Tag Archives: san francisco

On My Calendar

Exciting things coming up in August both in and around Rockridge and further afield:

  • Subculture the East Bay Express’s Best of the East Bay Party:  With something for everyone (and I mean everyone), the East Bay Express will be celebrating everything wonderful about the East Bay at the Oakland Museum this Friday, August 7 from 5pm to midnight.  The party itself is so massive and diverse that it makes summary a futile endeavor.  Download a large copy of the invitation by clicking here (invite) or check the blog the EBE has set up for more information.  (Best of the East Bay 2009 Party Blog)
  • FLUX Super 8 Showcase: Sets from the short film Synesthesia by directors Corey Creasey and Ian Kibbey of Terri Timely will be part of this exhibition curated by RESFEST founder Jonathan Wells.  This is the first annual showcase by FLUX, organized to celebrate eight of the most exciting and emerging young artists working in film, video, music and design.  Watch Terri Timely’s film here (Synesthesia via Terri Timely).  Opening: August 15, 7pm  Scion Installation L.A. 3521 Helms Ave (at National) Culver City, CA. 90232 (310) 815-8840.  Through September 8.

synesthesiafrom Terri Timely’s Synesthesia

  • Oliveto Tomato Dinners: Oliveto’s annual Tomato dinners are the perfect capstone to tomato season, but this year in particular.  Oliveto’s new Community Journal has been tracking the cultivation of this years crop from the time the Early Girls were planted as seeds back in February via Tomato Watch (check out their brilliant Tomato Watch timeline by clicking here).  For those of us who have been watching all along, the Journal has taken the experience of anticipation of eating this prized fruit to new levels.  Whether you’re a regular or an Oliveto virgin, the Tomato Dinners are sure to delight.  Wednesday through Saturday, August 26 through 29, 2009.  (Oliveto Restaurant, Oliveto Community Journal)
  • Chalk Hill Clematis’s Mary Toomey Garden Open House:  The eminent clematis cultivators Chalk Hill will open their doors to the public later this month for a tour of the Mary Toomey Garden.  From the Chalk Hill website: The Mary Toomey Garden is adjacent to the nursery and consists of a large pergola planted with roses and clematis and five individual gardens each with a different theme including an eighty foot long perennial bed featuring many herbaceous varieties. Chalk Hill also produces their own Olive Oil and Vinegar, available for sale at the farm.  In addition, cultivator Kaye Heafey’s book A Celebration of Clematis will be available for purchase  Open House Friday August 28th from 9am-4pm.  Chalk Hill Clematis PO Box 1847, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (707) 433-8416 farmmgr@chalkhillclematis.com


MTGsiteplan_smallArtwork by Martha Kemp

  • Os Mutantes LIVE: One of my favorite musical acts of all time will be performing live at the Independent in San Francisco as part of the second annual Outside Lands festival.  Their blend of Tropicalia, Psychedelia, and progressive rock have made them a unique (and we all shudder to use that word, but in this case it’s appropriate) force in 20th century popular music consciousness since their debut in the mid-1960s.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see them in action.  Sunday, August 30, 9PM (Os Mutantes Myspace) (Tickets via the Independent) (About Os Mutantes via Wikipedia)

os-mutantes1

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Grizzly Bear, Fillmore 6.22.09

Pictures first, words later.

crystals

Grizzly Bear’s “Swarovskis.”  The band personally hand strung each crystal (certified Swarovski) with fishing line.  Soothe.

crystals2

The complete display

crystalbear

For the last three or so songs of the night I went up in the backstage balcony.  I love the way the crystals are growing out of Bear’s head.  It’s like a mash-up of Encyclopedia Pictura’s and Patrick Daughters‘ videos for Grizzly Bear–crystals and wild things coming out of the band’s heads!  Here’s more:

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I love it when Taylor plays the clarinet:

taylor clar

They did a really special acoustic encore:

acousticsoothe

fan1

San Francisco audiences are really soothed by Grizzly Bear.

jesusisjustalright

Above are some of the wild spirits in the front row.  It’s great to check out the audience.  The previous night, I spotted one of the guys who works at the bookstore around the corner from my house (Diesel) about three bodies from the front of the stage.  Last night my favorite fan was this guy in the headband.  I think the band should put him in the artwork for their next album.  Once, a picture of my friend Emily of Wild Life in the audience of a Sonic Youth show ended up on the inside of their next album.  That was pretty cool.

drum circle

drum circle2

After the show, the wild spirits from Here We Go Magic hosted a drum circle.  Everyone was dancing like Kokopelli.  It was super San Francisco.  Raymond, one of the kind gentlemen on staff at the Fillmore said that he felt that we were bringing back the true spirit of the Fillmore from the glory days.

nikko

We ended up in the lobby of the Hotel Nikko with these really wild light fixtures and a grand piano.  Dan jammed out on some Doobie Brothers and we all sang along until we were kindly asked to retire.

Find Patrick Daughters online here.

Find Encyclopedia Pictura online here.

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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.

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

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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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Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko at Mission Street Food

Post updated 10:55pm PST 6/18/09: This Saturday at MSF from the MSF blog

I first heard of Mission Street Food (a pop-up restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco) through Chris Ying of the McSweeney’s clan.  Rimpletide had bought me a ticket to see Michael Pollan, Bonnie Azab Powell, and Harold McGee on a panel at 826 Valencia moderated by Ying back in February of this year.  The whole thing was lovely, and perhaps loveliest was Ying and his vintage volume of Beard.  I’m not totally clear on the connection (perhaps Ying knows the two who started this whole madness?) but my understanding is that Ying cooks at MSF on a regular basis.

I never really followed up on MSF, since I, as a devoted resident of Rockridge, rarely venture across the Bay (and dine almost exclusively at Oliveto, but you all know that), but when I got word of a new collaboration, my curiosity was piqued.

The word: Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko will be a special guest chef at MSF this coming Saturday and I’m just too excited not to shout it from the rooftops (and by doing so making it harder for myself to get a table, but, well, all in the name community service).

And the best part is, I even got my hands on the menu! Dishes are no more than $12 each and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Mercy Corps and St. Vincent de Paul. Apparently, Brackett got his hands on the last of the season’s freshly dug bamboo shoots harvested localled in Livermore.  And in addition to the notable shoots, the menu consists of:

Buta no kakuni
Braised pork belly and daikon with sake and ginger; with hot mustard and mustard greens

Kare karaage
Whole fried local petrale sole with mori tsuyu

Asari sakamushi
Tomales Bay clams steamed with fresh dashi, sake and mitsuba

Hirame kombu-jime
Local halibut cured with kombu; with little lettuces and radishes

Korokke
Panko-fried potato and cream-corn croquettes

Ochazuke
A bowl of rice with green tea and dashi, salt-cured steelhead salmon, scallions and nori

Oshinko
Cucumber with shiso, napa cabbage with kombu and red chili and green pepper and katsuobushi pickles

Aisukuriimu!
Apricot and boysenberry ice cream with apricot sauce and noyeaux whipped cream

My mouth is watering just thinking about the amazing flavor combinations.  One of my favorite things about Brackett’s cooking is his ability to balance fresh delicate moments with crunchy deep-fried indulgence.  Consider the Oshinko and the Kare Karage, or the Korokke (I must try that–there are few people I trust when the work “croquette” is involved, they are too often too mediocre, but I have a feeling these will be the dark horse hit of the evening).  I’ll be lining up early.

But if for some reason you don’t make it, the line is too long, the fog is too thick, you live too far away, or heaven forbid the inevitable happens–MSF runs out of food–you can experience something close with Peko Peko’s most recent bento featuring a Tonkatsu Sanwhich for just $12.50.  A truly authentic Japanese experience, the Katsu-Sando bento is a recreation of the humble but extremely popular lunch of students, salary men, and OL’s alike.  I am loving the new boxes…

katsu

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ARL <3 ARS

ars

Au Revoir Simone at Bimbo’s, San Francisco

(from left) Under the red curtain the tiny head of Erika Forster behind the grand piano, Heather D’Angelo center stage, and Annie Hart waving her wild arm! (I may have mixed up Erika and Annie–in that case it would be Annie at the piano and Erika waving the arm–not sure–eek!)

Au Revoir Simone is the all-female all-keyboard band.  I saw them play for the first time last night and was totally charmed.  They play pop songs to catchy beats and sing their hearts out.  They have fun up there, and it’s totally contagious.  The crowd was loving them last night, matching the band by clapping and dancing without pretension or inhibition.

One night at Bimbo’s and I’m a convert–an ARS fan for life.

I also had the absolute pleasure of getting to know one of the members, Heather D’Angelo, a little better over a few glasses of Pinot Noir in North Beach (turns out we both have a big thing for Jim O’Rourke–but who in their right mind doesn’t?).  In addition to holding up 1/3 of a great musical project, D’Angelo is pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree (her first is in Fine Arts from Parsons) in astrophysics at Columbia, draws, makes small leather purses, and writes competently about the intersection of science and art on a blog she calls Hello Poindexter. A woman unabashed and unafraid of pursuing all her diverse interests all the while dismissing the idea that she should do anything less?  Brilliant!

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