Big Mother Gig at Hemlock Tavern

Big Mother Gig is an alternative power-pop band from the 90’s out of Milwaukee that recently reunited and are making their way back to the stage. I caught them at their first ever San Francisco show at Hemlock Tavern.

“We were a band from 92 to 96, then we broke up. Now we’re back! Most of these songs are new, but that last one and some others are 20 years old.”

They’re led by Richard Jankovich, the only constant in the band. There is an original band back in Milwaukee that reunited for one show, but the rest of the guys went back to their normal lives once the show ended. Richard, however, wanted to continue making music again. He’s since moved to LA, so he called for musicians on Craigslist to create an LA version of the band.

The LA Big Mother Gig is a Craigslist success story. They’re somehow all from the Midwest, but just met for the first time in LA two months ago.

“We’re playing a short set. These guys are still learning the songs.”

When I first got to the venue they handed me a go-pro to record them lip syncing along with one of the their songs for I think promotional purposes. They weren’t even really playing yet, but I decided right off the bat that I like them. Even just fake-playing they had good energy, and I really liked the song coming through the speakers.

Also you’re trusting me to help you with promotional materials? That’s awesome. I’m flattered.

Of course the live show was even better. They’re a super fun and high energy band, right up my alley, and I really enjoyed their music. So much so that I left with all three CDs they had.

“You still buy CDs?”
“Is that weird?”

Richard’s got a low gravelly singing voice at times, which I like. He doesn’t sound like that when he talks, so it’s kinda unexpected, but in a good way.

I recorded probably too much of their set, but hey, it was good. I have a tendency to record songs I like, and I liked a lot of them.

My favorite performance of the night was a cover of the Sex Pistols’ “Holidays in the Sun.” When they first started playing I was like, “This sounds familiar. How do I know this song? OH IT’S THE SEX PISTOLS.”

Unfortunately, Richard told me I might have been the only person in the crowd who knew it. How?! How do these people not know the Sex Pistols?! Where am I?! But oh well, doesn’t matter. I don’t care. I loved it.

After Big Mother Gig were two other bands, TV Dinner and Sleeper Hold. I stayed because why not.

The amp shorted out before TV Dinner, so they had to borrow Big Mother Gig’s. They also soundchecked in front of the crowd, which later led to:

“Any requests?”
“Bring back the soundcheck!”

And here’s Sleeper Hold.

Lindsay Marshall

One time I sneezed and Billie Joe Armstrong blessed me.

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