Since opening in 2012, The Chapel has stood on Valencia Street as a beacon of live music, a bastion of night life and a symbol of hope in the city’s uneasy social landscape. It is one of the more important things to happen to San Francisco in the last decade, (a scientific fact that I unearthed by multiplying free cult film screenings by killer rock and roll shows, dividing by Sunday Mass, and then raising that to the power of how fucking cool the space is). And like The Fillmore and The Independent before it, it will endure the inevitable noise complaints that plague club owners and remain a city staple for generations to come.
Of all the wonderful things they’ve given us over their nearly two-year existence, their residencies have set a new standard for what music establishments can do for bands and audiences alike: consistent exposure and multiple chances to see your new favorite band, all backed by superb sound for very decent prices. For the last three weeks of August, The Chapel has dedicated itself to Black Cobra Vipers and French Cassettes, two San Francisco outfits who will hold down a co-residency featuring Charlotte, NC’s Flagship.
“It’s relative ‘new-ness’ on the scene has had a large effect on revitalizing the Cause,” says Black Cobra Vipers singer and guitarist Greg DiMartino. “The Cause”, the raison d’être of any musician, is of course the music, and in this particular case, the music in the Bay Area.
He continues, “With the city’s rapidly shifting identity, [The Chapel] doesn’t need to worry about surviving or adapting to the change. It can pretty much do whatever the hell it wants and it will be OK.”
An embodiment of the growing mentality that mere survival is not enough, that great possibility and opportunity lie here and we need only to seek them out, DiMartino envisions his group clearly: “Bands like us who’ve had a difficult time falling in line with the established local scene can do exactly whatever the hell we want with confidence and potentially style.” There’s no need to find a niche when you an create your own. The Chapel has given Black Cobra Vipers a platform to do so, and they plan to make their mark on that stage tomorrow night.
Armed with a historical announcement, one that further bonds modern rock and roll to the 1960s — 1964 to be exact — and proving that time is indeed circular and not linear, Greg and his band will kick off their residency tomorrow, August 14, along with French Cassettes and Flagship. The lineup order is still to be determined, and each of the three Thursdays will feature a different headliner, so show up early if you want to be around when the news drops.
Black Cobra Vipers, French Cassettes, Flagship
August 13, 2014
8pm, $12 (all ages)