How Not to Leave San Francisco (Or Thee Oh Sees' Gentrification Temper Tantrum)

Certainly you've heard Thee Oh Sees' frontman and Castle Face Records' co-owner John Dwyer has moved to Los Angeles.  How could you not?  On December 18th, on stage at the Great American Music Hall, he announced the band was going on hiatus “for a long while,” and he hasn't let up since.

“He's been living in the Mission on 17th and Valencia, and watching that neighborhood as well as the city transform has been enough for him,” Oh Sees' booking agent Annie Southworth told SF Weekly after the Great American show. “He's over it.”

Over it. Yes, lots of people are “over it,” but they don't necessarily pack up all their toys and run away either, especially not by announcing it through their 'representation team'.

Dwyer himself must have realized he let his fuming furor get the better of himself, and quickly dialed back the “long while” hiatus as a “well deserved transitional period” for the band.  And the “over it” was a stray remark by a representative, so we let that slide, too.

But then yesterday, safely distanced from San Francisco's woes in LA, Dwyer puked up a blathering screed about the city's cultural decay. It took the form of a Castle Face press release for POW!'s forthcoming album (edited down for length):

San Francisco has long been filling up with noobs…but now we face the most dangerous, the most egregious and blandest of them all… people with lots of money.
NOBODY can square-up a joint like rich people.

POW! have written a punk eulogy to our fair city.

Pop up shops!
Specialty shops!
What the fuck is happening???

There goes the taqueria that used to kick ass, replaced by a deli with a line of assholes a mile long. “I wonder what the sandwiches are like and do they make their own salsa?”
It's enough to be the catalyst for a bad day or a great fucking song. […]

Heed the warning bell about the streets of our home being clogged with the cholesterol of normals…next they could be knocking on your door…

The whole media campaign is starting to look like a desperate attempt for his move to be seen as a watershed moment in gentrification.

However, John Dwyer made a choice.  He wasn't evicted.  He wasn't priced out.  He's in a famous band; no one was making him go anywhere.  One day he said “fuck this noise,” loaded up a U-Haul, and drove to Los Angeles—which is fine, because people do similar things all the time.  But then, from hundreds of miles away, he waved his middle finger at the city he just gave up on and lashed out at it.

Instead of admitting he had a great run in SF but he felt was time to move on, he voluntarily left kicking and screaming.  His resulting tirade was worse than pointless and petulant, it was snot-filled loogie spit in the face of community that nurtured his storied career.  And what for?  Did any of this help?

Say what you will about the Mission's current state of affairs (we certainly have), but it's not irreparably fucked.  The neighborhood has grown to have three flourishing independent radio stations, venues like The Chapel (where Thee Oh Sees recently had a residency) are opening, not closing, and worthy bands are still springing up.  Never mind all the people sticking around, fighting to reverse the vile trends Dwyer called out.

This isn't to say that I don't love Thee Oh Sees—I've trashed my ear drums to Help more times than I can count, and blared their other albums almost as much.  And their live show was always among my favorites around.

But if you decide you can't take it anymore, at least push off with some dignity. Because there's nothing punk rock about being smug.

[Photo via SF Weekly]

Comments (106)

“I’m tired of douchebags in SF, so I’m gonna move to… Los Angeles.”

Let us know how that plan works out for you, Captain Smartypants.

It’s funny how a white east coast born elite school transplant who has lived in SF for just over a decade (and the Mission less than 4 years) is so over gentrification. (that said I dig thee oh sees music and still agree with the SFBG that John Dwyer is the coolest guy in SF)

actually, he was here in ‘98 because he lived across the street from me then.

John moved to San Francisco in the mid 90’s pre-first bust. He’s not an East Coast “elite school transplant”. It would be nice if people could get facts straight. Really nice.

RISD is an absolute East Coast Elite School. He moved out here at the earliest in 98, gentrifying the Lower Haight (about the same time Edo opened and the Theatre Lofts were built).

Maybe our definition of elite differs and RISD certainly was different in the 1990’s.

John was DEFINITELY here before 98, I’m not sure how I could have seen Pink & Brown in 1997 and actually have John and Jeffrey living here then. I think it was more like 1996 but I could be wrong. There was a fantastic art rock/noise scene here around that time and we were doing a lot of weird, good, freaky live performance shit and there were plenty of practice spaces and warehouses to throw parties in. You know, the good old days.

As for gentrifying the lower Haight you can thank Willie Brown for that by bulldozing the projects while lying to the tenants that they could move back in when they were rebuilt. Then building ¼ of the housing that was there before. And not JPD or anyone else for that matter.

It may not be an elite school with respect to academics, but it is very expensive and nearly exclusively filled with upper middle class kids. It’s not a horrible generalization of the school to say it is “east coast elite.”

I have a strong (though perhaps mistaken) recollection of his moving here from Providence, RI around the time of the first boom - late ‘90’s. I think that would make him the very vanguard of gentrification.

I don’t feel how long he’s lived here is relevant–he’s absolutely paid his SF dues. Slamming your door on the way out is what I take issue with.

no it’s not. you’re looking for drama and you found an easy target. good job and good luck.

Oh well *shrug* Let him go explore the coffee shops and vegan restaurants of Echo Park, or downtown LA, no gentrification there…

Just as long as we have bands like Deafheaven, and great music venues, its hard to beat this city. Ive been here for a while, theres just simply no better city out there. Portland is approaching the weirdness we have here, but is car centric and less fun to me. Also who hates on parklets? Parklets to me are pure SF born and bred funkiness.

You’re kidding, right?

about what?

It must be rough to be a gentrifier and then yourself get gentrified. So. So. Sad.

Thee Oh Reets

Remember, Kids: You can’t spell LAME without LA.

You can’t spell ButtHurt without SFC..

Well he could of gone on to gentrify Oakland or the Bayview. But maybe he’s secretly a sell out, as LA would be a better place for a band to get a much bigger audience. But complaining about SF’s gentrification probably makes him feel a lot better about it, assuaging and clouding the commercial motives. Good luck with that.

Hmmm I heard he left because his lady was going to school down there. And I hope that this blog doesn’t see itself outside the “media campaign” LOL

No better way to become a sudo-punk, sellout band and makes lots of money then moving to LA. Then when your name gets branded you begin selling your songs to be used in commercials and take your Scrooge McDuck stack of cash and re-re-gentrify The City. Then you can right songs about how LA sucked your soul dry and you returned here to be “reborn” Perfect plan.

Hey Fucko, I don’t know if you can READ, but the band is going on HIATUS. The inferiority complex you people have with LA is so, so, so TIRING. Get over it and just be happy you live in the provincial backwater that is SF.



So let me get this straight John Dwyer is getting criticized for leaving this city and having an opinion on the way out about the current state of this place? Everywhere I go I hear people talking the same smack in fact I read it on here on a regular basis. He’s leaving SF number 1 to be with his long term GF who moved there for school. I guess the knob jockey ratio in the city at the moment made his decision to leave that much easier. John Dwyer has done more for San Francisco’s music scene than most could only dream of. He’s constantly played benefit shows for great causes in this city should it be for struggling origizations or people who’s found themselves in a tough spot. I think his points are very valid and at least he has the balls to have an opinion about what’s happening here unlike most San Fransicans who avoid confrontation at all costs. Most bands I know of are getting priced out of this city on a regular basis killing the live music scene. Sit back and pretend it’s not happening but let me assure you it’s real.

Agree with this 100%.

I never heard of him until he said he was leaving.

If he didn’t leave I wouldn’t have known he was ever here.

I miss him already.

Ive lived in Oakland, Portland, and now LA and all the LA stereotypes are true. People are shallow and materialistic. the traffic is soul crushing and BTW LA seems pretty fucking gentrified to me. Downtown LA “arts district” is gentrified and expensive and kinda sucks even if it was cheap. same thing with echo park/ silverlake a 1 bedroom is gonna be like 1600+ unless you get south of sunset or by K-town. and echo park kinda sucks anyway compared to a real neighborhood like the mission. your not walking anywhere there is like 2 blocks of a neighborhood by the echo( woop de doo) the only good venue in LA (the echo curio) is closed due to some BS. people move out to highland park cause its cheaper but its like sure moving out to the desert is cheap too. Sadly all of california is kinda getting fucked…everywhere I go rents are ridiculous and going up..with more and more bland people moving in. I really liked living in Oakland but the rents there are getting stupid too…oh well what to do

I feel ya. We’ve been here a long, long time, almost 25 years. I still think the Mission District is the best neighborhood I’ve lived in or visited in the USA. But so many of my friends have moved…., everyone knows the picture.

I lived in Oakland (eastside near the Parkway theatre) also in the late 80’s. Apartment leasing agents told me that is was suicidal to live below the 580 freeway. Most of my SF friends thought I was crazy. None had ever heard of Fruitvale. How times change. Oakland is great also. But unless you live in outlying areas where car travel is almost a necessity, current rents are more than SF controlled rents from the mid-2000’s and earlier.

I’m not planning a move. Once Mission Street loses its multicultural, working class vibe or we lose our housing, I will reconsider. Top of the list–Philadelphia, Baltimore. Kansas City is surprisingly nice though a lot smaller than other places I have lived.

You been here a long time. Shoulda brought a place instead of relying on rent control to carry you. Kinda screwed the pooch on that one, huh?

Dumb. Bad. Repeat Ad Infinitum.

Go hang yourself. Now.

Kansas City is a shithole. Completely gentrified entertainment districts. Zero public transit. Soul-crushing traffic if you don’t live near work. Horrible poverty and little services for those in need.

Good blues and jazz and BBQ, but thats about it.

So typically American then with an above average music scene. I’ve only visited for a few days at a time with a rental car at my disposal.

I won’t be a landlord and live off other people’s wages. So I didn’t screw anything or anyone (metaphorically at least). Who asked for unsolicited advice anyways?

Not as a landlord, but as a homeowner, free from the shackles of relying on rent control. Being a LL in this city is icing on the cake (if you know how to do it right, that is.)

Nobody cares what you think. You omni twat. And you’re utter shit and winding people up so I’m not sure why you bother. There’s not much more pathetic than a troll who blows at trolling. But carry on I suppose. Because you’re “winning.”

Jealous much?

Case in point. You’re absolute garbage at getting a rise out of people but you keep trying. “Jealous much?” is seriously the best you can come up with when somone calls you a twat? That’s it? What a pathetic display.

Looks like it working on you.

Wrong. And lazy. Again.


sure, you win genius.

Still Dumb. Still Bad.

Still cuckold. Still bitter.

Hey Kevin,

Get your facts straight, MAYBE?

He didn’t release anything through his representative (me) I was asked some questions by a friend and I answered them, in my own words. I didn’t realize they were even going to be printed but they were and that’s the fact.

A decent portion of the inhabitants of this city cares about losing John Dwyer and Thee Oh Sees, which is why it’s been made the big deal it has. It’s a symbol for a lot of us who have lived here since the late 80’s early 90’s and pretty sad to lose a beloved artist as well as many of what I consider valued long time inhabitants, including the elderly, the “minorities”, lower and middle class families, artists, musicians, non-white collar workers. Watching this city die slowly over the past years is massively heart-breaking.

There are other reasons for moving to LA that aren’t on the surface but your judgement and bullshit news piece(?) is extremely upsetting, when you have the facts all wrong. Especially when you could have very easily just asked me directly. Like say, maybe wanting to move from your place and not being able to? How about your partner going to grad school in LA? Do you know John Dwyer has been Ellis Act evicted out of 3 apartments in the past 15 years?

And some of these comments…geezus fucking christ. Are you serious? There is no ulterior motive on Thee Oh Sees hiatus and subsequent moves from the city and certainly not about publicity or career moves. It’s a dying city and headed toward corporate chain businesses and a cultural shit hole and anyone who refutes that is fucking blind, deaf and dumb.

Seriously man, fuck you.


Fuck you too, Annie. Hysterical bitch. I’ve lived in this city my entire life. It’s not dying. You’re just a fool.

Should I guess this is Kevin in some kind of disguise?

Hysterical bitch because I’m calling you out on your ill researched, purposely distorted, no-fact-check shit blog post?

So be it.

No, it’s not dying if you don’t care about what I consider valued long time inhabitants, including the elderly, the “minorities”, lower and middle class families, artists, musicians. There is already non-white collar employment shortage and trust me it’s only going to get worse. non-white collar workers who are essential to the balance and yes survival of this city is getting dire. New York can afford to crush people out of Manhattan because they have good, safe, reliable public transportation that runs 24 hours a day, something we do not have. People can’t rely on BART, MUNI or CALTRAIN, can’t afford to park in the city and can’t afford to live in the city. Nope, the poorly planning (and I suspect kickback taking) San Francisco government handing out tax exemptions to businesses like Twitter or letting “Google” busses plow freely through the city without any basic fees to contribute to the upkeep is not crushing ourselves from the inside out. Encouraging people to commute on these busses rather than just maybe say live near where you work while not contributing anything positive to the city is not hurting us, nope.

People keep acting like there wouldn’t be a housing crisis if only it weren’t for the Twitter tax breaks or if Google buses paid to use bus stops. Grow. Up.

They are not the only issues but they are big contenders in the housing crisis.

Google alone runs 100+ busses per day in the city and apparently 380 trips daily across the Bay Area. 40+ companies run shuttles and have 200+ stops across the city.

Our city, with all the money coursing through it’s veins isn’t improving or changing (except that rents and purchase costs keep going up) despite all the luxury housing being built. Also, with luxury housing you also generally have to factor in one car per person per household. This city cannot accommodate those cars so adding 300+ busses a day on our streets as well as all the new cars and we have some very, very, very big problems.

I think 300+ busses a day probably beats out a car per google employee. Despite years of public outcry for better public transit to the south bay, there has been little to no progress in creating this. I have no idea why, south-bay NIMBY-ism?

What SF needs is mandated BMR rentals for all the new housing being built. You can thank Jerry Brown for veto-ing that one and basically screwing the next generation of inclusionary housing.

SF had a major housing crisis during the last dotcom boom and learned nothing from it. It’s a city planning and state policy issue, it’s not the fault of Google busses.

Google busses are part of the problem of the housing crisis. Undeniably.

And if these these busses were not roaming San Francisco city streets people would live closer to their work place and not commute up to 40 miles each way in traffic. There is only so much room in here and having the city encourage people to live here yet commute out via busses (that don’t contribute to the city financially to the use of the city streets) makes zero sense on any given level.

Yes, it’s a planning problem and from Willie Brown through Ed Lee, something is massively wrong with how the very little space and housing has been handled has been a shit show. Part of the solution could be either disallowing the buses use of city streets and making people use them meet at central location like the Civic Center encouraging Public Transportation like the average Joe or Jane does to help fund the betterment of our antiquated public transportation structure. Or San Francisco could use the funds that these busses should be paying to use the city streets to help fund the fix of our crippled public transportation system. Something has to give here, just another level of San Francisco getting crushed.

Yes, it’s poor city planning and our government making shitty choices that don’t benefit everyone butt the exceedingly wealthy but that’s nothing new in politics. The reality is that this city cannot survive with only white-collar inhabitants and the sooner everyone acknowledges that the better, which is finally being discussed by Ed Lee and company. The current housing costs here are outrageous, even for the wealthy…ridiculous to agree to pay 45-50K+ for rent per year for anyone not to mention commuting out of where you live sitting on a bus 3-4 hours each day. This makes very little sense, no matter what your income level is on paper.


ps I really hate the no-edit feature of this blog. Those typos are killing me. I apologize.

Why can’t a city survive on white collar inhabitants only?

If the buses ceased to exist – and I say this from the perspective of someone who commuted from
Hey, Annie:

SF to the south bay before company-run buses were commonplace – I would NOT move to the south bay. I would simply get in my car and drive. At best, I’d organize a carpool with co-workers who lived in the area but it would not magically compel me to move from SF, so the logic there is way off base.

I’m a tech worker and I’ve lived her for 12 years – before buses, before the startup explosion, before any of this neighbor-on-neighbor madness. I frequent local businesses, run by people who know me on sight. I take pains to contribute in every way I am able.

And – gasp: I have been and continue to be a strong and ardent supporter of the music scene, including the very band that you manage: Thee Oh Sees. I’ve seen dozens of their shows, bought their merch, and talked about them to anyone who will listen.

And now I’m repaid by your generalizations, your blind hate for people like me, who happen to work within a particular industry? Sounds awesome. You’re a class act.

Ha, well I’m not sure being here for 12 years counts as being before “the startup explosion.”

The reality is that people love to exaggerate things. I remember the mission in the mid 90s, if you dislike Valencia now you probably would have disliked it then. Old Mission street is the same as the current mission street (albeit with less violence), the area around trick dog is new, old Pops was the same as current Pops and etc…

It’s funny when people like this singer like to imagine that they were in on the ground floor of something. The mission was hip in the 80s, I missed it but I heard people discuss it (man the mission was so over in the late 90s according to them). Hell there were death of the mission protests in the late 90s / early 2000s. The art collective that hung around Clarion alley had huge protests when their building got shut down, is this singer aware of that? It was a funky place back then, but it still is. A different sort of weird, its more kids that want to have a good time vibe now, before the first tech rush of the early 90s it was a bit more radical. But after the first tech rush I’d be hard pressed to really point out too much of a difference, now it just has reached a critical mass. Its not like the people I know who lived in the lower haight in the 80s and wouldn’t step foot there now, back when it was a grungy little thing. The mission is still the mission, 24th street is still awesome, wise sons deli is actually pretty good.

I don’t generally like to play the I was here first card, Im old, no one wants to hear it. But someone who moved here in early to mid 2000s just can’t complain about gentrification. As stated above its just not very different between then and now, the difference really occurred before the late 90s.

And you are every single tech person and speak for every single person in the tech industry, namely the “noobs” that are moving here and paying these massive rents then sitting on busses for hours at a time. Right.

There is no blind hate here that I’m repaying you with for liking really good music WEIRD PARANOID STRANGER. What I do hate with open fucking eyes is the situation in the city, which is crushing the city I know and have loved for a very long time. Anyone with any allegiance to San Francisco the past can’t not take notice of these issues. Can you truly say what’s going on is fair and right, with the commute busses cruising around the city picking up you and your co-workers and not abiding by traffic laws or contributing to the upkeep as well as compensating for loss revenue for BART, CALTRAIN, MUNI? Is that right? Or any of the other bullshit that is going on AT THE EXPENSE OF LONG TIME RESIDENTS, FAMILIES, OLD PEOPLE, ARTISTS, MUSICIANS ETC?

I get it, you have a ton of money and should be able to do whatever you want with it and I don’t disagree. My issues stem from the injustice as well as inhumanity that I see.

Knock it off with the paranoid delusions and persecution complex. It’s unbecoming.


Why do long time residents, families, old people, artists, musician, etc have any more right to live here than anyone else?

1. “Loss of revenue for BART, Caltrain, and MUNI”? Are you fucking serious?

Let’s take that apart, shall we?
For “loss of revenue” to occur *because* of the shuttles, that would mean that the latter *causes* the former. Can you explain this? Because the only transit service that services the South Bay is Caltrain and it does so very fucking poorly. I don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to BART and MUNI because I and most of my co-workers that live in the city also hold fully-loaded Clipper cards that WE FUCKING PAY FOR. So fuck you and your small-minded, research-free accusations.

2. “Crushing the city I love…”

Oh, boo fucking hoo. Yeah, I love the city, too. What of it? Oh, it’s YOURS because you’ve been here longer? It’s somehow proof that you care more because you were here when Dwyer took a shit here in 1996 and was doing the same fucking schtick he’s doing now with the Coachwhips? WOW, you’re amaaaaaazing. Let’s erect a fucking statue of your precious NIMBY self in all your I-was-here-first glory.

3. And, yes, for all your holier-than-thou bullshit, you wouldn’t kick money out of bed. Stop pretending like you’re some artists-first saint who had a chance to have riches but said no thank you. If Dwyer and company had been capable of pulling in serious money, I’d bet anything you’d be first in line to defend the guy and his right to rent a $3000 apartment if he chose to. And if your actual line is “keep San Francisco poor,” than you’re an even bigger idiot than I am currently giving you credit for.

4. No one likes the too-expensive rents, you fucking moron. Not even the people who can afford it. The opportunists are the property owners, you dumb fuck, not rank-and-file employees riding a bus. Get real.

Annie - I use my real name. I’ve offered to meet with you in person to talk via Facebook. That still stands. But you’re welcome to keep on with this instead.

Do you also post/reply as “I don’t think before I type” or no?

I’m not entirely sure there is any reason to meet at this point, Kevin. You’ve made it clear that you stand by this article and I’ve called out what I know to be factual about this situation.

I personally wouldn’t offer to meet with someone that I considered to be a hysterical bitch…

“I don’t think before I type” is the default commenter name (for people who don’t fill out the real name), which is why you see it all over the blog. All author pages display that name because of a bug in our CMS, which we haven’t bothered to fix.

Again, offer still stands.

What time does the podcast go up? I’m curious as to what the discussion on the subject is going to come across as.

Honestly, Kevin…I don’t think it’s a great idea that we meet up while I’m still this angry. I just re-read your post and it is still making my blood boil. It makes no sense for you to berate someone for leaving San Francisco, whatever their personal reasons despite what YOU think they are (and clearly you have no clue nor did you bother to ask anyone who did). For you to call to task anyone for being vocally frustrated about their friends and neighbors being crushed out, their favorite tacquerias being replaced by an 18$ sandwich shop and the general squareness of the city. A city that used to be rich with art, culture, cultural diversity, the weird, politically left and interesting but now is filled with inhumane assholes who think the way Greg Gopman does, snotty little shits like Peter Shih, Bryan Goldberg types and his “satire” and any of their friends or colleagues who consider them brave for posting the shit that they have. Especially when it’s about a subject that you have admitted that you agree upon but decided that the departure wasn’t dainty or PC enough for you. You then unfactually slander for having the gall to express the slightest inkling of contempt at the situation of what is going on in San Francisco. To add insult to injury, you arrogantly say it “accomplished nothing”?

Your article pisses me off to no end, which I think it’s pretty obvious at this point. It’s irresponsible, disrespectful on so many levels and your insinuations couldn’t be further from the actual, factual truth.

I’m going to try to let this go but honestly, all things considered, it’s going to be a toughy.

A. Hipster sandos aren’t $18. Only $12.
B. Still plenty of tacos avail for $1.50

And yeah, that dudes post was kinda whiny, and for what? A move to equally soulless and almost-as-expensive LA? What ru, a groupie or somethin?

A. Have you eaten at the deli that we are talking about? No? Then shut the fuck up.
B. Where are there 1.50$ tacos? As if every taco in the city is the same. Do you even live in San Francisco? I’m guessing no.
C. Jesus Christ you are an idiot. I’ve been reading some of your posts and you contribute fuck all. Please refrain from this discussion.
D. Yes. I’m a groupie. You are clearly not paying attention to this discussion AT ALL. See C.

Note: this particular reply thread has devolved pretty drastically, so I’ve unpublished some of the more abusive comments.

“Fuck you too, Annie. Hysterical bitch. I’ve lived in this city my entire life. It’s not dying. You’re just a fool.”

You’ve lived in this city your whole life and you have no concern of the displacement going on, Kevin? Now that’s an incredibly dead soul. According to your bio, you are from the east coast. I get it, you have a secret account for posts like tha above, the other is set up to say “wise” things like, everything is not black and white. But then not heed your own words. shows, I’m pretty sure, that “I don’t think before I type” is KMonty aka Kevin Montgomery. Maybe this is not new news to anyone but posting sometimes as Kevin and sometimes as I don’t think is confusing for us hysterical bitch fools.

I have is massive contempt for this article and now Kevin Montgomery.

And the argument that anyone who is getting booted from the city should have bought into housing…for those of us who were here for the 1989 earthquake and then recovered into the .COM rise/bust Mid 90’s, then the Bush Era recession and wars then onto the Wall Street chaos of the past few years knows that it hasn’t made a whole lot of sense to buy here in quite a few years.

Sure, we will most likely get out because we probably won’t have a choice unless something great happens like say an Earthquake or people figure out Twitter isn’t turning a profit or maybe that it’s stupid to pay 4K a month and commute 40 miles per work each day in traffic. But that doesn’t mean everyone is going to go quietly or not call bullshit out on the bullshit.

Annie, I agree with your analysis of the changes of the demographics and culture of San Francisco and it breaks my heart also. Popping the speculative bubble would be great. An earthquake, while inevitable, will not be great. You and I and plenty of other people might die. I’m unfamiliar with your friend’s band, but keep defending his right to have an opinion (gasp!).

To add:

Let’s not forget all the benefits, fundraising, all the pushes up this band and John Dwyer has done for so many performers, artists, musicians as well as friends whose houses burned down, people who’ve been in accidents and general love this band has given the city for many, many, many years. Fuck anyone who is going to even try to kick them as John tries to leave, on whatever terms he wants to leave. What was said in that press release needed to be said, in my opinion, like it or not.

Seriously, people, especially those of you who have just got here in the past few years who cannot relate to those of us that have lived and loved here for decades, who are getting pushed out either right this moment for whatever reason or in a little while and are doing what they need to do to continue to practice their art and live their lives.

Sincerely pissed,


You’re just coming off as defensive. My suggestion: Stop talking about it.

I was raised in a wealthy suburb. I cannot afford to live in the town I was raised in. Do I have a right to totally lose my shit about that the way you do about where you’re from? Or is that right only reserved for those who didn’t have a “priveleged” upbringing?

Read the article, then read the thread and then ask questions about the issues we are discussing.

If people get priced out due to the short-sightedness of the government, that’s what it will be. We are talking about someone leaving, being displeased about leaving, saying something about being displeased THEN getting berated for not going away quietly enough for the author of this piece.

Your intital post was a defense a John and a slam of Kevin, but your string of subsequent posts devolved into a rant on white collar workers, rising housing costs, and artists being forced out. So yeah, I stand by my questions above. I was forced out of my affluent suburb due to cost, do I have the same right to get pissed that you do? I would say no. If you can’t keep up, go somewhere where you can. I did and it sounds like John did too.

I don’t know your situation, it’s pretty vague so I can’t really delve into guessing what’s right and fair in your home town. And it’s ridiculous to ask that I comment on it.

What we are discussing is not black and white but yes, I feel that people have the right to be pissed after being sold out by the San Francisco government in this particular situation. And they also have a right to say they whether they are on their way out, or staying put.

The argument here IS what I stated above and that’s what we are discussing.

Where did I rant on white collar workers? I said this city can’t survive on white collar workers alone to which someone asked why? I guess computer coders and programs want to pour their own drinks, cook their own food, drive their own taxis, fight their own fires, garden their own gardens, babysit their own kids, plumb, provide their own electricity work, man their own corner stores, deliver their own pizzas, police their own crime etc etc etc?

Geezus this is delving into some really ridiculous bullshit.

And if you want to complacently get priced out of your home, that’s on you. I don’t know you and I don’t know what the details of the situation are but that’s between you and wherever it was that you want (?) to live and can’t (?). It’s personal to you like the situation in San Francisco is personal to me.

And I will stay here as long as I can because it is my home and has been for the past few decade but I reserve the right to be pissed at what’s going on, same with anyone else. The issue is about anyone being called out on expressing displeasure about the current situation here in San Francisco, as if anyone who has done anytime here should just walk away complacently as the city gets absolutely shit upon by poor city planning, corrupt government and people waiving around their Benjamins.

It’s going to be pretty interesting when in the few years when the tech market is flooded and tech jobs aren’t going to be in such demand. I be the inhumane and short-sighted attitudes suddenly fall away.


THE DELI? This is the big time, kid. Hold on to your hat.

I’ve met Dwyer casually a couple of times, so I can’t claim to know him in any real sense. But I do know him well enough that the idea of him staging a “media campaign” is hilarious. Especially since the motive you seem to be attributing to him is… slandering the city he lived in for 15 years? Striking a blow against tech workers? I don’t think he has it in him to put that much effort into some nebulous revenge fantasy. Which is not to say he doesn’t have every reason in the world to dislike how the city has changed and every right to say something about it, but still - you’re making up motives and schemes that don’t seem particularly accurate.

SF is a mess right now, and he’s got both the opportunity and motive to leave. I have a hard time reading this as anything more.

SF is dead guys. Get a job at Microsucks or get over it.

I mean really if he was stillhere wouldn’t you be like fuck yeah?
its pretty easy shot to kick someone who’s moving to LA
He’s kinda saying what people are too nice to say- fuck these boring piece of shit corporate diddlers who fucked our town in the ass and didn’t even give it a reach around

This is a very poor article. Do a better job next time Kevin.

I don’t know John personally but our bands have played together on a couple bills & he’s always been fun & a no-bullshit kind of guy. I’ve been here since ‘87 and anybody who thinks San Francisco has retained its counterculture vibe is obviously out of touch. The cost of living here has priced many artists & fringe elements out of the city & SF is turning into a glorified hipster interburb for the cubicle drones to play in. I bought a house here (in the Mission, before the beards took over) & I can’t wait for the next bubble-burst to shed all the stock-slaves so we can get our freak on again! I only wish John could wait it out with us.

If I was moving to look for “soul”, I don’t think LA is where I’d look….

Generalizing Los Angeles…have you spent any time there? Other than tabloid magazines and what you see on TV, do you know much about Los Angeles as a whole? As you can imagine, there are a lot of creative types down in Southern California, great artistic talent, of all mediums. I know this is a crazy idea what with all the entertainment industry that’s down there.

I don’t personally want to live there, I did a little time down there about 12 years ago and it’s not for me, personally but when someone doesn’t really have any other option in the Bay Area and music, producing, soundtracks, etc etc etc is what you do…don’t you think it might make just a little bit of sense?

Generalizing San Francisco…have you spent any time there? Other than Valleywag and what you see on TV, do you know much about San Francisco as a whole? As you can imagine, there are a lot of creative types down in the Bay Area, great artistic talent, of all mediums. I know this is a crazy idea what with all the various industries that’re up there.

I don’t personally want to live there…

What’s wrong with Oakland?

One thing I’ve noticed about Uptown Almanac over the years is Kevin’s propensity for staying on both sides of an argument. Kevin knocks John Dwyer while wringing his hands over the recent tech bus flap, waiting to see what the prevailing feeling is, so that he won’t be called, or left, out, for having an unpopular opinion. The protestors taking out their ire on the buses is just misdirected, sez he, and then two days later, but it is effective. Kevin, thanks for the searing and immovable insights.

Kevin is like the Middle Man character from the “This Modern World” cartoon. Playing to both sides of the room just in case his tech boat comes in and he can shift over to that camp fully, or at least until the wind changes again. Perhaps Kevin got his start on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, flip-flopping being a specialty there, and Kevin is from Massachusetts after all. Maybe the amount of time one has spent in SF is actually relevant, because there was a time — pre-first dot com disaster — when adhering to a herd mentality wasn’t seen as a virtue. Uptown Opportunist has a nice ring to it, no?

Naw, I just don’t see everything as black-and-white. Neither side is always right + virtuous.

(Also, giving someone shit for dedicating 11 months to attempt to defeat Bush? How enlightened.)

Kevin, how convenient for you that there are so many shades of gray. I’m sure it’s never out of fashion in your wardrobe.

The fact that you spent 11 months working on the election campaign of a center-right, political, elite, who was attempting to unseat a far-right political elite, is of no interest to me, and of no significance to the article. It is your business, and your business alone, that you choose to spend your time in this fashion. Once again you are deviating from the subject in a vain attempt to defend the indefensible.

Spot on.

Kevin rips John to shreds then has to backtrack by saying how much he loves the band.

Kevin could have easily done the right thing and requested to interview John or the band but he took the tabloid route meant to rile people up, factual or not. In Kevin’s fantasy land, John was waggling a middle finger from hundreds of miles away but in reality probably just frustratedly wrote an intro to a band on his label whose record according to the press release, deals with the present changes going on in the city. None of anything Kevin wrote of above happened the way he’s put it, but that doesn’t stop Kevin from literally making up a scenario here then complaining that someone who has lived in San Francisco since the mid 90’s isn’t going away as quietly as Kevin thinks he should. Kevin has to sensationalize the piece by calling it an “Oh Sees tantrum” to even get people to look at his article not to mention his condescending and weirdly placed “ ‘s are just baffling. To argue that anyone who leaves San Francisco for reasons that he doesn’t fully understand or take the time to ask about, Kevin gets to guess what they might be and make a scathing blog post about them. Then to have the gall to call anyone out on what is punk or not punk rock behavior is just beyond. That’s right, everything isn’t black and white. Heed your own words.

This is a 100% disgusting article aimed at someone has given some serious time, love, energy, entertainment, support to a city that has been pushing it’s arts and artists for years.

I’m frankly appalled.

I have to say I have had a number of friends who loved living in SF for years and then when the time came to buy a house and they had to move out of the bay area suddenly SF sucked major wind and they were GLAD as hell to be leaving.
Trying to make the move a little easier?
oh and fuck that rock star..when he moves to LA he can really appreciate douchebaggery

It’s called growing up. Dwyer is turning ForTee.

Whoa this got out of hand. Barring a few trolls, I would assume that a large portion of people reading this would agree that the gentrification in the Mission has gotten out of hand in recent years, and I don’t take issue with any of the sentiment in what John Dwyer wrote. I would take issue with how poorly written the thing is, and I’m kind of bummed that the dude from my favorite band throws around the word “noob,” but I don’t in any way dispute his right to have written it.

I kind of always felt like Thee Oh Sees would somehow be a constant in this city. No matter what city I saw them in, John would start every show with “We’re Thee Oh Sees from San Francisco.” As recently as their residency at The Chapel in October, they were selling t-shirts that said “Thee Oh Sees, SF” on them. If any part of this feels like a “temper tantrum” to me, it’s really the abruptness of their leaving, and how soon John was ready to disparage the few of us non-techbus assholes trying to still survive in this “dead” city, people who have paid to see them every chance they got. Clearly they have every right to do whatever the fuck they want as a band, but they were a hugely important part of music in this city to a lot of people, and to see John leave it like this is just kind of sad.

Really hoping they dont break up, me and my coworkers love listening to their albums on the commute to work!

Best comment of this entire thread!


Maybe I need reading lessons, but it seems to me that Kevin is arguing not that Dwyer should have gone away quietly, but that he should have stayed to fight. Not that it’s his place to dictate either way, but let’s at least be clear what we’re arguing about.

Correct: I would rather have him stick around and fight. As Annie mentioned, he’s great at fundraising, and his microphone for campaigning for change is massive.

But if he really felt it was time to leave, he could have at least not salted the earth behind him.

Dear Annie: You need a lesson in Internetting 101

You call Annie Southworth names, you get shipped off to Treasure Island pantless with a bag over your head .

There’s a tendency here and in other forums to reduce the city to the Mission (and sometimes Bernal). Most San Franciscans live west of Stanyan and couldn’t pick genre-bending postpunk out of a lineup. They include musicians, artists, teachers, civil servants, and an international army of skilled laborers who couldn’t be happier about the construction boom.

PS - Nestor Mahkno anyone?

Douchebags replacing douchebags.

Who the fuk are ANY of you to say where he should be………Lol.  San Fran is turning into tech trash, and the only ones who disagree with artists departure, are the ones who actually “think” they too are artists………stuck on a small island with a bunch of Ipnone, bike riding hipsters……..Get a clue*