Friday, September 08, 2006

A Nice Clean Garage

Little Steven's Underground Garage Festival
12 Galaxies, San Francisco
September 7, 2006

Before I begin I want to say THANKS to Todd for the +1, to Ref for being my strictly platonic heterosexual male date, and to Dema for looking fabulous despite having to wrestle The List.

Now I'm gonna be a jaded old Music Geek so bear with me (or you can just leave this space now.. I won't think any less of you). For the record the bill was The Zombies / Phantom Planet / Mooney Suzuki / The Woggles / Th' Losin Streaks... not that it mattered.

This show was the complete opposite of last week's Radio Birdman show; it was like seeing bands at a corporate party where the crowd is there for "the event" and not the music. The majority of the people in the crowd looked like they had Sirius or XM Satellite Radio in their Prius with a non-fat soy latte in the cup holder. This show was for The Hipsters who pose as Music Geeks; folks who are too lazy to do the work to get the credentials.

Call me old fashioned, but I think a Rock Show should be sticky from the spilled beer on the floor, and not sticky from the corporate sponsorship (AT&T and Rolling Rock beer in this case). Now, Umlaut ain't against money, but everything about the event seemed coldly calculated to appeal to the I'm-trying-really-hard-to-be-cool hipster demographic.

The Underground Garage Tour is a slickly contrived 21st Century version of a retro 60's Rock Show (like a hipster's OzzFest); from the circus theme, to the obligatory vintage B-movie footage projected on the club's walls, to the go-go girls dancing onstage. At least there wasn't an Austin Powers impersonator walking through the crowd handing out Rolling Rock bottle opener keychains.

Obligatory Music Geek observation: I saw The Woggles' guitarist several times in the 80's with his old band Guadalcanal Diary.

(From the Umlaut Archives)

I realize The Hipsters in the crowd paid 20 bucks to be there and I skated in gratis via The List, but I was home early which made the dogs and the cat happy. It's interesting to note that despite having 5 bands on the bill, Radio Birdman drew a bigger crowd than the Shopping Mall Underground Garage Tour. The Real Deal always wins (at least in a perfect world).

Guitar Wolf shirts = 1 (mine). If you bought one of every merch item you would have paid over $200 but less than $300. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. The next morning in my office at work, I washed away the sticky film left on my psyche from this experience by listening to the Radio Birdman song 'Hand Of Law' as I drank my morning coffee.