Thursday, November 26, 2015


Corrupted from their 2008 show in Berkeley, which was one of the highlights from the 4 years that I booked at that club.  The night before Corrupted, Asunder, Amber Asylum, and Stormcrow, we had a show headlined by an Industrial Dance band from Sacramento, complete with laser lights and fog machines.  It had the smallest draw of any show I ever booked anywhere, but I took a chance knowing there was a Corrupted show the following night.  Not that Corrupted was the biggest show of the year, even though it was big enough to feel packed in the club, and the draw was large enough to justify the money we spent on things like posters (2 designs), homemade food for bands and volunteers (vegan and non-vegan options…no Lanesplitter pizzas), not to mention the guarantee for Corrupted, which I was personally responsible for if for some reason the show had bombed.  This was back when they were still doing 50/50 splits at that particular venue, and before bookers could pocket money on the sly by circumventing the traditional payout process.  That stated, we were able to cover the guarantee, posters, food, equipment to heat and serve the food, etc. because we’d raised door prices earlier in the year.  The basic door cost went from $5 to $7, but if it was a local band night you could still charge $5, and if it was Subhumans (UK), then you could charge $12.  It was all about being reasonable and open to discussing the reasons for wanting to charge more for a particular show, keeping in mind the history of the venue and the the principles on which it was founded, but not being bound by them.  
All of the food and the equipment used to prepare it was a byproduct of Thursday Night Booking, which started as a booking night for planning art shows, spoken word nights, and acoustic music events that would take place on Thursday nights (a dead night at the club prior to 2007), but it was also our way of kickstarting the food idea for shows, and we ended buying a lot of equipment that we later used to feed bands, volunteers, and patrons between 2007-2011.  I think the first time we went all out after asking the club for money was when Karen and Ale made homemade tamales for a Thursday night show.  They didn’t just make vegan tamales, but there were cheese and meat options as well.  I don’t remember the show, just the tamales, if that tells you anything. Thursday Night Booking was myself, Alejandra Nunca Mas, Karen O'Brien, Russell, Ariel Awesome, and Pat Libby.  From that crew, Pat helped me paint and prepare the club for Corrupted the Thursday before the show, and by prepare I mean we removed almost all of the lights and covered the remaining ones with red and blue gels.  Karen made food for the show, and I’ll always remember running into her on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley the day of the show.  I was out flyering and she was on her way back to the club with groceries from Mi Tierra.  Ariel and I worked the door together, and I remember at some point that night she leaned over and told me, “Nights like this make it all worth it.”
Alejandra is currently one of the organizers of Punks With Lunch in Oakland, providing lunches along with hygienic packs, female hygienic packs, laundry detergent and dog food to those in need.  For more info click here.

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