Tuesday, February 28, 2006
I'm really flattered that Rush Limbaugh himself weighed in on the homeless problem at the end of that Paesanos post. He totally opened my eyes about it. I never noticed how LAZY the mentally ill are. We should probably find some way to harness them to some type of farm machinery or just use them for medical experiments or something cuz it just burns me up when I see one of them loafing around having a good time on my tax dollars. I bet that guy who had diarrhea on Rush's stoop was probably having a laugh while he was doing it. Because we all know how fun it is do be so ill that you have to shit out in public.
Maybe I shouldn't have included this in my review of Josephine Foster's show at Big Sur because I am stoked that her message board linked to my last one and if they link to this one they're going to be confused. Oh well. The Fernwood Lodge in Big Sur is an interesting place to see a show but it has drawbacks. 1) some of the staff is surly and so are the many of the locals (probably because they are forced to pay 10 bucks for their local hangout and they think the bands that play are freaky and weird) 2) said surly locals talk loudly during the bands so if they are quiet bands it is very distracting 3) a DJ plays loud world music between the bands and hippy dance circles start. Despite that, Josephine was mesmerizing once again. She played almost the exact same set she played in Davis, but I didn't mind. She looked so cool in a ruffly purple rayon shirt and red cords tucked into high suede boots. Both members of Born Heller seemed quite tired because they had just played Arthurball in L.A. the night before and the other bands at Fernwood (who were all crappy) played until after midnight. But I love watching her play and I never get bored. Heargin her unearthly voice soaring just makes my ears feel great. I feel sad thinking that after seeing her play twice in a week that it may be quite awhile before I see her play again. Hopefully she won't start dating Bill Callahan and only playing with Smog a la Joanna Newsom. I picked up her CD "hazel eyes, I will lead you" and I love it. And when I was having a fainting spell outside Josephine herself stopped to ask if I was OK, which makes me cringe because she probably just thought I was wasted.
I also have an advance copy of the new Fiery Furnaces courtesy of smiller and what I've heard sounds great. Kinda on the Blueberry Boat tip (Maxwell, you'll love it) but less proggy and with more poppy parts. Genius! Smiller, you should write a real review if you have time!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Master Wan Ko Yee is a figure with magnificent accomplishments in all areas. In all of human history, no one can compare.
I saw an insane art exhibit in SF this weekend. Insane because it seems to be built around a cult figure named Master Wan Ko Yee. I hesitate to write this because I can envision his followers somehow finding out about this and making death threats or barraging me with comments or something. Today was the last day of the exhibit but I think it's moving somewhere else in SF. I'll try to find out where. I urge you to see it. Here are some statements from the printed material on the net and that is posted at the show:
The mystery of these works will enchant you, and you will find them
unbelievable! If you do not personally see such works of art, which have now
appeared in this world for the first time, it might be difficult for you to imagine
that this world actually has such beautiful and wondrous artwork. With the
appearance of these artistic creations, all splendid pearls, jade, and gemstones
become pale in comparison, like the stars in the sky being outshined by a clear
During the thousands of years of culture and art history,
never has anyone made such magnificent achievements as Master Wan Ko Yee.
There was some sculpture called "yun sculpture" at the show which was totally bad-ass. It was made of colorful melty stuff that looked like wax. When you go in the special viewing room a lady starts a tape reading statements that are similar to that printed above. She also gesticulates towards the sculpture at appropriate times.
In the beginning of the 21st Century, Master Wan Ko Yee created “Yun
sculpture,” which amazed the world of art. The birth of “Yun sculpture” raised
art to an astonishingly new height. During the thousands of years of human
civilization, no one else’s sculpture actually surpassed the delicate and
wonderful beauty of natural stones. Only Yun sculpture art created by Master
Wan Ko Yee surpasses the natural world and its beauty! No precious stone in
this world can compare with the beauty, mystery, majesty, and resplendence of
Yun sculptures. Inside the Yun sculptures entitled “Boulder With Mist” and
“Wonder of a Mysterious Cave,” there are grottoes that contain constantly
lingering auspicious mist. For the first time in human history, mist has been
created through carving skills. It is truly unprecedented! Furthermore, attempts
by countless artists have proven that Yun sculptures cannot be replicated! This is
a miracle in the history of sculpture!
The constant emphasis on the fact that he had somehow "carved mist" was particularly funny. It was as if they thought that every artist throughout time had been struggling to carve mist but had given up and only Wan Ko Yee could do it.
I saw a couple of other pinnacles of human accomplishment this weekend, the Poontang Wranglers and Neil Hamburger.
So Shaun S. and others who saw, if you really want to set the record straight why don't you call this woman or email Cosmo at News and Review?
I will point out for this review that the meal was generously paid for, and that I enjoyed the ambiance and had a lovely meal (because of the lovely company). However, the food was not oustanding by any means. They bring you a crapload of Il Fornaio breads of various types to start with oil and vinegar. We ordered an appetizer of braised beef over polenta. The polenta was very soft and the beef sank into it. Smiller called it "beef oatmeal". It tasted almost exactly like enchiladas. Pretty good, but weird, and awkward for an appetizer because you have to just spoon out little portions of it onto your plate while trying to avoid dripping it everywhere. We also got carpaccio. It was served with slightly wilted arugula (not intentionally it just looked a little old, but i am being super picky right now), shaved parmesan and capers. It was just OK. The other carpaccio I've had melted in my mouth, but this almost tasted cooked.
For the entree I got a butternut squash and walnut ravioli served with brown butter, tomato sauce and sage. I was intrigued because no one ever serves butternut squash ravioli with tomato sauce so I wanted to see where they were going with that. The ravioli pasta itself was not so fresh looking. The edges were a little dry. The stuffing somehow did not have the richness that butternut squash usually adds. I don't know how they did that because just squash on its own is quite rich tasting. The brown butter was a little too sweet and the small spattering of tomato sauce was essentially tasteless. And they deep fried the sage leaves! It rendered them tasteless as well. Why they gotta do that to the sage? So the overwhelming flavors of this dish were sugar and butter. Those flavors are always good so it wasn't terrible, but it should have been much better. A dining companion ordered short ribs and expressed disappointment but I didn't try those. Smiller liked his sausage ravioli but said every third bite was crazy salted, and I thought it was too salty, too.
We ordered a dessert of pears over a pastry crust, served with a pistachio gelato. The gelato was good, but had an extremely strong pistachio flavor, and was a really weird pairing with the pear pastry. Very strange tasting together.
Overall, just so-so and for those prices, I probably will never go back.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Tower opened The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which I want to see.
Speaking of Tower, there is a management shake-up going on there and the general manager has resigned. There could be big changes in store for the staff at the Tower. I hope none of them are bad.
The Barnesyard is still on hiatus, although DB swears it will be back soon. I hope so, but now he has a rival, at least on the local film blog front. It's called film for tourists and I don't know who writes it, but I like what I've read so far.
Kabinet is screening Metropolis this sunday. I just noticed this comment from earlier this week in response to my call for an Altman film fest:
Ask and ye shall receive...I had originally planned something completely different for April, but I'm nothing if not flexible -- and I'm eager to see THIEVES LIKE US again myself. So how's Sunday April 2nd work for you...?There are loads of Altman films available on DVD, so rather than a month-long fest of his work alone, I think I'll simply whet folks' appetites, and hope they'll seek out more of his films on their own. But throughout April, I'll be featuring a number of maverick directors under the umbrella theme "American Outlaws." Besides Altman, we'll be screening films by John Cassavetes, Monte Hellman, Sam Peckinpah, and Buster Keaton. Hope this sounds like an appealing program...And please don't forget that this Sunday, February 26th, we'll be closing out our tribute to Fritz Lang with a screening of METROPOLIS -- featuring a live, improvised score by INSTAGON! The show starts at 8pm, at HQ on the corner of 25th and R. The March calendars will be available then as well...(Hope this won't get buried, as the original post has fallen quite far down the page. And to the propietor(s) of Heckasac...my apologies if you'd rather not have such blatant promotions on your site. Any chance you could give me an e-mail address so I could send you updates? Then you could make the call as to whether or not you wanted to post them...)
Someone has got to be willing to talk on the record.
I made a tasty Persian meal last night and I'd like to give you a couple of recipes. I made a version of gormeh sabzii, which as I understand it is a pretty standard Persian stew, and the origin of the word "gourmet". This recipe turned out great, although I couldn't get any fresh fenugreek (does anyone know of a place that sells this?) and I broke my food processor. The hints at the end are really cute, including this one:
If your stew ends up having a bitter taste, you more than likely burned the vegetables. If it smells like hannA (henna), you added too much spinach. You can't recover from these two mishaps. If the vegetables swim to one side and the meat goes the opposite way, you've undercooked it. Put in back on medium heat and let some of the excess water evaporate.
You serve this over rice. I also made a rice dish for dessert. It's really simple, you just mix some cooked rice with sugar, rose water, crushed almonds and/or pistachios, a bit of hot oil if you want, and some saffron and bake it until warm. I think raisins would be great in it, but a lot of people don't like raisins. I am a sucker for anything with rose water in it, which is why I like Persian desserts the best.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
A week from yesterday, so February 15th, a homeless man passed out on the bench in front of Paesanos and the owner **name redacted** and the GM went on the roof with 2 buckets of water and doused the guy to get him to wake up and leave. The first bucket thrown by dude mostly missed him and the second bucket thrown by other dude nailed him. The homeless man is handicapped, weighs about 90lbs soaking wet, and can barely walk. You have probably seen him around as most people I have mentioned this to know who I'm talking about. He was having what looked like a seizure outside before he passed out.Oh yeah, and it froze that night.I was not a first hand witness to this story, however, this was done in the evening during business hours in front of customers and employees. I have asked several people at Paesanos about this who did see it and they have all confirmed the story and all of their stories match
Terrible. And please, no stupid anonymous posts about dirtbags or he deserved it or whatever, or I'll erase them. If you are foolhardy enough to want to sign your name to a comment like that (or a nickname I know) I'll leave it up.
I can't believe that there is a Sac band named Hotel Pistol and one named Hot Pistol.
Oh yeah, I forgot but writegrrl reminded me, someone got shot inside the Monte Carlo. I haven't been in this band in at least 7 years despite the fact that I have lived right near it for years.
Now that the Band That Time Forgot show is cancelled (for mysterious reasons, I smell a conspiracy), do they have any other upcoming shows?
Also, it's total bullshit that Heyamoto answered this question and not mine.
Lunch at Mason's was quite good but next time I can afford it I'll go back for dinner. There's only so much you can do to a sandwich to make if worth 11-14 dollars. For that much it has got to be miles better than Sub Shack or Corti's and that's really hard. I got an open-faced BLT on focaccia with avocado, melted cheese and a gooey fried egg on top. It was delicious. The fries that came with were dry and chip-like and unexciting. GW got a hangar steak sandwich which was also good, but the meat wasn't as flavorful as she would have liked and the promised horseradish aoili was not near horseradishy enough. SMiller got some expensive, tiny, and very flavorful sea bass tacos.
We went to see Cache last night and although it has a very "say what?" ending it is thought-provoking and we were discussing it all night. Quite tense and gripping. I won't spoil anything, but the director uses a cinematic technique that ensures you pay close attention in every scene, much more so than I usually do in a movie. There is a strong racial subtext having to do with the past history of France and Algieria and current racism against Africans there today which I was somewhat oblivious to during the movie, but which became clear as I thought about it more. There's a great discussion of it on this imdb board, but only look at if you've seen the movie. It won't make sense otherwise and will ruin the movie.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I'm eating lunch at Mason's today because I have been craving more of that pumpkin salad since I ate there a few weeks ago. I can't wait!
Review of the Greek Village Inn. The online reviews looked good, and a friend had recommended it. I'm not a huge fan of Greek food. I think it's like a pale version of Middle Eastern Food, with less spice and more feta. Feta is not one of the great cheeses, in my opinion. We started with a mixed dip platter, that had tzatziki, eggplant dip (melitzanosalata) , and a dip that purported to be pureed caviar and onions (taramosalata), but tasted like extra-salty lox shmear, so there must have been some dairy in there. All three were good, and the pita bread was a stand-out. The eggplant dip was pretty bland. Best of all was the lemon and rice soup, which comes with the entrees. The soup is the only thing I've had from this place before. Its what it's known for. Delicious. Smiller ordered a roasted chicken dish with cinnamon and cloves and pasta. He loved it and the chicken was very tender and moist (falling off the bone!). I got the gyro because an online reviewer noted they mixed the beef and lamb themselves rather than carving it off of a pre-packaged cone. I have never had a gyro before because those cones really gross me out. I was not so crazy about mine. The meat was too salty and bland. It came with more pita, and some giant blocks of feta. The portions are quite large and we had ordered too much food. The price was very high, a bit over thirty bucks apiece, total, and we each had one glass of wine. So, pretty good but pricey. I would go back and just get some spanikopita and soup maybe. There's a fancy new Greek place opening in that same neighborhood (it's called Opa Opa) and I have inside info that their falafel is the best evs, so I'll try that when it opens.
Stice - apprehensive, alarmingly wide-eyed - gives the impression that she might be the tender entree.
And exactly how is she giving that impression? I've read the whole article and I don't know.
How about this sentence?
The Broiler's history, though old, isn't quite as stupendous. It was started in 1950 by a Croatian immigrant named Joseph B. Anticevich, who opened the restaurant in a velvet hole, at 1013 J St.
A velvet hole?
Some bad news in this article is that Sam's Kosher Style Deli in CH has closed. Now that that place and the Hot Pastrami are both closed there aren't many places to get a pile o' meat style sandwich.
I was glad to see that the Bee had an article on Espanol, which is not a favorite of mine but it's a piece of Sac restaurant history, but here's the pointless little piece. It's cool to find out that it was started to feed Basque shepherds, but no review of the food.
And in a review that Dunne wrote, which he starts by saying that people call him asking why there are no French bistros in Sac (so I'm not the only one that wonders. I've been contemplating writing a letter to the chef of the Waterboy and imploring him to think about a homey French bistro for the new place he's going to open), and he writes a pretty critical review of the only one, L'Image. But not as critical as the one that was in sacrag. I felt really sorry for the writer. Nothing is more disappointing than dropping that much on a subpar prix-fixe meal. Well, except maybe showboating right when you are about to win a gold medal and then biting it really hard in front of a global audience. That's why no one should go out to fancy places on Valentines Day.
This entry has taken me a while to compile so I'm going to post my review of the Greek Village Inn in a little bit.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Here's a quote from Miller, "We shouldn't be settling for a restaurant row," Miller said. "That would miss the opportunity for a unique destination that will draw people downtown."
Here's a quote from Fargs, "What I've been trying to do on K Street is promote the unique," Fargo said. "It may not be enough to just have good restaurants and good food."
And what "unique" idea does Fargs like? Well, if by "unique" you mean "copying another city's idea" I guess you could say it's unique to try to make our town look like the Holy Grail of revitalized downtowns, San Diego's Gas Lamp distict. I happen to have spent some time there because of a work thing and it sucks. It has all the "unique" destinations that attract out of towners, like a Hooter's, a TGI Fridays, etc. All that and fake old-timey street lamps and trolleys! Yay! Is your pulse racing yet?
Wow! I can even upload more than one image! Robert Altman's Three Women is so fucking good! It out-Lynches David Lynch years and years before he started to explore the theme of shifting identities in Twin Peaks, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive. I've never heard anyone compare these two filmakers, but the parallel is so clear in this movie. Of course, this movie is unlike any Altman movie I've seen. I listened to some of the director commentary and Altman was saying the idea of the movie, including that it would star Sissy Spacek and Shelly Duvall, came to him in an dream after he fell into an exhausted sleep on a day when his wife was gravely ill. It didn't really have a full plot or script when it started, just impressions about the setting and the stars, but he pitched it to Fox a couple of days after the dream and the studio system was so much better in the 70's that he could just ask them for a couple million to make it and they easily said yes. No wonder movies were so much better then. This freedom allowed him to make an eerie, dreamlike, totally captivating movie that doesn't have a linear plot or a clear ending. You can't get away with that these days. Shelly Duvall is wonderful, and Altman said that she pretty much created her character from scratch. She's really funny and shows a lack of vanity because it was her idea that her character would think that men were after her when she's so obnoxious that none of them want anything to do with her. Sissy Spacek pretty much plays two roles, one a childlike waif, and the other a cruel, sexy adult and she seems to physically transform back and forth between the two roles. It's crazy. When she's the sexy character she seems to be about 8 years older and a foot taller somehow. I highly, highly recommend this movie. Too bad Thieves Like Us isn't out on DVD yet, now I want to see every Altman/Duvall movie. Kabinet, have an Altman film fest!!!!!
There was a lot of action on the blog over the weekend, which I like.
First off, I am listening to an excellent radio show that John P. djs on east village radio. Thanks to SSOS for the link.
Hey, I just now found out that I can upload photos directly to blogger without going through flickr. Cool. Later, flickr.
Here's the lovely Josephine Foster, who played last night at Delta of Venus. It was an incredible show. Her voice is an unearthly instrument and she is in full command of it. I've heard that she was training to be an opera singer before she decided to pursue writing her own music. I'm kind of pressed for time so it's hard for me to describe it well, it's really not like anything I've ever heard. I'm seeing her again this weekend in Big Sur so maybe after that I can do a better job. Mi and L'au opened. Most of their songs were so quiet that everyone was sitting there trying not to move or breathe too loud and praying that our stomachs wouldn't gurgle and ruin the mood. Connie tried to turn off her phone in the middle and instead it started to ring, but it was a chirping bird ringer so it almost fit in. Mi and L'au weren't overly impressive, her voice was really clear and pretty, though, and maybe their record is good. They both look like freaky models and they wrote most of the music for their album in an isolated cabin in Finland. Despite that, the music isn't very interesting. After the show, one of the KDVS guys said that we were the best audience they've ever had at Delta of Venus, I guess because we weren't talking through the show, and I felt proud.
Friday, February 17, 2006
10) The reason the top of his head is bulging out so much? His brain is trying to get as far away from that fucking thing as possible.
Frank Bruni (NY Times food guy) just launched a blog! Rad! I like his entry about Hooters. Here's an excerpt from the inaugural post:
I eat out as many as seven nights a week, and there are even nights when I eat out twice, taking full advantage of a visit to a far-flung neighborhood by getting up from dinner in one restaurant to sprint to dinner in another. Some months I take fewer than five nights off, and those nights often come at the ends of days when I had lunch out.
What a job!
Then came the point at which Tess and Geko reach absolute moral zero—the pits of degradation, of a kind that I will not describe (save to hint that it involves the forcible exchange of a waste product), and have no wish to witness again. At that exact moment, we hear the last chorus from the St. Matthew Passion—“Wir setzen uns mit Tranen nieder.” It roared from the speakers, and I felt eight hundred people or more rocked back, as if by a wave. From that there was no recovery. We stumbled out, and in the succeeding days I found myself playing the piece over and over, not in order to relive a noxious movie but because the Bach had regained its grave and devastating function. It has become, for too many of us, a concert piece, or something dignified to put on the CD player at the end of a fissile day. Suddenly, thanks to Lukas Moodysson, I heard it again as a Passion: the drama of Calvary, stern with lamentation. The question is: do we need to be hauled through scene after scene of drab, dehumanized behavior so that we may see, or at least hear, humanity restored at the end?
Yeah, I'm sure that's what Bach had in mind when he wrote that piece. Give me a break! And maybe I was so numbed out by the end that I missed it but I sure don't remember much humanity being restored. All the grotty creeps in the movie were hugging but it seemed totally implausible. Now that I'm thinking out loud (to you), Bergman has praised this guy, albeit for his first film (which wasn't that crazy), I have no idea what he thinks about this new film, and Bergman does have his own shocking mention of genital mutilation in Cries and Whispers...but still, this guy's no Bergman. Here's an interview with Moodysson where he talks about the movie. You guys that liked "Together" might want to read it because he seems nonplussed by people who view it as a pleasant comedy. He also says that when he compiled a list of the most important influences on his life the Cure was number one and Morrissey was number five. Huh.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Got a reliably good dinner at Amarin last night. I ordered the "country style" curry for the first time which is super spicy. The spiciest thing I've had there. Then me and smiller saw When A Stranger Calls. I give it a squished popcorn. Totally terrible. So ineptly directed. The director, Simon West, previously directed Con Air and Tomb Raider so he is seriously slumming. I hated Con Air with a passion and haven't seen Tomb Raider but I don't remember thinking that Con Air was poorly directed, it just sucked in other ways. The imdb review says that this movie "makes the original look like the Godfather". Funny.
Have any of you guys seen any Lukas Moodyson movies? I saw Lilya 4-ever cuz (I think) Anthony Lane creamed over it and it was devastatingly depressing. And now looking at the imdb thing I see that it's based on a true story which makes me want to kill myself. I have another one of his movies, A Hole In My Heart at home from Netflix but haven't watched it yet.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Bad news: they're all in Davis!
I copied all this show news from Brandan's post on the DIY list. I will totally be at the Josephine Foster/Born Heller show on monday at Delta of Venus, but it bums me out that I will still have to go to Davis on my monday off. I guess I shouldn't bitch because no one's making me go. Maybe I will get a ride? Here's the rest of the information:
Josephine Foster's Born Heller on Monday!
- a free Dead Science and Craig Wedren (ex- Shudder to Think) show this Sunday
-Zdrastvootie, Scott Rosenberg, and Antlers this Sat. (I've heard Zdrastvootie's live show is phenomenal)
- Sean Hayes (who recently sold out the Great American in Sf) at the DOV this Fri. for free
- oh yeah- and a fresh Dance Party at the KDVS is My Life House, 1114 Cypress Ln., this Friday night
Wednesday, February 15 th
Dance Party with the Flower Vato at the G St. Pub, Free, 21+
-"the flower vato excels at thumpin' asses with extreme bass. Also known as Larry Rodriguez, the vato grew up listening to low rider jams and James Brown. After years of searching dumpsters for mint condition 45s, Arabic cassettes, and food, Larry has now reached his peak. He will throw down jam after jam, completely nonchalant, and will leave you beggin' for the sweet chariot to let you ride towards funky salvation when the lights turn on and the beef yell at you to leave." (Brendan Boyle)
Thursday, February 16th
Down at the Delta of Venus, 122 B St.
Free, All Ages, 8:30 p.m.
Heather the Kindergarten teacher
-How many sheds? Two. Caitlin, John and Rusty are on the brink of releasing their new album and we welcome them back with open arms. They've invited Heather the "K" Teacher to open-what a voice and pretty little songs to make your heart pitter-patter...ahh...
Friday, February 17th
Down at the Delta of Venus, 122 B St.
Free, All Ages, 8:30 p.m.
Etienne de Rocher
-Born in NYC and raised in North Carolina, Sean Hayes is the real thing: A songwriter and performer who penetrates your brain and body so deeply that you quickly forget who you are and what you're doing. His songs are beautiful worlds unto themselves. Sean's performances are full sensory experiences -- sensual, elastic and thick with rich colors. A gorgeous place to live. Etienne DeRocher has been performing in SF for many years and has just released his first album and also produced and played on the new Sean Hayes cd. Critics say...."He's got one of the sweetest voices around—a high, clear-as-a-bell croon that glides easily through a song… he crafts songs that rustle with bittersweet echoes of the past without becoming pastiches. What's most appealing is the sense of wonder that fills his songs, as if he can't believe how pretty a melody can be, even amid a barrage of samples or a churning rhythm section." --Sylvia W. Chan (San Francisco Bay Guardian) "As if Beck had made a record with Peter Gabriel." --Paul Bradshaw (Mod Lang), speaking of de Rocher's self-titled album
Saturday, February 18th
Zdrastvootie will be performing live on "Shining Mountain Hours" on KDVS, from 5-7pm.
KDVS Presents at the Delta of Venus, 122 B St.
All Ages, $4. 8pm
Zdrastvootie (Santa Cruz; Holy Mountain records)
- Zdrastvootie is a skronk-rock, avant-whatsit group out of Santa Cruz that revolves around the core trio of drummer Sean Adams and guitarists Scott Stobbe and Drew Adams.The three guys are currently playing live with a female saxophonist. The band creates complex compositions veering from spazz-jazz to intricate indie guitar-rock and more ethereal atmospheric stuff, sometimes all within the same song. You could compare them to anyone from French prog monsters Magma to the Minutemen. People doing math and calling it music can be tedious, but Zdrastvootie's members manage to sidestep that tar pit by injecting some feeling into their compositions. Plus, there's a subtle sense of fun: The band's name is a mutant pronunciation of the Russian word for "hello".
- Antlers are an upcoming Davis outift embracing post-psychedelic, three guitar interplay. Featuring many of the members of the former band Narwhal, Antlers are one of the most exciting rock bands coming out of Davis today.
P.A.F. solo (Scott Rosenberg; Barely Auditable records)
- Scott Rosenberg will be performing solo material from his avant-country rock trio P.A.F. Rosenberg has played with many free jazz greats, such as Anthony Braxton. P.A.F. is a high-powered alt-country outfit that can quickly breakdown into highly technical "free" space.
Sunday, February 19th
Sunday, February 19th
KDVS Presents at the Delta of Venus, 122 B St.
All Ages, 8p.m., $Donations requested
Dead Science (Seattle) (http://www.thedeadscience.com/index.html)
Craig Wedren (ex- Shudder to Think)
- (review of Shudder to Think- s/t- from Aquarius Records): "First time ever on CD, after being out of print for over a decade! Before"emo" was a noun, it was an adjective used to describe the sensitive,post-hardcore stylings of artistic DC punkers, who weren't afraid to cry inpublic and dedicate songs to trees. Some say Rites of Spring's 1986self-titled debut album (Dischord Records) is the holy grail of emo.However, this album may well be that genre's defining document. The operaticwailings of Craig Wedren's falsetto -- not unlike Pere Ubu's David Thomas --were a peculiar contrast to the band's more aggressive punk leanings. SaysCraig of this era: "I joined a 'hardcore' group, we did not like eachother's sound, they banged, I screeched ... [it] came out sounding, a littlelike, Ozzy?" From a time when "US hardcore" was mired in socio-politicalaggression and macho posturing, STT were perhaps a reaction -- ironicallyfrom within the ranks of DC bands that were so influential to that movementin the first place. This is a beautiful and enthralling album, impossiblymelancholic, with perplexing lyrics from someone who's "heart is filled with'All May Rise' and 'X Ray Eyes'". Lots of people know Shudder to Think'sbizarre, dramatic alt-rock material from subsequent recordings for Dischordand later, Epic, from which most of their fan base is likely drawn. But thisrecord -- while technically inferior and unpolished from a productionstandpoint -- is still many fans' favorite STT release. Reissue includesfour bonus tracks from their first 7"
Monday, February 20th
Born Heller and Mi and La'u perform live on KDVS during the "Faint of Heart" show, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Special Monday night show at the DOV, 122 B St.!
All Ages, Free!
Born Heller (Locust Music; featuring Josephine Foster)
- Josephine Foster is the best. That's all I have to say.
Mi and La'u
Mi and L'au are Michael Gira¹s latest discovery and signing. First Devendra Banhart, then Akron/Family and now Mi & Lau is his next amazing signing. from Young God records website... The music is austere, but simultaneously warm. Picture a glacier with a red ember glowing in its center. Mi and L'au met in Paris a few years back. Mi is Finnish and was working as a model to make ends meet and L'au (who's French) was working in the music industry (soundtracks, I think). They fell deeply and immediately in love, and after a short period of moving from apartment to apartment in Paris, they gave everything up and decided to move to the woods in Finland, so they could be alone together in peace and to spend their time discovering each other and their music. They live in a small cabin in complete isolation with the barest of essentials and they spend virtually all their time making music together in solitude. They are pure and gentle souls (Devendra's song, from Oh Me Oh MY... "Gentle Soul" was written for L'au the two had met in Paris when Devendra was wandering there, and L'au took him in, and they also made music together). Their music is bare, delicate, and made with simple instrumentation - voice, acoustic guitars, and other very sparse orchestrations. I wouldn't say it compares at all to the current crop of neo-hippy "weird folk" etc. though. It has the naked quality of certain early Nico recordings, or Chet Baker (I don't mean there's a stylistic similarity by any means - just a sense of space)...soulful and elegant, without being touchy-feely or confessional. Their music reminds me of how one might imagine a winter Finnish landscape - haunting and pure.
There's an article by Mike Dunne in the Bee today about the history of fine dining in Sac. It's interesting. This is a good quote by the owner of El Novillero, "Ninety-nine percent of our customers know more than me about Mexican food," says Joe Davalos Sr., who in 1970 opened El Novillero along Franklin Boulevard. "They eat at different places every day, but I never go to any other restaurants. I don't know any restaurant besides mine." I would have to agree because the one time I ate at El Novillero it totally sucked and the salsa tasted like ketchup. And don't you El Novillero lovers jump on me. If you like that place you should admit that it's because you've been going there forever and it has good memories for you or something. Cuz there are way better places to eat Mexican food.
It's weird to me that I've eaten at so few of these pioneering Sac places. I've never eaten at any Fat restaurant or Lemongrass or Maces and I've only eaten at Biba once.
Dunne has a little paragraph at the end bemoaning the lack of trained, dedicated servers around here and I'd have to agree. NOT because bad service fucks up my meals all the time but because I think for these upscale restaurants there's no reason that they shouldn't make enough money and be treated well enough that they would want to make it a career. That was an awkward sentence. The Waterboy must be an exception because there servers are knowledgeable, competent, and seem to stay around for a long time. All the sushi restaurants downtown are the worst, probably because they mostly are looking for sexy young girls to staff the restaurants. There's another little part to the article that mentions that Rick Mahan (the Waterboy guy) is looking to open a second location downtown!!!! That's great! I hope it's a more downscale, cafe-type place. I'm guessing it probably will be because otherwise it seems like it would be too similar to the Waterboy.
This dining history thing is a four parter. I wasn't eating downtown in '86, but for those of you who were it might be a walk down memory lane.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Has anyone tried Sweetfinger restaurant? I haven't been there since it changed names and I think, owners. I'd like to try it but I'm wary. The sign outside is pretty funny. An amateur artist drew a hand gripping some food (I guess the hand represents the "sweet fingers") but it looks more like a crab claw. It was empty last night. And once again, Taste of Thai had about three times as many customers as Chada. I just don't get it.
Warning: rambling paragraph alert. I hope nobody is braving the restaurant crowds for Valentine's day. Worst day of the year to eat out. I guess Josh P. is cooking another meal in Sac and I got a last minute invite (well, smiller did) but I already have plans. I got the Molinari sausage for my pasta at Corti last night, and after work today I'm going to Taylors to have the excellent cheese mistress help me with a cheese course. The cheese selection at Taylors is much better than Cortis. Maybe no one is going to know what I'm talking about here (Ella?), but when I was getting some of that As Do Mar tuna (seriously the best) that I read about on the Cortis newsletter (which they NEVER CHANGE) they had this whole line of Gio's brand canned pate maybe like six different kinds (including lobster) that had the most amazingly designed cans. They were SO COOL LOOKING. My powers of description fail me, but I wish I was all technological and could take digital pictures and post them. There is nothing about thisbrand on the internet that I can find. I will just have to buy them all and display them somehow or have a pate party. In general the designs on all the canned fishes and pates are really rad. Boy this is a pretty exciting paragraph. Jesus.
Monday, February 13, 2006
P.S. and please don't use this little post to begin a slambook on her. I think her writing has been pretty fairly critiqued but there's no need to be mean.
I totally and completely scored at Ollipom this weekend. Sometimes that place really pays off for me. I got two dresses, a skirt and a shirt for 37 bucks which I know does not compare to thrift store prices but I often strike out at thrift stores and scoring at Ollipom completely eliminated my urge to mall shop which probably ended up saving me upwards of a hundred bucks. So I can't afford NOT to shop there. Now that Le Fun is closed it's the only game in town. The Le Fun girl is going to be working there on tuesdays and thursdays and Mike Rafter has moved his skateshop to the spot where Le Fun was.
I was treated to a Chinese banquet at Fortune House (the place across from Target) this weekend, which was quite enjoyable and educational. We started with a jellyfish salad. No offense to those who like jellyfish, but my list of most repulsive foods has now been rearranged. Here it is.
Of those three, I would try both tripe and sea urchin again, but I don't think I'll ever eat jellyfish again. One of the diners joked "my kids call it rubber bands" and that's exactly what it was like. It was NOT like calimari, it had a very different consistency and it took a turkey burger at Bernardo hours later to finally eliminate the ghostly feeling of it from my mouth. I still felt like I was reliving eating it in this horrible way. The other dishes of the banquet were too numerous to mention, but the standouts were a whole roast chicken, head included with delicious brown skin and a little dish of special salt on the side and a tofu dish with delicious, garlicky greens.
I really want to try Zokku, mostly because I regret that I never ate at Hong King Lum. And because there's a fake boulder. For once, Mike Dunne's review contains actual criticism and suggestions and is helpful. That sucks that they have untrained servers. So many new restaurants suffer from that and while it doesn't come close to ruining the meal, it can be a nuisance. People keep telling me how much they have enjoyed eating at Taka so I want to eat their again soon. I always forget about it and just go to my default choice of Nishiki, but Taka is cheaper than Kru or Nishiki so I should remember it.
Scott and Roger's thing at the Press last night was fun. I got to see a girl in a cowboy hat and flip-flops play air guitar to "green onions". They were playing really good songs, and I got a miller high life tall can with a glass of ice (the smiller special) which was as refreshing as a glass of melted alcoholic snow (hah I just wrote snot accidentally). DON'T GET THE DRAFT BEER AT THE PRESS!! It is disgusting. The bottles are overpriced. The tall cans and the cheap whole bottles of sparkling wine (as discovered by Lisa D.) are the only good deal. Their night is being switched to every other sunday so I guess next sunday (the 19th) is out? Is this right?
Speaking of movies, saw Transamerica last night at the Tower and I give it thumbs up. It's a wee bit schmaltzy at times but it's worth it just for a better understanding of what transgender people go through. Felicity Huffman is pretty rad in it. She shows a real lack of vanity in taking this role. I know I would be embarrassed to admit I look enough like a man to play one with only minimal make-up. In fact this is the first time I've ever admitted in public that I look like a man, and it feels good. But a man that can work a tube top and cape like nobodys business! I realized that the trifecta of Capote, Brokeback, and Transamerica officially makes Tower the gayest theater in town, so take that, Crest! And in more Tower news, local celebrity raconteur Matias Bombal has been hired to work at the Tower and I believe today is his first day, so good luck Matias. The hazing they give the rookies at Tower is brutal and occasionally results in death or permanent brain damage so watch your back. Here's a trick: if they strip you naked and cover you in superkist II while forcing you to sit in the popcorn bin and eat the popcorn and soda they pour down your throat, just go to a safe place in your mind to avoid psychological trauma. A comforting image like a tropical island or your crib works best.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Originally uploaded by becklerg.
You know I am hard up when I am blogging about celebrities. I watched the Shining DVD and there is an extra little feature that Kubrick's daughter filmed that is mildly entertaining. What blew my mind is how beautiful Shelley Duvall looked in the interviews. She seriously had the most perfect peaches and cream complexion and these giant (OK, slightly buggy) hazel eyes. Kubrick fans may remember that she was a huge pain in his ass and the doc. shows her faking a panic attack or something and laying on the ground to get attention and claiming that her hair is getting ripped out in the scene where she tries to escape through the bathroom window. She claims it's "hunks of hair" and Kubrick holds two strands of hair up to the camera and smirks. I was not able to find any pictures on the internet that are that flattering, though. The End.
Returning music dude J. Griff at the SN&R is soliciting local music to review. The SN&R also gives a little blurb to singer/songwriter/statenet worker Chelsea Wolfe, who I want to check out sometime (musically, that is).
There's a rumor that there may be an Intelligence show in Davis tonight. It's not listed on their myspace page.
Joshua's dinner at Neon's last night was delicious once again. There were some fried garbanzo cakes with a really strong almond cognac sauce. That was awesome. I ate so much that I felt really bad. Like a pinata must feel. He also made a cheesecake with a pomegranate sauce. So good! He's cooking a really big dinner at the dam house tonight, for tons of people. Another highlight of the night was that Heylove gave me high fives and let me rub her belly. There's a couple of pictures of the dinner here and you can see Joshua in his chef's coat.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
For now, just read Dinger's bio. Did you know he went to De Paw University and majored in claw enforcement? I know at least one person who will think this is funny besides me.
OK, OK long story short, on to the cooking. Joshua was chomping at the bit to get started so I showed him where everything was in the kitchen and sat back. He was a focused whirlwind for hours on end and I regret that in my anxiety about how I was going to seat everyone in our small apartment I didn't really watch him at work or question him. I hope to take more advantage of his expertise at Neon's mediterranean feast tonight. The salad and starter were ready right on time and somehow we squeezed everyone in and started to eat. The salad was romaine, arugula, oranges, red pepper and dates with a lemon-fenugreek dressing. The starter was roasted and fried kobocha with a spicy, oily dill-yogurt sauce. Joshua also made a spiced flatbread to soak up the sauce that had some interesting grains in it (that he told me the name of and I forgot). The combo of the flatbread and the sauce was one of my faves of the evening. Then we had a lentil and broadbean soup that a trillion different exciting flavors. The main dish was a fake chicken stew with onions, roasted tomatoes, roasted butternet squash, yogurt sauce and the most delicious rice I have ever eaten. He served this all with rosewater lemonade, which would be simple to make and was soooo good. I bet it would be even better with some kind of booze in it. He just used frozen lemonade, rose water and squeezed some fresh lemons in.
The dessert was so fucking good it disappeared quickly. It was a variation on a mamoul, which is a popular Syrian and Lebanese date-filled cookie. I'm telling you, the Lebanese have a way with desserts. This and that one they have at Maaloufs are like my two favorite desserts. He made a shortbread-like cookie with a strong rosewater flavor and stuffed it with a date/orange jam that he made. These were served warm out of the oven and dusted with powdered sugar.
And all this for twelve bucks a person and with the pleasure of Joshua's company! Amazing. His food made me realize how timid I am with spices in my own cooking and how I need to branch out and learn more. Most of the spices he used I have either never heard of or certainly never used. I want to get one of his cookbooks. You can buy his cookbooks here. They have funny titles. He also writes a column in this magazine. And that first website tells you everything else he has going, which is a lot. He tours the world cooking like eight months out of the year. He's an inspiration, for sure.
Meanwhile, when was the last time you went to Miller park? OK, it's not that spectacular but did you know it has a cat village? There are at least twenty full grown cats of all types living in harmony together. It's beautiful. Some cat lovers have built them a deluxe cat house and they had multiple, heaping bowls of cat chow. It's like a utopia, catopia if you will. And you will.
Went for drinks on the Delta King, too. It was rad. They have overpriced bottles of anchor but really you are paying for the opportunity to drink on the deck of a steamboat. The weather yesterday was so beautiful. It felt like spring.
So LCD got dissed at the grammys? Bullshit.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
This is a bonus, slightly drunken post, because I have wednesday off and will be using it to prepare for the aforementioned, Persian themed feast cooked by my personal chef that I will tell you about on thursday. Me and smiller went to the Waterboy tonight and spent my Christmas bonus plus some and it was so good! I don't want to bore you with the details but let me just say that for a change money was no object so we definitely lived it up as far as the wine list was concerned. We ended with a 1985 Warres vintage port and a glass of banyuls with chocolate brioche pudding. The other standout was the roast squab (damn dirty pigeon!)
with preserved cherries, pine nuts, and foie gras toast. OK, it sounds like a weird combo and it is, but it meshed really well. I love that place. These three posh little kids tried to get a table before us. Picture this little girl's outfit: striped deck shoes, white pedal pushers, Polo sweater over a polo shirt with a popped collar. And getting a table for themselves at like eight at night!
Other than that I have heard that there is a Port Costa extravaganza this weekend that I may take part in and that there is a Smiths cover show coming up at Ironsides? This is the first I have heard of it but I guess that Sophia is playing, among others. Heckamax, do you want Bright Ideas to play that Lyme Regis Knock Knock show or what? Hook it up!
I wish someone from Kru would read this because I have advice for you: 1) drop the big plates section off your menu. My party and everyone else around us was eating sushi. No one is going to Kru to pay twenty dollars for a pork chop. They just aren't. 2) once you get rid of those big plates and you don't have to pay lots of money for the rack of lamb and other meat that no one is ordering and that is going to waste, drop your prices a bit. Your rolls (simple and crazy new style) are tastier than most around town, maybe the best in town, so you have that going for you. But 14 dollars for a roll that doesn't contain, say truffles or caviar or something? That's too much. All your rolls are one to three dollars overpriced and with so many sushi places to choose from downtown that can make a big difference when people are trying to decide where to go. 3) Another benefit of dropping the big plates is that it would give you an opportunity to expand your sushi menu. It doesn't need to be a book like Mikuni's but your fancy rolls are great and I wish there were more to choose from. There are only about 6 rolls. 4) your service is STILL pretty confused. It was like that when it opened and I thought you would figure it out, but like a year later your servers don't seem to know who is supposed to be doing what when. It wasn't that bad, but after all this time there's really no excuse. If Kru did those 4 things, I bet their business would pick up. This post is probably very boring for those who didn't eat at Kru last night, sorry.
Monday, February 06, 2006
I pussed out on going to the Alkali Flats but I heard it was really fun so I wish I had gone.
Champagne brunch on the Delta King was fucking fun and I highly recommend it. The "champagne" flows very freely and food was pretty darn good. And you are on a boat so you can say ahoy and pretend your food is asking you for permission to come aboard. I found out that the Delta King has a regular bar and I plan to go there a lot when the weather gets warmer. I think you can take your drinks outside.
A couple of engagements were announced this weekend, but since I don't want any haters to accuse me of gossip I won't say who just yet, I'll just say congratulations and please invite me to the wedding so I can catch the bouquet for the zillionth time.
Friday, February 03, 2006
OK, for what to do this weekend, Feeling show tonight at Distillery if you are not punk enough to hack it at Gilman and watch the Bananas. Tomorrow, Alkali Flats show. Sunday I am going to a champagne brunch on the Delta King! Exciting and I will probably do some serious napping after to get ready for DJ Roger and DJ smiller's new pop night at the Press. That's right, sunday night! I don't know if this night has a name or website or schwag yet, but I'm sure it's coming soon. They need to think of something catchy like Daggers! or Vicious! like, oh I don't know, Vicious Electric Daggers! Or Watch Out For That Sharp Edged Thing! It Will Cut Your Clothes But In A Sexy, Shredded Way! Or, Tetanus Shot!!
There was some trouble with our reservations at the start, but they were accomodating and nice about it. We got seated at a rad table that was really comfortable and seemed semi-private due to a couple of walls that separated us from most of the diners. Our waiter was a local musician and I won't name him, I'll just call him CFC cuz he used to be in corpse fucks corpse. He was an excellent waiter and immediately put us at ease.
Unfortunately, Mason's doesn't have their current menu online (just an old one) so I'm going to have to go from memory about what we ordered, and maybe my fellow diners can comment if they have time. We started with the Japanese pumpkin salad. There were chunks of pumpkin battered and lightly fried under a mound of shaved Granny Smith Apple, in some kind of viniagrette that had a faint hint of cinnamon. It looked beautiful and the still-warm pumpkin contrasted nicely with the apple. We also got the chicken liver mousse terrine. It tasted rich and livery (which is a flavor I love) and melted in your mouth. They didn't give us much crostini to put it on, but the server was quick with the bread and it was great on that, too. Both of these appetizers were very generously sized. In fact, there was so much liver I wouldn't recommend ordering it for less than a party of four or I'm sure you would O.D. on it. Our third appetizer was a chorizo-stuffed squid, which was enticing as described but fell short in execution. The dish also came with clams and red and yellow peppers in a tasty broth, but it only came with like two large bites of the stuffed squid for thirteen bucks.
Mason's has a pretty long wine list, and they have a surprising amount of affordable bottles. I asked our server to recommend a good, inexpensive red and we decided to go with the Justin Paso Robles Syrah, which we liked. Smiller also got a glass of the Avalon Cabernet, which I liked even better. The only problem with the wine list was that they only had one sparkling wine by the glass, and it was eleven bucks (I think the wine list I linked is also not current). That's not acceptable!
Most of the entrees sounded enticing so it was hard to choose, but two people got the sturgeon, one got the short ribs, one got the rack of lamb, and I ordered the ciopinno. The short ribs were insanely good. They came in a brandy reduction accompanied by gorgonzola-walnut ravioli. I wish I had ordered those. Once again, the portion was very generous. You could just go order this and a glass of wine and be full. The sturgeon was also great. The flavor of the lamb was delicate and delicious. My ciopinno was not quite as good as the other entrees, mostly because of the damned chorizo that also kinda wrecked the stuffed squid. The chorizo was in hard, flavorless cubes and was not spicy at all, although it was advertised as such on the menu. Also, the clams tasted less than fresh. However, the white tuna and king prawns were good and the saffron broth was the best part, so I soaked most of that up with the bread. All in all, it was a mind-blowing meal and worth every penny. And it wasn't even as expensive as it probably sounds. I got all that for 45 bucks and that was with a generous tip for the server.
Later I'll post about the crazy Sac fashion parading through that place and all the stuff going on this weekend.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Does anybody know the details of the Alkali Flats show on saturday? I might want to go to that. The Flats are fun to watch.
UA theater in the Arden Fair Mall is continuing on its trajectory of becoming the Birdcage Theater of the 2000s by showing one old movie every thursday at 10:00. Tonight it's the Shining. I want to go but I'm eating with a big party at Mason's tonight. If I restrain my wine intake (which would be a financially wise choice) I may be able to drive there.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Arco Arena is still ancient and creaky and full of leaks, but for the first time in a long while, the old building shook and shuddered, often erupting into spontaneous emotion.
Ancient? A bit of an exaggeration for a building built in 1988, no?
That reminds me of a thought I had about what would be the world's most loathsome hypothetical couple: Joan Baez and Mike Love. Just thinking about that makes my skin crawl.
So The Feelings new name is Sophia, correct? Not Coco Shwa? What do you guys think about that? I know this has been a hard process for them. Paul said Sophia means wisdom or something in some language.
We watched the game at Dragonfly last night, which, if you can get a seat at the bar where the TV is not obscured by the hanging lights is an OK place to watch a game. It's really not that crowded most of the time, and they have Chimay and 1554 on draft. Their wine list is crap, however and way overpriced so I ended up getting a tiny, precious bottle of Moet for 12 bucks. It tasted so good that I can't be mad at the price. And those little bottles are at least a glass and a half. We split the Sacramento roll and even thought someone pointed out to me recently that those big rolls with sauce kinda taste the same no matter what the ingredients are, this one was unusually good. It freaks me out though because I checked my bank account today and I'm pretty sure the bartender padded his tip. I can't believe he would do that so it's probably that I was drunkenly generous.
The Kings looked good last night and they won after being up by a few points for the whole game. Bibby was confident, Artest got excellent penetration, which is nice, and that geeky guy with the funny haircut scored like 21 points. What's his name? They had hustle for a change.
The Bananas are playing Gilman this friday and they will have a few copies of their Nautical LP to sell. It's a limited edition put out by some Italian chick (I don't know the full story but maybe smiller can fill me in-ew that sounds dirty-oh i forgot it's his day off) but this guy in LA is going to put out all the albums on LP eventually so don't worry.
Shaun Slaughter posted on the DIY list that this saturday at Vicious (in Old I) Kid 606 is the guest DJ, which I guess is a big deal to some. I was trying to figure out what his deal is so I looked for his website which led me here to a TERRIBLE manga style illustration that is kinda NSFW and really doesn't make me want to go see him DJ. The site hasn't been updated in ages but in 2002 he was playing all over the world. I don't know, what I've heard about him sounds interesting.