Tuesday, August 31, 2010

behind the scenes of Mad Men

Rolling Stone has a great behind-the-scenes photo essay from Mad Men. While the series was done in gorgeous B/W, the photo of the wardrobe department is the only one I wish was in color:

photograph by James Minchin III

Via Laughing Squid.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Clipper Cove, Treasure Island

Did you know there was a beautiful, quiet, secluded beach on Treasure Island, sheltered from the crazy bay winds and fog? I did not.

view of beach from boat
view of cove
Bay Bridge construction

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Sasha, Sasha, Ras Dvi Tre!"

When I was in sixth grade, we learned square dancing in our PE class. Glad to know that 20 years later, I could finally put those skills to good use.

barn dance
some serious do-si-doing in here

Whit and I took a trip over to Pie Ranch in Pescadero for a farm community work day. I had read about this over at Weekend Sherpa. The community day includes a volunteer work afternoon on the farm, potluck, and barn dance.

line into the barn dance
hey there, guy. i see you too.

Pie Ranch is named that way because the land is shaped like a pie slice. In fact, the two main sections of the farm are called "Lower Slice" and "Upper Slice." They also specialize in making and selling pies in their farmstand. Whit and I spent a couple of hours cutting back olallieberry bushes, which had been infected with rust. Our "supervisor," Megan, was doing an apprenticeship at the farm and had been there since the end of February.

Potluck turned out to be well-attended and well-stocked. Most of the food was vegetarian, and all delicious. We managed to score some great pluots from a lady who works for Vegetable Varietal, an organic vegetable and fruit distributor based in San Francisco. We chatted a bit with the people at our table, who were all apprentice farmers in Boulder Creek.

But the barn dance was the highlight. The caller, Andy Wilson, talked everyone through each dance before we all did it. Tons of fun, and a really good atmosphere (probably helped by the fact that the potluck and barn dance were both alcohol-free). Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves in a non-ironic way.

Here's a video from the June 2010 barn dance.

Friday, August 20, 2010

most played songs on iTunes (work)

Inspired by this All Songs Considered blog post, the top 10 most played songs on my iTunes at work are:
  1. "Without Love" // Hairspray soundtrack
  2. "Australia" // The Shins
  3. "Starlight" // Muse
  4. "You Can't Stop the Beat" // Hairspray soundtrack
  5. "The Chimbley Sweep" (fan video) // The Decemberists
  6. "16, Maybe Less" // Calexico & Iron and Wine
  7. "Knights of Cydonia" // Muse
  8. (btw, this video is almost entirely made of win)
  9. "Supermassive Black Hole" // Muse
  10. "City of Delusion" // Muse
  11. "Even Tho" // Joseph Arthur

I do like playing the mess out of some Black Holes and Revelations when I'm trying to work on stuff, but never realized how far that went. At least that's one thing that me and Stephanie Meyer have in common...Time to move to the other side of my music library (i.e., the "never-playeds").

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chali 2na at Yoshi's

Chali2na with live band

I think I've been incredibly lucky in my experience with live hip hop shows, but Friday night's Chali 2na show at Yoshi's San Francisco reaffirmed my love for the genre.

Chali2na with live band

Chali 2na was incredibly charismatic, down-to-earth, and fierce on his delivery. His backing band perfectly balanced when to hold back and when to go balls out, and even led an impromptu audience sing-a-long of "Living for the City." And, although you can't tell from the photos, all the people on stage who were mobile had some Motown-style synchronized dancing down cold.

He also brought his younger brother (Semaj), whose style is very different. Semaj sort of hangs behind the beat, but provided good contrast to 2na's driving staccato.

Chali2na with live band

Here's the video for "International," featuring Beenie Man:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

San Diego brewery tour

welcome mat

This past weekend, I took a trip down to San Diego with some friends. One major item on the itinerary was a tour of the various breweries in the area: the ones we hit were Ballast Point, Lost Abbey/Port Brewing, Green Flash, and Alesmith. Stone is a bit too intense on the palate for my taste, so we skipped it.

[Oh, and I'm not an expert on beer; things mostly go into the "I like it" or "I don't like it" categories. Or, as Whitney says, the "nom/not nom" binary. I'm linking the beers we tried to their reviews in Beer Advocate if you want actual information.]

1. Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sculpin IPA
glimpse into the brewery
list of beers on tap

Lots of fun for our first brewery, and the woman running the tasting room, Alise, was super laid back and great to talk to about local brews.

Beers we tried here:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

goodbye, Dusty Rhodes and the River Band

One of the things that I regret about not living in Vegas in missing music shows - either my friends, or friends of friends. Unfortunately, one show that I missed by about 5 days was the final show for Dusty Rhodes and the River Band. Dustin Apodaca gave an interview to Las Vegas City Life in which he talked about the end of the group.
We're poor. We have no money. It sucks. I wish I could do it forever without getting paid and all. I just can't. We had good gigs for a second. We had a hot little moment. Now we're just old, pissed-off and broke (laughs). We ain't spring chickens no more.
Many of my musician friends talk about how hard it is to make enough money to survive in this industry. It's a rare intersection of talent, hard work, and luck that allows people to break through to something sustainable. It's so depressing, however, to watch the demise of a band that seemed to truly enjoy performing.

Pouring one out, here's the video for "All One":

Dusty Rhodes and the River Band - "All One" from Michael Tavarez on Vimeo.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Coldest. August. Ever.

Don't forget your animal pelt today.