Yesterday evening (Friday August 3rd) I attended both the Amoeba Music, San Francisco instore with super skilled turntablists DJs Platurn and Golden Chyld (pictured left) and also the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay soiree at the de Young Museum in nearby Golden Gate Park.
I hadn't been at the de Young Museum since it moved locations to its impressive new state-of-the-art facility in October 2005. Come think of it, I hadn't been in Golden Gate Park for about as long. And after seeing reports about the "homeless problem" in the park on local TV news and reading all the recent newspaper reports, which made it sound like there were homeless people camped out under every bush in the park's confines with dirty syringes poking out of everywhere, I was anticipating stumbling upon a sort of New Jack (tent) City, which didn't happen. Instead I only witnessed a small gathering of poor, unfortunate homeless down by the Stanyan end of the park (not far from Amoeba).
But anyway, regarding the homeless situation in SF -- I really see both sides. I feel bad for residents (especially those with little kids) who have to endure such things as street people pissing in their doorsteps or leaving dirty needles in their front yards or near playgrounds in the park. But I also feel bad for individuals who have substance abuse problems or who are mentally ill and who have no option but to live on the streets (dating back to Reagan as Governor of Cali). And never do I forget the fact that most of us are just one paycheck away from joining them.
One thing that I think everyone agrees on: it's a fucked up situation and one that could be avoided -- much like the health care situation in this wealthy but far-from-compassionate nation that we live in.
But I digress...meanwhile, back at the de Young Museum, the Bay Guardian (who I am both an avid reader of and a writer for) was throwing their free-to-the-public BEST OF THE BAY BASH to coincide with their recent Best of The Bay issue -- the one that Amoeba has won countless times under the "best record store" category. When I arrived inside the cavernous de Young the place was packed with happy, chatty people bobbing their heads to the hip-hop beats been spun by Wisdom the "Beat Sauce" DJ from KUSF (which is celebrating its 30 year anniversary...YAY!). There were a lot folks in the house collecting their awards, including OM Records, Oaksterdam News, and Adrian and the Mysterious D from the mashup club Bootie who won Readers Choice as Best Club for their second year and who will be throwing their big Four Year Anniversary party at the DNA next Saturday (August 11th). To read an in depth interview with the two Bootie promoters/DJs Adrian and the Mysterious D, click here.
After jetting out of there I got over to Amoeba Music where the two DJ instore was already underway. And all I can say is DAMN, DEM DJs MADE MY DAY! Both Platurn (Oakland Faders and until recently an Amoebite at the Berkeley store) and Golden Chyld (Fingerbangerz) were just amazing, effortlessly displaying every type of turntable skill you could wish for and delivering a broad mix that was guaranteed to satisfy every taste.
And this they did off an extensive setup that included turntables, mixers, and laptops, set up with help from AMOEBLOGGER and KUSF DJ Mike Battaglia. (Note that Golden Chyld along with Cutso will be spinning at The Music Machine in the Voodoo Lounge in San Jose tonight, Saturday Aug 4th, and if you have not heard it already, seek out Golden Chyld's amazing CD Ear Infections that came out a couple of years ago -- should still be available at Amoeba in the hip-hop CD section).
The Amoeba instore was fantastic but unfortunately the turnout for it was not. Tsk tsk tsk. I tell you, sometimes people miss the best shows -- what's up with that? If you are reading this and you live in LA or the Bay Area, do yourself a favor and get your ass over to the next instore at Amoeba. Not only are they usually really, really entertaining, but they're FREE, for God's sake!
For a list of upcoming instores at SF, Berkeley or Hollywood, click here. But one I strongly recommend you don't miss is the September 6th instore at the Berkeley Amoeba with comedian Patton Oswalt, who did an instore at the Hollywood Amoeba this past Wednesday which I heard was really good. And it would have to be based on his recommended fuckin' hilarious, no-holds-barred, new CD Werewolves and Lollipops on Sub Pop on which he bashes everyone and everything from KFC to Dick Cheney and George W Bush (all the more poignant considering the live CD was recorded in Austin, close to where Dubya lived as Governor of Texas).