Ian Ferguson

Berkeley Old Time Music Convention


PREVIEW It’s strange for a music to be called "old time" if it’s played today. Granted, webbed fingers because your parents were cousins might keep you out of Internet distribution, and Deliverance (1972) didn’t help any, but old time music really is more than country music’s hillbilly brother.

The Berkeley Old Time Music Convention fiddles away four days of concert performances, square dances, contests, and tailgate string band sessions. San Francisco’s swanky Make-Out Room opens the festival with a square dance: expect straw on the floor, bolo ties, and polished boots.

All hat but no cattle? Learn to support your cowboy swagger at Ashkenaz on Sunday with a clogging workshop, or at Thursday’s panel discussion at UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall. If you play, polish your chops at one of Sunday evening’s JazzSchool workshops (unfortunately scheduled too late to prep you for Saturday’s string band concert). The convention’s main event, the string band competition, pits band against band, with the winner awarded a trophy of gilded roadkill and second place taking home a jug of moonshine and homemade candles.

For professional fare, Freight and Salvage and Ashkenaz bring the best out of the woods for nightly concerts and square dances showcasing fiddler Benton Flippen, banjo player Paul Brown, and guitar player Frank Bode — all southern Appalachian born and bred.

Not to drape a flag, but for the oldest form of North American traditional music (other than Native American music) to host its festival on 9/11 seems particularly fitting.

BERKELEY OLD TIME MUSIC CONVENTION String Band Contest, Sat/13, 11 a.m., free. Civic Center Park, Martin Luther King Jr. and Center, Berk. (510) 848-5018, www.berkeleyoldtimemusic.org. Convention runs Thurs/11–Sun/14, see Web site for details.

Zing go the strings


PREVIEW How do you tell a fiddle from a violin? No one cries when they spill beer on a fiddle. From Ireland to Scotland to Appalachia, the hearty fiddle followed the common folk wherever they settled. In pubs and on back porches, fiddle tunes trickled down through generations, learned by ear from fathers or friends. Styles evolved within the regional confines of community, variously emphasizing and echoing chosen parts of the homeland’s repertoire.

The 20th Annual Fiddle Summit reunites three fiddle masters from different styles under one roof: Alasdair Fraser, a Scottish fiddler, his bow heavy, his sound as thick and peaty as his brogue; Martin Hayes, an Irish fiddler with a high-lonesome, lilting style, his tempo wistfully stretched and yearning; and Bruce Molsky, an Appalachian fiddler, his sound percussively bright and bouncing, his melodies drawn chordally across multiple strings. Though each will showcase his own style for a set, the three end the show together, embracing the commonalities of their instrument and the debt each mode owes to the others.

As the opening night act for the Downtown Berkeley Music Festival, the Fiddle Summit is but one course in a brilliant banquet of sound. That morning, organist Will Blades and drummer Scott Amendola’s dueling solos will offer a gratis mind-blowing at high noon on the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza on Shattuck at Center. On Sunday, Chad Manning plays what the fiddle summit forgot: a set of bluegrass, Texas-style, and swing fiddling at Jupiter (2181 Shattuck), where you can try for yourself to tell a fiddle from a violin.

20TH ANNUAL FIDDLE SUMMIT AT THE DOWNTOWN BERKELEY MUSIC FESTIVAL Thurs/21, 8 p.m., $22.50. Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison, Berk. (510) 548-1761, www.downtownberkeleymusicfest.org Festival continues through Sun/24, see Web site for details.<

Port O’Brien


PREVIEW A little more than a year ago, a "too-pretty-to-refuse-you" friend dragged me to a Bright Eyes concert. I remember almost nothing of the group’s set, and I wasn’t the drunk one. Connor Oberst, so hipster-slim you know he’s a lightweight, strutted on stage, Corona in hand, his stage presence as deflated as his sound, unsure of the notes in his repertoire’s half-octave range. His reputation as a talented musician debunked, he nevertheless justified his holding the helm at the label he founded, Saddle Creek, judiciously booking Oakland locals Port O’Brien as his opening band. Oberst isn’t the only A&R man with his eyes on O’Brien — just last year the band toured Europe with Modest Mouse, and for good reason.

With a quivering-lip, about-to-cry delivery held in common with Oberst, O’Brien frontman Van Pierazalowski sings log-cabin laments to the supporting sounds of soft-pedaled piano, back-porch banjo, and guitar strums. When drummer Joshua Barnhart turns on his snare, tightens his drumheads and polishes his crash cymbals, the sound morphs into an Appalachian anthem, the folk instrumentation swallowed by vocals sung together by the audience and the entire band. O’Brien leaves its audience members wishing their hearts had ears in one instant, and bouncing on the balls of their feet, arms held high and voices raised in song the next. If Oberst specializes in wrist-slitting emo, O’Brien cleans the wounds with a fusion of old-wives witch hazel and indie antiseptic sting: modern moonshine melodies to shout and sob our separate ways to catharsis.

PORT O’BRIEN With the Builders and the Butchers. Fri/11, 9:30 p.m., $12. Café Du Nord, 2170 Market, SF. (415) 861-5016, www.cafedunord.com

Pride 2008 events


› culture@sfbg.com


Frameline Film Festival Various locations; see Web site for dates and times, www.frameline.org. The humongous citywide queer flick fest is still in full eye-popping effect.

Golden Girls Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory, 1519 Mission, SF; (415) 690-9410, www.voicefactorysf.org. 7 and 9pm, $20. Through Sat/28. Revisit all the "gay" episodes of this classic and tragic sitcom, as performed with panache and pratfalls by gender clowns Heklina, Pollo Del Mar, Cookie Dough, and Matthew Martin.

National Queer Arts Festival Various locations; see Web site for details, www.queerculturalcenter.org. Experience scandalously good spoken word, cabaret, art installations, and so much more as this powerhouse monthlong celebration of queer revelations continues.



Marriage Is Not Enough: Radical Queers Take Back the Movement New Valencia Hall, 625 Larkin, SF; (415) 864-1278. 7pm, $7 donation. Spread-eagled with one foot in the past and the other in the future, Radical Women host a forum to honor the efforts of drag queens and queers of color in 1969’s Stonewall rebellion and to discuss the docile nature of LGBT leadership in the face of poor and working-class queer issues today.

"Our Message Is Music" First Unitarian Church and Center, 1187 Franklin, SF; (415) 865-2787, www.sfgmc.org. 8pm, $15-$35. The world’s first openly LGBT music ensemble will kick off Pride Week with a range of music from Broadway to light classical. Includes performances by the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.

Pansy Division Eagle Tavern, 398 12th St., SF; (415) 626-0880, www.pansydivision.com. 9pm, $7. Homoerockit band Pansy Division plays a live set with the handsome help of Glen Meadmore and Winsome Griffles following a screening of the film Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band.


Body Rock Vertigo, 1160 Polk, SF; (415) 674-1278. 10pm, free. Incredibly energetic tranny-about-town Monistat hosts a bangin’ electro night for queers and friends featuring San Francisco’s favorite crazy DJ Richie Panic. Expect wet panties.

Cockblock SF Pride Party Minna, 111 Minna, SF; www.cockblocksf.com. 9pm-2am, $5. DJs Nuxx and Zax spin homolicious tunes and put the haters on notice: no cock-blockin’ at this sweaty soiree.

Crib Gay Pride Party Crib, 715 Harrison, SF; (415) 749-2228, www.thecribsf.com. 9:30pm-3am, $10. The hopefully soothing Ms. Monistat (again!) and the irritating — in a fun way — Bobby Trendy set it off at this homolicious megaparty popular among the 18+ set, complete with a Naked Truth body-art fashion show and a T-shirt toss, in case you lose the one you came with in the melee.

The Cruise Pride Party Lexington Club, 3464 19th St, SF; (415) 863-2052, www.lexingtonclub.com. 9pm-2am, free. Hey, dyke sailor! Hike up your naughty nauticals and wade into this ship of dreams (yes, it’s a theme party) with DJs Rapid Fire and Melissa at the lovely lesbian Lex. Land, ho.

The Tubesteak Connection Aunt Charlie’s, 133 Turk, SF; (415) 441-2922, www.auntcharlieslounge.com. A warm and bubbly tribute to early Italo house, wonderfully obscure disco tunes, and outfits Grace Jones would die for. With DJ Bus Station John.



Same-Sex Salsa and Latin Ballroom Dance Festival and Competition Magnet, 4122 18th St., SF; (415) 581-1600. www.queerballroom.com. 7pm-12am, free. With $100 awarded to the winner of this fancy-footwork competition, the stakes for this event’s salsa-hot dancing surpass the single bills slipping into thong strings this week.

San Francisco Trans March Dolores Park, Dolores and 18th Sts; (415) 447-2774, www.transmarch.org. 3pm stage, 7pm march; free. Join the transgender community of San Francisco and beyond for a day of live performances, speeches, and not-so-military marching.


Bibi: We Exist and We Thrive Pork Store Café, 3122 16th St., SF; (415) 626-5523, www.myspace.com/BibiSF. 9pm, $20. The Middle Eastern and North African LGBT community hosts a charitable happy hookah party to native tunes spun by DJs Masood, Josh Cheon, and more.

Bustin’ Out III Trans March Afterparty El Rio, 3158 Mission, SF; 282-3325. 9pm-2am, $5-$50, sliding scale. Strut your stuff at the Transgender Pride March’s official afterparty, featuring sets from DJs Durt, Lil Manila, and giveaways from Good Vibes, AK Press, and more. Proceeds benefit the Trans/Gender Variant in Prison Committee.

Charlie Horse: No Pride No Shame The Cinch, 1723 Polk, SF; (415) 776-4162, www.myspace.com/charliehorsecinch. 10pm, free. Drag disaster Anna Conda presents a bonkers night of rock ‘n’ roll trash drag numbers, plus Juanita Fajita’s iffy "gay food cart" and Portland, Ore.’s Gender Fluids performance troupe.

Cream DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., SF; (415) 626-1409, www.creamsf.com. Two levels of sexy girl energy and a catwalk to scratch your lipstick claws on, plus a Latin lounge with hip-grinding tunes from DJs Carlitos and Chili D.

GIRLPRIDE Faith, 715 Harrison, SF; (415) 647-8258. 8pm-4am, $20. About 2,500 women are expected to join host DJ Page Hodel to celebrate this year’s Pride Weekend, and that’s a whole lotta love.

Hot Pants Cat Club, 1190 Folsom, SF; (415) 703-8964, www.myspace.com/hotpantsclub. 10pm, $5. DJ Chelsea Starr and many others make this alternaqueer dance party a major destination for hot persons of all genders and little trousers.

Mr. Mighty, 119 Utah, SF; (415) 762-0151, wwww.mighty119.com. 10pm-6am, $20. Darling promoters Big Booty, FSLD, Beatboxevents, and Big Top join forces to produce the party premiere of Pride week with DJ Kidd Sysko and Lord Kook spinning alternative techno sounds, and a special deep and dirty set from soulful house god David Harness.

Sweet Beast Transfer, 198 Church, SF; www.myspace.com/beastparty. 10pm-2am, $10. Reanimate your fetish for leather and fur by dressing up as fiercely feral fauna for the petting-zoo of a party. This week, after all, is mating season.

Tranny Fierce Supperclub, 657 Harrison, SF; (415) 348-0900, www.supperclub.com. 8pm dinner, 10pm afterparty. $85 dinner, $15-$25 afterparty. Total ferosh! Project Runway winner Christian Siriano hosts a four-course meal of trash-talking and looking fierce. The afterparty serves up drag nasty from Holy MsGrail, Cassandra Cass, and more.

Uniform and Leather Ball Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market, SF; (415) 777-0333, www.frantix.net. 8pm-midnight, $25 & $40. The men’s men of San Francisco’s Mr. Leather Committee want you to dress to the fetish nines for this huge gathering, featuring men, music, and more shiny boots than you can lick all year. Yes, sirs!



Dykes on Bikes Fundraiser Eagle Tavern, 398 12th St., SF; (415) 626-0880, www.dykesonbikes.org. Noon. Dykes on Bikes can’t drink and drive: they need your help. A pint for you means a gallon of gas for them. Stop by before heading to the march.

LGBT Pride Celebration Civic Center, Carlton B. Goodlett Place and McCallister, SF; (415) 864-3733, www.sfpride.org. Noon-6pm, free. Celebrate LGBT pride at this free outdoor event featuring DJs, speakers, and live music. This is the first half of the weekend-long celebration sponsored by SF Pride. Also Sun/29.

Pink Triangle Installation Twin Peaks Vista, Twin Peaks Blvd parking area, SF; (415) 247-1100, ext 142, www.thepinktriangle.com. 7-11am, free. Bring a hammer and your work boots and help install the giant pink triangle atop Twin Peaks for everyone to see this Pride Weekend. Stay for the commemoration ceremony at 10:30am to hear Mayor Gavin Newsom and Assemblymember Mark Leno speak.

Pride Brunch Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market, SF; (415) 777-0333, www.positiveresource.org. 11am-2pm, $75-$100. Raise a mimosa toast to this year’s Pride Parade grand marshals with many of the community’s leading activists.

Same-Sex Country, Swing, and Standard Ballroom Dance Festival and Competition Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market, SF; (415) 626-8000, www.queerballroom.com. 6:30-8pm, free. The Queer Jitterbugs get reeling at this one-of-a-kind contest that’ll shine your spurs and get you swingin’ out of your seat.

San Francisco Dyke March Dolores Park, Dolores and 18th Sts, SF; www.dykemarch.org. 7pm, free. Featuring music from the Trykes, Papa Dino, Las Krudas, and more, plus a whole lot of wacky sapphic high jinks.


Bearracuda Pride Deco, 510 Larkin, SF; (415) 346-2025, www.bearracuda.com/pride. 9pm-3am, $8 before 10pm, $10 after. Hot hairy homos generate serious body static on the dance floor at this big bear get-down.

Bootie Presents The Monster Show DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, SF; (415) 626-1409, www.bootiesf.com. The city’s giant mashup club hosts a drag queen bootleg mix extravaganza, as Cookie Dough and her wild Monster Show crash the Bootie stage.

Colossus 1015 Folsom, SF; (415) 431-1200, www.guspresents.com. 10pm-8am, $40. The beats of mainstream club favorite DJ Manny Lehman throb through the largest and longest, uh &ldots; dance party of Pride week.

Deaf Lesbian Festival Dyke Ball San Francisco LGBT Center, Rainbow Room, 1800 Market, SF; (415) 865-5555, www.dcara.org. 8pm, 440. Feel the music, close your eyes, and dance to the rhythm of your smokin’ partner at the Deaf Lesbian Festival’s first ever Dyke Ball.

Devotion EndUp, 401 Sixth St, SF; (415) 357-0827, www.theendup.com. 9pm, $15. This storied dance party is back with "A Classic Pride." DJs Ruben Mancias and Pete Avila spin all-classic soulful and stripped-down house anthems for a sweaty roomful of those who were there back when.

Dyke March After Affair Minna, 111 Minna, SF; www.diamonddaggers.com. 8pm-11pm, $12-$20 sliding scale. An early-ending party featuring drag queens, burlesque stars, and belly dancers ensures that beauty sleep comes to the next day’s easy riders whose love of bikes and beer rivals that of any Hell’s Angel or fratboy. Or, stick around for Minna’s ’80s night, Barracuda.

Manquake The Gangway, 841 Larkin, SF; (415) 776-6828. 10pm, $5. Disco rareties and bathhouse classics in a perfectly cruisy old-school dive environment with DJ Bus Station John.

PlayBoyz Club Eight, 1151 Folsom, SF; www.clubrimshot.com. 10pm-3am, $10. The stars of legalized gay marriage, Obama’s candidacy, Pride week, and Black Music Month all align for this hip-hop heavy celebration.

Queen Pier 27, SF; www.energy927fm.com. 8pm, $45. Energy 92.7 FM brings back the dynamism of the old-school San Francisco clubs for this Pride dance-off. Chris Cox and Chris Willis headline. Wear your best tear-away sweats and get ready to get down, Party Boy style.

Rebel Girl Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF; wwww.rebelgirlsf.com. 9pm-2am, $12. Rebel Girl brings the noise for this one with go-go dancers, Vixen Creations giveaways, drink specials, and, you know, rebel girls.



LGBT Pride Celebration Civic Center, Carlton B. Goodlett Place and McCallister, SF; (415) 864-3733, www.sfpride.org. Noon-7pm, free. The celebration hits full stride, with musical performances and more.

LGBT Pride Parade Market at Davis to Market and Eighth Sts, SF; (415) 864-3733, www.sfpride.org. 10:30am-noon, free. With 200-plus dykes on bikes in the lead, this 38th annual parade, with an expected draw of 500,000, is the highlight of the Pride Weekend in the city that defines LGBT culture.

True Colors Tour Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley Campus, Hearst and Gayley Streets, Berk; (510) 809-0100, www.apeconcerts.com. 5pm, $42.50-$125 Cyndi Lauper, The B-52s, Wanda Sykes, The Puppini Sisters, and queer-eyed host Carson Kressley bring it on for human rights and limp wrists.


Big Top The Transfer, 198 Church, SF; (415) 861-7499, www.myspace.com/joshuajcook. A circus-themed hot mess, with DJs Ladymeat, Saratonin, and Chelsea Starr, plus Heklina’s "best butt munch" contest. Will she find the third ring?

Dykes on Bikes Afterparty Lexington Club, 3464 19th St, SF; (415) 863-2052, www.lexingtonclub.com. 1pm, free. How do they find time to ride with all these parties?

Juanita More! Gay Pride ’08 Bambuddha Lounge, 601 Eddy, SF; (415) 864-3733, www.juanitamore.com. 3pm, $30. Juanita More! hosts this benefit for the Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial, with DJs Robot Hustle and James Glass, and performances by fancy-pants Harlem Shake Burlesque and the Diamond Daggers. Fill ‘er up, baby!

Starbox Harry Denton’s, 450 Powell, SF; (415) 395-8595, www.harrydenton.com. 6pm-midnight, $7 High atop the Sir Francisc Drake Hotel, the swank Harry Denton’s presents DJ Page Hodel’s patented brand of diverse and soulful bacchanalia.

Sundance Saloon Country Pride Hotel Whitcomb, 1231 Market, SF; (415) 626-8000, www.sundancesaloon.org. 6pm-11pm, $5. Hot hot bear husbands on the hoof, line-dancing for the pickin’ at this overalls-and-snakeskin-boots roundup.

Unity Temple, 540 Howard, SF; www.templesf.com. Legendary kiki-hurrah club Fag Fridays rises again with a sure-to-be-smokin’ DJ set from the one and only Frankie Knuckles, the goddess’s gift to deep house freaks and friends.

Live 105’s BFD


PREVIEW Rock may be dead, but before it kicked it shot enough seed into the musical milieu that today its numberless bastard sons and daughters testify that Rock isn’t what you are, it’s what you do: namely, rock the fuck out. Hosting obvious punk and indie-rock progeny Anti-Flag and Alkaline Trio, as well as hip-hop and electronic-influenced distant relatives Lyrics Born and MSTRKRFT, Live 105’s BFD 2008 brings rock’s diverse diaspora together for a three-stage, all-day family affair.

Proof that Rock slept around? Listen to the accents of the vocalists — Cypress Hill, the chart-topping Latino hip-hop group, spits Spanish-spiced rhymes; punk rockers Pennywise, despite their hard-driving style, still speak the slow, stretched-out vowel sounds of SoCal; and Flogging Molly, when the lyrics don’t slur with Guinness, boast an Irish brogue.

Assorted accents aside, the bands themselves follow in their father’s footsteps, drawing from genres as varied as reggae and house. Take Moby: the face of techno for many, he fuses punk rhythms and distorted guitars with disco beats and the airbrushed production techniques of pop music. Or the Flobots, who note the Roots and Tool as influences, and feature multiple MCs as well as a full band — trumpet and viola included.

Despite siring more spawn than Genghis Khan, no one ever said Rock was easy — promiscuous, yes, but success in the industry evades all but a few. Enter the Soundcheck Local Music stage which works like rock nepotism: the notoriety of big brothers lends a hand to little brothers’ first steps toward aural apotheosis.

LIVE 105’S BFD Sat/7, noon–11 p.m. Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View. $10.53. (415) 421-TIXS, www.live105.com