Sunday, December 16, 2007

Event Review: Saturday Night in the Loin: White Walls Gallery, Chrome, Joystick, Bearracuda

After being up until almost 4AM following Bender at The Transfer on Friday Night, and looking forward to a late night at Honey Sound System's Mineshaft party, the boyfriend and I decided we'd have an easy night of bar tours and flyer distribution for Fuck Shit, Let's Dance. Our agenda had been to head to Chrome at the Gangplank and then walk up to Joystick at The Cinch. However, things being what they are, I managed to have a buzz-killing mishap, and instead of hanging out in bars we wound up perusing art and going into the bear cave at Bearracuda.

First, my mishap; we were desperately trying to flag down a cab on Market Street at 9.30 when we thought we spotted one across the street by Cafe Flore - but just because cabs have their lights on doesn't mean they're available, as we found out several times during the evening. We were running across Market to try and flag this cab when I lost my balance and fell full force on my right shoulder in front of the Noe and Market F-car stop. It was so painful that I was unable to move my arm for several minutes, and most of my attention for the rest of the evening was diverted wondering whether I had broken something. At the very least, it had wounded my ego, and I spent a lot of time rubbing the warm knot in my trapezius and feeling like a doofus.

We arrived at The Gangplank around 9.40; a couple older, morose-looking guys were standing around outside smoking cigarettes, and when we peeked through the door there were only a couple local denizens at the bar, so we decided to check out the gallery show next door at The White Walls gallery.

Wow. I have not seen a show of new artists like this in along time, nor have I seen so many things that I would happily hang on my walls that are so reasonably priced (most pieces averaged around $500 - $1000, and the ones that were more were definitely worth it in terms of both materials and artistic vision). Though the show features at least a dozen artists, there was a very interesting cohesion of vision that I would describe as "dream-like" or psychedelic. Since this was the opening I assume that the show will be up on their site in the next few days, so you should hit the link or go by and have a look for yourself.

We looked back into the Gangplank a little after ten; same people. We went to the back and found the DJ set-up, and a B-52s track was spinning on the turntable, so presumably the party had started. However, we didn't feel like hanging out long enough to be sure. I double-checked the flyer just now, and it definitely says that the party starts at 9PM. Maybe that was a misprint, but if I show up at a bar at 9PM, when the flyer says things are supposed to start, and what I wind up hearing is The B-52s rather than the "hard rock" described on the flyer, my tendency is go elsewhere. So, in this case we didn't even stay long enough to have a drink, turned on our heels and headed to Joystick at The Cinch.

Joystick is a cute idea; console video games, anime, and 80s music. It's also a nice bar, and so we were pretty enthusiastic about it. But, after a couple rounds of Soul Caliber II and Pac-Man and two drinks, there didn't really seem to be that much going on to keep us there. I think the problem is that what makes this night distinctive, the video games, are also what suck the energy out of it; though I enjoy watching the boyfriend drive swords through his enemies as much as the next guy, it's not the kind of thing that I could spend a whole night at a bar doing. In fact, I associate video games in bars with being bored and feeling awkward, so it's hard to think about that as the whole focus of my night out.

We left around 11.00 and found ourselves wondering what to do with ourselves; I was in too much pain to contemplate really partying, nor did either of us feel like any major expenditure of energy or cash - for a moment we discussed going to The Show at The EndUp, but the boyfriend felt that it was a bit too "heftig" for his mood. Since we were already walking down Polk we decided to check in and see what was happening at Deco.

We hesitated for a moment when we saw the sign "Bearracuda $5" on the door. I've made fun of this event in the past based almost purely on that groan-inducing pun of a name, and I continue to have issues with the way that gay events segregate their audiences based on body types, as well as the somewhat reactionary nature of "bear culture," but we figured, what the hell, let's check it out.

Bearracuda is currently Deco's most successful night, and when we arrived there was a sizeable crowd in attendance and plenty of eats (pop tarts, jalapeno poppers, cheez doodles, corn dogs, etc.) laid out on the pool table. We immediately ran into our friend Matt and several of his friends, and wound up having a pretty pleasant couple drinks with them. It's funny, being in an environment where I expected absolutely nothing made for a very enjoyable experience. It was "hard rock night," and this time the DJs actually delivered; Jon Ginoli of Pansy Division was on the slate to spin, and had it not been for my increasing need put some ice on my shoulder, I think we would have stayed later just to hear what he played. Bearracuda is obviously much more of a socializing and pick-up scene than it is a dance night, and the crowd was pretty friendly to a couple of distinctive non-bears such as ourselves. It's not an event I would necessarily go out of my way to attend, as it's not really my scene, but if you're a bear, or into bears, this is obviously the place to be, and if your not either of those things, it's a decent place to hang out and have a couple drinks as long as you don't mind paying a $5 cover to do so.

By time we got home around midnight my shoulder was so messed up that I couldn't get the keys out of my pocket, much less turn them in the lock. It was a pretty abbreviated Saturday night, but even if I hadn't sustained a nearly crippling injury early in the evening I don't know that we would have had much better luck with our bar tour. For reasons I don't quite understand Saturday continues to be the weak night on the calendar for going out unless you're into the big club scene, or perhaps it's just that, after most of my Friday nights, I'm just not feeling it as much on Saturday.

No comments: