Date: Fri April 1
Place: High Dive, 416 N. 36th Street
Time: 9:53 pm

I'm not sure why Fremont's unsavory reputation as a hippie mecca continues to cling to the neighborhood like the fetid stench of patchouli, but it isn't entirely fair. Sure, there is a herbal supplement store, a PCC, and an organic bakery. However, there is also the new location of beloved Latin bistro Bandoleone, a couple of great indie record stores, and Enexile, one of the city's best clothing stores for the discriminating rocker chick. Still, I understand why eyebrows raise when I mention I'm going to the opening of a rock club in Fremont: The thought of noisy bands like Ms. Led, Triple X Audio, and Infomatik blowing through their sets within earshot of the adjacent funeral home sounds a bit illogical. This new space is the High Dive (formerly known as Suite G) and despite its less-than-ideal locale (and inconvenient shortage of street parking), it shows potential. The walls are handsomely decorated with slick, mod wallpaper in pastel shades, and both the stage and bar are generously sized. Mötley Crüe's "Shout at the Devil" is playing as Ms. Led are taking the stage and I'm listening to Triple X Audio frontwoman Denise Maupin explain her unconventional pre-show routine. "I actually find I play better if I get angry about something before I go on stage," she says matter-of-factly. "And luckily, I'm now pissed off that I only got two drink tickets because I'm a selfish lush!" She may be miffed at the place, but I'm pleased to hear they had the good sense to hire J. J. Wandler, former bartender and DJ manager for the Tin Hat, and an obscenely smart fellow with an exquisite, encyclopedic taste in music. Between his presence and patrons like the blond, mohawk-ed gal tottering by, I think this may be a happily hippie-free zone. HANNAH LEVIN

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