Wednesday, January 2, 2019


Time marches on. We struggle to quantify our parade of struggles and small victories in whatever way we can. 365 days. A year. Four seasons. A blink of an eye, or an eternity?

To the best of my ability to keep track, I attended 75 shows in 2018 as an audience member, which is up from 56 last year. I think I actually made a conscious effort to make it to as many live gigs as possible, in spite of my multiple band practices, and (sometimes) insane work schedule. Also, there is a new urgency to see certain legendary performers before they die. Because I work in the entertainment industry, some of these bands I saw while I was at work! As the Bay Area starts to suck in a lot of ways, I decided to just enjoy the hell of what's still around, and there turned out to be quite a lot, even in the face of rampant gentrification, multiple venue closures and the general trend of society to "Netflix and chill" instead of going out at night.

Some highlights included seeing one of the greatest drummers alive, and one of my personal heroes, Billy Cobham playing at Yoshi's. There was also my first trip to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and seeing David Byrne from the talking heads doing an extremely avante garde stage show, while I was working at Civic Auditorium. But for the most part, it was business as usual, tons of death metal, hardcore punk, sludge, psychedelic rock and maybe an odd Nintendo band.

As a drummer, I played 63 shows with six different bands, which is down slightly from last year  (when I actually played more shows as a drummer than attending as a punter). Although I played with six different bands, most of them did not play many local shows, and there were only two tours. Here's the breakdown:
Owl: 27
Isaac Rother And The Phantoms: 15  (European tour)
Isotope: 9
Cronander: 6
High By Night: 4
Hazzard's Cure: 2

Accounting for nights when I played or attended more than one show in the same night, that adds up to 128 total nights spent out during the year, or 35.34% of all nights spent out, which although is a slight rebound from last year's dismal tally (the lowest ever), it's still the second worst since I started keeping track, and well below the average of 39.8%.

In some of the early years of this project, I did a list called "venue graveyard," documenting the closures and burnouts of the local scene's live music establishments. Eventually, I stopped doing it, maybe because it was depressing and morbid, maybe because the scene stabilized somewhat in those middle years, or maybe because it was too tedious to document every little fly by night punk venue that came and went. But anyway, 2018 was a humdinger of a year for venue closures, with some real heavy hitters biting the dust; a few words must be spoken for the deceased.

The Elbo Room closed it's doors after 27 years in business as of December 31, 2018. In a rather science fiction type move, it manged to transfer it's soul into another, smaller venue in Oakland, where it lives on. The Hemlock Tavern, the ultimate small bar venue, closed it's doors in October, after 17 years, and will succumb to the wrecking ball sometime in 2019. Gargoyle might have to take the cake for shortest lived new venue. Though it appeared to be a fully functional and legal club, it closed after a few weeks and a few shows, and was revealed to have no permits of any kind. Whoops! Downtown Oakland stalwart Golden Bull, though it didn't shut down, pulled a kind of Pet Semetary move, when it temporarily died as a live music venue, then it came back, but it wasn't the same.

Percentage of total nights spent out:
2018: 35%
2017: 32%
2016: 39%
2015: 37%
2014: 38%
2013: 48.5%
2012: 46%
2011: 43%



1.6 No Statik, Concealed Blade: 1234Go! ?
1.6 Mondo Drag, Glitter Wizard: Eli's Mile High Club
1.14 Scolex, Deathgrave: Caravan, San Jose
1.23 Phane, B-Ward: Golden Bull
2.1 Green Milk From The Planet Orange: Parkside
2.3 Fetid, Mortiferum: First Church Of The Buzzard
2.12 Convictions, Minority Whip, Hygenist: Golden Bull
2.17 Necrot, Mammoth Grinder: Eli's
2.20 All Pigs Must Die, Baptists, Vale: Golden Bull
2.23 Slashers, Warchild, Motorhome: Eli's
3.2 Broken Spirit: 1234Go!
3.3 Exhumned, Incantation: Metro
3.5 Earthless, Kikagaku Moyo: The Catalyst, Santa Cruz
3.8 Gygax, Glitter Wizard, Wilderness Dream: G-Bull
3.9 Ghoul, Brainoil, Endorphins Lost: Metro
3.14 Billy Cobham: Yoshi's
3.16 Black Cobra, Apprentice Destroyer: Hemlock
3.19 Random bar band in San Juan Bautista
3.27 Supression , Haggis: Golden Bull
4.1 Dispirit, Ails, Hallucinator: Bottom Of The Hill
4.1 Acid Mothers Temple: The Chapel
4.8 The Breeders, Post Pink (at work): The Masonic
4.16 Whores, Helms Alee, Porch: B.O.T.H.
4.23 Uriah Heep: The Chapel
5.15 First random show in Berlin
5.15 Second random show in Berlin
5.25 Muse (at work), Bottlerock, Napa, CA
6.3 Grayceon, Brume, Botanist: B.O.T.H.
6.4 Necrot, Of Feather and Bone: Golden Bull
6.5 Ufomammut, White Hills: Elbo Room
6.8 Wooden Shjips, Terry Gross, Carlton Melton: Slim's
6.9 Mortuous, Petrification, Abstracter: Golden Bull
6.14 Long Knife, Geld: 1234Go!
6.14 Void Omnia, Isenordal: Golden Bull
6.16 Chaki, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis: Ouija Bar
6.24 Molten, War Bison, Traffic Death: Hemlock
6.25 Krallice, Wayfarer: Golden Bull
7.3 War Cloud, Duel: Golden Bull
8.9 Lecherous Gaze, Hot Lunch: Eagle
8.9 Doctor Deaf: Ouija Bar
8.12 Janet Jackson (at work): Outside Lands: GG Park
8.14 Alice Cooper: City National Civic, San Jose
8.17 Annihilation Time, Cro Mags: Skull Fest, Pittsburgh PA
8.18 Lecherous Gaze: Skull Fest Day Show, Pittsburgh, PA
8.22 David Byrne (at work): Bill Graham Auditorium
8.24 Black Cobra, Necrot: Elbo Room
8.27 Bit Brigade, Reptoid: B.O.T.H.
8.28 Tritonia Band: First Church Of The Buzzard
9.9 Ossuarium, Cartilage: Golden Bull
9.11 Body Void, Yarrow: Golden Bull
9.14 Green Druid, Lowcaster: Hemlock Tavern
9.20 The Eagles (at work): ATT Park
9.22 Woe, Wvrm: Elbo Room JL
10.2 Exhumed: Golden Bull
10.3 Hot Lunch, Banquet: Hemlock
10.4 MC50: Regency Ballroom
10.5 Khiis: Gargoyle
10.6 Brainoil: Eli's Mile High Club
10.7 Roky Erikson, Deer Tick: Hardly Strictly
10.8 Satan, Hellfire: Elbo Room
10.21 Restless, Nobody's Baby: 1234Go!
10.23 Shrine Of The Serpent, Evulse: El Rio
11.2 Deadpressure, Atrament: Playback Studios, San Jose
11.9 Impaled: Eli's
11.13 Ghostemayne: Great American Music Hall
11.24 Municipal Waste, OFF!: UC Theater
12.1 Feral Ohms, Pharlee: Elbo Room JL
12.8 War Wound, Kicker, Shit Coffins: Eli's
12.14 Stranger Than Fact, Two Lazy Boys: Dildo Factory
12.14 Sutekh Hexen: Elbo Room JL
12.15 Everyone Is Dirty: Bah Humbug House
12.22 Death Angel, Exmortus, Floating Goat: Sim's
12.27 Can't remember the bands: Caravan, San Jose
12.30 Pins Of Light: Elbo Room
12.31 Sleep, Big Business: GAMH

1.12 Isotope, Phane: Eli's Mile Club
2.9 Crondander, Hot Lunch, Buffalo Tooth: The Knockout
2.18 Isotope, Atrament, End Result: Golden Bull
2.24 Isotope, Municipal Waste: Sacramento
3.23 Isotope, Kicker, Chaki: Elbo Rom Jack London
4.14 Hazzard's Cure, Serpents Of Dawn, Brume: Bender's
4.21 Cronander, Kicker, Complicators, Wee Peevers: Eli's
4.25 Isaac Rother And The Phantoms: Paris, France
4.26 IRATP: St. Etienne, France
4.27 IRATP: Limoges, France
4.28 IRATP Perpignan, France
4.30 IRATP Sopelana (Bilbao), Spain
5.1 IRATP: Madrid, Spain
5.2 IRATP: Porto, Portugal
5.3 IRATP Lisbon, Portugal
5.4 IRATP: Talaver De La Reina, Spain
5.5 IRATP: Pamplona, Spain
5.6 IRATP: Murcia, Spain
5.8 IRATP: Valenica, Spain
5.10 IRATP: Vogogna, Italy
5.11 IRATP: Dueville, Italy
5.12 IRATP: Pisa, Italy
5.18 Isotope, Angelic Upstarts: Thee Parkside
5.31 Owl, Blackwulf: Elbo Room
6.15 Isotope, Extended Hell, Headsplitters: Elbo Room JL
6.22 Isotope, Asocial, etc. HAGL Fest, Vancouver, BC
6.29 Owl, Mammatus, Terry Gross: Eli's
7.1 Hazzard's Cure, Asada Messiah: B.O.T.H.
7.4 High By Night, My Three Sons: Hemlock Tavern
7.6 High By Night, Asada Messiah: Cooper's, Nevada City, CA
7.7 Cronander, Mutilated Tongue: Bender's
7.11 Owl, Pushy: Ivy Room
7.12 Owl: Ojai, CA
7.13 Owl: Los Angeles, CA
7.14 Owl: Flagstaff, AZ
7.15 Owl: Albuquerque, NM
7.16 Owl: Dallas, TX
7.18 Owl: Murfreesboro, TN
7.19 Owl: Asheville, NC
7.20 Owl: Richmond, VA
7.21 Owl: Brooklyn, NY
7.22 Owl: Wallingford, CT
7.23 Owl: Burlington, VT
7.25 Owl: Pittsburgh, PA
7.26 Owl: Detroit, MI
7.27 Owl: Milwaukee, WI
7.28 Owl: Chicago, IL
7.29 Owl: Madison, WI
7.30 Owl: Minneapolis, MN
8.1 Owl: Denver, CO
8.2 Owl: Colorado Springs, CO
8.3 Owl: Salt Lake City, UT
8.4 Owl: Reno, NV
8.5 Owl: Bottom Of The Hill
8.18 Isotope, Mob 47, Lebenden Toten: Skull Fest (Pittsburgh, PA)
9.2 Cronander, Deathgrave, Violation Wound: Elbo Room JL
10.5 Isotope, Vitamin X: 1234Go!
10.27 High By Night: Thee Parkside
11.1 High By Night: Eagle Tavern
11.29 Owl, Castle, Slough Feg: Elbo Room JL
11.30 Owl, Castle: Blue Lamp, Sacramento
12.15 Cronander, Doctor Deaf: Knockout
12.16 Cronander, Cult Mind: Game Shop Basement, San Jose

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