Last night was pretty busy and interesting.
First I went to Berkeley with Ben to see an experimental film about Los
, by James Benning
, being screened at the
Pacific Film Archive
. I know of Benning's work because he's a film
professor at CalArts
and I'd seen an older piece of his when I was
there, called Deseret
, all about Utah and the Mormons
Afterward Ben and I walked down Telegraph Avenue and got dinner, and
talked about the film. He's going to be moving to LA in a few months so
he was really into it. We got these amazing sandwiches at Intermezzo, which I guess is something I've been sadly unaware of for 5 years about Berkeley. Wow. Marinated tofu on artichoke-rosemary roll. yumm.
Then we got on the BART and headed back to the city.
I got off at Civic Center because I was headed next to Kimo's to see the Evolution Control Committee perform. It was 11:30 or so by the time I walked up Polk Street from the BART station, which is late for me to be out, on a Tuesday night. I didn't really feel like going but Mark Gunderson (the real identity of the ECC) is a friend and is not in town that often, and he was heading back to Columbus the next day.
He called me Monday and that was the first I'd heard about the show or that he was even in town. I guess he was too busy or I didn't get his previous messages, or something...
Anyway, Mark was supposed to go on at 11:30 or so but they were of course behind schedule. I had arrived just in time to see this really really bad act called "Loose Bitches UK". Which was really just one guy, sort of done up like Alice Cooper, playing distorted industrial beats on some drum machines and shouting into a microphone, and occasionally making annoying squeaky sounds with a theremin. My god it was soooo bad. And he was not joking. It was not irony. The funniest thing was the way he introduced himself: "Hi, we " (he really said "we"), "are Loose Bitches UK. The U-K stands for, uh, United - Kingdom. Are you ready to ROCK!?!"
That's really what he said.
Actually this kind of thing is pretty typical of Kimo's, which usually is a pretty weird goth/metal tranny bar. A sort of post-ironic 80s sub-cultural kitschiness pervades the place. Playing between bands most often is alternating tracks by The Sisters of Mercy and Kiss.
Anyway, so this goes on for 30 minutes or so - oh and I failed to mention above that he also occasionally played some "shocking" samples about sodomy and pedophilia and anal rape. Sorry dude but you're about 20 years to late to shock anyone with that routine. Anal rape is used to sell Nike shoes these days....
Finally that's over and Mark G. and his buddy Mark Welch get on stage. They tune the Thimbletron and then Mark Welch gives a little pseudo-scientific humorous introduction about the ECC and their research in their secret labs discovering Napster Nuggets and thimbletronium. Then he leaves the stage and Mark G regales us with his amazing sample-collages, partially created live by triggering sounds with the Thimbletron. Anyway, to make a long story short, it was a great show. Mark has such a great performance presence, and the Thimbletron makes it even better because it gives this physical aspect to the music making, rather than just a guy sitting behind a laptop.
After the show, Mark, his girlfriend Mara, Wobbly, Chris Ball, myself, and a couple other fans and friends decide to go have a drink. But dammit the bar is closing and it's 2 am and probably all the bars are closing (except for, as Wobbly noted, "the bars which are open for a purpose which is not ours"). Remember, this is San Francisco, not New York or Helsinki. At least it's not Tokyo or we'd be already home in bed, which maybe would be a good thing but anyway, uh... anyway, so I volunteer that we all go to my house and drink there. We buy some vodka and stuff and head over there.
It was a lot of fun, though I was afraid I'd piss off Jay and my other house mates with noise so late at night. But everyone was pretty quiet and we had a good time, listening to Senor Coconut and Stock, Hausen, and Walkman, and the Language Removal Services CD.
Everyone had finally left by 4 and I went to bed, and I'm still recovering from lack of sleep. But anyway it was worth it. Too bad the ECC isn't in town more often, or that vistors in general didn't visit more often. That's what's cool, having cool people from other places visiting, to give you an excuse to live it up a bit.