Tractor Sex

Fri Nov 22 at the

When I lived in San Francisco, two of my favorite bars were the Zeitgeist and Treat Street. Dirty, divey, and full of punks, these places bucked gentrification and blasted the Dead Boys and the Ramones way beyond polite conversation level. I guess my affinity for the punk dive is why I like seeing shows at places like the Comet, Industrial Coffee, and Zak's so much--sure, the volume levels can leave your ears with a high-pitched reminder of why it's time to buy earplugs, but the DIY vibe flows like shitty beer, and I've always had a good time seeing bands play these places. The most recent bar to pull my dive heartstrings is the Continental, a "new" place opened across from the great Fallout Records on Olive where both Foxxes and Jack's once stood.

The Continental has barely opened its rock-poster-papered walls to the public (they're planning a grand opening later in December), but they have the right idea, as the booze and the band cover are cheap. Plus, they're planning weekend shows booked by different independent record stores. I'll wait to give you the full scoop until the dust settles a little more, but suffice it to say, Fallout brought the bands the first weekend, and Tractor Sex Fatality was an excellent choice.

Clocking in at six members, TSF had enough garage punk noise for three bands, and the fact that frontman Rog Fletcher howled into a megaphone didn't quiet things down any. The group's music was energetic, unhinged, and intense, thanks to guitarists John Laux and David Bessemhoffer, bassist Karlis, and drummers Ward Reeder and Sally Barry--who I guess usually plays a car door. Meanwhile, most of Fletcher's words were lost in an ether of feedback and beats, but what did come across were crazyman lyrics about "fucking with your asshole" and a great cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man." The group did a great job in stripping rock back to its rawest, loudest roots. Between the band and the bar, the Continental made my Friday night. Long live the scummy punk dive tradition.