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)

Across the International Date Line Riff Raff has long had a soft spot for taffy-sweet Japanese pop acts trying to crack the U.S. market. Seiko Matsuda, Shonen Knife, Pizzicato Five -- we've been pulling for them. The latest (and most talented) export to hit these shores is Dreams Come True, which we caught at their sold-out show at the Fillmore last week. Dreams Come True is different from other products of Japan's bubble-gum factories in its willingness to mix audience-friendly dance numbers and ballads with more intriguing jazz blends and Okinawa-inspired rhythms. The group also boasts the astounding voice of Miwa Yoshida, who says she spent much of her childhood in Hokkaido listening to the likes of Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. She gamely sang almost her entire set in English (and nobody seemed to mind if the translated lyrics didn't always make sense). But the hourlong wait for the band to take the stage didn't sit well with the largely Japanese audience. One young woman holding a long-stemmed sunflower -- Miwa's trademark -- told us that not only would such tardiness not be tolerated in Tokyo, but that it's just plain "too American." We suppose Dreams Come True could take that as a compliment. (David Lazarus)

Words + Monitors Yes, that was Sleater-Kinney drummer and Quasi singer Janet Weiss testing her vocal cords at the Mint last week, the night before her band's sold-out show at the Great American Music Hall. "She has a really good voice," says a Riff Raff scout. "She's a little tentative as a karaoke star. She was holding the mike really tight and reading lyrics off the screen during Madonna's 'Like a Prayer,' but by the time she did 'Born to Be Wild' with a friend she was a bit more ... animated." (J.S.)

Braver The corner of Fulton and Masonic is ready to rock. Since the bar and club Brave New World died seven years ago the only music that's been heard at the quiet intersection is the sleepy sounds of jazz (from Storyville) and jukeboxes from a few creepy watering holes. But on July 17 a new club, aptly named Fulton Street, opened its doors in the old home of Pasquales Pizza (once the hangout of underage USF students boozin' pitchers of cheap beer), two doors down from the new Starbucks and across the street from Plaza Foods. The spacious two-story club offers cozy booths, two pool tables, and a bar (wine and beer only) on each floor, but owner Riley O'Callaghan says it's still a work in progress. "We're taking things slow," says O'Callaghan. "Right now we're a neighborhood bar but in three months we'll be offering a full bar, and once the liquor permits are in place we'll start on the entertainment." The entertainment won't match the mayhem of Brave New World -- where young upstarts like Green Day used to play for beer money -- because O'Callaghan is worried about noise complaints. He says that neighbors were objecting to even having a jukebox in the place, but he's since worked out a deal that will allow the bar to feature live acts. "The neighbors feared loud, drunken people spilling out onto the streets," says O'Callaghan. "We worked with the neighbors to agree to bands, but it's going to be mellow." (R.A.)

Roses Are Red/ Violets Are Blue/ If You Think Jewel's Poetry Sucks/ You Should Read the Crap Her Fans Write If you've been keeping an eye on Riff Raff lately, you probably know that not only is multiplatinum pop-folkie Jewel Kilcher a singer, she's also a poet ("Jewel Kilcher: Poet" said the graphic on the bottom of the TV screen when she appeared on The Charlie Rose Show a few months back). And if you've read her debut book of poetry, A Night Without Armor, you might also know that she's a pretty awful poet. But all the negative press has made the one-time Alaskan even more diligent in her attempts to bring poetry to the people. Indeed, she's a giving sort -- sensitive, well-meaning, etc. -- so she's doing a little something for the fans: letting them write bad poetry as well. Not too long ago, the respected literary magazine TV Guide asked fervent Jewel fans to submit their own poems. The winner (chosen by Jewel herself!) gets an autographed copy of A Night Without Armor and $500, with a matching $500 donated (by Jewel herself!!) to a charity of the winner's choosing. Over 5,000 entries later, the winners of the contest were announced about two weeks ago. Riff Raff offers congratulations to Joe Householder, a 33-year-old broadcaster from Houston, Texas, for his lament about his inability to catch insects or get a girlfriend when he hit puberty. A snippet from "August Evenings -- Age 14":

Those are the nights of girls and fireflies
As I stood upon that bridge
Between pure childhood and adolescence I'd
chase them both
And catch nothing.

The runners-up poems take on deep concepts like mailing a letter, a very expensive engagement ring, installing a household intercom system, God, and how breaking up with somebody feels a lot like the Kennedy assassination. The complete "texts" of the poems are available at TV Guide's, ahem, "Jewel Box" Web site: www.tvgen.com/jewel/. (Mark Athitakis)

Free Ink "San Francisco Song Cycle" convenes at the Noe Valley Ministry on Saturday, Aug. 15, for a special double-CD release party. For the past 18 months, the series, run by Tom Erikson, has featured more than 30 songwriters talking about and demonstrating their craft. Erikson is releasing a double CD of songs culled from dozens of performances and a few live-in-the-studio recordings. See the Night + Day box on Page 22 for more information. (J.D.P.)

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.

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