Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The New Pornographers at Bimbo's 365 Club!

Last night, I saw The New Pornographers at Bimbo’s 365 Club in North Beach. Getting on the right bus was an adventure in itself! I liked one of the opening bands Immaculate Machine, though I only heard about one and a half songs by them. I had a great spot near the stage next to the sound board. There was a lot of witty banter between Neko Case and Carl Newman, very entertaining. I think it’s a Canadian thing, since Tegan & Sara are also pretty entertaining on stage between songs. I might write a full review of the show for Losing Today, which has already put up 3 of my reviews (British Sea Power, The Caesars, and Architecture in Helsinki)!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Fillmore: A great, but expensive venue

This was Bill Graham’s major concert venue and it’s still host to a lot of great shows. My brother won tickets to Thievery Corporation, which I wrote a little bit about on my Xanga

I do want to go back to the Fillmore and I’ve missed a few shows that I wanted to see (The Futureheads). Here are some Fillmore shows that I want to go to:

11/17: The Dandy Warhols, The Out Crowd
11/28: Super Furry Animals, Caribou
12/5: Echo & the Bunnymen

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ GAMH

This is one of the most interesting photos of BRMC that I've seen so far. Or maybe I'm exaggerating because I saw that show.

Monday, September 19, 2005

2005 Voodoo Music Experience

That should be the ideal place to see Nine Inch Nails since it is during Halloween weekend. Hopefully, the show will go on not too far from New Orleans, Louisiana – which is a great city despite the current state of post-Katrina floods and looting.

I'll be back November 4th!

Today, I booked a flight to LAX. I’m going to my friends’ wedding on the 5th. I look forward to seeing my mom, my friends, and of course, my cat. My last visit was nice, I cleaned my room and threw out a lot of junk. There’s always more to throw out and get rid of, but maybe during Winter Break.

This might be a tough one, from the website:



As we hone in on a new city (TBA), Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails—one of the headliners for the October 29-30 event—has reinforced his commitment to the event, a New Orleans tradition for the past six years.

The ambition of this year’s event has changed, as the VOODOO MUSIC EXPERIENCE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation have partnered to raise critically needed funds for those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Reznor, a former New Orleans resident who had maintained a recording studio in the city, stated today: “It means a lot to me that the Voodoo Music Experience is continuing on and I look forward to being a part of this amazing New Orleans tradition. It’s great that other cities have opened their doors to this year’s event, and the New Orleans spirit will definitely remain in the air—that’s something the floods cannot wash away. We are going to be part of the rebuilding process and we are asking the entire music community to join us.”

Stephen Rehage, founder and independent producer of the annual VOODOO MUSIC EXPERIENCE says, “I’m thankful to Trent for remaining committed to us as we transition this year’s event. As a former New Orleans resident, he understands the importance of rebuilding the local music community. Our goals are the same in that we both seek to bring our hometown of New Orleans back to life.”

Should have gone in 2002!

I guess I was too cheap to pay admission. Oh well, I figured I’d be back some day. Bath is such a beautiful city that it’s worth visiting again. I’m shooting for next summer, London’s calling too!

Apple seems like a nice campus

Since my sister lives so close to Cupertino, I’ve driven by Apple so many times. My cousin used to work there, but I still have not actually visited the campus. I used to want to work at Apple, but I don’t think I want to live in Silicon Valley. Anyways, I’m a Mac user for life even though I am using a PC right now.

The Acropolis Beats the Louvre and the British Museum!

I say this because many of the Greek artifacts were probably stolen by British and French archaeologists. I’m not too clear on the history of it all, but I’m guessing it’s better to see the structures of the Acropolis on the actual site that they were built on. I studied Classical Civilizations because of my interests in Greek and Roman art and architecture, though I also grew up reading the myths.

My sister used to live near it

She’s not too far from it now, but we don’t visit often enough. Hopefully, I’ll get to go there some time soon.

Shouldn't be too difficult now

... that I’m living in San Francisco, but I’d want to go with other tourists since it’s more of a tourist destination than a place to just hang out at. I would love to visit Alcatraz with an out of town visitor, but I’d go with anyone who wants to go.

One of my favorite architectural works

I’ve probably wanted to visit Machu Picchu since I first learned of it in elementary school. It’s basically an Incan fortress set high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. I believe it’s near Lake Titicaca, which also seems like a cool place to visit. I was pretty interested in Mesoamerican Archaeology in college, but this is actually in South America.

My sister went there a few years ago

Her husband is Egyptian, so he has family there. I don’t know any of his family in Egypt, but I’d love to go just for the historical and archaeological tours.

The land of sushi, anime/manga, and Pokemon!

I love Japanese culture. I took over 2 years of Japanese in college with no real reason to use it other than maybe to travel there some day. I’ve probably forgotten a lot of it now, since it’s been a few years. Still, I have some Japanese (American) friends and I would love to go there some day.

The motherland?

My parents were both born in China and I’ve heard it’s a beautiful country. I probably have a lot of relatives there that I don’t know about, so it might be nice to meet them. Also, China is poised to be the next super power in this millenium so watch out America!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

My first iMac was a Green Rev. B

My cousin used to work at Apple and we got some good discounts. I’ve been a Mac user ever since. I ordered a refurbished iMac from Apple’s online store on Wednesday night. I’m very excited about it, but I won’t get it until the 21st. It was a great deal, only $1299 + tax :

17-inch widescreen LCD
2GHz PowerPC G5
667MHz frontside bus
512K L2 cache
160GB Serial ATA hard drive
Slot-load 8x SuperDrive (double-layer)
ATI Radeon 9600
128MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem

My 700 mHz G3 iBook has not been working for awhile now, but I’m hoping the system software with the new iMac will fix it. I don’t want to bring it in to the Apple Store and get overcharged to get it fixed.

This is such a great idea!

The Robot Co-op is beyond cool in coming up with neat ways for people to connect. All that they need to do now is get All Consuming more integrated with the rest of their sites.

Garbage is must see concert!

I’ve been very fortunate to have seen two amazing Garbage shows. I recently saw them at the Warfield on September 10, 2005

My first Garbage concert was the second night of the Ballroom Blitz with Queen Adreena opening:

Garbage Ballroom Blitz, UK

27 August 2002 – Camden Electric Ballroom, London, UK
Supervixen / Push It / Temptation Waits / Trip My Wire / Shut Your Mouth / Lick The Pavement / Milk / As Heaven Is Wide / Stupid Girl / Only Happy When It Rains / Hammering In My Head / Cup of Coffee / I Think I’m Paranoid / Vow / Cherry Lips / When I Grow Up // Soldier Through This / Silence Is Golden / Parade

28 August 2002 – Camden Electric Ballroom, London, UK
Supervixen / Temptation Waits / Push It / Special / Shut Your Mouth / Lick The Pavement / Milk / As Heaven Is Wide / Stupid Girl / Only Happy When It Rains / Hammering In My Head / Drive You Home / I Think I’m Paranoid / Parade / Cherry Lips / When I Grow Up // Soldier Through This / Girl Don’t Come / Vow

BRMC @ Amoeba & Great American Music Hall, 9.12.05

BRMC @ Amoeba SF, 9.12.05

Robert did a Bob Dylan cover at the Amoeba instore, which I recorded most of with my extremely shakey hand. I actually ran out of batteries, but I saw someone recording it from the side of the stage. The Amoeba set was just Peter and Robert with acoustic guitars and Peter’s harmonicas. Right before they went on, I saw Peter give a hug to someone and sit down near the stage to chat. He seemed pretty happy and I wanted to get a photo, but I thought that might be kind of rude. I also saw Robert before he reached the stage, he was at the center aisle talking to some people. I love how approachable and unassuming they are! My phone rang near the start of the Amoeba set and I had to take it since it was Eric, a very cool Berkeley student who I was meeting up with for the show. Some annoying guy was making snide remarks about my phone ringing, which was actually worse than the phone ringing at all.

There were too many people in front of me to get any decent photographs, so I didn’t bother taking any. The Dylan cover was something I hadn’t heard before so I really had to get it on video. Too bad my batteries were crappy. As I was getting in line for the signing, I spotted Eric and then another person from the board, Jodi and her friend Kimberly, spotted me and we were all like old friends. Here’s Jodi’s MySpace review of the show

So waiting in line was kind of fun since we got to know each other a little, Eric is just starting at Berkeley and he just came up from San Diego. Jodi and Kimberly are from Sacramento and seem to go to a lot of shows, I’ll even see them at Interpol in San Jose! Back to the signing, I had all my BRMC CDs and singles, even my Beggars CD. When I reached the table, I notice a bunch of harmonicas next to Peter. It was like 6 or 7 and I asked him if they were all his, and of course they were. I had given Eric a few of my CDs to get signed since he didn’t bring any of his. I handed Peter the pile I had with the Beggars CD and he just handed it over to Robert. As Robert was signing it, I mentioned that I saw the video for the song “Lovely Soul Detonator.” He didn’t seem embarrassed by it, though he did ask me where I saw it. It was from Rock Video Monthly, I forget which one. After getting everything signed, I almost forgot to give some stuff I’d collected over the years to give them. Right before we were about to leave, I remembered to give the bag to Peter who looked kind of surprised to get it. I hope he heard me say that it was for all of them.

BRMC, Mark Gardener @ Great American Music Hall, 9.12.05

After that, we were off to the Great American. It was kind of confusing to get there, since none of us really had directions. We still got there on time and even found a decent parking spot. I’ve been to GAMH before, but I never mention how nice it is inside. I’ve heard it was once a bordello, which might explain why its so fancy-looking. It reminds me of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. The show started with a girl named Cat singing a solo pedal type performance with a lot of reverb. She had a nice almost operatic voice. Then, Mark Gardener and another guitarist came on stage. Mark had a 12-string guitar, which is something I couldn’t see from outside M Theory in San Diego. His songs were pretty exciting and distinctive, and he even played a couple of Ride songs – “Vapour Trail” being the highlight. He also played that song at M Theory.

There was kind of a long wait between when Mark left the stage and BRMC came on, which was around 9:30 PM. I think most of the recent shows start with just Peter with his guitar and harmonica. There were a few technical problems, like guitars sounding funny during “Ain’t No Easy Way” and strings breaking during a couple songs. Someone was heckling them from the balcony, so Robert gave them the finger. They handled themselves pretty well during all these glitches and they seemed pretty happy despite the setbacks. I was very close to the stage, second row on Robert’s side. It was cool to see Robert play since he really gets into it. He sat down at the piano for a few songs, and even played the bass at the same time! Peter also picked up a trombone for “Promise.” There was no video recorded during “Weight of the World” as was mentioned on the message board. One of the coolest highlights for me was during “Whatever Happened to my Rock ‘n Roll?” when Peter moved away from the microphone and was singing to the center of the stage. You couldn’t even hear him and he was still singing his heart out! They did their new version of “US Government” which is slower and more acoustic sounding, and did “Sympathetic Noose” in a more electrified version than on the album. They ended the show with Peter’s solo of “Open Invitation” sitting down in front of an unusual organ. It looked a little like an accordion turned on its side.

After the show ended, we headed to the merch table. I noticed Nick Jago wandering near the sound board and then I saw him with his parents taking pictures. I couldn’t tell if he was smiling for them, but he didn’t seem to smile in any photos he took with fans. Nick really is tiny, though most likely a couple inches taller than me. Jodi got some 7” singles signed by him after spending hours at the merch table. I don’t usually like to buy stuff at shows, but I saw the coolest black wifebeater for only $15 and I had to get it. It has “BRMC, HOWL, MMV” in white letters in 3 rows. We’d spent so long at the merch table that we decided to stick around to get things signed by Robert and Peter again. We talked to Robert again, this time about how he was in the Beggars with a guy in Better Than Ezra – a band that Jodi and Kimberly seem to love. Robert laughed at them for being fans, which was funny. He said he hadn’t seen any of those guys in a couple years. After he left, we waited for Peter. He was downstairs smoking and he apologized to us for making us wait. They were all cool about posing for pictures with fans, but I never do that since I feel really silly and self-conscious about that. When we finally left the venue, we were all kind of hungry. We saw Robert heading down the street to a pizza place across the street. It seemed like a nice place to eat and the pizza was really good after a long night. I got a slice of Combo pizza for only $3! Nothing beats a good late night snack!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Garbage, The Warfield, 9.10.2005

Garbage was amazing last night at the Warfield! I was near the stage on the left side where Steve Marker was playing and right in front of the speaker. My ears are still buzzing a litter, but I think the opening band The Start were louder than Garbage. At least, they were much heavier and not nearly as good. I wasn’t able to take my camera in, though the guy who took me to the check-in area said it was a nice camera. My only photo from the show was the front of the venue after it all happened. Anyways, Garbage hit the stage at 9:15 PM and entered to Johnny Cash’s version of the Nine Inch Nail’s song “Hurt.” A very cool entrance… it seems like something Black Rebel Motorcycle Club might enter to.

Garbage opened the show with “Queer” which sounded a little different from usual. They played a lot of great songs from the latest album Bleed Like Me including “Why Do You Love Me”, “Boys Wanna Fight”, “Happy Home”, “Sex Is Not the Enemy”, “Bleed Like Me” (1st song of the encore), and “Metal Heart” – which Shirley introduced with a discussion of the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the inefficiency of the Bush administration in handling it, though the song was actually a protest song against the war in Iraq. They played a few songs from Beautiful Garbage, including “Shut Your Mouth” and “Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)” – which Shirley introduced by pointing out her parents in the balcony. They flew over from Scotland for the show and she thanked them for letting her grow up with the freedom to follow her dreams.

Of course, they played a bunch of songs from Version 2.0 and Garbage: “Vow”, “Stupid Girl”, “I Think I’m Paranoid”, “Only Happy When It Rains”, “When I Grow Up” (one of the best to dance to) and even threw in ”#1 Crush” during the encore. That really brought me back to high school. I forgot the order of all the songs they played and there was only one setlist that people were fighting over. This is the second Garbage show I’ve been to, and I’m totally looking forward to the next. My first Garbage concert was the second night of the Ballroom Blitz with Queen Adreena opening.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Living alone is actually really nice

It’s fun to have roommates, I used to have 5 of them in a 3 bedroom apartment. We shared each room between 2 people. I’ve also lived in a college dorm with 2 other roommates, that was tough since they always had friends over. I do feel that living alone allows you to be more productive. I’ve probably gotten more reading done this summer than in every other summer (or year) of my life.

Unfortunately, I also crashed it...

Into some bushes at my high school, only the tip was hurt. I was taking the Environmental Options class and they said it would be okay for me to take the electric car for a test drive (just around a small area on campus) even though I didn’t have my driver’s license yet. Needless to say, that was the last time I drove it.