Monday, September 28, 2009

Super-spectacular Eggplant Casino night at Madrone Lounge in San Francisco!

Photo by JasonUnbound

I know, I really should use this opportunity for something other than promoting my band, but what can you do? File this under noise if you'd like -

Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday!

Eggplant Casino is taking over the Madrone Lounge for an epic evening of Hardcore Caribbean Rope Burn Music. We're playing two or three sets (depending on how the spirit moves us) to include all your favorite Afro-Latin-Calypso-Gypsy-Cabaret tunes as well as some hypnotic instrumentals, unexpected covers, brand-new compositions and even a few works-in-progress. Normally a full night of music, mischief and traditional Yetchnian folk dancing like this would cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars, but for you, our most esteemed friends, we're offering the whole show for the low, low cost of $7. Please join us.

Wednesday, September 30
500 Divisadero Street at the corner of Fell, San Franicsco
9pm, 21+

Thursday, September 17, 2009


You know it's a Wednesday night in San Francisco when you're sitting cross-legged in a late-Edwardian-style sporting costume on the driveway of the parking lot where the French animated film the Triplets of Bellville was just shown to an audience of hundreds of bicyclist enthusiasts, projected on the blank space between windows on a white apartment building wall, and you're eating piping hot, locally grown organic zucchini, poblano pepper and cilantro vegan soup out of a compostable bowl with a compostable spoon while David Bowie's Heroes is playing loud through the speakers mounted on a bike ridden by a man wearing a metallic turquoise raver shirt who happens to be one of the West-Coasts preeminent Flash Mob organizers, and the air is sweet with clove smoke and chai and whatever that smell is coming from the reappropriated taco truck that now serves "French take-away", including frogs and snails, and as you watch your fellow bicycle enthusiasts collect their bikes from the bike parking attendants, you wonder who else is there in a costume and who just dresses like that.

Yep, Wednesday night.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Play The Viola

It's an undeniable fact at this point that I play the viola. Seriously, I can't put that thing down. For example:

1. Killing My Lobster Patronizes the Arts
The new sketch show from San Francisco's finest opens tonight. No joke, this is some serious comedy. Last night's performance was one of tightest and funniest I've seen in a long while, and it was just the dress rehearsal. And to keep things extremely interesting, there's a different guest artist featured every show, from poet Jamie DeWolf to painter Debra Walker. There are 15 shows and I'll be on stage with the band for all of them. I don't care how much packing you still have to do for Burning Man, do yourself a favor and come check it out.

KML Patronizes the Arts
at the Traveling Jewish Theater
470 Florida near Mariposa, San Franicsco
Five shows each week August 27 through September 13
Thursdays & Fridays 8pm
Saturdays 7 & 10pm
Sundays 7pm

2. Jacopo CD release party with the Eggplant Casino and Micropixie
We're back at Cafe du Nord for a real cute sandwich of a show. Jacopo headlines with their Italian-flavored, kazoo-driven "alternative transcendental folk", Micropixie opens with sparkly, glitchy electronic lounge-pop, and the Eggplant Casino is right in the middle with our famous Afro-Latin-Klezmer-Gypsy-Cabaret style. This show is going to be so amazingly adorable, and its only ten bucks! Believe it.

Jacopo, the Eggplant Casino and Micropixie
at the Cafe du Nord
2170 Market St near Sanchez, San Francisco
Wednesday, September 9
doors 8:30, show's at 9:30
21+, $10

3. The Eggplant Casino at Madrone Lounge
Madrone is awesome. It gets crowded and obnoxious on the weekends, but they always have interesting art, creative programming, tasty cocktails, and a mish-mash of funky, comfy chairs. I wish this place was closer to my house (like in the same town maybe?). Anyway, the Eggplant Casino takes over for an evening - mercifully a Wednesday - and as always, we guarantee a good time, great music, and snappy outfits. I have no idea about the cover, but it'll probably be in the $5 - 10 range. Cheap is in, friends.

Yee olde Eggplant Casino
at Madrone Lounge
500 Divisadero at Fell St, San Francisco
Wednesday, September 30
Uh, I'll get back to you on time and price, but I can tell you, it's 21+
and of course

Monday, April 13, 2009

Unfinished But Finished

Note: Coming across this was a bit of a surprise–I don't remember writing it. I assume I meant to write more, but am glad I didn't; I like it just like this.

I am thinking about those late, drunken nights when you'd worked all the angles and talked all the talk, but still every pair of legs has walked out of your reach, except mine. Then we'd catch a cab, and fumble with wallets and 20s, and then through the gate and the door and two flights of harshly-lit stairs to your apartment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Dolphin

I’m lying on Fort Myers beach, making deals with the sea and sky. When the clouds part some, and the sun shines on the beach, I will go for a swim. I look up. Even though the air is perfectly warm and comfortable, I won’t put a toe in the water until I have heat on me, like a coating. The clouds have thickened and I can’t estimate when the next break will come. Maybe if the bit above me cracks, I’ll have several good minutes of hot sunshine. I lay back down with my book and try not to think about it. When I look up again, the clouds have loosened, the light is stronger. I’m tired of waiting, and who knows, maybe this will be as good as it gets.

I get up and walk into the sea. It’s shockingly colder than I expect. I didn’t think it’d be warm, but expected the kind of cool I could warm up to. No, this is cold. I compare it to other cold waters: not as cold as the frigid Pacific I grew up with, or as cold as the rivers of fresh-melted snow I dip in all summer. All right, I can deal with it. Just a quick swim, then back to the beach mat and sun.

The sea is relaxed as a lake, and quite shallow. I’ll have to wade out a good distance before I reach swimming depth. Some hundred feet in, where the lapping water reaches my knees, I notice, out past two young boys with boogie boards, a dark, curving fin poke out of the water. Dolphin!, I think, and then, shark!

I know it isn’t a shark – wrong fin shape, plus sharks don’t come up for air – but can’t help thrilling at the idea of being nipped by a shark, right here in the cold, knee-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I’m imagining the pain and blood when I realize I better pay attention to the water if I want to see the dolphin again.

And here it is: beak, head, back, fin, and then gone again without a splash. Effortless.

Maybe you’ve ever started to feel like you’re not such a bad swimmer, like you have some moves in the water, and then a dolphin flicks past you with all it’s powerful ease and grace, and you have to console yourself with the thought that at least the dolphin would be a putz on land. Of course, then you see a pelican glide smooth and quick a few inches above the water’s surface, then beat its wings and climb up, and then fold its wings and drop like a missile into the sea, and you have to console yourself with “well, at least I don’t have that ludicrous beak.”

The dolphin curves up out of the water again, not far from me, and I realize its big, and it seems to be alone. Maybe it will swim up to me. Maybe it wants to swim with me.

It breaks the water again, casually, just a few yards past the waders. We all watch it, our eyes locked on its path.

The dolphin has an odd skeletons for a legless sea creature. Down its spine about two thirds the way to the tail, each dolphin has residual hip and leg bones, souvenirs from the age when it’s forbearers were four-legged land critters. Same with the whale. Life was born in the sea, and then some creatures beached themselves on the shore, and learned to thrive there as well. At one point, dolphins and whales were tree shrews. This was many millions of years ago.

Back in the age when dolphins lived in tress, the Gulf of Mexico was dry land, vast and expansive. Then a meteor came crashing though the sky and smashed into the land. Dirt, rock and dust exploded into the air, and water torrented into the tremendous crater. The sky blackened, the sun grayed out, and life both in the sea and on the land suffered and straggled and died. Without sunlight, plants died; and without plants, herbivores died; and so on, up the food chain. So passed the dinosaurs.

But the meteor also brought life. Other kingdoms, like the furry one, were out from the reign of the reptile kings. They climbed down from their tree nests and walked the lands. The dolphins walked into the sea and didn’t look back. Their forbearers walked out, and they walked in. They walked into the crater left by the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, the very same crater I stand in now.

Please don’t quote me on this, of course. That’s mostly how it happened, but not exactly. It’s somewhat third hand at this point, like a game of telephone. And I changed a few of the details intentionally. Taking license. Like that whales were already giant sea monsters before the meteor hit, giants among giants, but that’s beside the point.

The point is: the dolphin and I are here together now because of this great crater in which the dolphin lives and I vacation. We would not be here were it not here; if it wasn’t here, we wouldn’t be here. Maybe we would be monkeys and tree shrews still, or squawking birds, or lazy alligators, or bacteria.

Soon enough I see the dolphin for the last time. My eyes keep straining past the spot, trying to get one more, but that’s it. I give up the watch and dive shallow across the bright surface. My scalp tightens reflexively when it hits the water. I paddle around a bit, flip, float on my back and look up into the sky with my eyes closed. I could stay like this forever, except the water’s cold and the sun is finally full and hot, so I wade back to the beach to lie on my mat in the heat.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I've Always Wanted to Call Something Signal to Noise

BECAUSE IT'S A PUN! GET IT? Sig, signal. Ha!

Oof, well, anyway, for the past six months since I last posted anything, I've wanted to revamp the blog. It just had no direction, it ambled too much, which says a lot when you consider I have an extremely high threshold for ambling (just ask my parents - hi, mom and dad!).

Somewhere during all those months, it struck me: what if I post my actual writing, you know, writing-writing, I mean the stuff I write in those notebooks I carry everywhere and write in whenever the inspiration strikes (and sometimes when it doesn't)? The subject matter ranges from unnervingly earnest and hastily jotted true tales, to first drafts of screenplays, to lists, to epic poems, etc., etc. How about I post that?

Naturally, at this point you ask "and how is that not ambling?" But really, it isn't. No, seriously.

So far, whenever I have posted, liked, for example, a "we all went camping last weekend" kind of post, you could be sure that was generally factual, that indeed I had been camping. Hence forth, said account may in fact be fictional, and will usually be more descriptive, as I either wrote it to stylishly describe an actual event, or am describing it as realistically as I can to make it believable fiction. Also, everything I've blogged so far is original to this medium, where as going forward, I'll post writing from throughout the years, from before blogs were invented, even (gasp.).

And, furthermore, I will not tell you what is what. You may recognize something as having happened because you were there, but that's all you get. And don't expect me to stick to the facts, because I won't. Or maybe I will. I'm not telling. You can figure it out.

See, signal to noise. Its not only a pun, its also the intention. Ha!