scene (if you ask me). A simple way to describe them would be to say they are “Rockabilly from Outer Space,” but you should see it for yourself to understand what I mean. The crowd was great, and it lasted pretty late. The singer for Thee Merry Widows, (Burlesque performer “Miss Eva Von Slut”), told me that both times I have seen her band were their worst gigs, but I still really like them. You may hear more about them from me in the future.

Next weekend, I am going to see a Burlesque show called “Dirty Little Secret” that a friend of mine is performing in at The Plush Room. For details and/ or tickets, see: http://plushroom.com/plushroom.htm

I am still listening to Indie 103.1 fm out of LA over the Internet because I really enjoy “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” a lunchtime show from noon to 2 pm daily hosted by Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols. No matter where you are, you can listen too! Their format is all the music you can’t usually hear on commercial radio in the U.S.. http://www.indie1031.fm

You’ll be hearing more about the goings on in the city I love very soon.

XOXO- Alisha Amnesia


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