May 12th, 2003


SF Trip for Current93

We got off to a late start just as we planned figuring that the later we took to get started would mean the less time we'd have to wait to check in. We got on the road about midnight and I slept most of the way. The morning brought the first bit of our trip to me and it was a good omen. I won $25 on a $1 CA lottery ticket.

Thurs was spent mostly getting situated. Chris and I ended up at a nearby bar and noticing the ash trays on the counter, said "I didn't think you could smoke in bars in California" to the bartender. The bartender just finished wiping out another ash tray with his rag and put it on the counter in front of us saying "Eh *shrug* We won't tell anybody." The rest of the night was spent walking around SF looking for a place to eat. This ended up being "The Stinking Rose", a restarant based on garlic. I think I ended up eating 20-30 cloves of garlic on some really good food.

Fri was a little more adventurous. We went to Haight-Ashbury and looked around. I'll tell you right now that Goth/Industrial is not the current fashion in SF. Seems that's dressing up in the nerdy clothes that my mother dressed me in as a kid. It was boring, the people were boring, and the stores were boring except for Amoeba Records. A large and impressive Dark Ambiant section with the rest of the row (~25' of shelf space) being dedicated to Black Metal (not just metal, but specifically, black metal). There was an entire row dedicated to "usually experimental" that contained lots of cool stuff. It was very hard to find any gothic/industrial stuff. they not only had no separate section but it was disperced amongst Rock, Usually Experimental, Dark Ambiant, and Clearance. I asked about this and the people working there simply said that style of music was a hard sell in SF. The highlight of the Haight trip was the "Squat and Gobble", a crepe and omlette place I dragged everybody to from memory of my last visit seven years ago. that's the one thing Seattle really is lacking, a good crepe and omlette place.

The show that night was great. The Great Maerican Music Hall is wonderfully decorated turn of the century venue that makes the Moore and Paramount look drab. Everybody sat at tables, were served by waitresses before the show, and remained seated except for the people in the back during the show. David Tibet's new wife plays piano so the new album and begining of the concert was all him singing to her piano. He started with his newest stuff and went backwards. The guitars came out and the music got more upbeat. After one of the longest and loudest encores I've seen (one where the performer would have to come back out even if he wasn't planning to), he followed up with Old Coal Black Smith off Swatikas for Noddy. Afterwards we ran into Violet and others who were up from LA and at their recommendation ate at the Grubsteak and went back to the hotel.

Saturday was spent goign to San Jose to the Winchester Mystery House (we never made it past the gift shop), the Rosicucian Egyptian Museum ( ), and seeing Jeri and Robert's old stomping grounds.

Jeri and Robert got extra tickets from people for that night's show and Chris and I were left to fend for ourselves. We wanted to see the SF scene anyway. The first club we went to (only one listed in the Guardian) didn't exist anymore so we headed to the DNA Lounge where a couple of friends from Seattle work. The techno music quickly drove us out and on multiple people's recomendation we walked down Folsom to the Cat Club for their night. I recognised it as the place that So What used to happen at. Punk and alternative stuff up front and typical industrial synthpop in the back. We talked to some locals outside (who were uspet that people from out of town bought up all the Current93 tickets so they couldn't go) and eventually headed back to the hotel. Our opinion of the SF scene was favorable but it really does seem like Seattle has a larger and better scene than SF for goth/industrial stuff from what we saw (and others told us when we asked).

Sunday was spent driving back.