Archive for October, 2006

Kooks at Popscene

Two things managed to surprise me last night. The first was The Kooks, an English band here last night as part of their very first American tour. The second was Popscene, the eighteen and up venue which managed to not feel like an almost-all-ages kind of place. The fact that the band members are possibly young enough to not be able to drink legally in the United States added to the surprise that they were a good band who came off with a much more mature sound and scene than I’d expected to experience.

Rewind in time for a moment … This past summer, my music-loving roommate went to a wedding in England. When he came back, he told me that I had to hear The Kooks, the latest popular English band sure to eventually become big worldwide. I think I vaguely listened to their song that was part of his MySpace profile for awhile and then didn’t think about the band again. When he found out that they were coming here, he insisted that we go see them. I always like doing new things, so I agreed.

Halloween in the Castro

Halloween is almost here, and that means it’s almost time for the Castro Halloween Parade. I love the Castro on Halloween, but I can only work up the courage to go every other year as it is crazy, exhausting and not a little depressing. The craziness come from the 8 million people that try and cram themselves into about six square blocks of city in one big rush–they just don’t fit, at least not without some lube. When entering the Castro on Halloween you need to take it slow. Ease in. Don’t rush or you’ll just hurt yourself and the Castro. Maybe instead of busting people for bringing alcohol into the area, the Police should just squirt lube on everyone entering. It would certainly give the parade a different feel.

Photography, Bands, Books, Bars, Cinema & Combinations There Of…

Thursday and Friday a few different local photography related events crept up on my calendar worth sharing that could be semi-intertwined yet are sort of altogether separate at the same time…
Chronicle Books has just published a new book by local Photographer Peter Ellenby documenting a decade’s worth of pix of the local indie rock scene. Entitled “Everday Is Saturday”, a few events have been set up to celebrate including a free reception & signing event Thursday from 6-9 at 111 Minna and a rawkin’ multi-band showcase at Ellenby’s fave live venue The Bottom Of The Hill on Friday.

Danny Plotnick, a local indie filmmaker who in the past has documented the city’s indie rock underbelly via his 8mm masterpieces, and his late great magazine Motorbooty, now has curated a unique cinematic themed photo art show opening this week opening on Friday as well at a unique gallery spot in Pac Heights…

Have You?

Have you seen the Yahoo! Time Capsule? The Sunnyvale, Calif. based company will encapsulate a bit of your life until 2020. You may not feel that’s a long time, but then if you think back to what your life, and the world was like 14 years ago…

Time Capsule

Maybe they should just buy the domain name?


Really, what would be cheaper? Printing up new signs or just registering the mispelled URL?

Photo taken by me, in the Lower Haight.

Glen Park Ghouls
The glorious weather we’ve been having belies that Halloween is right around the corner, but the macabre decorations appearing around town have been a constant reminder. Aside from the occasional grand gesture, the best show of spooky spectres I’ve come across is a Dead Man’s Party front yard ensemble located on Chenery Street, in the sleepy hollow of Glen Park.

Israeli Dance Troupe “Batsheva” in Town This Week

A Dance Troupe co-founded by Martha Graham back in 1964 is on it’s way for a series performances at the Yerba Buena Center For The Arts Oct Oct. 26-29. Batsheva, currently directed by the charismatic & controversial Ohad Naharin, is a troupe that has attracted critical acclaim & star international dancing talent, while performing to a variety of music ranging from J.S Bach to Brian Eno.

Long since moved on with the times, the troupe has found new creative spark over the few years under Naharin, and has included use of live percussion, audience interaction, video images and even mud to liven up up the oft gracefully irrelevant old lady pleasing art form of “modern dance”…

More info on the troupe, tickets and showtimes is available after the jump

I’m (Quasi-, Yelp) Famous

… and obviously not shy.

Story #1 goes like this: I’m a fan of my local liquor store/wine seller (Coit Liquor!) after I walked into a wine tasting one night, bought 3 bottles and enjoyed each one of them. Now, that isn’t something that would make me think that the proprietors know me. So when, last Thursday, the owner was like “I know you from somewhere…” I was confused. My friend joins me, and we’re both kind of like, where in the hell do I know this wine maker-store owner from? Then it hits me: my photo on the Yelp review (pictured here). So I slyly ask him if he’s reviewed by Yelp, and he starts talking about the various reviews (even knows the exact number). So I make the connection, we laugh, toast, la la la. Jeff (owner) is in this month’s 7X7 (specific article isn’t online, it seems). I think they’re having a champagne tasting soon, but haven’t gotten the November wine tasting schedule yet. This just in: 11/2 is champagne testing, Thursday, 10$ for tasting, and they refund if you buy a bottle (thanks, Jeff).

Your moment of Zen

JohnsAltar1small.jpgMany in San Francisco are familiar with the San Francisco Zen Center on Page St., an organization with a rich history in the life of the last 50 or 60 years of the city and the source of inspiration of several books, including Crooked Cucumber and Shoes Outside the Door.

Less well known, but also closely woven into the fabric of life in the city, is the Hartford Street Zen Center, located in a Victorian house half a block from Castro. It’s a much smaller and less busy place than the big Zen Center, and for that reason attracts people who might be intimidated by the large, almost institutional quality of the Page St. organization. Both are Soto Zen temples founded by disciples of Shinryu Suzuki.

Ethan Watters, Urban Tribes and The Grotto

In 2003, San Francisco author Ethan Watters published his book entitled “Urban Tribes” which is the result of his personal research in to the somewhat tribal communities formed by people during their post college and pre-family life years. Although not new, this book is worth noticing, because the trends it explores are central to the community which makes up a large portion of San Francisco’s population. Also worth noting is another endeavor related to the author, The Grotto – a local artist’s community which he helped to form more than ten years ago, and a community which remains strong to this day. It appears that Watters has moved on to another stage of his life – marriage and the birth of a new child – but the effect of the work of his Urban Tribes years remains important to those of us living through that period of our lives today.

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