Riff Raff

Booster Roosters A hole was left in San Francisco's summer music schedule last year when Queenie Taylor, Bonnie Simmons, and SF Weekly Publisher Jim Rizzi decided to postpone SFO, the four-day music festival/convention that Taylor and Simmons had produced in conjunction with Gavin since 1993. While musicians and fans might have been hurt by the loss, it must be said that many industry folks didn't weep, claiming there are already too many such conventions in the year. Not so 20-year industry veteran Nadine Condon. "I thought it would be a crime to go another whole year without acknowledging all the great talent growing in the Bay Area," says Condon of her inspiration for Nadine's Wild Weekend, which will be held Friday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 2, at nightclubs throughout the city. Condon was in a unique position to do something about it. Since 1989, she has been producing local band industry showcases for BMI, and her eye for spotting talent early has proven to be quite astute: Counting Crows, 4 Non Blondes, Black Lab, and Third Eye Blind, as well as talented but lesser-known acts like the Sextons, 7 Day Diary, and Sister Double Happiness, all played showcases organized by Condon. Most recently, Condon took a group of local bands down to Los Angeles to play the Viper Room. Partly because of that performance, local alternapop group Stroke 9 landed a deal with Universal Records and is currently in the studio recording their first album. Over the last nine years, the BMI showcases have evolved organically with Condon only scheduling shows when she felt there was a bill of remarkable talent to offer. Last year, she started the BMI Big Hang, four low-key shows at the Sunday afternoon barbecue at the Bottom of the Hill where musicians could hang out with each other without industry folk breathing down their necks. Condon says Nadine's Wild Weekend was the natural sum of both of these concepts. "The scene is more vibrant now than I've seen it in years," says Condon, whose history with Bay Area music stretches back to working with Jefferson Starship. "Musicians from different genres are talking to and supporting each other. They're sharing rehearsal spaces, going to each other's shows, and having barbecues together. The problem with the music business is everything is pigeonholed and shoved into categories, but the creative fiber of music pulses and changes. It's like an amoeba. The musicians here right now understand that, and they share and help each other. It's a very creative time." With the support of BMI and local club bookers, Nadine's Wild Weekend has grown from a 20-band showcase to a three-day weekend of music that includes more than 60 live acts at nine separate venues. "Something people should know is I never have headliners and openers," says Condon. "People will find some of the strongest talent playing at the beginning of the night. Each show is handcrafted with exceptionally signable talent playing on every bill." See Page 52 for complete listings for Nadine's Wild Weekend. (S.T.)

A Shining New Club As of Saturday, Aug. 1, the entrance to 915 Columbus, home of the 7th Note Showclub, will offer two choices: heaven and hell. Since the opening of the space last November, the right-hand door led to what people have come to expect from the club; tame partiers dancing to live salsa and techno DJs. Now, door No. 2 is the gateway to "Red Rum," a sinister Saturday night rock club in the basement featuring a mixture of live punk and metal bands, go-go girls, and theme rooms. Sound familiar? A little like the original "Terminator" at Big Heart City? It should. The brains behind the new space, Edward "Ace" Annese, is a former "Terminator" promoter and DJ from '92 to '94. Associations aside, Annese assures Riff Raff that this isn't the resurrection of an old club, but rather the spirit that's been missing in the S.F. music scene. "I loved the old 'Terminator' and 'Bondage A Go-Go,' but since I left I've always wanted to do something that mixes all of my interests," says Annese. "It's a combination of both the spirit of those clubs and a mixture of Ozzfest and the Warped Tour in one." Once inside the red-walled club, patrons will be greeted by plenty of promotional giveaways, a large room with the main stage, and myriad smaller rooms catering to exotic/erotic entertainment as well as chill spaces featuring old cult movies. Riff Raff sadly reports that opening night won't feature any elevators flowing with blood or appearances by finger-talking Danny Torrance (two episodes, like the words "red rum," taken from The Shining). Instead, American Heartbreak and Big Shrimp will provide the live entertainment, while DJ Ace spins hard rock between sets. Considering the extreme shortage of rock clubs in the city, we happily welcome any new room featuring good ol' rock 'n' roll, and plenty of liquor. (R.A.)

8,000 and Counting The Last Day Saloon, the Richmond neighborhood's sole live rock venue, celebrates its 25th anniversary with three big shows, the first of which is Friday, July 31. Representing 30 years of music, the Mother Hips play in July, Motown act Pride & Joy performs in September, and the Strand Brothers visit in October. "It's incredible the amount of bands that I've had," says owner David Daher. "When I went back to put something together for the anniversary I realized that I've had almost 8,000 bands in here over the years." Since Daher built the club back in the early 1970s it's become one of the oldest same-owner venues in the city. "Just staying in business for 25 years is quite an accomplishment, but being in the club business and still working four or five nights a week is really something," says Daher. The secret to his success? "You just got to keep up with what the young people want to hear." (J.D.P.)

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