Altered Vista If you have been wondering about that odd "Vegas Preacher" mural that cropped up at Sixth Street and Harrison earlier this year, wonder no more. Vegas Preacher is a band headed by Glen Sievert, an artist better known for his large sculptures on and around Contra Costa County's Mount Diablo that he carves out of dead trees with a chain saw. Like Sievert, Vegas Preacher is a band that is "aware of the tremendous American Indian spiritual energy in sites around the Bay Area." The ideal placement for the mural art, which depicts "a spirit-like being beckoning with raised arms in a desert setting" (also the cover art for the band's first CD), came to Sievert in a clear vision. He saw "the spirit-being looking out towards the direction of Mount Diablo, from somewhere near the Bay Bridge approach." Strangely, guitarist Erik Sorenson was able to locate the perfect place only two days later. Sievert says that their good fortune is much "more than a coincidence." Through the use of "advanced astrology," Sievert was able to calculate the perfect day on which to finish and dedicate the mural: March 26, when both Venus and the Sun were "trined" with Pluto. Hale-Bopp loomed on the horizon; and a lunar eclipse happened just three days before. A day like that only occurs once in a century. The folks at Heaven's Gate agreed, taking their lives on the same day that Vegas Preacher unveiled their great work. Coincidence? Maybe. Sievert, who now practices his music on the site of the Cypress Structure collapse, in direct line with the Mount Diablo and Vegas Preacher wall, says that people have dreamt of the mural, of seeing through the spirit's eyes, looking into oncoming traffic. (S.T.)

Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Michael Batty (M.B.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Karl D. Esturbense (K.D.E.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), and Bill Wyman (B.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to mbatty@sfweekly.com, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly. No flack, please.

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