Without any signage on its plain gray facade, 1015 Folsom has attracted innumerable club kids over the years, revelers congregating for international turntable icons like DJs Paul Van Dyk or Felix da Housecat. Of course, the space has also attracted its share of trouble, including a deadly shooting inside the club in 2006.
This year, 1015 is organizing a facelift — one that has little to do with its remodeling and more to do with its image in the music community. Six months ago, 1015's owners hired Peter Glikshtern as a general manager to take the club in a new direction. He is well known in San Francisco's nightlife scene, having opened a cool little sliver of a dance club called Liquid in the Mission back before the dot-com bust (he still owns the space on 16th Street near Capp, which is now called Pink). He also opened Mighty and Club Six before selling those venues to their current owners. Of his goals at 1015, Glikshtern says, "We're working to be more of a live-music-oriented venue, bringing in bands — rock 'n' roll, rap, and electronic acts, trying to make a real concerted push in that area." (One prominent upcoming example: Too $hort performs at 1015 on Feb. 28.) The ultimate goal is for the space to become a viable outlet for big-name live acts, the same talent that packs 'em in at places like Great American Music Hall, Bimbo's, the Independent, and Mezzanine.
Asked if his vision means a decline in 1015's DJ bookings, Glikshtern says, "That depends on how much success we have and how quickly. My feeling is that [live acts] have been the trend for a while now, and we need to get with the program."
Said program includes tweaks like revamping the club's Web site as well as a name change at the end of March (on which Glikshtern is keeping mum). It also means bringing in a rock-oriented booker, Joshua Carter of 3 Udders Productions, who will share duties with electronica and rap promoters.
Sitting under the pulsing pastel glow of 1015's Sutra Lounge with the club's PR head and show manager, Lisa Mongelli, Carter discusses his vision for the club's 800-capacity main room. (There are four different rooms outside the showroom to which you can escape for beverages.) He throws out names like Wolfmother, Muse, and the roster of Mike Patton's experimental label Ipecac as dream artists to light up 1015's marquee (according to Carter, the club will finally place a marquee outside to take advantage of Folsom traffic). "Having Green Day here is a pipe dream," he says, before adding that his interest in Bay Area acts isn't limited to superstars: "Local bands like Audrye Sessions and Every Move a Picture and Lovemakers would be a good fit here."
For now, though, the transition to live rock hub will be a slow one. Live 105 and Popscene have thrown their support (and a couple of their DJs) behind Carter's first night at 1015, when the Donnas headline on Friday, Jan. 25. The ink has yet to dry on any other deals, but Carter promises "great things to check out" in March and April, with new shows once a month. "Once other agencies discover this is a great place to bring bands, hopefully we'll have live shows once a week or more," he adds. "Our ultimate goal by summertime is to have premium talent once a week."
With more than a dozen venues already competing for live music attractions, the club has its work cut out, but Glikshtern hopes fundamental transformations at 1015 will alter attitudes about the place. "It's not just a music format that I'm trying to change," he says. "I'm trying to change the club as an organization. This is a very old entity. It's been around for well over 20 years and I'm trying to shake things up a bit and make it more of a positive, fun place." If Glikshtern and Carter's ideas become reality, it'd be a trip in every sense of the word to see, say, Mike Patton's Fantômas in a room featuring a cascading water wall and electric-blue LED displays.