Next day some hiked Mt. Tam, some wandered Tiburon, but all boarded the Yukon in mellow late afternoon, across the Tookie Memorial Bridge once more for what some would call Oakland, others might deem Emeryville. A nondescript brick and glass façade patrolled by tall hotpantstreetwalkers, and real hippies, graying hair and bluing eyes twinkling, greet us and escort us into a magic room, more magic in contrast to mean street outside, San Pablo, that’s all we’re going to tell you.
Because Strings is a private communal urban music club, a haven, eclectic items of serenity and unbowed 60’s values on ceiling, walls, and floor, velvet cloth on stage piano, walk inward and outward out the back to brick patio with giant hot tub salvaged from a rich east bay mansion updating from their 70’s pleasuremode. Stony salvage, recycled glory, we’re in synch with these graying ex-Topangans fled north when the getting was way good. You will find Strings when it is time.Sound check, hang in serene green room off serene brick patio, Strings main man Joey opens the show with a stirring “Pretty Boy Floyd” and then introduces the Hawks, two sets acoustic, great rapport with the crowd, and at 10 p.m. the gourmet restaurant next door parades in platters of food, and band and audience chow down. This is very good. Much post show basking in praise and chatting with intriguing Bay Area intellectuals who have seen it all, 60’s, 70’s, and cyberspace. Rob’s old buddies Mark F and Will G flow into the hippie stream with grace and ease. Another generation of activists and musicians feels gentle kinship. Civilization will prevail, through Rove and the age of American Darkness.
Paul L’s nephew Gabe shows up at midnight with a CD of his latest beats and songs and proceeds to blow the Hawks collective mind, spinning the tracks in the Yukon on dark San Pablo. Amazing stuff. Beyond hip hop, into the future, we present Gabriel Aranda Lacques.Late night crawl over Tookie Bridge, to Waller Tiburon lair, a quick master poker lesson from Paul M with imaginary cash and reckless betting, and a welcome crash.