Here Is How Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer, Future L.A. Resident, Sees S.F. Gentrification

Categories: Only in SF

OH-Sees-chapel-2.jpg
John Dwyer
As we told you a couple of weeks ago, San Francisco's favorite bunch of deranged rock musicians are taking a well-deserved hiatus as their leader, Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer, moves to Los Angeles.

The symbolism of the frontman of one of S.F.'s most beloved bands moving to that city down there is heavy enough that we barely need to point it out. But what we could only imagine -- until now -- is Dwyer's view of the place he's long called home.

This appears to have just arrived -- in the form of an endorsement for Hi-Tech Boom, the debut album from S.F. band POW!, which Dwyer's own Castle Face Records is putting out this Jan. 14. He wrote the press release copy for the album himself, and while we don't normally publish press releases here on All Shook Down, this one says something worth reading. It's not only Dwyer on POW!, it's Dwyer on the city he's leaving. Here's the whole thing, unedited:

Deep in the graveyard SF a young hand with black and cracked nails is pushing up through a broken pile of E-slag. Bitter teeth tear through server cables and motherboards, trying to be freed from the ever deepening sludge of tech waste...the Iphone is the new Styrofoam cup.

Stepping over them, eyes glazed, feet dragging, blank face aglow in the eerie luminescence of the smart(?) phones underfoot, is the spirit of these songs.
San Francisco has long been filling up with noobs...but now we face the most dangerous, the most egregious and blandest of them all...
people with lots of money.

NOBODY can square-up a joint like rich people.

POW! have written a punk eulogy to our fair city.

Evictions!
Pop up shops!
Parklets!
Specialty shops!
What the fuck is happening???

There goes the taqueria that used to kick ass, replaced by a deli with a line of assholes a mile long. "I wonder what the sandwiches are like and do they make their own salsa?"
It's enough to be the catalyst for a bad day or a great fucking song.

In the vacuum that is now expanding there is a ragged and defensive sound vibrating out from the determinedly dirty underground. THIS is POW!...deep 80's synth bass percolating under the circuit-swamp-fried-egg guitar...the drums a teenage tiger's heartbeat and vocals delivered like a dead-pan face-slap from a kid half your age.
The recording is simple and dense...and it has a natural Doppler effect on headphones.
Its perfectly poppy and rough at the same time, and it has a message, so dig in ear-wise...

Heed the warning bell about the streets of our home being clogged with the cholesterol of normals...next they could be knocking on your door...

-- John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees/Castle Face)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that. Look for more from us on POW! in the coming weeks; the band celebrates the release of Hi-Tech Boom Jan. 23 at the Make-Out Room.

See also:
* Thee Oh Sees, Deans of the S.F. Rock Scene, Are Going on Indefinite Hiatus
* Want a Vibrant Music Scene in 2014? What Are You Doing Tonight?

-- @iPORT


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35 comments
armchairboogie
armchairboogie

We have all those things in Los Angeles too. But if you just complain about yuppies and $7 drip coffee, you're missing the larger context. People are moving back to urban neighborhoods. And since there aren't very many of them, it's driving the cost of living way up.


San Francisco just needs to build more urban housing... Oakland and Berkeley too. That's the only realistic way to stabilize rents (supply and demand) and keep things somewhat affordable for the working class, artists, musicians, students, et al.

StMarket
StMarket

He's gonna love LA, where you are what you drive. No ecological cost there, with the car-worship culture.

And the wannabe celebrities and movie stars and general Hollywood culture permeating the area makes for a douchebagginess that makes the new San Franciscans seem down-to-earth, fun and quirky.

captyoda
captyoda

having lived in the bay area for many years, then getting fed up with the high rent in 2007 I moved up to Portland for 3 years, but then needed to see the sun so I moved to Oakland and then now I tried out LA for 2 years.  I think LA is terrible.  traffic is a joke, the sprawl is a joke. most of the "artists" have that LA materialism vibe that im not into.

it never feels like your in a real city. It aint much cheaper than SF either.  an apt in Silverlake/ echo park is around 1700 and up....sure you can get it a little cheaper out in highland park , eagle rock  but its just strip malls and a few things here and there....i prefer temescal in oakland myself 

Paul Deemer
Paul Deemer

Looks like he giving that mike a blowjob. :P

KanyeWesleySnipes
KanyeWesleySnipes

The only reason people are ragging on Dwyer is because A) they're the douchebags that he's talking about and B) he has the balls to leave our shitty city. Fuck your parklets, fuck your imported coffee and fuck your Ivy League diplomas. SF is dead.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

Blah blah, people can afford things I can't. Blah blah, everyone else is so uncool because they are not like me...blah blah. What a whiney douchalotopuss.  


Don't forget that you only think you're cool and many of us think you're the asshole in line.


And another thing, if that little taqueria really did kick ass it would still be there. 

ward17
ward17

Is he from SF? I am. Moved to LA 14 years ago after touring here monthly and meeting cool creative people doing their own thing every time. Raised to hate LA, came to realize there's nothing wrong with it. Also, the complaints he is making are why I left SF in 99. Last straw was getting decibel ratings during sound check at the Paradise because the people who had moved into 'live work lofts' across the street were complaining about the noise and the club was about to lose their liquor license.

The story is true but it isn't new. LA is a much better place to be a creative and has been for a long time. I've come to really be bored by SF 'locals' ripping on LA. It's ignorance.

amoemarc
amoemarc

one can still have their own apt for 800 or less in LA - simple fact. FAR more venues to play in LA- simple fact. Much much wider economic diversity in general dawn there- simple fact. S.F.'s artists class is being KILLED wholesale & there's simply no more logical place to go but the city that let's you be yourself EVEN MORE than S.F. EVER did...

sfhrod
sfhrod topcommenter

No to parklets, no to stupid delis and specialty stores with long ass lines filled with clueless assholes. S.F. Was a better place without this shit, and for who is it getting better for. I think we know the answer, and when I say we I mean natives and locals that have called the Mission home for more than 20 years. The Mission was not Hayes Valley but it slowly being transformed that way by transplants who don't give a fuck about the history and culture of a neighborhood their moving in to. I hope this bubble bursts or we get a nice quake to send them packing.

Pete Corrie
Pete Corrie

I mean a lot of folks I know and respect like this band but what the fuck is this dude talking about squares "squaring up a joint"? He's got a clear guitar. DOOORK

Jason Gentry
Jason Gentry

and not that I'm bitter at all but Austin, Texas looks and sounds JUST like that because all of the money and dipshits moving here. People gots to lives somewhere.

sfsfsfsf
sfsfsfsf

Umm. Hey John of almighty many bands,
We felt the same when we saw you come to town.

Yes, it is like the 70s, 80s, and the early 90s,

I say only those times since that it all i can bear witness to.


Mark Costigan
Mark Costigan

Fucking love parklets on the streets instead of cars.

Jessica Rose
Jessica Rose

Replace tech snobs with Hollywood snobs and he's not exactly trading up by moving to LA. SMH

Aaron Chacon
Aaron Chacon

@elisabeth Have you ever actually listened to Thee Oh Sees?

Aaron Chacon
Aaron Chacon

@Dee dee You've lived there longer, therefore everyone else is unfit to have an opinion? Lol

Elisabeth J Mauberret
Elisabeth J Mauberret

Sounds like one less hipster to me (yay!) when has SF NOT been expensive? We have BEEN a tech city for decades....if you're looking to escape rich trend zombies and tech snobs good luck finding anything BUT that in LA. Hahaha

zocca86
zocca86

very true. normal people and boring transparent conversation all over. The attitude of this city is dying

thuggyBear
thuggyBear

Whatever you are looking for, you aren't going to find it in the blasted hellscape that was once LA.  


Foolishly, I wound up here, from the fire back up to the frying pan, leaving NYC after 20 years (the first 10 of which were glorious, and the second ten a soul crushing shitshow, watching one thing after another that I loved being torn down and replaced with something blander.


At least I have a yard now, and fruit in my backyard.  Other Brooklyn expats have moved to LA, and I would not switch places with them for the world.

Tim Mar
Tim Mar

Sounds like the 1970's Bay Guardian.....

Roy Jorge
Roy Jorge

His departure will be an improvement for SF.

Dee Dee Russell
Dee Dee Russell

Oh brother let me play a little violin for this attentioin whore. How bout talking to some of us authentic bohemians who have lived here either all of our lives or since the 1980's??

Laila Behashti
Laila Behashti

I'm not from SF, but I have been hanging out there for years and I have even noticed this, especially in the Mission-my favorite spot. I have stayed in SF for days sometimes weeks and its had an impact on me. I have been noticing the changes over the years its saddens me. Dwyer speaks the truth.

lailabehashti
lailabehashti

I'm not from SF, but I have been hanging out there for years and I have even noticed this, especially in the Mission-my favorite spot. I have stayed in SF for days sometimes weeks and its had an impact on me. I have been noticing the changes over the years its saddens me. Dwyer speaks the truth.

yourface
yourface

Welcome to Southern California John.  Watch out for all the noobs, rich people, and iphones.

Jon Cortez
Jon Cortez

I am afraid LA is going to be not much of an improvement. I know. I live there.

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