Pins of Light, Wild Eyes
August 26, 2014
The Hemlock
San Francisco, CA

The Tracks of My Beers


         San Francisco is experiencing a sort of mass exodus. I feel like every day I hear of somebody awesome moving to Oakland or Los Angeles, mostly because of the Google Empire driving rental prices beyond sustainability…but also because of the Google Empire making this town fucking lame. Candice and I live in a neighborhood where just a few years ago there was this huge variety of people, different classes, artists, rockers, thugs, all living in harmony. Now? Many of the old businesses have left to make room for another chic dining experience that no one can afford and the whole zone has been whitewashed. Candice spoke volumes when she said that she used to hear people singing all the time outside. Now all you hear is frat dudes yelling about how amazing they are.

So yeah, it was a sad day when we heard that our good friend Jake is moving to LA. Jake and the music he plays has been a rocking part of the musical fabric of this city for many years now. He’s sharpened his deadly Ax with such bands as Hightower, Pins of Light and Rock Bottom.


Hearing that Jake was leaving San Francisco for LA seemed to affirm my suspicion that LA is now officially cheaper and with less rich people douche baggery than San Francisco (which I feel may actually be one of the precursor horses of the Apocalypse). But Jake at least saw us off with a couple nights of wonderful tunes, the first of which was Tuesday night at The Hemlock. Pins of Light was playing with Wild Eyes. The following Sunday he’d be playing with Hightower. More of that another time.

It was the sort of show that just about everyone who I’d asked if they were going would respond “Pssh. Fuck yeah!” and as the night took form, more and more friendly faces seeped into the bar. Even our friend Scott from Portland was there.

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Candice has known Scott for ages, they went to college together and  they both lived in Chicago at the same time. In fact, the last time Candice and I were in Chicago we saw Lord Dying with Scott. That shit was awesome. We were happy to have Scott around for this big Addams Family Reunion of Rock. After a couple drinks we could hear the first band Wild Eyes warming up so we made haste for the stage room thing.


Wild Eyes erupted into some powerful rocking, fronted by a girl who was equipped with some Grade-A voice pipes. They all rocked the sound and demeanor of that good ol’ late 70’s metal, their singer even donning a tambourine a couple times. Their guitarist kinda blew my mind, manipulating his string-digits the way a snake charmer cons a Cobra. He and the bass player both played with their teeth at various points during their set, which I thought (Dad Joke Alert) sounded like my kind of root canal! Wild Eyes reminded me a tiny bit of The Detroit Cobras having babies with The Stooges. Ever been to Michigan? It rules.

So yeah, after Wild Eyes played we went back out to the bar and the sea of friendly faces was bucking tumultuous. But in a good way. I saw my friend Benson and he gave me a flier for Sunday’s show, Jake’s Rock Exit Finale. It was going to be at The Knockout. Benson used to be in Rock Bottom and he and Jack (who had also Rocked the Bottom) alongside Fallis of Hightower were debuting their band Ancient Rites. I got happy about that. Sunday’s aren’t just for grandmas anymore, ya pussies.

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Pins of Light took the stage and everyone crowded in, pumped and ready to bust a move. Or a bottle. Candice and I have seen Pins of Light many times and every time I’m reminded of why they’re one my favorite local bands. They just put on such a radical show with so much energy that any crowd with blood in its veins can’t help but to be moved…and I mean that physically, by the mosh pit as it spills over its traditional boarders.

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Yup, people loved it and you could see tears glistening upon many faces at the thought of Jake’s exit. But he saw us off in the most perfect way possible as he performed his rambunctious slaying of the Six-Stringed Demon. And our tears dried when we realized that it isn’t Goodbye so much as Later Dude, since he’ll be back here in October when Pins of Light plays with Big Business! All is well in the world.

Feeling our Rock Marrow appeased, Candice and I retired to our home, where the streets are at least partially alive every night of the week. On this particular Tuesday we sat soaking in the glory of what we had witnessed when it happened: we heard a gaggle of drunken hens singing on the street outside. It seemed the perfect topping to the night and we went to sleep knowing that when the wind blows just right you can detect faint traces of what this city truly is at its heart. And hopefully when the Empire crumbles, there will be at least a few of us left, ready to sing our lungs out in the dirty night’s air.

One Response to The Tracks of My Beers with Pins of Light and Wild Eyes

  1. Janice Powers says:

    Great article Sean! I love the ending.. what a beautiful closing statement. Yes, we can usually glimpse the past nuggets if we listen quietly & closely. P.S. dad joke alert ~ extra special :)