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 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

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