Fire

Large Fire Is Ripping Through Mission Street Dollar Stores

The plastic-smelling smoke currently whafting through Southern Mission is coming from a fire in two Mission Street dollar stores between 22nd and 23rd. Details are sketchy, but buildings across the street, including the US Bank Building, have been emptied out due to the smoke. We’ll update if we learn more.

Update: It is now a three-alarm fire:

Update 2:05pm: The fire seems to be spreading, as far sound as the Payless and Verizon stores, and making its way torwards the Sketcher’s store at the corner. Smoke is still billowing from the burning buildings:

The smoke has reportedly “blanketed” Potrero Hill, and has filled most of Inner Mission.

According to Mission Local, this is one of the worst fires seen in the Mission in recent years. We agree with that assessment.

Update 2:20pm: Fifth alarm:

[Second and third photos via tipsters]

Cake Punch

The Tropics Are a Colorful Place

Local Indie-poppers The Tropics are set to release their debut EP “Wind House” with Breakup Records on the 28th of October, and are gearing up to do it in style. In addition to playing a show at El Rio (one of this author’s favorite places to make questionable choices under the cover of palm trees) on September 11th, they just dropped this absurdly dope video.

Filmed in 48 hours during The Music Video Race, and featuring both strong vocals and a dude fist-slamming a cake, the video for Sons & Daughters attempts to “uphold the timeless essence of the city.”

The slow motion shot of a band member licking an unknown colorful substance off a mannequin head makes a strong case for the video’s success.

$12 Tacos For Easily Sunburnt Skin

Finally, San Francisco Has Mexican Food For White People

I was recently thinking there aren’t enough $12 al pastor dos tacos in San Francisco. Sure, there’s Tacolicious and their famously foul beer, but they only flip their tacos for four bucks.

Fortunately for San Francisco’s foodie conquistadors, there is now Bandidos, a Mexican-themed restaurant that proudly trumpets their Caucasian targeting.

Inside Scoop hits us with the preview:

“I know that San Francisco has a lot of good Mexican food, and Tacolicious has taken over that scene in a way,” says [consulting chef Jamie Lauren], adding that she was also inspired by the Mexican food she sees in Los Angeles.

Bandidos will make its own corn tortillas, using masa from La Palma, and tacos will dominate the menu. Beyond the tacos, there will be smaller plates like albondigas, quesadillas, and a wet, enchilada-like version of taquitos, as well as entrees like sizzling fajitas.

“I hate to call it white people Mexican food but it is. And I think the Castro needs a place like that.”

I didn’t know “white people Mexican food” was synonymous with “milking money from milky morons.” Every taqueria worth a damn has a complimentary salsa bar that (taking a leap here) would blow away whatever mild mess salsa flight they smashed up for $5. But I suppose if we’re dealing with people who think that Tacolicious has “taken over” the Mission Mexican “scene,” we’re already fucked.

[Inside Scoop]

Just Some Cake And A Good Time

Best Frequencies Forever Celebrates its One Year Anniversary

Founded in 2013 by Amanda Guest, The Mission’s BFF.FM (Best Frequencies Forever) has been consistently rocking digital radio waves from its home inside The Secret Alley for the past year. With shows like hello, cheetle and Doctor Popular’s Pop Music, BFF.FM is a not-so-gentle reminder that sets programmed by human DJ’s are better than their algorithmically generated Pandora counterparts any day. 

To celebrate its first anniversary, BFF.FM is throwing a free party tomorrow night at The Chapel. With sets from Happy Fangs, Nanosaur, Night Genes, and DJ Cosmic Amanda, it’s going to be a rad party.

Oh, and as the incredible flyer promises: “there will be cake.”

Local Music

Greater Than The Sum of Their Parts: Waterstrider Finds Kinship in Sharing the Stage with Bombino

Waterstrider is sick of you asking about their influences, and they should be. Yes, they listen to afrobeat. They’ve (famously) covered Little Dragon. Lead singer, Nate Salman, also studied Saharan blues. That’s all fine, interesting, and mostly irrelevant. If there’s one point Salman hammers home in the most polite way possible, it’s that Waterstrider’s music is more than the sum of its parts.

“What an artist creates is almost always an amalgamation of every influence he/she has gathered. So naturally, the music that I love comes out through the music I create,” said Salman. You can unpack the music piece by piece, but you’ll be missing the point and missing out on really listening to the music.

This Sunday, Waterstrider plays The Independent with international act Bombino. You can grab your tickets here. Bombino rose to fame for his virtuosic guitar playing and emblematic voice of the Taureg people during the Tuareg rebellion in Niger. He then worked with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and made a name for himself stateside. While Waterstrider is far removed from the Sahara, the Taureg peoples’ rebellion and most of Bombino’s life experience, the two couldn’t be closer in terms of a stylistic journey.

Waterstrider is American band that grew up playing American music before turning their ears to foreign influences. Bombino’s sound came from the Republic of Niger, but he picked up a distinct Western influence. The mirrored experience of combining foreign and domestic musical influences is not lost on Salman.

“I definitely feel a kinship, but also a great deal of veneration. Bombino has been a huge influence on me in the last year. Right around the time we were reforming our band, he released ‘Nomad’, which blew my mind. I was pretty obsessed with all the Saharan blues at the time (Tinariwen and a lot of Mauritanian field recordings) and I was trying to absorb that guitar style and tone. I have such immense respect for the Tuareg people and I have never been so honored to play a show with someone. I’m getting to open for a man who is one of my musical heroes,” Salman told Uptown Almanac.

For both parties, the journey to defining their own sound has been a long one. They’d rather not measure it centimeter by centimeter, influence by influence. This mindset is part of the philosophy that earned Waterstrider its name.

A friend of Salman dubbed his spirit animal “waterstrider” because of Nate’s relentless pursuit of his goals in the face of an absurd and beautiful challenge like making music. The same spirit that gave the band its name defines it’s sound and its success says Salman.

“When you stay true to your vision and give as much love to the world as you can, opportunities and adventures reveal themselves constantly. I always try to keep that in mind and I’m so thankful for what that has presented to me so far.”

The Great Outdoors

Alite to Open Combination Camping and Coffee Shop on 18th

Alite Designs has been regularly hosting parties (and occasionally selling their lightweight camping-inspired gear) out of their Mariposa Street location for a few years. But now they’re readying to open a dual-purpose retail store/coffee shop at 18th and Mission.

Noted local Tumblr Capp Street Crap took break from posting pics of rotting refuse to report:

According to founder Tae Kim, the 3378 18th Street space, next to Ken Ken Ramen between Mission and Capp streets, will also be home to his other brand Boreas, an outdoor gear company, as well as a coffee bar.

Kim told me that the store could be open as early as next week, depending on whether he gets the necessary approvals from the city, but definitely no later than the beginning of September.

Since CSC investigated the situation earlier this week, Alite has already made plenty of progress on the space, so it seems their optimistic opening date could come true. In the meantime, here’s a very-much-in-progress shot of the interior:

[Second photo: Capp Street Crap]

Food Worth Instagramming

Local Hero is Vandalizing Cars With Burritos

While this burrito-on-car violence pales in comparison to the time we spotted a sex worker prepping a sloppy mess of cylindrical goodness on a trunk of a car, we’re nevertheless impressed: according to Doctor Popular, a vandal is using burritos to write “CREAM” on the windshields of cars parked in the Mission. It’s an act of artistic expression that is certainly inconsiderate of the drivers of the delightfully victimized cars. It’s also perfect in every way.

Anyway, no word if this vandalism campaign has anything to do with the recent opening of Cream, the Wu-Tang-themed ice cream shop that seems to be a hit with the Palo Alto crowd.

[Photo: Doctor Popular]

Sketch Comedy

Go See Killing My Lobster’s New Live-Action Radio Show

Killing My Lobster Goes Radioactive is another strong showing from the SF sketch comedy stalwart. The organization shook things up on May 1st of this year when Allison Page and Millie Debenedet became the first-ever female creative directors in the organization’s history. Whatever they changed, it’s working. Their latest show is fast paced, interesting, and hilarious. There are no overly complicated sets, no breaks, and great performances all around.

The whole thing is set up like an old timey radio show, complete with a live foley artist—who is absolutely fucking fantastic, by the way. I have no idea where the hell they got him, but the show is worth the price of admission just to see The Reverend LordRifa in action—the dude loves what he does. This is the final week to catch the show, and advance tickets are $15. Protip: you get a free beer for showing up on Wednesday.

[Photo: Rowan Brooks]