Flipper with David Yow

One of the most unique and influential bands to emerge from San Francisco's burgeoning late '70s punk scene, sludgy noise-rock group Flipper made waves from the start by going against the grain. Formed in 1979 from members of the Sleepers and Negative Trend, Flipper embraced a slower (but no less aggressive) approach to music that was at odds with the faster tempos of SF punk contemporaries like the Dead Kennedys and Crime.

The band's first 7" single featured the tunes "Love Canal" and the demented classic "Ha Ha Ha," which showcased guitarist Ted Falconi's trademark distortion, Will Shatter's howling vocals (he and Bruce Loose would trade vocal and bass duties, sometimes with both bringing a bass onstage). The band's lumbering, chaotic sound was known for clearing rooms, but Flipper still found its supporters with the uncompromisingly obnoxious and sloppy genius of tunes like "Sex Bomb" and their twisted version of the children's song "The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." 

The group would play its confrontational concerts across the country, touring to promote its early Subterranean Records releases Generic Flipper and Gone Fishin' into the '80s before finally disintegrating. Shatter would die of a heroin overdose in 1987, but Flipper would return to touring and recording in the 1990s as more notable bands like Jane's Addiction, Melvins, Unsane and Seattle disciples like Nirvana and Mudhoney spoke of the group's influence and covered their songs.

Despite drug issues (original singer Ricky Williams and replacement bassist John Dougherty both had fatal overdoses) and the health problems of Bruce Loose related to breaking his back in 1994, Flipper has periodically resurfaced to tour and record albums since the turn of the millennium. In 2006, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic joined the group, touring and recording their most recent studio album Love in 2009.

While Loose has retired from live performance, original members Falconi and drummer Stephen DePace were offered a chance to reform the band for a series of shows in Italy and tabbed noise-rock legend David Yow of Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard fame to join the group. One of the great unhinged frontmen to emerge during post-punk era, Yow is sure to throw himself body and soul into these two performances at the Bottom of the Hill as well as several more on the West Coast before traveling to Europe. These are the first Flipper shows in three years..

The headliners will be joined by acclaimed post-punk duo Street Eaters featuring singer/bassist John No (Geekfest founder and singer for Fleshies and Triclops!) and drummer Megan March (Wild Assumptions) and Oakland surf-punks No Business for Saturday night's sold out show, while SF bands Fish Breath and Violent Change support for the Sunday matinee show.

Flipper with David Yow

Saturday, Oct. 10, 9:30 p.m. $12-$15 (sold out)
Sunday, Oct. 11, 3 p.m. $12-$15
Bottom of the Hill