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Slap Shots 

Wednesday, Oct 9 1996
Tube Socks on Van Ness
Our garbage tells us much about the world in which we live. One man's refuse is another man's treasure. His detritus can also send a message. For instance, pedestrians strolling down Van Ness last week were greeted to a befuddling trash cacophony -- perhaps more information than anyone truly desired. Outside the front door of the electronics chain store Circuit City, a garbage container unveiled its contents to the world -- empty boxes of beefcake gay porn videos, including Le Baron's Quickies No. 4: Boxing Delight. Makes you wonder. No, it doesn't.

A Goth's To-Do List
Monday, Death Guild at Trocadero. Tuesday, Roderick's Chamber at 715 Harrison. Wednesday, Bondage A Go-Go at the Troc. Say hi to DJ Damon. Thursday, Sanctuary, various locations. Friday, Terminator, the Troc. Saturday, So What at Cat's Grill. Sunday, call floater clubs Labyrinth, The Rapture, Slick. Where are DJs Wolf, Jackal, Noir, and Melting Girl? Air out Victorian bodice. Buy anything on Cleopatra Records. Soak fangs. Buy makeup.

Cheaper Than Methadone?
Patrons of the Uptown Bar, on Capp in the Mission, are discovering the powder rooms to be bathed in deep blue light. When one regular was asked why, he replied the blue color was meant to discourage junkies from finding their veins.

Rock's newest niche! It's "Journalists' Day" on the options floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange -- starring a passel of pale visitors from the Oakland Tribune, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, San Jose Mercury News, and this column, among others. Through this quiet little bribe (including lunch and beers), we all hope to glean further understanding of the city's powerful financial cabal -- maybe even learn how to sock away a few grand for ourselves before the shit hits the fan, brother. We stand in a pile of shredded paper, following the stock of a fictitious gold mining company, squinting up at monitors full of numbers and screaming out nonsensical abbreviations like "three-quarter-eight!" An actual trader named Kevin keeps track of my buying and selling, and whispers subtle words of encouragement like, "SAY IT LOUDER!" Entire family fortunes -- including children's education funds and speedboat payments -- are gained and dumped with the scratch of a pencil. We are living, breathing, money-grubbing, greedy bastards -- and for a half hour it seems actually kind of fun. You get to be loud and obnoxious, which is always a plus. But floor traders do this every day, from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., without lunch, or without even moving more than four feet in any direction.

"You're either crazy, stupid, or really smart," says one trader named Hash. Another adds, "Cursing is a huge part of our job." "The biggest thing you need is detachment," says Rob Kovell. Kovell should know. The 30-year-old options trader has been doing this for 10 years, sits on the Board of Governors, and is considered the Big Kahuna on the floor. And yet for the past two years he has detached from the madness and scooted to a rehearsal studio with his rock band LowFat Handshake, composed entirely of options traders. The music sounds like the antithesis of New York Knitting Factory jazz-skronk -- simple enough so you don't get lost, ideal for playing live at a party. It could easily be the first above-ground manifestation of the newest genre: "tradecore." They play a few gigs a month, attracting a loyal, growing audience of friends and co-workers. Although their CD Darkhorse features songs about the evils of the Internet ("The Virus"), philosophical yuppies ("Yuppies' Lament"), and taking psychedelics at Mardi Gras ("Barefoot and Crazy"), it fails to include one single tune about abusive fathers, heroin, or '70s television cartoons, which means that perhaps fame will have to wait. Send 10 bucks for your very own "tradecore" slice of history to Handshake Productions, 247A Summit Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941. On Friday, Oct. 11, LowFat Handshake will play at Mick's on Van Ness -- hedging and scalping are encouraged.

Address all correspondence to: Slap Shots, c/o SF Weekly, 425 Brannan, San Francisco, CA 94107; phone: (415) 536-8152; e-mail:

By Jack Boulware

About The Author

Jack Boulware


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