Riff Raff

Strange Developments Nobody was more excited than Miami's DJ Infamous when the winners of the International Turntablists Federation were announced late last Sunday night. Infamous had absolutely stunned the crowd with his scratching, cutting, and beat juggling in his several routines over the course of the evening -- including a masterful bit in which his spinning turntables hurled disses at his opponents. So it was no surprise when he was named 1998's best all-around hip-hop DJ in the United States -- and promised a plane ticket to Amsterdam for the world championship. The only problem was that he was not the real winner. It turned out that the evening's MC, Adisa Banjoko, had simply said the wrong name. Banjoko had conferred with the judges -- DJ Shortkut from the Invisbl Skratch Piklz; ex-Pikl Apollo; Flare, the inventor of the flare scratch; and local DJs Tomkat and Cue-- for the results of the heated final battle between Infamous and New York's DJ Develop. He had then come out to the stage and duly announced that Infamous was the winner. The crowd had largely dispersed when Riff Raff noticed some heated arguments among the promoters, event coordinators, and judges onstage. One judge was overheard to say that the results were "bogus." Shortly afterward, ITF founder and coordinator Alex Aquino confirmed to Riff Raff that the actual winner chosen by the judges was DJ Develop. "The MC made a mistake and stated the wrong name," says Aquino. "The official winner of the ITF is DJ Develop. That is definite." But the organizers didn't announce the fact before the misinformed crowd left to spread the (incorrect) results. How will the ITF rectify the situation? Aquino says plans are being made: "We're not sure about that yet, but when I find the MC I'm going to strangle him." A crestfallen DJ Infamous took the news with class. "Well, whatever, man. Shit happens," he said after the show. "I'm cool with it; I mean what can I do?" (R.A.)

Lost Weekend For what was promoted as a warm and fuzzy celebration of the local music scene, Nadine's Wild Weekend -- which put more than 40 Bay Area acts in a half-dozen venues at the beginning of this month -- left a few of the bands that participated feeling icy and underpaid. Riff Raff couldn't actually find a group that would speak on the record about being dissatisfied; but there was plenty of secondhand sub rosa griping. At the center of the complaints were the weak $50 guarantees paid by Nadine Condon, the BMI consultant and S.F. music-industry operative who promoted the showcases. "I had a great time personally because I got a laminate," says MK Ultra's John Vanderslice, "but I did hear other bands complain." Condon's festival was pushed as something between a backslapping local music celebration and a trout farm for A&R fishermen from down south; the idea was that the showcased bands take less money than they usually would on the premise that they would get exposed to the industry anglers up from Los Angeles. Condon worked out independent deals -- i.e., percentages of the door receipts -- with the six different venues that participated, and took 100 percent of the relatively small number of sales of plastic laminates that granted entrance to all of the clubs. Although none of the showcases sold out, most were well-attended and ticket prices were, on average, higher than usual. The $50 figure rankled many. On a typical Saturday night, Paradise booker Toni Isabella says, a headliner there will walk away with between $350 and $500. At other music festivals -- Noise Pop for example -- a headliner can earn $1,000 or more. Of course, Nadine's Wild Weekend also got its bands a lot of advertising, although a portion of those costs was subsidized by sponsors BMI and SF Weekly. "I know it's not about money," says the Bottom of the Hill's Ramona Downey. "But the bottom line is, who is getting all of the money?" Condon says she did turn an unspectacular profit. "It was moderately successful," says Condon. "I made a little money -- nothing that I'm going to retire on." Other bands and local figures didn't care about money. "Both my bands were absolutely thrilled," says Popsmear Records' Scott Llamas. "The money was the last thing on their mind. Truth is that they probably would have done it for free." Condon says that she personally hasn't heard any complaints and that she looks forward to doing the event again. "The shows had to pay for the bands," says Condon. "We tried to be fair." Greg Heller, from the group Amateur Night, which played the fest, and a columnist in Bam magazine, said that bands shouldn't bitch: They knew the fee beforehand. But he does question the central premises of the festival. For Heller, it was just another good weekend of music in San Francisco -- Angelenos be damned. "If anyone is seeing it as more than a series of local bands, they are wrong," he says. (J.S.)

Pretty in Pink You -- like Riff Raff -- care about trends, what's hot this year, this month, right now! Swing dancing? Done that. Public ritual bloodletting? Ho-hum. Tantric skull-piercing? Even your grandfather's yawning. Lucky for you, there's Rolling Stone's annual "Hot Issue," a compendium of all things hip, now, and wow. RS's 1998 self-congratulatory "Hot List" comprises overheated blurbs on everything from "Hot Influence" (Brian Wilson) to "Hot R.I.P." (the floppy disk). But the real story -- and the hot item that gets the most column space, by a more-than-significant margin -- perches piquantly on the mag's peekaboo-style cover. Trend-spotters, look sharp -- naked women are hot this year! They were hot last year too, true, and the several years before that. Call it "Hot Repetition" -- Rolling Stone just loves plastering its covers with one photo after another of sexualized female media figures. Since 1988, when the "Hot Issue" sprang from the nether regions of RS HQ, eight of its cover subjects have been actresses or models in some carefully styled state of undress, and have also been featured in a soft-porn centerfold spread. Naked or naked-ish women were hot in 1988 (Lisa Bonet), 1989 (Uma Thurman), 1990 (Claudia Schiffer), 1991 (Winona Ryder), 1992 (Sharon Stone), 1994 (Laura Leighton, Josie Bisset, and Heather Locklear), 1996 (Cameron Diaz), and hotter than ever in 1998 (nominal supermodel Laetitia "Is there lint in my butt crack?" Casta). Underdressed women were not, however, hot in 1993, when a fully dressed Dana Carvey graced the cover, or in 1995, when the honors went to Hole, or in 1997, which offered up the Prodigy's Keith Flint, also fully dressed. Which got us wondering: Why the three dark years? Given that RS is a magazine that, even on standard, non-"Hot Issue" covers, styles its female cover subjects in ways that would make Freud gag on his cigar (Jenny McCarthy with a hot dog and a surplus of squeeze mustard; Sarah McLachlan as some kind of floral fellatrix), the "Hot Issue" covers on which only a modicum of skin appeared seem either inconsistent or just disingenuous. Last year's modest cover can perhaps be explained by the fact that techno eclipsed nudity as big trend news, and also that Keith Flint probably looked weird in a thong. But it's 1998, techno is old, baby, old, and the bible of Hot says that nipple-baring French lingerie models are where it's at this year. Please, don't call it a comeback. (Andi Zeisler)

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