31 March 2014

technopop

venue: fox theater (sold out!)
band: kraftwerk
when: 24 march 2014 (monday)

last week, i went to my very first 3D concert at the fox theater. i wasn't sure what to expect when i was handed this red envelop with 3D glasses. it was innovative and surprisingly amazing. i couldn't take my eyes away from the show. even though their music reminds me of music from 80s video games, it was very advanced at the time as it is still super cool. the german quartet stood at consoles on stage, in matching outfits. but what you see beyond that in 3D, was really fantastic. all of which was choreographed with the music perfectly.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

07 March 2014

glasvegas @ popscene

venue: rickshaw stop (popscene)
artist: glasvegas
when: 6 march 2014 (thursday)
doors open at 10p

yes, that's right. it says popscene up there. yes, it's been ages since i was there last. i don't even remember the last time i went dancing there. i certainly have yet to go to popscene while it's been at the rickshaw stop. the last time i went, it was still at 330 ritch. and i thought i was done.

but popscene is like an old friend who hasn't changed very much. even though the venue has changed and is better like a facelift sometimes is, it felt familiar and almost comforting. they still play the same music there, though much of it is new. i think the djs are the same. hard to believe i've been coming to popscene since i was 18.

unfortunately, glasvegas didn't come on until 11:30p. my friend had to leave at midnight and i wasn't sure i should stay much longer than that either. so what we saw and heard from them, we really enjoyed. the first thing that caught our attention about them is that the drummer is this badass woman. she not only rocked the drums while standing but she rocked the flock of seagulls 80's do too. we were very impressed by her.

they played a lot of songs from their latest album which i picked up on vinyl. very exciting. what else we noticed about this band was their front man, james allan. especially when he took off his jacket to reveal a shirt that was open at the sides and really nice arms to go with it. i don't remember him being especially sexy in their youtube videos. but from the second floor in the dark at the rickshaw stop, he was looking pretty hot. my friend concurred.

despite not really being able to understand most of it, i love love the scottish accent. that was a nice treat for me.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

01 March 2014

noise pop with bob mould

venue: great american music hall
artist: bob mould with zach rogue & jon ginoli (sold out!)
when: 27 february 2014 (thursday)
doors open at 7p

i usually look forward to the annual noise pop festivals but wasn't particularly interested in any bands this year. i just didn't know any of the bands performing. i didn't know who bob mould was but given free tickets to this sold out show.

jon ginoli was the first opening act. he was funny and folky. it seemed like they put some random gay guy in a pink shirt and pink converse on stage, singing songs about loving men. after the first couple of songs, the joke was sort of over. the second opening was zach rogue. he was much better. his soothing vocals were such a contrast from jon ginoli's songs. someone in the audience even shouted a request which he seems pleased about.

i'd heard some songs from bob mould's workbook as it was it's 25th anniversary. he was playing the album in its entirety that night. generally when artists do that, it's a special night. and it was. not only did the company (thanks nisa!) make it special but i was pleasantly surprised. the songs reminded me of a summer i spent just listening to music and going to really good shows with friends. we spent days and nights in saratoga sitting by the pool. it was in the mid-90's and an exciting time of music adventures which helped mold me into the proud music snob i am today.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

slaughterhouse

venue: rickshaw stop
artist: ty segall with burnt ones & the endless bummer (sold out!)
when: 25 february 2014 (tuesday)

i admit that ty segall is more noise rock than i am used to. and despite being a music snob, i still try to be open to new things. i think going to this show proves it. i'm all about action and not just talk.

i haven't been to the rickshaw stop in years (since 2008!). i remember it was not one of my favorite venues. so when this came up, i suggested that we get there early to get some prime seating on the second floor. we scored this cozy love seat in a corner where there was no one standing behind or over us.

the opening bands were quite loud and noisy. luckily, my friend brought me some ear plugs which made listening much more bearable. i rarely ever wear them but it gave me a better understanding of the music. it didn't just sound like noise. i could hear the guitars, vocals and drums more clearly. and when ty segall came on, i could appreciate the difference between good noise rock and bad noise rock. for instance, ty segall's vocals were much better than the second opening. it was a nice music adventure. i feel i've grown musically.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

30 December 2013

food adventures: lazy bear

i moved into my condo the weekend before xmas and i was off at work so i spent the majority of my time unpacking and organizing. the saturday after xmas, my bff asked me if i was free. since i was just unpacking and organizing, i was game!

i didn't know what lazy bear was but it turns out that is a food event with reservations that are much sought after. in fact, it took bff a month or so to get these. it is this concept of being an "underground" restaurant which was very new to me. when you make the reservations, you don't know exactly where you will be dining until closer to the event. we ended up in a venue that looked like an art gallery. also, it's byo wine/beer so you just pay for the food.
from top left to right: (first row) snacks! scrambled eggs in hot sauce & maple syrup; squid ink chip & hamachi tar tar w/ dried persimmons; oysters w/ uni on abalone shell; (second row) snacks (cont)! house made brioche & butter (served after the chowder); abalone chowder w/ baby yukon chips (third row) bay scallops w/ country ham xo, radish, sour orange & mustard greens; dungeness crab w/ chestnuts, egg yolk, brown butter & sunchoke; variety of carrots in coffee, maple, as ham with chicory root & kale; (fourth row) duck breast w/ beets, turnip, ginger & onions; meyer lemon ice cream w/ bay leaf & meringue w/ olive oil shortbread; and treats including a cream puff, not sure about the cubed fruit, fruit roll-up & caramel fudge w/ nuts. i'm missing the banana plate which i obviously didn't eat.

my favorites were the eggs steamed in a glass that also scrambled them; the chowder was so flavorful that it left me wanting more; and the duck was cooked gingerly that it melted in my mouth. the carrots were really interesting because it looks like it is wrapped in bacon, however, it is wrapped in a carrot! chef david barzelay came out between each plate to describe what we were eating. at the beginning of the evening, you are invited to go back to the kitchen to see what they are doing. and at the end, chef david comes out to chat with you. it wasn't anything i've ever experienced before and would do it again, in an instant. if you like food at all, you must try this, at least once. food restrictions are also accommodated.

26 November 2013

birthday extravaganza!

***yes, i'm back dating!***

first and foremost, i'm a proud h-o (home owner)! i finally got the keys to my condo on the 19th which is perfectly timed before my birthday. i was supposed to close last month and get the keys in october but this is just as good.

now onto the good stuff... birthday food adventures!! i started off my birthday with dinner at justin's in santa clara just down the street from where i now live. my lovely and fabulous bff took me. clockwise from top left: fried ravioli, baked brie, beet salad, winter prix fixe tasting w/ beers: salmon salad, rabbit & chocolate panna cotta; and sea bass.
for my actual birthday (saturday), my dear sister spent the day with me shopping and eating. i needed a couch and a dining table for the condo which i found for such good deals at the c&b outlet in berkeley. after that, we went to sausalito to hit the very last benetton shop in the bay area. and shopped some more in the city. and of course, we had to have dinner at one of my favorite north beach restaurants where the boys are extra nice to me. even without reservations, we didn't have to wait.

on sunday, i was invited to hot pot at my friend funie's place in el cerrito. the food was abundant and delicious! and the company was awesome and fun. it wasn't for my birthday but gets to be included in the birthday extravaganza.

17 November 2013

food adventures: bix

***back-dating!! i can't believe i didn't blog about this place earlier!***

in celebration of our friend lily's new job, my bff made reservations at bix for the three of us. it was also a good excuse for girls' night out. because lily is a pastry chef and was going to be working at another good restaurant in sf, we had a bunch of bix people come by to congratulate her. not only that but we received some comps! starting with (clockwise from left corner): potato pillows topped with creme fraiche & caviar (comp!), then we had the crab bisque, chili glazed fried chicken, marrow bone, lobster spaghetti (mine), steak & spicy spinach (bff's), and truffle cheese burger & truffle fries (lily's). all with a good bottle of zin (middle).

let's see… the potato pillows were an awesome start to the meal. the crab bisque and fried chicken were good but a bit unforgettable. the marrow bone was delightful. i polished off my lobster spaghetti with anything else i was given. i tried bff's steak. it was cooked perfectly and had a little kick to it. the truffle fries that came with lily's burger were also very good. who doesn't love truffle fries??

and now, onto the dessert… desserts: comp palate cleanser: pomegranate & coconut sorbet, chocolate bread pudding, and bananas foster (comp!).

unfortunately, i am not a fan of bananas so i didn't try the bananas foster. the chocolate bread pudding was ultra-rich, a bit too rich for me. i'm more of a savory eater anyway. the sorbet to cleanse our palate was my favorite out of the desserts.

i have to mention the ambience of this place. it is very 1930s old american feel to it. there was a live jazz band playing downstairs. it was very classy and elegant. i would definitely go back.

27 October 2013

thao at nightlife

venue: california academy of sciences (cas)
artist: thao nguyen + the get down stay down & the french cassettes
when: 17 october 2013 (thursday)

it has only been about 6 months since i last saw thao in concert but it has been much longer since i've been to nightlife (maybe a year or so?). and perhaps even longer since i've been to a show on a date.

coincidentally, we are both members at cas. he had never been to nightlife so i thought it would be a fun thing to do together. having thao there was the cherry on top. we started the night with the planetarium show and it was quite romantic being in the dark for 30 minutes. in fact, the 30 minutes went by much faster than i preferred.

thao played outdoors and it was cold that night. since i've been to nightlife for a show (jens lekman), they have added very cool technological changes. not only did that include a screen behind the band to see them better but there was also a slideshow playing on the screen throughout and during the intermission between thao and the band before, call the french cassettes. the french cassettes weren't bad either. anyway, thao was upbeat, energetic, and a little crazy as usual. and despite the cold, it was a great show and an even better date night. i thoroughly enjoyed myself.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

13 October 2013

found it! me with the pet shop boys in 1999

i didn't think i would find it so quickly but here it is... this was taken on october 29, 1999 in san diego at a radio station. i cropped out the others but obviously couldn't crop out the woman in the middle.
from left: chris lowe, my coworker jerry, neil tennant, and me.

12 October 2013

pet shop boys

venue: fox theater (sold out!)
band: pet shop boys with jacques lu cont
when: 6 october 2013 (saturday)
doors open at 7p

this was the second time i've seen the pet shop boys and they are better than i remembered them. i saw them back in 1999 so it has been quite some time. back then, they had a light show but nothing compared to the light show, costumes, and performances at this show. back then, i also met neil tennant and chris lowe thanks to a san diego radio station. i have a picture somewhere that i will have to find, scan, and upload.
we had upgraded tickets which gave us access to the telegraph room an hour before the show. it also gave us access to some comp fried goodness, comp coat check, separate restrooms, and a special vip area to watch the show from. it was on the first floor near the sound techs. it was awesome and so very convenient. while they have a new album out, they still played most of their classics. despite having to stand in 4-inch heels the entire time, i had a grand time singing and dancing to music of my youth.

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

04 October 2013

ysl love from my sis

for my friends who know, i have been trying to curve my shopping to save for something very big. but for anyone who has seen this blog, you'll know that i like to shop, especially for shoes. since my sister knows about the limited shopping, she surprised me with these beautiful pointed wool pumps with a wooden heel at the beginning of september. they are fabulous and a perfect fit! it's soooo exciting! she is the best sis, ever.

stars again

venue: great american music hall
artist: stars with trails and ways
when: 17 september 2013 (tuesday)
doors open at 7p

this is my 11th stars show and even though i just saw them last year, i would have seen them on the 18th if i could find someone to go with me. it was really nice because they played their old stuff. songs they haven't played in years. songs from their first album. though i have never seen them play the very thing, the song i first fell in love with them over. the kind of song that speaks to you.

we had dinner tickets which i love because it basically guarantees a seat. and at my age, i want to sit and enjoy the shows. the food is a plus!

rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥