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Listen Up Intro 

Fellow Scenesters and Casual Observers,

Remember when you were a little kid how tempting it was to look directly into the sun? No matter how many times your mom scolded you, no matter how much your eyes watered and your retinas burned, you couldn't resist. You stared up at that swollen yellow fireball until you damn near blinded yourself. "Wow-wee," you thought. "Just look at all that ... sun!"

Well, that's kind of how we big kids here at SF Weekly feel about this city's music scene. We believe, in a nutshell, that it's like a flaming, 15-million-degree orb that's responsible for sustaining all life on this planet. And we worship it as such, looking directly at the thing whenever possible. One of our writers, who will remain nameless, even composed a haiku about it:

Golden music scene,

You make our happy ears bleed,

And our crops grow, thanks

OK, so that's a little melodramatic, but what can we say? We love our scene! Which is why we loved putting together this definitive, authoritative, all-encompassing, never-wrong, don't-you-dare-house-train-your-puppy-on-it guide to San Francisco's bars, clubs, pubs, bands, and DJs. Yes indeed, we think this sucker's pretty useful. Where else are you going to find sex tips from an ultimate-fighting porn site editor ("The Sheltered Hipster's Guide to Getting the Slim Jimmy"); a heartwarming, Lewis & Clark-style exploration of our local competitive karaoke scene ("Karaoke Dreamin'"); an introduction to 10 of the Bay Area's most obsessive vinyl junkies ("Record Holders"); and another inspiring tale told by our very own Rock Ninja! ("The Good Deed"). That's not to mention our various experts' appraisals of the dance, rock, and jazz scenes, as well as the unveiling of our mind-bogglingly comprehensive "Club Directory," which will give you all the pertinent information (address, phone number, even little descriptions) about the venues you'll find mentioned throughout.

Obviously, you're thinking: "Gee SF Weekly, will I ever need another guide to my local music scene again?" The answer, friends, is: No, you will not. At least not until next year, when everything within these pages will no longer be cool and we'll have to do it all over again. C'est la vie.

But until then, please, do us a favor and stare right into this, your 2004 edition of Listen Up. Stare until your eyes burn and your ears bleed. And when you've stared so much you can't stare anymore, look away, blink a few times, then read the whole thing again.


Garrett Kamps


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