Elbo Room

The future of Elbo Roomthe eclectic Mission bar and nightclub, has been on a teetering slope this year after owners were notified that their lease would expire in November. But this week, they received the ecstatically great news that their lease is safe until January 2018. Long-time patrons and newcomers alike have at least two more years to enjoy the best of the Elbo’s diverse musical offerings and their famed “San Francisco’s Longest Happy Hour” (5pm-9pm every day). So what are you waiting for? Grab a friend or loved one (or even your bad self) and do-si-do down to one of these shows before 2015’s up.

1) The Holiday Hop, featuring Big Sandy And His Fly-Rite Boys and The Rumble Strippers
December 11, 2015
9pm, $13 (21+)

At first glance, this seems like a wonderfully punny burlesque show. And then you look further and realize these groups are actually…bands. Great, boogie-inducing ones at that! Anaheim-based Big Sandy has been making sweet dusty Americana jams since 1988, and the Rumble Strippers are a local rockabilly group. But look again, and it really is a burlesque extravaganza! Put on by Handsome Hawk Valentine, the event boasts classic burlesque by Miss Savvy and Stiletta Maraschino, best-dressed femme and butch contests, and retro-hairstyling by Ileath from Peter Thomas Hair. There’s practically something for everyone here!

2) Bongo Love
December 16, 2015
9pm, $7 (21+)

Hailing from Harare, Zimbabwe, Bongo Love is a six-piece band led by John Mambira that sure is keen on spreading love through music. Their style is self-described as “Afrocoustics,” a blend of guitar and traditional African acoustic instruments like the marimba and the congas. “Havasi Vanhu Vese,” from their 2008 album Rwenda is fun, fresh, and simply danceable.

3) Drew McDowall, Pedestrian Deposit, Skander
December 17, 2015
9pm, $10 (21+)

This “unassuming 54 year old Scottish man,” as Vice describes McDowall in a wonderful in-depth feature, has quite the resume. He was part of the post-punk band Poems with his wife Rose McDowall, then moved to industrial music with Psychic TV in the ’80s and Coil in the ’90s. Now, he’s a fixture of New York City’s vibrant experimental music community, and finally put out a darkly brooding record of his own, Collapse. His performances are said to be absolutely captivating, so his West Coast debut show is not one to be missed.

4) Black X Mass featuring From HellQuintannicaFilthy VictorianThe WastedeadsTheremin Wizard Barney (in surprise order!)
December 25, 2015
9pm, $10 (21+)

It’s Christmas Day. Is your family getting antsy? Are they open to Satanism? Do you even celebrate? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, this annual event from Karla LaVey’s First Satanic Church may be for you. They’ve rounded up a whole slew of metal/occult/horror-themed bands for your spooky listening/moshing pleasure. There’s so much to dig through in this power-packed bill, so here’s a song from From Hell, who played the first Black X Mass, to whet your hell-raising appetite.

5) Dub Mission, with DJ SepRobert Rankin and Spliff Skankin
December 27, 2015
9pm, Free before 9:30/$6 after (21+)

Ah, Dub Mission. A true Elbo Room staple. These good folks have been around for 20 years bringing the best Reggae/Dancehall DJs to Bay Area clubs. They host a weekly dance party every Sunday, featuring a whole slew of resident DJs and guests. This installment features main resident DJ Sep, who’s also the founder and promoter of Dub Mission, and DJs of Massive Sound INTL Robert Rankin and Spliff Skankin, the latter of whom also spins reggae on KPFA. Dancing the night away  is always a great way to cap off the year.

Have a safe, fun holiday season! We know the folks at the Elbo Room are, and they have a simple message about this joyful news: “Please come have a drink…see a show…play a show…dance… and spread the word!”

Tickets for all the above-mentioned shows are available at the door.