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Burger fever and mixed tape metaphors at Burgerama II

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Black Lips at Burgerama II.
PHOTOS BY DALLIS WILLARD

"Take it off!" exclaimed some girls, directing their desires towards the group's guitarist, Cody Blanchard, who was wearing his signature gold, sequined bow-tie and suspenders. The fervor was apparent. Fanaticism and Burger fever were in the air.

Charging the stage to steal a kiss from a favorite star would almost be as commonplace as crowd surfing over the weekend, especially with Hunx and His Punx and the Black Lips in the lineup. Boys and girls of all ages simply couldn't contain their lust. After all, it was spring break.

During the Clams' set a greasy, long-haired guy from the audience pulled a sleaze-ball move when he rushed the stage, turned towards Shannon and planted one on her. She was clearly caught off guard by the violator and gave him a hefty shove that sent him flying, as if in slow motion, over my head. I looked up to see a sick mix of fear and excitement in his eyes. There were plenty of other weird moments throughout the weekend, but that's one that particularly stood out.

I ran into Shannon Shaw in the surreal outdoor backstage area, where Ariel Pink could be seen milling about with the likes of Natural Child (oddly enough, I recognized their newest member, Benny, from being my shuffleboard partner in NOLA during Mardi Gras a few years back). If that wasn't distracting enough, burgers were being flipped the entire time.

When I caught up with Shaw, she had just gone on as a Punkette bassist and was about to go on with the Clams. So we only spoke briefly, but she touched on something important and even dropped the phrase, "Burger culture."

Whether or not you agree with Burger's levels of innovation (some may argue that cassette tapes, like records, are just the next wave of nostalgia), it is undeniably popular. Others have brought up even harsher charges of the label not properly crediting or licensing music it re-issues from other labels. Bohrman addressed this by saying that early on they did run into some conflict because they would only get permission from the band. But after "smashing more than a few toes," they now get full permission from everyone involved. He added they didn't know any better and assumed musicians and songwriters owned their music.

Still, there's something that resonates about the format of the cassette tape that Bohrman and the San Francisco Mixtape Society agree upon. "You spend time nurturing a cassette," he says. Playlists are "fun and easy to listen to, but there's no feeling, heart, or accomplishment."

Burgerama II was an accomplishment and should be considered another successful mix from the guy who throws out thoughts like, "Britney Spears is pretty punk if you think about it. I'd love to put a tape out by her. If I can sit there, I feel confident that I can change your mind. I guarantee I can change your mind."

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