Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I've been looking forward to this show from literally the moment Drew and Hope from EVER SO ANDROID first contacted me a couple months ago. I started checking out videos of them (links below), and I'm just flat out mesmerized by what they do. Hope's voice effin' slays me, and Drew's work on the guitar is way beyond bitchen. Looping, droning, captivating.

Opening the show will be DER SPAZM out of Sacramento, CA. Playing somewhat experimental, post-punk music that's been compared to everything from the PIXIES and SONIC YOUTH to JELLO BIAFRA and ELVIS, DER SPAZM are what I want out of a band that reminds us that the word "indie" is not always synonymous with "hipster," that it comes from the we-do-it-our-way mentality that makes bands hip in the first place. I have yet to see even video of DER SPAZM live, but the word from Sactown is that they're damned good.

Next up is Seattle's NEW LUNGS, a band I booked when they cold-called me the other day after their show at Laughing Horse Books fell through. The fact that they had a show lined up at an anarchist book store/all ages show space was enough for me to confirm without ever having heard them, but I was stoked to hear how well they fit the bill when I started researching them online. At times crashing and explosive but tempered with enough melody to keep me interested, they remind me of our own DIVERS at times, and that's not a comparison I'd throw around lightly.

Headlining the bill will be the previously mentioned EVER SO ANDROID, also from Seattle. Ima let their music speak for itself...

Closing the night will be DJ/VJ duo SUPER CARDIGAN BROTHERS. They were here at Slabtown last week for a weeknight show and brought in about 30 people or so to trip out on the videos and the records they were spinning. Artists like SCB are the reason I own house turntables; sometimes having a pair of really talented DJ/VJs is exactly what you need to follow a band like EVER SO ANDROID.

Doors at 9, but show up early for "Sound Check Specials" on drinks up until the time DER SPAZM takes the stage. We'll also have a signature drink special on the "Ever So Android." What goes into that, you'll just have to wait and see, though...

$5, 21+

EVER SO ANDROID on Reverbnation here.
...and on youtube here and here.
NEW LUNGS bandcamp here.
DER SPAZM's FB page here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Falafel House at Slabtown, coming in June...

We haven't set a specific date for the changeover (a lot depends upon how long OLCC approval takes), but sometime in the month of June, we'll be opening an entire new restaurant with an entire new menu here at Slabtown. Mike Warm, also known as Mikey Minds the drummer for DEFECT DEFECT, THE MINDS, THE OBSERVERS, and a host of other bands, will be opening "The Falafel House at Slabtown" with an emphasis on Mediterranean foods. A lot of you won't just recognize Mikey from his place on stage but will also recognize him as the face behind the counter at "Grilled By Death," a small sandwich grill he operated at the all-ages club Blackwater Records when they were located on 19th and Morrison.

The full menu is still being developed, but Mikey's specialty will be falafel sandwiches and similar fare--simple, high-quality food with a heavy emphasis on vegan and vegetarian options. Almost all of his foods--from the gyros to the hummus to the soups and salads--will be made from scratch, and while he will be keeping some bar standards such as fries and tots, even the fries will be of a different caliber; Mikey will be making Belgian-sylte fries which are essentially twice-fried--blanched first and then deep-fried.

Aside from the menu, opening The Falafel House at Slabtown will also mean a host of other changes. Right now, you can order sandwiches, etc. on show nights, but we don't have the staffing to be able to run a full grill all night. With Mikey coming in, we'll be able to start serving full meals almost until close. Although we can't set a timeline yet, also be on the lookout for expanded hours over the next couple months as Mikey looks to feed the lunch crowd. And, keep yr eyes open for announcements about curbside service for cabbies and the rest of you who are looking to pick something up on yr way home from work.

Starting in the next week or two, we'll be testing out the menu with customers at the bar, so stop by and you might be able to score some free samples in exchange for yr opinion...


Wow, it's been a long time since I've sat down to write about what's going on here. Been more than a little busy, but I'm feeling inspired...

The next big show that everyone's talking about here at Slabtown is THRONES/LEBENDEN TOTEN/ROSENKOPF/BELLICOSE MINDS on the 11th, but in all honesty, I'm equally excited about tomorrow night's show with ELECTRO-KRAKEN (my third chance to bring them in here since re-opening 3 months ago), DIRTY HAND FAMILY BAND, ROSELIT BONE, and the MINUTEMEN documentary "We Jam Econo."

We're gonna start off the night by putting "We Jam Econo" on in the back room about 7 or so. It's a weeknight show, and we'll be taking cash at the door at 8 and starting bands around 9. So, if you wanna just show up for the movie (and the "Sound Check Specials" on drinks until the opening band starts), it's free; stick around for the show and we'll hit you up for the $4.

First up will be locals ROSELIT BONE, a band I've been itching to see since Sean from E-K booked them for this show last month or so. Their bandcamp tags: country, apocalyptic, folk, deathrock, western. That pretty well sums it up. Dark, moody vocals over sparse music with a country Western vibe. Had the movie "Blue Velvet" been about a two-piece C-W band instead of a lounge singer, ROSELIT BONE would be that band.

THE DIRTY HAND FAMILY BAND are a seven- or eight-piece band vaguely out of San Francisco, although they seem to spend much of their time traveling from place to place. With vocals coming from two ladies up front as well as their guitarists and harmonica player, they take traditional American gospel, honky tonk, roots, and country and muddy it up with swamp water and moonshine. Similar to CAVE SINGERS in some ways and SOUL SAVERS in others, they're more than either or both.

Closing the night, at least the part on stage, will be ELECTRO-KRAKEN, a band that continues to be one of my favorite locals. If you haven't heard them, they are basically improv jazz, but they stretch that genre beyond recognition by running they sax through layers of effects and bringing the serious thunder with heavy, heavy bass and drums to back it up. In fact, they are more of a punk band that plays heavy improv jazz than vice-versa.

As I sit here and write about these three bands, the thing I love about them all is that they each take traditional American genres of music, expand on them, and drag them through the dark places of our minds. Their approaches remind me of the way that great post-punk bands like BUZZCOCKS and JOY DIVISION took the pop love song and twisted it sideways; their willingness to experiment with genre reminds me of THE MINUTEMEN and the way they made rock music their own (hence, the tie-in to the movie).

The liquor reps who do the promo for Kraken rum went grape-nuts when they heard I'd specifically started carrying Kraken rum for this show and gave us a bunch of swag. We'll be running a couple of one-night-only drink specials around that: The Electro-Kraken (Kraken and energy drink) and The Russian Kraken Hunter (Kraken and half-and-half, tastes like a White Russian).

See you at 7 for the movie. Doors at 8, bands at 9. $4, 21+

ROSELIT BONE on bandcamp: here
DIRTY HAND FAMILY BAND at the Stork CLub in Oakland: here
ELECTRO-KRAKEN at The Someday Lounge: here