Sébastien Giniaux Trio at the Rite Spot Cafe TONIGHT

Sébastien Giniaux, one of the greatest guitarists in the world, will be playing at the Rite Spot Cafe. If you missed him last year when he came around, man did you ever miss out. Someone got so psyched during his set that he literally flipped–as in did a front flip in a crowded-ass Revolution Cafe. Actually, it was pretty terrifying and I hope that doesn’t happen again, but I’m sure you can think of plenty of other safe ways to show your approval.

He’s visiting from Paris where Django Reinhardt’s Gypsy Jazz music is a way of life, and Sébastien is considered one of the best purveyors of his musical legacy. He will blow your mind with his endless creativity and dazzling technique.

“Well why isn’t he playing Yoshi’s or something?” you ask. Well, he’s TOO GOOD FOR YOSHI’S. Sure, you can go there if you wanna sit with some grey-haired folks out for their monthly let’s-see-some-jazz-honey night on the town. Order some expensive drinks, stroke your chin and grunt with approval in hushed tones if that’s your thing. Or go to the Mission where the best jazz is happening.

Anyway, go to the Rite Spot Cafe tonight from 9pm-11pm. No cover, but bring some tips for the guy. He’s French. Wine and cheese is expensive.

The Rite Spot Cafe scheduled to reopen September 5

This just in: the Rite Spot Cafe, one of my favorite spots to grab a burger and watch a Japanese cowboy belt out Jimmy Rodgers tunes, is wrapping up its renovations and opens on September 5th. They are actively booking music acts for the month, so it looks like their nightly live show format will remain the same.

It has been closed for about a year for “serious or repeated violations pertaining to vermin infestation.” Translation: roaches. Well, let’s hope all that was taken care of.

The Rite Spot Cafe’s future is uncertain

The Rite Spot Cafe was shut down last month for health and safety violations.

While this isn’t the first time, usually the closures have been limited to the kitchen and this has definitely been the longest one we’ve seen yet. People and musicians close to the establishment are skeptical it will be revived this time, with repair costs and real estate pressure being major factors.

The Rite Spot has been around for 60 years. It has was a starting place for Jolie Holland, the Dodos, thee Oh Sees, Toshio Hirano, American Idol contestant Emily Anne Reed and even once hosted Norah Jones. The spot can be hit or miss, with service ranging from cold to downright crabby, but I would be seriously bummed to see it go. It is one of the few places you can sit at a table without waiting, get a drink, eat a good burger, and watch some great live music. As a musician myself, some of my first San Francisco shows were there and I met a lot of great people through it.

We’ll keep an eye out for any developments, but in the meantime you may need to settle for Charlottesville, VA’s segregated alternative, the White Spot.

Karina Denike At The Rite Spot Cafe This Sunday

If you were the type of kid that had a White Out checkerboard pattern on your Jansport backpack in the 90s (guilty, here) you’ll probably recognize Karina Denike from her early gig as a lead singer for the Dance Hall Crashers.

Since then, she has been hanging out in San Francisco playing less-skankable tunes with groups like Mr. Lonesome and the Bluebelles, the Cottontails, and Eight Legged Monster. In my humble opinion, she’s probably got one of the most powerful, virtuosic voices around and a vocal delivery that’s JUST SEXY. You really have to see her live to know what I mean.

Ms. Denike also writes her own pop-y, quirky, singer-songwritery stuff, which is what she’ll be performing on Sunday at the Rite Spot Cafe on 17th and Folsom. She will be joined by her band, her harmonium, and the also insanely talented Lily Taylor. Show starts at 8pm.

If you can’t make that, Karina will also be singing with the Cottontails at Revolution Cafe Saturday night from 9-12ish.

(By the way, she loooves talking about the Dance Hall Crashers and is not embarrassed by it in the slightest.)

Toshio Hirano @ The Rite Spot Cafe Tonight

Sure, we’ve sung praises for the yodelin’ Japanese cowboy Toshio Hirano before, but I just found this video profile of him done by PRI that deserves some attention:

Toshio has a charisma and passion for music that is really sobering to all the cynical young musicians like myself. Here’s a guy who loved classic country music so much that he literally up and moved straight to the source. (Ok, so my love of burritos may have moved me from the east bay to San Francisco, but that’s not exactly the same thing.)

He’s no fool either, he’s well aware that there’s quite a bit of the novelty/freak show draw to his act. But hey, if that’s what it takes to get people to come out and see him doing what he loves, then he’s ok with that. Oh, and his between-song banter is hilarious… that’s no act. This man is funny.

Toshio will be playing tonight as part of his monthly residency at the Rite Spot Cafe on 17th and Folsom from about 9pm-12. Go get your two-step on.