Go Team Riff Raff belatedly offers a welcome wagon full of fruit baskets to Team Dresch co-captain Jody Bleyle. Reversing the customary scenario, the singer/guitarist of the 3-year-old, self-dubbed "lesbionic all-dyke rock band of the decade" moved from Portland to S.F. two months ago. Bleyle (aka Jody Coyote) is a rad chick: She founded the Free to Fight women's self-defense project, runs an independent record label, plays in a couple of bands, and can talk politics and gossip with brainy wit. Bleyle left the tiny staff of Candy-Ass Records -- and members of Hazel, her other band -- in the City of Roses, but she'll continue running the label from her new perch. Team Dresch, now in its sixth incarnation, will begin writing and recording the follow-up to the praised Captain My Captain album in both San Francisco and Olympia, Wash., after a short series of live dates, including a Wednesday, Aug. 20, set at the DNA Lounge with Rattlecake and Ovarian Trolley, and a Friday, Aug. 22, show at the Bottom of the Hill with Rattlecake and Slower Than. It's not too late for housewarming gifts. (J.S.)
Confidential to Chronicle Entertainment Editor Liz Lufkin You know, up until the Aug. 10 edition of the Datebook, when we saw the photo on Page 12 and read the accompanying caption, we never realized just how strong a resemblance "Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung" bears to pop waif Fiona Apple. That is, if we cross our eyes to the point of pain. (M.B.)
Love Army On Aug. 21, that crux of yuppie procreation, Johnny Love's, turns 5. It's hard to believe that before John Methini (aka Johnny Love) swung wide his doors a few thousand market points ago, nary a tie nor pair of chinos could be found on the corner of Polk and Broadway. Well, just as yuppie wallets have grown, so has the club. Johnny Love's packs 'em in tight enough to crush a couple of hundred plastic personalities on a good night, but it keeps the Beemer-drivin' flock from parking in the handicapped spots for a few hours. The wily yuppie might argue that his or hers is a misunderstood group. This is perfectly believable, since no one but a yuppie would want to get near enough to another yuppie to understand him or her anyway. In honor of the 5-year mark, and remembering a certain reader's letter reprinted here a few weeks ago, Riff Raff suggests that we view this not just as an anniversary, but as a chance to extend some diplomacy -- to show some gratitude for the love that yuppies have extended to the Mission. Let's call it Get to Know a Yuppie Day. Yep, just grab your favorite 40 ounce, swing on down to Johnny Love's with a hundred or so close and personals, and really pack the place with love, love, love. Don't forget to introduce yourself to a few yuppies in line; really let 'em know you care. Always remember the yuppie credo: It's not just how one looks, it's how much one makes. Happy Birthday. (R.A.)
Fallow Fields Bill Graham Presents brings back its bone for unsigned local bands this weekend with the return of the "Fillmore Sessions." Just over a year ago, BGP's Joe Paganelli developed the "Sessions" to echo Graham's locals-only "Tuesday Night Jams" of the late 1960s and to give Bay Area bands the chance to play on the Fillmore's big stage. Occasionally Paganelli's taste was prophetic: He booked Third Eye Blind long before we all hated them, as well as then-unsigned, now-major acts like the New Morty Show and Big Blue Hearts. On Saturday, Aug. 23, after a three-month hiatus, which he says he used to re-evaluate the S.F. scene and try to find a new sponsor, Paganelli brings in the instrumental funk of Vinyl, "conscientious rappers" Slack Mobb, and Tang!'s "jazz-funk-thrash." "I think the local scene can be cyclical," says Paganelli. "I think one cycle was over and I needed to take three months to watch another cycle come about." (J.S.)
One Eye Spitting Usually, when a good local band starts to gain national attention, a bit of pride on the part of the hometown folk can't be helped. This could easily apply to local modern cock rockers Third Eye Blind, had being a good band not been a requirement. Details magazine profiled Third Eye Blind in this month's Pop Arts section. Instead of giving them the usual blow job that bands receive in national publications, writer Elysa Gardner reveals Third Eye Blind's total lack of substance with a subtlety that is truly heartwarming. At one point, Gardner sums up the band's ego with a few well-chosen words: "The other three band members, who, predictably, exhibit less alpha male behavior than their frontman, seem unfazed when asked if [Elektra chairwoman and CEO Sylvia] Rhone's personal involvement places any extra pressure on them." Lead singer Stephan Jenkins' ego soars to a nauseating pinnacle when he proceeds to extol his affinity for writing about the raunchier side of sex, while defending himself with a disclaimer that he is not like Prince. "Not by a long shot," agrees Gardner. Hopefully, this will give Third Eye Blind's single the extra kick it needs to continue its downward spiral on the Billboard Modern Rock Top 40. Light-headed as he might be getting atop his purple crag, Jenkins takes a moment to provide his worshipers with a little pearl of wisdom. "I don't like the term pop. It gets interpreted as 'dismissible' or 'disposable.' " At least Jenkins understands why Third Eye Blind constantly gets labeled as a pop band. On a final note, a heavy sigh of relief can be shared by all -- the Details piece never revealed the band's San Francisco roots. (R.A.)
Not Exactly Orson Welles' Infamous The War of the Worlds Broadcast, But Still, Terrifying in Its Own Special Way Last week, Club Boomerang ran an advertisement in the Bay Guardian listing its upcoming shows. As is usual for the Boomerang, most of the bands on the schedule were local groups -- many of them trying out their live-show legs for the first time -- except for Tuesday night's bill, which was described as a farewell party for former booker Noah Appleton. According to the ad, live musical entertainment for this very special evening was to be supplied by former members of L.A. Guns, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Guns N' Roses, Poison, Whitesnake, Flesh for Lulu, and the Cure -- all for three bucks! Enter 30-year-old "Stuttering" Danny D., producer of Channel 53's Reality Check Video Magazine -- a wildly enjoyable show that recently won the station's Cable Access Award as well as the Guardian's Best of the Bay award for "Best Local Cable Rock and Roll Video Show." When "Stuttering" Danny D. heard the news from a friend, he was incredulous at best. Still, he picked up a Guardian, and there it was in black and white. Never mind the tiny asterisks by each name that denoted "artists appearing are subject to change." Months before "Stuttering" Danny D. had seen a similarly styled show at the Maritime Hall under the moniker Don't Touch Grandpa, so anything was possible -- even, as "Stuttering" Danny D. said, "at a dive like the Boomerang." The cable-access maven flew into action: He called friends from as far afield as Santa Cruz; he arranged to get off work early; he borrowed money for the show; and stayed up all night before the crucial date, making a tape for former Kiss drummer Eric Singer (whom he had met at Don't Touch Grandpa, and who he was sure would be the Kiss member present). On Tuesday night, "Stuttering" Danny D. and his friends got together and made their way, via multiple bus lines, toward the Haight. When they finally arrived at the Boomerang and paid the cover charge, they were shocked to discover that no one was there. The Boomerang was guilty of false advertising! (Actually, if "Stuttering" Danny D. had consulted the SF Weekly ad, he would have known that Pure Bella Gel was scheduled to play. This is cause for some consternation on Riff Raff's part. As everyone knows, we just love a good hoax, and the faux ad should have rightfully run in our paper.) Not only were there no long-haired superstars appearing at the Boomerang, but the doorman -- sympathetic as he was -- refused to return the cover charge. "Stuttering" Danny D. tried to remain calm, pointing out, first, that other friends of his might not have taken it so lightly, and then made a call to the local press. "It wasn't the three dollars," "Stuttering" Danny D. told Riff Raff in impassioned tones, "it was the principle of the thing. It was blatant false advertising and they should've given us our money back." Riff Raff wholeheartedly agrees. On the other hand, we also understand the necessity of a dunce tax. (S.T.)
Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Michael Batty (M.B.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Karl D. Esturbense (K.D.E.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), and Bill Wyman (B.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly. No flack, please.