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What Your Choice of Music on Halloween Says About You 

Wednesday, Oct 30 2013

If you want to know where you're at in life, take a good long look at your Halloween plans. Does the phrase "Halloween plans" translate as "Netflix and take-out" to you? Will your All Hallow's Eve be given over to taking the kiddies trick-or-treating? Or have you bought tickets to go see the S.F. Symphony play a Hitchcock score live? If you answered yes, stop reading now. Those are fine options, but this guide is for those who've already taken off Friday, Nov. 1, in anticipation of a massive hangover and/or serotonin deficit. In other words, for those who, regardless of budget, relationship status, age, or musical taste, want to free the ugliness inside their heads, pants, and/or stomachs. (For more, see Lost in the Night.) We've culled S.F.'s massive Halloween events down to six solid live music options, each with a few helpful pointers on what kind of persons, costumes, and experiences to expect. Behold:

Flaming Lips

and Tame Impala

at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 7 p.m. , Thursday, Oct. 31. $47.50;

Come expecting: Even more fake blood than usual, Wayne Coyne wearing giant puppet hands, mind-melting visual projections, and band members dressed in furry animal costumes that get used way more than once per year. Also, weird psychedelic rock.

Your likely age/relationship status/location: Over 25, attached or steadily dating, anywhere BART-friendly.

Ideal costumes: Zombie Frank Sinatra, Charles Manson, horny Frankenstein.

How the night will end: Probably in a bar or club, with your blood-splattered tie loosened and your white sleeves rolled up, stoned and getting drunk, halfway to the spins, shouting about how Tame Impala's Kevin Parker is the greatest guitarist since David Gilmour.

Danzig with Doyle

at the Warfield, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. $35-$38;

Come expecting: Veteran goths, punks, goth-punks, goth-on-the-weekend types, horror film freaks, or really anyone who owns a pair of knee-high Doc Martens.

Your likely age/relationship status/location: Over 30, living out of the city; or over 50, living in SOMA.

Ideal costumes: Zombie John F. Kennedy, the Grim Reaper, Glenn Danzig himself, or just a Misfits muscle tee.

How the night will end: Washing off your makeup and letting the dog out to pee before trudging to bed.

Or, if you're lucky: Tied up in the basement of a leather bar.

Heart Break Halloween with Iamsu!, Sage the Gemini, and more

at the Regency Ballroom, 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. $20-$22;

Come expecting: Rap kids working snap-backs into their costumes; ladies in all manner of non-attire, party-friendly Bay Area hip-hop.

Your likely age/relationship status/location: Under 27; single, but with lots of prospects; S.F., Oakland, or Berkeley.

Ideal costumes: Sexy Bay Bridge, sexy blunt/pot leaf, "Crazy in Love"-era Beyonce, Chuy Gomez.

How the night will end: Steaming up a backseat with 1-2 people you've never met before, then puking out the window onto the new Bay Bridge.

More likely: Hitting joints at a friend's house while watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air reruns, drinking Tecate, and arguing about who posted the best selfie.

Total Trash Halloween with Nobunny, Shannon and the Clams, and more

at the Stork Club, Oakland

9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. $10;

Come expecting: Garage-punk kids in sweat-seasoned denim, ladies in vintage dresses, costumes so painfully ironic that the very fabric of history is damaged. Also, chaotic rock 'n' roll designed to get you steamy.

Your likely age/relationship status/location: 21-41, couch-surfing in the Tenderloin or home-owning in West Oakland.

Ideal costumes: John Waters, Pee-Wee Herman, Yoko Ono, David Bowie (if you're female), or Patti Smith (if you're male). But not Kurt Cobain, because, c'mon, you dress like him everyday.

How the night will end: Smoking cigarettes in a park, drinking a PBR tallboy in a paper bag.

What you'll be doing the next morning: Smoking cigarettes in a park, drinking a PBR tallboy in a paper bag.


A Super Fly Halloween at the Elbo Room

9:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. $10-$15;

Come expecting: People who sincerely use "fly" as an adjective; a worldly funk band covering the Super Fly soundtrack in its entirety.

Your likely age/relationship status/location: Over 27; attached but polyamorous; the Mission or North Oakland.

Ideal costumes: A vintage suit and your nicest fedora. (You'll think of something to call it.)

How the night will end: Who knows? You forgot everything after the second joint went around.

But you kinda remember: Eating a bacon-wrapped hot dog on BART and spilling mustard on the seat. Which still doesn't explain that mysterious stain on your suit.


at the New Parish, Oakland

9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. $15-$20;

Come expecting: O.G. punk rockers, anyone who wants to see a punk band that's also the most appropriately named Halloween event, ever.

Your likely age/relationship status/location: 33; single as hell; a bungalow in Fruitvale or the bed of your 1989 Toyota pickup, depending.

Ideal costumes: Whatever black T-shirt and jeans are closest at hand that afternoon.

How the night will end: It doesn't. Life is one long, dark night. It gets a little more tolerable when you're drunk.

Really, though: You'll text a few friends about how the Danzig show went and stay up 'til 4 a.m. reading Slavoj Zizek's latest.

About The Author

Ian S. Port


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