Riff Raff

Up & down and Moving On After nearly five years of running the Up & down Club, one of San Francisco's more interesting supper clubs, co-owner/founder J.J. Morgan sold his portion of the business to his partners: Christy Turlington, Erin Turlington-Whitaker, and Eric Whitaker. While the Turlington-Whitakers have every intention of maintaining the musical integrity of the SOMA hot spot, it is 31-year-old Morgan who is credited for creating Up & down's reputation as the jazz musicians' hangout. Early on, Morgan proved that he had the eye, establishing residencies for artists like Josh Jones, Jungle Biskit, Alphabet Soup, Charlie Hunter, and Kenny Brooks (most of whom appeared on Morgan's brainchild compilation Up & down Sessions Volumes I & II). It was clear from the gathering at Friday night's send-off that the Morgan touch would be sorely missed by everyone involved. "I just feel like I was in the right place at the right time," says Morgan, regarding the praise. "I feel so fortunate to have met and worked with these musicians, but everyone's moving on to the next step. They all deserve record contracts." And Morgan? He's considering making a feature-length film on jazz and starting a production company with author Don Bajema, star of the local movie Chalk. He is also thinking about opening another restaurant, despite his contention that the business is brutal. Old habits die hard. (S.T.)

Positivity There's something refreshing about the burblingly titled Rock Love. Too many publications that write about rock music struggle to cuddle up to the record industry and to maintain at least a show of distance. None of that for this South Bay fanzine, which cuddles and crows about it. "We are now poised," says Publisher Scott Hunter, "to finally break down the barriers that the music media has erected between the artists and their fans." To combat this, Rock Love publishes only positive reviews. This sounds easy, but isn't -- and you have to credit the editors and contributors for breaking little sweat as they run first to the defense of releases by the Presidents of the U.S.A. ("These guys have my vote for a second term"), Republica ("Lead singer Saffron sure is easy to look at"), the Cure ("a band [that] has withstood the test of time"), and D Generation ("a menu full of appetizing treats"), and then into a satorilike state, with a final, asphyxiating blast of chuckleheaded whimsy, as they find -- on one page alone -- nice things to say about the Cult, Connie Francis, and Barney the Dinosaur. (Rock Love, 4546 El Camino Real #Q, Los Altos, CA 94022; www.rocklove.com.) (B.W.)

Gavin Fever Says here that KALX-FM in Berkeley has been given the Gavin Award for best college radio station. (The Gavin Report is the San Francisco-based radio tip sheet; the award was disbursed at the mag's annual convention, held in New Orleans last month.) This isn't exactly right -- KALX is actually the best radio station in the world, period -- but close enough. "After 12 years of driving Bay Area listeners crazy, now we're sort of a role model," says Music Director Lawrence Kay. After reading the press release, we tuned in for solidarity's sake. "Here comes Santa Claus/ Here comes Santa Claus/ Right down Santa Claus Lane," warbled a female voice. Ah, college. (B.W.)

"Addicted to Noise Sells Out!" Or so said Michael Goldberg, the former Rolling Stone staffer turned Web geek, speaking from his own electronic pulpit last Friday. Goldberg couldn't say how much money changed hands when Paradigm Music Entertainment Co. bought the 2-1/2-year-old Website, but he assured Riff Raff that it'll be enough to move to a new office and stock it with more employees. That's "jazzed" Goldberg, who says his bandwidth-sucking offspring already commands his day from 6:40 a.m. to midnight. Paradigm -- a New York outfit with fingers dipped in record companies, radio and television programming, and new media -- also owns the SonicNet Inc. Internet group. In the deal, Goldberg became a senior VP, and retains editorial control of ATN (www.addict.com). The acquisition allows ATN to focus on "multimedia journalism" (news, reviews, and features), while other sites like SonicNet take responsibility for Web-based bells and whistles like chat rooms, "cybercasts," and shopping, shopping, shopping. Also under the SonicNet Inc. umbrella are the archives for Ira Robbins' esteemed Trouser Press rock tomes. Goldberg's sure that the deal will put SonicNet and Addicted to Noise ahead of any other music site on the Web. "This is going to be able to allow me to take the vision I had when I started two years ago," says Goldberg. "There's nothing on-line to compare." (J.S.)

Whoooooa, Flashback! On Monday, the Board of Supes passed a resolution introduced by Michael Yaki and Barbara Kaufman to lay the first three sidewalk plaques in the Bay Area Music Awards Walk of Fame in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The honorees? Surprise: Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, and -- surprise, surprise -- Bill Graham. (What? No Wavy Gravy?) Installation of the commemorative plaques would coincide with the 20th annual BAMMIES ceremony on March 15. Sure, Graham and Garcia have a certain national prominence, but how long will San Francisco keep huffing its breath into the same stale public figures? Not that Kaufman or the other supes (or anyone else, for that matter) would or should be aware of pop stars from any period save that of their own adolescence. Credibility wouldn't necessarily be restored by nominating Flipper, Jello Biafra, or Eric ("... warm San Franciscan nights ...") Burdon. It's just disheartening to witness our omnipresent narcissism and deluded provinciality at work once again. San Franciscans cling doggedly to any local color that achieves even a passing national appeal -- through months, years, decades. Being nice to dead, ailing, or elderly people by honoring them with civic accolades is wonderfully humane -- or at least a decent photo op, on a tar-slow news day -- but enough with the fucking hippies already! (Riff Raff further contends that celebrating savvy capitalists like Graham as cultural icons is a deeper burr in the butt, but that's a problem to be addressed on the national scale, comrades.) (M.B.)

Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Michael Batty (M.B.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), and Bill Wyman (

 
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