Thursday, August 25, 2005


(originally posted to a SF Bay Area music list on 8/24/05)

We are so lucky and we take it for granted. It seems the Bay Area has absolutely no idea how much great music is being made right under it's collective nose. People hear the words "local band" and they think: suck. This couldn't be further from the truth. There are so many great ones here that I sometimes have a hard time deciding what to do on a given night because there are too many options.

We have bands like Ex-Boyfriends and Heavenly States that seem to ooze hit singles out of every pore. Pop acts like Rogue Wave and Loquat that you can't help but sing along with. Atmospheric mood-creating acts like [the] caseworker, Thee More Shallows, and Citizens Here And Abroad. Newcomer rocking acts like Hijack The Disco and Birdmonster that get even SF crowds moving. Wanna disco dance? Go see The Lovemakers or Von Iva. Wanna scratch that Goth meets Shoegazer itch? Check out Film School, Elephone, or Serene Lakes. Need some
Americana? Meet The Red Thread. Want to bang your head? Party with Parchman Farm. You want artsy? You want twee? You want alt-country? It's all here.

The readers of this list know there is an abundance of quality music at great venues like Bottom of the Hill, The Hemlock, The Make-Out Room, Cafe du Nord, The Independent...even places like Edinburgh Castle and The Elbo Room are booking strong bills these days.

(These are obviously only partial lists off the top of my sleep-deprived head, apologies to the great bands and venues I have left out).

It doesn't matter how great the bill is, though, if no one comes. To that point, how many sf-indie listers go out to local shows more than once a month? It's up to us (the music snobs, fanboys, fangirls, groupies, wiseasses, musicians) to support the amazing talent around us.

Check Deb's listings at, or Willo's calendar at, or Craig's show recommendations on his Foghorn blog. Then mark your electronic calendar, set a reminder, and go!

And get your friends to go with you. Drag them off their couches, away from their computers, out of their neighborhood bars, and especially out of those damned gyms and take them to shows with you. Take them to see bands that they'll like. Encourage multiple trips to the bar. Lead them to the merch table. Have them sign up on band and gig calendar mailing lists. Convince them the band-logoed babydoll t-shirt is not too tight and, in fact, they should buy one in each color.

They'll have fun, they'll thank you for it, the performers will get more exposure and make more thing you know, everybody's happy nowadays.

This rant was inspired by a terrific show (that more folks from this list should have attended) at the Great American Music Hall this past Saturday featuring Loquat, Citizens Here And Abroad, and Ex-Boyfriends. You can check out my photos from that show at:


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