Today, I went to a yard sale in Oakland and ran into a tiny boatload of cassettes. Of course, I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame. The pile was full of Burger Records stuff and since I've made a decision to try and keep this blog mostly positive, I'll just leave that statement there. There were a few gems hidden beneath and I mostly left them hidden beneath because I live in a tiny room now and I could already build a small house out of the tapes that I currently own. I even found my old band's discography. Unlike many people I know, I love seeing my band's stuff in a yard sale or a dollar bin.
I walked away from the sale with three tapes. One of them was the SEXY demo tape. I have been looking for this tape for fucking YEARS and I was so happy to have it in my hands. When I got it home and found that it had been dubbed over with super fucking shitty metal, I can't even find the words to convey my disappointment to you right now. Another tape was a home dubbed Japanese garage band who mostly covered SF garage bands from the 90's. The third tape was this one right here.
I only visited the Chapman Street warehouse a couple of times because it was way out in Fruitvale.. Some people called it the S.P.A.M. warehouse. They put on a ton of shows back in the early 00's, had a beer vending machine and was inhabited by at least 30 people at all times. (That beer vending machine lives on in a current Oakland punk house). One of the only things I remember about visiting there was that I saw a great BANANAS show there. It was packed and the band was in that perfect form of being drunk enough to be really fun but not too wasted to play. I remember that a teenager kept jumping on the stage, grabbing the mic and screaming the words louder than anyone in the band. It sounded terrible and everyone kept dragging her off the stage. For their last song they played the (at that point) new and incredible song "Nautical Theme" and -Oh My God - it sounded so good. When the whole band was about to kick in at the end, we looked and the teenage girl was mounting the stage again to scream the last lyrics with the band. I'm a firm believer in a lack of divisions between band and audience, but there has to be a line drawn sometimes. Someone has to take action. That was the moment when my friend Janelle shouted "NOOOOOOO!!", downed the rest of her beer, threw the empty can as hard as she could, hit the girl in the head, knocked her offstage and the girl was gently crowd-surfed back into the throng. The band sounded great and the girl was wasted and unharmed. I've been hit in the head with empty cans many many times and that shit does not hurt.
I've already written about almost half of these bands here, here, here, here, here AND here. That was TOMMY LASORDA, FLESHIES, LOS RABBIS, POSER POSSE and SEXY. The other bands (CIVIL DYSENTERY, BOZAKS, SCORPION DEATH ROCK, DISMEMBERS and WEAK LEADS) are part of a scene that I know almost nothing about. You can listen for yourself and make up your own stories.
The sound quality ranges from pretty bad to "holy shit"
Still looking for that SEXY demo.