OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Entering it’s seventh year, the annual Burger Boogaloo festival brings a host of great garage-rock bands to Oakland’s Mosswood Park on the last weekend of June for two full days of unhinged punk mayhem once again hosted by iconic film director John Waters. Co-produced by SoCal imprint Burger Records and Bay Area rock promoters Total Trash Productions, Burger Boogaloo has established itself as one of the premiere underground rock festivals in the country on par with Goner Records’ yearly Gonerfest and the Boogaloo’s Southern California counterpart, Burgerama. While the music is central to the two-day event, Burger Boogaloo also features vendors selling records, clothes and guitar gear in addition to an array of food options.

Last year marked the first time Burger Boogaloo brought in a marque host with pencil-mustached director and revered trash-culture expert John Waters serving as MC. Expelled from NYU where he was studying film in the 1960s, Waters rose to notoriety thanks to his string of ’70s campy midnight movies including Pink FlamingosFemale Trouble and Desperate Living. Making up what the director termed his “Trash Trilogy,” the films shredded the boundaries of conventional propriety and movie censorship with outrageous dialog and action as well as establishing drag queen Divine (Waters’ friend from his Baltimore, Maryland childhood and muse, Harris Glenn Milstead) as an actor and cult figure.

Waters would eventually go on to more mainstream success with his later films like Hairspray (which inspired the Broadway musical and movie adaptation), the Johnny Depp film Cry-Baby and the scathing satire Serial Mom, but he has remained an icon of trash culture between his b-movie appearances, books and This Filthy World is a one-man stage show exploring his artistic origins. More recently, Waters has explored visual arts with mixed media and manipulated photo exhibits that by his own admission aim to inspire disgust with the viewer.

Last year, Waters delivered no shortage of off-color commentary and hilarious band introductions from the stage. His return as host should be no less entertaining. Burger Boogaloo is upping the ante for trash-culture celebrity appearances in 2016 with meet-and-greet opportunities featuring actress, singer and author Traci Lords on Saturday and late comic genius Andy Kaufman’s abrasive lounge singer creation Tony Clifton on Sunday.

The line-up for the opening day of this year’s explosion of unbridled garage-rock madness features a return appearance by one of the most beloved local bands to influence the modern generation of trash disciples since the ’90s. The Mummies first came together in San Mateo in 1988 and — along with fellow Bay Area band the Phantom Surfers — set a standard for snotty, Sonics-informed ’60s style rock snarl. With their tattered mummy wraps and self-proclaimed “budget rock” attitude, the band’s shambling, chaotic stage performances and lo-fi recordings stayed true to a DIY aesthetic until their dissolution in the early ’90s.

The Mummies

The Mummies

While members of the band have had projects since (SF garage-rock figurehead Russell Quan has had a hand in the Count Backwurds, the Dukes of Hamburg, the Bobbyteens and many others), the Mummies resisted reuniting until 2003 when they issued their first CD Death by Unga Bunga. The band destroyed the Elbo Room earlier this year with a packed and raucous 27th anniversary show in February, but this encore appearance at Burger Boogaloo on Saturday will keep the crowds at Mosswood Park until the last note is played and the last Vox organ is destroyed.

The latter part of opening day will feature a dose of international garage-rock mayhem from Japanese punk heroes Fink of Teengenerate backed by regular festival guests ThunderroadsFollowing in the footsteps of Nagasaki counterparts Guitar Wolf and fellow Tokyo garage rockers The 5.6.7.8’s, Teengenerate channeled savage proto-punk sounds on a string of singles and LPs for notable labels Crypt and Estrus during the band’s brief existence in the early-to-mid 1990s.

Saturday’s schedule also spotlights two of the most beloved bands to influence the modern generation of trash disciples since the ’90s. The Trashwomen first came together around drummer Tina Lucchesi for a one-off tribute concert to legendary Minneapolis garage-surf band the Trashmen (who scored the immortal 1963 hit “Surfin’ Bird”). The trio — filled out by bassist Dannielle Pimm and guitarist Elka Zolot — recorded the lo-fi Bay Area garage landmark Spend the Night With the Trashwomen on Estrus in 1993. While the band split up a few short years later, they have periodically re-grouped in the years since as time allows given Lucchesi busy schedule (running her Oakland salon/vintage boutique Down at Lulu’s and playing in the Bobbyteens, Midnite Snaxxx among others)

The balance of Saturday’s line-up offers a multitude of must-see bands with performances from Boston punk icons The Real Kids and Lyres, Seattle-based favorites The Intelligence and Young Fresh Fellows, garage-psych heroes Thee Oh Sees led by prolific San Francisco expatriate John Dwyer, Bay Area
outfits Okmoniks and Psycotic Pineapple as well as visiting LA punks Angry Samoans and Austin, TX psych-blues crew Amplified Heat. Between band DJ selections will be provided by SF punk pioneer and original Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra and concert promoter Sid S. Presley.

Sunday’s roster of bands is topped by an appearance by modern garage-rock hero King Khan fronting his electrifying psychedelic soul revue, the Shrines. Arish Ahmad Khan first came to underground rock fame as a  member of ’90s Montreal-based garage-rock band Spacesh-ts, but his legend grew exponentially when he teamed with former bandmate Mark Sultan to found the King Khan & BBQ Show. Offering a feral mix of doo-wop and garage punk, the duo featured Sultan bashing out primitive drum rhythms with a foot-pedal setup while simultaneously playing guitar and Khan handling vocals and lead guitar while developing a reputation for deranged, beer-soaked stage shows.

While the pair gradually rose from playing dive bars and house parties to headlining major rock clubs, Khan was simultaneously was recording and touring with his sprawling Berlin-based garage/psych/R&B crew the Shrines. Featuring a full horn section and organ player to fill out the band’s Sun Ra meets Sky Saxon sound, the Shrines and their powerhouse live stage show gave Khan a platform from which to launch himself to even greater Dionysian heights. His recordings with the group have evolved from their incendiary early efforts Spread Your Love Like Peanut Butter and Three Hairs and You’re Mine through to the more emotionally charged and orchestrated garage-soul anthems from 2013’s stellar Idle No More.

The rest of the Sunday line-up will live up to King Khan’s high standard for onstage insanity. Former member of beloved local acts Gravy Train and Hunx & His Punk closes out the amphitheatre stage with the Seth Bogart Show, the singer’s new multi-media act featuring a video backdrop inspired by Pee Wee’s Playhouse and his foray into Kraftwerk-influenced electronic music. Bay Area acts dominate much of the closing day’s schedule, with appearances by Oakland doo-wop garage boppers Shannon and the Clams, a noteworthy reunion of pioneering ’60s rockers Flamin’ Groovies with early-era singer Roy Loney (who shared the stage at the Chapel for the band’s 50th anniversary celebration a couple of months ago), legendary destructo-punks The Dwarves and sleazy roots-rock outfit Poontang Wranglers.

Other highlights include Terry & Louie (with two surviving members of Portland, OR-based punk band The Exploding Hearts), Aussie one-man band Giorgio Murderer, Japanese punks Fadeaways, St. Louis trash purveyors Soda Boys and the return of long dormant San Francisco punk burlesque/striptease attraction Stinky’s Peepshow! For tickets and additional information on Burger Boogaloo 2016 and the numerous affiliated night shows the festival is putting on during this exhausting garage-punk marathon weekend, visit the festival’s official website.

Burger Boogaloo 2016
Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, 12 p.m. $39-$59
Mosswood Park


By Dave Pehling – Follow him on Twitter