We Can Relate It sure is pretty down in Monterey, but for young people, cultural resources end with quiet, abandoned museums chock-full of quill pens and Steinbeck artifacts. God save the Three Spirits Gallery. There, close to the warehouses and far away from the schlocky souvenir shops, a few folks have made a commitment to providing an all-ages venue where the crappy cover bands that play in all of the Cannery Row tourist bars are never welcome. There, the impossible happened: The proprietors created a scene out of a vacuum. (Last year, they organized the ambitious Monterey Rock and Art Festival, which showcased tons of S.F. bands.) On Saturday, Sept. 27, the Three Spirits crowd rolls into the Paradise Lounge with scions of the Monterey scene they've helped facilitate. Riff Raff isn't familiar enough with the bands to fully endorse the show, but we gotta say it sounds ... well, like a lot of other stuff, but still intriguing. If nothing else, we can certainly understand the vagaries of entertainment in a pretty but vacuous seaside town. The tour promises a cabaret of rock bands, ringleader Brad Mallory, film, dancers, and circus performers. (J.S.)

Tale From the (Small) Punch Bowl Weirdo Bay Area prog rockers Primus used the relatively tiny Bottom of the Hill to commence their nationwide Brown Album tour Monday, Sept. 22. The band wanted to keep the local opening date small to ensure that a sold-out set of fans would flock to the New Year's Eve concert at the Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium upon the group's triumphant return. The show was supposed to be a secret, but any Primus fan blessed with a free night and a crumb of deductive reasoning was there. Among the clues: The date was the only blank on the Bottom of the Hill's September calendar; online vendor TicketWeb sold tickets for a show headlined by the cleverly titled "Brown"; and someone mysteriously posted a highly suggestive rumor on the band's own assaultive Web site, www.primussucks.com. And who let the rat out of the bag? Frontman Les Claypool himself. Apparently the guy who admittedly craves nothing but "fishin' and fuckin' " needs the ego boost that only a game of peekaboo can afford. After all, what's the fun of playing a secret show if nobody knows about it? (J.S.)

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.), Heather Wisner (H.W.), 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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