Theis: I felt a connection to the neighborhood back when we were doing the Tuesday residencies and doing a lot of the more experimental stuff. I really felt like money didn't matter, because we were interacting with the community. I know how cool it is, because when I first moved into this neighborhood [the central Mission] in 1997, I would stumble down to spots every week and see really cool experimental music. If people don't live here, they're not going to be as likely to put that sweat equity into something. They'll go do a gig at the Boom Boom Room on a Friday night, or they'll try this or that. But as far as things that really bring the community together ... I think it's just going to get harder and harder.

Brown: With everybody moving away, or moving to L.A., or whatever they're doing, it'll be interesting to see where that goes in two years. Because the last time that happened, that's where we were 10 years ago. No offense to the bands that were around then, [but] there wasn't really shit going on in the city 10 years ago.


THE TECH BOOMS, PART I & II

Bedard: That's the real fault line in San Francisco arts, is the first tech boom. That wiped out people in the visual arts and music. That combination of [a] new influx of noise-sensitive people came in at the same time there was also a lack of practice spaces.

John Vanderslice owns Tiny Telephone Studios in the Mission but is building a new studio in Oakland. He says Tiny Telephone will eventually get pushed out of S.F.
Mike Koozmin
John Vanderslice owns Tiny Telephone Studios in the Mission but is building a new studio in Oakland. He says Tiny Telephone will eventually get pushed out of S.F.
Guy Carson says Cafe Du Nord, the rock club he owned for 10 years, wasn't going to survive with new housing in the Upper Market neighborhood.
Mike Koozmin
Guy Carson says Cafe Du Nord, the rock club he owned for 10 years, wasn't going to survive with new housing in the Upper Market neighborhood.

Unnamed S.F. club booker: This one just feels worse. The last one, I had lots of friends who worked in dot-coms, and it was just this kind of Gold Rush mentality: "This may all fall apart tomorrow." There was an excitement, and also an anger. But this time it just feels so revolutionary. Like we're just going to rip out the roots. We're not going to trim the tree, we're just going to rip the whole thing out.

Eric Shea, singer, Hot Lunch; singer-guitarist, Sweet Chariot; employee, Pandora: A lot of it seems like deja vu from the late '90s. If that's the case, then maybe we'll elect a Republican president and then the economy will bust and everyone will move out of S.F. and all the artists will come back again.

Bedard: This second tech boom, it's not going anywhere. These companies are now the backbone of this global digital infrastructure.

Kowal: The last one was 500 little companies that were trying something in a new market in a new type of business. You had the Webvans, the Cosmos ... and all of them were like six-month to 18-month larks. Today, it's five or six big companies. They're going nowhere.

Matt Shapiro, talent buyer and co-owner, Elbo Room: This city is known for a bunch of people coming in and making a bunch of money and then leaving. How long is that going to last? How many apps do people really need? At some point, there's going to be a lot of empty businesses, a lot of empty condos.


WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OAKLAND?

Bedard: As the entertainment options in Oakland increase, I think Oakland residents don't feel the urgency or the necessity to come over here as much. It used to be that S.F. was the only game in town, there was nothing going on in Oakland, and so if you wanted to see the cool touring band or you wanted to go out and have fun on a weekend, you were almost forced just by circumstances to go to an S.F. show or party. That's different now.

Carson: Eventually we'll be Manhattan, and [the surrounding areas] will all be the boroughs, and we will all be forced out. I will be forced out. I have been fighting tooth and nail to stay in North Beach for 20 years. I've been evicted twice, and it's just a natural evolution of things. So eventually, unless we find a way to protect our artists, they will all be gone. You won't be able to live here, there'll be nothing but rich people.

Shapiro: Oakland is kind of kicking our asses right now as far as entertainment. They're doing a great job over there. That's the one thing I've noticed, is we do get less people from Oakland and the East Bay going to shows [at the Elbo Room].

Flowers: I can think of a bunch of bands that are still trying to make something happen and create a scene here, because nobody wants it to go away. You do your best in the face of oppression and just keep on keeping on, until you can't.

Bennett: I'm not interested in Oakland. Oakland is not my city. My heart is in San Francisco.

Vanderslice: We're going to get pushed out of here one day. This building [Tiny Telephone Studios in the Mission] is zoned for three levels. It's also zoned live/work. This building is now [worth] like $2.6 or $2.7 million, just for the land. So at some point it's going to be very difficult for them not to build three stories up and to do live/work spaces. If we leave here, we would take everything over to Oakland. Eventually it will happen. It's inevitable. But if Oakland wasn't there, it would be a sadder song. You ask anyone that moves over there, you will not find anyone that's sobbing.


WHAT CAN BE DONE?
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27 comments
SFexodus
SFexodus

This is all a part of the new San Francisco. Its not about brown or whitish pink or yellow...its about green. Outright greed is the order of the day now. Unless you have a credit score of 3000, no one will rent to you. Unless you make over 6 figures a year, you cant possibly survive AND prosper. If you want to open a business here, prepare to bleed for it. Ever had your car towed? If not, I hope you have about 1000...and thats just what it costs if you get it out on the first day. 2200 a month for a studio on ofarrell, right near all the crack zombies. Food costs 35% higher than most places. Something more than just gentrification is happening...soon, SF wont even be a city. It will be strictly for the upper class and extremely wealthy to live here and the servant class will be both bridge and tunnel in addition to unwanted after work hours. Those bars with snob patrons and douchebag bartenders trying hard to look like extras from Boardwalk Empire (you know who you are), trying to sell you Fernet (its not even booze its a digestife AND it tastes like black licorice diarrhea) for 10 bucks a shot...they arent for you.

Whatever. The streets smell like animal and human wastes, my early morning run looks like the Walking Dead with crazies and dopefiends at every turn, dbags and genuinely rude elitist wannabes are everywhere in corny skinny jeans or mom jeans (neither are cool), eastbay goons, hot food tax, subpar living conditions...Im over it. After 15 years Im taking my close to a million dollars and bouncing right on out of the city.

Sara_Sonic
Sara_Sonic

There needs to be better pay for musicians and more opportunities to play and get paid. I think more bars and resturants need to be putting out and creating spaces for bands to play as live entertainment to guest with no cover charge but for the band to still receive pay via $12 cocktails everyone is buying. people stay around for the music, have a good time and buy more drinks, the club gets money the bands get exposure and paid everyone wins. 


i was down in santa barbara and almost every single bar and restaurant i went into had a band playing in it. it was pretty magical. I just dont really see this happening in SF 

YourMom
YourMom

PORTLAND is open for (Music) Business! There are literally 150+ plus clubs and venues with live music on a weekend night. Still plenty of relatively inexpensive band houses, practice spaces and interesting shit to do. It ain't the bay area, but we're just up the street from you. Stop whining, pack up the fucking van and move up here!

Agreen7
Agreen7

Oakland, Oakland, I'm so tired of hearing people say they need to move to Oakland because they can no longer afford San Francisco. Why haven't any of these people checked out the Sunny Bayview? The neighborhood has cheap rents, plenty of vacant storefronts, a real community vibe, a light rail line, and it's the same distance to downtown as the Upper Haight. No bridge, no tunnel, no failing city government. Anyone around long enough to remember what The Mission, or the Fillmore used to be like will feel instantly at home here.

So enough with the Oakland talk already!

Thobias Arestad
Thobias Arestad

Tech moves in, Music moves out! Sad to see a paradigm shift like the one that made places like CBGB close and artists move out of Manhattan! Union Square will be Times Square aka Disney Land!

Marc Combs
Marc Combs

well sorry but the good bands now play Oakland & Berkeley. The Filmore & Warfield have become rundown & don't get the good shows.

kauschen
kauschen

No one is old enough to remember the 80's. San Francisco had venues, but all the bands that were making it were from the East Bay. Bands from San Francisco never lasted more than a year. The only reason the thrash metal scene expanded outside of San Francisco is all the bands had to be able to drive their equipment to SF so why not drive to San Jose and Antioch and every place in between.

Brandan Podestá
Brandan Podestá

Not sure how this article just turned into a race thing.

Conrad Seeto
Conrad Seeto

ask a hipster and there is half a chance they will reply "what are you talking about? I'm a musician and I'm still here."

Julie Goodenough
Julie Goodenough

Probably not. Too darn expensive for anyone with a low income.

Charles Caldwell
Charles Caldwell

Been to the Cafe many times. Unfortunately the City has become TOO expensive for normal people to live there anymore, especially musicians and artists. The talented ones. Its all about the $$$$$$.

Dee Dee Russell
Dee Dee Russell

Yawn. Where were yall and did you give a damn when Blacks were gentrified out of Fillmore district of SF back in the '80s and Latinos in the Mission during the '90's but now that the face of gentrification is white and male its news? I'm still here, watching with great apathy.

Kevin Alves
Kevin Alves

Gentrification is the cause. Google buses are a symptom. The loss of culture is maddening. Welcome to Twitterville. Home of the Twits.

Hiram Rodriguez
Hiram Rodriguez

That blows, every day a new article on our city becoming more and more bland.

mick.berry
mick.berry

Look. You want to know what's happening musically in SF? I can tell you. I've been a musician/performer here since 1986.  There are no opportunities for musicians here anymore. I make my  living teaching because it can't be done performing. No musician who performs here regularly makes a living doing it. It doesn't happen. Can't be done! Period. Opportunities for musicians to develop a career are not even aided by the clubs you mentioned. Red Devil Lounge will only hire bands that can guarantee a following. And the place only gives a cut of the door. No bands have a following enough to make any money. All the musicians I know who used to live here make a living elsewhere now. I happen to have a great knack for teaching, and so I'm doing well. I perform as much as I can, and I even developed my own show, which I self-produced last summer. But it is not going to succeed in SF. I am planning on performing elsewhere as soon as the opportunity arises. This place is living off of a reputation from 40 years ago. It wants to think of itself as an artist community, but it's not. Those days started ending twenty five years ago, and they are all but dead right now. Will they come back? Not until the situation gets even worse. The best I can offer is for anyone thinking of coming here, as an aspiring artist. Don't! Don't! Don't! And it has nothing to do with quality or capability. I can play better than 95% of what I run across. The performing opportunities lie outside of The Bay Area. I don't know where. But stay in touch and in a few years I might be able to tell you. But don't worry, I am at least able to take care of myself and inspire another generation to play like crazy and find opportunity where it exists when it surfaces. Cheers! Mick

rchrdgrace
rchrdgrace

Great piece, lot of interesting points made. My brief take: despite the baleful effects on existing entertainment venues, more housing simply must be built in SF. Prices are just too high and there is unquestionably a shortage of housing. Absent more condos and apartments getting built, housing prices are never going to get better, in the short term they may not anyway. Things staying the same is simply not in the cards. Carson's idea of set-asides is also a good one that should be discussed more.

But think about this: for once, Oakland is getting a break. As San Francisco becomes a slightly less boring version of San Jose, Oakland's becoming the new hub of creativity and art. Nothing wrong with that. Oakland was long overdue for some good fortune.

sfmag1
sfmag1

There has to be more to a real music scene than "bands". Professionalism to be added to the mi x to finally make this city more than the devolved and dissipated "counterculture" circus that it has been and is now. That s)7t is so old mannnnnn.....off with it's ded head!

SFexodus
SFexodus

Because Bayview is filled with savages and dilapidated houses. No one wants to pay a ridiculous amount of money for subpar living conditions and that area is full of just that.

katmet07
katmet07

agree, but not apathetic.

 
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