Such a lovely weekend! Saturday night the Leckmans and Forrest came over for dinner, and i had a ball cooking and visiting and putting my feet up on Ely. Sunday i sat on the couch and did a very geeky thing - created a community foodie-type site. You can read about Saturday's dinner over there, if you're so inclined.
Sunday in the late afternoon i had a lovely march up Guerrero, just me and my iPod, to meet up with Carrie for a drink and a snack. We wound up at Tokyo-a-go-go instead of Andelusa, but had a lovely time and snacks nonetheless. I walked Carrie to her meeting, and then went on to Tin Pan, where i met up with Russell and had dinner at the bar. We meandered home, and ran into Ramona, our new regular bartendress at Dr. Bombay's when we stopped in to read and have a lovely beverage. (Well, we haven't been to Dr. Bombay's in some time, but the second time we've been back this month, and Ramona the gothpunk girl from Seattle has been there both times. Cool.)
Today i worked from home, had a birthday lunch with Beca and Carrie and Russell, and worked some more. Monday night at the pub, caught up with David from upstairs, and lured a few more of my friends into joining gastronome. It's been a weekend for catching up with friends.
... that is, Mahler's Third Symphony. Tonight we endeavored to stay silent as MTT & the SFS played Mahler's third. This is the third recording in a six-season-spanning series of recordings by MTT and the SFS of the entire Mahler cycle (and they're not going in order, even though the third's the third.) It was fantastic. I especially liked Part I - the percussion was stunning & intriguing, and the blending of the sounds of the instruments was particularly compelling in this piece. Part II was really good, too.
The stage was full - the orchestra was at some of its largest, as i've seen it. Only a few other pieces have called for so many instruments. (Complete with a contrabass-tuba!!). The women of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus filled the back benches above the symphony, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus with the Pacific Boychoir filled the side terrace seats. For so many singers (along with a soloist down front & center), there were relatively little vocals in the piece. I'm often wary of vocals in symphony pieces, but i liked how these integrated.
There was no intermission - they played straight through. We sat in Box P - our first time in the boxes behind the orchestra seats. The verdict? Worth the few extra dollars over upper orchestra for the arm and leg room, but i still like the side terrace better. I really like being close to the musicians, seeing them and almost getting to know them. I found myself recognizing my favorite folks by silhouette and height instead of by facial features.
Afterwards we scooted over to Vicolo for some pizza, salad, and sauvignon blanc. Then we took a leisurely walk home with animated conversation. We considered going into Zeitgeist and having a drink as we passed, mostly because i'm about to polish off the Sterling book by the same name, and it seemed appropriately meta to finish it there. Instead, we journeyed home to you, my faithful readers. Now i just need a good clean night out dancing to industrial music, and i'll feel aurally complete for the month!
[note: i forgot to say that we also saw the 10th anniversary Critical Mass riding by, as we arrived at Davies Symphony Hall. Cool.]
This sensation is so very odd - Tuesday i went to the passport office to get an expedited passport, and today Apple bought me a set of tickets to Japan. I'm heading out on the 6th (yes, a week and a half from now) for a blitzkreig business trip. We'll be on the ground in Tokyo for just under 2 days, and after we leave Japan on Wednesday at 5pm, i'll arrive back in San Jose at 10am the same morning in time for another day of work.
It all feels so sudden and cosmopolitan and jetset and ...important. And yet, i don't feel at all cosmopolitan and jetset and important.
So, if you had one evening to yourself in Tokyo, and were staying in Shinjuku, what would you do?
I have been so lax about updating here. It's fairly embarrassing. I have a slew of half-finished entries about this and that sitting on my hard drive, and i never seem to have the energy or time to finish them up, polish them up, and post them. Things HAVE happened - i owe you entries about:
--A dinner we had at Julianne & Gerald's place. (You can see some pics if you like.)
--The tarts Ades and i made for Jim and Russell for brunch the next day.
--Helios, a restuarant in Cupertino and the dinner Mike and i had there.
--My lovely birthday symphony, dinner and picnic.
--Our now-regular brunches with Adam and Duane.
I have been keeping my reading pages up-to-date. If you were one of the wondeful people who sent books, (thank you!!) you should start seeing my reviews filter on in. I'll work to keep this place in better working order. Honest.
(Is anyone reading? I wouldn't fault you if you weren,t but i'm just checking - leave a comment if you are, and let me know if you care.)
Yep, we saw Chris and Meg at the DNA Lounge. Chris went on first; I had been forewarned that he was going to be doing a solo acoustic set (not actually acoustic; I don't know what you call an electric guitar that is proportioned like a solid-body yet has a hole — should have asked Forrest — and he used some light effects on most of the songs). I waved at Chris as the goofball MC introduced him; he smiled back. Not a lot of people were on the floor through his set, and there was kind of an odd vibe. I had been half afraid people would be rude because they expected Ministry/Pigface/Damage Manual, but they were polite if not enthusiastic. It sort of felt like people being Respectful to Grandpa because he Fought in the War, even though he drools a little now. meriko gives him props for having the guts to play pseudo-folk-poetry-rock at a techno/industrial/cyber dance club.
Everything he played seemed to be off his solo albums (after the last Pigface show at DNA, I half-expected him to do Damage Manual's "Peepshow Ghosts", but no), and mainly from the later ones; when he introduced "Ghost of a Saint" and said "this is off my first solo album," he seemed to be taken aback by the volume of applause, kind of a backhanded way for the audience to say "we don't like your new stuff so much." I liked the set okay, personally, even though I would have liked to hear "July" and a couple of other harder songs. (I think he peaked with Shipwreck, though Ultimate Seaside Companion grew on me after a year or so.) I refrained from yelling "show us your willie" throughout the set. Praise me.
Meg had a different bassist and drummer than she did two months ago at the Pound show, but with the same DJ, and Hate Dept's Seibold back on guitar. The bassist was doing the genderfuck thing; a guy in a sequined minidress, eyeliner, fishnetted on all four primary limbs. Meglet was in a tiny plaid dress ("look! she's playing the cleavage card!" "look! she's wearing panties!") and said something to the effect that she recognized familiar audience faces (that means us, baby). Set order was different from the earlier show, starting with "Sweat" (with one verse repeated thrice in place of presumably-forgotten lyrics) and "Nutopia", then something off the "long overdue new album" (this number possibly titled "Keep Her Satisfied"). Sound seemed kind of muddy at the start of the set but got better later; it didn't seem to interfere with Forrest's enjoyment at any rate. Meg also lost her mic cable a couple of times, but seemed to be having a good time as always, laughing and smiling as if entertained by some private joke. Next, "London", "Deeper", and "Swallowing You" (less dissonant than the Pound rendition). "Bittersweet and Sour", "Thing" (bounce! bounce!) and "Heavy Scene" (bounce! bounce! bounce!) closed out the set. Somewhere in here Meg half-jumped, half-stumbled off the stage, and had a hard time getting us feebs to realize she needed help getting back up. meriko and some other folks eventually did return her to the stage. Encore was, again, a dry, hip-hopish "Civilization" that left me all swoony.
Forrest liked the show and expressed surprise that so few people showed up: "time was a show like this would be packed!" I claim the trouble is that no one knows who Meg is. So here's your task for the day: if you've read this far and you've never heard Meg Lee Chin's stuff, go right now and listen to a couple of her songs like "And God She Created Civilization", "Thing", "Heavy Scene", or "Sweat". If you know and like her stuff, go tell three friends why they should go see her on tour in the next month.
Meg kicks ass.
All i have to say for tonight is that Miss Chin rocks my world. And if i went to a Meg Lee Chin show three times a week, i'd lose weight and get in shape in a big, big, big hurry. More on the morrow.
(Yes, i touched her bum tonight. And yes, Dave, she was wearing panties this time.)