Budget Rock Seven music fest. Plus: The USAISAMONSTER, Bridge School Benefit, and Against Me!


SONIC REDUCER Why so glum, Chun? Well, for starters, the economy is sucking about as hard as an insecure groupie attacking her/his fave-rave rocker head-case, and the stock market is making me more nauseated than the time I mixed deep-fried Twinkies and the Giant Dipper roller-coaster ride at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Oh, sure, we're all gonna die giggling with sheer, unrepentant delight when the Barack Star pulls it off come Nov. 4. But in the very lean meantime, we gotta scrimp 'n' scrape to find the joy.

So why not mix good times and sound — arf! — financial advice from those adventurers in fabulously gritty lo-fi sonics and rock 'n' roll derring-do at Budget Rock Seven music fest?

Yes, I may be high. Ask rockers — oft dismissed as guitar-collecting, ramen-chawing spendthrifts lacking in fiscal acumen — for budget suggestions? Don't you know that the sweaty, loud 'n' danceable rawk gathering has little or nada to do with tightened (white, skinny) belts during tough times — having plucked its name from a Mummies long-player, not its accountants? Sho' 'nuff, impecunious stuff. Nevertheless, if a truly depressing nu-depression-style bottoming-out occurs — B-Rock or no — it can't hurt to look to grassroots rabble-rousers for tangibles on living it up on little scrill.

"I have nothing to offer but bad tips," Darin Raffaelli — ex-Supercharger member and now in Budget Rock bands the Baci Galoopis and supa-group Mersey Wifebeaters — apologizes in a recent e-mail. "Go to the taco truck and don't be afraid to get face meat if they run out of the standard meats. Don't be a deadbeat weefie and carry your own load. Doesn't matter how big your carriage is — just fill it to the tarp with whatever you can and the goodhearted folk will make sure you get by. Don't get tattoos, and take care of your feet.

"Hope that helps."

It's like pouring loose change, slugs, and paper clips into those supermarket counters: every little bit helps. Brian Girgus, who drums for rising Mantles-spinoff proj Personal and the Pizzas, has more low-dough advice: "Sneak a flask of whiskey in. Drink during Happy Hour. Make your pizzas at home. Roll out the dough really thin to make the pizza seem bigger. Buy used vinyl at the thrift stores."

"Budget? I'm not an expert on that. I'm up to my ears," opines festival co-founder and co-organizer Chris Owen by phone. He's got more important things on his mind, like convincing Budget Rock performer Roy Head — renowned as "the white James Brown" for his crazy-agile dance moves, and his 1965 hit, "Treat Her Right" — to record "Just Head" by the Nervous Eaters and "Teenage Head" by the Flamin' Groovies for his Hook or Crook Records. The dynamic Head — who Owen says is still amazing (The 67-year-old "is like Iggy Pop in the way he puts himself out there") — just might play those tunes live, if we're lucky, when he performs here for the first time since the '60s.

Owen says there was an attempt to move Budget Rock back to San Francisco — where it first laid down a beachhead at Thee Parkside — but, as we laugh, "the city wasn't having it!" With assists from Bobbyteen Tina Lucchesi, Guardian staffer Dulcinea Gonzalez, and others, Owen threw the bash together again at the Stork Club. "Sometimes it's worth it to just have a blowout in a smaller place," he explains. "At a smaller place, they're happy to have you. I can't imagine anyone drinking more than the people who go to these things!"

Budget planning?

Also from this author

  • Women with movie cameras

    Cheers to CAAMFest's crop of female Asian American film directors

  • Spiking the box office

    THE YEAR IN FILM: Looking back at a triumphant year for African American films

  • Not from around here

    French synth-pop giants Phoenix and Daft Punk tap into the alien within

  • Also in this section

  • Peace-out

    After seven rockin' years, Sonic Reducer bids adieu with a look back at some choice musical moments

  • Feel the 'Love

    Rosily buzzing U.K. outfit the Big Pink gets it, Carly Simon and all

  • Sly 'n' sincere

    Don't confuse this Brit with Britney. Plus: Midlake and Barn Owl and Daniel Higgs