Pin It

And Awards We Go 

Bouncer attends last week's SF Weekly Music Awards! Exposes self! Photos included!

Wednesday, Oct 26 2005
Comments
There's sort of a running joke among my friends as to how someone who a) hates crowds, b) is sick of seeing live music, and c) is usually in bed by 10 somehow scored the job of writing a nightlife column. I can barely find a pulse on myself most days, let alone find it deep in the heart of the cold, cold city. But this year I vowed to act like a normal person and participate in an organized event, the SF Weekly Music Awards. By participate, I mean "show up for the free drinks and food while everyone else does all the work." But I did show up, and to paraphrase Woody Allen, that, my friend, is 70 percent of life.

Since I have already used the words "pulse" and "heart of the cold, cold city," let me now continue my coverage of the event told almost entirely in rock clichés. Get ready for words like "heat," "wall," and "dreams." In fact, I need only borrow from one song to get a lion's share. John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire" is not only a rock anthem, but it's also chock-full o' some of the lamest lines this side of a UPN sitcom. So, with my back up against the wall, I bring you: the Heat of the Night.

Darkness fell on my city at the usual time -- you know, like between 7 and 8-ish, or when Dr. Phil is just about to come on. The air was thick and the streets were mean; this was the street called Market, which houses the largest collection of gigolos, bad girls, and thieves of the night this side of the Hotel Heartbreak. I also recommend the falafel stand at Seventh.

Men and women lined the street in hot anticipation; the electricity in the air was, er, electrifying. They were here to play the game, and no one was going to quit until it was won. Inside, hipsters in borrowed skin were standing around pretending to like the taste of Fernet. Rockers had their amps plugged into the socket. Indie shoegazers were as modest as mice. And there, above it all, like a beacon in the night, stood a guy dressed like a clown.

"So," I said to him, "what's your scene?" He was wearing a gigantic stovepipe hat, a bright red Oriental long coat, striped leggings, and enormous clown shoes in black-and-white checks. His face was done up in the fashion of a circus clown, natch, and I could feel the heat comin' off him.

"I'm a clown," he replied proudly.

"Ah, OK," I answered back. "So, like, are you in the Insane Clown Posse? Or do you do clown porn?" Both questions he answered in the negative. This guy, for whatever reason, just liked to dress up as a clown and had parlayed this desire into a whole career -- a clownlike name, Boenobo; a band, Gooferman; and an annual visit to Burning Man, where a guy like him makes sense.

"So," I continued, having never met a full-time clown, "do you ever sit at your dressing table after applying that last bit of greasepaint and find a single, solitary tear slowly rolling down your face?"

Nope. I have to tell you, though, that when you are sincere, you can get away with a lot, and after I got used to this guy's masquerade, I found him quite endearing.

But back to the party. Slowly the crowd began to fill the area directly in front of the stage, where various peeps were beginning to give out awards for best this 'n' that. Rogue Wave, which I had written a story about, was there, and as is my way, I proceeded to avoid the band members entirely in case they hated it. Other celebrity sightings: DJ Kitty from KALX and soon-to-be-bar Kitty's, Eric Shea from Parchman Farm, that one guy from that one band, that chick who writes that blog thing, and assorted other fuckers. (At this point I had partaken of too many free drinks.)

I decided to sit in the balcony and watch Federation whoop-whoop it up. The crowd was going wild, like prisoners tryin' to break free. I looked down and noticed that the front flap of my dress had come undone, and my bra, which I was wearing inside out because the underwire had broken (long story), was being proudly displayed. I know not how long I had walked around like this, but I had a newfound sense of respect for Tara Reid. I was also reminded why I usually avoid crowds.

"Soldier on," I told myself. "Do what must be done: Call a taxi." I gathered up what was left of my dignity and walked out into the hallway area, which was jammed with the same people who probably watched me walk into the balcony with my bra hanging out. My head held high, I moseyed down the elaborate Warfield staircase like Carol Burnett in her infamous Scarlett O'Hara sketch.

I could see a new horizon underneath the blazin' sky: the front doors of the club. I can make it, I know I can. You broke the boy in me, but you won't break the man!

I can't be sure, but I believe some pyrotechnics went off at this point, probably when I threw open the double doors and emerged onto the street. I felt a sudden urge to do the splits on the roof of the cab, but something told me that the Pakistani listening to NPR wouldn't appreciate it, so I jumped in the back and we drove to a place called Dreams.

Next week, it's back to dive bars.


For oodles of entertaining photos of the 2005 SF Weekly Music Awards, click here.

About The Author

Katy St. Clair

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

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.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed