This weekend, San Francisco's inherent right to the lo-fi throne will be reinstated in grand fashion as the Budget Rock V Showcase takes place at the Stork Club in Oakland. The fact that the tag 'budget rock' doesn't get uttered as much as it used to is almost a crime. As a term that once encapsulated the microcosm of San Francisco-based lo-fi punk bands like the Mummies, Supercharger, The Fingers and The Trashwomen in the 1990s, it now seems to convey the image of a certain time and place, yet it's truly the sound that will stand the test of time. Playing cheap shots of rock'n roll on cheap equipment, with a cheap crowd drinking cheap booze will never ever go out of style, and this weekend's celebration of all things cheap and easy should be as simple to swallow as that cold beer in your hand. Three days with over 26 bands may seem like too much of a good thing, but with this year's lineup looking as stellar as it does, it should be just right. Mixing a sloppy concoction of both new and older acts should bridge the age gap quite well, and the excitement of being at a show where you could run into Roy Loney, Russel Quan, AND Melvin Dundinkle is just too great for words. With so many like-minded bands and all aligned so well in one weekend that it may leave the fest slightly pigeonholed, but that might just be the best thing about it after all. Incorporating the revived sounds of 80s underground pioneers, the Morlocks and the Original Sins rounding out the headlining spots alongside the party power of the Bobbyteens and the Okmoniks, it really shows how far and wide the budget rock aesthetic stretches across the spectrum of trash culture. And with a promising new crop of Bay Area bands like the Mothballs, The Boars, Teenage Harlets, The Pets, R'nR Adventure Kids, Touch Me Nots and Traditional Fools, warming up the stage, there's absolutely no need to drink beer out in the parking lot to kill time before the second half of each night gets going. There's also a Tina Lucchesi swap meet before the show, along with a hot dog eating contest, so don't expect it to get any better anywhere up or down the west coast this weekend. Look for the fest's top-notch rock'n roll juice to come flowing most feverishly from the Sneaky Pinks, Top Ten, Flakes, Time Flys and of course, the Fe Fi Fo Fums. Advance ticket sales have already dried up, but there will still be some available at the door, so get there early if you're still in need of admission, and get ready to royally lose your head.
Check out the Bobbyteens video for "Hot City Boy"
and check out the Time Flys at Asbury Lanes (video by eemslee)