July 24th, 2014
Celebrating a decade since the release of Pinback’s iconic album, ‘Summer In Abaddon’, Rob Crow and Zach Smith will be hitting the road this fall on a 25-stop North American tour dedicated to playing the album in its entirety. The 11-track album isn’t the first of the duo’s Pinback discography, but has been noted by critics as the strongest and most influential music produced by Crow (Goblin Cock, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable) and Smith (3 Mile Pilot). Recorded in the back room of Smith’s house and Crow’s bathroom, ‘Summer In Abaddon’ is the evolved realization of a sound that was in the works for more than six years. Though it took time to process this work as their lives were filled with highs, lows and other distractions, the final album hit the stores as a ripened masterpiece. Within the reaction to the release lies the knotty paradox of ‘Summer in Abaddon’: Pinback’s darkest hours inspired their finest moment.
We’re delighted to have them back at Bimbo’s 365 Club on October 2- not only because we love them so, but also because we hosted the original 2004 ‘Summer in Abaddon’ record release tour. In November of 2004, Pinback took to our stage and played to an awe-struck crowd for two sold-out nights in a row.
In addition to this fall’s 10th Anniversary tour, Pinback will be releasing a limited edition 180-gram maroon-colored vinyl reissue of ‘Summer In Abaddon’ exclusively available at their live performances and website. Grab those albums and tickets early as the sweet offerings of summer are always limited. Tickets for Pinback’s October 2nd show with Sacramento’s Tera Melos are still available (although they are going fast!) and you can grab them here.
July 7th, 2014
We’ve hardly recovered from swooning over Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes last October, but are we ever excited to have them back! Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, the steamy & eclectic crew of musicians have been taking the United States by storm with their vivacious blend of soul, surf, and rhythm & blues. Their ultra-energetic performances may have your body swinging to the music, but don’t forget to keep your eyes on stage because these stunning ladies have some fine dance moves themselves. Their live show is an experience from start to finish and we know they will bring down the house once again! Check out their video for the song “Love Letter” and you’ll know this is a band not be to missed.
If you missed them last October, then here’s your chance to see them- grab your tickets for September 18 soon, because they are going fast!
Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes at Bimbo’s 365 Club, October 18, 2013
June 24th, 2014
Each time we said farewell we knew it wasn’t forever, but Butch Whacks & The Glass Packs are signing off on their Annual Farewell Show this year after saying 33 annual good-byes since 1971. The Final Shows. The Last Laffs. It’s a sentimental farewell for us this year as Bimbo’s 365 Club has been a part of their history since 1988. It’s been a wild ride all these years with this motley crew and their colorful fans, but we’re so choked up that we’ll let Butch say the final farewell:
TO OUR FANS
Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company and you – patrons of the arts, friends, family and fellow travelers- have been great company for over forty years. We deeply appreciate the opportunity you have given us year after year to share our passion for the sounds of Top 40 radio etched in our heads as kids and the paradoxical grafting of current cultural and political events to the mythos of our shared musical past. Most of all, we are in your debt for the lifetime friendships, and the brotherhood that we Glass Packs have forged with each other and with you, our fans, on this exhilarating journey. It was once written of us in the Vancouver Sun that we make the audience believe that if you were brazen enough – no, crazy enough – no, drunk enough! – you too could get up on stage and do what we attempt to do naturally after 33 annual performances… So, if you are that crazy and wish to stand in our floppy shoes next year, well, have at it. In 1961, the Showmen wrote in wax that Rock and Roll will stand forever. Together, we have done our part. We will miss you, and the theatre filling, with our billing up there in lights. -Butch.
The finals shows are Thursday June 26, Friday June 27, and Saturday June 28. Friday and Saturday are already sold out, but tickets are still available for Thursday night’s show. Get ‘em while you still can. This time it really is Farewell!
June 23rd, 2014
We like our camp with a whole lotta glam and the evenings we had with Charles Pierce in the 1970s were ones that hold a special place in our hearts. One of the most famous female impersonators of our time, Pierce truly was “the Master and Mistress of Surprise or Disguise.” His career included acting and radio announcing but as a female impersonator, Pierce left his audiences weak with laughter. He brightened our lives with his wicked and sometimes irreverent impressions of film stars ranging from Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Tallulah Bankhead, Carol Channing, Katharine Hepburn and even “Mrs. Olsen” of the Folgers coffee commercials. Restaurateur Les Natali, who produced several of Pierce’s shows at Bimbo’s 365 Club in the early 1970s (a Blue Thumb LP was made of this show!) remarked, “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Charles as a fan and a friend for thirty years. He was always fun to be with, on stage and off, so witty, so sharp, so perceptive, and always ready with a line to provoke a laugh. What made Charles happy was making other people happy. And he was the best. I will miss him dearly.”
Even San Francisco’s toughest critic, Herb Caen, was so impressed with Pierce that he gave him the official title “Male Actress” in a SF Chronicle review.
“There’s nothing wrong with showbiz that talent can’t cure. By talent I mean Male Actress Charles Pierce, who, outrageously gowned filled Bimbo’s wall-to-wall five nights running last week. He returns July 20, and don’t miss him! Unless you think that camping is something that belongs only in the great outdoors. Charles is an indoor camper, and the best!” —Herb Caen, San Francisco Chronicle
Happy SF Pride everyone!
June 5th, 2014
We have cause to celebrate with Better Than Ezra’s return to San Francisco AND the addition of new goldfish in Dolphina’s fishbowl! Both warrant such joyous announcements that we decided to mash them both up and give you this underwater music video. Because these things are so GOOD.
Better Than Ezra is returning to play San Francisco after a five year hiatus and toting a better-than-grunge new album, “All Together Now.” The band that broke out in the 90’s with hits ‘Good’ and ‘Roselia’ have shaken their adolescence angst with 13 record releases and the formation of the BTE Foundation, a charity committed to preserving the cultural heritage of New Orleans and Southern Louisiana. Throughout the years, the entertainment community has joined Better Than Ezra and has raised over $850,000 for various causes in and around New Orleans. What was once good keeps getting better as BTE has emerged with a signature pop/rock sound on the new album including the hit ‘Crazy Lucky.’ The new album hits to stores on September 6.
Catch Better Than Ezra on our stage on September 19 and don’t forget to swing by and say hello to Dolphina’s new friends in the fishbowl. Better Than Ezra tickets are available here.
Click the photo to see a music video from the Dolphina Cam!
June 2nd, 2014
Critical Mass, cool your gears. San Francisco’s first ever bicycle takeover was created by our very own cycler, Mr. Bimbo, and his fellow entertainment business friends! Massive groups of cyclists crowding the streets may be something modern San Franciscans have grown to know, but can you imagine seeing the first in history? The First Annual Bike Derby was held on April 10, 1949 and was organized by a collective of characters from Bay Area night clubs, bars, and restaurants as a charity event to raise funds for camp activities for blind children. Tickets priced at $0.60 were sold to over 6000 attendees with proceeds supporting the Recreation for the Blind, Inc. The crowd of two-wheeler enthusiasts took over the streets of San Francisco with the start of their voyage on Market Street and ended at Golden Gate Park Stadium in the late afternoon where music, comedians, and showgirls entertained the crowds. Not a bad way to end a day of cycling, eh?
April 3rd, 2014
California bad boy and legendary accordion virtuoso, Dick Contino, wanted to play high school football, but his parents objection to the sport kept him on the path of devotion to his accordion. Contino’s father was an accordion player himself and his mother… well, just the worrying type. Contino received his first accordion at age seven and his parents recognized his talent early on. This recognition was so great that they drove him to professional accordion lessons on the weekends in San Francisco for six years during his childhood, 180 miles away from him hometown of Fresno, CA. His big break came in 1946 competing on bandleader Horace Heidt’s “Youth Opportunity Talent Show.” The handsome Dick Contino gyrated around stage while his fingers flew through “Lady of Spain” (condemning that song to accordion hell forever after) and won the night’s show. He returned to win the show’s grand prize for the season, and soon, he was a star in his own right with a string of sold-out performances and collection of groupies around the country. After graduating from high school in 1947, Contino was in full pursuit of a music career but still managed to work part-time as a delivery man for his father’s butcher shop. His good looks landed him in a few movie and acting roles without his instrument, but it was his accordion playing that kept him returning to perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” a record of 48 times. Check out this video of one of his television appearances where his accordion strap broke and he took to the piano to finish the song!
Dick Contino’s bad boy reputation may have started as the rebellious fullback player on his high school football team, or maybe his lothario ways with Hollywood starlets in the 1950s, but his street cred went sky high when he landed a six-month stint in jail from ignoring his war draft letter. Though he did serve honorably in Korea, the “draft dodger” label hung over him for years and knocked his ranks in the top stars of the time. Though he lost his movie and recording contracts with Paramount and RCA Victor, Mercury booked him the lead role of the cult movie, “Daddy-O” (1958) playing a badass rock ‘n’ roller and part time drug smuggler. “Daddy-O” is certainly not great cinema (“That thing was like a class Z picture,” Contino said), but it ranks up there with “The Wild One” as piece of 50s rebel iconography.
You can still find Dick Contino performing today at 84, proving to be one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Having starred in main showrooms around the world, and known to usually wear fine Italian threads, the tanned and buffed man still makes women swoon when he plays his accordion without his shirt. Mostly performing these days in Las Vegas, we can’t help but remember him rocking the house here at Bimbo’s several times throughout in 1960′s! Check out his charm on the handbill we have in our archives.
March 7th, 2014
L.A.’s iconic synth electro-pop pioneers, Berlin, make a stop on our stage after six years away from San Francisco toting ‘Animal,’ a brand-new 12-track album. ‘Animal’ explores contemporary electronic dance music while remaining true to the groundbreaking sound and signature vocals that continue to define the band. “New music is the lifeblood of anybody making music. It inspires me and it inspires others,” declares Terri Nunn, Berlin’s charismatic and enigmatic vocalist.
While ‘Animal’ is Berlin’s seventh album, a combination of ten compilation albums, EPs and live albums round out an impressive discography that so far has yielded twelve gold and platinum album awards. The band made its initial impression on the music world in 1982, with their seductive single, “Sex (I’m A…),” and their synth-pop classic “The Metro” from the platinum-certified debut EP ‘Pleasure Victim’. Berlin’s first full length LP, ‘Love Life’, hit in 1984 and was certified gold. In 1986, Berlin topped the charts with the unforgettable, intimate and strikingly beautiful love song, “Take My Breath Away.” The ballad’s defining role in the Tom Cruise film, “Top Gun”, has also helped solidify Berlin’s everlasting place in American pop-culture. Nunn’s ongoing influence in music earned her the #11 spot on VH1.com’s “100 Greatest Women in Rock,” but she’s also an accomplished actress, nutritionist, and personality. Along with comedienne Wendy Liebman, Nunn currently hosts the radio show “Unbound with Terri Nunn” on 88.5 FM KCSN Los Angeles. Despite her many creative outlets, music, Berlin and touring remain Nunn’s first love. “I always looked at music as passion,” reflects Nunn. “That’s where the real joy comes from, and music is such a huge part of connecting people. It’s the way… to bliss.”
Don’t miss Berlin’s return to San Francisco on March 21! Tickets are still available.
January 8th, 2014
“If you haven’t heard Avidan’s music, prepare to be astounded”- The Independent U.K.
Asaf Avidan’s unique artistry will be brought to North American audiences when he tours here for the first time. While he has drawn comparisons to both Jeff Buckley and Nina Simone, he possesses a voice that is utterly singular. An Asaf Avidan performance is a sensory experience. Standing on stage is a skinny, mohawked man, but what one hears is the craggy, whiskey-soaked voice of a woman. “The human voice has a whole spectrum we just don’t use because we have these weird taboos and manners, and these ideas about masculinity,” he explains. His solo album pushes his remarkable voice to its limits. The work of the album finds him focusing his passion and poetry into a tight suite of songs linked by robust melodies and intriguing psychological ambivalence.
Avidan first emerged as the leading force of the acclaimed folk rock outfit Asaf Avidan & The Mojos, whose recordings achieved platinum sales status in Europe and topped critics’ year-end Best Of lists. They shot to worldwide fame when Avidan’s song “One Day / Reckoning Song” hit number one in 14 countries as a remix by a Berlin DJ. When Avidan embarked on his solo career with the 2012 release “Different Pulses”, his star rose even further. He has filled prestigious 5000-seat venues such as Olympia and Zenith, and played to crowds of 250,000 at European festivals. Different Pulses has already sold over 200,000 copies in Europe, where the remix single “Reckoning Day” has sold over 1.5 million. In December of 2012, Asaf Avidan received nominations in 5 different categories of the World Music Awards.
With a growing fanbase around the world, Asaf Avidan embarks on his first North American solo tour in the upcoming months. We’re delighted to host his first show in San Francisco on March 7.
Check out Asaf Avidan’s video for the song “Different Pulses”.
Tickets are still available here.
December 10th, 2013
As the holiday season approaches, we reminisce of Agostino “Bimbo” Giuntoli and his notable generosity in giving back to the community in which he came from. Born and raised in Chiessina Uzzanese, a small Tuscan town west of Florence, young Bimbo lived the urban tale of endless walking “uphill, in horrible weather, in both directions” as he commuted back and forth from the residential to commercial sides of town. The small river that separates the two vicinities is a trickling brook most of the year, but during the rainy months the water rages high and strong, inspiring the “character building” tales of peoples’ lives as they walked high and low in search for the best crossing point. After some successful years as a nightclub owner and restaurateur in San Francisco, Bimbo decided to help out the people of his alma mater by funding the construction of a bridge over the river, permanently creating an easy, wade-free crossing point for all those who commute from one side of town to another. In 1953 Bimbo and his family returned to attend the inaugurazione (inauguration) of the bridge, and of course… the town threw a great party in celebration! And what’s a party without a feast? A long table was set up down the middle of the bridge, with a seat and glass of wine for everyone! Family, friends and lovers, young and old, new and familiar, all gathered and raised a glass to Bimbo for the fine gift he gave his hometown. Saluti!
A trip to Bimbo’s Bridge was chronicled by San Francisco’s favorite yarn-spinner Herb Caen in the column “Baghdad-by-the-Bay” on May 19, 1955 in the SF Examiner.