Some of you may already know this, but it happens that the washing machine in our basement is located behind a private jazz club.
I've already mentioned this jazz club several times and we have been there even more often. So here finally it comes: a insight report of the Birdland Jazzista Social Club
Let's start at the beginning. When we first arrived, we have been slightly confused by the abnormal front yard. But soon our bewilderment was cleared when our flat mates Sarah and Chelsea mentioned: "By the way, there is a Jazzclub in the basement." So since our first Friday in Berkeley we are all proud jazzistas.
You may ask why "Birdland", well there is Birdman Mike for a start, but that doesn't explain anything. A better explanation would probably be all the birdhouses ...
... to show just a few of them. (If you want you could buy them.)
Why are we there every Friday if there are just birdhouses, you may ask. Well let's go through an usual Friday evening...
Around 5pm the grill in the front yard is heated up by one of the grill chefs (Mr. J, Chris, Paul or Ricardo). The Birdman has already prepared some chicken and ribs. They are on big plates ready to be put on the grill. Depending on the work, this is also the time when we come back from the Lab, depending on the stock, carrying a six-pack or more. Thant fits quite well Mikes description of a jazzista: "A six-pack in one hand and a ten dollar bill in the other."
Once the clock turns towards nine, the first chickens have been eaten a while ago and the first band begins to play. This is also the time for us to go downstairs, if we aren't already there.
The Birdman stands usual in the front yard and greets new and old members of the club. The system is easy: the first time you sign the membership and donate a picture of Jackson to support the musicians. From then on the portrait of Hamilton is the one expected. The food and beverages in the back yard are for free and the entry paid goes to the musicians. Another cite from the birdland facebook site: "It is not for profit; it is not non-profit. It is a for loss party, but we have a good time."
All others are listening to music, eating in the backyard, eating in the frontyard, talking to everybody and having a good time.
Around 11pm the ribs get ready, perfect on time for the second band. Everywhere are people standing around or still coming. Also seafood is served in the backyard and more music played in the basement. The music spans from jazz, over latin jazz and funk to blues and whatever you like. Always life, performed with great enthusiasm by garage bands, legends or high school bands.
Soon comes noon and the ghost hour starts and goes as the time before. The last band usually starts around 1:15am and play until 3am or later. At that time the hooka, just in the corner of the Tanduay Rum Club is probably fired up by someone.
Around 3:30am most of the guests have left and the remaining chicken bones are thrown away. The rib bones have been eaten by Hershel. If we haven't also gone to bed, the last beers are emptied during the clean up and the evening ends around 4:30am.
On the right: Birdman Mike
Ricardo at the grill
Chris on the grill
Jerry on the grill
Paul on the grill
and Pinky, the beagle, and not the maid from Birdland
I hope you have now an impression of Birdlands.
Whenever you come to San Francisco or the Bay Area, take the Bart train on Friday or Saturday evening and get out at the North Berkeley station. You will find Birdlands just across the street.