Not in Kansas (City) Anymore A month ago, a little extension of Oz landed in the no man's land between the Richmond, the Presidio, and USF. Cody T. Gillette, owner of Ozmosis Records, opened the Emerald City Supper Club at 3565 Geary (near Stanyan), making yet another home for jazz in the city. The
supper club is the third to occupy the space in as many years. (Orocco and Sinead's both failed within a year.) Nevertheless, Gillette is confident of Emerald City's atmosphere and amenities. "We want to emulate the Blue Note in New York," says Gillette. "We want to create a place where jazz musicians not only perform but also hang out before and after their shows." This shouldn't be too difficult: Part of Gillette's idea is to provide a venue for bands already on his label -- locals Scotty Wright, Maye Cavallaro, and Frank Jackson. That's not to say Emerald City is a locals-only joint. Gillette completely renovated the stage and installed a new sound system to attract national acts. The club will feature music -- jazz, swing, and cabaret -- seven nights a week. Gillette, who already has 25 years' experience booking shows at the Plush Room, Coconut Grove, and the Great American Music Hall in S.F., is not relying only on atmosphere. He's hired Veronica Labeau, an eight-year entertainment marketing strategist, to run the place. They decided to make Emerald City more than just a lair for the cool cats; it contains a full in-house recording studio. "It's a natural addition," says Gillette. "I've had 16 years' recording experience with Emerald City Productions, and the club is a combination of all our past enterprises as well as an extension of the record company." All shows will be recorded for archival footage, yet actual live releases will depend on contractual agreements. "We want to document every performance for in-house promotion and purely archival footage," says Gillette. "Our bands will be recorded for live releases on Ozmosis, but when it comes to outside performers the studio recording [will be] available to their labels." A moneymaking recording studio is a smart addition to a location that's struggled with supper clubs, but Gillette thinks he's got success in the bag anyway. "With more clubs opening on Fillmore, people aren't afraid to travel a little farther to enjoy good music," says Gillette. "This should help us a great deal." (R.A.)
Get Out the Vote You know the story: When Patty Spiglanin entered her band, Naked Barbies, in an online talent contest for a chance to open up the Lilith Fair tour in Portland, Ore., she never thought she'd win. Now that the judges have whittled 450 bands down to eight contenders who Web surfers will vote for this week online, Spiglanin is doing everything she can to win. (This contest is different from the local Lilith tryout show that the Beth Lisick Ordeal and Noelle Hampton won at Union Square last month.) Together for eight years, Naked Barbies -- who play a sort of pop-rock-country Americana -- have amassed a mailing list of 1,200 people, who have seen their shows at the Starry Plough in Berkeley, the Hotel Utah and Paradise in S.F., and the Sweetwater in Marin. The postcards went out last Thursday. She's also sending out e-mail and asking friends to tell friends. And on Thursday, the muliebral Alice radio will broadcast a short feature on the band at 10 p.m. "I was very, very surprised that they picked us," says Spiglanin, the frontwoman of a group populated by men. "Maybe they have enough chicks with acoustic guitars. Maybe they're open to a woman-fronted band. I think they need it in that milieu." You can listen to and vote for Naked Barbies at www.levi.com\backstage through Friday. (J.S.)
Quote of the Week From the bio accompanying the band Cold's new record: After the dawn of Alternative Rock, dozens of bands began focusing their negative energy to create spiteful songs that resonated with crashing guitars and howling, pain-stricken vocals. Depression and frustration became the emotional conditions of the hour, and the music scene became glutted with groups that either feigned despair, or were so bleak they became inextricably tangled in their own gloom. Today, in an era where angst and volume have become passe, there are still a handful of bands that choose to internalize anguish and regurgitate it as a visceral, deeply moving melody. One of those is Jacksonville, Florida's Cold.
Oops! For the record, the DJ set Lyricist Lounge, reviewed last week by Robert Arriaga, is not a live album. The packaging proclaims "Live at Tramps," among other things, and has crowd noise. But it turns out it's all just for effect. In the same review, Arriaga misspelled Cipher Complete and wrote that New York's Natural Elements are from New Jersey. Arriaga understands that the latter would be considered extremely insulting on the East Coast and meant no disrespect to Natural Elements. Sorry for the errors. (R.A.)
Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Karl D. Esturbense (K.D.E.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), Heather Wisner (H.W.), 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.