Sunday, June 14, 2015


J. Love’s is now called Rooster’s Roadhouse. If you’re familiar with Rooster’s, you know that nothing good will come out of this story. This was the first show I ever set up and it turned into quite the clusterfuck at the end. The show ran late and the owner shut it down before Powerhouse got to play. He then kept the money and refused to pay the bands. The Masked Men left early and were the only ones who got paid out of the whole deal. For the record, they spent the money on vegetarian Chinese food and a new mic cord. Ernie from Powerhouse was mad as hell and wanted to get paid in some form or another, until my fucking MOM showed up out of the blue. Talk about embarrassing! It turns out that a friend of mine called her while I was trying to smooth things over with Ernie. Despite being laid off from her job, Mom offered Powerhouse a $50 check to make things right. Instead, they said that it was okay, no hard feelings and it’s all just a big misunderstanding.

Eventually Ernie and I talked about this show, and we both agreed that the owner was a scumbag and that his club wasn’t really the right place for a punk show. Powerhouse turned out to be a great band in their own right, playing a vital role in kick starting that end of the Bay Area’s local hardcore scene. Ernie Cortez passed away from cancer in mid-2004 at the young age of 37. RIP.

Other things that I remember from this show…one of the Alameda hesher kids breaking Peter’s arm during the Masked Men. Peter joined them as their vocalist several months later, so one could say that it was kind of his initiation into the band. When we played, the hesher kids took over the dance floor and pretty much beat each other up. It didn’t really resemble anything like a circle pit from my vantage point. Mike introduced the Oppressed Logic song “They’re Gonna Die” by going off on a profanity-laced tirade about racism, Nazis, and Proposition 187; screaming it in the faces of all the hesher kids, who may or may not have been all that supportive of what he was talking about.

When things were running late and Powerhouse had yet to play, Ernie was starting to get agitated. He went up to the front of the stage to try to tell Mike to hurry up, but was probably met with a sarcastic “we’re not done yet, faggot!” Oppressed Logic started their next song while Ernie was still trying to get Mike’s attention. All of a sudden, a notorious Telegraph drunk punk named Smiley went plowing into Ernie from behind. Things were about to get ugly fast. Smiley was wearing his brand new silver gauntlet with tons of spikes and whatever else on it. The security guards might have had an issue with it too. Ernie turned around and it looked like there was going to be a huge brawl between these two, although Smiley was trying to explain that he was just dancing and thought Ernie was in the pit too. The security guards came running in and the show was most definitely over.

So much has happened since this show and so much has changed. Fortunately, the network is better organized now. People are more approachable and it’s a lot easier to set up a show and work with folks who are cool and won’t dick you around…much. I certainly learned a lot from this show—mostly what not to do. Better luck next time, kid.

FLYER: Mike Avilez
SHOW: Jake Kelly

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


The Hof-Brau was a dive bar in downtown Oakland on Broadway and Grand Street. Mike Avilez of Oppressed Logic was booking shows there, and I believe Marcus da Anarchist and Russell Wordburger were helping with the PA and general setup. I’d been to one or two shows there before this one, but it seemed like things picked up for a little bit when Gilman closed down for a month to undergo earthquake retrofitting. I have no idea if the Hof-Brau’s shows really were all ages, or how I was able to convince my mom to let me go to shows there. Shows at the Hof-Brau took place in a small upstairs room that was as bad of a setup as I’ve ever seen. For one, the stairs were quite steep. I can imagine that hauling equipment up and down was something of a task. There were times when I thought the floor might collapse, sending the show crashing into the bar downstairs…or that some wayward circle-pitter would go careening through the window. Neither incident happened, fortunately.

Both the Criminals and Blackfork were relatively new bands at this time. New Blackfork drummer Jim Nastic had to pull double duty and play with the Criminals because their drummer Ross hadn’t shown up for some reason. The Criminals’ lineup then included a second vocalist; a young lady named Claudia Bitter who had previously been in the Flatulents. You couldn’t help but make Blatz comparisons, nor could you help but heckle Jesse about it. He gave as good as he got, though. In between songs, Jesse was trying to bait one Aaron Insurgent into a fight, which didn’t quite work out. Apparently, Aaron and some of his fellow Insurgents—a notorious group of drunk punks who morphed into the BP Psychos—had been ejected from Gilman for drunken shenanigans some weeks prior. Since the Hof-Brau was in their neighborhood, they went there for shows all the time, which Jesse was none too pleased about. Blackfork had improved considerably since I’d last seen them. Shortly after this gig, they began issuing some great trashy-sounding demos that are really the best recorded representations of them as a band.

S.M.D. were “Strong Mexican Drunks” from East LA and unleashed a barrage of tough and fast hardcore that got people moving. I was one of those people…at least until I slipped on a patch of spilled beer and literally did the splits in the process. A guy named Ducky—his most recent “contribution” to the scene was slashing open the face of Amyl Nitrate from NYC’s Spider Cunts at a party in 1999—grabbed me and pulled me out of the pit before I got trampled. S.M.D. is still around to this day, occasionally visiting the Bay Area and holding down the fort in their hometown. This was the first time I saw them.

FLYER/SHOW: Mike Avilez.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 9

This week, we celebrate the True Sport of Kings, aka professional wrestling! Bands include: The Novas, the Cleavers, Johnny Legend, the Foreign Objects, Cocknoose, and Gordon Solie Motherfuckers. Wrestlers include Freddie Blassie, Mad Dog Vachon, Terry Funk, Michael Hayes, Captain Lou Albano, Jesse Ventura, and Slick!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 8

Our first episode of the new year sees us taking our third and final trip to Japan. Bands like C.F.D.L., D-Clone, Dust Noise, Effigy, Framtid, Iconoclast, Melt-Banana, Muga, Paintbox, and Sink bring much crazy chaotic crusty punk hardcore noise!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 7

This week’s episode collects some of the favorites from my SUNDAY STOMP DJ night at Eli’s Mile High Club. No metal bands include Bad Manners, Cocksparrer, Demented are Go, the Eyes, Frankie and the Flames, (Impatient) Youth, Madness, Operation Ivy, Screeching Weasel, the Sweet, and lots more!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 6

No theme or anything here, just the usual random assortment of tunes. Bands include Aryan Disgrace, the Bags, Cro-Mags, Deformed Conscience, Gay Cowboys in Bondage, Lazy Cowgirls, Load, Puke Spit and Guts, Rancid Vat, Upright Citizens, and much more.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 5

Back to Japan and their great punk bands, this time from the mid-to-late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Bands include Lip Cream, Chicken Bowels, the Swankys, Mad Conflux, Poison Arts, Deathside, Bastard, Gudon, Battle of Disarm, OAC, Tetsu Arrey, and more.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 4

We’re back up to our usual tricks. Bands include the Cramps, F-Word, Pere Ubu, Suburban Lawns, Mushroom Attack, Polikarpa y sus Viciosas, Blood Spit Nights, Question, Health Hazard, Christian Death, and lots more.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 3

We listen to some of the early Japanese HC/punk bands of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Featuring Star Club, Typhus, Friction, Gauze, Laughin’ Nose, the Sexual, Kikeiji, the Clay, GISM, Zouo, Poisonous Cross Gibbet, Rose Rose, Outo, and more!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 2

This week’s episode sums up the best of my Fucked Up Fridays DJ night at Eli’s Mile High Club. If you never showed up, you missed out on bands like the Accused, Black Sabbath, Christ on Parade, the Dead Boys, Generation X, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Too Short, and more! Fucked Up Fridays, RIP!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 2, Episode 1

Our second season premiere is dedicated to the best holiday of the entire year—Halloween! Featuring Annihilation Time, Bathory, the Cramps, Demented Are Go, Ghoul, the Industrials, King Diamond, the Meteors, Septic Death, and more!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 1, Episode #12

Our two-hour-ish season finale starts off with a salute to some of the great rhythm and blues and soul artists of years past, and finishes up with a personal salute to a life in the Bay Area. Features Any Three Initials, Booker T & the MG’s, James Brown, Cancer Alley, Dead and Gone, Wynonie Harris, Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Permanent Ruin, Shitty Fucker, Talk is Poison, Utter Bastard, Zero Hour, and a whole shitload more!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 1, Episode #11

With our season finale looming in the horizon, we bring you Alien Sex Fiend, Ambush, Freddie Blassie, David Allan Coe, Dogma Mundista, Funeral, Bonnie Hayes & the Wild Combo, Integrity, Ratos de Porao, TSOL, and plenty more.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Idle Hands: Season 1, Episode 10

Our tenth episode kicks off with “Welcome to the Terrordome,” and also features the Bad Brains, Eyehategod, Fleetwood Mac, Geza X and the Mommymen, the Mentors, Spitboy, the Stalin, Warzone, and lots more.