Houses of the Holy
The gods of typecasting are growing angry: First former Monkee Davy Jones hit the boards in a touring production of Grease, then former Partridge kid David Cassidy blew into town with the godawful musical Blood Brothers. The S.F. branch of the Partridge Family Temple is not amused. “David Cassidy is trying to disown his Partridge heritage,” sniffs the Reverend Danny Partridge. He and his congregation were originally planning to mount a big protest outside the Golden Gate Theatre, convinced that a nefarious “impostor” was riding the Cassidy name, but the Reverend saw the show and confirmed Cassidy's true identity. Plus, he liked it. “We're still going to do something to commemorate this,” he says. “We're just waiting for the ultimate moment.” The “hundreds of Temple members” have been worshiping at the altar of eternal grooviness for seven years, gathering in their Fillmore sacristy to listen to the music, watch the reruns and discuss the spiritual significance of songs like “Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque” (“Metaphorically, this is Keith showing us the way to enlightenment”). In the religion's iconography, Keith is both the male sex god and the god of war (“that's why he's so much trouble”), Laurie is the holy harlot of Babylon, Danny is the trickster demon-angel, Shirley is the virgin mother and Ruben Kincaid is the mediator between the gods and mankind. As such, Cassidy is merely “the human incarnation” of Keith the Divine, and therefore fallible human clay. “He knows about us,” the Reverend says, “and he doesn't like us very much.”
The Mod Squad
What do Twiggy, Burt Bacharach, Sly Stone and disco Barbie dolls have in common? Everything, if you're the Pizzicato Five. The Yber-stylish Tokyo combo takes to Western pop culture like a trio of dustbusters, sucking up references into a stereophonic sound spectacular that gives new meaning to the word “eclectic.” Think avant-retro pop, or think of Nancy Sinatra, Deee-lite and Digable Planets collaborating on a new James Bond soundtrack. Celebrating consumer culture with a Warhol-like blankness, this mod squad is known for kitschy candy-drop visuals and fizzy-sweet releases like their breakthrough Made in USA (Matador). S.F.'s own cruise-ship directors Frenchy open the Great American Music Hall show Thurs, Feb. 23.
Road to Ruin
Poster-art poster boy Frank Kozik is in the midst of launching his own vinyl-only label. Striving to uphold the working motto, “Quality Out the Ass,” Man's Ruin Records will press picture-disk singles and 10-inch EPs dressed in sleeves featuring the artist's instantly recognizable, bold-hued cartoon graphics. This week Kozik ships out the first two releases: the atmospheric monkeywrenching of Sonic Boom (d/b/a Experimental Audio Research) and the punk Sinatra-isms of tough-guy swing favorites the Useless Playboys. Other scheduled projects include a drums-only excursion by the Melvins' Dale Crover, something from a new band lined up by the Dwarves' Blag Jesus and a split 10-inch with Led Zep covers by Killdozer (the Steve Albini-produced “When the Levee Breaks”) and Ritual Device (“No Quarter”/”Hot Dog”). And look for Kozik's first book of his artwork, also titled Man's Ruin (Last Gasp), to hit emporium shelves in about two months.
Sia Michel, James Sullivan