Two Drops of Beano There comes a time in a zine's life when its editor realizes no one cares what he or she thinks about every record released over the course of three months by every two-bit independent label this side of Matador. Really. Cool Beans Editor Matt Kelly learned the lesson somewhere between his last issue and the new one, No. 7. "Honestly, I got kind of tired of feeling like I was working for all of these record labels creating press for them," Kelly writes in the introduction to the double-themed "San Francisco and Bikes" issue, now at better newsstands. Instead of the record-review piffle that's standard in approximately 852,667 other micropublications, the editor concentrates on the stuff that distinguishes his zine from the rest. Kelly drives a cab for a living and the best stories in Cool Beans come from the back of a taxi. In "Sex for Sale in San Francisco" he extracts from other drivers lurid stories about ferrying prostitutes between gigs, the scariest of which contains these lines about a trio of whores arguing about money and fumbling in the rear: "The debtor, Taneesha, needed some time to produce the money, as she had packed $1,000 in her butt. The other two tried to help her out by getting her onto all fours in the back seat and digging around in her, looking for cash." Yuck. Elsewhere in the 56-page zine are cab-driver short cuts, a San Francisco bike tour, and, yes, band interviews -- Kelly hasn't dissed music altogether. Songstress Chan Marshall reveals that the name of her band Cat Power has nothing to do with kittens (the name is stolen from advertising for heavy machinery); S.F.'s cutie-pie death metal trio Little Princess mythologize their extraterrestrial roots; and My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields explains in two words what's delaying the follow-up to his lauded 1991 Loveless album: "mental illness." There's actually even more music on an accompanying plastic flexi disc (called "Soundsheets" these days), including two cool covers by the lamentably extinct Henry's Dress, and songs by other Bay Area bands like Shotwell, Queen Cobra, and Hot Sandwich Lads. Sure, that's a lot of music, but hey, the record reviews are banished to the recycling pile. Cool Beans is available for $4 from 3181 Mission #113, S.F., CA 94110. (J.S.)

Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), 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 jstark@sfweekly.com, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly. No flack, please.

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