Phonographic Memory, a storytelling event based on your record collection

Tired of storytelling events where storytellers just get up and tell a story? This thing’s different.

Corey, Phonographic Memory‘s organizer, tells us all about it:

Phonographic Memory is a storytelling event where folks from the community pick a record from their collection, tell a personal story about that record, and then play a song. We operate monthly at the Bernal Heights Library, but will be doing a special fundraising event at the Knockout. We’ve curated a lineup of contributors to the Bay Area music scene: Dan Lactose (of the seminal group Spazz), Lydia Popovich (comedian, used to manage Quannum Records), Justin Torres (record dealer, instrumental in re-igniting Darondo’s career), and Winston Smith (artist responsible for creating the Dead Kennedys logo). We’ll have DJ’s too, should be an awesome night.

Their website has some podcasts up too if you desire a sneak peek.

Oh and local street photographer The Tens (a fan of the show apparently) sent in this promotional video:

Thanks, all!

Help Tom Temprano kick off his City College Board campaign with a dance party on a sun-drenched rooftop deck

I had a pretty good time at City College back in ’03-’04, but since then I’ve come to know Tom Temprano, and if you know Tom Temprano, you know everything he does is gold. (And believe me that handful of links represent only a fraction of Tom’s successes.)

So I think City College will be tons better off with Tom helping helm things — and I know this kickoff party is gonna be unforgettable. Here’s the deal:

Please join Heklina, Sister Roma and some of SF’s finest DJs and community activists to kick off my campaign for City College Board! I’ve spent the past five years working to change SF for the better one community event at a time so its only appropriate that this campaign gets started on the dancefloor. Don’t miss this chance to check out the brand new sun-drenched rooftop deck at SF’s best new gay club, Oasis!

If you can’t make it to the party but want to still support my campaign you can make an online contribution today @ https://tomtemprano.nationbuilder.com/donate. Every little bit helps!

Drag queens!
Dancing!
Democracy!

Saturday, June 20th
1-5pm
Oasis (298 11th St @ Folsom)
$10 suggested donation

Hosted by Sister Roma & Heklina
With DJ sets by
Taco Tuesday
Stanley Frank
Richie Panic
Steve Fabus
Miss Pop

RSVP and invite your friends!

The Midway, a new venue opening tonight in the Dogpatch

Its full name is The Midway Creative Complex, it’s big, and it’ll be devoted to lots of fun stuff. From the press release:

Simultaneously a creative laboratory and performance space, The Midway is a venue for the
public to engage with a variety of exhibitions, workshops, performances and special events. The
complex is actively partnering with nonprofit organizations to build a stronger and more vibrant
creative community in the Bay Area. Behind the space is a team of local entrepreneurs and
creatives, spearheaded by Jeff Whitmore alongside partners Jordan Langer and Pete
Glikshtern, whose past projects include Public Works, Pier 70 Partners, Mighty, Oddjob,
Artbeats, and The Myriad. With some of the world’s best art, food, and entertainment at its
doorstep, San Francisco is the prime locale for the rise of The Midway. Conveniently located
one block from Muni with readily accessible bike & car parking, The Midway will be an easy to
reach destination for San Francisco’s food, art and music loving public.

Opening night is tonight. Expect art, performance, music, drinks, and lots more. RSVP and invite your friends!

Go inside the Secret Alley and BFF.fm, today only!

It’s the best radio station in SF, BFF.fm, housed inside the trippiest space in the Mission, The Secret Alley, and they’re both opening their doors to the public for one night only! Here’s the deal:

Be there as we launch our Kickstarter campaign for our second studio LIVE on the air! We’ll be screening the video, eating snacks, and answering any questions you might have about what we’re up to.

If you’ve never visited The Secret Alley, here’s a great opportunity to check out this magical space, while getting a sneak peek of our progress building Studio B!

We’re hoping to raise at least $15k to take our awesome community radio station to the next level, so we hope that even if you’re unable to make it, you keep an eye out for our project and tell a friend!

(BFF.fm is located at 180 Capp St. near 17th and Capp)

UPDATE: Tweet at @BFFdotFM if you wanna join!

Drama Talks & Drinks: The Barbary Coast Revue – “If you are going to be corny you have be clever”

We love San Francisco, we love seeing new shows in the Mission, we love theater venues with full-bars, so when we heard about The Barbary Coast Revue at Balancoire we thought we’d love it. The description on the About page read: “Mark Twain delights with a riotous musical comedy sing along at THE BARBARY COAST REVUE…Set to parodies of Bay Area hits from the ’80s to now, THE BARBARY COAST REVUE is the new must see show for anyone seeking “the true history of San Francisco!”  So with high expectations for a night of anachronistic revelry, off we went for an evening of Drama Talk & Drinks.

Brittany: I just (sighs)…If you’re going to make the audience participate that much then you should almost have auditions for your audience. The leads had really good voices, but there were so many awkward drunk people that could not sing that it messed up the show for me. I know it’s supposed to be a sing-along, but really every single song? We don’t even know the lyrics!

Katie: Exactly! There were so many times I wanted to hear the lead female sing because she was so good, but I couldn’t. Also, if you’re going to take popular music and use the melodies then your lyrics and story have to be really clever, and I think they fell short. There were a couple moments when it worked, the Third Eye Blind “Semi-Charmed Kind of Life” with En Vogue’s “My Lovin – You’re Never Gonna Get it” mash up was dope, but most of the time I don’t think they went far enough.

B: I like that it was an ode to San Francisco, but I agree, SF has a crazy history and the writers could have done more to make the show more relevant and creative. I think I only LOLed twice. I guess if you like Beach Blanket Babylon you would like this…but this didn’t have hats. Also, and I know this was opening night, but there were SO many technical errors. The spotlights didn’t turn on at the right time, the projections of the lyrics were off, which made it even harder for the audience to sing-along. Just lots of little things like that which made the show feel really messy. It runs all summer so I’m sure they’ll work out the kinks, but the bad tech was definitely distracting.

K: I’m really rooting for Balancoire, it’s such a cool space and I love that there’s good food and drinks and there’s a performance space… it just all didn’t come together for me.  If you are going to be that corny you have be more clever.

The Verdict: Cool venue. Talented singers. Mediocre writing. Bad tech. We go to theater to see talented people do creative things, not to be forced to sing weak lyrics to dated songs with a bunch of drunk people. People shouldn’t get away with sloppy theater like this, so unless this show tightens-up save your $29-$64.

The Drama Talk: The Barbary Coast Revue is supposed to be silly and fun, but the execution was lackluster. Maybe we’re the problem, and just aren’t ‘fun’ enough to look past the shows flaws and dive-in uninhibited. Much of the audience (mostly ages 40+) seemed elated to be the under rehearsed stars of the show – singing and doing the conga with the actors. It was just not our cup of tea. If the show was technically tighter, the actors more uniformly polished, and the audience participation less intensive we could have gotten past the weaknesses in the script, but despite some great individual performances (we’re looking at you Danny Kennedy, Stephanie Rapa and Michael Perez) we just felt awkward when we were accosted by actors at the end of the show asking “Did you enjoy it?”

The Drinks: We love going to performance venue’s with a full bar, so the show get’s points for that. We had their special cocktail called a “Shanghai Surprise”. The surprise was how good it was. Maybe we should of had a few more of those before the show to loosen us up for sloppy drunk karaoke theater.

The Barbary Coast Revue runs every Thursday at Balançoire. Tickets are available on their website and range from $29-$64. The more expensive ticket  gets you a private 7pm hors d’oeuvre reception with the cast, VIP reserved seating, and dinner during the show, all of which looked yummy.

[Previously]

Take a moment with this Hard French poster art

So good.

Hard French, one of the greatest parties in the world, happens this Saturday afternoon at El Rio. Here’s a little more info:

HARD FRENCH with a little SOME THING extra
yr favorite saturday afternoon soul music dance party w/ a a little Some Thing extra
Saturday May 2nd
2pm – 8pm, $10
Free BBQ till its gone!

PERFORMANCE INVASION by:
Club Some Thing with your hostess Vivvyanne Forevermore and guests Dulce De Leche and Rahni NothingMore

RESIDENTIAL TOURS with:
yr Hard French DJs Carnita & Brown Amy
Spinning the baddest all-vinyl girl group grooves, northern soul stunners and funky foot stompers this side of the ’60s

FREAK OUTS by:
Tim, Devon and Jorge

JIGGALICIOUS SPELLS CAST BY:
The Hard French Jiggalicious Dance Babes

FREE BBQ on the PATIO

PHOTO BOOTH BY Shot in the City Photography
Beneficiary: Helping Avery Beat Cancer
Hard French’s good friend Avery was diagnosed with cancer. We’re collection donations to help with the initial treatment costs to hopefully save his leg and prevent the cancer from spreading.

RSVP and invite your friends.

Drama Talk & Drinks: The Book of Mormon – “Spooky Mormon Hell Dreams are for real!”

Three years ago when The Book of Mormon first went on tour, Katie, Brittany and two of our friends sat on computers from 11:30 until noon on the day tickets went on sale, so we could be the first in the online queue to get tickets to show. Tickets for that run sold out in less than two minutes, and we didn’t get any. Now, years later, we were finally given the opportunity to see Book of Mormon again (on the third time around). Katie had already gone to see it during the 2nd tour, but Brittany hadn’t yet. She asked one of the other friends from the fateful no-ticket day, who also just happens to have grown-up Mormon, to come to the show with her for some Drama Talk & Drinks at SHN’s Orpheum theater.

Brittany: So, as a person who grew up Mormon, what did you think?

Jose: It was really interesting, I really enjoyed the show. My favorite song was Turn It Off. It captures so well how Mormons deal with things, just bury the bad emotions. The whole beginning was so spot on for Mormon life. I knew kids like Elder Price. I also really appreciated the end message. That someone can make up stories, and adapt them to fit a lived experience, like Elder Cunningham did for the African tribe, and because it resonates with them and offers them hope, it can be gospel. I feel like that’s what Joseph Smith did, adapt the stories of the Bible to fit Americans, so this was just the next generation of that.

B: Yeah, I liked that too. It’s funny. I had high expectations 3 years ago, when the whole run was sold out and I didn’t get tickets. But now so many people have seen it, and have been sort of “meh” about it, I actually came in with somewhat low expectations, and they were blown out of the water, I was impressed.  I was worried I was maybe going to be too offended or something, even though I was a South Park fan in college so I don’t know why I thought that, but I liked that it had a positive message. Although a lot of it was South Park humor, poop jokes, sex jokes, whatever, it was smarter than I thought it might have been, and way more nuanced, which pleasantly surprised me. Sure it was offensive, jokes about AIDS and genital mutilation are shocking, but the fact it made us talk about those realities, even if it is through humor, is a net positive. It was way less negative on Mormonism and religion than I thought it might have been too. This is definitely the kinder side of South Park. It wasn’t as cynical as a I was worried it would be.

J: Yeah, I went in with the expectation it was going to be way more negative, but this did a good job recognizing some of the values of religion. I think I can see why the Mormon church doesn’t have big problems with it. That’s why they have an ad in the program advertising the actual Book of Mormon, it was offensive, but not in a hateful way.

B: Yeah. Of course, every time I see a tour at SHN, I’m impressed by the caliber of the actors, and sets, and design, and this is no exception. One thing I thought they did really well though was getting the cartoon like images to come to life in live action. The Spooky Mormon Hell Dream sequence was spot-on, it was so South Park and really funny.

J: Yes and I totally appreciated the idea behind that scene. Spooky Mormon Hell Dreams are for real. I grew up with those perfect Mormon kids, with their almost creepily happy families. I remember once at Mormon summer camp, it was super hot, so I got a Sunkist Orange Soda from a vending machine, because orange soda is usually caffeine free. But for whatever reason it wasn’t caffeine free, and one of the other kids saw it and started calling me “Sin-kissed’ because I was breaking one stupid rule. Some Mormons really are that crazy about rules, so hell dreams happen in Mormon kids childhood, you’re always wanting to break the rules, even though it terrifies you.

 

The Verdict: Not for kids, not for the easily offended, but otherwise go see it. It’s a delightful show. Not life changing, but really fun, and the message is way more hopeful than anticipated.

The Drama Talk: This show is heartfelt, and a little Disneyfied for South Park, but the less cynical bent makes the show more nuanced and, in our opinion, better. Perhaps they lose out on a few laughs by not going for every joke, but the sincerity made it more feel-good. Also the show is full of smart commentary on society if you care to look deep enough. Examining the way we tell ourselves stories: through religion, Sci-Fi, culture, and mythology. Also how we use those stories to cope with the problems we face as humans, is an interesting thread that’s explored throughout the show. Obviously a very talented cast, and super flashy set like any Broadway tour. Also an Ex-Mormon says the portrayal of Mormons is spot-on, so that’s got to be worth something.

The Drinks: After the show, we decided to check out The Beer Hall down the street. Jose got the Wells and Young Stout (like Brigham Young) and Brittany got a Prairie Artisan Wild Saison (you know because Mormons live on the prairie) and they toasted to a hilarious night of drama talk and drinks.

The Book of Mormon runs through June 1st at SHN’s Orpheum Theater. Tickets are available through SHN’s website for $80-$200. They are also doing a $29 ticket lottery for every show, so show up 2 ½ hours before any performance to try your luck at the drawing. Two tickets are available per winner. At the moment Goldstar also has tickets for sale for $75.

 

When was the last time you went to a Berlin-style ping pong party?

It was probably a really long time ago, because American Tripps disappeared for a while. But they are back this Friday night:

And the all-star DJ lineup includes a bunch of Mission-relevant personalities:

DJ Beauregard (lives in the Mission currently, but is soon moving to Bernal Heights)
DJ JustStella (lived in the Mission for many years but recently moved to Bernal Heights; DJs Friday nights on Mission-based BFF.fm)
Jay Beaman (works sometimes at Pop’s Bar)
Nick Pal (DJs first Wednesdays at Pop’s, and every Sunday on BFF.fm)
DJ Wesley Frazee (lives in the Mission, has no plans to move to Bernal Heights)
DJ der Nutzeffekt (me)

Everybody’s been instructed to play BANGERS, so it should be a fun night.

RSVP and invite your friends.

Timbuk2 Factory Store launch party tomorrow

Timbuk2 have been pumping bags out of their Mission factory for 25 years, and tomorrow night they officially open their Factory Store to the public, on the corner of Shotwell and 20th Street. The free party starts at 6pm and features fine entertainment like a Skeeball Tournament (from Joey The Cat), a live Polka cover band called Polkalicious, local beer, drunk factory tours, raffles, discounted stuff and way more!

While this is a free event you do need to RSVP on facebook to get in, so go to the event page to do that.

Drama Talk & Drinks: It’s not called fetish theater for nothing

Last Halloween Drama Talk and Drinks reviewed one of the most unique and crazy fun shows we’d been to, Thrillpeddlers’ annual Shocktoberfest. Since Brittany had so much fun at that show, she had to bring Katie back to share in the scintillating fun. We headed to the well hidden Hypnodrome to see the Thrillpeddlers latest production, Jewels Of Paris, for a night of naughty drama talk and drinks.

 

Photo by David Wilson.

Brittany: So that was different.

Katie: Very different. Very San Francisco. What I really liked about it was that it’s true community theater. People just coming together to put on a show because it’s fun.

B: They want to get out there and express their crazy selves in front of an audience and have a good time, which you could tell they did. The writing was also quite smart. If you don’t have a basic understanding of artists that were coming up in Paris in the early 20th century you wouldn’t get all the jokes and references though.

K: I didn’t get many of the references so I got uninterested at times, but most of the time there was so much happening between the singing, costumes, makeup, and nudity that I would get reinterested. It’s cool to see something so visually different. Also, I really loved the sad clown (Birdie Bob-Watt) .

B: I felt like they kinda got tied up in the “we’re doing a show about Paris” concept, trying to cover so much and be so smart, they lost some of the fun. The times when they tried to be more serious didn’t really work for me. There were a few actors that had solos that had trouble carrying a tune. But they went for it, and often naked, so props to them. I couldn’t do that. I love that the audiences at this show always get invested with hoots, hollers and claps even if things aren’t going perfectly. It really gives the feeling that we’re all in this together to have a good time.

K: What an interesting venue too. You enter through a parking lot to a back of a building. I pass this building almost everyday and had no idea that there was this theater behind it. Inside is very eclectic. Next time we go I want to get one of the decorated booths in the back, those were neat.

B: Both times I’ve gone to the Hypnodrome I thought I was lost until I walk into the theater.

K: Overall it was precious, but for me they didn’t bring it home. I would really love to see them do something else.

B: I would definitely recommend going to a Thrillpeddlers show, however, I don’t think this is their best work. I enjoyed it, but if you’re only going to see one show, don’t make this your first impression, I think they can do better.

The Verdict: Thrillpeddlers are a sexy uniquely San Francisco theater company. It’s not called fetish theater for nothing, this is for mature audiences only, which is part of what makes it so fun. Although the writing of Jewels Of Paris is very smart, you may miss some references if you don’t have a general grasp of the history of the Paris arts scene. This show shines when it’s at its raunchiest and silliest, but some weak singers and more serious scenes can make the show lose momentum. It’s an enjoyable night, but not quite Thrillpeddlers at it’s best.

The Drama Talk: For mature audiences only. There are penis, boobs, asses – basically all anatomy is exposed at some point, so be prepared to see it all. Don’t go in expecting everyone in the show to be professionally trained or a knockout singer. Some of the cast is very talented, but what some actors lack in training they make up for in heart and willingness to put themselves out there. The costumes and props are very impressive. The writing is smart, and some of the songs are quite catchy. The whole show is written in house making the sketches and songs all the more impressive.

The Drinks: After the show we headed over to 11th for drinks. If you want to keep the raunchy fun going you can always hit up DNA lounge. Or if you’re looking for a more divey party there’s Butter. We were hoping for some quiet cocktails, and since it sounded French we thought we’d try Bergerac. We couldn’t hear ourselves talk over the bizarrely loud DJ, so we bailed and went to Bar Agricole. Brittany got a Tulip and Katie got a Presidente and we enjoyed a classy and quiet drink to wind down the evening.

JEWELS OF PARIS: A Revolutionary New Musical Revue runs through May 2nd at the Hypnodrome Theater. Tickets are $30 gen. admission or $35 for Front Row Seats, “Shock Boxes” and “Turkish Lounges” and can be purchased on their website.