Portland’s Guantanamo Baywatch closed out a perfectly orchestrated Thursday evening in Berkeley. It all began at 8pm, opening night of Temescal Street Cinema, where Will Sprott played a soulful set to a crowd of unprepared film buffs. The set woulda sounded just right in a smoky little night club circa 1959, but it sounded pretty damn good on Telegraph Ave. Although Will’s band The Mumlers are awful quiet lately, Will is playin’ around town fairly regularly. He will be in SF on June 21st for BAMM TV. It’s free but you should RSVP here. August 20th he plays the Redwood Grove in Berkeley’s Botanic Garden for a mere $12.
Temescal Street Cinema brings many more great films this summer along with a nice selection of Bay Area bands. See the schedule below and don’t miss Uni and her Ukelele June 28th or Quinn Deveaux July 19th with a Fishbone doc!!
First movie of the year was The Waiting Room, a moving documentary about our very own Highland Hospital ER. It follows patients in the waiting room and exposes just how deep the cracks in our failing medical system are. Patients are handled with love, care and respect but few of them belong in the ER. Without insurance, there is simply nowhere else for them to go.
As the credits rolled, we cruised a mile up Telegraph to the fantabulous White Horse. Hosting more and more excellent live music, and with a similar vibe to our tragically departed Eagle Tavern, this place is rapidly becoming my favorite intimate music venue. Just next door at the ultimate rock hair salon, Down at LuLu’s, Uzi Rash’s Max Nordile was finishing up events for his latest art installation “Animals + Vegetables”. Pop in and check it out, get a haircut, and buy some records and boots.
The Horse kicked off at 10pm with Courtney & the Crushers. Porland-based but with a mess of shows coming up: June 22nd at the Hemlock, July 12th at Vitus, and August 10th at Sugar Mountain.
Oakland’s Chuckleberries ponied up the second slot. Playing lots of tight classics like “Poison Ivy,” you couldn’t help but dance. Russell Quan was back behind the drums after a recent show up front on lead vocals for the Dukes of Hamburg. The music veterans are still fighting the good fight to keep live music alive.
Finally my sweet Guantanamo Baywatch took the stage. The played their signature frenzied surf slime. The band’s hot new drummer plays on the latest record Chest Crawl and it’s goooood. The three of them play so well together, loose knit but cohesive, and all the while it’s obvious that they are enjoying themselves immensely. Reckless abandon.
This is the way live music should be. They may deny the Cramps references, but sexy Ms. Chevelle is the closest we may ever get to recapturing the legacy of the Cramps’ Poison Ivy. The music does differ. The Cramps focus on garbage, flies, and werewolves. Guantanamo Baywatch are after surf, sun, and sex. They are off on a BIG 37 city tour across Amerikkka, but don’t miss their grand return July 28th at Oakland’s Hearts and Palms Warehouse with Shannon & the Clams and Rock n Roll Adventure Kids.
If you missed the Down at Lulu’s chance, you can see Max’s next art opening at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records on July 6th.