Monthly Archives: September 2008

Now But Not

Think you’ve scored yourself a preview of tomorrow’s Treasure Island festivities?

While you’re correct in sensing that this music must have come out of the Bay Area, this whole situation you’re digging actually took place quite a long time ago. And I’m not talking long ago as in the last time Fernwood went down, but actually long ago as in the first time knee high fringed moccasins were hip, the first time tiny Ts were acceptable on bedraggled sexy man folk, the first time a superfluous yet eye-catching musical sidekick with a horizontal headband was cool to have around. Oh, say sometime in the early 70’s. Here, I give you the legendary Jorma Kaukonen playing “Hesitation Blues.”


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Filed under Cassie McGettigan, Uncategorized

Tom Waits Explains All

There must be a reason why I hadn’t yet seen this Tom Waits situation, but I can’t say what it is. 

Oh, and as for that long, unannounced absence from the shop, I would like you all to believe that we got what we had coming. Even though that’s not quite true.

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Essential Bullshit

I have exactly one friend in my immediate friend unit who owns and occassionally operates a television set. I tell you this not just to brag, but to brag in particular about having organized my cramped living room furnishings to facilitate conversation instead of passive viewing, and because I haven’t a clue about the latest political ads, nor commercials in general, nor do I know a thing about network television. Plus, in the clutches of entropy, I know that at least I’ll always abstain from that particular form of procrastination. So there.

However, as far as political satire goes, without a TV, I suspect I’m seriously missing out. At the very least, I have no means for regular Jon Stewart and Colbert Report watching, which has given me more than one pause to wonder whether I’m missing out on some golden age of smart political humor and commentary which will never have it’s equal in any other medium, ever. Already, I’m all nervous about my unborn children studying all the positive and many, many negatives of the Bush years in History class, and stone cold staring me down over the dinner table in the house with no TV,  gnashing their teeth and sputtering, “How could you have missed a single episode? Stephen Colbert was required watching for The Resistance! What, you thought you could properly inform yourself reading? What a loser.”

And while even this nightmare scene doesn’t quite convince me to televisionize my life, it does cause me to wonder about all the juicy dirt I’ve been missing in terms of hating on Sarah Palin. (Again, the unavoidable subject.)

And that’s when I decided to let this blog be a record of at least two lowly television spots, likely familiar to the rest of Western culture, that did their part to dissssss on Palin this week. And also to ask, what did the rest of us do toward that effort?

Here, witness Keith Olbermann’s gifted tech people condense Sean Hannity’s “slightly less hard hitting than one you’d see on a late night infomercial” interview with Gov. Palin down to its essential bullshit. 

Shit, did she just bust out O.P.M.? Let’s do this mom? Reform! And how cute is Olbermann’s stoked little deep breath after he issues the “Roll ’em”? He knows he’s done his weekly duty.

And then there’s the Fey-as-Palin, Poehler-as-Clinton SNL sketch. Most everyone would admit to already having seen it—that is, except for Palin herself, who in the same ridiculous Fox News interview owned up to watching my hero Tina Fey  “with the volume all the way down and I thought it was hilarious… I didn’t hear a word she said, but the visual was spot on.” Totally.

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Filed under Cassie McGettigan

Find Us at The Treasure Trove

….not to be confused with “finding us” at one of our Diamond Jubilees. Though, you know, fair usage.

Dear ones—if you find yourself at the mighty Treasure Island Music Festival this weekend, please do come and find us camped out in the The Treasure Trove zone. That’s where we’ll be accepting the cupcakes. Plus! The ever-excellent Triple Base Gallery has kindly asked us to participate in an extension of their “Open for Business” show, where artists, inventors, (or in our case) lady shopkeepers shall be engaging in the trade of goods, services or information with the public.

We’ll be there from noon to 2:30 on both Saturday and Sunday, inviting craft-conscious concertgoers to contribute the location and details of their favorite Bay Area artists/crafters/DIYers/chefs/innovative lunch box packers to our Maker’s Map. We then have grand plans to convert this crowdsourced treasure of information into a reciprocal trove of usability with a beautifully rendered, fully annotated map to be delivered via PDF? Printed bandanna? Messenger pigeon? Maybe all of the above.

We’ll be sharing our time slot with Travis Meinolf—weaver of extraordinary blankets and ponchos—and Iris Benson, who will invite visitors to join a loom jam session and create “Industrial Music” while participating in a cloth workshop with amplified mini looms. So stoked on that.

Later in the day, you can catch Tim Nutt from, who will conduct interviews with people about how they experience music, and Shashanna Chittle, who will be offering intuitive energy drawings. Then Kyle Mock will be creating personalized keepsake paintings for booth visitors, and on Saturday, Suzanne Husky will offer an array of services from landscaping advise to chair massages. On Sunday, friend of the shop Alissa Anderson will be transforming old Treasure Island Music Festival T-shirts into reusable tote bags. And all the while, you can line up for your very own Triple Base silkscreen on the poster, tote bag or pair of skivvies of your choice! It’s an alt art commerce frenzy! Thanks Joyce and Dina!

***Oh, and FY(obvious)I, the shop will be be closed on Saturday to accommodate this project and our free concert passes. We offer our heartfelt apologies for any inconvenience they may cause.***

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Filed under Cassie McGettigan, Events

Cintra Wilson on Gay Marriage, Proper Respects, Palin and (in Particular) Goth Steez:

“There are certainly worse ways to misspend a youth than living it in a vampire costume.”

With just this little cookie of wisdom, you can begin to see why Cintra Wilson ranks supreme in my personal pantheon of lady arcana holders and extollers of San Francisco’s extreme glory. Commence Profile of Awesome:

A Tamalpais High dropout, schooled for real in the bosom of hot trannie SF in the 80’s mess to become an avant-garde playwright by the age of 19, the Cintra behind The Examiner‘s column, “Cintra Wilson Feels Your Pain,” and now a bona fide working journalist with a regular gig writing The Dregulator for—she’s one of my heroes.

For example, I happen to believe her when she says she’s an unacknowledged partial author of the immortal film Gia, thereby I hold her tangentially responsible for Angelina Jolie’s fame, fortune, and marital bliss with the sort of perfect human being who just yesterday announced that he is giving $100,000 to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that aims to ban same-sex marriage in the state. Hurrah!

Which reminds me that Cintra is also the sort of ally who goes ahead and just puts it out there to an interviewer from Bookslut who asked if she might characterize her latest book as “a sort of ‘Fag Hag Manifesto'”:

You know, if you’re a creative, brassy, fun-loving chick, and you’ve lived all your life in either San Francisco, LA, or New York—unless you’re really hell-bent on NOT having a good time, you’re going to be heavily influenced by gay culture. Period. It’s a big part of who I am….I don’t think people in the rest of the country realize that when you’re a girl growing up in San Francisco, gay boys naturally comprise about 30 percent of your friend-base from the time you are in, like, 7th grade. It’s not even a thing. You don’t even think about it. These are just your people, your family, these are your closest intimates, the ones you have the most fun with and relate to on the most comfortable, silly level. There’s no sexual tension, so gay boys are the boys you can hug and get dressed with and dance crazy, stupid dances with and cry in front of, without fear of looking like an idiot. You forget that it seems unusual in other parts of the country. I feel sorry for girls who didn’t have that. It really enriched my life.

Totally. I’m actually from Virginia, which is not at all like that, but totally. Also, when it comes to Sarah Palin (and don’t most conversations these days?): “I am so mortally offended I feel like it is really time for women to be angry, hardcore and disgusted again.” That’s right, and we are, and here’s the Palin vs. Actual Feminist smack down that ought to be everywhere: “Pissed about Palin.”

I digress. But it was worth it, right? Back to the matter of Marchesa Luisa Casati, depicted above wearing a star spangled fancy dress costume symbolising light to a party in Paris, 1922. (The equally naughty Lady to my left is none other than Cintra herself.)

In addition to her good hellraising political work, Mistress Wilson currently holds a covetable seat as a New York Times Critical Shopper, where she elevates potentially banal, brain mush-inducing Style section tripe, such as reviewing the Christian Louboutin boutique, to glorious short stories all their own, full of references that you thought only your most wickedly fabulous best friend could invent, that revive your shameless love of high fashion, no matter how ridiculous, while at the same time excusing you from having to participate in it since you do know better and, you know, you can’t actually afford it. Also, for me, she consistently demonstrates how great writing can make just about any subject worthwhile.

Today, Cintra published a new article in the NYT, “You Just Can’t Kill It,” ostensibly about the myriad ways street Goth style has influenced high fashion, and the books and exhibits that serve it, but really just an awesome required read. And once you’ve had your fill of that, I highly encourage you all to invest the remaining portion of the afternoon before heading to the shop for tonight’s Swap! in reading through Cintra’s archive. You won’t regret it.

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Filed under Cassie McGettigan, Very Very Exciting

Home Sweet Home…

Yes. Hello. The Ladies of Gravel & Gold are finally home from our glamorous European Vacation. An apology is due to all the fine folks who may have stopped by the shop when we were away. Though we had lofty plans to post a great sign in the window and a put a blog post online letting everyone know we would be gone, we just never did. So, we’re sorry. And if you had wondered, now you know where we were.

More importantly, we are home and damn happy about it.

I’m sure we are all in agreement when I say that San Francisco is the shit. The Ladies visited three cities, London, Berlin and Paris. Although the three of us have an uncanny capacity to have fun no matter where or when or with whom we are, there is just no place as awesome as SF.

We loved the unhinged goofiness of the Londoners and the real good-looking yet regular quality of the Berliners. By the time we got to Paris, our color and sass simply outpaced those elegant yet conservative Parisians. We did our best to represent SF. We wore lots of color and way too many style elements. Those things against a backdrop of grey traditionalism coupled with a fierce and sudden homesickness led to an exponential increase in our love of San Francisco.

Here is a short photo essay to demonstrate my super-assured snobbery about the superiority of San Francisco in the global urban community…



SF awesome rainbow situation…

Parisian man hardcore jocking SF rainbow situation…

SF hipster Anchor Love (Berlin)…

SF hipster Anchor Denial (Paris)…

In short. The Ladies of Gravel & Gold are very very very thankful to be home in our most favorite


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Filed under Nile Nash, Tales of Gravel & Gold

I’m A-Capturing Zee Emma Moment (cue naughty backwards skipping)

Profile of an awesome lady.

We went to Berlin. We met Emma. And a fourth joined our threesome. 

Emma knows things. She knows about evening belly dancing classes, non-creepy co-ed hammams, superior nutritional gummy bears, how to look insanely chic in one single piece of fabric, and….

where to call upon the Bell Man, and…

when to bust out the pen and paper so to make Cassie very very happy with a game of exquisite corpse at The Old Berlin, and… 

how to discretely match with your friend Nile, everything there is to know about flats, and….

when to call it quits, in style, with the strictures of a lifelong vegan diet (answer: a fur hammock).

Emma, we totally pine for you, girl.

Come visit! We have a party, jah?

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Filed under Cassie McGettigan, Very Very Exciting