Wednesday, March 04, 2015

RIP

I saw Michael Hunter's obituary in the paper today and I thought back to the film class I took with him at Sierra College in 92-93. Might have been more than one. He was very influential on me thinking of film as an art form and getting more into  it. I can't remember if it had any influence on me getting a job in a movie theater, but it very well could have, and that's something that had a ripple effect on my life. I remember he was an elegant, theatrical speaker and that I thought he was cute. He was probably 46 at the time, but his hair was already totally gray. I remember that he showed Cutter and Bone (which is a cool choice) and Children of Paradise. RIP!
 
I guess BAR is out as the critic of the Sac Bee. Crazy. Six years. I haven't seen much on social media, and a few of the comments have been snide (surprise!) I think he's done a service to Sac and raised the level of the conversation. He's written some scathing reviews, which were also really funny, and me might have been the first person to ever do that in a food review in Sacramento. He took the food criticism from something that I never read to a must-read (except when he's reviewing spots in like, EDH or something). I've definitely checked out places I never would have otherwise, and he's boosted business at some favorite spots, sometimes to annoying levels. There are a lot of armchair critics who think they or someone they know could do it better. Most couldn't. It's hard to have the chutzpah to write things as critical as he has and live and eat in this town. Nobody likes writing something critical and then seeing the person you wrote about, and knowing that even if your criticism is legit they won't take it as such and will always defend and deflect and turn it around or find some way to discredit you. His tenure was a good one. We'll see what they do. Sounds like they may not even have a set food critic, which would be too bad.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Onibaba



This is my favorite film I've seen in a long time. Well, since Inherent Vice, but one of my favorite Japanese films ever. Up there with Kurosawa. The use of  sound is incredible, and it has an intense, earthy sexuality. It's nice to get DVDs in the mail because I got to watch an interview with the director, who was 90 at the time and still making films. He lived to 100. Kaneto Shindo. 45 credits as director and over 150 writing credits. He talked about how the cast and crew all lived in a hut in a rice field for 30 days to film it to create the atmosphere he wanted, and it shows. Now this is what I'd like to see on the big screen, no offense to Goonies! But I know 5 people would show up.

Satan Wriders were typically good the other day in Davis and they have a show with Vasas and Monster Treasure at the Press on March 24th. SW just moved to Sac! Maybe the young Stockton crew can be the new Yuba crew as far as moving here and enriching the city. Satan Wriders AND Jeff Koons, we are all set.

Beer Week! Woo! Beer week! Tuesday Magpie is having a Faction tap takeover and Bike Dog is at West Capitol Bowl. I am going to try to hit both. Thursday Pangaea is having a Shelton Bros night with unbelievable brews on. Tonight is Madre at Mother with a crazy keg from Santa Adairus but it is sold out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

love/hate

I was surprised I liked Still Alice so much. Cried like a baby multiple times and man is the last scene WRENCHING. I had assumed it was the typical Oscar bait-type film but it was way better. From my times of reading more about neurological diseases, I have more hope that Alzheimer's will one day have a cure or way better treatment than I do about autism. But I don't really know what's going on currently with either. Well, besides that we all know that vaccines cause autism. And deodorant causes Alzheimer's. If you are into seeing a depressing, haunting movie by one of the most mesmerizing, beautiful actresses in the world, then see it. Not talking about Kristen Stewart, although she is in it and rocks a cool silk baseball embroidered jacket that you can totally tell is hers. Alec Baldwin is pretty blank in it as a character so it's not perfect but it's all about Julianne Moore.
 
It's not on Facebook (shocker!) but Satan Wriders, Monster Treasure, and a Burger band with the dumb name Dude York are playing tomorrow in Davis. My love for Satan Wriders is going to overpower my hatred of staying in Davis after work.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dick move

I was bummed to read that Temple is opening a coffee shop at around 22nd and L (can't recall the exact block). It's only a few blocks from The Mill, which is itself only a few blocks from the Weatherstone. I feel like it's kind of a Starbucks move on the part of Temple (strong words!). I LOVE The Mill and they are just starting out and doing so well I don't want anything to mess it up. Oversaturation is a real thing and there aren't an unlimited amount of coffee customers in my hood. It is sure to filter off some of them. Dick move.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Wonder Cafe indeed

Me and MC were cruising South Sac for a place to eat after midnight and coming up short. The places that used to be open really late (Cuidad Neza., various Pho spots) all seem to have started closing earlier. We almost went to Rick's Hacienda in desperation but it was packed for karaoke only and not serving food (?!). We ended up down on Stockton at a place called Wonder Café. It had 40-ish and younger bro Vietnamese dudes and cute young women, some of whom were sitting at their tables, obviously "hostessing" for tips. It had a lot of exotic stuff on the menu, including virility-related dishes like deer and cow penis. I asked about the deer but it was pretty clear I'd have to arm twist to get it served to me, and since I didn't even know if the food was good I dropped it. We got deep fried quail and a chicken salad with a really good, sweet/sour dressing but kind of off-flavored meat. I am having digestive troubles currently. The girls were very sweet in that stripper kind of fake-ish way. There is yelp drama about it, but funnily enough nobody mentions the hostess aspect. I didn't feel like it was unfriendly at all. Except for the servers no one paid any attention to us. At first when we got there they were karaoke-ing Vietnamese songs and then it switched to blaring rap, which is obviously ok by me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

movies

oh man, so long since I've posted. It's the thing where I get overwhelmed by the things and then I don't write the things. You know what movie was fucking great? Inherent Vice! Hope you didn't miss it. I think it played three weeks and if DB hadn't mentioned that it was ending I might have missed it LOVED IT.

you know what other movie is good? The Player. Gotta be one of the best Altman movies. I don't think you can see it on Netflix streaming. Netflix streaming sucks! I am glad to be back on the DVDs, although the movie about Portuguese junkies I tried to watch last week was the worst. Like a parody of an art film. The director, Oliveira, is very divisive and I see why.. I fall on the hate side

 
You know who else is good? Tobias Wolff! That talk he gave at the Verge was so great. Hero! I was worried about Janis Stevens reading the story because she bugs me in local plays sometimes (especially as Lady Macbeth) but it was a slam dunk and he loved it! What a cool guy. I recommend a story called The Hunters from The Garden of the North American Martyrs. The second reading at The Verge was from the classic story "Bullet in the Brain", which is also on the New Yorker fiction podcast (I highly recommend this podcast in general.) I see that Tobias Wolff was on it and read the Denis Johnson story "Emergency" which is one of my favorites ever and reminds me a lot of "The Hunters".

Thursday, January 22, 2015

hashtag live from the kitchen!

Malena and Margaux have a DJ night at Old I tonight. Should be cool. I am planning to cruise by, early-ish. Unrelated: a couple of people I trust have told me I have to really give the D'Angelo album time to grow on me. I am willing to devote the time.
 
 Ugh Blogger why are you so weird to upload this picture in a different orientation than I did? What is your problem. This is the nam kao tod at Asian Café, a dish I have written about ad nauseum. Crispy rice and fermented pork sausage. This time it was lacking the fiery dried chilies that are fun/scary to nibble on.
 Kao Poon! Love ya babe! K.I.T.
 I must have ordered the Lao sausage here before but I can't rightly recall. WB ordered it and I'm glad. I will probably order it every time now. I've had a lot of Hmong/Lao sausage and this might be the best. Very redolent of lemongrass and good mix of meat/fat. Not overly salty. Comes with total sting ring chile sauce that is great on sticky rice.
 
 Boom! Right in the middle you have a picture of Npire (on left, big bro of rapper C+, and Clyde aka Lurkavelly). They were performing at a legitimate rave I went to at Barfly that was very fun. You can't find much better people watching than 18 year old candy ravers. The setup had three rooms with DJs and my favorite one was the actual kitchen, which used to be the kitchen of Bacon and Butter. It was DJ Sushi from FM 103 playing R&B and early 2000s hip hop and he kept saying "live from the kitchen!" in his DJ voice. And "hashtag live from the kitchen", which I think was a joke. And then a guy started making French toast right next to him! The best. I think I got me and MC Ham a gig there in the future. Fingers crossed. Heckarap! Live from the kitchen!
 Oh man Yang's Noodles is so good! You know this. I love the tofu appetizer.
 Beef noodle soup has been praised to the heavens in the Bee and it deserves it. Stew-like beef, tangy rich broth and rustic noodles.
I like the smoked meat pancake better than the beef roll! I said it.