Saturday, December 31, 2011

Besty's 2011

it's time for a little reflection on the year, nothing like waiting until the last day. the besty's are an annual review of my favorite live shows from the last 12 months. in what has been termed, the new norm, i probably took in fewer shows this calendar year but fortunate enough to still catch some phenomenal performances. so, as it was last time, i'll be listing the best of the best chronologically. i hope everyone has a great holiday season & an even better 2012. here's to live music, good times, awesome people & places. And The BESTy's are...

* 05.30.2011 - Lykke Li - @ the Regency Ballroom... What a great venue for this artist. agent M somehow wrangled the only set list off the stage floor of this great concert. visually & sonically this was an awesome show. mad props to the sound engineer & lighting tech. Li has been gaining steam throughout the year. this was her first bay area show while touring in support of the wounded rhymes album. not knowing what to expect going in, i was pleasantly surprised by the band & it's creativity, playfulness & impeccable timing. they seamlessly crafted dance beats into the sultry songs. they were always able to explore, while never neglecting the rumbling pulse of the rhythm section. they played a very long mega set, which was nice, in that it really felt like a journey that should not be interrupted. after an amazing night of live music my wife somehow scored the only set list available. we were stoked. Lykke Li exceeded all expectations. on the flip side it, would have been nice to see more fans letting go. there were some serious beats being dropped & not a ton of dancing or engagement from those on the floor. the overall pageantry, mixed with a great performance both theatrically, as well as musically, made this a memorable moment in my concert going experiences of 2011. check her out if you get the chance, they rock.

Setlist: Jerome, I'm Good I'm Gone, Sadness Is A Blessing, Dance Dance Dance, Little Bit, Made Me Move, Until We Bleed, Youth Knows No Pain, Love Out Of Lust, Get Some, I Follow Rivers, Unrequited Love, Possibility, I Know Places

Harmony Festival - Santa Rosa CA

06.11.2011 - Grace Potter & the Nocturnals opening for the Flaming Lips - on the Main Stage... Grace Potter & her band, the Nocturnals, put out a lot of warm, fuzzy sound that resembles the late 60's & early 70's. the future departure of their bassist, Catherine Popper (also in the Cardinals), was announced at this show, making it feel a bit more special. they played a fair amount of tracks off of their latest, self titled album. one of my favorite songs from their new material is the single, Paris. they also rocked a rad cover of "White Rabbit". who doesn't love that classic bay area song?

this is a perfect segue into the Flaming Lips show which followed. Wayne, the front man for the lips, even commented on how much he loved the song white rabbit & how anytime it is played it is a good thing.
the lips' set was a welcomed blur full of hits spanning their entire catalog. they kicked it off with a string of fiery tracks including, do you realize, she don't use jelly, the yeah yeah yeah song & yoshimi battles the pink robots. they also took the opportunity to rock the festival crowd with some new material off of embryonic, which is more lips like & less like the catchy hits we've all grown to love. a cool cover of pink floyd's, eclipse, was a welcomed oddity. of course there were dozens of Dorothy's from oz running around, the giant hands, confetti, the space ball in which Wayne rolls out over the crowd like a human hamster & the onslaught of visual eye candy that makes a Lips concert feel as though it's an alien party. the last song of the night was Race for the Prize. a fitting end to a show that can take its toll, in a good way.

* 06.11/12.2011 - Ghostland Observatory - late night @ Harmony Festival in Grace Pavilion... this show had an amazing stage show & an otherworldly collection of props & visual madness throughout the pavilion (which is a giant Quonset). they theme & zaniness of this pageantry resembled a Tim Burton world recreated, a la Beetlejuice, set amongst the modern laser light show that is GO. this is the second straight year that this band from Austin, TX has made my best of list. they never disappoint a party! not only did they shred their newest record, codename: rondo, they also dropped a filthy piano man. dance track after dance track made this a great night/morning for me & the fellas. what up to Jorge, the Dr. & Beau.

Outside Lands Festival - Golden Gate Park & various late night venues

08.13.2011 - STS9 - Late Night show @ the Independent... Oh how I had been waiting for this show. I'm a huge sector fan & in recent years they haven't played a lot in the bay area. this was a burner two set show. the independent had been longing for some shredder nine. thanks for two nights fellas!

08.14.2011 - Major Lazer, STS9 - Outside Lands, Twin Peaks Stage... Rowdy, Rowdy, Rowdy is the best way to describe this onslaught of energy, music & dancing debauchery. the lazer got things bumpin' & it never really relented. for those of you in our group, how radical was it watching Parker bust move? mad props on the intergalactic moves Parker!

*** 08.14.2011 - Arcade Fire - Outside Lands Festival, Lands End Stage... Chillingly spectacular! this showed stayed with me for such a long time after. it's as if they drenched you with everything they had: their charisma, energy, art & passion. i felt as though something greater was happening than music. i felt a part of something that wasn't going to end when the performance ceased or the music stopped. i am so glad that this was the only day of the festival we attended. i never thought i'd say this again, but i'm pretty sure it will be remembered as one of those situations where you're seeing an artist at their peak, while at the pinnacle of their popularity. it was an experience that truly moved me. san francisco, golden gate park & arguably the hottest live band of the year. it wonderful to overload on that which is both unique & contemporary. thank you arcade fire for doing what you're doing!

for an additional review of these shows click here.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass - Golden Gate Park

09.30.2011 - John Prine (Banjo Stage) - first of all this guy is a living treasure to the world of song writing. some say he's a song writers song writer. whatever he may be, i'm sure as hell glad i caught this treat of a set with one of my greatest pals, the Colonel. as a perfect friday afternoon turned it's sun to the masses descending upon the free music mecca that is HSBF, my co-pilot had already navigated onto a patch of grass & began to unlock his "portable bar". yeah for bags of ice, bitters, citrus & whiskey. as the Colonel might mutter, boom!

10.01.2011 - Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (Banjo Stage) - before i begin to forget, let me list off some of the great songs she doused us with; white rabbit (apparently the cover of the year), miss Ohio, Elvis Presley blues and of course most of the material from her new record, Harrow & the Harvest. this particular duo is a must see for me & agent M every year. they are just far too superior to become spoiled to their annual appearance. her voice, his playing, they're simply magic...

* 10.02.2011 - Devotchka (Star Stage) - from little miss sunshine to the golden gate, this band has grown along the way while capturing new fans, me being one of them. i had never seen this four piece but i most definitely will be catching them again. let's just get this out of the way, they stole the show at hardly strictly. best music of the weekend. they have the uncanny knack of producing such intricate & lush sounds while making it appear easy. they are true professionals; from there arrangements, to the manipulation/understanding of their instruments & even their ability to soak in the atmosphere, which was electric. those who chose this act over the countless others were taken in by the beautiful songs that are all their own. they have a unique style & attractive sound. i will be looking to catch them on tour. i'm hooked, what a great revelation. thanks devotchka for helping me to branch out into new directions.

on a somber side note:
rest in peace Warren Hellman, the founder & source of funding, for this great cultural & musical event that is forever linked to the great city of San Francisco. best of thoughts to his family & friends.

** 11.14.2011 - Feist - @ the Warfield - this was a can't miss show for me & my wife. i think we both have a crush on her in some sort of nerdy way. she's artistic, has a beautiful voice & writes some of the best modern pop/rock songs of anyone in the biz. plus she's a Canuck! the opening act & her long time friend/collaborator, chilly Gonzalez was pretty rad in his own right. he comes across a bit arrogant, but nonetheless a genius, who entertained on a piano & through his witty banter. he gave one of the best musical lessons on major & minor ever, it was pretty cool. once he had ended the minimal stage assembly ensued. there was her band plus a pretty cool string section from Berkeley, the real vocal string quartet, who also played on the new album. the first four tracks were dripping in emotion. they were: Undiscovered First, A Commotion, Graveyard & the single How Come You Never Go There. the latter is like a secret charm you keep in your back pocket to remember later. images resembling that of metals in a multitude of forms gently transitioned on a large screen. this tour was focused more on the art of musical merit versus the visual stimulation feist exposed us to on the look at what the light did now tour. this was a night of mastery. she lead us through the gauntlet of her new material via metals, one of the best albums of the year by far. the last song of the main set was, get it right, get it wrong, which is also the final track on the record. during one of her many encores she blew us all away with a duet. Little Wings, also known as Kyle Field, came out for a simply gorgeous version of his own tune, look at what the light did now. one of the single best songs i heard live all year. it was totally unexpected & extremely rich in it's beauty. she came out again & again, lending one to believe she didn't want the night to end either.
some other points to blather about...
another thing that separates her from other contemporary artists is her ability & willingness to rearrange her past songs. she played amazingly reworked versions of the hits fans were hankering to hear. these new renderings showed up in So Sorry, My Moon My Man & I feel It All. all of which are tracks from the reminder. her innate ability to build a beautiful setlist is a skill more artist need to acquire.
her performances give you what you want while not giving into everything you desire. still you come away totally satisfied. her back up singers were phenomenal & were given a chance to shine while singing an old Irish ballad on their own. as bands go she is blessed. they are so tight & fully capable of playing more than one instrument throughout a performance. you have to pay attention at her shows or you won't notice the intimacy. i love feist a lot. her songs, her albums, the band, the artistry, the choices she makes in terms of personal & commercial direction, she's a must see. we were in the red light district of the warfield for this show. it was my wife's first concert at this historic venue & only the second time for me. we'll be back to attend another show at this underrated theater. in terms of what's happening in music today feist is one of the few artists who inspires! i encourage anyone & everyone to witness one of her shows.

...and that's a wrap. i hope you enjoyed your year of indulgence, i know i did. here's a little something else for ya...

Honorable Mention...
07.09.2011 - Widespread Panic @ the Fox Theatre... they played an old tune in easy wind (one of the few times ever & the first since the late 80's), dropped a hot arlene & busted a goodie in all time low... for the set list click here. what a great limo ride to the show in honor of the good Dr.'s birthday. hopefully he had a great time. i know i did & it was probably agent M's favorite panic show in quite a while.

09.30/10.01.2011 - Jayhawks @ Slims, late night concert for HSBF... this was the first time in a while that the west coast was privy to seeing the original line up for the jayhawks. they played the longest set, i didn't leave the venue until almost 1:30. their stage continuity was a bit off. at one point during the show they restarted a song three different times, ouch. it seemed as though Louris & Olson were willing to be a bit more open about what was displeasing each of them throughout the night. it wasn't in the best interest of the listener i can tell you that. regardless, it was nice to hear the new material from mockingbird time. not to mention the great tunes of yesteryear, namely blue & Tampa to Tulsa, two of my personal faves. for the set list click here.

10.29.2011 - Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers opening for the Mother Hips @ the Mystic Theatre...
costume contest & all this was a super fun night. thanks to our hosts in P town & the many friends who made the effort to make it.

the top ten were chronological. those with an * are on the podium & those with two ** indicates a notch above. the live performance with three *** took the title of best besty in 2011. enjoy the holidays & happy new year! Be Well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Feist at the Warfield

one of my favorite recording artists is making her way back to the bay...

feist is an amazing singer/songwriter, who in recent years has garnered critical & commercial success. she has a great knack for scripting words that make sense twhen coupled with our own images. sonically, her live band is top notch. feist puts on amazing live shows that submerges you into an audio visual journey. she is coming to the city on monday, november 14 to play the warfield. chilly gonzales, her longtime friend & cohort will be joining her (he's amazing too).
this calendar year marked the release of her 4th studio album, metals. it's a beautiful record of textured sound that can both haunt & enchant. bind those lush musical palettes with her voice & your on the path of metals. i recommend picking it up on vinyl if you have a turn table. the songs translate well across the needle (they also give you a digital download code).
i happened to catch feist in asheville at the thomas wolfe auditorium during the reminder tour. it stands as one of the most complete live concerts i have seen. her backing band is ridiculously tight, her stage persona is entrancing & her light show, if you can even call it that, is arguably the most nostalgic and at the same time most progressive in the industry. she co-conspires with clea marinker on stage, who is more than capable of aiding the listener/viewer's adventure throughout the performance. a recent film, "look at what the light did now," showcased their wonderment. all of the collaborators, or friends it would seem, help feist to attain a higher art form. at the same time they all share creative responsibilty, thereby displacing the proverbial spot light from staying fixed upon feist. a fellow reviewer had this to say about the documentary and its contributor(s).

"...The arts and crafts approach is wonderfully simple but very effective. There are moments in the film that are easily the best with their atmospheric use of light, silhouette, paint, clay and exquisite sense of timing... An example is during the performance of “The Water,” Feist is alone on stage with just her guitar and words, as Clea Marinker stands in the darkness at the back of the stage using a board, some clay and her fingers to manipulate a changing landscape in various shapes and pictorial forms. It is incredible and certainly makes one want to experience it up close. It is noticeable that Leslie Feist is not that comfortable being the center of attention, therefore implementing the artwork of Clea Marinker allows the audience to view imagery and listen to the music without focusing solely on the singer." -martyn conterio

ultimately those of you who may read this should research, listen to & check out feist. unfortunately the warfield is sold out. you can try to get tickets or you can support her goodness through other technological means. i'll be stoked if one new set of ears learns of feist due to this post. experience live art! i feel as though this upcoming show will embody that of a performance piece, one that showcases many mediums of art. enjoy, maybe i'll see you there...


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hess Collection & Empire I

if you're looking for something to do over this holiday season, i recommend making the trip to the Hess Collection. art enthusiast, Donald Hess, has been amassing one of the finest private collections of contemporary art since 1966. currently on display, amidst the amazing campus of vines, wine & art, are some of Rauschenberg's pieces from different periods throughout his stellar & thought provoking career. my favorite among those on display, for free i might add, is Empire I. (which was showcased in a major Rauschenberg retrospective in 1997 at New York's Guggenheim Museum.)

Empire I, is a seminal work, both for the artist & for the direction of modern American art. brought to life in 1961, this piece explores the use of ordinary objects to portray (potentially) greater political & social narration. the brick that is attached, in a leash like manner, is imprinted with the word 'empire'. this found object was most likely etched by the original mason or masonry; which only fuels the speculation as to whether it was part of the inspiration or a serendipitous find along the way to achieving the final look of this brilliant work. i find the single wheel to be dialogue inducing. is the use of one wheel simply singular or is there a greater, almost easier definition of function or lack there of? it elicits visuals of a wheel barrow or perhaps that of a homeless cart, the last of ones belongings. the strong pull of sentiment & preconceived notions ring loudly from the star that appears on the inside of the hollow hole that hangs and the stripes that gleam upon the wood itself. these images can easily lead you down a path of American discourse.
i feel as though the images upon objects relate to, while at the same time contradict, the American dream. it's a beautiful piece of art to me because of the inner dialogues, questions & statements it may or may not make. some of those feelings are purely emotional, others stem from our own association of what those materials are & mean individually, as well as, what they convey when assembled into the finished project. on the subject of Rauschenberg's work, Hess once said that he, "...related to his incessant search for a challenge and was amazed by his innate ability to arrange ordinary objects in a way that looks so effortless and poetic. Rauschenberg was a master at making the complicated simple."

this collection stands as one of the best in the world. not only does the collection house this remarkable piece by Rauschenberg, it displays six other works spanning decades & mediums. for those of you who enjoy the spice of life that is variety, know that there are choice masterpieces from other artists such as: Anselm Kiefer, Robert Motherwell, Morris Louis, Andy Goldsworthy & a slough of other renowned names.

so whether you want a scenic drive, tasty wine or impeccable art, i suggest you take a day to explore the Hess Collection on Mt. Veeder to do it all in one serene location. the staff on hand is incredibly friendly & down to earth. even though this place ranks high on the social ladder, there is a refreshing lack of stuffiness amongst guests and employees. please find this place if you haven't already. you're sure to loose yourself in one way or another. enjoy!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Past the Mid Point...

hello, to those still tuning in... thanks!

we're already more than half way through the calendar year, whew. did it fly by for anyone else? i'm pretty much swamped most days, as many of us are, who work the normal grind & still find time to be creative and/or adventurous. in short, don't be lazy. we all try to do what we love doing amidst the perils of daily life. i know it's hard to apply our time to those things we love to do, but there's a void that i feel amongst more spirits than just my own. people want more out of life. i do not mean the accrual of material possessions or other like amenities. i'm thinking about all of the creativity that's out there in the working world, sometimes being left untapped, other times it's going unnoticed. you are not alone (not sure if that's a good thing or not). those of us who are giving 8 hours a day to someone/thing else, aspire for more. there are a lot of ideas out there in the minds of those in their 30's or under. we have potentials beyond comprehension. we're just not all in the right position, place or state of mind to carry out our truest passions. there is so much to consume in this modern world. it's probably crazy, exciting times for all of us. ultimately i'm just stoked to be involved & alive. either you're perpetuating a problem, or you're a part of the solution. keep it up those who dream, they do come true.

here's a little west sonoma county for your viewing pleasure...

ps. in the very near future i will be getting back to reviewing live music & other northern california happenings. thanks for sticking with me. happy fall!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Outside Lands 2011

outside lands in golden gate this year was pretty rad. having attended a late night show on saturday & then making it to the park sunday, i must say the bands we caught were super. the food was amazing, mad props to andalu for their crispy mac & cheese paired with corn on the cob & farmer brown's chicken n' waffles! mmmm it was tasty. the beers were over priced, most art was cool, we bought a limited and signed "night" poster & most everyone seemed in high spirits. now let's cut to the chase...

sound tribe sector 9 at the independent...

for those of you who are not yet listening to STS9, this is a good time in their history to give it a try. they have a unique sound & mode of operation that is all their own. i really dig 'em. STS9 threw down hard at the independent for the late night series that accompanies outside lands. these great concerts showcase not only the band, but the city, on such an intimate level. i've come to believe that hot late night shows are what's really going on if you're an audiophile like me. sector hadn't been in the bay area since their show at the fox in oakland (02.13.1o). i was so primed to see them. we had a good crew going. which was stellar considering these were some of the toughest tickets to get all weekend. up to this point they have 2 sold out shows on their tour, this one & halloween in athens, ga.
they went off for a sf crowd that had obviously been hankering for their return to the city. opening with this, us was nice way to set the tone. but personally for me, it got filthy 4 tracks in with instantly! followed up by a hyper golden gate, which is a new track off of when the dust settles. then came a track i'd been pining for, ramone & emiglio. it was straight ridiculous. it had the old school sound to it & was played with a blistering intensity. it was a sure high light. that three song bender was the fire of set number 1.
the 2nd set got going quick with another new cut, scheme. it was danceable & fun. it's definitely more of an acquired taste if you prefer their older compositions. i for one dig the hell out of their newer style & direction. i feel as though envelope pushing artists create the art that they need to. then came, really what?, which was club bangin'. next was evasive maneuvers, which flowed directly into a fierce monkey music. after that it was onto a mean kamuy. the only off segment of the night followed during be nice. perhaps having to do with a portion of the song not created via live instrumentation. a small pot hole in an otherwise stellar musical journey. having left the stage for only a couple of minutes, they encored with a feverish somesing. i know one of my buddies was hoping for that hit all night. overall it was a face melter & a show that ran over 2 & 1/2 hours. for the complete set list click here.

STS9, twin peaks stage, outside lands, golden gate park...
...another day, another sector set!
we entered the festival while !!! was playing. they sounded great & played a sweet prince cover. after their set it was major laser. they were pleasing the masses & got more than enough people to take off their shirts so they could be "spun like helicopters." but the real reason i wanted to hole up at the twin peaks stage was for STS9's festival set. they didn't disappoint.
anytime sector opens with a track like, the unquestionable supremacy of nature, you know it's going to be hyphy! talk about a dance blaster. due to the short set times created by the festival brain trust (or lack there of) too many great artists were given only an hour or less to shred. even though their set consisted of 7 songs, STS9 set out to conquer. they obliterated the dance happy crowd with bangers like, ABCees, economic hit man (w/out the clermont lounge remix, a place of lore in the atl) & to close it down, rent. for the complete set list click here. thank you sector for bringing your heat back back to cali cali.

live graffiti, too cool...
...between the two main stages there was a wealth of oddities & activities to stimulate the senses. one of the coolest for me was the juxtapoz magazine sponsored live paintings. there were 3 walls, forming a triangle, that had been tagged by artists at large.

Arcade Fire, lands end stage, outside lands, golden gate park...
...right now, in modern music, there may be no one more potent than Arcade Fire. i was thrilled at the chance to soak them in. especially amidst the height of their deserved world celebrity. having seen them once before at austin city limits, prior to their fame, i both knew & didn't know what they were capable of. their brilliance is two part; their intensity on stage & the command of their songs. for what it's worth, they played perhaps the best show so far this year. pretty amazing being that it was a mega fest set & that i was at least 100 yards from the stage. none of their craft was lost in translation. both my wife & i barely uttered a word. their 17 song set list was absurd. they couldn't have picked better tracks from their catalog. plus the way the songs were arranged & unfolded, lead me to believe that this band will continue to leave its impression on modern music for years to come. the stage was made to look like an old movie marquee. it was spot on & very nostalgic. there was a drenching feeling coming from their stage prowess & enthusiasm. it was as if they were giving all of them selves to the audience. however daunting it may be, i'll try to spot light some of my favorite moments of the set.
rococo was simply stunning. delivered with subtle differences from the recorded version, it grew into a rock & roll song projecting sonic force. neighborhoods #1 (tunnels), is a personal favorite of mine & crept into me like a good story. the words are so familiar, almost reminiscent of north american youth. neighborhood #3 (power out) thundered with potency & gave way to the encore. if there was ever an encore that had built its way to a crescendo, this was it. everyone wanted the same thing: wake up. we all got it! there was a point early on in which the crowd was the voice. tens of thousands of fans all tied into a moment. unity. i didn't think they could top that & maybe they didn't, but boy did they keep going. sprawl 2 (mountains beyond mountains) was awe inspiring to say the least. all facets of their performance were clicking. i haven't been able to get that song out of my head yet, thank god! my wife & i joked that we would have paid the single day price just to hear those two songs, it was that good. arcade fire is a don't miss. for a complete set list click here. wow!

... as the experiences of the day lingered, i couldn't help but think we had chosen the day to attend. the city was full of life & the beauty of golden gate park gave us the perfect setting to wander away from. when the masses hit the streets, there was no more street. those of us on foot had taken over the pan handle, the park's perimeter & mass transit. oh how i love san francisco. enjoy live music & art.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bangin' for Pete's Sake...

in a far off place, not too long ago...
actually, on july 23rd & 24th, we all got down to celebrate the good Dr. he's one of my favorite people on earth. to make a long story short, he moved to the beautiful state of utah, after an epic run in san francisco. i love ya bro & i'm sure as hell gonna miss ya.

with a keg a of summer solstice from anderson valley, 5 growlers of pliny the elder, whiskey, countless bottles of other heady beer and enough champagne to satiate our crew on sunday morning, the pole banging tournament of the year was primed to become a thing of legend. pole banging is a hybrid of ultimate frisbee, horse shoes and in the west coast version, baseball. there are some rules of course, but the most important one is that you must always have a beverage in hand. after that, no goal tending, no zingers, first one to 9, win by two, bottom half of the round gets their last chance. for this farewell event, teams were drawn from a hat, except for the Dr. who was allowed to choose his team mate, my wife (she's the good's)!

with enough food to feed two armies and two grills cooking up delicious skewers & bratwursts, it was time for the PBA (pole bangin' association) arena to take center stage. pole bangin' is a great spectator sport. we had enough teams to do a condensed march madness style bracket. however, we did make it double elimination, so that there was a way to make it back to the finals despite an early loss.

as the games began M & I had prepped some wood block printing for all those in attendance.

it was super cool. everyone brought an old tee-shirt or hooded sweatshirt to print on. some even brought new blank tee's. there was also going to be a secret surprise for the two winners, a CHAMPS tee. the Dr. got a limited edition set of towels for his new digs. it was so sweet to see everyone stoked out on art inspired by the event. i'm so lucky to have such amazing friends! we really do shred hard. thanks to everyone who made it. it was a magical party in which all of our energy & effort was so positive & fun. you guys & gals are the best. thanks to our neighbors as well, they had to tolerate us.

as the night move into darkness, the games heated up, so too did the bon fire and outdoor lighting. what a celebration...
a good number of us were wearing sombreros and executing gluttony in the most northern california of ways, which was nice. at the end of the tourny, it was eightychoices & felton who brought home the title of "bangin' for pete's sake" champs! if you want to know the truth, no one lost, we were all winners this weekend. when the matches ended the dance party ensued. it truly was a throw down. a few friends even mentioned how, up to that point, they thought it was the dance party of summer. you should have seen some of the moves! the music mixes went late into the morning, well past 4:00 (eek). it was a great night for an awesome guy.
...recovery the next morning included home made beignets, mimosas and honey drizzled grilled bacon. breakfast of champions i imagine. later in the afternoon, when the last hooligans were about to head south, it was time to say goodbye. it was heart felt and emotional. people who are important to you, get a lot of the real you. i was sad to see him off, but we both know the journey isn't complete. i'd do anything for the good Dr. if you happen to know who i'm speaking of, ask him what one of his favorite compliments is. it's out there, too out there perhaps & i'm the one who paid him it. he's a best friend & friends like that equal family. we may not live as close, but you can bet your ass we'll be visiting each other & meeting up to shred. i love you bro.
The Dr.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Guthrie Theater

Minneapolis has always been a beacon of artistic power, especially for the great lakes region. whether it be those who are creating the art or those who endow it, there is plenty of creativity pouring into & out of this urban hub. the city of Minneapolis is second only to Manhattan, in america, for it's theater's per capita. the new Guthrie theater stands out amongst a culturally rich metropolis. jean nouvel was the architect who branded the city with this spectacular structure. it was his first large scale commission in the U.S. not only is the building itself a marvel to behold, but its inner workings are intricate & functional. whether it be the stages, lobby's, restaurants, outdoor settings, the amber box or the endless bridge, there is more than enough for your senses to absorb. all of that, blended with the fact that its primary function is to promote live performance art, makes it even more beautiful. chief among the many talents that are housed in this illuminating "theater," is the art of live, on stage acting & its pre/post productions that make the impossible possible. it should be mentioned that the numerous artisans, designers, carpenters, painters, world class couture wardrobe technicians, wig makers, sound & lighting engineers & a slough of other skilled professionals, that are perhaps second to none, are more than adequately matching the pageantry showcased onstage.
in this magnificent structure there are three distinct theaters. the wurtele thrust stage is an outlet for dramatic literature. seating is located on three sides of the stage (roughly 260 degrees & every seat in the space is the exact number of feet from the center of the action). due to its ability to be customizable in size, shape, color & texture, it's best to think of the thrust stage as a transformer. the mcguire proscenium stage has the features of a "picture frame" like opening. this allows all of the audience to experience the presentation from the same perspective. this type of depiction is suited for work from the late 19th century. a universal form helps to create cohesion with other productions globally. finally comes the dowling studio, which is flexible & purposed toward the aesthetic of cultural/community connections. it feels very modern & yet warehouse like. it is a host for both local work & the works of other theaters. the "amber box" is located just outside of the dowling. it is an ethereal viewing station meant to elicit optimism, even on grey days.

the guthrie balances amidst the historic mill district. it plays with the mississippi river & st. anthony falls. jean nouvel seems to have a knack of birthing his creations with the aid of the immediate surroundings. the french architect, is a willing participant with natural light, allowing it to communicate through access. thoughtful dialogue between design & the movement of people is highly interactive & entertaining. in 2008 he was awarded the pritzker prize, the highest honor in architecture. the jury that year noted the 2006 opening & impact of the guthrie as significant in their decision to select his body of work.
colors & shapes are only pieces of the magic that make this building one of the most unique structures in the world. thanks to jean nouvel, the guthrie theater & its many people who make this such a wonderful place to visit & be inspired by. if you're ever in minneapolis i highly recommend taking in a play. if that doesn't work, the architectural & backstage tours are fantastic & enlightening. embrace the twin cities, it's cooler than you may know.

be well, from the 707 to the 612!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Beer Fest turns 15!

boonville is the place to be this saturday, may 14. yesterday was bike to work day, which is an awesome event for anyone who enjoys a bike ride. i know i do. it can be empowering to see & ride with so many other cyclists. way to go peddle pushers.
tomorrow is the legendary boonville beer festival, which takes place in the the heart of anderson valley. with the navarro river near by, beautiful forests, the best booty of beer in america, kick ball, ultimate frisbee, frisbee golf, pole bangers & plenty of other debauchery, it's tough not to want to go annually. so we do. i realize this years event is the same day as bay to breakers (which is also RADICAL) but myself, agent M & the Dr. will be attending the 15th birthday of boonville beer festival. maybe we'll see you there. last on standing is utterly amazing, either that or immune to heady beer! to all of those fun seekers this weekend, whether it be in SF watching/partaking in bay to breakers or those of us up in mendo county drinking oat sodas & barley pops, have a little more fun...

enjoy ~ eightychoices

ps. it's friday the 13th. the month of may is bringing it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

record store day

support the music & local businesses...
record store day is the one day, in which i don't feel guilty making a purchase, on a day created solely for consumption. why? because i love music. that & the fact that my favorite record store is in my home county. the last record store is a great place to spend some time looking for your favorite tracks or hard to find rarities. they do an amazing job of bringing in good quality used vinyls, as well as, staying stocked with new LP's. they also carry CD's, used & new, DVD's & a small collections of apparel. which i might add, is kick ass!
if you happen to live in western north carolina, i recommend hitting harvest records, in asheville. another gem tucked away on the west side of town. it's a super cool neighborhood, check it out.
some of the vinyl high-lights i'm stoked for this year are: built to spill, ripple; a "side by side" record of love hurts, the A side is gram parsons with emmylou harris. the B side is jenny & johnny. it seems as though the gorillaz are releasing an album around record store day. the fall, as it's titled, is a collection of live tracks taken from their performances on tour in north america.
anyway you slice it, record store day is the day for audiophiles. plus you get to support a local business in your community. enjoy!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

spring winter

... Tahoe was heavenly

between march 18th-23rd, i experienced some of the best snow days ever at tahoe. it was the epitome of a spring winter. heavenly was epic. the amount of snow was stupid & to top it all off, my mom turned 50! it was an especially magical day on the 22nd. my mom, wife, andrew & i got up early & crushed a full day of skiing. it embodied the mantra of 'living each day to its fullest'. to shred the mountain with my family was too much. that was my mom's birthday too, so heavenly couldn't have been better. both the nevada & california sides had great powder & minimal traffic. fresh runs could & were found late into the afternoon. agent M (my wife) had an exhilarating adventure. during one juncture of the day she chose to go with a 30-40 minute back country line. i was so stoked on that.
whether it was chilling at the rental, eating good food, drinking tasty beverages, hanging in south lake or skiing the mountain, last week was memorable. what a way to celebrate. thanks to all those who made the effort to get there & to the one who made it happen... you know who you are. happy birthday mom!


also, due to tons of snow, many resorts have extended the final days into april & may. (may day may day)