CVIndependent

Mon03252019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

When three friends involved in the San Francisco punk-rock scene moved to the desert, they decided they needed to get together and have some fun.

The result of that fun is the Hot Patooties, a newly formed band that consists of former San Francisco musicians Nettie Hammar (vocals), Beth Allen (guitar) and Shawn Smith (drums), as well as Yucca Valley bassist and former Gutter Candy member D.D. Gunz.

We chatted at Beth Allen and Shawn Smith’s home in Morongo Valley after an alcohol-infused dinner party.

“We’re from Morongo Valley, where the morons go,” Allen joked. “Shawn and I are in a band together called the Wastedeads, and we’re a two-piece. Nettie also moved to Morongo Valley. Nettie and I are old friends from way back, and I thought, ‘Oh shit, we need to be in a band together.’ The Hot Patooties were born after that.”

D.D. Gunz was recruited after the others decided to form a band here in the desert.

“(D.D.) sent me a response to the Craigslist ad, and asked, ‘Are you still looking for a bass player?’” Allen said. “This ad has been up for over a month. I was being really sarcastic on my phone, and I said, ‘Actually, we’re looking for an old punk-rocker; are you an old punk-rocker?’ I was about to give up. … He said, ‘Actually, yes,’ and then he sent me a photo of himself with his huge Charged GBH mohawk standing next to Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks. I was totally joking and didn’t expect to find anyone like this.”

D.D. Gunz said his time rehearsing with the Hot Patooties has been a lot of fun and even rejuvenating for him as a musician.

“I don’t want to sound cliché, but when I found these guys and played with them for the first time, I thought it was just real music,” Gunz said. “More so than Gutter Candy, who I used to play bass for; there were no influences or anything. It was just, ‘Who gives a shit? Let’s just play!’ Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, that’s how it used to be for me, but it hasn’t felt that way since.

“I’m 43, and I’m playing good music, and that’s a true story. It’s raw, and it’s real, and it’s cool.”

Back in the SF music scene, Hammar was in a band called the Mighty Slim Pickins, and Beth Allen was in a band called the Meat Sluts before they joined forces.

“We were a dyke-abilly band,” Hammar said about the Mighty Slim Pickins. “We were all rockabilly gay-wads, and we played with the Meat Sluts, who were an all-girl punk band, and it just worked. The shows were always packed. We played for a lot of years together before my band broke up and the Meat Sluts broke up. But it was a lot of fun.”

Allen and Smith are a couple; Smith told a story about how he met Allen after a Meat Sluts concert.

“I was in San Francisco for six months at the time and went in to talk to my band and said, ‘OK, who knows Beth Allen?’” Smith said. “My bass player, my guitar player and lead singer all raised their hands and said, ‘We all know Beth.’ I said, ‘OK, she’s going to be my girlfriend within three months!’ And it happened!’”

The Hot Patooties are entering the local music scene with no big intentions.

“We’re all a little older and have done our time,” Allen said. “I’ve toured and have done all that shit. We just want to show the desert how to have some fun.”

Hammar told me a story about touring Europe and making no money.

“We’re all comfortable with ourselves,” Hammar said. “We’re old people. We’re rocking our shit, and we all just got together to have fun. What we’re doing is having fun.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Hot-Patooties-2071750783142932. Disclosure: Beth Allen is an Independent contributor.

As the Independent officially begins its seventh year, I want to talk about something important: Charts.

Yes. Charts.

Our January 2019 print edition is hitting streets this week, and we originally had a different cover story planned for it. However, the piece got delayed, so we went to Plan B: an intriguing piece we had posted at CVIndependent.com about the California School Dashboard (caschooldashboard.org), the recently updated school-ratings system from the California Department of Education.

The story came to us from our partners at CALmatters, “a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.” (It’s a fantastic organization, and I highly recommend supporting CALmatters with a few bucks if possible; we run one or two stories from them per week at CVIndependent.com.) However, the piece was written for a statewide audience—and as you may have noticed, California is kind of big, what with the 39.5 million people and stuff.

Therefore, we decided to take the statewide piece; add local data from the California School Dashboard; and figure out a way to present said data in a compelling, easy-to-understand way. I called Beth Allen, our fantastic cover/cover story designer, to discuss the matter.

That’s where the charts come in.

Making charts like this is no easy task. The data has to be pulled from the website, checked, compellingly designed, and checked again. Given there are 78 schools within the three local school districts, and the state measured four to six criteria for each, that means there were about 350 data points we had to track. (In order to keep our sanity somewhat in check, we pulled and presented the data from only the schools within the three school districts here.)

The most taxing portion of this work fell to Beth—and not only did she refuse to complain; she was excited about it, because she understood how compelling and important this data is. As we discovered, 37 percent of the schools within our local districts had the lowest rating in at least one category. That’s not good.

We felt this is information our readers should know. That’s why we spent all the time pulling the data, crunching the numbers, getting the extra print space to present the data, laying it all out, and checking it all. This is not easy work—but good journalism isn’t supposed to be easy, is it?

See the results for yourself with the revised version of the story, charts included, here.

As always, thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions, concerns or feedback—and be sure to check out the January 2019 print edition.

Published in Editor's Note