Monthly Archives: March 2009

Kitted Up

The Söderberg sisters, Johanna and Klara, do a favor for the Fleet Foxes tune “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” from the echoing halls of a Swedish forest. They call themselves First Aid Kit. This song was recorded in the morning.

Thanks to Lady Bronwen for playing it for me.

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Eat It Up

Luren Jenison

Please join me in fixating on the creamsicle melding of yellows, oranges, and pink elephant pinks happily achieved in Luren Jenison‘s Bootsock Wall Painting (and then digitally moseying ourselves over to purchase a handmade Warsaw tote featuring Luren’s lovely quilt pattern canvas.)

Warsaw tote

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Indeed So



Lisa’s auntie Gyöngy Laky has a fantastic eco-typography show called Common Sense up at the b. sakata garo gallery at this time, through April 4th. Worth the tip across town, and some.

Gyongy Laky

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Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou

This perfect music was made by an Ethiopian nun by the name of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou. She was born in 1923 to an aristocratic family of intellectuals and spent her childhood in foreign boarding schools and in exile in France, Italy, and ultimately Cairo, where she was finally able to receive musical instruction under Alexander Kontorowicz, a Polish violinist. She returned to Ethiopia in 1944 along with Kontorowicz, who was soon named Musical Director for Emperor Haile Sellassie. But despite her family and her teacher’s high standing, Guébrou found conditions in Ethiopia disdainful toward lady-musicians. When the emperor declined her ambition to study music abroad, she was plunged into a depression so great that she came close to death, and was even delivered her last rites. She set herself to religious seclusion and secretly fled to the Guishen Maryam monastery, where she became a nun in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Ethiopiques 21

Decades later, she released a few records for a German label, donating all her profits to the poor. In 2006, she joined the incredible Éthiopiques family as Volume 21: Ethiopia Song. This is the music of her great, wistful sorrow. I love it. Big thanks to Meara for playing it with the window open the other day.


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Salty Dogging It, All Happy, Through The Sunset

Yesterday Lisa and I took a morning vacation to the Outer Sunset to visit the outcropping of inspiring shops and foodie halls coming up two blocks in from the ocean on Judah Street. Trouble CoffeeIt is a peaceful, beachy village amid our jumble of a city, well-served by its constant blanket of fog, with a tight-knit community of folks hand-forging their own really terrific projects. The master carpenter Keith Aderholdt, who helped us build our shop, lent a very able hand to each house of coffee, surf gear, and soup. It is a trove indeed.

We started off at Trouble Coffee, a fantastic very small joint owned by Giulietta Carrelli. Giulietta’s partner Byron also helped us to build our shop and we have been meaning to get over here for a taste of their fresh coconut served in the shell, extra-thick cinnamon toast, and Elbow Grease coffee for quite some time. Man, did it deliver. The snacks themselves were delicious, the art on the wall made us smile, and the driftwood counter coated in a thick, boaty coat of epoxy made us want to coat everything in the world in a thicky, boaty coat of epoxy. It is such a delight to take one’s morning coconut, toast, and coffee in an place built and sustained with such righteous dedication and care.


Onward to Mollusk, the famed more-than-a-surf shop, granddaddy of the new efforts in the neighborhood. You can’t hardly a spy a salty boy wandering around who doesn’t have a Mollusk T-shirt on. We especially fell for the simple wave ones designed by Johanna St. Clair and the entire Warriors of Radness line. This place, too, which has Keith’s hand all over it, is such an inspiration both in terms of how it looks, the far-reaching array of what it offers, and the approach of the people who make it happen. Ah, you know all about it. Get over there!

Hungry again, we looped back to Outerlands, a brand-new restaurant built and run by the lovely David Muller and Lana Porchello, parents to a magnificent new baby girl, Leithian Shore. Dave, Lana, Keith, and friends took about a year preparing the space, building it out with weathered woody salvage, installing a kitchen to accommodate daily bread baking, making handmade chairs and a swirling driftwood nest in the lofted studio overhead. Every loving effort delights.Outerlands- front door

DaveLovely Dave sporting a Mollusk shirt of course, with a design my Barry McGee.

Outerlands- counter

As for the food itself—couldn’t be better, except perhaps if we had been salty dogging it up from the surf in wetsuits. They offer just a few choices that change daily—soup, salad, sandwiches, and cider—the perfect antidote to the cold and fog or the sun and sand, depending on the day you hit. We had squash soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and a hot, open faced pastrami sandwich, unsparing with the mustard, all mopped up with Dave’s sourdough bread, the secrets of which he learned by Tartine’s way. All very sophisticated and wholesome at the same time. One of those very quiet-making lunches where you hardly make time to breathe between bites.

Outerlands- bread

Outerlands- soup

Outerlands- sandwich and saladWe pulled out of the Sunset an hour late to open the shop, fueled by good food and better people, fully amped, and full of thanks for everyone doing exactly what they’re doing in that oceanside hamlet of their own design. Looking forward to getting back (and looking around at what I can build myself).

Outerlands- Lisa and Dave


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Anomorata Pyraglyph

jungle-pyramidThank you, The Jejune Institute. We found your postcard upstairs on our hall.o coleman esqThe emergent leader Octavio Coleman, Esquire in 1974.aquatic

Time Camera

moonlightCuerva & Whitey roaming the Moonlight Menagerie grounds.the mathematics

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Coffee Bar Trunk Show

Coffee Bar

Coffee Bar and Gravel & Gold invite you to a TRUNK SHOW featuring vintage and local handmade wares from G&G, mittenmaker, Miss Velvet Cream, and Puff Yea! Also DJ afternoon dance party, drink specials, food snacks, and intimate downlow from some very rad ladies. It will take place this Sunday, March 15th from 3 in the afternoon to 7 in the evening. It will be excellent!

Gravel & Gold: The Lisa Special


miss velvet cream


Coffee Bar:
1890 Bryant Street (Florida & Mariposa Street)
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Corn Cheese & Firewood Tips

Corn Cheese & A Good Read

Late night snack & read. Thanks Sean!

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Hot Teeket


Gonna be a load of dancing at Lobot Gallery tonight, Wednesday March 11th, from 8 post meridiem on into night: Hottub plus Romanteek

Plus plus, treats we like from:
DJ Don’t Tell Mom
Dang Mama
Johnny One Time
Big Dix

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Food Chain

Sam Murch + crabbiesHere’s Sam Murch manning up to the death dangle in preparation for last night’s dinner—fresh, local Dungeness crabs.

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Two Skulls Are Better Than One

Jimmy's SkullsIt takes a special someone to go for two of these puppies on the same hand and Jimmy Carton is that one. On his middle finger is the real deal—a silver pirate’s ring from the 1800’s. Ruby eyes, of course. On the pointer finger, a 24K gold cast of the same ring. The baby blues are star sapphires.

The original was procured by a Czech refugee by the name of Steve who brought it to his home in Negril, Jamaica. Steve had a gold cast made by Canadian jeweler friend, Yan, and gifted the genuine silver skull to his pal and mine, Jimmy. All this went down back in the late 1970’s in a castle on the cliffs of Negril that looks like this:106_0649_r1

Years later the gold ring made its way back to the side of the silver original. Does Jimmy choose to wear just one at a time? NO. Does he rock them one to each hand? NO. A finger’s space apart? NOT EVEN. This was meant to be.

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I’ll just come right out and admit that I am one who talks in her sleep. I have been told many times by family and friends that after my teeth begin to chatter, signaling that I have fallen asleep, I move on to downright verbal chatter. Of course, the worry is that I might say something foolish or embarrassing. Thankfully, this potentially unfortunate incident has never come to pass (that I know of). Also, I’ve heard that people don’t tell secrets in their sleep. Well, good.

Because I have the tendency to sleep talk, I have always been especially thankful that I haven’t crossed over into somnambulation. Although I have seen a man sit bolt upright in the middle of the night and unconsciously inquire into the darkness, “WHO?!”, I have never been a first-hand witness to a full-blown sleepwalking circumstance. Don’t you have a cousin or a friend who has a cousin with a story about another cousin getting up to pee in the fridge or wander the block in pajamas?

Here is some footage for which I feel a great deal of comic sympathy. I’m sorry, little Doggie, that you are not actually chasing bunnies on the plain.

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Mission Street Food: South Carolina BBQ

Mission Street Food is a rad foodie project begun by Anthony Myint, former lead line chef at Bar Tartine. Anthony started out last October, serving delicious fancy food once a week out of a subletted taco truck, The Antojitos San Miguel, on Mission Street. With minimal overhead cost, Anthony was able to cook for all kinds of people, at a lost cost to them, without the investment risk of opening a full-scale restaurant of his own. The experiment proved a smashing success. So much so that Mission Street Food has graduated to pirating a brick and mortar space, Lung Shan Restaurant on Mission, Thursday and Saturday nights. Each week, a guest chef is invited to prepare a delicious meal, with profits going to charity.

mission food

This Saturday, before heading to Blue Six of course, I advise all to come fill up on South Carolina barbecue. Bud Teasley, formally of Incanto and now Boccalone, and Carlo Espinas, formally of Piccino and now Bar Jules, will be doing the chefing. Blenheim Ginger BBQ, Tater Boats, a Pudding with Nilla Wafers….Profits will go to 826 Valencia, a non-profit writing center for students ages 6 to 18 located at—you guessed it—826 Valencia Street.

826 Valencia

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Must to Hear

Bird By Snow

Neal Morgan


Sean Smith

Aaron Ross

The musical happening that was hatched by our New Year’s bonfire is taking flight through the Bay Area this coming weekend. Meara down from Bo! Neal down from Portland! Our very own Sean! Fletcher and Spencer! Marc! Aaron up in Nevada City! And more thrilling folks playing exciting new music. Oh. My. Bountiful goodness. Hope to see you at one of the shows, if not two or all five.

Friday, 03/06
7:00 PM
The Basement
Neal Morgan, Sean Smith, Bird by Snow, and Aaron Ross
548 Main Street
Nevada City, California

Saturday, 03/07
8:00 PM
Blue Six (Joe’s place)
Neal Morgan, Sean Smith, Bird by Snow, Avocet
3043 24th st. @ Treat Street
San Francisco, California

Sunday, 03/08
8:00 PM
Hatch Gallery
Neal Morgan, Sean Smith, Avocet, Dang Mama, dj Don’t Tell Your Mother
492 23rd Street
Oakland, California

Monday, 03/09
8:00 PM
Monterey Live
Neal Morgan, Sean Smith, Bird by Snow and Spencer Owen
414 Alvarado Street
Monterey, California

Tuesday, 03/10
8:00 PM
The Crepe Place
Neal Morgan, Sean Smith, Arms and Sleepers
1134 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, California


As a preview, beyond everyone’s lovely MySpace pages, Ms. Meara of Avocet presents the notes E and C# to you in the way only she know how—with a Chladni plate.

Meara: Chladni 1

Meara: Chladni 2

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Yikes! Kittens & Babies

Miss Maddie Kelly providing narration for Kittens, inspired by kittens:

I am not immune to this meme’s mighty power—cracks me up. It’s right up there with the Charlie Bit Me situation, which has been viewed close to 85 million times to date. I believe our household has contributed a solid chunk to its numbers. Let’s go for another round, shall we?

Thanks for passing this along Kev via Deepti.

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Illustrative Dance Moves, Etc.

The Fleetwood Mac situation that went down the other night was amazing. I ran into so many smiling faces afterward, all saying it was the best show they’d been to in as long as they could remember. I heartily agree and want to offer my thanks to everyone who took part and organized (Marc in that vest) and came out. I’ve had to dose myself with this song first thing in the morning ever since:

To those who missed it, we got to hear all this:

set list

Nile was the only participant to leap out on the solo-Stevie, not technically Fleetwood Mac, limb, and I would like to continue leaping now.

Leather and Lace. This video features some sweet group lady action at the mic, some very pro slow motion spinning, and a nice bit where Stevie illustrates the lyrics by holding up her lace shawl and demonstrating how she might give it over to a fellow who gave her his leather. There was a lot of illustrative dance moves going on the other night and this video brings back the good times for me.

****UPDATE: Here are some great pics of the big night, courtesy of Ms. Alissa Anderson. You can check out a few more on her Flickr page.****

Fleetwood Mac Tribute

Nile at Fleetwood Mac Tribute Night

Thanks for sharing, Alissa!

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Exposure, singular.

lady on the rocks

Double exposed.

boy island

So John Donne got it wrong in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII:

All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. 

Now, vanity triple exposed.

triple exposed vanity

And finally, self-exposure: really exposed, and really stoked on it.

self portrait

All images from the Square America project.

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You Shouldn’t Let Poets Lie to You

Björk Guðmundsdóttir bravely elucidates the enchanted television forest whilst wearing two wristwatches.


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Inpiration Sandwich

Dereck Henderson

ABC Housing

Beach Shelter

Blackpool Lights

Lisa and the hedge

Courtesy of Dereck Henderson (we’ll always have New Zealand), another Dereck Henderson, the collective sheds shacks and huts effort, and Lisa on a walk toward the upper Mesa.

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Forlorn Chinese Zodiac Clepsydra Animals Non-Paying Scandal Hooray

Three cheers for the latest hoodwinking of the tension-fraught art auction universe! The objects this time are a lovely pair of rat and rabbit bronzes dating from 1750 that were once part of a 12-animal water-clock fountain corresponding to the Chinese zodiac at the imperial Summer Palace. The bronzes were first stolen in the course of a routine sacking by the British during the Opium Wars. Eventually they went on to live with Yves Saint Laurent in Paris, where they mingled among all kinds of things at his place. And now, homeless again after the death of their master—just look at their forlorn faces, the sweet dears—they were available to call a new super extravagant private collector dad.

NYT- Chinese Clepsydra Scandal!

Despite objections from the Chinese government, Saint Laurent’s partner Mr. Bergé put the pair up for auction at Christie’s along with the rest of the YSL horde so that he could rake in lots of money. And just when it seemed that all was well with the poor dears, that they were headed home with one Mr. Cai Mingchao following his relatively trifling winning bid of $36 million last week, chaos struck.

The high bidder—dunn—dunn—dunn, this Mr. Cai—duuuuuunnnnnnnn—has sabotaged the auction. YSL auctionHe is refusing to pay for the bronze pair “on moral and patriotic grounds. ‘I think any Chinese person would have stood up at that moment'” when another art object was about to be handed over to another private collector for a ridiculous sum of money instead of making its way back to a public museum in its country of origin, from which it had been taken during a war. “I want to emphasize that the money won’t be paid,” he said.

That’s right, brother! You stick it to Christie’s, to the French government that backs Christie’s, to cruel Uncle Bergé, to art thieves in general, and to whomever tries to get you to pay that crazy amount of money for two bronze heads in the shape of one household pest and one scourge of the carrot field. Have you none of it, sir.

But hold up….A clock made with water, aka a clepsydra, literally “water thief”, made with all kinds of different animal heads, made to correspond to the zodiac, made for the Chinese emperor! Oh how I wish I could see it all together. Something like:

clock tower

But way cuter because it involved sad-looking animals—that would be spectacular. I wonder who will come out on top of this case….

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