SF Weekly Wammies 2000

Your choices of the top local bands

Being on the ballot-counting end of the Wammies has proven to me that the San Francisco music scene is definitely not suffering from apathy: We received well over 9,000 votes this year, and that doesn't include the several hundred ballots we received from the same postage meter (you know who you are), nor does that include the 11,000 nominations beforehand. Given all the obstacles -- club closures, rehearsal space shutdowns, evictions, and sellouts -- facing Bay Area musicians, the numbers and the bands are pretty impressive. I'd like to take a few lines to praise all the musicians who continue to support each other and serve their passions. Their work is proof that sincere musicians will always find a way to make music, and great music can be and usually is created without the approval and assistance of the powers that be. Over the last 11 years, the SF Weekly Wammies have tried to support this self-determining spirit, shying away from bands with major label contracts and avoiding incumbents. I hope, in this regard, we continue to make the original founders (Ann Powers, Jeff Diamond, and Brian Raffi) proud, and that our gratitude toward the musicians who make it possible is obvious and clear. Congratulations to this year's nominees, and thanks again to all those who continue to give music lovers a reason to go out at night. Enjoy the party! -- Silke Tudor


image Granfaloon Bus
There's a counter on Granfaloon Bus' Web site that's supposed to keep track of how many people have visited. Strangely enough, it always says the same thing: "You are visitor number 1. That's how popular is Granfaloon Bus." While it's true that the quartet, which was formed 10 years in San Diego, has a rather low profile even in its San Francisco home, it also has garnered a steady following of people who appreciate twisty-turny, psychedelic country-rock. In fact, few other Americana bands can claim to have opened for Nirvana and toured Europe with Souled American, been compared to the Butthole Surfers and Neil Young, received a four-star review in Rolling Stone, and released three albums on a German record label. The band's latest release, a collection of odds and sods called Necks & Backs, includes dust-bowl weepers, surrealistic stomps, folky ballads, a John Denver reinterpretation, and even a tweaked-out dub number. This is one magic bus that's a majorly fun ride.

Paul Trapani


Saturday, October 7, 8 p.m.

Our Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Lucky

Our Presenters:
Beni B., president of ABB Records
Anthony Bonet, booker for Bottom of the Hill
Karen Dere, founder of GiantPeach.com and DJ for KALX-FM (90.7)
Dirk Dirksen, co-founder of Dirksen-Malloy Productions and booker for legendary Mabuhay Gardens
Paul Kopf, organizer of Baypop Festival Dennis Mitchell, founder of Future Farmer Records
Don Stroud, organizer of Baypop Festival

Our Performers:
Phantom Surfers
Fisherman’s Old Time Burlesque Revue with Cantankerous Lollies
Persephone’s Bees
Eddie Dane’s Dames

Also Featuring:
DJ the Now Sound
Stinky’s Peep Show Large and Lovely Go-Go Girls
Will the Thrill and Monica Tiki Goddess

SF Weekly Wammies 2000 Staff:
Executive Producer: Troy Larkin
Co-Producers: Alan Parowski of Liftoff! SpaceCapades and Silke Tudor
Assistant Producer: Lani Stackel
Advertising Director: Todd Korab
Program Editor: Dan Strachota
Program Contributors: Mark Athitakis, Chris Baty, Vanessa Bee, David Cook, Glenn Donaldson, Ezra Gale, Fred Medick, Mike Rowell, Dan Strachota, Denise Sullivan
Copy Editor: Deborah Lewis
Art Director: Darrick Rainey
Art Designer: Tristin Handley
Original Photography: Paul Trapani
Layout: Jenny McElhiney
Award Design: Chase of American Custom

Great American Music Hall

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image Mover
Following in the footsteps of "cosmic American music" pioneer Gram Parsons, Mover effortlessly melds the worlds of rock, country, and R&B. With sweet harmonies and Stonesy chops, Mover can go from plaintive to just plain kick-ass in a couple of songs -- an ability showcased on the band's two recordings, Original Recipe and The Only One. The latter album, released on Berkeley's Mod Lang Records, earned the band instant acclaim as one of San Francisco's finest purveyors of good time rock 'n' roll. Mover's British Invasion-meets-Americana sound and gifted playing take the band to magical, timeless places most could never hope to reach. Just listen to the dreamy guitar washes on "Drunk on Wine," the Creedence-evoking hooks on "Hitched a Ride," or the '60s pop bounce on "Train," and you'll agree that Mover is one of the most aptly named bands around.

image Whisky Pills & the PBR Street Gang
The backwoods stomp of Whisky Pills & the PBR Street Gang puts the "grrr" back into urban grit. Whether running from hellhounds or twanging out a tale of belligerent, beer-goggled women, this is a band that knows how to make a skillet and washboard sing. Its five-song self-titled EP includes such hits as "Sunnyville," where an overly inquisitive police officer ends up getting more than he bargained for, and "B-Side Sam," a moving elegy to the caravans of good Samaritans who fill our nation's highways. However good its CD might be, the Gang is best know for its incendiary live shows. With Pills hooting and walloping on his banjo, Lupo singing and slapping at his washboard and skillet, Tony Litwak bumping the bass, Jamie Lease smashing out a beat, and guitarist Diamond D cutting a ragged hole through it all, Whisky Pills & the PBR Gang shines like a house afire.

Hard Rock

image 401K
Here's a San Francisco-based metal band that doesn't take itself too painfully seriously. With a promotional insert addressed to "fans of hard music, Anytown, Planet Earth," 401K is poised for Spinal Tap-styled world domination. With grinding, Lemmy Kilmeister-ish vocals, Sabbath-like monochromatic riffs, and a heavy nod to altmetal heroes Helmet, 401K rocks all around the clock. During live gigs, the band members dress up in their best Financial District attire, casting themselves as day-traders who like to bring the noise on the weekends. While the yuppie scum gimmick is not palpable on the group's demo CD, the opening track "Randall" sports lyrics that give Cheech & Chong's classic "Earache My Eye" a run for its money. With tongue firmly wedged where the sun don't shine, 401K appears disinterested in having anyone else take the group too seriously either. The only attempt at seriousness can be found on the band's Web site, which is littered with pleas for support for local music. Rock on, 401K, and let's hope that retirement plan is as solid as your name would imply.

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