SFist update: Last Thursday's When the Lights Go Down in the City and today's New Release Tuesday. Please read them! We're having our first SFist party next Thursday. Woohoo!

Kirby emailed to tell me that Aaron Burtch is having an art show at 111 Minna this Thursday, with fellow artists Souther Salazar, Alexander Cheves, Jeffery Harland, and Joel Elrod. This makes me happy, partly because Aaron is one of the nicest humans on the planet, but also because his artwork is awesome. See some of each artist's work by going to GrandaddyLandscape.com, clicking on "misc." then "art show", then click around on the white squares.

I'm watching the Amazing Race right now, a very entertaining but stressful show (mostly because of the aggro wrestler couple and the guy with the Gilbert Godfried voice who yells at his wife nonstop). The teams are in Stockholm, Sweden, with my people. OK, my grandfather's people. Lots of fellow -strom's there I'm sure. I want to go to Sweden!

While I'm on the subject of TV, those ubiquitous Old Navy commercials are surreptitiously teaching me the wrong words to Jingle Bells, and my old buddy Dan must be making a mint off the Toyota commercials he sings on, since they play them all the time. You know the song "Oohhh, Toyota!" Please, no more.


My very kind friend Josef sent me a text message this weekend from the Luna show in NYC, informing me that I look like Britta Phillips.

It's important to mention that Josef wears glasses. I can see a bit of a resemblance, except for her being supermodel-hot and musically talented.

I certainly wouldn't mind being the Nicks to Dean Wareham's Buckingham, if you know what I mean.

I managed to get an up-close gander at Wareham when I was in NY in July at lunch with my friend Craig. Craig rightfully got all the attention; Dean didn't so much as glance in my direction, much less with a you-sure-look-like-Britta twinkle in his eye.

Dean & Britta in all their splendor here.


The last several days have been a blur of crocheting and sewing, but it was worth it for yesterday's Holiday Designer Showcase. Rica Restaurant was a great place for all of the artists to set up and sell their wares, since it's right in the heart of the Union Street shopping strip. Their food and free white wine sangria was most excellent.

Perhaps since I spent most of yesterday around local artists who make their own clothing, paintings, pottery, handbags, baby clothes, miracle lotion and jewelry, my art-obsession is flaring up this morning. I want to make stuff. I want to learn how to paint, make clothing from my own patterns, write like tinyluckygenius, and silk screen.

Also inspiring me -- The Sampler. Little Queen is participating in the colossal December/January edition, along with a small army of other folks who make stuff.

David Choe = inspiration. Go look at his art at davidchoe.com and also read his story -- from what I can tell, he lives in the moment, no fear, 100%, taking risks and constantly creating which is a genius work of art in itself.
by David Choe


Here are 10 reasons I need to get my mitts on a copy of the 8-disc soundtrack to "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas":

1. Eddie Rabbit "I Love A Rainy Night"
2. Heart "Barracuda"
3. Cameo "Candy"
4. Bobby Brown "Cruel"
5. Eddie Money "Two Tickets To Paradise"
6. Soundgarden "Rusty Cage"
7. Faith No More "Midlife Crisis"
8. Willie Nelson "Crazy"
9. Bell Biv DeVoe "Poison"
10. America "A Horse With No Name"

Now be a lamb and go read my New Release Tuesday post on SFist.com.


I had started writing a post about how terrible the VJ of MTV2's "Subterranean" show is when my Internet Explorer crashed. So here's the short version: Jim Shearer is drab, awkward, and a terrible interviewer. He makes me feel almost as uncomfortable as the bands look in his presence. Look alive, buddy!

Feria Urbana went great on Saturday. It was fun hanging out with Audree all day, there were tons of customers there, and I got great feedback on my stuff. Here's a photo of two of the Canvas Gallery servers wearing their new chokers.

In a magical bit of luck, dutchy designer Audree proposed a swap wherein I came out way ahead with one of her gorgeous, soft black leather Nina bags. This photo hardly does it justice, you can't feel the supple leather or see the fancy lining made from hand-picked vintage drapery fabric. Is it possible to be in love with a handbag? Methinks yes. If you have anyone on your gift list that loves fine handbags, buy them a dutchy. You can shop dutchy and Little Queen at Audree's Holiday Designer Showcase this Saturday.

(Hey Ms. Lorna, isn't it appropriate that I have a Nina bag?)

By the way, please welcome Laurie and her blog sparklemotion to the blogging community. She's far away in Brooklyn and I miss her daily, but now we'll get to read her blog to see what's new.


This is why I've been hibernating in my house:


SATURDAY Nov. 20th, 12 - 5 P.M.

The Canvas Cafe & Gallery - 1200 9th Ave at Lincoln
San Francisco (415)504-0060 directions

Featuring - Bubba & Julia, Space Dog, Aiko Designs, Tricomania, Brook Jasmine, Beaut, Lillamonsters, Moreish Treats, dutchy, Stepping Razor, Jennifer Katz Jewelry, Tina Ruth, Little Queen, Berit Designs, Tina's Bags, Bughouse Kids, I. Kohl Designs, Crafty Bitches, Desiree Salas, What's Your Type?, Stellarocco Designs, T2 Creations, Creative Outlet, Sassylou, Made Handbags, Creative Mud LLC, Paper Remnants, Mabel Chong


Another one bites the dust: Death Cab signs to Atlantic. I knew it was just a matter of time, but it still makes me sad. At least, according to this article, Barsuk is keeping all their back catalog, although, why wouldn't they be? Maybe Death Cab and Rilo Kiley will somehow avoid a major label horror story. Perhaps they're ushering in a new era. It remains to be seen. I'll be watching.

Onto better news, I've discovered the BEST TELEVISION SHOW EVER: The Dog Whisperer.

The show begins with an introduction to the problem dog at home with its owners. You see the owners' frustration at the incessant barking, aggressive behavior toward other dogs, even annoying quirks like ripping up the mail as it drops through the mail slot. They show clips of the dog lying on the ground when the owner tries to take it for a walk, or snapping and growling whenever the owner tries to pet it near its hindquarters. You're thinking the dog is a hopeless nightmare and you're glad you're not the poor hapless owner.

Just when you think all is lost...enter Cesar Millan. He pulls his green SUV into the driveway and enters the home to first speak with the owner about the dog's issues and then begin rehabilitation. He shows the owner techniques to bring about desired behavior, some of which are logical. It's not rocket science. But he goes on to explain why the dog is doing what it's doing, and also why the new training will affect the dog in the correct way psychologically. Plus you gotta love his quips, spoken earnestly in his spanish accent: "You pet him like this and he feels handsome and proud" and "He's really a party guy, he just never had any friends before." The dogs behave better almost as soon as Cesar enters the room; he exudes a gentle authority and the dogs have no doubt who the alpha is.

Click here for Cesar's Dog Psychology Center and tune in weekdays on the National Geographic Channel.

Most favorite words: nightcap, careen, fisticuffs, kerchief
Least favorite words: jawn, ramekin

SFist.com: Though it may seem breezy and effortless, I toiled for way too long on this week's "When The Lights Go Down In The City". Please read it, so I don't feel too depressed about my poor time management skills.


Are there any bad Spoon songs? Nope, they're all fantastic. Go here and download "Revenge!" for free [from The Wired CD]. While we're in the midst of loving Spoon, go to their website to watch a short video from the making of their new record [click on 'videos' to view the 'Making of LP5' clip].

Now that I have an SFist posting account, I'm learning how to use Moveable Type. It's pretty easy, but if I hadn't been using Blogger this whole time it might have been more confusing.

Read my Von Iva interview.


I really, really love watching Anna Nicole Smith. Granted, I am worried about her, but I'm also endlessly amazed by how she's whipped her "handlers" and assistants into complete submission, thereby flaunting her pill-popping rampage with complete abandon. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion, perhaps because she speaks in slow motion these days.

I caught a recent episode of the Anna Nicole show on E! where she demanded to see a chiropracter for a very minor injury sustained at a kids' camp. Show editors included footage of her repeatedly asking the chiropracter if he had any pain pills with him. I wonder how many people have seen Anna in action and decided those TrimSpa pills are a good idea?

Read my New Release Tuesday post at SFist.com.


Last night I got to go to puppy class at the Hound Lounge with Audree and her new puppy Jet. There were about 15 puppies there, half of which were running around like maniacs and the rest were cowering in their owners' laps. The class was devoted to getting the pups used to other pups and people, and working on 'sit', 'down' and starting to work on 'stay'. I got to sit there with a handful of treats and pet whichever doggy decide to run by. IT WAS SO FUN!!! I'm going back next Wednesday.

SFist: Read this week's show listings here.


Now I know how to get people to comment on my SFist posts -- write about musicians they hate.

Read my New Release Tuesday post

Watch Von Iva's brand new video for "Not Hot To Trot" here.


When it comes to chocolate, I'm not too picky; give me some organic dark chocolate and I'm in heaven. But the new Godiva G Collection has me hankering for some high-end confections. They're beautiful little works of art in extraordinary colors, designed by world-renowned pastry chef Norman Love. Problem is, these treats are so pricey I need me a sugar daddy. Literally.

Last night Blakely and I went to see Trail of Dead; this morning our eardrums are paying for it. We ended up at the Hemlock afterward, where a young blond boy was doing his best to woo Blakely with a note written on a paper coaster and a single red rose. In a fascinating display of male posturing, another more aggressive guy busted in on the courtship and started hitting on her right in front of the stunned blond suitor. Cojones. This is me, amused at the antics.

Read this excellent review of "Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley" from Whisperin & Hollerin (UK). This guy got where Nyla and Laurie were coming from.


This isn't my favorite Pinback song, but you can watch the video for "AFK" anyway. Go to Touch and Go's website to stream albums from Pinback, TV on the Radio and others.

So Mike tells me that instead of replacing Forget Cassettes on the remainder of the tour dates, a few members of Trail of Dead bought some bagpipes and are going to wing it as the show opener. Blakely and I will be there early.

Today it's gray and chilly in San Francisco, perfect hoodie weather. Unfortunately, this summer I forgot 2 of my hoodies in a dryer at the laundromat, and now some not-so-good samaritan is warming up in them. It was probably time for my Stereophonics hoodie to go, because I wore it A LOT, but I'm still missing my Grandaddy hoodie. I'm especially saddened since both were gifts. Perhaps I can coerce another nice person or band to give me a free hoodie? :(

Fellow former Austin-ites will remember heartthrob Juliana Sheffield from 8 1/2 Souvenirs about, well, 8 1/2 years ago (har har). Apparently she's been reincarnated as Maimou.


I meant to thank Nick for electing me to be the "Meat Girl" during a portion of Friday night's Meat Raffle, despite the fact that I'm a vegetarian. Jackpine Social Club, EOE. I'm glad I finally got to see Kelley Stoltz play live -- in a few minutes I'm going to check out his mp3s. And congratulations to John, who despite fears of unpreparedness managed to drum through multiple sets with aplomb.

Listen to Catbirdseat's excellent-as-usual November mix and be the first kid on your block to know who the hell Unbunny is.


Last night a cute boy came up to me at the Jackpine party and started talking to me out of the blue. Everything seemed cool until he handed me a flyer for his show next weekend. Yeah, what I thought might have been some flirting just turned out to be shameless self-promotion. Boys.

I'm not saying that The Honorary Title is going to change your life, but I am digging what I've heard so far. Listen to 5 songs on their e-card.


I just got back from SCRAP (Scroungers' Center for Reusable Art Parts) where I scored a whole bunch of great buttons, ribbon, and cardstock for less than 4 bucks. Thanks to Fatima from Stitch who told me about this hidden treasure.

Ian's in town tonight, playing at the Jackpine party at The Parkside. Yay, I love it when my friends come to town! I haven't gotten his latest CD "Luminaria" yet, but I've been listening to it on Rhapsody and it's fantastic. Go get yourself one.

Check out the National Book Award nominees.

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
Re-read Yeats' "The Second Coming" at jeanettewinterson.com.


My friend Mike, genius producer of Spoon and ...Trail of Dead, a.k.a. "Wizard", has repeatedly told me to check out Forget Cassettes, which I haven't really done until now. Mike produced their album "Instruments of Action" and you can preview a few songs on their website. They sound great to me, so I'm going to bug Mike to put me on the list for their show this Monday.

This week's music picks


Additional signs of the apocalypse: tiny pellets of hail just pelted my window for about thirty seconds. I'm not lying. And the sun's out.

New releases
SFist reads


You know that phenomenon where you hear about something for the first time, then it's everywhere?

Maybe I live under a rock, but I first heard talk of New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer this past Sunday afternoon on a long phone conversation with my brother. Spitzer's after my brother's current employer Marsh for rigging bids and colluding with insurers to fix prices. Erik tells me it's causing total chaos at the office, and we're watching to see what results from the shakedown.

Last night I read an article from the November 1st issue Newsweek of where the author Charles Gasparino studied Spitzer's MO and extrapolated a "Spitzer playbook". One of Spitzer's most effective tactics is analyzing company emails which "provide unscripted insights into what people really think, showing their intent, a necessary ingredient for proving fraud." I highly recommend reading the 2-page article.

Today on Coolfer's highly informative blog about the music industry, I read that Spitzer's now targeting the radio promotions racket. Read Coolfer's post here for the skinny, and check out Rollingstone.com's longer article on the "Payola Probe".

I'm still learning about Spitzer's projects and platforms, but it seems to me that he's shining a light on common & corrupt corporate practices that industry insiders have known about but turned a blind eye to. And he's getting results. Pretty inspiring.

This Halloween costume rules.

Oh my word, I am so excited about this new show on PBS:
"Now, in the tradition of THE 1900 HOUSE, MANOR HOUSE, FRONTIER HOUSE and COLONIAL HOUSE, PBS presents REGENCY HOUSE PARTY, a series of four episodes in which 10 modern-day men and women get in on the romantic action and the way of life that typified the Regency era. For nine sunny summer weeks, a group of eligible bucks and buxom ladies takes up residence in a magnificent country estate for a house party exactly like those hosted at the height of the Regency. But will 21st-century folk who are really looking for love manage to navigate the strict social protocols of the day?"


Today's post: VHS OR BETA show preview.

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