There are many pockets of the local SF music scene. One of them revolves around a little bar on Valencia Street called Amnesia, which has been a community center of sorts for the folk-freak scene (though the venue has no genre-limitation) through the 14 years I’ve been in this city. It’s a beautiful community of people who make music from the heart, some of which really breaks your heart and some of which gets you sweating and shaking on Amnesia’s dark and cramped little dance floor.
Friday night, Amnesia will host a fundraiser for a friend of that community, Kyle Lesley, who has been battling stage IV metastatic melanoma for a few years. I’ve had another friend battle this very stage of this very cancer, and it’s a nasty, persistent, aggressive fucker. (Really, isn’t that the one thing we can all agree on? Cancer sucks.)
By all accounts, Kyle is woven into more than just this single community. He’s been part of OccupySF, and the Clarion Alley Mural Project, run the sound boards at Amnesia, Viracocha, and 111 Minna, recorded others, played his own music, helped organize music festivals, and thrown himself into the scene however he could. His spirit seems truly pointed at the love of music, and his friends seem truly pointed at the love of Kyle. Check out the SF Weekly’s “Music Hero” interview with Kyle for more about the man.
The fundraising show on Friday night – to help cover the costs of the experimental drug (Keytruda) he’s currently taking, which runs about $14,000/dose (his co-pay is thankfully much lower) – is a Seaweed Sway production featuring Mariee Sioux, Michael Musika (one of my personal local favorites), Future Twin, and TV Mike & The Scarecrowes.
The cover starts at $10, though attendees are encouraged to give more, with all proceeds going to Kyle thanks to the bands and staff at Amnesia volunteering their talents. Doors at 7:30p, Show at 8:30p. Amnesia is at 853 Valencia Street between 19th & 20th. If you can’t make the show, there’s also a crowd-funding campaign set up by his mom.