Los Tartugas, in Review

Best festival ever. At least in our eyes.

  • When I was lugging Stina’s pumpkins (literally) up the hill to the picnic benches, no less the 15 people called out to me on the way: “Nice pumpkins!”, “You have a nice pair!”, etc. I was both wheezing and laughing, which is something I can’t remember doing, ever.Then Stina employed her ninja pumpkin carving skills.
  • Stina’s back was unfortunately bothering her all weekend. There was always ample comfortable places where she could sit to enjoy music or read stories about Dragons and Magic. Also, it turns out that chilling in the front of the fireplace for a long time is a good way to meet people.
  • I shared three sunsets with this dude Noam. Or I think thats his name. He works in Oakland as a special ed teacher. It was a nice tradition.
  • After bonding with a member of staff during Friday night, I was comped breakfast the next morning.
  • We got to hang out with various members of bands that we actively enjoy. That’s the mark of a small festival. This is a picture I’ve always wanted – Sean Lehe and Sean Leahy, two of the finest guitarists in SF that happen to share a very similar sounding name.
  • Hippies + Costumes = good times.

    This is me getting over my childhood fear of Cookie Monster
  • Oh yeah, there were bands there. This is Guitarmeggedon.
  • My love for our cabin has no bounds. As soon as we closed the door, there was silence, which is golden.
  • I’m not really going to comment on this one. I guess this one goes out to my homies.


Las Tortugas: Day 2

This place kicks ludicrous ass. It turns out that Yosemite valley is a big deal after all. We ventured in, took many pictures, exchanged niceties with nature, came home, and napped. Epic. Napping at a festival in a bed in a cabin. This place definitely caters to our great interest in comfort.

All the food options are outstanding. There are all made locally in the giant kitchen. Its reasonably priced. The people who work here are incredibly friendly. We have even befriended a few of them.

I’ve been meeting more people here then I usually do at festivals. Tonight, I met cookie monster, my old childhood nemesis, and made peace with him. He even offered me a cookie. There are some spectacularly creative costumes. The moon is rather full like. My favorite quote of the evening: “in the same vein as fantasy rock and roll camp, cruising around Scotland was like whiskey fantasy camp.”

ALO was on fire earlier. Hot damn. Check out tonight’s (10/26) set to get a band in their prime. It was freaking awesome. I ran into Sean from Izabella during ALO, and he said they were about to “blow doors.” I feel they achieved this on their second song, when they busted out a sick Jameroqui song. They place fell apart. Doors were blown. I don’t think any one was injured. Safety first.

Tea Leaf Green is playing now. They sound pretty hot, what with their nasty yet sweet rock and roll flavors. Stina’s sitting in front of a fire.

Life is good.



Las Tortugas

Ever looked forward to something, then only have it exceed your expectations? Welcome to opening night of Las Tortugus, a tiny SF jam band festy right at the edge of the Yosemite valley. This place kicks ass. It’s unbelievably beautiful. Its actually fall here, what with the trees and the colors. I tasted a fantastic new rare scotch while the Sox clinched game 2. We had a superb dining experience while listening to Izabella cover Shaka Chan next door. Right now ALO is rocking my face, in full pirate gear.

So why am I blogging about it at 1:30 in the morning?

Because I can.



Choose your own adventure

Stina will unknowingly guest blog today, since I’m copying the email she sent.

On Saturday I was given my 30th b-day present by Jason, Lindsey, Rachel, Angel, Lars and DanT. I can’t help but share this incredible day with all of you. They treated me to a day where I got to “Choose my own adventure” all day long. My choice’s began at 11am when everyone showed up at our house and I was given the choice between RED or BLUE (I chose red, since the SOX asked all their fans to wear Red to last nights name to support them), everyone quickly changed into their all red costumes and the day proceeded from there.

Quick summary of all my choices (the first choice listed is what I picked):
Red vs Blue
Scrambled eggs vs pancakes
Mimosas vs Bloody Marys
Word of the day: Fresh vs Gnarly
We clean breakfast vs James clean breakfast
DeYoung vs Open Studios
Take some advice vs Give some advice
Lombard Street Vs Balmy Alley
Pet Cemetary vs Paxton Gate
St Francis Ice Cream Parlor vs Miette Confiserie
Photo Booth in Bernal vs Photo Booth on Haight
High 5s all around vs Hugs all around
Games at little Shamrock vs Cocktails at Alembic (somehow we walked into little shamrock about 5 minutes before last nights grand slam!!)
Keep going vs bail out now (just in case I wanted to stop and focus on the game – fortunately the game was being easily won at the time by the Sox so I was able to keep playing!!!)
Buffalo wings vs Dinner at Mescolanzas
Chill at home vs crash a party
Lastly, I was given a wild card choice – which I used to wrap up the night by having everyone play speed monopoly, which James won in under 90 minutes.

Photos from the day:

My wonderful day ended around 11pm, a good 12 hours after it started. As an event planner, I was blown away by the logistical smoothness of the day – and I just had to share this gift with you all. We have amazing friends.

Now, time to focus on some TV. Go SOX!!



Your friend, the Regular Expression

  • I occasionally enjoy reading on the can. Lately I’ve been trying to up my game, and have been reading geeky computer books to make me smarter. Stina recently revealed that she was curious about the subject matter, cause I left the book open to the chapter entitled: “Your friend, the Regular Expression”
  • Lars is in deep smit with his current beau. He told us that they like to leave cute little notes for each other. We too like to leave cute little notes for each other. They usually comprise of notes that Stina leaves on the bathroom mirror. They read: “Do the whites. Buy fruit.” It is possible to maintain that level of romance this many years into a relationship.
  • We made our annual trip to visit the sad looking turkeys and bunnies at the local Pumpkin patch. When we went to buy our decorative produce (I realized that all they sell at Clancey’s – pumpkins then xmas tress) the couple ahead of us mentioned something about Newton. Stina inquired, and it turns out it was the brother of the girl who I had a crush on in seventh grade. Small world.
  • Jason took me to the best bowl of Ramen I’ve ever had. Before dinner, we hunted around for a place to have a pre-dinner drink. We wandered into a strange bar named “Dimples” with hot clueless bartenders and surprisingly expensive drinks. Something seemed off there, and it was a relief to discover that it was a brothel.
  • I saw Flowmotion at the Boom Boom Room on Thursday night. Best seven dollars I’ve spent in a quite some time. Give em a listen.
  • RIP Coco.



The rain came down pretty hard a couple days ago. As did many things. Stina was real sick for a couple days. Then, after she got better, I got sick, though not as bad.

People I know and care about are experiencing difficult times. Stina set a deadline of Christmas to figure out what we are going to do in terms of the next steps of life. My company just made a public offer to buy BEA, who makes the same product that I work on.

So, I’m a little stuck in my head right now.

A bunch of good things happened too though. Galactic tore up the Fillmore. I met a bunch of new potential musical collaborators. We finally replaced our old mattress with a king sized Memory Foam monster.

We also went to the annual rock poster festival in GG park. On the way over, Stina was quite clear that we were not to buy any more posters, cause we have already amassed a small army of naked posters awaiting frames. She then deliciously proceeded to spend $100 on four new posters.




Stop the catalogs

Just wanted to share catalog choice with anyone who reads this. It allows you to cancel catalog subscriptions hassle free.

Really useful.

200th post.




Music Glut

Well, if I hadn’t seen enough music yet this week, Saturday most certainly pushed me over the top. During the afternoon, I saw Bruce Hornsby with Ricky Skaggs, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Los Lobos, and Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys. For free, no less. Just a short walk from my apartment, through GG park. The annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival rolled into town once again.

I was really digging Los Lobos, but I bailed halfway through their set to catch some of the Brewglass Boys set. It had been a couple years since watching Jordon perform at the festy.

Here’s a little taste of his fiery four string:

It was fun talking with the band after they got off stage. They were riding a high like no other.

My set break consisted of a tasty meal with Hans. Then it was off for round two, this time at 12 Galaxies.

I caught JP Cutlers set, which is always fabulous, especially when he’s flanked with some stellar musicians.

Then Garrin Benfield, with his mighty guitar and massive pedal setup. Finally, Izabella took the stage, and ripped it up with some help from the some of the Railroad Earth folks. That was a lot of people on stage.

Jesse introduced me to one the dudes from the Hebrew brewing company. I was a little starstruck.

It must be a special day with two separate Frank Chou sightings.

You know how I’ve come to terms with my oldness? You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I sat next to Joe Baker (from the Bay Recorders Orginzation, who was taping the show), sipping my scotch and reading my book (currently reading “A Dirty Job” by Christopher Moore – absolutely hysterical) during set break.

How very rock and roll.



Dark Star Orchestra

A small motley crew was assembled to get our hippie on at the Fillmore, where Dark Star Orchestra was in the middle of three night run. When Hans arrived in my hood for a pre-show bbq, he was accosted by a young man who wondered if Hans could spare a beer. Hans apologetically declined. The stranger informed Hans that there was a crazy dead show at the Fillmore. Hans agreed, and dropped that he was attending said show. The stranger was duly impressed and then offered Hans some acid, which Hans again gently declined.

My neighborhood kicks ass.

Anywho, we devoured several of Angel’s remnant birthday sausages, watched the bike dancing scene from Rad, and headed of to the show. Stina was absent for the eating portion of the evening, as she was off cheering on the Red Sox at Kezar’s. Post season is generally when she starts to pays attention to baseball. Interestingly, the few people wearing sports related clothing at the show brandished Red Sox logos.

Dark Star Orchestra will select an actual historic set list from a Dead Show and recreate it in its entirety. For some odd reason, it felt like seeing a DSO show was more hippie then seeing Phil and Friends. Or maybe the crowd was just more hippie. I dunno. It was a little surprising. And man, do they play a good dead show. They sounded phenomenal. Not that I have a huge dead knowledge base, but it felt like a real close approximation of a dead show. I really enjoyed DSO in the same way I appreciate Phix.

The setlist was from 10/8/89 Hampton, VA It was a real good’un. I boogied hard to Franklin’s Tower, and got chills when they finished the second set with Morning Dew. There was even poster. And now I can instantly stream the original show at no cost. I heart archive.org.



mind = blown

If you dig the IDM/downtempo electronic music, check out Planet Boelex’s latest release: Suunta. Its a free download available off his website

I’m going back for a second listen now. It’s simply stellar.