Riff Raff

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Oswald” is the title of the gloriously tacky Photoshop manipulation seen below, which has bum-rushed every soft corner of e-space since illustrator George E. Mahlberg put it out on the Usenet a week and a half ago. “There was just this look on Oswald's face,” says Mahlberg, recalling his moment of inspiration. “He looked like he was singing the blues.” You can download your very own copy of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Oswald” at www.tw-zone.com/cosmo/index.html — or you could always just whip out a pair of scissors and clip it out of Riff Raff without even glancing at a computer, you old-fashioned fool. (Many thanks to Laura Beatty for her tip-off and legwork.) (M.B.)

Death Warmed Over Monday, March 31, marks the four-year anniversary of “Death Guild,” and the last time that the goth dance night will be held at the Trocadero. The change comes after the Troc decided to restrict DJ nights to a 21-and-over clientele (live shows will remain 18 and up). As with most goth events, nearly one-third of “Death Guild” 's crowd is under 21. “It's a youth-oriented scene,” says DJ Melting Girl, “but change is a good thing. We're really looking forward to opening at the new space.” The next site for “Death Guild” will be announced during Monday night's celebration, but rumor has it that the club is only a few blocks away and has the initials BHC. Any guesses? (S.T.)

For the Record Like No Life in Los Angeles and Newbury Comics in Boston, Berkeley's Mod Lang joins the tradition of record stores that make records on the side. Mom and pop owners Naomi Diamond and Paul Bradshaw, respectively operating Belmondo Records and Mod Lang Records, will focus mostly on local acts. Currently working a fourth release, Bradshaw and Mod Lang have a jump on Diamond with 2,000 copies of the Kinetics' (formerly the Supernaturals) first EP. Diamond will follow suit over the next couple of months with 7-inches by indie rockers Poundsign, cutie-pie teen-agers and local scenesters Skypark, San Francisco shoegazers Cars Get Crushed, and the Autocollants. After that, it's a 12-inch by Mushroom — a group Diamond says is billing itself as a lost band from Sacramento. In truth, the “Tortoise-meets-Miles Davis” outfit is a side project by a bunch of shy Bay Area music stars. Riff Raff could speculate (ex-Quicksilver Messenger Service with ex-Moby Grape, together at last?), but will refrain from doing so until we actually hear the noise. (J.S.)

The Camera Loves Them Pouty-lipped male models were seen lounging in and around Max & Sam's Hi-Ball Lounge on Friday afternoon, where fashion photographer Bruce Weber was shooting an upcoming ad campaign for Ralph Lauren. The Hi-Ball, along with bartender/actor Tony Billings, has already been used in two Fashion Institute commercials that air on MTV, but this will be the first time that the club has received international exposure. Owner Max Young, who was only slightly deflated because the models weren't all gorgeous women, says that the scouts came in Thursday night with Polaroids and that the crew was setting up the following day. “We're thrilled,” says Young. “We'd like to get it used more.” High-end fashion photographers, take heed. (S.T.)

The Young and the X-less, Part 2 And now, another excerpt from Gen-X consultant Douglas Rushkoff's forthcoming novel, Ecstasy Club — in the words of its publishers, “destined to be a cult classic.” Here our protagonists, founders of a squatter-cum-raver cult, discuss party etiquette. (M.B.)

“But the Bay Area Guardian is basically on our side,” Peter said. “Aren't they our allies — at least compared to Plugged or the Chronicle?”

“Liberal sympathy is more dangerous than overt attacks from the controllers,” Duncan explained, getting back on his comfortably high horse. “It's insidious because it takes the form of praise, but it misdirects you if you take it seriously and let it affect your purpose. We don't do things because they're 'right.' That's the whole point.”

“Why do we do things, then?” I asked, less antagonistically than to help Duncan formulate his argument into a coherent whole. That's the job of a lieutenant intellectual, after all.

“We're creating a new civilization,” Duncan answered immediately. “We're going to push evolution forward by touching another dimension. We are going to break time altogether, and to do that we need to maintain a pure environment, uncontaminated by the agendas of the Bay Area Guardian or anyone else.”

“But do the kids coming to our parties know that?” I asked. “They get high, get off on the group vibe, but how are they different the next day?” Duncan knew I meant to coax and not confront.

“We've got to make them understand what they're here for,” Duncan said, thinking out loud. “They can't be trusted to be their own programmers.”

We were all stunned by Duncan's admission. Can't be trusted? He quickly corrected himself.

“I mean, yet. In their current condition, they are unprepared. Ignorant. The PF can alter that. Liberate them from their current set so they can find a new one.”

“One that we provide for them?” I offered half-incredulously.
“We can show them a direction,” Duncan said.
And thus the Nine Points were born.

Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Michael Batty (M.B.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), and Bill Wyman (B.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to mbatty@sfweekly.com, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly. No flack, please.

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