A big, black limousine pulled up outside San Francisco's Transmission Theater on Thursday night and unloaded a group of party-goers ready to enter the theater and groove to the sounds of the red-hot Creeper Lagoon. They were a little surprised to see a line of invitation-only guests waiting to get into the packed venue.
Which is one way of saying that the final party celebrating the new SonicNet website (over the past two weeks, parties were also held in New York and at South By Southwest in Austin) -- attended by media, music business insiders, advertisers, musicians and members of the cyber community -- was a runaway success.
"This isn't a party, it's a rock concert," said one attendee as he grabbed an hors d'oeuvre off one of the large circuit boards that were serving as trays.
Turntable wizard DJ Pollywog created a whacked-out electronic soundtrack for the evening. Looking like an alien princess, Pollywog had other DJs who were in attendance staring in awe. "I'm in love," said one DJ, who began babbling incoherently about Pollywog's turntable tricks.
Following in the footsteps of early R.E.M. and Pavement, Creeper Lagoon delivered a powerful set of offbeat rock. Though used to playing clubs filled with their own fans, the group -- with a CD due out shortly on the Dust Brothers' Nicklebag label -- won over the SonicNet party crowd.
Few were prepared for the experience that is Sick Shaman. We'll skip commenting on the two semi-topless dancers, known as Collapsing Silence, who added additional theatrics to the tribal jam band's exotic set of eerie beats and psychedelic rhythms. Suffice it to say that they looked like they stole their outfits off the set of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"; they have kind of a Porno For Pyros vibe, which is not surprising, since Beyond Race, a group that many of the Sick Shaman members are also in, is a favorite of Porno For Pyros/Jane's Addiction mastermind Perry Farrell.
Oh yeah, and there was a SonicNet rocket ship carved out of ice. Read into that what you will.