Tag Archives: Mission District

Grizzly Bear, Fillmore 6.21.09

I’ve started writing something about Grizzly Bear in this window six or so times now.  I’m vacillating.  “Grizzly Bear played at truly great show last night.”  “I’ve seen Grizzly Bear play many, many times.”  “I couldn’t count how many times I’ve seen Grizzly Bear if I were asked.”  I’m wondering what the value is of lauding these people publicly.  Music writing.  Such a load.  This isn’t a story about Grizzly Bear.  It’s a story about me.

21hayes

Pre-show at Absinthe.  Above, the “21 Hayes.”

Nouveau Carrè

the “Nouveau Carré”

loading in

loading in

sign

soundcheck2

Soundcheck

takingflight

Bear gets ready to take flight in response to something Simon said

taylor

Taylor watches

dan

Dan in the mist

grizzly bear

At this point I left to eat some Vietnamese food in the Mission with some very nice, very well-educated people.  In spite of my desire to honor Edward Droste’s love of Pho, I at the clay pot fish.  I can’t help it.  I just love it.

the show

I’m pretty sure this picture was taken during Lullaby, one of my all-time favorite Grizzly Bear songs.  When I watched the show (from the middle-middle where the sound is the best), and actually when I watch almost any Grizzly Bear show, I can’t help but get emotional.  While I’d love to be able to avoid sarcasm, I can’t help but add that this sentiment of mine surely isn’t unique judging by the crowd last night.  But I (again, like many others) feel like that emotion is mine only, and completely unique.  What is it about pop music that does this to us?  I’m sure if Timothy White (one of the greatest music writers of my time, I must say, since it doesn’t seem to say it anywhere else) were here, he could write much more eloquently on the subject.

But, in full disclosure (finally, though it must be somewhat obvious), I know these guys.  I “grew up” with them.  I watched them play Zebulon (seated, all jazz-like) in what? ’03? ’04?  Over the years, Grizzly Bear has become less a band and more a soundtrack for me (and us all?  and all music pop music is soundtrack?).  Each song denotes a different age, separation, or season.  The identification is intense, as are the memories.  Walking through Greenpoint in the snow, pining for lost carefree days in New York City, and finally realizing it’s not mine anymore.  I’m all grown up, for now.  But in a good way.

And so is Grizzly Bear.  These four, once a loose collection of three master instrumentalists and one vocal boss aren’t playing around any more, but they aren’t taking themselves too seriously either.  They are all constantly moving and stretching different ways; more rock, more psych, less self-obsessed, more self-disciplined, less noise, more sound, less harmony, more vocals.  And, slightly more rarely than when I was a New Yorker, I get to ride alongside of it all.  Being there; remembering when I was in Argentina, that I met someone who fixed it, that it’s my existential crisis–imagining myself on a ranch in the Rockies asking myself what now?  And that it’s my folk revival, that I see the unexpectedly lonely image of two dories.

Maybe that’s it.  That’s the beauty.  And if Grizzly Bear does all that, for me, and apparently so many others, who can find fault?

edward

all grown up now

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Fanzine Publishes Parks on Strawberry

In the late summer of 2005 I met Casey McKinney, a quietly bruised character at Maxfield’s coffee house on Dolores in San Francisco.  We drove up to Muir Woods in a 1990 325i and stood in the fog and talked about my moving to the Bay Area and his potential escape to Europe and possibly New York City.  I wasn’t sure what to think.  But McKinney did it, and in doing so created the Fanzine; an everything and everyman culture magazine, which allows, or rather encourages, longer form writing that blurs the boundaries of fiction/non-fiction and every other genre encapsulation to which we might confine prose.

Today on the Fanzine, McKinney published a piece of writing that perfectly fits the bill of the Fanzine’s mission.  In “Strawberry Jamming: Darryl’s Dodger Days, Memories of a Young Fan,” Richard Parks laces together the narrative of Darryl Strawberry’s self-destruction with urban malaise and tragedy of Los Angeles in the early 1990’s, all told (both) through the large innocent eyes of a nine-year-old fan and a 20-something’s hindsight.

It would behoove you to read it, in toto.  You can let me know what you think.

darryl

Image from dingedcorners.com

Like all great arts organizations, the Fanzine is struggling right now.  You can help by sponsoring them.  Click here for more information.

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Reporting Back: Syvlan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko at Mission Street Food

Last night at Mission Street Food was great.  Sylvan did an excellent job, and as I predicted, the croquettes were a sleeper hit (neither of the two people I was dining with wanted to order them and we ended up getting a second order).  Here’s my evening in pictures:

establishing

Above is the facade of the restaurant known as Mission Street Food every Thursday and Saturday evening.

sign3

On each Thursday and Saturday evening a simple laminated sign that reads “Mission Street Food” is posted on the hostess stand.

line2

And on each Thursday and Saturday folks line up three and four deep and down the block for their dinner.

the hostess

The lovely hostess takes names.

sylvan steelhead

This Saturday Sylvan Mishima Brackett (in blue) prepared the steelhead salmon for the Ochazuke (a bowl of rice with green tea and dashi, salt-cured steelhead salmon, scallions and nori).

sylvan menu meeting

This Saturday Sylvan Mishima Brackett described the Oshinko (cucumber with shiso, napa cabbage with kombu and red chili and green pepper and katsuobushi pickles) to the team of servers at a menu meeting.

halibut

It was too dark for great pictures, but we ate some amazing halibut (Hirame kombu-jime: local halibut cured with kombu; with little lettuces and radishes).

steelhead

Here is the transformation of the steelhead you saw Sylvan pouring over above.

The croquettes and pork belly went too fast for the shutter (we ate two orders of both), as did the scallion pancake with duck and apricots (x2) not mentioned on the previous menu (it turned into a beautifully refined taco when folded).

Bravo Sylvan!

Sylvan can be found at eatpekopeko.com and twitter.com/pekopekobento

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Morning Coffee: Ritual

You no longer have to live in the Mission, be unemployed, and wear horn-rimmed glasses to enjoy Ritual coffee!  

ritual

Trader Joe’s was closed by the time I finished a delectable meal at Le Cheval, so I hit Whole Foods on Telegraph and Ashby against my better judgement (I do not like WF).  While I wasn’t able to get my fairly traded shade-grown Ethiopian I rely on at TJ’s, I found this organic Ethiopian roasted by those crazy kids at Ritual on March 17, 2009 (the packaging says so).  It tastes great, but will it make me grow a mustache and a mullet while it wakes me up?  

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