Riff Raff

Henry's Special Tea Party RSVP How thoughtful of DreamWorks to send Riff Raff a CD bearing Henry Rollins' mug, titled Interview Disc. The back cover text describes the contents as "a one hour conversation between Henry Rollins and Senior Billboard writer Chris Morris recorded at Rollins' L.A. home prior to the release of ROLLINS BAND's new album. ... Broadcast or reproduction in print media of any part of this conversation is ENCOURAGED!" Aw, shucks -- we didn't get you anything! DreamWorks was also kind enough to list Morris' questions and Rollins' answers as separate tracks, citing the times. Though we don't currently feel up to actually listening to the disc, we found the track info interesting enough. For instance, to Track 2's 11-second question "Where did you record the new record?" Track 3's response is two minutes and 24 seconds long. The 37-second query "Tell me about your book company 2.13.61" merits a response clocking in at seven minutes and 34 seconds. Not that Henry can't be terse. The questions "Tell me about your acting career" and "How was it working with Al Pacino?" only rate responses roughly a minute and a half in length, while "What's it like running a record label?" only nets 59 seconds of insight. C'mon, Henry -- why so humble? We could always listen to find out, but we're feeling a little timid. (M.B.)

Cabbie vs. Crabby The Examiner's night cabbie wishes he saw so much seamy underbelly. Matt Kelly is a taxi driver on the mad streets of San Francisco and parlays his tips and stories into the fine Cool Beans. In traditional zine fashion, each issue features a different theme. This sixth time out it's "Drinking and Driving in America," which includes some really awful things you'd rather not know about cab drivers. From the beatific "So You Want to Be a Cab Driver" by Ken Wanio: "The best drivers can shoot a goofball in their neck going 60 in heavy traffic and the passengers won't even notice." Ahem. To soothe your nerves, the 60-page issue includes a 7-inch with tracks by Fuck, Snowmen, Harry Pussy, and the Kelley Deal 6000, all interviewed at length in print. No song by standout interviewee Barbara Manning of the S.F. Seals, however -- who it seems has come down with nasty case of bloated ego not seen since Linda Perry took that big bold step away from 4 Non-Blondes. "I'm really hard on people who don't know anything about me," says Manning. "Because if they're interviewing me, they're only doing it because I have a name and they'll sell magazines." Damn. If only SF Weekly had a cover price. Cool Beans costs $5 and is available in smaller shops and from 3181 Mission #113, San Francisco, CA, 94110. (J.S.)

"Spundae" Salvaged Club DV8 may be gone, but the party hasn't ended -- it's just migrated. "Spundae," one of San Francisco's longest-running DJ parties, celebrated the end of a four-year stay at DV8 on Sunday, March 23. The new home is at another SOMA dance club, V/SF, on the corner of 11th and Folsom streets. "The move will be on a three-month trial basis, with the possibility of becoming permanent," says Kevin Murphy, the owner of V/SF. For more information, see Club Listings. (R.A.)

Square Squandered When the Berkeley Square closed its doors on March 6, it was with a great sad sigh from local metalheads and rockers, who claimed that it was the last venue in the Bay Area that was unafraid of a good, old-fashioned guitar onslaught. Unlike most nightclub closures, the Berkeley Square did not shut its doors due to liquor-license violations, dance-hall troubles, or even IRS woes. In fact, all of its licenses were current and faultless -- but the city of Berkeley saw fit to revoke the club's zoning permit, claiming that the Berkeley Square was too loud for that particular block of sleepy University Avenue. "After I've been running the club for nearly seven years," says owner Omar Nashir in utter disbelief, "now, they say this." The decision came after a number of neighbors began complaining about the noise some six months ago. According to City Councilwoman Linda Maio, "This is a great bunch of neighbors who understands the need for places in the community where youth can go, but they felt that it needed to be run more responsibly." Nashir, on the other hand, says that no one had complained to him, and that the people cited were not his neighbors. Still, the City Council revoked the zoning license around the same time that realtors Ruegg & Ellsworth bought the building, leaving Nashir without a lease or a leg to stand on. Conspiracy theorists aside, Nashir can't help but be reminded of a similar situation involving the Bel Air Hotel, which, three years ago, resided across the street from the Berkeley Square. "Now, it's all low-income housing," says Nashir. "The Bel Air's zoning permit was revoked and then they had to shut down. I guess it's cheaper than buying us out." To Maio, this is a positive thing. "This is the same neighborhood that supported putting in housing for the homeless where the Bel Air used to be," she says. "They are not the not-in-my-back-yard sort of people." Of the Berkeley Square's future, Maio says only that "[t]he neighborhood has voiced support for having another club or restaurant in the place of the Berkeley Square, but the new proprietor would have to be a responsible member of the community." And file for new zoning permits. Nashir says that he plans to appeal the decision within the next few months. (S.T.)

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