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Broke-Ass Band Interview: The Bins (FREE show tonight!)

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Here are, we love music and we love FREE shit, and we especially love FREE music. Tonight (Wednesday, October 5th)  1320 Records (founded by live electronic pioneers STS9–Sound Tribe Sector 9) presents a FREE showcase at Temple SF featuring “the San Francisco debut of UK producer Little People, along with professor of Ableton Steve Nalepa, bass heavyweight Djunya, the genre blending live collaboration of Chron4 featuring James Christopher, LA synthmeister Fuzz, and SF up and comers The Bins along with the new Bay Area project Smash and Grab.”

I heard about The Bins through the folks at Different Fur and Yours Truly, both of whom never steer me wrong. Sometimes you hear murmurs about a band for months before you actually make it out to a show. Well, I’m not murmuring. I’m shouting. At you. Right now. Go to this show!!!

So, who are the Bins? I caught up with front man Clark Barclay, aka Fat Clark, to find out.

Introduce yourself!

Hi, my name is Clark. I’m a middle child, INTJ personality type, and Eagle Scout. I’ve been told I’m a space cadet since forever; I guess they’re right. My band is called The Bins.

Describe your sound in five words or less.

Bringing life to forgotten triumphs.

Tell us about your band name.

It simply refers to the dollar/discard bins you find at garage sales, flea markets, record shops. That’s where I often find my inspiration.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?

Wonderful weather, people, food, and rich in history and culture. My Chinese side has been in the Bay since the gold rush days.

Favorite SF restaurant?

San Tung on Irving. The dry fried chicken wings are legendary.

Favorite SF bar?

The Lone Palm on in the Mission is a my go-to.

How do you prepare for a big show? What will you be doing the night before?

Ideally not practicing and relaxing, hanging out with friends, having some drinks, or being in nature. Maybe a little yoga and meditation.

What can people expect at your shows?

Something unique and fun. The songs are really eclectic- bits and pieces of music from loads of different genres, eras, and countries. I like to think of the set as a journey full of ups and downs- not “one-noted”.

What do you do during downtime on tour?

I read a lot of books, I strive to read all the classics. I also like climbing things and drawing in my sketchbook.

What’s next for the band? (i.e. plug your next show!)

The show we’re most stoked about right now is the Yours Truly/ Gorilla vs. Bear show for CMJ in New York Oct. 20th. It’s gonna be a killer line up, so you should def come out! I’ll be DJing the following night too at Glasslands in Brooklyn.

Three things you’d take to a desert island?

A magnifying glass, a ukulele, and my stuffed rabbit Bunny Foo Foo.

What movie can you watch over and over and never get sick of?

Dumb and Dumber!

Favorite season or time of year?

Sometimes the fall or winter since I can be pretty content indoors reading, writing, or watching the rain in a little coffee shop. But, in recent years I realized I’m pretty seasonally affective to the cold, and happiest in the sunshine. So, summer.

Three things that are in your fridge right now?

A huge jar or crappy berry jam that’s lasted me over 6 months, kimchi, Sriracha hot sauce.

Anything in your sock drawer besides socks?

Definitely, haha. A bunch of hand-knit scarves and beanies my mom made and some smoke bombs hidden under my underwear.

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Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, i.e. money: Have any tips for aspiring musicians trying to make it on their craft?

Stick to what you love, don’t follow trends. Also, Nick Pope of Different Fur recently told me bluntly: “The best way to get involved in projects, is to get involved in projects.” That’s been ringing with me for a bit, and it’s true. You never know what something might lead to.

Best money saving tip in general?

Cook your own food! It’s not only cheaper, it’s healthier in so many ways. I try to cook everyday, I find it to be very therapeutic also. Cooking is such a necessary human skill, there’s something magical about it.

Where do you live now and what are some good cheap/fun things to do in that area?

Depends on what couch I’m sleeping on! In SF, I’m usually in the Mission. There, I like to hang at Dolores Park with friends on a beautiful sunny Sunday and eat sandwiches. Or walk around and take pictures of graffiti art in the streets.

What do you refuse to spend money on?


What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought and how did that feel?

A plane ticket to Santiago, Chile. Felt pretty good since I sold a Magic the Gathering card I got as a kid for like 1,300 bucks, that pretty much paid for my trip.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?

A free car. This Chinese girl who was working abroad here bought this car and banged it up pretty bad. I guess she didn’t bother to get it fixed and sell it before she returned home, so she gave it to a family friend who gave it to me and it works fine. I never even met her.

What is your favorite free thing to do?

Anything outdoors, really. Chill at the beach in Santa Cruz, camp on a fire trail in Yosemite Valley, ski off trail in the Sierras.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

A house for all my friends and family to hang at.

What’s one GOOD thing about not having a ton of money?

That’s tough to answer since constantly being broke has not been easy. Especially seeing all my friends growing up and having jobs and cash to spend. But, I stick to my decision to pursue a dream, and hopefully it’ll pay off someday. For most people, the more money you have, the more money you spend. So, having little money forces me not to buy things I know I don’t need. Thoreau said: “The surest way to have an empty life is to fill it with things.”

Any last words?

Check out our music online or come out to show. I’d love to meet you. THANKS.


*photos via The Bins, photos 1 & 2 by David Fu, photo 3 by Jaypreet Sachdeva

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Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.

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