Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cat Heads & X-Tal & Enablers & Eitzel and Whatnot


Ex SF Weekly music editor Dan Strachota, the booking agent at The Rickshaw Stop recently had the goofy idea to resurrect stray performers & bands from SF's late 80's / early 90's music scene. Saturday night, the concept comes to life and the club proudly presents a special occasion, whereas many M.I.A performers recombine into four unique and legendary bands.

Expect a celebration of the creativity of San Francisco's UnScene era, whose performers have lost none of their chops & wit, some may have less hair, but perhaps a bit more wisdom. Word is a few folks are flying in from around the country as far as Alaska & Maine I hear to to partake of the festivities, so if you are already in the region, then all you gotta do is get to 155 Fell @ Van Ness...

That's Like, So, Not Hard ...

Why: because duh, The Cat Heads X-tal, It Thing, The (Ex) Cat Heads are all going to be up onstage Saturday Jan. 21, 2006.

All Ages Welcome...Doors at 8 pm, 9 pm show.

The Cat Heads

THE CAT HEADS A rollicking, rambunctious, silly and heartfelt bohemian quartet that rocked in four directions at the same time, the Cat Heads were UnScene vets who recorded two albums on Restless Records in the late 80s and were beloved for their spirited live performances. Their debut album Hubba came in 1987 followed by Submarine in 1988, they skillfully balanced the deep and the cheeky, and were a popular local club band before disbanding . All the og vets will be onstage at once ms. Melanie Clarin, plus messrs. Mark Zanandrea, Alan Korn & Sam Babbitt. MP3s and more at

X-TAL Sensitively snarky garage-protest troubadors who traveled the world, and released seven albums and several singles on the Alias, Rough Trade, and Normal labels. Tonight revisit their songs that combined ethereal psychedic folk rock, with a post-punk edge. The band went through several lineups, and tonight singer J Neo Marvin, combines original bassist Alan Korn & drummer Mick Freeman with guitarists Jimmy Broustis ( 1987-1993) & Mark Zanandrea ( 1993 - 1995) for a tour through the highlights of their vast & unruly body of socially relevant & politically charged work. Also tonight they offer a very special limited edition CD release of live performances recorded on tour in Paris and Cologne! X-Tal's "Who Owns Our Dreams?" CD will be offered to fans, friends and curiosity seekers who make it to the show for just $5.

IT THING After the Cat Heads broke up, Mark Zanandrea and Melanie Clarin released the eclectic psychedelic masterpiece The Ode To Billie Joe Bob Dylan Thomas Jefferson Airplane Experience on the Baited Breath label. Years later, joined by bassist Josh Housh, they are hard at work on their second recording. We will hear some of it, along with some old favorites, at this show.

THE (EX) CAT HEADS The other two former Cat Heads, Sam Babbitt and Alan Korn, just reissued their lovely rootsy-pastoral gem, Our Frisco, on the Australian label Lamingtone. With alan busy playing for X-Tal tonight representing the (Ex) Cat Heads will be Mr. Sam Babbitt in a brief solo set.

Your hosts for this evening will be yer pals Lil Mike ( ex- Komotion/Chameleon DJ ) on VJ / MC duties and Stereo Steve (KUSF/ Noc Noc ) spinning the not so golden oldies from his Quixotic collection of unusual audio...

X Tal & Cat Heads will be Stereo Steve's guest DJs on KUSF on Friday afternoon, Jan. 20 at 3:00, playing both old songs and a cross-section of all the projects we've been involved with ever since. For a sneak preview of this event, tune in on Friday Jan 20 @ 3 pm tune into KUSF 90.3 fm or streaming on the web at Live 365 / KUSF

For more coverage, see this story Mike Rowell at SF Weekly wrote up on the show and another even more exhuberant recount of the era from the Contra Costa Times by Denise Sullivan reconting the 80's scene that sprung the Cat Heads etc

Also : Check Out the mixture of happening tunes and artists via J Neo from X-Tal's own 24 Hr Streaming Live 365 Station Ear Candle Radio

For those of us that cannot sit still long enough for streaming to catch up with us, I've provided some mp3 downloads tracks of tunes that are related to the above mentioned gig.

X-Tal when I met em circa 1988

From 1990's debut LP known as Reason is 6/7th Treason album, the entirely appropo

X-Tal - Encore

and the ballad sung by drummer Mick

X-Tal - Cheap Holiday

here's J Neo's latest project doing a Magentic Fields cover

J Neo & The Content Providers - Crazy For You

The Cat Heads have a great website with lotsa stuff including some cool MP3 tracks recorded by them and in all their various side projects over the years...

Cat Heads - Golden Gate Park

Cat Heads - Postcard

(ex) Cat Heads - Anti Song

It Thing - Cupid Is A Sniper

Another show that's happening in this weekend in SF is at the spot formerly known as The Covered Wagon Saloon, and for awhile The Cherry Bar. Now rechristenend Annie's Social Club, on Friday Jan 20th The Enabler's and American Music Club are coming out of hiding to rawk the haus...

Mark Eitzel of AMC will no doubt be yodeling up a despondent storm followed by fiery antics of Pete Simonelli and his band The Enablers who will close down the show in a furious din ...

The Enablers, whom I've mentioned in a couple previous postings are a pedigreed post punk act whose musicians have done time in bands like Tarnation, Swans, Toiling Midgets and Nice Strong Arm...

here's some tracks related to that sorta shindig thing as well...

Mark Eitzel with Toiling Midgets - Mr Foster's Shoes

Mark Eitzel - Christian Science Reading Room

American Music Club - Ladies & Gentlemen

American Music Club - Another Morning

American Music Club - If I Had A Hammer

Mark Eitzel - Outside This Bar

Mark Eitzel - My Pet Rat St. Michael

Mark Eitzel - Proclaim Your Joy

Enablers - For Jack : A Phillipic

Enablers - Pauly's Days In Cinema

Last weekend I headed to the grand re-opening of the former Covered Wagon Saloon, now under new management as Annie's Social Club...and despite potentially waiting in line in the pouring rain, a slew of old school punks & drunks, and rock n roll fans of all shapes and sizes were gathered outside.

Live entertainment inside was to be provided by the wrinkled grey haired faux wildwomen known as The Grannies & the raunchy retro rockers The Naysayers. However most people seemed plenty occupied crowding around the bar just trying to get a beer, or even just hanging out listening to Spike from Me First & The Gimme Gimmes as he DJ'd old rock n roll hits from the cramped wooden closet/DJ booth. The bands tore it up that night on the 6 inch high stage that has held the gear of so many bands ranging from High on Fire & Gwar to G.G. Allin and even Nirvana , Soundgarden, Melvins, Op Ivy, L7 , RKL and Bad Religion. I used to work at the joint before I was even old enough to get in, and there are indeed numerous fond and vague memories galore I could share of that ol' hole on Folsom & 5th...

here's a few of my flyers for the joint I made over the years/beers

Annie's Social Club is the new name and comes from the new owner who owned a bar across from the 850 Bryant cop shop ...

The place had a lot of fans, including Me First & The Gimme Gimmes who filmed a video there a couple summers ago...

She sold that place and has hired Audra , the promotionatrix behind siuch beloved SF institutions as Stinky's Peep Show & Incredibly Strange Wrestling...

The first night at Annie's was packed, with karaoke in full swing in the backroom, and the boys bathrooms had been newly painted black , but the upwelling of old scents and a scene that won't die couldn't be completely buried...

Members of dozens of bands milled around and even I, while propped on crutches in a far off corner behind the jukebox, amongst the folks I mingled with included guys from acts such debauched mutant local SF acts as Slender, Hippie Bitch, Hammers of Misfortune, Crosstops, and Barfeeders.

It was a carnival of characters including Erno, the tattoo artist with a hook for a hand, Big Floyd, Fat Wreck Chords ambassador of goodwill, Lil' Damon the punk rock legal researcher with the missing front tooth, and numerous others...

I imagine Friday & Saturday Night I'll see a similar sea of old faces from places that are gone... and it sounds like fun...

Then if my luck and money hold out after last call on Sat, I may even slip down to LA and catch some live music down there on Sunday & Monday Night...


I gotta split... lotsa beer drinkin left to do...

psst if you'd like to catch some of that Eitzel music on the road... looks like this is goin' down in Feb in a venue near you...

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ps I found an Eitzel centric post here

[X-Tal][Cat Heads][indie][rock]

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