Riff Raff

Riff Raff's First-Ever Big Contest Thing For the past five months, Riff Raff has closed this column with a stupid quote from a famous -- or, sometimes, an incredibly obscure -- live album. If you've suffered through some of the same lamebrained monologues that pepper our record collections you know exactly what we're talking about. ("This is the first song off our new album.") As Riff Raff is wont to do, we've generally just been trying to amuse ourselves; but now we've got bigger plans. Here's the deal: We're gonna have a contest. We want you to go back and identify these quotes -- and we're prepared to reward you for doing so. This is a hard contest, favoring not only Web surfers who can look at back issues online and pack rats who haven't taken out the recycling for five months, but also people who actually care about this type of stuff. We're prepared to offer a wheelbarrow of swag to lure fence-sitters into our game. Ready? Our lucky grand-prize winner takes home a priceless night out with Night Crawler. (Some restrictions apply.) As if that weren't more than any rock geek could hope for, we're throwing in a pair of tickets to any regular-scheduled show in the next six months at the Great American Music Hall, the Bottom of the Hill, and the Fillmore. (That's six tix total. There are a few more restrictions here, but we won't dwell on them.) The second-prize winner gets a random assemblage of rock books and no less than 30 high-quality, top-of-the-line promotional CDs, most of it produced by international music conglomerates, from our own personal collection. The third-prize winner gets 40 of said CDs and a bunch of cheap promotional items lying around our offices. You'll have a few weeks to scour the paper, quiz your friends, and come up with the answers; faced with what could be widespread apathy to this event, we're going to look around the offices and see what we can come up with in the way of additional prize offerings. The winningest ballot will match the 22 quotes this space has printed with the names of the albums they came from. Get your entries to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107, by May 15 and we'll print the win-ners the following week. (J.S.)

Confidential to Owen, the Author of Wyatt Riot and the Rambling Note We Are Reprinting This Week We don't need a hug. (J.S.)

I Will Wait Ed's Redeeming Qualities, one of the greatest -- and certainly the sweetest -- San Francisco drinking bands of all time, come out of retirement this week for a reunion show at Slim's, the first since the group called it quits a year-and-a-half ago. The New Hampshire-based crew of creative writing students were a Boston favorite before packing their ukuleles, clarinets, cardboard basses, violins, and accordions for San Francisco in 1989. Here they charmed bargoers with tales of black comedy and weird friends, toured the States a few times, and released four albums with small-time record companies. At one point, the band even had a hemi-demi-semi hit. (The Breeders, who violinist Carrie Bradley sometimes guested with, covered "Drivin' on 9" on Last Splash.) What made Ed's Redeeming Qualities break? For starters, multi-instrumentalist Jonah Winter moved back to the East Coast. Ukulele man Dan Leone (the Cheap Eats guy at the Guardian) wanted to work more on his writing. And Bradley wanted to get things moving with her rock band 100 Watt Smile. The April 23 show at Slim's also happens to coincide with the debut of 100 Watt Smile's first record, And Reason Flew, and the national release of two fine Ed's albums, Big Grapefruit Clean-Up Job and At the Fish & Game Club, which are out again thanks to a distribution deal that Ed's label recently made with Rykodisc. Bradley says she's excited about both bands and allows that this probably won't be the last chance for anyone who missed Ed's the first time around. Says Bradley, "We miss it a lot and as it always felt more like a labor of love and a prolonged happy accident than a musical career, I imagine we'll always want to return to it and our wonderful fans whenever circumstances allow." (J.S.)

SFOver: A Public Service Announcement for Local Bands -- the Bad News Last week the business people at SF Weekly quietly and indefinitely postponed the fourth installment of the SFO music festival. Meaning: It probably won't happen this year, if ever. The paper bought the rights to SFO -- a 35-club, 300-band, three-day weekend -- from Gavin in 1997 (for a "nominal fee," says SF Weekly Publisher Jim Rizzi) and had planned to hold the fest this July. But co-producer Queenie Taylor says the organizers couldn't come up with a coherent plan to attract L.A. industry players, who, she says, already come to San Francisco to see bands and would prefer to spend a weekend in a less-traveled spot. "We weren't sure that we could reinvent the wheel again in a way that would make us happy and in a way that would ultimately make our audience happy," she says. Compounding the problem: a new industry conference in Las Vegas in May and Portland's North by Northwest, which will now be held in August instead of October. (J.S.)

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