Tag Archives: oakland

JetLag RocknRoll: The Video Travel Guide Series

I’ve been so wrapped up in multiple projects that I forgot to update this blog with JetLag RocknRoll’s latest incarnation! Years ago I attempted to produce online travel guides with wanderlustful rocknroll aficionados in mind but writing each listing was incredibly time consuming and a bit too ambitious for just one person. Last year, C suggested we make it a video form instead and ask local bands about their favorite spots in the places they call home. Well, the first episode is now live! It spotlights the San Francisco East Bay and features Shannon & the Clams, Tina Lucchesi of the Trashwomen, and Jesse Townley of Blatz. You can watch the video above and get more details about the businesses, places, and bands covered here.

Other destinations in the works include San Francisco, Tokyo, and Chicago. Check back here or jetlagrnr.com for new episodes!

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Wish You Were Hear: Bad Sports in Oakland

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Bad Sports, 2 April 14 | Eli’s, Oakland, CA

When I was doing my zine My Letter to the World in the ’90s, I had a penpal/zine contributor named Tim who lived in Fort Worth, TX. He frequently bemoaned the lack of a punk scene there, which shaped my perception that Texas (Austin aside) was a musical wasteland. A few years later, the Reds emerged from Denton, a 40-minute drive from Fort Worth. (A few of the Reds would later form the Marked Men.) Since then, it seems like Denton has been cultivating a bounty of energetic punk bands.

Bad Sports are a Denton trio who’ve been around since 2007. Despite having seen the members’ other bands (Wax Museums, OBN III’s, Video) over the years, I hadn’t witnessed them live until last week, during their current West Coast tour supporting their latest release Bras on Dirtnap Records. They played in both San Francisco (the Knockout) and Oakland (Eli’s), and after seeing their snappy set in Oakland, I really regret not going to their Knockout show, too. At least I have some photos with which to remember that night!

Check them out if they hit a town near you. They’re in Denver tonight at Lion’s Lair and have a few more dates this week:
Thurs 4/10 Tulsa – Yeti
Fri 4/11 Oklahoma City – VDZ’s
Sat 4/12 Dallas – Double Wide

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Bad Sports, 2 April 14 | Eli’s, Oakland, CA

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Bad Sports, 2 April 14 | Eli’s, Oakland, CA

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Bad Sports, 2 April 14 | Eli’s, Oakland, CA

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Bad Sports, 2 April 14 | Eli’s, Oakland, CA

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Bad Sports, 2 April 14 | Eli’s, Oakland, CA

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Bad Sports, 2 April 14 | Eli’s, Oakland, CA

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Wish You Were Hear: Cheap Time in Oakland, 2/3/14

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Cheap Time, 3 Feb 2014 | Eli’s, Oakland, CA

Nashville’s Cheap Time are currently on tour, promoting their newest album Exit Smiles on In the Red Records. I caught them at Eli’s when they hit the Bay Area last week, at what was apparently their first show in Oakland in five years. If I recall correctly, 2009 was the year they were scheduled to play live on my radio show but had to cancel when their stuff was stolen the night before outside a pizza joint in Sacramento. Luckily, they’ve encountered no such mishaps on their tour thus far and I was finally able to check out their new bass player Jessica. I’ve seen at least three different bassists pass through the band and, I have to say, this is their best line-up yet. Jeffrey (guitar, vocals) and Ryan (drums) cranked out song after song like well-oiled machines, seamlessly segueing from one to the next, and Jessica kept up without a hitch. She was a pro at trading snarls with Jeffrey, too—awesome! Here are some shots from the show.

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FYI, they’re on tour through February.

2/11/2014 Fargo, ND Aquarium
2/12/2014 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
2/13/2014 Madison, WI Frequency
2/14/2014 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
2/15/2014 Detroit, MI Lager House
2/16/2014 Cleveland, OH Happy Dogs
2/17/2014 Cincinnati, OH MOTR Pub
2/18/2014 Buffalo, NY Waiting Room
2/19/2014 New Haven, CT BAR
2/20/2014 Boston, MA Church of Boston
2/21/2014 Long Branch, NJ Brighton Bar
2/22/2014 Brooklyn, NY Union Pool
2/23/2014 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
2/24/2014. Philadelphia, PA. Nachohouse
2/25/2014 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery
2/26/2014 Washington, DC DC 9
2/27/2014 Durham, NC The Pinhook
2/28/2014 Charlotte, NC Snug Harbor
3/1/2014 Asheville, NC The Moth Light

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Parquet Courts in Action


New York’s Parquet Courts have been exploding all over the place recently and are currently on tour, heading down under after a few dates along the West Coast. Tonight they play the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco with White Fence and CCR Headcleaner. I saw PQ last summer at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records and briefly wrote about it for The Bold Italic. I also made these 2 animated GIFs to remember the night by. Twitchy and angular, they’re a perfect visual vehicle to showcase the band, no?

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Wish You Were Hear: Nobunny as Bo Diddley, Halloween 2013

nodiddley01It’s been a few months since I’ve blogged about something other than weddings and engagement sessions and I feel terrible about it. But now that the end of the year is nigh, I finally have some time to remedy that. Let’s start with masked marauder Nobunny on Halloween night at Oakland’s Stork Club, when he paid tribute to R&B legend Bo Diddley.

The last time I saw Nobunny on Halloween was in 2009, also at the Stork Club. Back then, he channeled the spirit of Lux Interior of the Cramps, and that show was as shambolic as you’d expect, with burnt bunnies, used undies, and unbridled bodily fluids rocketing across the room as he and his band (which included Peach Kelli Pop‘s Allie as Poison Ivy and Rock’n’Roll Adventure Kids’ Marcos as Bryan Gregory) careened through their primitive set.

Unsurprisingly, Nodiddley and his band brought that sonic maelstrom back to the Stork Club, cranking out classics such as “I’m a Man,” “Pills,” and “Who Do You Love?” Even though he forgot to don Bo Diddley’s trademark frames earlier on in the set, the costumed crowd went crazy anyway, crawling over each other and throwing themselves toward the stage. Bo himself might’ve been taken aback, but Nodiddley embraced it thoroughly. I heard that Shannon & the Clams (as Peruvian garage punks Los Saicos) and the other bands that played that night were excellent, too, but unfortunately I missed them. So please dive into the sloppy hot mess that is Nodiddley!

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Belated thanks to the Total Trash crew for throwing such a great bash! Next post: Garage punks The Sonics invade San Francisco. Check back soon!

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Fuzz, OBN III’s & Bad Vibes at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records

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Fuzz, March 1, 2013 | Canon 5D Mark 3, 24mm, 1/100, f2.8, ISO 8000

Ty Segall, Charlie Mootheart, and Roland Cosio’s latest effort Fuzz channels early-era Black Sabbath punctuated with epic drum solos and a tornado of flying hair. Fuzz played a sold-out show at the Knockout a few weeks ago with Austin’s OBN III’s but I caught both of them the next night at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. Bad Vibes opened the intimate show with a foreshadowing of the exuberant hair tossing to come; OBN III’s closed it out with a blistering garage punk set. (I was pretty sure I’d be partially impaled by a flying microphone stand. Miraculously, I walked away unscathed.)

Fuzz hits the Stork Club in Oakland this Wednesday (March 27) with Puerto Rico’s Los Vigilantes and Las Ardillas, both of which feature members of Davila 666. Here are some photos from the 1-2-3-4 Go! show, plus two GIFs (my first ever! Click on them to go to larger versions). Oh, and, of course, the rest of my KALX playlists from March 1994.

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Bad Vibes | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/80, f4, ISO 10000

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Bad Vibes | Canon 5D Mark 3, 23mm, 1/125, f4, ISO 10000

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Fuzz | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 400

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Fuzz | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 400

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 500

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 500

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 500

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 500

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 640

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/6, f5.6, ISO 500

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 640

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 640

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/6, f5.6, ISO 500

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OBN III’s | Canon 5D Mark 3, 17mm, 1/5, f6.3, ISO 640

* = feature play
$ = request

3/11/94: FRIDAY 9:30am-12pm

* STATE OF ALERT – Stepping Stone Party
CHRIST ON PARADE – Teach Your Children Well
GENE PITNEY – Town without Pity
CONFLICT – American Woman
* PICASSO TRIGGER – Rub a Dub

CYPRESS HILL – Pigs
WEST SIDE STORY soundtrack – Gee, Officer Krupke
* SPINNANES – Rummy

* UNSANE – Road Trip
* CHAOS UK – Insane Youth
THE BODYSNATCHERS – Easy Life
* VOODOO GLOW SKULLS – You’re the Problem
EDITH PIAF – La Vie, L’amour

DICK DALE – Peter Gunn 1986
THE ADICTS – In the Background
* THE MAKERS – I’m Hurt
$ THINKING FELLERS UNION – Green-Eyed Lady
* ALL YOU CAN EAT – Food Fight

FITZ OF DEPRESSION – Red Shoes
TOY DOLLS – Olga…I Cannot
UTE LEMPER – Want to Buy Some Illusions
TOTAL CHAOS – Revolution Part 10

THE RAMONES – She’s a Sensation
* THE QUEERS – At the Mall
MANIC DEPRESSION – Rat Trap
HARRY CONNICK, JR. – It Had to Be You
SAM COOKE – Wonderful World

GANG GREEN – Skate to Hell
* SCREW 32 – Tools for the Job
THE MEATMEN – Turbo Rock
* JOHNNY PEEBUCKS & THE SWINGIN’ UTTERS – No Eager Men
* BEASTIE BOYS – Ode to…

FLAG OF DEMOCRACY – Meat Factory
* JAWBREAKER – Jinx Removing
* THE TOASTERS – Mr. Trouble
JESUS & MARY CHAIN – Ambition
$ THE DIDJITS – Mr. DNA

* FAITH – Confusion
JOY DIVISION – Ceremony
$ DEVO – Mongoloid
ECONOCHRIST – Uncontrollable Urge

TALULAH GOSH – Do You Remember
THE WEIRDOS – Weird World
JFA – Great Equalizer

3/18/94: FRIDAY 9:30am-12pm

* AGRESSION – Dear John Letter
DAYGLO ABORTIONS – Die Sinner Die
* SWINGIN’ NECKBREAKERS – Workin’ & Jerkin’
* THE MAKERS – I Just Might Crack
DORIS DAY – Come to Baby, Do!

AGENT 86 – Sak (I Hate Hackey Sak!)
* THE TARTS – All the Girls in the World
X-RAY SPEX – I Am a Cliche
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN soundtrack – Good Morning

* EVERREADY – Fairplay
JUKE – Wild Ride
FALSE PROPHETS – Functional
* THE RAINYARD – Hellbent Suicidal Over You, Baby

EAST BAY MUD – Flying to the Sky
*$ VOODOO GLOW SKULLS – Insubordination
* THE TOASTERS – Talk Is Cheap
* DANCEHALL CRASHERS – Go
DOOM – Relief Part 2

NINA SIMONE – Lonesome Cities
* JAWBREAKER – Jinx Removing
$ BLANKS 77 – We’re the Ones
THE JAM – Move on Up

PAXTON QUIGGLY – Life’s Too Short
* PICASSO TRIGGER – We’re Going Down
TRASH – Telecom South

ALFRED HITCHCOCK theme
INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE – Long Journey to Nowhere
* MOTORHONEY – Bad Guy Reaction
MIKE OLDFIELD – Tubular Bells
JOHNNY PEEBUCKS & THE SWINGIN’ UTTERS – Scared
SIR MIX-A-LOT – Buttermilk Biscuit
THE DESCENDENTS – I Like Food
ROLLING STONES – Lantern
LONE RANGER theme
SPIDERMAN theme
DEAD MILKMEN – I Hear Your Name
$ MURPHY’S LAW – Yahoo (Pancakes)
CRIMINAL DAMAGE – Criminal Crew
PERRY MASON theme
MANIA – Blood Money
SCOOBY DOO theme

* BEASTIE BOYS – Transit Cop
BILLY & THE BOINGERS – U Stink but I Love You
* YOUTH BRIGADE – Punk Rock Mom
* GLAZED BABY – Under Nancy’s Boot

3/25/94: FRIDAY 9:30am-12pm

* SCHUND –  Schund
* THE GAMMA MEN – Vegetables Is Murder
WRETCHED – Mai Arrendersi
* THE MAKERS – Like a Diamond
VERNONS GIRLS – Dat’s Love

THE MODELS – Bend Me, Shape Me
GOLDIE & THE GINGERBREADS – Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat
* SUCKDOLLS – You Say
THE ODD NUMBERS – Between the Two of Us
* THE JAM – Little Boy Soldiers

$ SISTER DOUBLE HAPPINESS – Holidays in Cambodia
THE DICKS – I Hope You Get Drafted
BONELESS ONES – I’m a Skater
* RUDIMENTARY PENI – Horrors in the Museum
JESUS CHRIST – Be Ashamed

* SCREW 32 – Tools for the Job
MUSIC MAN soundtrack – Ya Got Trouble/76 Trombones
MARILYN MONROE – I’m Gonna File a Claim
COCK SPARRER – Colonel Bogey
PARENT TRAP soundtrack – Let’s Get Together

* INSIDE OUT – Dead Children
* STATE OF ALERT – I Hate Kids
* HEPCAT – Bobbie & Joe
* DANCEHALL CRASHERS – Go
006 – Like What, Me Worry?

SANSHERS – Gonna Git That Man
$ TOY DOLLS – Griefsville
THE GO-GO’S – Head over Heels
WORD SALAD – Bloody Eye
NO COMMENT – Dead Stare for Life

* BATTALION OF SAINTS – Cops Are Out
* PICASSO TRIGGER – Valentine
THE DISRUPTERS – Die with Mother
* YOUTH BRIGADE – This Is a Life
* BEASTIE BOYS – Michelle’s Farm

KAY BELL & THE TUFFS – (Original) Surfer Stomp
$ THE DIDJITS – Who’s Ready to Get High
$ FANG – Drunk & Crazy
* GOVERNMENT ISSUE – Anarchy Is Dead
THE FREEZE – American Town

* HOOVER – Return
DISORDER – Rampton Song
EDITH PIAF – La Vie en Rose
* ARTIFICIAL PEACE – Outside Looking In

THE INSAINTS – Loser’s Club
THE GIRLS – My Baby
DIESEL QUEENS – Manson Family Feud
$ WHYTE BOOTS – Nightmare

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Slapdash Culinary Adventure

Andrew Zimmern, genial host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, makes traveling, eating, and filming around the world look easy. I’m sure it helps that a professional crew of directors, writers, cameramen, and soundmen tag along on his excursions.

C and I had no such advantage when we decided to slap together a three-minute video for a “Share Your Adventure” video contest Lonely Planet was having. C learned about it at the start of Labor Day weekend, Friday, September 2. The deadline? Tuesday, September 6, at 11:59pm PST.

Ordinarily, we would’ve just thrown our hands in the air and spent the weekend as other Americans might (lounging by a refreshing body of water, congregating with friends in someone’s backyard for gossip and food), but the grand prize of $10,000 was just too tempting. We had no grandiose notions that we’d whip up a cinematic masterpiece in 96 hours, but maybe we could do something stupid/funny/intriguing enough to win the prize. What was there to lose except a few winks of sleep and maybe our trim physiques?

Sharing a culinary adventure (as opposed to urban, family, visual, and outdoor adventures) seemed to be our best bet. We brainstormed and considered cobbling together video footage we had taken while in Spain last year, or hitting San Francisco or Wine Country for new footage, but none of those options motivated us. I must’ve been subconsciously craving Shan Dong’s handmade noodles because Oakland’s Chinatown, right in our backyard, suddenly felt right.

And why not? With Chinese street signs; sidewalk grocers yelling out specials in Cantonese/Mandarin; windows displaying a menagerie of roasted animals; and droves of Asian locals elbowing past each other for the freshest bok choy, longan, and walter caltrops, Chinatown really is like stepping into another world.

With the Canon 60D and Olympus PEN EP-2, we filmed on Saturday and Sunday, spending four hours the first day and ten hours the next hobbling up and down every one of Chinatown’s 16 blocks at least half a dozen times. I don’t know how real TV people do it, but I jotted down a few lines of monologue the night before the first filming to give us some direction. But even my inner boy scout wasn’t prepared for the strangest development—the lack of hustle and bustle.

Chinatown on the weekend is usually a zoo of double-parked cars, sidewalk vendors hawking miscellany such as (illegal?) baby turtles, extended families heading to dim sum, and locals buying groceries for the evening. Much to our surprise and dismay, most people seemed to have left town for the weekend. On the up side, we didn’t have to wait long for our food and could film scenes with relative ease.

Still, we faced other minor challenges. The biggest one was probably getting up early enough to get to Madison Square Park by 8:30 a.m. to capture different groups practicing taiji, wushu, and kung fu. The other: Staying awake after dim sum (ordinarily, I’d go home in a daze and just laze around until the food coma wore off). It was also difficult coming up with witty commentary on the fly.

In fact, we reshot my pandan waffle and cassava cake scene (on separate days) because, after viewing the “dailies,” I was mortified by my unrehearsed ramblings (did you know that tapioca is made of cassava root? You do now). I actually felt like a sham for pretending I was taking my first bite of each…until I read Eating China‘s fascinating behind-the-scenes account of appearing on Bizarre Foods. That’s some talent right there—not letting multiple takes suck the freshness out of a moment.

Here’s a rundown of the places featured:

  • Gourmet Delight Seafood Restaurant (dim sum)
  • Shan Dong Restaurant (vegetable bun)
  • First Cake (bakery; formerly Delicious Food Co.)
  • Golden Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant (pho noodle soup)
  • Cam Huong (refrigerated coconut milk sweets in cups)
  • BC Deli Sandwiches (pandan waffle, cassava cakes)

In the end, our submission was disqualified for having music in it. Major bummer, for sure, but I for one appreciate the kick in the pants the contest gave us to create a travel video. C, on the other hand, would’ve preferred spending that weekend lounging by a refreshing body of water, congregating with friends in someone’s backyard for gossip and food.

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