The Bay Area Stay Over

Blake Gillespie

San Francisco

There's a gap that exists between Portland and the Bay Area. It appears on every West Coast tour schedule, since bands rarely dare push the mileage through the Northern California valley, white knuckling the curvy mountain declines that protect Mount Shasta, and cruise control the lush pastures of Southern Oregon. There are miles to be logged, miles that eat an entire day, and can only be lived in backseat naps, chapter chunks of reading sessions, and eating larger chunks of mobile data from excessive Spotify streaming (bring a few road CDs or listen to that one Krill CD on repeat). – Gillespie

The Week In Pop treehouse

There's a man who lives on a hill in San Francisco. The government recognizes him as Sjimon Gompers, but we fondly refer to him as Mr. Week In Pop. His treehouse on Potrero Hill hugs the corner of the hillside. It is here he overlooks the Mission to the West and the Bay Bridge to the East. His roof is where he goes to spy Giants games with binoculars, while listening to the bands that grace his weekly column. He is our host with the most, and when it comes to most he gives with an inhuman wealth of gusto.

We arrived in SF at 11 p.m. Tuesday. Mr. Week In Pop had fallen asleep on his couch waiting for us, it was one of few rare moments he slept while we occupied his residence. His joie de vivre and hospitality renewed our spirit. The claustrophobia and tension established in a couped up journey is alleviated by roof top hang outs, coffee tables to kick one's feet up on, chemex drip of Peruvian and Ethiopian beans in the a.m. drag, and a giant bird to ravage as our only non-restaurant meal of the tour.– Gillespie

Oakland: “Shannon, touch my clam!”

The New Parish in Oakland turned on their red lights for a romantic evening with Al Lover, Calvin Love, CCR Headcleaner, and Shannon & the Clams. In the dark, intimate bar, Al’s mellow, ambient set backed by kaleidoscopic rainbows melted into the crooning electro-psych sound of Canadian Calvin Love’s full band. The calm cracked when San Francisco’s CCR Headcleaner took the stage, slowly amping up the crowd to the edge of moshing.

But when Shannon came on, the rest of the night felt like build-up to their absolutely perfect performance. The audience and the Clams matched energy to energy. Shannon, Cody, and their new drummer were caught in the shadows of the stage, with the dim lights dancing on their glittered cheeks as the band pumped out their hits. They played tight but also to the crowd, shouting “DIE!” way more times than necessary during “Rat House” and even taking the stage for a short encore. – O'Malley

This is what happened to predictability… bitch

On our day off in San Francisco, we took our time waking up to soften the hangovers. We caught lunch in Little Saigon before going on a Full House scavenger hunt. You heard it here first: Impose adores Full House. Buy and send memorabilia to our office. Record a cover of the theme song for us. Dress up like Uncle Jesse and buy us shots. We first hit the house the Tanner girls “lived” in and then made our way to Alamo Square to visit the more famous Painted Ladies from the opening credits. On the breeze, all you could here were sung snippets of “whatever happened to predictability?”

Over at Haight-Ashbury, we got into a different kind of predictable activity: lighting a pinner at 4:20. After a brief jaunt through the streets of painted shops, we headed back to the eagle nest to enjoy the view from the roof, watch 80s-era WWF, and nosh on Sjimon’s slow-roasted chicken dinner. – O'Malley

Mexican in the Mission district is a given. I have a few go-to locations; names I never recall—rediscovered on chance strolls—and the assumption that it won't be a bank or 24-Hour Fitness on my next visit. Since I live a stones throw from SF, I passed on the Full House tour for an afternoon work session in the treehouse capped by a nap in the breezy winds that were healing the living room from stale stenches of weed mixed with open luggage.

After happy hour in the Mission with George Corona of Terrorbird, I returned to the treehouse for Chef Gompers' roasted bird feast. We watched the '87 WWF Survivor Series, waxing nostalgia for our encounters with Andre The Giant, The Honkey Tonk Man, Hulk Hogan, and The Ultimate Warrior. Some were events attended in the 80s, others of the shit-on-your-youth variety involving Second Amendment speeches. With bellies loaded, we took to the Mission for a night cap that escalated into a bar crawl. We huddled in booths and circled for toasts of cheap whiskey, drinking as though all previous hangovers endured were ghosts of our collective past. It technically became Friday, and the last preventative measure towards an all-night bender was the deathknell of last call. – Gillespie

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