Monday, August 31, 2009

Music gnus of interest (to me)

I haven't quite gotten on board with the monthly "Vinyl Saturdays," but:
The Avett Brothers just announced they will release a limited edition 7" to indie record stores this Saturday, Sept. 5th. In these rough economic times, American Recordings is really capitalizing on their artists with the early release mp3s, the limited edition 7", and the various packages of pre-orders for the new album. I guess they know only a certain group of people are buying stuff now, so you've got to make those folks buy as much as possible.

Really wishing:
that I had bought a copy of the Avett Brothers' side project, Oh What a Nightmare, because now that they are huge, it is going to be impossible to find a copy. Mp3s are still available, as I assume they always will be, but it's just not the same.

I guess I wasn't really looking for this:
but was totally surprised to see that Jon Krakauer has a new book coming out Sept. 15th. The book is called Where Men Win Glory, and details the story of Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who left the NFL to serve in the U.S. military, and subsequently was killed in Afghanistan in 2002. I know Krakauer has his detractors, but I have to say I expect this book to be extremely well done. If I'm wrong, I won't hesitate to let you know.

If you live in the Denver/Boulder area:
Krakauer has some appearances scheduled: Boulder on 9/17 and Tattered Cover in Denver on 9/21.

Slam poetry is dead, trust me, but:
there are still a few great spoken word artists out there that put on a great show. The Elephant Engine High Dive Revival will feature Buddy Wakefield, Derrick Brown, Anis Mojgani, and Shira Erlichman with a 5th rotating member, and it will be touring hopefully very close to you. The tentative Boulder date was scrapped, but at least there's still Denver. Every time before I go, I always think about how live poetry doesn't really excite me these days, but then the show is just amazing. Well worth the time.

USA Today just named:
Justin Townes Earle's Midnight at the Movies as Grammy-worthy. Also mentioned are Lubbock natives The Flatlanders.

The Wooden Birds recently announced:
a pretty comprehensive U.S. tour with the Great Lake Swimmers from late Sept. through the month of October. More on the Denver show as it approaches.

I know you don't care:
but I have really gotten into Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show on the Travel Channel. For a niche cable show, his approach seems very real to me, and I appreciate that. Plus, he always goes to amazing places. The Saudi Arabia episode was especially good.

I had a heck of a time:
finding any info about a Richard Buckner record I had seen on ebay a few months back. Turns out that his former band, The Doubters, had one song on a 2 X 7" vinyl compilation in 1993 or 1994 or so. The compilation is called Ain't This Bliss With You and This and to my knowledge, is the only Richard Buckner song available on vinyl. If anyone knows of any other records of his on vinyl, I'd like to know about them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to music posts, finally

The new Telegraph Canyon:
is officially out. The CD is for sale on Velvet Blue right now, but still waiting for word on the vinyl.

If you've got the time:
and a place where you can watch a video (not at work preferably), there's a great new What's So Funny? posted. It's Denver related, but you don't have to be from the Mile High to understand it.

Thanks to a fellow Colorado blogger - Cause=Time:
I heard about this hilarious internet business going on between bloggers and Third Eye Blind fans. The summary of it all is basically that various bloggers said 3eb weren't really that great or important, and subsequently a horde of 3eb fans descended upon them and called them mean names. The fight started here, and then moved here and here. Clearly these bloggers haven't been listening to "The Background" on repeat for the last 13 years like I have.

This Friday at the Boulder Theater:
Delta Spirit is playing with The Wheel, a Denver band I've really been starting to like, after hearing them open for Bon Iver. Don't know much about Delta Spirit, but heard on pretty good authority from a friend that they are a little bit like Cold War Kids Jr. Maybe I'll win tickets...

No previously unheard songs on it:
but an Avett Brothers session from SXSW was just posted on Rhapsody this week, if you're into live recordings and such.

Great new song posted on youtube:
from a recent Thrift Store Cowboys show in Dallas. The first one is new, and then a remake of "Cafe," and then the old standard "Sleepy Engine" on this clip.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

JTE GQ feature

Thanks to Bloodshot's facebook update letting us know about the Justin Townes Earle piece in the new GQ. Click the image to link to a page where you can zoom in to read the text.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Elmer Kelton 1926-2009

Yes, I know this is another non-music post. However, I had to post a short personal note about the passing of Western author Elmer Kelton. Kelton was one of the best writers who wrote about the real west, that is, the one where real people struggled against various adversities to make a living in a harsh climate. I had the pleasure of meeting Kelton once many years back at a book signing, and also am the proud owner of a copy of The Time It Never Rained that Kelton inscribed to my grandparents with the following:
To Dorothy & Bert,
Who already know a lot more about drought than they really want to.
Elmer Kelton 2/22/75.

Even if you've not heard of him, it should say something that the New Yorker just published a note about his death. I'm not aware of his health status in recent years, but I know he has remained productive up until relatively recently. While his books may be largely focused on a time that has passed, I hope that his important depiction of those times is never lost.

Both images courtesy of this site, which by the way, has lots of other good Kelton info if you're interested.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How to make a bottle cap table

Over the last year or so, every so often I write a blog that I actually spend a substantial amount of time writing, and every so often, I also write a blog that has nothing at all to do with music. This blog is a combination of those two things.

These guidelines are not about "the" way to make a bottle cap table, but rather, the way that we made one.

Step one: Find a table, preferably not a huge one, and preferably not one that is very expensive. We found a nice $5 table at Savers that turned out to be just perfect.

Step two: Create a border around the edge of the table (because we were planning to use pour-on high gloss finish). This part proved to be a bit more problematic, and after sorting through a few various options, we decided to use wood trim to line the edges of the table. As it turns out wood trim options are not widely abundant at most places, and thus, I had to go with what was provided. I wanted something just slightly taller than the height of a bottle cap, and luckily found just what I needed for that. If you have capabilities to create your own trim to specifications, you are probably in the best shape on that front.

Photos skip the first few steps, but here's the table with the trim border finished. (Click any photo for larger size.)

Step three: Paint the table. Spray paint is fairly easy if you've got a place to do it, but also not the most economical, as it took us 3 cans to finish the table. Probably one can of paint with a paintbrush would have done the trick.

Step four: The bottle caps. This proved to be another situation where we had some various options and ultimately made our own judgment call. The key is to make the bottle caps into little tiles, and you don't want them to be empty because the air will cause problems when you do the pour-on finish. We decided against plaster, thinking it would be too heavy, but it could probably be viable if you can find a lightweight plaster fill. We finally decided on using hot glue to fill all of the bottle caps.

Caps filled with hot glue and, after drying, placed to determine spacing/design, etc.

We filled them to the brim and left them to dry. When we got them all filled (and dried), we placed them on the table to determine exactly how we wanted them to be arranged. Once we figured out the arrangement, we put just a little more hot glue on the bottom and stuck them down, trying to keep them in a tight pattern the whole time.

After all the filled caps dried, we put a small dot of glue on the bottom and set them on the table.

We got lucky that the inside of the table area was 15 bottle caps square. Thus, we had 225 caps on our table. Bottle caps that were not twist-off sometimes required a little encouragement as they were bent out of shape, and given the glue filling, they could be bent fairly easily on the bottom side to make them fit. We found that the bottom could be squared off just slightly enough to make them fit, but not enough to make them visibly disfigured from above.

Getting to this point was pretty nice, and everything went so well that we were apprehensive about putting the finish on for fear that something would get messed up. In theory, we could have left the table as is, with all the bottle caps secured. However, the surface was slightly irregular, and we also knew the hot glue would not hold forever, and probably within a year, they would begin to come loose, especially if they got wet, which is inevitable with a table.

Step five: The final stage for us, besides some touch up painting, was to pour the high gloss finish over the bottle caps and create a clear smooth surface. Having researched this a bit, I found that a product called Kleer Koat is often used to fulfill this purpose, and is usually what restaurants and such use when they make tables with various items inset in a table or bar. However, I found that this product is somewhat expensive, and not that easy to get. Neither of my neighborhood home improvement stores carried it, so I didn't pursue the issue much further. I also expect that Kleer Koat has fairly hazardous chemicals that need to be used with extreme caution.

Not an endorsement, this is just the gloss we used.

Instead, we chose the one product that was carried at our neighborhood store, a clear high gloss finish of sorts called Envirotex Lite. This material still requires a lot of safety precautions, but I didn't find them unreasonably hard to follow. Further, I'm not certain that it is designed exactly for the purposes we used it for on the table, and by that, I mean I'm not sure that it is meant to be as thick as we have it on our table. This sized box was enough for all 3 of our coats.

After a month or more of hemming and hawing, we finally went for pouring the stuff over our table. It was surprisingly easy, as long as you mix it very thoroughly and have the proper tools available. If you use this stuff, please follow their instructions completely (read the instructions multiple times), and use all the safety equipment they recommend, etc. etc. Don't just try to wing it with this stuff.

With our table, we made the first layer probably slightly thicker than they recommend, but we wanted to fill in all the space between the bottle caps first. Then we poured one more coat to try to level it out. Most can probably get away with just two coats, although we ended up doing a third coat to make the surface flush with the edges of the table.
With each coat, we first put painters' tape around the edges to keep the gloss from getting on the sides, and then peeled it off and put new on for each coat. One could also pour so that the gloss went all the way out to the edges, but that seemed a little messy for our tastes.

The top of the table after the first coat.

The table top after 3 coats
. Smooth as...high gloss finish.

And finally, the view from the top.

As you can see, I'm not an expert, but please let me know if you've got questions about how we made our table. I seriously doubt I can do much to help you troubleshoot any other problems that arise. Overall cost of materials (besides the beer) was probably between $75-100.

The Avett Brothers - Boulder Theater, 08/21/09

The secret was out a few years ago, but now everyone knows about the Avett Brothers. That includes your neighbor who doesn't listen to cool music and only recently asked if you if you'd heard about some band called Wilco. For all of you helping to spread the word about this band, please contribute to the effort of letting people know it's "Avett" where the "a" is pronounced like in "apron" or "acorn," not like the "a" in "apple."

The Avett Brothers over the last few years have truly hit full stride and now have amazing potential to become the next big thing, if they are not already. As with any band, there are of course the long time fans who long for the days of bluegrass flavored songs, but I don't think TAB have lost very many fans along the way. The sold out show at the Boulder Theater last Friday was quite a different scene than the Boulder Theater 3 years ago, my first Avett concert, in which one could stake out some space near the stage and never have to worry about the crowd packing in around you.

The band has also reached a point in which they simply have too many good songs to play them all in one show. They hit as many of the high points as possible, but inevitably time doesn't allow for all the crowd favorites. I'm glad that there is such great tracking on their set lists online, as my scribbles from the night proved largely illegible. Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, a Portland based band, provided a nice opening set that was well received by the increasingly packed crowd.

As I think anyone who has seen the band would expect, their live show is near flawless. The new songs from the forthcoming I and Love and You indicate a band that continues to grow musically, but still knows exactly where their strengths lie - most specifically in dynamic melodies solidified by harmonies that could come from nothing short of genetic ties. Just as with any artist who continues to grow after they strike it big, I'm sure the message boards will be mixed in the beginning with people who love the album and those who just can't get into songs such as "Kick Drum Heart." However, I don't think it will take long for the album to sink in and settle into place on some end-of-year and maybe even some end-of-decade "best of" lists. The title track, already released on itunes and widely available elsewhere, already holds a clear place among the band's best songs.

I haven't been this excited about a new album since, well...probably The Second Gleam.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Munly, Slim Cessna & Denver Broncos UK updates

Though few and far between, every so often I run across some Munly updates that are of interest, although they are almost always completely random as his mode of operations is basically the antithesis of shameless self promotion.

I've just found that Munly and the Lupercalians are slotted to play the Vendetta Festival in Denver on Sept. 27th. Oddly, the festival appears to be listed as featuring Electronica and Industrial music. I don't know that Munly technically fits either of those categories, but . Ticket information can be found here. The Munly fans that make this show will really have to be die-hards, as I personally don't think I'm willing to buy the $40 day pass for Sunday just to see the Lupercalians show.

(Photo credit Gary Isaacs via the Denver Bronco's UK myspace)

In non-Lupercalians news, the Denver Broncos UK recently played a show at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. This project is comprised of Slim Cessna, Munly, and Dwight Pentacost. The band posted some pictures from the show, and it would seem that they really put in some effort on adding a visual aesthetic to the show. Some excellent pictures from the show can be found at this Flickr page as well.

I ran across a review/account of the show on the Slim Cessna Yahoo group, and rather than plagiarize the author, I'll just link to it here. Highlight of the review is definitely the story that when someone got up to go to the bathroom during the show, Munly stopped the music and said he would wait until she got back, and then he did just that.

I don't know the history of this band well enough to say much more about them. They've been around on myspace for some time, but this is the only show I remember seeing listed. I am not aware of any past Denver shows, but my hope is that now that they've played a couple of shows, they'll want to play a few more in the foreseeable future. This band and all its affiliated artists do well to maintain quite a cult following, but at times its easy for one to miss out on what's going on with them because only Slim Cessna's Auto Club plays with any frequency. Speaking of, they'll be touring the west coast in late Sept. & early October.

And with that small gathering of information, that's about all I know.

Update 01/22/2010: SCAC releasing an album of rarities & outtakes.

Seen on craigslist

I just couldn't resist posting this craigslist ad I found. Given that I'm generally not in the business of giving any band (especially new bands) a bad name, I've censored out the specific info.

To summarize what they are looking for: Band manager needed for young band that currently has one show booked on their calendar. No experience necessary, as long as you can talk and have tenacity. They need you to handle the business side of things because they don't have time (they've got that one show booked), and you will get paid when they start making money (no timeline for that provided). They've been screwed over a few times by managers who didn't help, so they are now seeking a better manager on craigslist. Don't forget about the tenacity.

Hello, we are {band name}.
We are an established rock and roll band from {somewhere} and we are looking for a manager.

We have been doing our own booking/managing but we're at the point where we need help with it. We want more big paying gigs. When we get paid you'll get paid.

Connections in the music industry are a plus but not required. If you have no experience with this sort of thing it's no problem; as long as you are well spoken, have great people skills, are passionate about music and are up to the challenges.

We really need someone that will stay on top of the business side of what we do. We've had a few people claim to be our manager, they end up doing next to nothing and we end up back at square one. If you think your enthusiasm will fizzle over time, do not waste our time. We must have someone that will match our tenacity.

Music business lesson #1: So you're in a band that's fairly new, and maybe you think you're pretty good, and maybe your parents do too. Maybe you even are good, and you really just need people to hear you. Naturally, you know that the bands you love have managers and booking agents and crews and such, so you figure, "we need a manager and agent too." There's your problem right there.

Please, please, PLEASE take note that you are nowhere close to needing any of those. If you are having to seek out a manager or agent then you do not need either one. Even if someone wants to be your manager, you do not need one unless your band is playing over 200 dates a year and touring the country regularly AND making a lot of money because you've got 100+ fans in every town you play. If you are a band that plays weekends, tours locally or regionally only, and doesn't have a substantial following, managers and agents are just going to take a cut of the tiny amount of money you make. Actually, since you're probably still spending more than you're making, they'll just cost you even more. Do it yourself, learn the business, make fans, and get better. Outside people will not help you do any of that.

That's all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

none of this just in

One final West Coast note:
I'm convinced that if you are looking for old country music vinyl, then the Bay Area is a great place to look. Not only are there a number of good stores like Rasputin and Amoeba in SF and Berkeley, but I am of the opinion that people just don't buy country vinyl there much, and so you've got a pretty good chance of finding some cool stuff.

Okay, one more final west coast note:
For all you vinyl collectors who have noticed, at least to a small extent, that record store owners are less pretentious these days now that they are on such a shoestring budget, never fear, I'm pretty sure the record store clerks in the bay area are just as pretentious as they ever were.

Just finished reading:
the new Dave Eggers book, Zeitoun. It is amazing! It's written in the style of What is the What? and I found myself flying through it because I just couldn't put it down.

Didn't have a chance to write about it
but I was able to catch one of the Lusitania's Denver shows a couple of weeks ago. All of my praises were backed up by their show. This band is really tight and their live shows are awesome. I hope they catch on up here, because all the show was lacking was a high energy packed house. By the way, Vinyl Collective is now carrying their 7" split with Buckeye.

Stumbled upon news:
that Alternative Tentacles is reissuing Secret South, a hard to find album by Denver's 16 Horsepower. If you don't have this album, you should strongly consider checking it out if for no other reason than to hear the cover of Dylan's "Nobody 'Cept You." The album will be reissued on LP and CD, each with a bonus DVD included. Vinyl originals of this album have gone on ebay for around $75 or more in recent years, so this reissue makes it a bit more accessible. However, it also leaves vinyl collectors to question whether they are bidding on an original or a reissue version on ebay, so for all it helps, there are some downsides as well. Also, I still can't decide whether it's worth it to buy reissue vinyl anyway.

I totally missed this:
but the recent Zach Galifianakis interview on the Tonight's Show was hilarious. He seemed much more in his element than when he was on Dave. I love Dave, but I felt like he was just going through the motions asking Zach questions and it wasn't very natural. Make sure and watch part 1 & part 2.

The Boulder Avett Brothers' show:
is now sold out. Let's hope we make it out alive.

I really enjoy:
telling people that if we ever have a son we're going to name him "Billiam," but call him "Will."


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Avetts are coming, the Avetts are coming!!!

(photo from the band's Web site)

After almost a two year wait since the last Avett Brothers club/theater (i.e. non-festival) show in the Denver area, we are finally blessed with 4 Avett Brothers shows in Colorado this week. If you're willing to do some driving, a couple of them are even free. The band's new album I and Love and You is not yet out, but you can pre-order it from their Web site, or from the good folks down at Vinyl Collective.

Wed., 8/19 - Sunset Concert Series - Telluride, CO - FREE
Thurs., 8/20 - Summer Concert Series - Steamboat Springs, CO - FREE
Fri., 8/21 - Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO (Nearly sold out as of 8/17)
Sat., 8/22 - Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO

Neither Boulder nor Denver have sold out to my knowledge, but I wouldn't wait too much longer if I were you, as the band's site recently posted an update that Boulder tickets are almost gone.

And if you can't read enough about the Avetts, here's Ricardo Baca's preview from the Denver Post.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dylan, the Coug, and Willie - Stockton, CA - 08/15/09

Given that Bob Dylan's minor league ballpark tour didn't make it through Colorado, I was pretty excited to find that the tour would be stopping in Stockton, CA while I was in the area. I won't be too long winded reviewing this show, given that there are tons of reviews of this tour all over the internets. Nonetheless, a few thoughts below.

The Wiyos opened the show, and on this tour they have probably played for more people in a month than all their past shows combined (and maybe all their future shows too). I generally try not to be terribly critical of independent bands, but knowing that Dylan's people chose them to open the tour, the band was a pretty substantial disappointment. They were a great example of what happens when people in Brooklyn think they can pick a kitschy style of music and make it authentic. Really nothing of interest came out of their set.

Willie was next, and Willie was...well, Willie. Willie doesn't throw curveballs these days. He makes the crowd happy by playing almost all of the hits. He plays some great guitar solos, and when it comes down to it, he is just good at being Willie. This guy was wearing headbands back when today's hipsters were still listening to Blues Traveler and/or Fine Young Cannibals, so you really can't fault him for being a crowd pleaser now.

John Mellencamp (Johnny Cougar as my uncle used to call him) came on next and put on the stadium rock show most of the crowd was wanting. Besides not playing "Jack and Diane" this show (or any other show on the tour, apparently), he made his way through high energy hits and really got the crowd going. While I don't typically enjoy stadium rock shows, his set made the crowd happy and I can't blame him for doing so. No, this wasn't a Grizzly Bear show, but no one came for that, so it was fun. Sure I get a little annoyed the way big acts make guitar/instrument solos seem like they are more impressive than they really are, but once again, they knew their audience and they put on a good show.

Going into this show, I had heard many many accounts of Dylan's performances, most notably that people began leaving in droves soon after they realized that he wasn't going to do a set of greatest hits. Dylan's show is the antithesis of Willie's, for the most part. He started off with "Ballad of a Thin Man," similar to the recorded version, followed by "Forever Young," but the show soon digressed into a long line of songs that musically sounded the same as all the rest. For reasons out of my control, I wasn't able to stay for the full show, but set lists for this and most other shows can be found here. While Dylan apparently never talks to the crowd anymore other than to introduce the band, I was pretty impressed to hear that he played "Not Fade Away" at his Lubbock show, which was a pretty cool tribute even if he is a bit of a curmudgeonly old man.

(Note to all, tangent begins here, it would be a good idea to stop reading)

This Dylan show left me fairly troubled as far as wondering what I really thought about the man and his music, especially his efforts to keep his music original and to continue to play new songs that crowds are far less interested in hearing than "The Times They Are A'Changin." I don't think any single songwriter has written as many good songs (by my subjective definition) as Bob Dylan has. That said, I think he's just been famous for way too long. For someone who got famous in his early twenties and then continues to make new music over 40 years later, Dylan is in an almost unprecendented position. Think about every time you've heard "Hurricane" and/or anyone's cover of "All Along the Watchtower" and how Bob gets a check every time they are played. How do you continue to make new music when your royalty checks are larger than the GDP of a number of countries?

The man at times performs almost as though he doesn't want to be Bob Dylan. And while I'm okay with that, I think he would be better off playing to an appreciative theater audience rather than stadiums of 10,000 people who just want to hear "Like a Rolling Stone" just like it is found on their ipod. In a way, I think Dylan's continued efforts at making new music at the age of 68 are the only thing that keeps him sane. If he relied on being a caricature of 60s Bob Dylan, his life would just be a miserable reminder of how popular he was then, and how he is no longer important. So few people who ever reached the iconic level that Dylan did have lived 45+ years afterwards, and I think what sets him even further apart is the fact that he was big all by himself. He wasn't a Beatle or a Beach Boy, just Bob Dylan. For those of us who thought we wanted to be the next big rock star when we were 21, looking at Bob Dylan today can maybe help us realize how lucky we are that that didn't come true.

Where am I going with all of this? Exactly. However, what I can conclude is that I'm Not There really couldn't have been a more accurate and appropriate depiction of Dylan's many faces, and I guess maybe gives some insight into why he's not Willie or the Coug, but rather, he's Dylan, just not the Dylan that most of the 50- and 60-somethings at his shows want him to be.

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

Friday, August 14, 2009

San Francisco & stuff

Sorry I've been off the radar:
for a couple of weeks. I had to go to DC & San Francisco for work stuff, and then might have stayed over in SF for a few days after that as well.

In my non-San Francisco related news:
I finally had a pretty major breakthrough on my search to find details about John Braden. His sister contacted me a few weeks ago, just before I left town, so I've not had a chance to detail any of this on the blog. However, for anyone who is interested, I hope to post some details that she has provided in the near future.

Managed to avoid most of the super touristy stuff in SF:
and there were some high points that I mention below. I know this isn't a food blog, but sadly there was really no live music to speak of while we were in town, so food is most of what I have to talk about from the trip.

Tried to go to a place in the Castro for dinner:
but it was closed, so we took a local's recommendation and went to a place called Catch. More than worth it if you are willing to spend a little money.

If you are ever in search of good breakfast near Union Square in SF:
you should definitely check out Brenda's French Soul Food in the Tenderloin. Some people tend to be scared of the Tenderloin, but during the day, it's plenty safe, and there are many cool hole-in-the-wall type places to be found. If you go to Brenda's, please note that it is tiny, and if at all busy, you sign yourself in on the waitlist outside. You can avoid some tourist embarrassment if you go straight for the list instead of walking inside and being instructed to step back out to wait for a table. (Note the clipboard hanging in the doorway at the far left of the photo.)

When you eat in San Francisco
you'll notice a 3% surcharge on your restaurant bill for the San Francisco health tax. Pretty cool in my opinion that they've tapped into their tourist market to provide health care to the lower income folks in what is an incredibly expensive city to live in.

Don't buy the yuppie guilt trip:
when restaurant waitpersons ask you if you want bottled water or tap water to drink. The tap water is just fine.

It's not really that "indie":
when the store is named that, is it?

We spent some time searching
for a speakeasy H. had heard about called Bourbon & Branch, that happened to be right by our hotel. It's kind of a hidden away place, and you are supposed to have reservations. We didn't plan that far ahead, so we tried the alternate method of getting in, which is with the password "books." Well, we didn't even have to use the password because we followed in a bunch of people who used the password. It's not super secret or anything, as the info is on their Web site. All part of the experience I guess. It's at the corner of O'Farrell and Jones on the edge of the Tenderloin, and the sign pictured below is all that marks it. Kind of an interesting place, and probably worth going to once if you're in the area. Just remember to bring your pocketbook, as the drinks start around the $10 range, and that's for a draft beer. You'll probably see lots of young people dressed to impress and wonder how the hell they can afford to live in the city AND drink there, but I guess that's just what you find in San Francisco all around.