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99 People to Watch in 99

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Al Abayan
Fashion Designer, 1 X 2

Designer Al Abayan is set to open two boutiques in early 1999--one in Tokyo, the other a retail atelier/lounge space in Potrero Hill--thus bringing more than his share of the fashion world's attention to San Francisco. (DR)



Penny Adibe
Retailer & Fashion Designer, Nneka

In business for less than a year, London-born Adibe has already managed to shake up Union Street with her keep-it-real approach to fashion. Selling her adventurous women's collection throughout the Bay Area, Adibe has plans that include conquering the East Coast. (DR)



Darla Records

James Agren and Chandra Tobey
Darla Records

Named after the coolest character of the Little Rascals, Darla Records is a combination of seemingly disparate sounds: cheery pop and moody electro. Righteous opponents of corporate entities, James Agren and Chandra Tobey converged on a renegade love for "weird teenage pop music" and opened the decidedly underground Darla Records in 1994. Their most recent releases include Junior Varsity KM's ambient drum 'n' bass, and Sweet Trip's "ethereal metal" (Agren has a delightful penchant for sarcasm). Still pursuing the shoegazer set, Darla releases the debut of the indie-pop band Holiday Flyer later this month. (AN)



Mingus Amungus
Jazz Players

Closely linked with young lion Joshua Redman, this multidimensional ensemble tosses hip-hop, funk and Afro-Cuban percussion into their eclectic mix with reflavored renditions of legendary bassist Charles Mingus, plus a host of their own unique sounds. A stellar performance at the 16th San Francisco Jazz Festival and their latest CD, Live in Cuba, have catapulted them into the national spotlight. (CK)



Kevin Avery

Kevin Avery
Comedian

Avery's high-energy physical comedy got him as far as the semifinals in the 1998 San Francisco Comedy Competition. With just two years of stand-up experience, Avery's hilarious riffs on his intermittent sex life, racism and even country music keep the kids coming back for more at the Punchline and Cobbs. Watch for him in Obstacles, his first indie film role, and keep an eye on the networks. (DM)



Tallulah Bankheist

Tallulah Bankheist
Hooker Activist

Tallulah Bankheist's whore church is a naughty party and cabaret, but it's also, in its own odd way, an utterly righteous activist movement. Proclaiming "whores are the fags of the '90s," professional escort Tallulah gives all the profits to Father River Sims' Tenderloin outreach project. Where else can you get naked, party with hookers and still feel like you're doing a good deed? (MG)



Michelle Barnett & Debbie Landa

Michelle Barnett & Debbie Landa
Publicists, Dialed Publicity

Publicists you can actually trust--when Michelle Barnett and Debbie Landa say that something is hot, they're almost always right. By promoting events like art cars, Werepad screenings and Symphonies for the Devil Rock and Roll Circus, these girls get the word out about the best of San Francisco culture. A recent invitation to a dinner party was printed on a linen napkin wrapped around a gorgeous fork and hand-delivered. Very classy--and it meant we could stop eating our spaghetti with chopsticks! (MG)



Paul Barnett

Paul Barnett
Actor

This time last year, Paul Barnett was another Irish actor in San Francisco looking for a break. Now he's the star and co-producer of the independent feature film Blue Note, written and directed by Richard O'Connell. Barnett has won interest from big names like Stephen Rea and the Penn brothers (Sean and Chris). Barnett won O'Connell's attention (and that of investors in the film and local critics) through his bravura turn in Marie Jones' one-man play, A Night in November, last spring at Venue 9. By this time next year, he may be preparing to press the flesh on the indie festival circuit. (KR)



Scott Beale
Margot Duane

Scott Beale
Webmaster, Laughing Squid

Scott Beale is the nexus of a San Francisco renaissance in underground art. His Web site, Laughing Squid, connects subversive culture creators like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Art Cars, Bianca's Smut and Popcorn anti-theater. Beale's email list is a virtual clearinghouse of bizarre and eclectic local happenings--no wonder so many people plan their weekends around his suggestions. (MG)



the beta crew

betalounge.com

What began as a small Internet DJ experiment in a Mission Street warehouse has recently evolved into a full-fledged broadcast operation, featuring some of the world's top DJs and producers. Masterminded by techie-electro heads Brian Benitez, Ian Raikow, Zane Vella, David Goldberg and Jonathon Golub, betalounge.com broadcasts live mixes every Thursday night from their new China Basin office digs. With over 100,000 listeners a month, betalounge.com has quickly become the West Coast's most successful Internet DJ resource. (AN)



Niven Bonar

Niven Bonar
Sunburn Records

After helping launch Hardkiss, Niven Bonar started up Sunburn Records. Now in its third year, Sunburn, with Niven at the helm, is directing the future of electronic music in San Francisco and beyond. (JS)



Broun Fellinis
Farika

Broun Fellinis

Jazz futurists and Afro-centric mythology enthusiasts, the Broun Fellinis perpetuate the wonderful rumor: San Francisco is a city whose soul (not computer chip) is driven by imagination. For seven years, the trio has played at local and national venues and has produced two full-length albums, including the most recent, Out Thru the N Door on Broun Soun Records. Together--former punk-rock Beatnigs drummer Professor Boris Karnaz, poet and saxophonist Black Edgar Kenyatta, and electric bass-man The Redeemer--they create an outer-galactical jazz sound that can best be described as "the abstract metabopilicious new black swing." (AN)



Aaron Buhrz & Susan Robinson
Farika

Aaron Buhrz & Susan Robinson
Co-owners, The Beauty Bar; Retailers & Fashion Designers, Penelope Starr

This adorable couple exudes success, glamour and style in the most unassuming and unpretentious manner possible, which is what sets them apart from the hordes of poseurs and their skinny girlfriends living anywhere from the Haight to the Mission. As part-owners of The Beauty Bar (the 1960s-era beauty parlor bar on Mission Street) and total owners of the local design firm Penelope Starr, Aaron and Susan are known for being incredibly talented and industrious among young San Francisco and New York fashionistas and retro enthusiasts. Next year promises to be an adventurous year for both, not only with The Beauty Bar, but also with the major retail success of Penelope Starr on their hands; filled with fashion's most-wanted Penelope Starr labels, the Penelope Starr store is officially open on Fillmore Street to the general public. The launching of the exciting spring and fall collection will be here before we know it, promising a strong presence in stores from New York to San Francisco to Japan. (CP)



Matthew Butterick

Matthew Butterick
Web Designer, Atomic Vision

Harvard grad Matthew Butterick was gaining international notoriety as a type designer in a Boston foundry when he quit his day job and headed to multimedia gulch in 1994 to sign on with the new media revolution. He founded a web design firm, Atomic Vision, which quickly developed an A-list of clients. Butterick has brought a classicist's eye to the party, emphasizing elegant, sensible design and sustainable business models over the fashions of the moment. (LN)



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From the December 21, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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