Speaking of words that rhyme, Hogz and Rocks makes the best moscow mule in town.
Next time you're getting ready to go to SF. Here is my short list of things for you to hit:
"As You Like It" was the friggin' best party yet at the Compound in San Francisco.
ASR - the promoter of this event, got one thing right; they didn't advertise on SFstation, myspace or other mainstream sources. The only place I saw this event posted was on Resident Advisor's website, which automatically eliminates 99% of idiots.
And guess what? Idiots didn't show up. Really, really good crowd showed up, moved their asses, screamed their lungs out and generally had good time, which in turn translated into other people having a good time.
The place was comfortably packed, none of that sardines-in-the-can thing going on. Which tells me that ASR peeps are not a bunch of greedy bastards, another bonus point! Bam!
For DJ headliners the line up was - Noah Pred, Sassmouth & Limacon. They all rocked the house.
I've never heard/seen LIMACON before and after last night, I will be listening to a whole lot more of him. He is a mean base machine!
And what's up with all the lady-DJs being knocked-up lately? No, I have no issues with SASSMOUTH being pregnant. Pregnant or not, she is a top notch DJ and that baby in her belly is going to be one techno addict by the time it pops out.
Sassmouth had some of the best transitions I've heard in the techno business. She spinned a few crowd favorites, but nothing cheesy, all with great taste and hard-ass kicking.
I meant to get some more snippets for you, techno heads out there, but I was having too much fun shaking it. It's all I got. Enjoy.
I am stuck in the suburbs, it's a long story and you really don't care. My usual San Francisco getaways involve music, dancing, food and drinks. I am also a sucker for literary events and theatre.
Recently, I spent a few days in the city and thought that it would be great to share my finds with some other poor, unfortunate souls stuck in the suburbs. Of course, it will serve you just as well if you're coming to visit San Fran from far away.
Where to Stay? I've been eyeing couch surfing for a number of years and while it looks like it works for a lot of people, I just can't seem to get over the "unpredictable nature" of crushing on someone's pad. I am not a huge fan of the establishments in general, so staying in a hotel in the city is not only expensive, it's also boring. B&Bs are a great alternative, but they usually book quickly and can be expensive.
Try something new, it's called Airbnb, it's the same idea as couch surfing, but better. You get to rent a room from a local, depending on the location and accommodations you can get a really great deal. We rented a studio in the Mission (where we love to hang out anyway), and absolutely loved it. It wasn't perfect, but for what we paid, it was a great find.
Day 1: Friday EveningEAT: Gracias Madre, Mission.
Grab a bite in the mission at Gracias Madre restaurant. It's spankin' new, brought to you by owners of Caf‚ Gratitude. It's 100% vegan, my favorites are three tacos and guacamole. It's a great space, simple menu, high quality, organic ingredients. Food comes out very quickly and the few times I was there, I never had to wait to get a seat (located on 2211 Mission Street). Think of it as a good place to have a small meal, but not good enough for dinner. Check out their menu for prices, they are not that cheap.
DANCE: Rickshaw Stop, Hayes Valley
BLOW UP @ Rickshaw Stop, buyer beware it's an 18+ event!
It's a regular gig and happens every Friday, but first Friday (got that?). Expect lots of funky 18 year olds with lots of energy to burn on the dance floor. Quality of music is usually average.
I personally am not a great fan of BLOW UP, but if I was 18 I would TOTALLY dig it. So if you're somewhere in that age category, check-it out, you'll have fun.
Day 2: SaturdayEAT & STROLL: Pacific Heights
Head to Lower Pacific Heights for a stroll to see where San Francisco's rich and famous hang out. It's a great little area with lots of boutique shops, ranging from new-age Japanese clothing to high quality olive oil shops. In the area, stop by The Grove Caf‚ , you'll have lots of options to chose from and will likely end up with a satisfying meal that will not break your wallet.
CHILL: Baker's Beach/Ocean Beach
A trip to San Francisco is not a real trip unless you've visited the beach. There are lots of choices, but if you're trying to stay within the boundaries of the city, your best bet is probably Ocean Beach. During the day, it's a favorite spot for dog people and ultimate Frisbee players. During the night, it's one of the last remaining beaches in California where bonfires are allowed. Word of caution, going down to Ocean beach and sharing the fire with a bunch of strangers may evoke most primitive, long forgotten, tribal human instincts. If you don't do anything really stupid, it might do you some good.
Not far from Ocean beach, is another little jewel that shows-off a picturesque view of the Golden Gate bridge - Baker's Beach (also less crowded).
EAT: Pizzetta 211, Outer Richmond
A short drive from Ocean beach is a tiny little pizza spot that serves some of the best pizza in town - Pizzetta 211. It's like a pizza dive bar and one of the few places in the neighborhood where you can get local/organic, excellent quality ingredients prepared with a touch of TLC. Highly recommend it (be prepared to wait, it's always busy).$$
FEEL, THINK & LAUGH: Writers With Drinks, Make-Out Room, Mission.
Writers With Drinks is a spoken word variety (live literary reading) event that takes place every 2nd Saturday at the Make-out Room. On this Saturday, the host of the WWD was a total blast, her introductions of guest readers were in some cases better than the main act itself. Pardon my French, but her cluster-fuck-of-imagination, delivered imagery nonsensical and funny at the same time, and made two hours of standing up mostly bearable.
There were a few really good short stories, some funny, some melancholic and heart wrenching. It gets crowded quickly, so get there WAY early to get a seat in the house. WWD is an awesome, intelligent, entertaining, best way to spend your $10 for a good cause kinda gig.
EAT: Bar Tartine, Mission.
It was late and we were running out of options. So there we were, hungry and exhausted and there it was, Bar Tartine open to feed us at a hefty price.
Bar Tartine is probably a good place to come on a first date with a girl you really like and want to impress. It's a high-end, corporatish looking spot in the heart of the mission. Food was good, but the price/value combination just didn't deliver. There are many places in the city where you can get same qualify of a lot more food for a lot less. Service was excellent though, given the corporate feel, staff was very professional and non-pretentious.
DANCE: House Heads @ the Compound
Compound is one of the last remaining places where you can almost always expect a combination of good music and a decent crowd. We had a blast, stayed up till the wee hours (6 am or so) and managed to get buzzed from drinking Tecata (don't ask, I didn't think it was possible either).
Day 3: SundayEAT: Dosa, Mission
Dosa is an authentic South India restaurant. There are two locations, one is in the mission the other one is in the Lower Pacific Heights. The one in the mission is better, it's a smaller, more intimate space, with casual atmosphere and a much better service staff. Restaurant's specialty, as you may have guessed is dosa, which is a very thin crepe (kind of) made with a whole lot of butter . It can be devoured with sweet or savory sides (go for the spicy stuff, otherwise what the hell are you doing in the South Indian Restaurant?). Dosa is not light fare, eat it in the morning, otherwise you may be taking naps for the rest of the day.
Espresso Stop: Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk, Hayes Valley
Coffee can be a little bit of haven in a cup, or a whole lot of crap (yes, it's that black and white). Starbucks is a whole lot of crap, Peet's coffee - definitely a step up (depending on a shop and who's making it). And then there is Blue Bottle Coffee above it all. Roasted in Oakland, CA, it's the best cup of haven you can find in the Bay Area. Blue Bottle's coffee promise is simple: 'only sell coffee 48 hrs out of the roaster', the result is a well balanced cup of coffee with rich, bold flavor.
Blue Bottle is served in many restaurants in San Francisco and has two locations, a small caf‚ nearby union square and the kiosk at Hayes Valley.
Be Entertained: Center for Sex & Culture
This weekend happened to fall on valentine's day. Being allergic to all things mainstream, we opted for a rather unconventional gig at the center for the sex & culture, called: My Sucky Valentine. We saw a few girls from SOMA walk through the doors and leave as quickly as they arrived. It's not for the weak at heart as it's a bit edgy. But overall the show had a lot of grit, wit and some good-old erotica storytelling. Try it at your own risk next year.
If you're in hurry and want a well priced, quick meal, Basil Thai Restaurant on Fillmore (between 7 & 8th) will do the trick. The selection of lamb dishes is superb and you get a great deal for your buck. They are conveniently located next to one of our favorite local bars - Bloodhound. The food is especially good after too many beers, or in my case too many bloodhounds, which always get me hammered in no time.
DANCE: Elbo Room, Mission
Sunday nights at Elbo room are the BOMB! I've had plenty of disappointing evenings at Elbo room, but never on a Sunday. It's always packed, the crowd really gets into it, and between the regular and guest DJs you'll be in dub nirvana. It's always a safe bet.
Day 4: MondayEAT: Kitchenette, Dog- Patch (American Industrial Center)
According to the web-site, Kitchenette is: "Spontaneous, organic, covert nourishment." It's a handful of San Francisco's own, talented chefs operating out of a garage door in the dog-patch district. It's a lunch-only-menu-affair that changes daily and focuses on creative options made with local, fresh, seasonal ingredients. It's always tasty and frequently very unique. Check out their web-site for a much better take on what they really do.
Silicon Valley, an epicenter of wealth, high-tech and extreme-tech creativity, educated, smart professional-yuppie-central. And it's all good for nothing, it still blows me away how little support there is in Silicon Valley of independent musicians, investment in art, and in general a local, independent scene. I have absolutely no idea what 20/30 something yuppies do around here other than procreate and work their asses off for a promise of a better future. OK enough of my ranting, let's cover places where YOU can go Dancing if you just can't spend an hour driving to San Francisco for the real deal.
Thanks for stopping by.
I started this blog out of a desire to spread the word about venues and musicians that have a sense of authenticity about them. I got fed up with the plastic-fantastic coverage of San Francisco on the web.
I enjoy living in the part of the world with some of the most creative, vibrant, and liberated people. I want to play my part in promoting the independent, local scene in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Although, as you'll see from my blog, my promotion isn't all about the good stuff, when I see dysfunction, I call it out. Someone has got to do it, right?
I am in my early thirties. I live and work in the Bay Area, I have a teenage daughter, a lovely boyfriend and a very mischievous cat.