Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Be vewy vewy quiet

If you like your prose purple, here's a big gulp. I'm going to one of the new wine bars tomorrow? Which one, I'll let the readers decide. Who cares doesn't count as a vote. I also get to go to the Waterboy! Sweet. I think there may be some rabbit bolognese in my future.
Speaking of rabbit, non-squeamish meat eater that I am, I love to see that weird looking whippet-like shape of the rabbit in the meat counter at Taylors. I plan to cook one up soon. I made cornish game hens from there the other day and I was plotzing at how good they are, and so cheap! Here's how I cooked them:

take a lemon and roll it around on the counter top and poke it with a fork, after a little foreplay, gently ease it inside the birds cavity.
rub the skin lovingly with salt and pepper and shove some herbs under the skin, i used sage
roast breast up, I did it for an hour at 350, times and temps seem to vary alot in recipes I've seen, the point is it's quick and you don't want to overcook it
serve with stuffing because people don't eat enough stuffing!

Part of my next article is a quest for edible uni in Sac, are there any other uni lovers out there who can point me in the right direction? And don't say Zen Toro, it already failed the gag test.

drunk driving

Let's talk about this. Totally horrible. Slightly related, on my way home from work yesterday at like 230 in the afternoon, right when I was getting on the causeway I saw a guy weaving in a terrifying way. I got a glimpse of him after a while and he was bleary-eyed and wasted. He dogged me all the way into Sac and I was certain he was going to cause a crash but I lost sight of him (I got ahead of him as I was figuring this out so I couldn't get his license number without getting closer to him and I was scared to do so). All this is leading to what I have been thinking of since this weekend, when I rode my bike on saturday night around eleven to the Alkali Flats show at Old Ironsides, which is this: "revitalization" of downtown has had a big side effect-wasted people all over the place on weekend nights. And if you ride a bike around at this time you will note that MANY of them are driving, to generalize, probably back home to the suburbs. ADK and I were talking about it, she lives on T st. near the dangerous Empire club nexus and she said you can hear the drunk folks driving crazy and racing. WHY ARE THE COPS NOT BUSTING THESE PEOPLE? I'm seriously asking, does anyone know? It seems so obvious, it gets them off the street and it's a big revenue generator for the city, right? I feel like as it stands now, everyone knows that you're probably OK drunk driving around downtown, I don't think people have the intense fear of being busted that they should have. Maybe this incident will highlight this problem (although it occurred during the day, out of the grid, and the guy had just pulled out, so it's pretty different). If not, it's probably going to take a pedestrian or cyclist (or maybe more than one) getting injured or killed. Or will the cops wait until some drunky in a hummer plows into a crowd of clubgoers?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

make it a sad, sad night

I'll admit it, I went to Blockbuster last night for the first time in forever. It is just a few blocks from my house so I caved. It's so depressing there (good overheard quote, though: I love the title of Running With Scissors, but I don't think I'll like the movie) and somehow our non new release rental of some Curb Your Enthusiasm Episodes was five bucks! Huh? Long story short, they had some print copies of the Sacramento Union there. Have you seen it? It looks just like the Onion (the online edition doesn't but the print edition looks exactly like it) and sometimes it seems like you're reading it. For instance. They keep dredging up Twain's legacy there in a disturbing way and pulling quotes out of context.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Is anyone gonna post pics of cody and brandy's wedding? The Four Eyes ripped it up to an unreal extent. I'll never be the same. How could a band make who put the bomp be the best song ever? How is that even possible?

don't call them cute, ok you have to

I never even have a second to make a goddamned post! It sucks. Remember when I was a gen-x slacker? That was sweet.

Saw Agent Ribbons on sunday at the record club thingy at the Press. They played at five, which is the rad thing about this twice monthly event. I liked them a lot. I expected a cute little pop group but the lady is a belter. I like it more when she reigns it in and reminds me of Mama Cass and not as much when she reminds me of PJ Harvey. It's really exciting to see a good new pop band in sac.

That's all I have time to say about that but I am also very excited to find that Morrissey is starting his next tour in motherfucking Stockton, Cali, USA! I'm going. It's at the Bob Hope theater, no less!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

show tonight

Baby Grand and the Zebras. Come to check out Baby Grand cuz maybe George Wendt (their number one fan) will be there again.

Also, in some restaurant news, a Japanese place called Miso will be opening up in the space formally occupied by (gag) Eddies. Just as long as it's not called Miso Horny har har. Also, JD and smiller's prayers have been answered and Suzies is being resurrected. There's a coming soon sign on J st. for Chicago Fire Pizza, but there is also an "opening winter 2006" sign on that fish place near retrofit and another one on the place where Taka's was so I'll believe it when I see it.

By the way, anybody know what's up with the (gag again) boutique hotel by Temple? Is it another casualty of the building bust?

my jam

To continue with the incredible string band theme, here's a list that Nic did for Pitchfork, and when he mentions someone playing Bust A Move, I think we know who he's referring to. Best video game ever!
Speaking of the fork, the new LCD got a 9.2! Crazy. I wonder when they're gonna review the new Panda Bear? That's my jam (I wish I could insert a picture here of some strawberry jam I got in Japan with the brand name "My Jam" but just imagine it if you will). There was a good LCD article in the times on sunday, too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kamakura Konnection

Aahh! So much to do, and I wasted away my morning in a boring safety class and whiled away the time by thinking about my may midtown monthly/japan-themed article and now my head is swimming with ideas and my belly is swimming with June's curry! I have been craving Japanese curry since we got back (alas, I dont' think anyone makes the delicious rolls with curry baked inside that we had there, which June says are her favorite) and I think June is the only one that makes it. Does anyone know anything different? Turns out June is from right near Kamakura, the beach town with the giant buddha (pictured) that L and A took me and GW to while we were there. Small world indeed. I told June she should start serving omurice and her husband said she makes it at home but she didn't seem interested in making it for the cafe. I think it would catch on.
Oh yeah, the thing with Joe Boyd was really rad, that guy is like the Zelig of rock music, he's been there for it all. He was the sound guy at the famous Dylan goes electric moment and was the one that Pete Seeger was entreating to turn it down while Seeger's wife cried (what a wuss!). If you missed it, you should still buy his book, it promises to be great. There's a quote from Brian Eno on the front calling it the best rock book he's read in years so what more do you need? The new Time Tested space is amazing and I especially love the giant KZAP advertisement. My dad used to have a KZAP cat sticker on our Nova way back.

Monday, March 19, 2007

photo for gw

New Year's party @Yanaka
Originally uploaded by chobi-cat.
here were the cats in our tokyo neighborhood

kinda frightening

to accompany my garbled comment to alisha about the restaurant we went to on the 50th floor in Shinjuku, here's a picture from their website.

but where can i find a mojo dojo?

I want to maybe start taking aikido (don't laugh!) and I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about martial arts classes around these parts. This place sounds cool, and it's making me laugh that they have a link to this website.

shakeys receipt for dave smith to see

Originally uploaded by becklerg.


It's hard to get back in the swing. I guess I would just say: everyone, go to Japan. It's not as expensive as everyone says. In fact, full financial disclosure here, I just figured out the money I spent (which is easy, cuz no one takes credit so I just had to look at my bank account) and, ticket included, I spent about 1600 bucks. And that's with shopping (I spent like 45 bucks just buying snoopy stuff) and eating and drinking to my hearts content, AND a daytrip, AND going to see two nights of bands at like 25 bucks a pop, AND treating our hosts to all you can eat shabu shabu (which they richly deserved), AND wasting twenty bucks the last day because I was confused about how to get to the airport and bought the wrong ticket, AND staying in a pretty swank hotel for three nights and a nasty hotel for two nights. We did stay with friends for two nights, but like I said there were lots of other areas where I could have conserved. Japan seems to be simultaneously more crazy and less crazy than you would expect. I think people emphasize the wacky stuff a lot because it makes for interesting stories (like, hey, tons of vending machines, but once you get used to it it's no big whoop and in all of tokyo I never saw a vending machine selling anything crazy or even a beer one-I think there's way more of those in other cities). The real deal is that all the food is totally delicious and that it's safe as fuck. Would you like to visit a country where you can leave you passport and cash-filled bag sitting wherever and never trip on it and where you can walk anywhere you want alone late at night without so much as a man giving you a wolf whistle? I'm eager to go back someday and check out the other cities, especially Osaka, and going to the south seems cool, too. Oh yeah, and a woman we met there had just returned from some mountainous island with roaming monkeys!
That picture is a delicious concoction called omurice (an omelette filled with rice, sometimes curry rice!) that we got at a chain called Rakeru, which had a vaguely western theme and waitresses in checked pinafores. The omurice often came with a hamburger patty, sometimes with some butter on it. There were a million rad things like that,

underground bananas tokyo 064

underground bananas tokyo 064
Originally uploaded by hoshikagi.
first set of photos i've found, hopefully there will be more to come, and i know there's gota be a ton of video out there

here i am, the one that you love

JK, but that song is stuck in my head. First things first, you should go to this, and smiller will be djing prior. He'll just be playing midnight at the oasis on repeat.

Friday, March 09, 2007

octopus balls

Yesterday I started out the day with delicious homemade miso and a fried egg over rice. Our host mixed natto (fermented soy beans) with mustard and put it on his rice. I have read that you have to try a food seven times to get over an aversion, so I:m at try two on natto and I:m still not there yet. If you haven:t seen it, natto is the slimiest food ever. When L got up to throw away the package the slime strings went all the way from the table to the trash can.

When we were out in the Harjuku area I got the grilled octopus balls whose name escapes me. They were warm and spongy and a bit fishy and were topped with mayo, fish flakes, and some tonkatsu like sauce. A great snack. Then in the thick of the shopping area (and yes I saw a couple of Harjuku girls, one dressed as bo peep and one as a french maid) we got crepes and I got one with Japanese spicy curry and tuna fish. Amazingly good.

Later in the day, tucked amid the upscale shops like Chanel and Dior we spied a Shakeys pizza and thanks to Dave Smiths advice, we went in and I got the Sacramento drink. It was large and very sour. L got the San Francisco drink, which was like an alcoholic orange julius and was much better. L and A split a seafood pizza that had salmon, calamari and shrimp on it. A grew up here and said her dad used to take her to Shakeys.

More shopping (hello snoopy store) and then for dinner we went upstairs to a ramen shop and sat at super low tables facing the window. I got a spicy ramen that had an extremely rich broth, cod roe for more salty rich flavor, a hard boiled egg, a marbled cut of pork that had so much fat it looked like that piece of meat in a can of pork and beans, but the meaty parts had the texture of brisket and the fat melted in my mouth, and of course that all important noodles, whichwere thinner and firmer than i:m used to. It was delicious. L warned to resist the deliciousness of the broth and not drink it all because its so salty you:ll wake up all night craving more and more water.

Today were going to shibuya area, probably for more shopping and walkin around, and then tonight were going to see a band play. The shows here cost a lot of course, I paid ten bucks to see the Bananas and L said the night before they were twenty three! Worth every penny. My back is kinda jacked from so much walking and I am hoping to relax tomorrow by soaking in an onzen for an hour or so.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


All the settings on blogger are in Japanese! I wish I could have posted last night after I had been up for over 24 hours because that would have been funny. We went from the flight to the Bananas show in Akihubara (electronic city I probably spelled it wrong). It was so rad to see 40 Japanese kids singing along like crazy to the songs. And now Mike R. Mike is making jokes in two languages! Of course all the food is delicious, even from the convenience store. This morning I ate green tea flavored bread and cherry blossom/mochi bun. L and A are such wonderful hosts. We are about to leave for Harajuku. Dogs wearing clothes! Kawaii!! And all the ladies are so well dressed and ladylike. Trench coats and vintagey wool coats with fur coats seem to be the style. With high heels always.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

i'm so hungry i could...

According to smiller, Japan is off the chain. He's already eaten horse sashimi (gnarls) and gone to a Hitachino Nest tasting (brewery with the cutest labels evs). He said I'm gonna hate the smoke and indeed I will. Me and GW leave tomorrow. I might do a little posting if our hosts have internet. Otherwise it's back to the grind on the 19th.

Monday, March 05, 2007

shack back

I haven't checked Mike Dunne's blog in a while but there is some interesting news on there, notably that the Sub Shack is reopen. I was craving a turkey/bacon sub from there the other day but had to go to David Berkeley instead because I didn't think the Shack would be open. I was horrified to see that Gary tore down all the cool foliage from the patio. That was one of the coolest patios around and now it's going to be hot as fuck. Hope he has a good plan.

boring hangover story

Even though I wanna go there hecka bad someday, guess where I'm glad I'm not going on wednesday? Korea. After a saturday night excusion to Korea House and Rurulala for JG's birthday I never want to see another short rib, dish of kimchee, or ESPECIALLY bottle of sochu ever ever ever again. During the dinner (split a sake, then drank two Hite beers) I kept having the internal dialogue where I wanted to turn to Natalie and say "I'm drunk" and then I would tell myself in my head "the fact that you want to say that means you need to stop drinking" and then we got our room in Rurulala and I proceeded to suck down untold amounts of sochu, which unbeknownst to me is about twenty percent alcohol and then at some point I drank a shot of Hennessey, I think. I know that I sang Total Eclipse of the Heart but I do not actually remember singing it, so I apologize if it was earsplitting and/or if I was completely hogging the mic as I suspect. Yesterday was a very bad day, but whatever went on in my house is between me and Steve and if Steve doesn't say nothin', then I'm not saying nothin'.

I assume that the Bananas were allowed to enter Japan with their smuggled-in merch because I have not gotten a call to the contrary. They are probably rocking Tokyo as I write this.

Friday, March 02, 2007

news and review 2.0

Wow, new news and review website. It took a while to load. See what a bitch I am, always full of complaints. I never have a hard time loading the midtown monthly website. Just another reason why we're better.

I was taken aback by the level of Graswich-hating in the Bites column. I think it's clear that whoever wrote this is the same person that made the anti-Graswich comments on heckasac earlier in the week. Hating on Sacramento magazine I can endorse, but why the Graswich hate? I'm really asking. I like the way he always busted the Maloof's chops.

I thought this was some good reporting (the likes of which you won't see in the Bee!) Soooo the city is going to be paying out millions that are supposed to fund public transportation cuz Thomas Enterprises negotiated poorly in the railyard deal. Sweet.

I think KW and I agree on Stolichniy. Good to see the N&R switched to five star ratings. Smiller and I have had some discussions about how only the fancypants places can get four stars in the news and review no matter how glowing the reviews are for the cheaper places (yes, we sit around and talk about stuff like that). So Biba still gets four, though? Considering the relentless yelp slamming that Pho Bac Hoa Viet gets, it's nice to see a food savvy reviewer like KW says she eats there all the time. Me too!

myth takes

The new chkchkchk album got a great review on Pitchfork!!!! That's huge. Did anyone go to the Brightblack Morning Light Show? How was it?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

stuff and bother

It sucks, I barely have a sec to post. I don't even have enough time to write second. I'm going to see the Bananas tonight in SF with This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb. Fun, tired fun.

I got myself warmed up for Tokyo by getting a bowl of chanpon men at Edokko 2 last night. That place is so ruling. I've gotten three kinds of ramen there and they've all been great.

There are tons of shows and screenings coming up. Check here for info. And don't forget the Finches show on the 10th.

Happy Birthday to Charles and Jenny! I don't know when anyone's birthdays are so I just vaguely know that theirs are soon.

Oh yeah, Brightblack Morning Light are playing tonight at DOV. I saw them open for Vashti Bunyan, unless I'm remembering that wrong. They seemed allright, but they're no Bananas. .