Trending
MOST READ
Skin Deeper: Scarlett Johansson as predator in ‘Under the Skin’

Skin Deeper: Scarlett Johansson as predator in ‘Under the Skin’

Screens: One of the first images in Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is a tiny white dot at the center of a black screen. At what are we looking? An eclipse? The sun... By David Riedel 4/16/2014
Best Bar Trivia Night

Best Bar Trivia Night

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

News: After months of passionate protest, petitions and public forums, faculty, students and administration of the five Alamo Community Colleges let out... By Mary Tuma 4/16/2014
SA’s Shadiest (in a good way) Parks

SA’s Shadiest (in a good way) Parks

City Guide 2014: For anyone in charge of a child or two, knowing where to find the nearest playground is information as essential as the numbers for poison control and your pediatrician... By Joy-Marie Scott 2/24/2014
There’s plenty to celebrate on the Old 97\'s 20th birthday

There’s plenty to celebrate on the Old 97's 20th birthday

Music: Back in the 1990s, when major labels would still propose multi-album deals to relative unknowns, Rhett Miller and the Old 97's sat in the offices... By Callie Enlow 4/16/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Music

Sam's Burger Joint and Local Indie Rock: Closer Than They Appear

Photo: Josh Huskin, License: N/A

Josh Huskin

The Temple of Sam’s could be yours. All you have to do is ask.



Related stories


“We just asked,” Use of Time guitarist/singer Mike Valadez told the Current when asked how they were able to get a gig at Sam’s. The power quartet will headline a bill that includes Erica Swan, No Doubt-ish quartet General Avocado (led by singer Jessica Rondón), and alternative band All Sides Equal. Hardly the biggest names on the scene, yet they scored an important gig at a place that doesn’t usually book local non-Americana/Blues bands, especially those without a large following. So what happened?

“We don’t have as much [local] indie rock as we could,” admits Erik Christensen, Sam’s promotions director, show manager, and talent buyer. “But we’re not against local rock. We book a lot of bands, but we have to be smart, just like we are with the national and regional touring acts. We turn a lot of [touring bands] away because we don’t think we can make it work.”

For Christensen, a crowd of 50-60 gives the 550-capacity Sam’s a “good vibe,” but he’s “never satisfied” unless the place sells out, which seldom happens with local indie bands. But the doors were never closed for the locals.

“We’re a blues and rock ’n’ roll club, but it’s about putting on a band that will bring people in,” said Christensen. “Education was a band we loved working with… they’re not playing much anymore. But we’re here.”

At this point, because Sam’s doesn’t have an established walk-up crowd, the venue is not willing to take too many risks with lesser-known local bands, but that may change soon.

“Hopefully with all these [Broadway] apartments coming up we will have that and we’ll be able to help local bands build a following,” said Christensen. “If things happen as I think they will happen, we’ll be doing a lot more residencies with local bands.”

The fact that Use of Time — which will use the show to raise funds to record their second EP — will play at Sam’s for the second time in the last 12 months is proof that the venue is cautious but not unwilling to give local bands a chance.

“We played at Sam’s last year on a weekday and it was great,” said Valadez. “They were very gracious and we loved it there. We want to keep going back there every chance we get and try to get other bands to play there as well.”

A top band like Pop Pistol played six shows at Sam’s since 2010, and they were glad they did.

“Anytime we played there we had a good experience, but we haven’t really approached them for a while,” said Pop Pistol’s George Garza. “They seem to have an Americana niche that seems to work for them. But [Sam’s staff] always seems to be happy to do events, not just have bands play there for the sake of playing.”

Garza hit the nail on the head. The thing about Sam’s is that each show is a special event, but when you’re smart and talented like Little Brave (the alias of Stephanie Macías, also known as Stephanie Briggs), you can turn the place into a freaking trippy theater, like she did for the release party of 2011’s Wound & Will. Most recently, she opened at Sam’s for Aly Tadros’ release party for The Fits.

Recently in Music
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus