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House of Tudor 

Wednesday, Jul 15 1998
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Here comes another dose of that crazy Up Up Sound, that freaked-out psycho-surf groove perfected by those headhunting, hot rod-pushing traders of trash -- the five-and-only Bomboras. Their latest sonic adventure, Head Shrinkin' Fun, is an interplanetary leap from one end of the garage ... to the other. The spooky organ of Jake "Hungry Hungry Hippo" Cavaliere crawls all over the shady fuzz guitar of Gregg "Candy Land" Hunt; the signature go-go drumbeat of Dave "Pick Up Sticks" Klein plays Russian roulette with the mind-warping bass of Shane "Ants in Your Pants" Van Dyke; and Johnny "Twister" De Villa slithers all over the place with his rhythm guitar. I don't even care that the Bomboras dress as Borneo headhunters, glow-in-the-dark skeletons, and Mexican Day of the Dead monsters when they perform; or that they are continually pursued by crazed, tear-stained go-go girls; or that Cavaliere breathes fire over his keyboard, engulfing the vintage gear in flame. (OK, I care about that a little.) The Bomboras, diamonds among so much seaside sludge, perform at Amoeba on Thursday, July 16, at 6 p.m. Admission is free; call 831-1200. They also celebrate their record release at the Covered Wagon on Thursday, July 16, with Hellbillys and Freedom Fighters opening at 10 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 974-5906.

To see Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat is to be saved. Saved from banality, cynicism, ire, and depression; saved from common musical foibles and men of teeny-weeny vision. Quintron is a one-man gospel revival -- a slender, greasy-haired genius whose giant tube organs and various "Quintraptions" (e.g., the Drum Buddy, a rotating oscillator-drum-machine activated by rhythmic light patterns, or the Fun Gun, a hand-held air cannon that shoots candy) help spread the spirit and holy passion of his native New Orleans to other "cultural centers" in the world. Miss Pussycat is Quintron's lovely wife -- the mastermind behind Flossie & the Unicorns, a fantastical puppet band whose adventures must be seen to be gleaned. Together, Quintron and Pussycat run the Spellcaster Lodge -- a successor to the infamous Pussycat Caverns -- where childhood desires, musical fanaticism, and scientific exploration come together over a boat bar. For those not fortunate enough to frequent the Spellcaster, Quintron's electrifying poor-man's gospel has been captured on Internal Feedback, The Amazing Spellcaster (also on the Oblivions' Play 9 Songs With Mr. Quintron), and most recently on Satan Is Dead. Those who attended Quintron's last appearance in '95 at the Kilowatt were blessed by Pussycat's puppets but denied Quintron's melodies due to organ failure. Here's a rare chance to catch the whole spiel at the Bottom of the Hill on Friday, July 17, with the Resinators and Love as Laughter opening at 10 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 626-4455. And at the Stork Club in Oakland Saturday, July 18, with Three Day Stubble and Brown Hornet opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5; call (510) 444-6174.

Since his appearance with Thee Headcoats last February at Bimbo's, Wild Billy Childish has produced countless paintings, published a second full-length novel, and released at least four singles completely unconnected to the four albums that he cranked out in the last year. Not a terribly impressive output for this rocker from Chatham, whose 30 collections of poetry and 80 LPs already make him one of Britain's most prolific artists. What is impressive is Notebooks of a Naked Youth, the brilliant, if somewhat discomforting, narrative of William Loveday, a young man who fluctuates between the crusty rancor of Bukowski and the intellectual self-absorption of Salinger. While not as vicious and raw as the characters in Childish's semi-autobiographical My Fault, Loveday could shove Adrian Mole straight down the bog. As for music, the most current Headcoats offering is Brother Is Dead ... But Fly Is Gone, a collection of cover tunes. Since Childish hasn't been to a show since the late '70s, his choices are not surprising -- Buzzcocks, Bo Diddley, Small Faces, Richard Hell, Richard Berry -- but they're wonderful, nonetheless. Every song, including the Clash's "What's My Name" and Thee Mighty Caesar's (one of Childish's other incarnations) "Loathsome and Wild," has been given the Headcoats' signature blunk treatment (kinda bluesy, kinda punk), making this one of maybe 15 must-own Childish records. Thee Childish performs at Bimbo's 365 Club Saturday, July 18, with the Subsonics and Dukes of Hamburg opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12; call 474-0365. Childish will be reading, and performing a set of blues, at the Make-Out Room Sunday, July 19, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 647-2888.

I have heard complaints from the heavy metal corner. "Just not enough bloodletting," they say. "Not enough scathing guitars, agonizing bass, crushing drums, despairing screams, and deranged growls." Pure and simple: not enough unadulterated hate. Well, don't you cry, my little darlings. Buzzov-En really want to beat your fucking head in, but they'll terrorize you first with a few gut-twisting selections from ... At a Loss, which loops nightmarish samples around hellish compositions of disgust and loathing. Blood will flow at the Paradise Lounge on Sunday, July 19, with Season to Risk opening at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 861-6906.

-- Silke Tudor

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Silke Tudor

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Slideshows

  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

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