Friday, May 30, 2008

get paid to never get out of bed!

You know all those days you dreaded getting out of bed in the morning to go to work? Here's a perfect solution: a job through NASA where you get paid $17,000 to stay in bed for 3 months. I wonder if they'd let me bring my accordion... I've been considering a career change.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

this just stokes the fire

It's stories like this that remind me why I decided to renounce my religion many years ago.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Zach Condon - a voice so creamy i want to eat it for breakfast

The Beirut show last night was a little bittersweet; bitter because the two opening bands sounded like high school band practice, or as one friend put, the Blue Bear School of Music. So let's not dwell on them too long. Because what came next was scrumptious.

When the band I paid to see finally did take the stage, we were dished out a gastronomic feast of sounds from French horn to accordion to violin and to last but not least Zach Condon's sweetly crooning vocals and sharp trumpet. I wanted to close my eyes and jump into the music just like they did in that a-ha music video from back in the day. His voice was equivalent to the European Style Strauss Family yogurt I eat for breakfast every morning. Or it was like a hot steamy aromatherapy bubble bath with rose petals. This bandleader has so much talent for such a young guy (he's 22 years old), and the sound is not your run-of-the-mill garage band, but highly researched Eastern European and Balkan melodies that this kid from Santa Fe somehow pulls off with mysterious panache. I'm probably not the first to compare Condon's voice and songwriting ability to that of Morrissey, Ian Curtis or Rufus Wainwright, but he is a name to remember because I hope what we experienced last night is just a sign of more yummy things to come.

We brought them back on stage for two encores, when they performed one of my favorite tunes, Postcards from Italy, a few other sumptuous morsels before the show was over.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I am sooooo looking forward to seeing/hearing/experiencing Beirut play in concert on Tuesday at the Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

massage avec kitteh

On Monday I had one of the most interesting massage experiences ever (no, not that kind). I saw Susie for a Jin Shin Jyutsu treatment at Wise Touch in Bernal Heights.

About mid-way through the session, Susie's cat Toonces jumped onto the table and nuzzled herself between my feet, purring happily through the remainder of my massage. Jin Shin is an energy-based treatment (versus simply working the body tissue), and I must admit that the low vibrations of the purring at my feet added to my relaxation and overall enjoyment of the experience.

I highly recommend requesting kitteh accompaniment during your next massage appointment!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

meat is murder

When I was a teenager, I was so influenced by Morrissey and The Smiths that I went strictly vegetarian for a while. I totally cried when I saw them perform that song in concert and made my entire family frustrated with me for as long they allowed me to impose my lifestyle choices upon them.

Nowadays, I am a pescatarian and an occasional chicken eater. If I do eat any animal, I am adamant about knowing its source. They must be humanely treated and harvested. Otherwise we are supporting a sick system of animal cruelty.

Today I am reminded of the famous song and album by The Smiths as I'm editing a story about downer cows at a slaughterhouse in Chino, California. The Humane Society distributed a video about the treatment of sick cows at this facility, which is sadly indicative of many other facilities across our nation. Here's your chance to watch the video and read the story. I promise you that you'll never be able to digest a hamburger the same way again (unless it's grass-fed, free-range and organic). And even then, it'll be hard to swallow.

Here's an update from CNN today. I told the producer that this piece I'm editing is starting to make me feel nauseous, and his reply was that after awhile I should become desensitized to it. God, I hope I never become desensitized to cruelty.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the sound of sirens

Last Friday I was cruising through the Lower Haight when I was overtaken by this marching band. They belong to a group called Dark Meat from Athens, Georgia and were in town for a show that I sadly missed!

I love having "only in San Francisco" moments like these. They remind me that I live in a place with an unparalleled tradition of creativity. It seems that the City also inspires this kind of spontaneity in its visitors.

Monday, May 12, 2008

art in nature

For Mother's Day this year, my mom was volunteering at Audubon Canyon Ranch and asked me to join her out there for a picnic. It's been several years since I have visited this nesting sanctuary for egrets and herons, and we were blessed with beautiful weather and the chance to see the birds protecting their eggs and chicks in their nests.

At the end of the day, we noticed this artist dressed to kill, complete with top hat, painting a pastoral scene in the prairie:

which naturally inspired me to express myself out there too:

There's really something about the way the accordion sounds when you play outdoors, the harmonics resonating and blending with the wind.

Friday, May 09, 2008

like father, like son

When we were in junior high and high school, my friend Anne and I used to scour the Marin City flea market for retro-wear. Those were our mod days. We always shopped at a stall run by Stewart. He always had the hottest dresses.

Stewart still has a stall at the Alameda flea market, where I visited with Anne last weekend. I take it that this boy is Stewart's son, patiently reading his novel as his father worked the market, dressed as if his father influenced his ensemble.

This image gave me that feeling of days gone by.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

it's been that kind of week

First it was NPR, now I make the New York Times.

(This is not me in the photo, as you probably guessed.)

Friday, May 02, 2008

i'm on the california report

I was interviewed at the Plough and Stars about Irish music recently when I went there with my mom and JC. Thank God I managed to sound coherent.

Check out the May 2nd segment on Irish Music and please take special notice of the proper pronunciation of my last name.

The California Report