Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Needles - full set from last Friday’s show at 924 Gilman.  Needles were easily my favorite band of the night, and I know it’s cliché to say, but every time I see this band they just get better.  Needles new 7” EP is, in my opinion, their best material to date, and you can purchase copies from Bad Skulls.

I Went To Gilman Twice This Past Weekend

I went to Gilman twice this past weekend, and going back to Gilman feels like thanksgiving dinner at the home of your cool uncle, who used to be cooler, but at least he never sold out.  Not like the others… Of course he lives in an apartment that was built in the 60s, and even though his record collection is pretty awesome, it’s hard to hear at times because the speakers are old and dusty, or maybe he just needs to change the needle on that dusty old turntable of his?  Anyway, it’s cool because you can show up after not showing up for a long time, and all that he asks is that you clear the table when you’ve finished eating.  Oh, but it would be awesome if you helped do some dishes after, but at the very least if you could pass the mashed potatoes, then that’s all we ask of you.  To be honest, you could eat, leave your plate, throw your leftovers in the toilet before you leave, and you’d still be welcome back, just apologize before next thanksgiving.  Always remember that even though he refers to them as “little kids tables”, there’s still a space for you.

 The end, need coffee.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Murray Bowles photos of SEE YOU IN HELL & LOTUS FUCKER in Oakland

Murray Bowles photos from the See You In Hell (Czech Republic), Lotus Fucker (DC, Baltimore), Negative Standards, Permanent Ruin, Face The Rail show last Saturday in Oakland, CA.  To see more photos from this show - click here!

Monday, December 9, 2013

ELDOPA (1332)

ElDopa (1332) - full set from the 2006 December Bastards B-day Bash, which took place in January of 2007 at the Chop Shop (West Oakland). We did two B-day Bash shows that year because of a scheduling conflict with Gilman’s 20th Anniversary weekend the month before. Happy birthday to all the December Bastards out there!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


If you missed See You In Hell (Czech Republic) last Friday at the Fortress in San Francisco, they’re playing again this Saturday in Oakland.


Noisear - full set from the 2007 UGZ Speed Trials at 924 Gilman

Monday, November 25, 2013


I’m back from our short road trip to Portland for the Neurosis, Tragedy, The Body, Atriarch show at the Roseland Theater.  The sun was shining when I arrived in PDX, although the temperature hovered between forty and fifty degrees for most of the day, which is cold by Bay Area standards.  That said, I zipped up my hoody and wandered around as much as possible prior to the show, eventually making it as far as Pok Pok for lunch, which was awesome.

 The show itself was worth the trip, especially for the Tragedy and Neurosis sets. I was so into both bands that I only attempted to snap one or two pics early during Tragedy’s set, which turned out blurry.  During Neurosis’ set I made a conscious decision to just be in the moment and enjoy the show.  Early on though I did notice that there were a couple of guys there with nice cameras taking photos, and I figured I’d just look them up online when I got back to the Bay.  This Neurosis photo is by Al Case, and you can find more of his photos from last Saturday night’s show on his blog: http://traveljapanblog.com/wordpress/

Friday, November 22, 2013

Santa Muerte

Santa Muerte t-shirt design for 924 Gilman, based on Brian Stern's limited edition shirts he made for the EXTORTION/IRON LUNG show that we booked, along with Alejandra "Nunca Mas" back in 2009. The Gilman design is basically the same, except for the band names that were removed, and the bottom half which was decided upon after 15-20 minutes of emails between myself and Brian. We raised over ten thousand dollars (for Gilman) selling t-shirts and tote bags of this design. I also like that this Santa Muerte image is synonymous with UGZ, and our involvement with the club.

Friday, November 15, 2013


P.L.F.'s  crushing set from the 2010 UGZ Speed Trials.  2010 was the last time we held a Speed Trials show at Gilman, which had become home to the event after a couple of short stints at Burnt Ramen and the Slaughterhaus in Oakland.  The economics of pulling off an event like the UGZ Speed Trials finally caught up to us, so we've put it on hiatus until the particulars can be sorted out.  The cool thing about the Speed Trials shows were how completely independent and D.I.Y. they were, with zero sponsorship or even promotional support from the bands' record labels, just two or three people on their phones, computers, and in the club the night before painting, hanging banners, cooking food, and making it happen.  The turnouts were always around 300 paid, which isn't that big for a UGZ Presents show, but it was the perfect size for a UGZ Speed Trials show.  Thanks to Dan and Kill That Cat for filming this.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rampaging Insane Depravity

This dude was feeling it!  Day three of the 2002 R.I.D. Fest, which took place at Mission Records in San Francisco. The lineup for this show was Brainoil, Phalanx (Seattle), Exitwound (reunion), Dystrophy, Voetsek, Black Market Fetus (Iowa), Thretning Verse (Los Angeles), and I'm pretty sure that Skarp (Seattle) jumped on as well.  Photo by Rick P.U.N.K.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Very Small Records

The David Hayes Story - "You can’t want the world to change and be narrow minded about music because if you’re narrow minded about anything, you can’t change the world."


Econochrist at 924 Gilman back in the early nineties.  Photo by Murray Bowles

Thursday, October 24, 2013


REPLICA - "Big Black Boots" Live at 924 Gilman.  This was filmed at This Is Not A Step, which was a four day fest that took place the last weekend of June 2013 in the East Bay.


GRIMPLE at Ashkenaz in Berkeley, California circa 1999.  Photo by Sam Bortnick

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Here’s some live Neurosis from 1989, which may seem like a long time ago, but when you consider the history of this planet, twenty four and half years is but an indistinguishable blip on the timeline of human existence.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


California Love at the Oakland Metro in 2005. We really hustled to find a venue for this last minute show (two weeks notice or something like that), which we finally did at the original Oakland Metro location on Broadway, next to the porn shop. The bill also featured Iron Lung, Unpersons, and Laudanum. Photo by Lars

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


How about some GODSTOMPER to get you back on track post what has to be one of the most callous, bullshit holidays ever (not here because Berkeley changed it to Indigenous Peoples Day, but the rest the country). This video is from a Limpwrist, Lebenden Toten, Bruise Violet show in 2008, booked by Ariel Awesome and Ale "Nunca Mas". Back in 2008, on most Tuesday booking nights (there used to be booking nights every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night between 7-10pm at Gilman...long story), Carlos Antagony, Ale, Cassondra, Pete Benumb, and myself would bring all the shit we'd been working on for the past week to the table, then try to figure out which shows Godstomper would fit on...joking, kind of...but for real, we did that a lot.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Ojorojo instrumental track from their split with Inflicted.  Ojorojo was an offshoot of a short lived band called Cancer Alley, that featured ex-members of Grimple, Econochrist, Animal Farm, and Multi Facet.  They released a full length on East Bay Menace in the late nineties, toured, contributed some tracks to the "Shit Gets Smashed" comp, and lastly there was the split with Inflicted.  The members of Ojorojo wasted little time before moving on to other projects.  Mark and Ira went on tour with a reformed Grimple, and then shortly after that we introduced Ira to our buddy Greg and those two went on to do a band called Brainoil with Nate Destroy.  Grant's new band was Talk Is Poison with Brian from Dead & Gone, Jim from Black Fork, and Will from Copout.  Jon went on to play in a band called Pig Iron with ex-members of Grinch and Fuckface.  Jenean was, for a very shot period of time, the lead screamer for Murder Takes No Holiday, which featured ex-members of Eldopa.  Ah, the East Bay in the late nineties.


Grimple...and Ojorojo rhythm section.  This was taken back in 1999 at "Bike For Beers" in San Jose, California by Murray Bowles.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Punk Singer

I Had a chance to see a showing of "The Punk Singer" last night at the kickoff to this year's Oakland Underground Film Festival at the Grand Lake Theater, and I have to say that it was really well done. So much better than I was expecting after watching the Kickstarter video several months ago. It's amazing how far we've come that budget limitations in 2013 doesn't automatically mean a low budget looking film the way many of us remember low budget films (B-movies) back in the day.

 "The Punk Singer" is Sini Anderson's documentary about Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Let Tigre, The Julie Ruin), which is already enough information for most of the folks who follow this blog, but it also delves into subjects like her recent battle with late term lyme disease, feminism, the riot grrrl movement, her marriage to the King AD Rock (Beastie Boys), getting punched in the face by Courtney Love (who hasn't?), and of course the chronology of events leading up to the formation of Bikini Kill. Nuff said.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Black Fork - Total Eclipse Of The Brain

"Clamp down your imagination running wild. Your hopes, your thoughts, your dreams: they’re gonna die and there’s nothing I can do to change it."


A couple of photos from a CHRIST ON PARADE show we booked at Bottom of the Hill in 2007.  Photos by Wayne van der Kuil


Antischism - All Their Money Stinks Of Death

"Senseless killing for corporate profit that’s their foreign policy"


SKARP back in 2005 at the Arcadia Skate Ramp Hotel in Oakland, CA.  The Arcadia Skate Ramp Hotel was a short lived venue in West Oakland that we booked shows at between 2004-2006.  We booked SKARP for the first time in 2001 at Burnt Ramen Studios in Richmond, CA, and I'm pretty sure that this was the last time we booked them.  It was a fun night and SKARP were as good as I'd seen them up to that point.  Photos by Murray Bowles

Friday, September 6, 2013


Souls Of Mischief - Never No More live at Hiero Day 2013 

Hiero Day 2013 was pretty amazing, and not just because it was free, but because it was an epic day of Hip Hop and positivity brought to you by artists that were actually born and raised here in Oakland, and the East Bay. And…It really was a Fest, with blocked off streets, three stages, countless acts, art, food (good food), beer (microbrew), etc., the whole nine. Souls Of Mischief and the Hieroglyphics are, like many of my favorite local artists and musicians, more famous than rich, which makes what they accomplished with Hiero Day 2013 that much more inspiring.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


TRAGEDY back in 2008 when they toured with Blowback from Japan.  The Bay Area shows were awesome! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Today’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ post is a full set from Ludicra, filmed in 2007 at 924 Gilman by Dan Hashthrash (killthatcat.com).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I stumbled across these photos of Von Iva playing a show we booked for them at Gilman in 2007, and it was a reminder that as much as some folks would try to pigeon hole us as grind bookers or doom metal bookers, and maybe most ridiculous of all - 'tough guy hardcore' bookers, UGZ was always about bringing diversity to Gilman's event calendar, and the same went for any other club that allowed us to set up shop for an extended period of time.  

By the way, Von Iva played to a packed house that night, and stole the show!

photos by romorosso

Monday, July 29, 2013


Dying In Your Beauty Sleep playing one of our “Back To Oakland" shows at the Hazmat in 2004.  Photo by Lars Knudson

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Today's 'Throwback Thursday' post is a video of BABYLAND at Gilman.  We booked a handfull of Babyland shows between 2006 and 2010, so I was stoked to come across this video of a Babyland set from 2008 courtesy of Kill That Cat.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Here’s a Throwback Thursday photo for you.  It’s Attitude Adjustment playing Fresno in 1988, and in the audience right in front of the stage is Yapple Ruelas (Deathtoll, A.D.T.), who eventually joined Attitude Adjustment 18 years later.  In addition to playing guitar, Yapple is a fisherman, and everyone knows that fishing takes patience.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Check out this crazy Los Crudos video from their show last night at 924 Gilman.  Filmed on day two of This is Not A Step fest, it was sweaty, chaotic, and awesome!  Actually I'm still sweating a day later, uh oh.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Back To The Present

Part Four

I decided to check in with a few of the folks that I volunteered with at Gilman during my run as the club's head booker, and more specifically my fellow bookers who were there between 2007 and 2011.  I also threw in a security person or two, and a couple of Stoar workers. This is not meant to represent the entire staff of volunteers during those years, but rather the handful of folks that I personally approached about volunteering at the club with one exception - Pat Libby. 

Pat Libby

Here's an interview I conducted with Pat Libby a couple of weeks ago while he was out on one of his walks around Berkeley with his daughter Harriet.  After grabbing some coffee on Telegraph Avenue we headed up the street to a spot where I was pretty sure we wouldn't be bothered.  I recorded this interview with my phone and while I tried to get the best sound quality that I could given our surroundings, the levels are rough at times (it's not that bad).  Originally the plan was to transcribe this interview so that it could be read, but unfortunately I slept on getting that done, so with 'This Is Not A Stop' starting tonight at 1-2-3-4 Go! I decided to post the interview as a MP3.  This was edited for time and to minimize the repetition that comes with stopping and starting the process several times, as we did.  Additional vocals and sound effects were provided by Harry.

In case you missed it the first time, here's a short interview I did with Pat around the time of Gilman's 25th Anniversary.

++++ at 924 Gilman

Harald O.

I'm not sure how Harald O and I met, but if memory serves me right we were first introduced by the late Anarchy Al at Collector's Realm on Telegraph Avenue, where Harald worked when he wasn't on tour.  However the story of how Harald O, bass player for D.R.I. and the guy who photographed all your favorite thrash metal bands before most people had ever heard of them ended up working security at 924 Gilman probably begins at the CR3.  Wait, before we go any further, let's go back to the day I met Anarchy Al.

I remember meeting Anarchy Al for the first time twice,  the first of those meetings taking place at a Wolfpack show in San Francisco.  Al was videotaping the show (mainly for opener) in the corner of the room that my crew and I were hanging out in while Deface (the opener) played.  The official first time took place a year or so later when I stepped into the Collector's Realm, which only happened because I looked in and noticed that Bailey (Smiley) was flipping through some old comic books.  I went inside just to say what's up to an old friend, and we quickly decided to blow that joint and head over to Bison brewery.  As we were leaving a Verbal Abuse 8x10 promo photo for a German tour caught my eye.  It was randomly displayed with some miscellaneous Cal post cards.  Next to that was a pile of used vinyl, and resting on top was the "Them Boners Be Poppin" compilation put out by Boner Records in '85.  I asked the guy working, who turned out to be Anarchy Al, how much for both of them and he said, "Five for the album, two for the photo".  I returned a week or so later and while flipping through some old metal mags I came across a copy of Grimple's "Up Yer Ass" on M&E Records filed in with some old calendars in the back.  It was pretty unbelievable then and now.  While standing in front of the register, Al started to ask me questions about bands I liked, which quickly lead to Al showing off his growing video collection of shows he'd videotaped around the Bay.  Al proclaimed that he was perhaps the best bass player in the Bay Area, aside from Harald O from D.R.I., who had just shown up to start his shift.  At some point I began to put Harald O and Anarchy Al on my guest lists for shows I booked at various venues, including Gilman, so they could videotape them.  From there it gets hazy, but one day I was walking down Oxford in Berkeley when I ran into Harald O. who was devouring a Vanilla Freddo from Peet's.

"Dude, taste it! Madagascar vanilla!!"

Harald and I started to shoot the shit and he asked me if I knew any place cool that would let him work off some community service hours stemming from an incident that took place while he was on tour with D.R.I.  I told him that he could work them off at Gilman.  When Harald showed up the following weekend it just so happened that we needed an extra security person, so Harald began his community service by working club security.  I loved it and later when Harald began to show up with his camera taking photos instead of walking the block and pouring beers out, I loved it even more.  Some volunteers seemed bothered by Harald's non-traditional approach to working security, but it's important to note that he wasn't being paid for a majority of the time that he was active at the club.  Even after he worked off his court ordered hours, Harald stuck around and continued to photograph a bunch of shows, all the while sporting the Gilman security garb.  I remember one show I booked where our security staff for the night consisted of the bass player from D.R.I., the former drummer of Powerhouse, and both the guitar payer and singer from Attitude Adjustment.  Eventually Harald left the Gilman for a security job with Bill Graham Presents, while continuing to tour with D.R.I., and for the rest of the story, lets check in with Harald O.

Harald O:  Well it's been quite a year so far...a couple of successful D.R.I. US tours that were amazing....It always blows me away how dedicated and cool our fans are!  Some of them come to see us literally everytime we play in their area!!  Spike is finally fully recovered from his near fatal bout with colon cancer, but he is still struggling to pay his hospital bills off.  Most people don't know how much medical care costs these daze!  We recently did a fifteen date East Coast tour with our longtime bros in Suicidal Tendencies (and our pals in Sick of It All for selected dates) and the shows were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!  What a great bill that was!  Mike Muir and company treated us GREAT, and we totally shared a mutual respect for each other!  My book "Murder In The Front Row" has done incredibly well, selling out of the first printing in record time!!  I'm having a blast meeting people on the road who dig the book.  Now, we just played the HUGE Punk Rock Bowling Fest with Flag, Subhumans, Casualties, DEVO, Turbonegro, Bad Religion, etc., and had a GREAT time!  We got a month off and then it's off to Europe where we play a buncha Festivals with Slayer and tons of other killer bands!!  Never a dull moment around here.

Harald O. x Cliff Burton

Harald O. x El Duce

Harald O. x D.R.I.

Monday, June 24, 2013


This past Saturday night I stopped by 924 Gilman to check out "Grandpa Fest 2013", which gave me my first look at some bands I was literally clueless about before then.  One of the new bands I was most impressed by was FREEDOM DENIED, who are ex-members of Plutocracy, Agents Of Satan, and the list goes on, with Dorian from Noisear on guitar.  Like I said, I was totally clueless that this band even existed before last Saturday night, but later I was told it was their first show (holy shit!), so maybe I'm only a little out of the loop?  Either way, that's enough typing, watch the video.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Back To The Present

 Part Three

I decided to check in with a few of the folks that I volunteered with at Gilman during my run as the club's head booker, and more specifically my fellow bookers who were there between 2007 and 2011, but I also threw in a security person or two, and a couple of Stoar workers. This is not meant to represent the entire staff of volunteers during those years, but rather the handful of folks that I personally approached about volunteering at the club, with one exception, but we'll get to that later.  

Matt Kadi

I met Matt in 2006 when I began booking his band Monster Squad at Gilman.  The first time I remember seeing Monster Squad was at Burnt Ramen in 2002.  Burnt Ramen, back then, was as much a hangout for me as it was a venue.  I would often just show up randomly, having no idea who the bands were.  Four years later I discovered that Monster Squad were one of the only drawing bands at Gilman, but I was soon to find out that a majority of active membership in 2006 weren't that stoked about Monster Squad playing the club.  Some of them would openly criticize former Gilman booker Nick Ackley for even writing their name on the club calendar.  I listened to most of the complaints, but all I was hearing was that Gilman didn't have the staff to handle big shows, and more specifically they didn't seem to have enough security to handle the types of shows the club was in dire need of (not just financially).  I tried to point out (at a membership meeting) that the club had hosted a big fest earlier that year, not to mention some pretty huge hardcore shows that were considerably larger than your average Monster Squad bill, but that just lead to more complaints about those shows as well.  I felt like walking away and returning to the Oakland warehouse venues where I felt most comfortable, but when Nick abruptly left Gilman, I decided instead to endear myself to the club's membership by booking a Monster Squad show.

Monster Squad at 924 Gilman

Matt was the only dude I ever really dealt with from Monster Squad, and he not only helped out on the booking end, but he also designed flyers for every show.  Matt was always very appreciative of Gilman, and when asked he would design posters and flyers for other shows as well.  Soon after Monster Squad broke up (for the first time), Matt asked if I would be into booking an indie rock bill for his new band Build Us Airplanes, at which point I asked him to join our booking staff.

Monster Squad became one of the most well liked and respected bands at the club, and when they played two reunion shows in 2010, the band made both of them (one took place in Sacramento) benefits for Gilman.

Matt Kadi: I believe the last show I booked at Gilman was the OFF!, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Culture Kids and Zero Progress show.  It was difficult for me not to nerd out on Keith Morris in the Gilman office after the show.  However, I maintained my 'cool'.  I've always considered myself very fortunate for all that Gilman and UGZ has allowed me to do.  Monster Squad loved to play there.

I've played plenty of shows since I stopped booking at Gilman but haven't set up many at all.  Since then I've added a couple bands to my plate, Great Apes and Know Secrets. Great Apes released three 7"s and a full length soon.  Know Secrets is doing a 12" ep soon as well.

I've been doing a lot more photography, getting into video editing.  Still going to shows. Trying to get myself outside more to hike.  I work at a giant fruit stand in downtown SF.  Thanks!

Matt Kadi X Monster Squad 

Matt Kadi X Great Apes

OFF! at 924 Gilman in 2011

Matt Kadi X Papa Roach

Post Script: The OFF! show that Matt mentioned in his update was the biggest show of 2011 at 924 Gilman.


I was initially introduced to Yapple by Jon Skull back when Deathtoll was beginning to play its very first shows.  Jon was playing drums for Deathtoll, in addition to drumming for a reformed Exitwound, which was how he and I'd met.  At first I was mainly in communication with Jon about booking Deathtoll shows, but then eventually the talk turned to making a website, then putting out records, followed by art for the record sleeves, and eventually contacts for touring.  It became clear that I was becoming some sort of unpaid manager/booking agent/graphic designer for Jon's new band, only instead of dealing with Jon, more often than not I found myself on the phone with Yapple.  Yapple told me later that he'd asked Jon to contact me after hearing about all the stuff I'd been doing with Watch Them Die, like being an unpaid manager/booking agent/graphic designer.  It's funny to me now in retrospect, but then again we sometimes laugh to keep from crying.  Totally kidding.

Yapple X Deathtoll
In addition to Deathtoll business, Yapple and I began to work together on setting up shows for touring bands at various venues, and ultimately we tried to start our own venue through an old contact of Kevin Reed (singer for Deathtoll) down on 7th street in West Oakland.  We called it the Arcadia Skate Ramp Warehouse (there was a mini-half pipe in the same room as the stage), and the space was amazing, but the owner was a bit of a control freak and reluctant to hand over the keys to Yapple and myself.  In spite of some of the negatives, like an owner that was too hands on and a neighborhood that was still a few years from being gentrified to the point of hosting a cafe on the corner (as it is today), we managed to book a bunch of fun bills there that drew around 250-300 per show on average.  That said, we never came close to blowing that spot up the way we'd discussed back when Yapple and I got our first peek inside, which was shortly after the Slaughterhaus in Jack London Square had closed down.  After a couple of muggings, a drive by shooting, and some other hood type shit that took place both during and after shows, it didn't take long for the bulk of our audience to return to venues like the Hazmat, also located in Jack London Square.  At the very end of our involvement with the Arcadia Skate Ramp Warehouse, we brought in Erik Thomas to run our security, which included a bunch of folks who would eventually find their way to Gilman's security staff.

Post the Arcadia Skate Ramp Warehouse, Yapple and I worked together on a handful of shows at venues like Shady Acres, The Chop Shop, Hazmat, John Patrick's in Alameda, the Steve List Warehouse in East Oakland, Dead Rat Beach, and some others I probably forgot.  When I became head booker at Gilman it was just natural to involve Yapple in some of the booking, like the BadRap.org benefit he organized in 2008, his bands (A.D.T., Deathtoll, and Attitude Adjustment), and sometimes his gear, as we did when Crude from Japan flew in to play one Bay Area show in 2009.  Yapple also worked security for my shows, almost exclusively, but when Erik Thomas became head of security, he also helped out on some of the larger hardcore bills.  Yapple basically quit Gilman when I stepped down as the club's head booker.  So after all that, here's an update from Yapple.

Yapple: Since 2011, I finished off a 6 year run with Attitude Adjustment that ended in December of 2012. I accomplished more than I expected in my musical career and no longer have any desire to actively play in bands. I have been employed as a Systems Administrator for Infineon Technologies for the past 13 years. Working on a permanent move to Jalisco, Mexico. In the meantime, you can find me in the Bay or Ocean catching big ass fish.

Yapple X Attitude Adjustment

Yapple X A.D.T.

Yapple's favorite Vincente Fernandez song.

If made it this far, then you should probably read this: Yapple X Extreme Noise Terror

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This Is Not A Step

Amy and Rich from 1984 Printing made a new batch of posters for 'This Is Not A Step' fest, which is less than two weeks away.  Posters will be available at the shows, and telephone poles around the East Bay.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


50/50 clocking in at just under ten minutes at the 2008 UGZ Speed Trials.  Just a post to help you get over the hump this Wednesday.  Grind!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Back to the Present

Part Two

I decided to check in with a few of the folks that I volunteered with at Gilman during my run as the club's head booker, and more specifically my fellow bookers who were there between 2007 and 2011, but I also threw in a security person or two, and a couple of Stoar workers. This is not meant to represent the entire staff of volunteers during those years, but rather the handful of folks that I personally approached about volunteering at the club, with one exception, but we'll get to that later.  

Carlos Antagony

Carlos Antagony was the first booker that I asked to join me at Gilman after I was voted in as head booker back in November of 2006.  Carlos, like Max Montez, was already well known in the scene prior to joining the Gilman booking crew, both as a booker and a member of Antagony.  I used to attend Carlos' shows at the Danville Grange long before I really got to know him, but eventually we did become friends, and I always knew what he was capable of as a booker.  When you see flyers for some of those shows that he booked at the Grange, while he was still in high school, it's slightly mind blowing, but the fact that they happened in Danville!?  Inspiring.  Of course in the years after the Grange, Carlos booked at almost every all ages, underground venue in the Bay Area, so the gamble wasn't in asking him to book shows.  The gamble was asking a guy with Carlos' personality to be in the mix full time at 924 Gilman circa 2006, which was still very different than it would be even six months after the fact.  Let's just say that the club wasn't fully prepared for the Carlos Antagony experience.  There are too many stories and examples that I could write about concerning the non-booking stuff during Carlos' time at Gilman, but the bottom line is that Carlos walked into a club that had been drawing about a hundred paid per show (considered a decent night at the time), and booked four to five hundred person shows right out the gate. 

Carlos stayed for a few years, and in his own way he mentored some of the younger bookers, helping them with flyers and advice, sometimes questionable advice, but it was all a part of that Carlos Antagony experience I mentioned earlier.  I can't remember when Carlos stopped booking at Gilman, officially, but if you hang out at Gilman these days you can definitely tell that the energy that guys like Carlos brought to the club a few years ago is missing, and missed.

Post-Gilman show sushi with Carlos Antagony

Carlos Antagony: Since I stopped booking at Gilman, I realized I could put my 15 passenger Van to good use (since Antagony is no longer active), and started renting it out to bands like EyeHateGod, Fallujah, ++++, Badr Vogu, Intact, Feast, etc.  I have put all my attention into my screen printing shop WeNeedMerch.com, creating a network of awesome touring bands who rely on us to get them good affordable merch.  In the summer of 2011, my friend Jay da Joint (Pancake Lizard) and I found a sick ass house, right in the heart of Concord, CA.  Once or twice a month it turns into the Greenhouse Concord, which only does shows for touring bands, and I've had the pleasure of hosting some fat fucking party/shows for Blowfly, D.O.C., Total FUcking Destruction, Dreaming Dead, Cock ESP, Suicide Note, StoneBurner, Burials, and the list goes on.  Soon we will try to pull off the impossible, booking a secret Green Day show at the Greenhouse...in Concord!!!!"

Carlos Antagony X Eyehategod

Carlos Antagony X Jeffree Star at 924 Gilman

Carlos Antagony X Anal Cunt at the Stork Club (Fast Forward to 32:27)

Carlos Antagony X Terror at the Phoenix Theater

Carlos Antagony X Greenhouse Concord

Bobby Adopted

I can't remember where I met Bobby, but I think it was after I reviewed Psycho 78's demo in Urban Guerrilla Zine back in 2001.  Psycho 78 was Bobby's band and because I booked shows in addition to doing a zine, it was only a matter of time before our paths crossed.  Several years later, Bobby and his wife Anissa, along with their two kids, would be hanging out in the club's office, both during and after shows.  Just having Bobby and his family in the mix at Gilman made it a better environment, so I ended up asking him if he was down to do some booking.  Bobby has a very big personality in his own right, but by then Carlos had paved the way, so all we had to do was show him the basics, then turn him loose.  Bobby began to show up on booking nights, and each time he turned up with his buddy Jeff Armstrong.  I basically trained both guys to be Gilman bookers at the same time, but it was only after a couple of Bobby's first shows that I noticed what a flyering machine Jeff was, and so I asked him to book as well.  Bobby and Jeff booked together under the "Road To Ruin" banner, and although Road To Ruin shows were some of the best flyered at the club, most of the early ones didn't do well.  I was beginning to question my own judgement when Bobby called me one night and told me that he'd just confirmed the Zero Boys.  The Zero Boys!  I asked Bobby if he thought they'd be into playing back to back nights at Gilman, to which he replied, "I'll call you back".  Later he called back to tell me they were in, and that the Gilman shows would be their only on the west coast.

If booking a Zero Boys weekend at Gilman wasn't amazing enough, Bobby followed that up by booking a weekend with the legendary San Diego punk band The Zeros! 

"Some kid who books at Gilman Street just kept bugging Javier for the last two years or so to play, and finally we all just said, ‘Let’s do it.’" -Hector Penalosa (The Zeros) from an article that appeared in the L.A. Weekly

That 'kid' was Bobby Adopted, who called their guitar player Javier Escovedo every night for weeks, singing his favorite Zeros songs to Javier over the phone, in between asking him to reunite The Zeros for one weekend at Gilman.  That actually happened, and so did the reunion.

Self Inflicted Wounds at 924 Gilman

Bobby Adopted: Feels like forever ago since I was a 924 Gilman Street booker with Jeff Armstrong (during what Jeff and I have often called the “Jay Days”).  I still feel that booking at Gilman was a privilege even though sometimes people would tell me that I shouldn’t because “Gilman is a collective” or “if you volunteer, it’s your club”.  Gilman booking was the coolest, non paying, thankless job I've ever had.  I met some very cool people and booked - from what people have told me - some pretty legendary shit.  With Jeff right there having my back and Jay’s advice and direction every show we did was a success.

Since doing my time at Gilman, I have moved back to the East Bay from Santa Rosa and started playing music again with my new band Self Inflicted Wounds.  I don’t aggressively book anymore, maybe three or four shows a year.  I write music for me and look forward to just ripping at band practice. It’s a trip because the flip to that is when Self Inflicted Wounds get invited to play we kill it every time!  What a concept; dedicate more time to practice and less time on the phone and internet, and your band will sound better! Bye.

Bobby Adopted X The Zeros at 924 Gilman

Bobby Adopted X Zero Boys at 924 Gilman

Bobby Adopted X Tres Flores with Anissa

Friday, June 7, 2013


HIGH ON FIRE live at the 40th Street Warehouse in 1999.  I miss this spot, especially the Nicholas Noisegate era of the warehouse, and I guess I miss living a block away from such an awesome space.  Aside from all the great bands (I once saw Dystopia and Talk Is Poison play impromptu sets at a Melt Banana show there), I remember attending some killer art shows at the 40th Street Warehouse that featured work from a bunch of my friends at the time, not to mention all the other cool stuff that went down there on any given night, not just weekends.  Someone posted a photo recently on Facebook from the last show ever at 40th Street, and I remember that bill featured a bunch of bands that probably wouldn't have been allowed to play there during the space's heyday, so in a way that was the perfect send off for a venue that always a little unpredictable.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Back To The Present

Part One

I decided to check in with a few of the folks that I volunteered with at Gilman during my run as the club's head booker, and more specifically my fellow bookers who were there between 2007 and 2011, but I also threw in a security person or two, and a couple of Stoar workers. This is not meant to represent the entire staff of volunteers during those years, but rather the handful of folks that I personally approached about volunteering at the club, with one exception, but we'll get to that later.  

Max Montez

Up first is Max Montez, who was voted in as an official Gilman booker in 2009.  Max was already a known guy in the hardcore scene, and a very active booker prior to joining the crew at Gilman.  He is one of the most well liked, respected bookers in the Bay Area.  Max has also been a godsend to Gilman in the years since I stepped down as head booker.  From 2011-2013, Gilman experienced some of its lowest attendance numbers in a decade, but thanks in large part to Max (and the ability to charge more at the door), Gilman was able to avoid massive losses in 2011 under his watch.  Even in 2012, when Gilman did lose a substantial amount of money, it's important to note that the loss would've been significantly more minus the shows that Max Montez brought to the club.  How significant?  It's to the point that Max has probably bought the club an extra year or two before the shit really hits the fan.  

I've talked to two or three different people in the years since Max started booking at Gilman, who take credit for introducing me to him, but the truth is that I first became aware of Max back when Naoma was still the main hardcore booker at Gilman.  After Naoma informed me that she wouldn't be booking at Gilman any longer (which sucked to hear), I began to lurk hardcore message boards, and it didn't take long to figure out that Max Montez was the man.  Naoma backed me on the idea, but another booker who was already active at the club wanted to give it a shot first, so I waited to see how that panned out before hitting Max up officially.  By 2009 there was no question that we needed Max, and he's come through big time.

Max Montez: "Since Gilman's 25th anniversary at the end of 2011, I've finished school, gone through about a half dozen new jobs, and unsuccessfully tried to stop booking shows. I'm definitely less involved with the club than I was two years ago, but still book/coordinate about one or two shows a month at Gilman and usually a few others at various Bay Area venues. Other than that, I'm working on a novel (who isn't?) and my new years resolutions are to get in shape and stop player-hating."

Listen to this short interview I did with Max Montez in 2011.

Title Fight


As I type this (June 2013), Gilman looks set to experience one of its biggest months in years, and once again it's Max's name next to some of the biggest shows on the calendar.


Alejandra, or Ale as she's known to most of us, first got involved at Gilman through the Thursday Night Booking crew that I put together in 2007 for the purpose of organizing non-traditional events on Thursdays at the club, i.e. acoustic performances, spoken word, movie nights, cafe nights, and bake sales.  I knew Ale from seeing her at a bunch of UGZ shows over the years, usually alongside her sister and mother.  Ale was still in high school when I asked her to book at Gilman, making her the youngest member of the original Thursday Night Booking crew that also included Russell, Ariel Awesome, Karen O'Brien, Pat Libby, and myself.

Eventually, Ale joined Carlos Antagony and me on Tuesday nights, where she booked some of my favorite bills under her "Nunca Mas' banner.  In addition to her own shows, she was always down to co-book with other Gilman bookers, yielding some great results like the Iron Lung / Extortion show in the flyer above, or the Limp Wrist show in the video below.  After becoming a full time booker at Gilman, Ale began to bring a group of her friends around to shows and booking nights, and from that group we got another booker (Cassondra) and a stoar worker (Alina).

Limp Wrist

Alejandra del Pinal: "Since booking at Gilman, I've done vocals in two sick bands, MRSA (powerviolence) and No Fucks Given (Grindcore). I haven't booked many shows, other than with the bands that I have been in. I work at B-Side BBQ as their pastry cook and line cook. I currently live in one of the most music oriented neighborhoods in the East Bay, West Oakland, and I love it!"

No Fucks Given