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House Of Tudor 

Omar Faruk Tekbilek, TV Killers, WAMMIES, Smashing 1970s, and Atomic Bitchwax

Wednesday, Oct 20 1999
Growing up in Adana, on what was once the border between the Turkish and the Byzantine worlds, young Omar Faruk Tekbilek found himself surrounded by philosophers, artists, musicians, and actors. At 8 he learned to play the kaval, a small diatonic flute considered archaic by local musicians, and by 12 he was being smuggled into local nightclubs by his brother to perform hurried sets before running from the outraged proprietor. At 16, Tekbilek traveled to the musically charged city of Istanbul where he unsuccessfully tried to integrate his love of indigenous instruments with Turkish jazz. Realizing he was failing, Tekbilek set about learning how to play other needed instruments himself; by the mid-'60s he was creating solo studio recordings that have made him one of the world's best-known interpreters of Middle Eastern folkloric music. Since his emigration to the U.S. in 1976, he has collaborated with the likes of Don Cherry and Karl Berger, but his solo work remains unsurpassed. Like the poetry of Rumi turned into musical notes, it is an expression of life, itself. Omar Fruk Tekbilek performs on Thursday, Oct. 21 at Great American Music Hall with Sheva opening at 9 p.m. Ticket price is $17; call 885-0750.

Aside from the delicious Golden Lemons and the bodacious No-Talents, I haven't heard much French punk rock, so imagine my surprise when Estrus! sent me a little package from the TV Killers. One thing about punk rock is obvious: Attitude helps, and the French have that in spades. But where the Lemons and the No-Talents sound a little snotty, the TV Killers sound downright mean -- even if their accents make it sound like they're howling "Sock it to me/Sock it to me/My beignet." Maybe they have really aggressive pastries in Paris. TV Killers perform at Covered Wagon on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 10 p.m. Ticket price is $5; call 974-1585.

This is only the sixth year I have produced the SF Weekly's local music awards ceremony, but the WAMMIES themselves have been a part of this city for an entire decade. To celebrate, we've invited some past winners to play -- Undercover S.K.A. and Vivieñdo de Pão -- as well as some potential favorites, Wilson Gil & Willful Sinners, Gun & Doll Show, and Ralph Carney. And while the music itself is always marvelous, it's the party that usually makes the WAMMIES memorable. In the past, folks have fallen off the stage, passed out under chairs, flashed their tits, breathed fire, thrown bottles, danced on tables, kissed strangers, and stood on their heads. Things like that happen when you put as many as 40 bands and a bunch of liquor together in one room. This year, we can add to the equation the Devilettes, Incredibly Strange Wrestling antagonists, "Stinky's Peep Show" go-go dancers, and Patsy Cline. How could you miss a night like that? The WAMMIES will held at the Fillmore on Friday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. Ticket price is $10; call 775-7722.

The folks from "Smashing" have awakened within me a previously unknown passion for costume parties. You think I'm kidding, but ever since I attended their last soirée, which celebrated the '60s with hippie regalia in Golden Gate Park and with great modness at the Edinburgh Castle, I've been searching for even the flimsiest excuse to swath myself in someone else's clothes. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait very long; Smashing 1970s is just around the corner and it promises sundry treats and surprises, like a muscle car rally, a "Rock Star Hotel Room" installation (interactive, we expect), an album art exhibit, natural-breast porn, badminton, (swimming) pool games, and fondue, as well as underground dance hits and '70s dub from DJs Laird and Sep and live funk from Aw Yeah! To give you further incentive, there will be a costume contest hosted by Departures From the Past, but before you go scrambling for a white satin shirt and gold chains, remember: The 70s gave us Ziggy Stardust, Sid Vicious, and Black Sabbath, as well as Farrah Fawcett. Smashing 1970s will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Backflip at 3 p.m. Ticket price is $10; call 552-1346 or, for pictures of already smashed eras, check out

Indirectly, the 1970s also gave us Atomic Bitchwax. With their thick psychedelic guitar riffs, chunky bass rhythms, and flashy, forceful drumming, it's not surprising to learn the trio still listens to Judas Priest, Tommy Bolin, and Kiss on the original vinyl its members purchased at 15; or that "bitchwax" is supposed slang for lava lamp muck. It might be more surprising that Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell has time for a side project with his friends Godspeed bassist Chris Kosnik and Solace drummer Keith Ackerman. But once you hear Atomic Bitchwax, you'll wonder how Mundell has time for Monster Magnet. Atomic Bitchwax performs at the Bottom of the Hill Tuesday, Oct. 26, with Nebula and Core opening at 9 p.m. Ticket price is $6; call 621-4455.

About The Author

Silke Tudor


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