Category Archives: Gigs

Recap of The Payback Vol. 2 with DJ M.Ake

The August 10 party was a great time. Special thanks to Miles, a.k.a. DJ M.Ake, who really made the party! The man has a massive collection of oldies tunes and more than twice the energy to back it up. The crowd loved what they were hearing and they obviously had a great time.

To boot, I played some footage of my favorite detective series, Columbo, which confused and intrigued some people. I also took some photos earlier in the night but once the Columbo footage went up and the lights were dimmed, I decided not to ruin the party with the obnoxious flash. Instead, I danced with the party-goers and enjoyed myself like everyone else! Throwing a party is hard work and I forget to just have fun sometimes.

But near the end, I did manage to capture some of that fun on video.

Stay tuned for next month’s Payback on September 14!

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The Payback Vol. 2 with Guest DJ M.Ake

The Payback is back on! This month we have special guest DJ M.Ake bringing a fantastic mix of oldies tunes. You’ve probably heard M.Ake over at John Colins with his DJ partner Beto. Their event, “The Long Long Summer“, is a great time if you want a sharp drink and fun music for your listening (or dancing!) pleasure.

And to combine my love of music, dancing, and classic films, I will showcase some classic detective flicks on the big screen. Come out this friday and check it out! Bound to be a good time.

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Tomorrow: Summer Soul Friday Night

For the third time straight, The Dynamic Duo Known Only as ‘Get Sama Dick’ will be spinning records at the Verdi Club for the seasonally-inspired party that always sells out.

Dusty Stax & The Bold Italic Present: Summer Soul Friday Night. 

That’s right folks, it’s tomorrow night. And if you haven’t bought your tickets yet then I think you may be out of luck. The show has sold out, as it has both times before.

I have taken photos of the Dusty Stax + Bold Italic collaborations before (Winter and Spring), but for my personal collection. However, this time I’m on board as an official photographer for the night. It should be an exciting challenge to get some top notch pics!

Very proud and honored to see one of my photos featured on the event page.


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Success: The Payback is a Go

First, thanks to everyone who made it out to Monarch last night to jam with us! We had a great time dancing and enjoying the music and I’m looking forward to more in the future. And second, major props to DJ Keybumps for the great selection of tunes! I had a blast last night listening to him spin and I know many patrons did. The last hour was especially fun since the room was packed with dancers, including a special guest appearance by DJ Primo (Oldies Night) who hilariously battled my friend Ben.

But due to the hectic running around and anxiety that comes with throwing a new event, I made a mistake; I forgot to bring my heavy duty camera. Regardless, I took about a dozen shots with my handy point-and-shoot and these five shots (below) were the least blurry. I’m only marginally upset I didn’t get any shots of the dance floor near the end of the night. Next time for sure.

Look out for the next Payback on August 10!


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The Start of The Payback

I’m starting a new dance party at The Monarch Lounge called The Payback. A once-a-month soul and funk jam for you and your partner. Dj Keybumps will be joining me on the decks to kick this event off with style. And of course we’ll only be playing those sweet little singles we have grown to love here at The 45 Brains.

Here’s the first of a series of posters made by yours truly:

The Payback: July 13

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The Incredible Tightness of Being Rob Hesse

Just made this flyer last night for a party at 205 Webster this Saturday! I will be playing all vinyl all night long, there will be spray paint for your graf needs, stunning visuals displayed via hi-def projection by the man Gabe McK, and delicious beverages provided by none other than Moses Def.  Come through.


Dusty Stax and The Bold Italic: The Spring Fling Dance

Lately, work has been sucking me dry but in a good way; I’m finally working on my own baby and I’m going to push myself to see it through to completion. But because I am tackling this monster by working harder, I have not had time to enjoy the rest of my life to the fullest. But I must say that The 45 Brains is still alive and well. I have not stopped hunting for music and ideas. And taking lots of photos along the way.

The shots you see below are from one fun night. Once again, Dusty Stax and The Bold Italic collaborated to throw a top notch 60’s party. The first one was in December to which Dick and I were invited to combine our efforts and provide some good tunes to complement the band. And that we did. We had a great time and we were invited back to play little records for Part II: The Spring Fling Dance. I got there early and dropped an easy 90-minute funk set to open for the band. And then Dick and I got on at midnight and brought everyone home with some sweet, sweet soul and girl group action. The crowd was dancing, having a good time, and looking great.

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Dusty Stax and The Bold Italic Present

This December, I went from 0 to 60 miles per hour in ten days flat.

It started off with DJ Keybump inviting me to kick off Soul Stax with him, his weekly bar night at Tunnel Top. It was a chill vibe, my friends came through to check it out, and I got to try out some new ideas I’ve been holding onto. A few days later on that Saturday, I got to man the upstairs decks at Monarch’s Grand Opening Night for four hours straight, and it was a blast. Thanks to everyone who came out and made sure the dance floor stayed packed and energetic. You folks really made my night and I wish I had pictures! There was a beautiful contortionist who put on a great show and props to Rob for quick and proper distribution of some very delicious manhattans. If you haven’t definitely go check out Monarch, especially the downstairs sound system. And this past Friday I got to relax with Dick Vivian at his shop where I made sure the wine and music were flowing for the Lower Haight Holiday Art Walk.

Overall it was a busy a month, but also a fun one.

Especially because this Saturday, I got to collaborate with Dick at “A Very Special Winter Formal Dance” presented by Dusty Stax and The Bold Italic. I was looking forward to this event all week because I knew it was going to be classy. Live band? Seriously formal dress code? 50’s and 60’s music? Of course I was excited; and it was rightfully a great night. I got to do some dancing, admire the crowd, and take some great shots. Matter of fact, I’ll let them speak for themselves.

Thanks to all those people, especially Dick, Manny, and Keybump, for inviting me to spin with them. It’s been an honor, and I hope to collab more in the future.

Email if you want to use any of these photos. All photos appearing on this blog are property of Sama and The 45 Brains, but if you ask nicely I can easily send you high-res copies!

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Yesterday was a busy day. It started with the San Francisco Lower Haight Art Walk where various musicians and artists are sponsored by the local businesses in Lower Haight. They either showcase their art in the store or perform at the door. Overall, a positive vibe and it brings a lot of energy to the neighborhood. And the best part for me was that I got to contribute to that energy.

Thanks to Manny I got to drop a 30 minute set on behalf of Black Pancake Records. It was a short set, so I thought I should go all out and make it as energetic as possible. My thoughts were this: only a handful of people would sit and listen to the whole set, and that the majority of folks would just be walking through, hearing only bits of songs that I play. In which case, I might as well go full blast so they will start bobbing their heads regardless of what song they walk through. I tried to pay attention to the crowd to see if this strategy was working and it seemed like it actually was. Some people even started dancing for a few seconds as they walked across the street. One memorable moment near the end of my set was when I played “Suddenly It’s Yesterday” by Freda Payne and the three guys that were setting up to go on after me all lost it at the same time. They started dancing, laughing, and singing along and I got some high fives for dropping it. It definitely felt good to get a reaction like that from listeners. Big thanks to Manny for letting me rep Black Pancakes.

Afterwards i went over to Rooky Ricardo’s to have a back and forth with Dick. I’d play three records from my collection and he’ll hunt through the store for two songs with a similar sound. This turned out to be an interesting challenge for me because I had to group songs by what I thought was the same “sound”. The back and forth lasted three hours and near the end of it we were both burnt out. Dick beat me to it and took a nap on the store couch. I continued to play records and tried to keep a lounge-like vibe in the store by playing songs like Joe Simon’s “Drowning in the Sea of Love”.

Dick then woke up, refreshed, and asked me to fetch him the Joe Simon box that was stowed away on the high shelf. He started digging through it and pulled out a half dozen songs he thought I should have. He then told me to switch places with him so he can man the table. Not being one to argue, I dropped down on the couch and tried to catch some Zs. Dick, masterfully, played the perfect series of songs to lullaby me to sleep.

By the time I woke up, I saw that Dick added records  that he was going to give me as gifts to my already tall stack. They were the songs that he played while I was snoozing plus a few others. Needless to say, I was ecstatic and thankful. I got on the turntable and started playing the Joe Simon songs Dick picked out earlier and ended up getting these as gifts too! The man really knows how to take care of his friends.

And now it was closing time and, energy-wise, I wasn’t one hundred percent yet even though I took a nap. But I was happy because I got to leave the shop with a stack of 40 new records, two pretzels, and good feeling. I had a lot of chores waiting for me at the house and needed to rest up for an underground farewell party at Koko Cocktails.

Six hours later, around midnight, I left the house with Moses towards Koko’s. The first thing I saw when I got in was Armand playing 45s on the tables by the door. I greeted him and asked him for information about Madrone. He said he’ll be playing there this coming Saturday. I’m hoping I can get in this time. The vibe on that level was cool and shortly thereafter, Gabe, the third musketeer from our household, who just landed at the airport on a trip from the East Coast, met up with us. But what was really cool was the underground space Koko’s revealed.

I guess this was their last event at this location before moving on to a new location on Pine and Polk and they were going all out. The rule was that they’d stop letting people enter after 2am and the party would go on until 6 in the morning. The basement was separated by color, blue for the makeshift bar and red for the dance floor. Also I bumped into T.O.D., the DJ who let me spin at his happy hour gigs and also let me team up with him on Mama Knows Best; I got a lot of appreciation and respect for this man. And not to mention Manny was there, supplying that crazy thumpin’ music that made the crowd go bananas. I was vibing out and dancing house all night until 4am. And suddenly it’s yesterday. What a busy, busy day.

(Note: I accidentally deleted all of the pictures I took yesterday from my camera! And I had some great shots too…)

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