Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Whale of a Day

Whales: Giants of the Deep | California Academy of Sciences
The giants are coming, no not those Giants, the giants of the deep. California Academy of Sciences offers us land dwellers the chance to learn more about these majestic mammals. Patrons will be given the chance to: "dive into a world of ocean giants—their evolution, biology and cultural significance—fascinating both for their eerie similarities to ourselves and for their awe-inspiring differences."

Diversity, adaptation, cultural significance and conservation will serve as the primary gateways for discussion and learning. Having had the opportunity to venture around the Academy of Sciences, and loving each experience, this exhibit has already captured my attention and has me looking forward to exploring anew. Few living things rival the whale in my opinion.

Presented and researched by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the exhibit tells a mesmerizing tale of this complex creature. Interaction is a staple of integrated learning, and the Academy does a good job of nurturing this function. Whales: Giants of the Deep—coming April 3rd. Enjoy a day in Golden Gate Park and support the California Academy of Sciences. 


Friday, March 20, 2015

Under Amazonian Lights

Live Under Amazonian Lights | The White Stripes
Third Man Records is currently delivering Vault package number 23, Live Under Amazonian Lights. This 2005 White Stripes performance marked the first ever rock show at the Grand Teatro Amazonas Opera House in Manaus, Brazil. Locally described as, "deliciously irresponsible," history has favored this night as one of The White Stripe's most celebrated live achievements. 

Also included is a DVD. Hopefully captured on film is Jack and Meg wandering outside the Opera House. They played a song for the masses who had assembled outdoors. There's a 7 inch single as well—"Let You Down," is the A side and, "Aint No Sweeter Than Rita Blues," an outtake, is the B side. Newly designed postcards, from award-winning artist Rob Jones, are joined by an enamel pin and a silk-screen printed White Stripes poster. All of these goodies can be stashed inside of the custom telescoping vinyl box. Holy F, this is going to be awesome. Long live Third Man Records


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

PUBlication: Brew Detective

Magnolia | SF | Proving Ground IPA
Haight and Masonic are more than just crossroads, they are threads woven into the historic patterns of San Francisco's rich cultural tapestry. Standing at this intersection today is Magnolia Pub & Brewery, a modern institution of draught libations. Not only do they brew some amazing beer, they're also purveyors of fine food and an infinitely cool scene.

Proving Ground is a draught-only, Bay-Area inspired IPA. Columbus and Cascade hops initiate the piney and citrus characteristics one should expect, spicing it up a bit are the Czech Saaz hops. This IPA embodies a lively malt feature, helping to assuage its assertiveness up front. This tasty ale is is one of my favorite from Magnolia

Magnolia has grown, opening a second location in the Dogpatch. This new space pleases the senses. I recommend filling up a growler with Proving Ground, Blue Bell Bitter (4.5%), or their Kalifornia Kölsch (4.7%). The Growlers are quite ornate and more than worthy of being added to any collection. Be sure to treat yourself to an afternoon or evening with Magnolia. Life's short, enjoy good beer. Drink responsibly. Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Let the Madness Begin

Final Four | Indianapolis 
One shining moment is made possible by the millions of moments that unravel during March Madness—the greatest American sporting event. Portland, Seattle and LA play host out west for some of the rounds leading to the Final Four. The first weekend is obviously the most chaotic, and perhaps, the most fun to watch. Is this the year a number one seed falls? Can Gonzaga make it to the Final Four? Or will the Kentucky Wildcats go unscathed for an undefeated season? There are two prevailing trends when filling out your bracket—using your head or following your heart. Which will you listen to? Let the madness begin.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Silver Anniversary for High Sierra

July 2nd-5th
Most music festivals are in still in their infancy, or maybe their adolescence, not High Sierra—it turns 25 this Fourth of July. Silver anniversaries are a pretty big deal. Here's a quick roundup of the artists I enjoy who've been announced thus far.

The Word (John Medeski, Robert Randolph, Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson & Chris Chew), Joe Russo's Almost Dead, Galactic, Shovels & Rope, Lotus, The Wood Brothers, Surprise Me Mr. Davis, The Barr Brothers, Dopapod, and Marco Benevento. 

Quincy, CA is always a gracious host and this year is sure to be no different. Tickets are on sale now. High Sierra begins July 2nd and runs through the 5th. Enjoy.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The List—Record Store Day '15

RSD | April 18th, 2015

Your turntable is not dead. The List has been unveiled and this year's batch is heavy on reissues and 7" vinyl. Once again there are three categories; Record Store Day exclusives, RSD limited run/regional focus, and RSD First releases. Choice selections from some of the pillars of American music are in abundance this year. The Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Otis Redding, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash all have rare, live, or monumental material ready for audiophile consumption. There are of course many more choices to digest from the Record Store Day menu.

Neko Case's, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, easily makes my list of hopeful scores. I love this album and it has long been out-of-print. Dylan inventory always weighs heavily on my personal scale. If I can find it, and then afford it, I'll look to pick up The Basement Tapes in mono (180g). When I Reach My Heavenly Shore, a 3LP collection of black gospel from 1926-1936, has the potential of a lost treasure, waiting to be appreciated. All three of the albums mentioned fall under the category of RSD exclusive. This means that they will only be released on April 18th, 2015.

Two options from the RSD first grouping are at the top of my wish-list. RSD firsts are available on Record Store Day and will then be released at a later date on black vinyl, with non-exclusive, standard-artwork. The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan, has never been offered commercially on wax, until now. Sign me up as the guy who bolts directly for this. Disc one will be pressed on red vinyl and disc two on white. Built To Spill's latest effort, Untethered Moon, will also be available, with 500 random copies on transparent blue vinyl. Whew...

Support your local record shop. See you in line on April 18th at the Last Record Store.


Thursday, March 5, 2015


He's underground, yet somehow mainstream. He's a solo artist, who collaborates a lot. What is his moniker? I Love Makonnen is going on tour this spring, ending at The Independent in San Francisco on May 16th. Special guests will be sprinkled in for good measure. There are thirteen cities slated for the Loudest of the Loud Tour.

The remix of "Tuesday" put his sound on the proverbial map. Another project paired him with Ezra Koenig—"Down 4 So Long."  Then there's the track, "I Like Tuh," a remix by DJ Carnage that makes obvious use of present day pop culture—white girls twerking. Right... 

This LA Born, Atlanta raised personality, is pushing into the greater hip hop scene. Rightfully so, and it's only going to get louder.