A podcast about history

That's not stuck in the past


Samantha Durbin’s acid was just kicking in as she entered an Oakland donut shop to score a handmade map to a secret warehouse party. On that chilly winter night in 1996, she ended up dancing to pulsing beats and kaleidoscopic lights until the sun came up. Thinking back to her first rave, Samantha remembers it feeling “like a neon space carnival.”  Soon the highschool sophomore was chasing after bigger parties and higher highs every weekend.

In her new memoir, “Raver Girl: Coming of Age in the 90s” Durbin bring readers along to sweat-soaked raves at roller rinks and farm fields, into a world of comically huge pants and ridiculously tripped-out teenagers, where there’s always room for one more to join the cuddle puddle in the corner of the chill room. Listen to the podcast to hear us discuss candyflipping, raver fashion, and, of course, Homebase – the legendary Oakland venue that hosted some of the most massive underground parties the Bay Area has ever seen. Check out the conversation via Apple, SoundCloud, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.

Samantha’s crew outside of Oakland’s “2nd & Jackson” warehouse (notice the tip of Tribune Tower in the background). The fun didn’t always end at dawn. Sometimes they’d regroup later at a morning-after club in San Francisco or a sunset party at Point Molate in Richmond.
Rave flyers often mixed elements of cartoons, psychedelia, and utopian wonderlands. As the 90s progressed, flyers evolved from relatively simple cards to massive tri-fold brochures stuffed with info about everything from DJ bios to lightshow producers.
In this photo, Samantha Durbin wears the signature color of her raver alias “Ms. Red.” Listen to the new episode to hear us discuss the pros and cons of phat pants.
Besides reading “Raver Girl,” anyone looking for a 90s nostalgia trip can check out the “I Raved in the SF Bay Area” Facebook group or the online archive of mixtapes collected by Jim Hopkins of the SF Disco Preservation Society.

Listen to the episode via Apple, SoundCloud, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.

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“Like a neon space carnival”

The trippy memories of a 90’s “Raver Girl”
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