Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows from the Last Week in S.F. Music


We ventured out to the official Folsom Street Fair closing party, Deviants Adult Arcade, which took over 11th Street on Sunday. Between the leather harnesses, pungent body odor, furries, bears, assless chaps — and excellent sets by DJs Pee Play and Matrixxman — it was nice to be reminded that S.F. isn't totally a sterile tech utopia.

The Woodsist Festival is an annual confab of chilled-out folkies and indie rockers in Big Sur. This year, the tiny, two-day paradise involved a lot of music better suited to soundtracking daydreams than firmly holding one's attention. The Fresh & Onlys played the best and most lively set of the weekend, and maybe of their entire career.

Speaking of S.F. not yet being wholly subsumed by moneyed slickness, go watch the "Throwing Rocks" video by local punks Sweat Lodge. It involves driving around the city in a beat-up van while drinking cheap beer and playing gritty, tuneful skate-punk. So of course it's great.


The Red Devil Lounge on Polk Street is closing at the end of the year, to be replaced by — you guessed it! — another fancy cocktail bar. It wasn't one of the city's most important clubs, but its loss continues the evolution of Polk from a gay haven to a weirdo oasis to a place where (mostly) straight people go to get drunk and meet other (mostly) straight people.

British post-punk foursome Savages played a riveting show at the Independent, but didn't convince us that their ultra-serious demeanor and scolding manifesto are anything more than a clever sales pitch. If you believe that all pop music is contrived, maybe this is okay. But we're not ready to believe that.

The Station to Station festival paired visual and performance art with sets from No Age and Savages to attempt an immersive experience in an abandoned Oakland train station. Only problem is, that happens every weekend at illegal shows in West Oakland, and those are smaller, cheaper, and more interesting.

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