Yeah, but weren't they asking for it? I mean, however noble the intentions of the many West Coast just-add-a-cause charity organizations like H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers), a question remains: Does lack of common sense entitle certain victims — in this case, those whose hearing was damaged from too-loud rock — to their share of sympathy? Bear in mind, this is coming from someone who often hears the howl of tinnitus due to a lackadaisical attitude toward earplugs. But I knew better and deserve no consolation. Regardless, a charitable event will ensue to benefit H.E.A.R. Professor Sludge (aka Eric Lechner, formerly of the Ultras) will lead his Student Guitar Army (without apology to Glenn Branca) at the Noe Valley Ministry (1021 Sanchez) on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. The Army consists of various boys and girls aged 7 to 17, performing “material ranging from the classic rock of The Doors and The Beatles, to [the] classic jazz of Miles Davis to the punk and alternative sounds of Smashing Pumpkins, Sex Pistols and Wilco.” Tickets are $10 at the door, $7 in advance at Noe Valley Music/Guitar Store, 3914-A 24th St. Go, and pity (or envy) the deaf.

Petty Apocalypse
Bill Graham Presents seemed to have been struck in their collective head with an anvil when they announced a massive series of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers dates at the Fillmore: Jan. 10-12, 14-16, 19-21, 24-26, 28-29, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, Feb. 3-4, and Feb. 6-7. That's 20 days of Petty — half of a biblical deluge. How on earth BGP expected to fill all these dates is the stuff of philosophical conjecture too deep for even Descartes. But far more perplexing, and perhaps worthy of divine terror, is the fact that each and every one of these dates, despite rescheduling due to Petty's broken arm, has already sold out. (Consult Revelations.) When asked just who had purchased all of these tickets, a BGP spokesperson could only comment that those seen in a ticket line one day were mostly “over 30.” Is it the yuppies, or has the sun turned black as sackcloth?

Ad Fad
The bands, audio quality, and video production may not be so hot on Check It Out! — a new digizine offering sight and sound samples of local artists, along with some rather optimistic reviews — but its no-frills packaging and presentation sure beat the hell out of virtual audio-animatronic monstrosities like Launch. Whatever the flaws in their product, the folks at Check It Out! appear to be able to discern the subtle distinction between journalism and advertising.

By Michael Batty

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