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.
from 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Artwork 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)
Pictures first, words later.
Grizzly Bear’s “Swarovskis.” The band personally hand strung each crystal (certified Swarovski) with fishing line. Soothe.
The complete display
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:
I love it when Taylor plays the clarinet:
They did a really special acoustic encore:
San Francisco audiences are really soothed by Grizzly Bear.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The women of Au Revoir Simone
Ruffled Patty in all her glory
Very uncharacteristically, I was in San Francisco for the afternoon yesterday. I don’t love San Francisco very much, but I found a few spots that really hit the nail on the head.
1. If you find yourself in, or are willing to travel to, an undesirable neighborhood (the Marina) you can rely on an oasis of soothing at Blue Barn Gourmet on Chestnut. I love Blue Barn because of the truly amazing produce in their salads and sandwiches. Romaine lettuce isn’t something I usually want to write home about, but Blue Barn changed all that for me. Who knew romaine actually had flavor?! In addition to composing tasty lunches, Blue Barn serves as a point of contact for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) exchange.
2. Happy hour was spent at Nihon, a Japanese whisky bar. At 5:45, the rays of the sunset were streaming in and I was sitting with two lovely companions-one had the French 75 and the other the Negroni. Both were delicious. There were beats playing, but soft enough, and the bar was full but not crowded. I told the lovely waitress that I wasn’t in the mood for whisky (she was understanding), and was looking for something not too sweet (I detest sugary cocktails served up). She recommended the “21 Hayes,” with gin, cucumber and lemon. It was perfect: not too much alcohol, not too much saturated fruit or vegetable flavor, not too much simple syrup. Apparently, Jeff Hollinger of Absinthe Bar made this drink famous, but the Nihon version was good enough for me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to stay for snacks or a second drink because it just got too crowded and loud in there for 6:30 (with everyone from college kids to yuppies to a baby carriage (?!)…people in the Bay are so crazy). But aren’t we glad someone is making money these days?