Thanks to a comp make by JD, the real Summer Jam has emerged. It's called "Barack Obama" by Cocoa Tea and it's fucking rad! Too bad that link to download it doesn't work, but you can listen over and over and over as I've been doing.
Ever since that minor Bee debacle on this blog, I've sheepishly been noting that Democracy Now keeps citing McClatchy sources, and they had the McClatchey Baghdad bureau chief on yesterday talking about her continuing reporting on the Haditha massacre.
There's a Pizzas show tonight at the Javalounge.
Mark your calendars!!!! On monday night there's an exciting show at the Press. What's Up, English Singles, and Pizzas. Three bucks! Yes, that's right, a monday night show that you must attend.
For those of you that still listen to records, the KXPR and KDVS record sales are both occurring this weekend. I am way ahead of that and I just have music directly beamed into a chip in my pancreas.
I am hooked on ataulfo mangoes! I never really thought about different mango varieties until a friend had me pick up some ataulfos to go with sticky rice that she was making. They are smaller, less fibrous, and more custardy than the regular green/orange ones that you always see (are those haden mangoes?). They must be in season right now. I picked up a box of about 20 for seven bucks at Vinh Phat and I can't stop eating them. And really, why should I? I think that lychees and jackfruit are in season, too. I've never tried either fresh. Lychees are shipped from China so they're really expensive. Speaking of in season, squash blossoms are. I got a big bag of them for a dollar yesterday and decided to make tacos. I just winged the recipe and they turned out pretty good. I sauteed them in oil first.
There is some early corn at the farmer's market so I made a salad with that, greens, red onion, and cotija cheese. And a cilantro and lemon dressing. The tacos (with Mi Abuelita tortillas, of course) had squash, cotija cheese, corn, and salsa. They could have used some lardy beans in there
Sad news. The secret Salvation Army on 65th is closed. I guess it was a little TOO secret. Also, the last two times I went this guy gave me an insane hookup so maybe he drove it out of business. They had just stopped playing the fish radio station recently, too. After shedding a tear for the SA (R.I.P.) I headed over to the Goodwill on Florin, and spied this Kitten Kats hat. The show at Luna's on saturday was magical. Here's Larry's new art car!
Enough about George Michael, I will explore my new obsession in private (Ok, one more thing, have you ever watched the video for Club Tropicana?).
I don't know about anything going on tonight, but tomorrow is the big street music festival thing, and R5 is having a thing in the parking lot. San Kazagascar are playing outside Time Tested starting at five. There is a great show tomorrow at Luna's starting at 8. Mom is playing and Ganglians and Art Lessing and Flower Vato. I'm so stoked to finally go to a show at Lunas. Go so that you can check out Larry's new art car. Starts at eight.
How good was the George Michael show? I PAID to buy one of his newer albums from itunes today, that's how good. The personal high point for me was when he sang "A different corner" because I didn't expect him to do that one and that's a personal favorite. During the first half I was a little disappointed that the show, as spectacular as it was, wasn't more homoerotic, but right about the time he busted out the cop outfit to sing "Outside" I was satisfied. He was really charming and loose, and he's still got the chops. He has some seriously loyal fans because he sang all these club-type songs I wasn't familiar with and the crowd got totally stoked. I loved it all, but DP was pretty disturbed by the cover of "Roxanne". I just pretended it wasn't happening. We both agreed that he phoned in "Careless Whisper" during the encore. Actually, it was more like he faxed in a picture of a phone. But he wrote that song when he was sixteen, so I can't blame him.
Fun George Michael facts: his real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou and he's Jewish!
I have been way too distracted today by that fact that I am seeing George Michael in concert tonight to post. I can't even comprehend that in four hours I will be listening to the voice of an angel in person. I may pee and/or poo myself when he comes out on stage.
Yesterday I had some fun adventures in Alameda for a future Midtown Monthly daytrip article, and I ended up in Oakland at Legendary Palace (I'm sure you've heard of it). We picked these ladies live out of the tank, they steamed them, and we ate them. I did not shy away from the heads and found the taste to be a lot milder than crab gunk. I call them ladies because they were so pretty and feminine! We also got a dish with greens, enoki mushrooms, and preserved olives. I was curious because I had just read in Saveur (pronounced sav-oh) that some Chinese cuisine uses olives. And a young geoduck in which the tongue thing was sliced and sauteed and the head was deep fried with tasty pickled jalapenos. There's nothing like picking a live thing out of a tank and eating it five minutes later.
Whew! Things have been unusually exciting around here this week. It's getting ugly on that post from yesterday, and I had to delete some anonymous comments. I hope people keep it civil. I failed to keep it civil when I said fuck you to an anonymous commenter but reason prevailed and I erased the sentence in which I called him/her a piece of shit.
I have tomorrow off, and I'll be spending some of it drinking glorious BREW! Yay! While I'm gone, you could check out this fashion blog that's written by two local ladies, one of whom I met on friday. Check out that bathing suit she got at bows and arrows. It's amazing.
99% of the time when I want pho, I go to Pho Bac on Broadway, because it's one of the few types of non-American food that I can ride my bike to rather than having to drive out to south sac. Last night I was craving Vietnamese food and finally made it out to Pho Saigon, which in the endless discussions on yelp about best pho seems to reign supreme. You guys probably already know this, but it has killer pho. Right away I noticed that the broth was really aromatic, and it was bright tasting and had a strong star anise flavor. There were lots of chopped green onions in the broth, which is a little different from other places and which I liked. I got the rare steak and brisket and the rare steak was great and the brisket was even better. The noodles were a little bit mushy and not the best, but regardless, it is top-notch pho. I ate and ate and felt at that moment that pho was the best soup in the world.
Father's Day means one thing-pie! I made a peach pie with the Cook's Illustrated vodka in the crust recipe and it was maybe the best pie I've ever made? The peaches were pretty cruddy, either too hard or all bruised, but it didn't seem to matter. I threw in some tapioca to make sure they pie wasn't too oozy. Thinking of how good this pie was reminded me that the best pie I've ever tasted in my life was the berry pie from Real Pie Co. I hope she really does open that place up again some day.
The Bee pulled a typical Bee move the other day. On the same day they had a front-page headline about food safety in Asian restaurants and then also a way-too-late article about how the people in Guantanamo aren't terrorists. Thanks, the Bee. That has been obvious for years but it's brave of you to report on it now that the supreme court pretty much declared it a fact. Maybe you should stick to your front-page reporting on the weather and traffic repairs. The Bee likes to go after the little guy because there's less danger there. If it's not state workers, it's Asian restaurants. I checked the comments and I thought this one was thought provoking:
The Bee does its readers a valuable service when informing us about issues like this. However, it's also a self-serving story to drum up panic so readers will flock to the Bee's newly published restaurant inspection database and thus make money for the Bee. That's how it works, the more hits the Bee database gets, the more ad money it makes. So, the story about asian restautant violations is just like an adverstisement for any other product, in this case, the Bee's online databases. The Bee did the same thing recently with the state employee salary database. So to make money, the Bee will publish data, then write stories about the data for ad dollars. Do you understand how this taints journalism? It's a tangled web being woven since restaurant inspection data is useful and helps readers choose not to eat at places with filthy kitchens. Just know that personal data about you is being used by many companies to make money, even though you don't know it.
Of course the comments are mostly predictably racist and alarmist, including one that says, "people that try to kill others with unsafe food handling practices are criminals". Usually the only time that people actually die from food poisoning is from mass-produced crap at fast food restaurants, which are probably some of the cleanest places around.
I only raged for half of that show last night, so I missed Psychedelic Horseshit but I LOVED the Ganglians and Box Elders. Box Elders looked like hilarious Red Kross dudes and their tunes were catchy. That's not a picture I took, it's from their myspace. I only took two pictures last night because I realized during the Ganglians that this particular crowd was not being paparazzi style and I was stoked. People were actually watching rather than just documenting.
Knock Knock tonight at Old I. They're first. Nichiren food bazaar tomorrow and sunday. Sorry that this is an events page lately. Boring.
Not like this makes me Nostradamus or nothin' but I predicted Bricka Bracka would probably not be a live venue for long. The Ganglians/Psychedelic Horseshit show is now moved to the Witchdome.
Due to extreme waster action (well, extreme by "new young Sacto"standards) at last night's Shearing Pinx show, Bricka Bracka hascancelled tonight's show. But thankfully, the Witchdome dudes havestepped up to host the show. Since we only have about 7 hours notice,please tell as many friends as possible about this change.Tonight @ 8:00at Witchdome1915½ 22nd Street in Sacto(between S and T Streets)Psychedelic Horseshit (Siltbreeze, Ohio)http://www.myspace.com/psychedelichorseshitFabulous Diamonds (Siltbreeze, Australia)http://www.myspace.com/fabulousdiamondsBox Elders (Nebraska)http://www.myspace.com/boxeldersGanglianshttp://www.myspace.com/ganglianThis show was supposed to cost $5, but now it is donations. I hope youwill still donate $5 because this is three bands on tour who will bedriving thirsty vans for ten hours to get here from Portland.Witchdome is probably the perfect place for this show, actually.Better sound quality. Just don't be too loud in the yard or in thealleyway. Save the mayhem for inside the basement.Later!Rick
I caught the tail end of the dayrage yesterday, and it kept truckin' until almost ten pm. I heard some good things about the pre-flyte lounge. I'm going to have to check that place out. I ate dinner at Edokko II and was stoked anew by how great all their ramen, and pretty much all their dishes, are. Their sushi I think is pretty unremarkable, but I got the miso chashu ramen and it was excellent. The broth was scrump and the pork is very high quality.
Tonight is that city council meeting to save the firehouses, starting at six.
Also, Psychedelic Horsheshit show tonight. Four bands, supposedly starting at eight at Bricka Bracka. Looks like Ganglians will play first. They ask for five buck donations for the touring bands. One of the bands is from Australia. We all need to acknowledge that now that a gallon of gas costs 4.50 that 5 bucks is not enough to pay for a show anymore. If you enjoy going to shows, you should start wrapping your mind around the idea of regularly paying 8-10 bucks. If you are genuinely too poor, then pay what you can. But if you are used to paying, say five bucks for a beer, or 8 or ten for a glass of wine, or whatevs, just think about it. I'm not trying to guilt you, it just seems like the price for shows has been stuck at the five dollar limit for like ten years, and that really needs to be adjusted upwards.
Knock Knock are playing tomorrow. Someone tell me where? They are playing first on the bill, I know that. Dead Western is playing at Lunas. I always forget about Lunas and have been wanting to check it out.
Also, the Nichiren Buddhist Church (5191 24th Street) is having their annual bazaar this weekend, 11-5 saturday and sunday. They're going to have food, including Hawaiian/Japanese style food.
I won this bike from the co-op. It's a mountain bike, and I don't need a mountain bike. Also, it has a small frame, like for a woman-sized woman. Not a tiny, petite woman, necessarily, just not someone 5'9" or 5'10". It retails at B and L in Davis for $284.99. I was quite lucky to win it, so I would like to pass my luck on to you. I will sell it for 200 bucks. Anybody want it? I see that the B and L site has different-sized frames, so if you tell me how they get that measurement, I can give you the exact specs for this one. It's red like in the picture and has not been ridden except home from the co-op.
There's an important city council meeting on thursday Sacramento's firefighters need for you to attend. Here's the pertinent information:
SAVE OUR FIREHOUSES!
Tell City Council “Don’t Close our Firehouses!” Thursday, June 12th 6:00 pm, Agenda # TBA Sacramento City Council Chambers, 915 – I Street For questions, or to RSVP Please call Sacramento Area Local 522 at (916) 739-8522 1. Join Sacramento firefighters at Thursday’s City Council meeting: Your firefighters need your help to convince City Council that we cannot afford any more budget cuts. Firefighters will be on hand to provide “Save our Firehouses” stickers to wear and to distribute forms for those who would like to express their support of SFD to the City Council. We will have sample statements available to share with you at the meeting or we can e-mail a draft to you ahead of time. For those not interested in speaking but who would still like to show support, please join us in the City Council Chambers and wear your sticker! Questions, concerns and RSVP can be directed to Sacramento Area Local 522 at (916) 739-8522. 2. Call your City Council Representative or Write a letter to your City Council Representative Office of the Mayor and City Council City Hall 915 "I" Street, Fifth Floor Sacramento, CA. 95814 Main Number (916) 808-5407 FAX - all Councilmembers 264-7680 www.cityofsacramento.org Mayor Heather Fargo District 1, Ray Tretheway District 2, Sandy Sheedy District 3, Steve Cohn District 4, Robert King Fong District 5, Lauren Hammond District 6, Kevin McCarty District 7, Robbie Waters District 8, Bonnie Pannell
BACKGROUND The proposed budget cuts call for a 6% ($4.2million) cut which is to be accomplished by “browning out” 3 companies a day. The SFD budget has never recovered from previous cuts. The Department has the same level of resources it did 20 years ago even though the city population has grown by 40 percent and call volume has increased by 100 percent. Sacramento’s fire death rate is double the state average and the city has about 40 percent more fires than similar sized cities. • If this plan is enacted, response times will increase overall by at least a minute – which is a dangerously critical amount of time when a family member is suffering a heart attack or other life threatening event. • Every fire station in the city will be subject to rotating closures – every ten days. During closures local neighborhood response times will be delayed significantly. • And even when a local fire station isn’t closed, its crews may be forced to respond to emergency calls for a station that is---resulting in increased response times in the neighborhood. The Sacramento Fire Department (SFD) budget has been chronically under-funded for many years. As a result of high call volume, firefighters are stretched thin and work harder today than ever before. SFD personnel have been doing more with less for decades. This is not the time to cut funding to the SFD. This is an issue about the safety of every firefighter and every citizen of Sacramento. For more information, call (916) 739-8522
I can't attend this, because I have Midtown Monthly business, but I am going to write the mayor and my city council person a letter today and let them know that they can expect big protests and major bad press if they enact their plan.
Also, don't forget, Ganglians, Psychedelic Horseshit show this thursday, too. It's been moved to Bricka Bracka.
So MD steps outside of his usual circle of new glossy upscale places to review New Lai Wah, and he busts their chops the hardest of any restaurant I've ever seen him review. New Lai Wah's food is delicious and has an amazing variety and level of technical skill, especially considering the fact that you can gorge on a banquet for 15 or 20 bucks a person. I feel like MD frequently pitches softballs at upscale places that charge 5 times as much, so why so hard on New Lai Wah? I've never noticed the dirty carpet or garbage on the floor. There is sometimes a language barrier with the service, but with a little effort it can be negotiated. It is irritating sometimes when servers argue with you about whether you should order a certain dish (I got this the other day at Korea House), but you have to remember that they probably have to deal with people sending things back that they think are weird.
I listened to the last Lost podcast today and found out that the new episodes start in January. That sucks!
I have tomorrow off, so this post will have to last you until thursday. Read it slowly. You may want to divide it into two parts.
Tomorrow night The Parenthetical Girls are playing at Harlow's. They are opening for Los Campesinos? Anyone out there like Los Campesinos?
OK, here's another mystery ingredient inquiry, since I have failed to stump anyone yet. I bought a huge bag of (I assume) seasonal greens at Vinh Phat. I'm pretty sure they were called mongtai, although I did not write it down. They were innocuous looking, kind of like a cross between Chinese broccoli and spinach. As I sliced them my hands became coated with slime that was difficult to get off, similar to when you handle a slug. As I cooked them they began to generate large quantities of clear slime. I had to throw it away, and it is currently sliming up the compost. Anyone know what this stuff is used for? Also, what do I do with a banana blossom (no vulgar remarks, although it is shaped kind of like a buttplug)?
I made crockpot congee yesterday and it turned out very well. Here's a recipe:
In the morning I put 3/4 cups of rice and 9 cups of water in the ol' crockpot. Leave it on low!
About an hour before I wanted to eat I threw in some diced daikon and dried shrimp and turned it to high. When I came back in an hour the crockpot had jizzed out gooey congee everywhere, so if you are going to turn it on high to hurry it up, keep an eye on it. Also, the daikon will make your house smell a little turd-y (smiller was not thrilled with this whole operation).
To serve, ladel into bowls, top with scallion, and mix in preserved tofu. You can add salt to taste as you cook, but preserved tofu is quite salty so keep that in mind. We added a thousand-year-old duck egg and that made it a complete meal.
Oh Amtrak, you are run by idiots. After a nightfull of nightmares about missing my train, I left way early this morning so that I could buy my 10 trip ticket to Davis, in order to avoid the increased traffic because of the you-know-what. Specifically, I arrived 11 minutes early. You would think that that would be enough time to buy a transit ticket, since trains tickets are something that need to be sold quickly in order to get people to their trains on time. Well, for the first five minutes I was in line, all three windows were open but the line did not move a bit. A man on the left was being told his expensive ticket he thought was valid for a year had expired and he was yelling about that. Then, the middle window closed. At this point the line had not moved and I had about 5 minutes to make the train. I left my bike to hold my place in line and went to the ATM in case I had to jump on the train without a ticket, which of course I had to do. Keep in mind that the line was not that long when I got in it with eleven minutes to spare. So, I jump on the train, justifiably peeved that I am going to have to pay like 10 bucks to ride one way, but guess what, the conductor never came around! Well, she did, but she just sat in a chair and shot the shit and then told everyone, "have a nice day at work!". Thanks, Amtrak!
On saturday I got up at biscuit-thirty to begin the biscuit extravaganza. Here is the result: These are not all the biscuits, there were more out of frame. I went to set up at the rocknroll yard sale, and who should show up, but Skipper, with rival biscuits to try to make a monkey out of me. I showed him.
That's right, I'm posting a picture of myself, in semi-disguise (apron and sunglasses). Does this mark a new era of glasnost on heckasac? I don't know, but I just wanted to use the work glasnost. And yes, you can see by the Milwaukee's Best in the picture that I did do a wee bit of dayraging.
As the afternoon waxed, Jerry Perry was called on to judge whos biscuits were zoomin' whos. Here's Jerry thinking about how good my biscuit is. He said mine won. Take heart Skipper, two out of two scheming Germans preferred your biscuits!
Here's one half of Knock Knock performing acoustically. Some bad squid snacks put mikermike out of commission.
And here's Jaybiz performing. This was the best yardsale ever! I made ONE HUNDRED AMERICAN DOLLARS. Later, we went to the show. The DAM house is so great. They have food and beer and soda and all the punkhouse decorations are just a cut above. English Singles were the best I've ever seen them, which means they were spot on. Right!
No Bunny were very good, and I enjoy when bands perform in their underwear, even if they are filthy. Here's Heckamax about to drink the best drink of all time.
It got better when I squeezed cherry juice into it. Why does the Armeniac look so skeptical about the bestness of the best drink of all time?
Sunday was spent recovering from too much fun, with the help of some maibocks at the Rubicon. If you enjoy good beer, you should go there tonight, because they still have lots of the maibock guest taps. I especially enjoyed the Haufbrauhaus maibock.