Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kitchen Sink hosts Clear Cut Press

Thanks to Clear Cut Press for an excellent evening which included readings and performance from Matthew Stadler, Stacey Levine, Matt Briggs, Mount Eerie and We Two and The Universe!
Kitchen Sink
Kitchen Sink hosts Clear Cut PressClear Cut PressStacey Levinematthew stadler

Friday, June 23, 2006

Bathing in the Kitchen Sink

I edit Kitchen Sink (I also founded Kitchen Sink with a bunch of other people back in the Mesozoic age). I am also a clean person. My house is fashionably disheveled most of the time, but I will rarely leave it without (a) showering once a day (at least), (b) washing my hair at least every other day, (c) putting on a shirt and pants (or skirt) that I have worn less than two days in a row, and (d) removing most food and coffee stains from said clothing before putting it on (also known as doing laundry). Optional but likely to happen as well are (e) wearing deodorant, (f) shaving legs and armpits (for men, the equivalent would be grooming your facial hair, not necessarily to a fussy degree, but at least to get the Pabst spills out of your beard), (g) looking in a mirror to see whether or not I will embarrass myself with what I’m wearing.

Bathing and grooming are a fact of life in Western Civilization. You can say, “well, I was just in Europe, and they take cold showers once a month, and look so cool”, and I might agree with you, but Europeans also started the Black Plague, which mostly had to do with hygiene. Likewise, we all know that French people hate washing their hands after they use the bathroom (even after doing #2; trust me on this), and this is dicey behavior when it comes to the transmission of communicable diseases. Japanese people, however, generally look even cooler than Europeans (one need only to glance at the Japanese world cup team to prove this), and they are clean. So, so clean.

I was at a Kitchen Sink-sponsored event recently, however, and I saw that many of you, our dear readership, look a little grimy of late. What’s up? I know it’s hot in the Bay area recently, and nobody likes that, as it increases sebaceous gland activity, leaving us all a little oilier than normal, but I’m curious as to the severe degree of dirtiness, bordering perhaps on repulsive, that I saw on many of you. You are, on the whole, so charming and attractive, and good at pulling off haircuts that would look ridiculous on most other people and yet… you are dirty. You look like you smell (and, alas, a few of you do). Are you depressed? Sometimes when I’m depressed I skip showers for 6 hours or so. I can recommend a good therapist, readership. I can also tell you that moderate exercise and cutting down on cheap beer consumption, as well as engaging in activities like reading and writing, can really help with depression. I’d even bake you a cookie if that would help. I depend on you to help keep my magazine going, but I’d also like us to be able to be in the same room for extended periods, and in order for that to happen, well, I’m going to need to ask you to consider showering. At least a sponge bath now and again. It really increases you chances of hooking up, and more people might be apt to approach you at shows/craft fairs/knitting circles if you didn’t have an aura of funk about your person.

Like we say in the academic world, do it for the children.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

If You Miss It You'll Be Sad...

Hosted by Kitchen Sink Magazine

7:30 PM
Thursday, June 22
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Matt Briggs Shoot the BuffaloStacey Levine Frances JohnsonRobert Glück Denny Smith
Accompanied by the music of MOUNT EERIE (formerly The Microphones)
& the textural environments of WE TWO AND THE UNIVERSE
 (Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Notes from Paradise (Bolinas)

Important lessons from this weekend's KS retreat:

1) Nicole is a lucky lady, what with the Bolinas living.
2) Carla is bbq queen
3) Editors need to be better about word counts

4) Focaccia greases through the box
5) Stefanie makes a killer chicken salad
6) The road to Bolinas does indeed make one nauseous

7) We are highly effective communicators even on a Saturday afternoon, even when we digress repeatedly
8) Good ideas are coming! Good articles and illos are in the works!
9) Anything else I missed, ladies and gentlemen?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Get your butt in a theatre seat

My boss made our entire office go yesterday during work hours, which should be a sweet Monday afternoon, but I'd been kind of steeling myself to see this thing, given my climate change psychosis.

But it is so inspirational and scary and PowerPointastic.

Really. Go.

The movie seems in part to be a perfect campaign launch for '08. Gore comes across as personable, inspired, informed, and incredibly ethical. He argues that we, as a nation and a planet, have an ethical obligation to curb the effects of global warming, which I think is the most effective way to present this argument to America (especially the religious part) in general. It's also helpful to remember that stopping global warming is a survival issue as well. Do you want to die? Well fine, then continue driving your SUV everywhere, buying electricity made from burning dirty coal, and not bothering to vote for dynamic leaders.

Frankly, slow suicide is way down on my To-Do list. I've got other things I'd rather do, like see Iceland before it melts, and those enchanting Camargue ponies that live in the salt flats in western Provence, and getting rid of the concrete in the backyard so I can plant more veggies, and seeing Jose Gonzalez play with Psapp on Saturday. Oh, and skinnydipping and thrift shopping. And writing more articles for Kitchen Sink. Yeah. So that's a good reason to do a little planet tidying. So we can get on with our own damn lives.

Al Gore. Who would've thunk it, with the coolness?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pipeline/Kill Time

psychic heartsOn Tuesday I will buy two records with my credit card.

The first is the deluxe reissue of Thurston Moore's Psychic Hearts. This is the record that spooned with me, kissed the matching freckles on my cheeks, and sang me to sleep when no one else would. It's also the reason why 18-year-old Carla got to see John Fahey play a guitar built from a WWII airplane at a tiny club in Northampton, MA.
Here's what Thurston wrote about it:

So I called Ray to ask him I he'd like to come along and he flew out and we met Fahey at the Iron Horse here in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Fahey at first thought I was some guitar repair dude he had the club try to locate. Ha HA ha — I told him I'd take a look at his axe but I knew nothing about repairin' 'em but I knows a lot about destroyin' em! That was it — we were pals. We bombed around the East Coast, me and Ray up front and Fahey, expansive girth and pants bursting at the zipper, stretched out across the back seat gobbling junk food.

rather rippedThen there's Rather Ripped. If this is what happens when Jim O'Rourke leaves a band, then I've got a list of 10 or 12 artists whose careers I'd like him to relaunch.
There are no Sonic Youth records I don't like just some that I like less than others.
But from what little I've heard of this one I do believe that on Tuesday it will all come back around.
The little, noisy squirrel that lives in the northeast corner of heart will come alive again and you'll all wonder what's making me look so flushed.
Now you'll now that it's just a return to bedroom dancing so fervent it churns up gale force winds.

The blog's a-hoppin', so don't bother knockin'.

1. "You're a figure of fun, and I plan on having fun with that figure." Though Hank Rollins and I share a birthday, I haven't been a fan of his in years. Still listening to (and watching) him compose an Up with Liberal People mash note to Ann Coulter has pretty much MADE my hung-over Sunday.

2. I think I was still drunk when I woke up this morn-- er, afternoon and read this. Somehow I managed to keep down my chorizo, perhaps due to the secure knowledge that Wes Craven (or someone who'd like very much to be like him) will option the story for the big screen before 2006 is out.

3. Pillows. My new favorite local band. Unfortunately, the songs posted on their site don't do them justice, so go here instead so you can check them out live.

4. Birds and Batteries. My new favorite local band that my friend is in. (Think Grandaddy with an extra helping of the Band and the Bee Gees -- no, really.)

5. X-tra Action Marching Band. I know, I know, one of the weeklies already said so. But mon dieu -- my new old favorite band to get extravagantly drunk to.

celebrations for a gray day

What's up, Kitchen Sink blog? Looks like we've been slackish about updating you. My excuse is not that I've been out having summer fun, but that I'm teaching summer school, which is about as stimulating as a day spent in front of the tv watching 90210 reruns. Actually, I look forward to that day. Meanwhile, let me climb back on the editorial favorites horse for a second:

1) Love at First Bite Cupcakery and Bakery, Berkeley ( Everybody knows Kaya Oakes makes kick-ass cakes, but sometimes I'm lazy. Plus, a person with a two-person household can hardly justify baking up a dozen cupcakes when you're really only going to eat four or six. This places solves the problem. They bake up 10-12 varieties of cupcakes daily; I'm partial to the First Love (vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream); the Pretty in Pink (strawberry cupcake with strawberry buttercream), and, of course, the red velvet. Bonus: they make the best banana pudding I've ever had. It's upstairs in Walnut Square, Shattuck and Vine. And the girls who work there are a-freaking-dorable.
2) Best Tea Blends Cardamom Tea
This tea's imported from somewhere, but you can get it at Country Cheese (San Pablo at Allston). It's a cardamom-infused black tea, like an extra-strong chai. Excellent with milk at about 4pm.
3) Orqesta La Moderna Tradicion
Advertising: this is my husband's group, but I like them anyway (look, if you're dated as many musicians as I have, you're allowed to hate most of their bands). I went to see them on something like our second date nine years ago and was smitten. They play Cuban dance music from the 30's on. Very old-school romantic. Their CD release party is 6/16 at Community Music Center in the Mission. They're also playing a free show tonight at the Berkeley Main Library.
4) Poetry in Motion
Clay over at Eyeball Hatred reminded me of this 80's documentary about poetry, which can be rented from Netflix. Many naescent spoken-word types abound, most of whom are justifiably forgotten, but you also get your money's worth of Ginsberg (in his punk-rock phase, singing with a band), Berrigan, Creely, Michael Ondaatje (check out the DVD extras for his smoking version of "The CInnamon Peeler"), Burroughs, etcetera. Don't miss Ed Sanders of the Fugs and his musical tie.
5) Summer School
It's halfway over.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Some More Favorites ...

This Sunday I'm totally tore up from three days straight of (not my own) wedding prep and partying and et cetera. It's finally over, and I'm trying to fend off the post-event doldrum drop by honoring a few Things That I Been Likin':

1. A Salon/AP dispatch regarding how they're celebrating the 6th day of the 6th month of 2006 in Hell, Michigan. Be sure to note how, in the last graf, the writer makes reference to the second of two "leading theories" as to how the unincorporated hamlet got its name -- but not the first.

2. Curry Plant. It's what makes the sweet, maple-like smell that wafts up from certain sections of Lake Merritt in Oakland. I've wondered what this smell is for at least four years, maybe more, and have even asked fellow strollers out at the lake, but, last week, the Rogue Reporter and I finally asked the one guy who knew. When we cooed and ahh'd over him, he replied, simply, "botanical knowledge," and walked away. So remember, guys, botanical knowledge impresses chicks.

3. Yahoo avatars. When they first introduced these, I immediately created my dream Burning Man girlfriend -- the lady I'd hop the fence for. I've recently created an avatar of myself, albeit with a giant caterpillar. It's kinda stupid ...Yahoo! Avatars but it reminds me of one of the best photographs I've ever taken, at Burning Man last year.

4. The UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens. That's where the wedding was.

5. The Flying Burrito Brothers "Gilded Palace of Sin." Yup, it's summer.