Wednesday, February 3, 2016


This show was a benefit for local pirate radio station Free Radio Berkeley 104.1 on your FM dial on a minimal basis on Genoa Street in North Oakland. Interestingly, members of Oppressed Logic, Strychnine, and Skaven were all DJs on the station…and all of them were kicked off the air for various reasons. Most notably was Mike Avilez, who had spent the past year simply being himself (some would also say he was being a reactionary, sexist jerk) and riling people up in the process. Mike was just having fun raising a ruckus, but didn’t always respond in a very mature manner when called on his shit. That said, the meeting in which the Free Radio Berkeley collective voted to kick Mike off the air was an interesting (and frustrating) exercise in ganging up on one person and limiting their options for an equal vote. Free Radio Berkeley founder Stephen Dunifer actually stormed out of the room in disgust at one point. But Mike had already booked the benefit show. Since it wasn’t often that Gilman was willing to have Oppressed Logic play by then, the show went on.

If anything, this show would be most notable for being the one time that I can recall Skaven actually playing at Gilman. Other shows were booked and then canceled, but not this one. Skaven were crustcore to the bone. Vocalist Zeb Gammack and bassist Mike Matusio were just about everything you expected crustys to be—they raised a lot of hell, but to my knowledge weren’t quite of the spare-changing, show-ruining variety. Their previous attempt at a band was Black Maggot, a noisy drunken mess that I happened to witness once at a backyard show on Fairview and Adeline in North Oakland. Amusingly enough, I still have two of their patches to this day. Anyway, Skaven rose to the occasion for their one and only Gilman show. Matusio was wearing leather pants that were apparently thick enough to allow Jim Nastic to continually squirt lighter fluid on his leg and briefly set it aflame. My recording of their set could be better, but it exists nonetheless. At the end, Zeb noted that the bill was a fairly diverse one by saying that the show was “proof that punk rock comes from a lot of different fuckin’ places.” Skaven’s next band would be Lachrymose (minus Zeb and Mike, with Dino from Dystopia on vocals), whose one Gilman show was with the Stratford Mercenaries on their first tour.

The Need were from Antioch—a white trash tweaker shithole about 45-60 minutes away from Berkeley—and might be worth mentioning for the fact that their bassist Tim Regan went on to play with local grind heroes Benumb not long after this. This was the first proper Gilman show for the Young & the Useless, after a couple jump-ons that probably hindered our chances of getting shows more than they helped. Oppressed Logic and we both managed to play two shows together at the club this month, which was kinda cool.

FLYER/BOOKER: Mike Avilez.

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