Friday, April 24, 2009

Drunk and DissedOrderly

We went with Gabe and Amanda to see the Sox play the A's last week. It's become an annual early season event, and just like last year, things went a bit awry (you may recall that after the game last year I got Amanda in trouble for blogging about DJing a scandalous dance party at the school where she works). This year, it was even crazier: April and I got thrown out!

April looks all sweet and innocent, but get a few drinks in her and take her to a stadium with other screaming, bloodthirsty nutcases, and you should see her go! Raining punches down upon everyone within reach!

Okay, so that's not exactly what happened. In truth, I brought a canteen into the stadium with some spiked strawberry lemonade. But the woman at the gate let me take it in -- she saw it and waved me through -- so I figured we were okay. And we were … for five and a half innings.

We were quietly watching the Sox get buried, eating our giant bag of popcorn and bunless hot dogs when these three security dudes come up behind us and demand to know what's in the canteen. Now, I'm not the best liar and I'd been sipping on this thing so I was a bit foggy, so I didn't give a very convincing answer. He sniffed at it, and shook his head and told us -- April too, but not thankfully Gabe and Amanda -- to come with them.

So we go. And they do that intimidating walk of shame, where they don't tell you where you're going, just to "follow that guy." So he led us halfway around the stadium to this little windowless room, where there's three old men bleakly shuffling paperwork. The guy who grabbed us stuck the canteen in another guy's face and asks what's in it. More sniffing. Which made me wonder if they're not allowed to taste things or if they just don't want to be sucking up other people's germs.

Anyway, they agreed it's "funny whatever it is." And so the guy said, "You have to leave. You can come back tomorrow but you have to go now. And if we find you back in here, you're going to be in serious trouble." Well, jesus, is it possible for us to get back in? Does this mean that that thing they do where they scan the tickets when you enter is all for show and you could come and go as many times as you want?

Anyway, at this point I pleaded for mercy. I mean, I paid $30 for each ticket and the Sox only come once a year. Couldn't they just dump it out and let us stay?

Hell no. The only cop in the room started to bark at us. "That's the chance you took when you brought that shit in with you! You're lucky we don’t fine you or throw you in jail!"

In jail. In jail? I was so stunned -- which I'm sure was his intention -- that I couldn't ask just what law we'd be breaking. Help me out here, Eric or other lawyers, but did they have a case? I looked on the website later and, while it does say that people can't bring in outside liquor, it doesn't list any city code.

At this point, I think maybe I should use April's gluten allergy as an excuse. But then I decided I didn't want to throw her under the bus -- and I doubted it would do any good anyway. Best to not actually admit there's alcohol in there, too.

As the guy went to pour the canteen out (or drink it, who knows), they brought in another rulebreaker. Another Red Sox fan. Hmm. Maybe they're trying to thin the herd a bit here, get rid of the people rooting against the A's. What was this guy being tossed for? Was it public hammeredness, because he was obviously wasted? Nope. He was smoking in the bathroom. So it's okay to get drunk as long as you pay $8 for their beer (or pre-party). If you're smoking, they will give you three warnings before tossing you. It's a financial dealing: we've been punished for not being wealthy enough to afford their commodity. It's not even that we're so cheap -- we spent plenty of money on food items.

One thing was eating at me, more than anything. So, as they're showing us the door, I asked how they knew. The main guy said he saw us, but I knew he was lying, at least a little. Because April hadn't had any of the canteen for three innings, and he didn't toss Gabe and Amanda, who had some as well. No, I think someone told on us. Maybe it was the crazed fans behind us, who seemed to have a personal vendetta against mind-mannered second baseman Dustin Pedroia (perhaps it was because he had just called his CA hometown of Woodland "a dump" in an article by one of my former SF Weekly associates). Or the family in front of us, who seemed pretty ungrateful when we gave them our little, fry-holding A's helmet. I think it was the latter, who may have been upset by our penis conversation. I'd brought up Michael Showalter's comedy routine, in which he says that men shouldn't have to wash their hands after they pee, unless they've been digging ditches with their pricks.

Now, was that worth being thrown out for? Come on, those guys behind us were threatening to cut Pedroia's privates off. Get rid of them.

At least we weren't at the Wednesday game, when Wakefield almost threw a no-hitter. I would've fought a lot harder to stay at that game. The truly sad thing is those guys in that room obviously hate their lives. And who wouldn't? Being so close to one of life's simplest beauties (a baseball park, jeez, I can get soppy here once in a while) and not being able to see it at all. Or even listen or watch the game, save for the reverberations off the concrete and an endless stream of drunk assholes being tossed out.

Oops, that's us.

If I've learned anything from this, it's that … well, if you want to bring in alcohol, buy a soda and then pour the booze into the cup, so you won't be seen. Oh yeah, and don't talk about penises.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Desert Blues

You know how you can tell you're getting old? You like world music, all of a sudden! (This is not to say that people -- Ruxzs, cough -- who've liked world music all along are old, or wrong. Maybe they were right, actually, or at least, better than me.) It's funny how my patience for some things has increased (guys singing in languages I don't understand, or in the case of jazz not singing at all) while others have decreased (I can't imagine lasting through all the bands at SXSW anymore; hell, two bands is a struggle now).

Well, last night April and I went to the Tinariwen show at the Palace of Fine Arts. Dang, that was some hot shit. How hot? Sahara hot. Okay, so the band's from Mali, so that was an easy reference. But what a blazing hot story: They were nomads forced from their land by a despotic regime, only to meet up in a training camp for rebels in Libya and then fight in Mali's 1990s revolution (which, sadly, is sort of still going on, even though thousands of rebels turned in their guns at one point, leading to a artillery bonfire; can you see that happening in the states?). Having seen them, it's kind of hard envisioning them as fighters -- they were just so nice and sweet. And, according to this article in the Observer Music Monthly, they're very unmacho when it comes to marital rights: in the case of divorce, the women get to keep the tent.

Anyway, they ruled. So much so that the 60-year-old ladies stood up in their seats and began to dance. It was hard not to. Check this live video out and see if it doesn’t move you.

April wanted to get up and join the hippie dancers and old ladies, especially after she saw the tall dude doing the Snoop Dogg moves, but there was no way I was going to do it, which made her feel self-conscious. Maybe in 20 years it'll be different. Or if Peter Coyote, who was two rows in front of us, did it first.

And just to show I still love the twee stuff, here's a new video by the Slow Club.

Monday, April 13, 2009


You know, these big Hollywood movies are getting gayer by the day.

Have you seen the amateur Trader Joe's theme song? (Chris sent this, all the way from Australia.) It's kind of amazing and right on ("10 kinds of soy milk that all taste the same"). When I went to the store today, I asked the super-friendly counterperson if she'd seen it and she said, yeah, they all loved it.

She wasn't so keen on this fake training video, though. She said the company's not that laid back anymore. Yeah, well, I guess that sucks. Although the sexual harassment and the shirtless dudes and the crying don't seem so great. Plus, now they do that annoying thing where they recommend things you don't want, which kind of feels like the spirit of Aloha ... being forced down your throat. If I'd have wanted it, I'd have bought it. Jeez.

While I was in there, Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" came on and I suddenly heard the similarity between it and Harry Nillson's "Coconut." I can't decide which is better (or is that worse?).

I am loving this French lady, Marianne Dissard, who lives in Tucson and is playing the Hemlock on April 29. Apparently, her new album was written following the dissolution of her marriage to Naim Amor, another Frog musician living in Arizona. She sent all the lyrics and a tape of her favorite songs to her pal Joey Burns from Calexico and he came up with some cool, Ennio Morricone-and-Brigitte Bardot pop. The disc has translated lyrics and they're pretty sexy in a poetic kind of way: "The girls are like water and the boys fish them out/ The boys are drenched wet and get undressed on the boats to dry." Well, um, this video is pretty chaud.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blipsters and bleensters

We went for a hike this weekend to celebrate Kikibomb's birthday. Afterwards, people started talking about the difference between hipsters and scenesters. Everyone seemed to agree that hipsters were people who liked cool things and scenesters were just into being cool.

I brought up the topic of "blipsters" -- aka black hipsters. Like the ones in the recent film Medicine for Melancholy, starring Wyatt Cenac of the Daily Show. It takes place right here in SF, with Cenac playing an angry young man on a fixie who follows a girl around for 24 hours after first sleeping with her.

(At one point, Cenac does a Bill Cosby impression, which he says all black men do. See the end of this clip). I really loved the Coz as a kid. The chicken heart. The sneaker that made change. His brother Donald. Hilarious. So now I've been torturing April with my own horrible impersonation.)

Anyway, the movie's quite nice, the kind of film with regular people doing regular things. It's got sweet characters, prettily shot, lackadaisically paced -- what Tarentino called "a hangout movie." My favorite bit involves iced tea and a taco truck.

But the funniest part is near the end, when the pair decide to go dancing. "Black people dancing or white people dancing?" Cenac asks. They choose white and they go to the Knock-Out. The funny thing is they go to Soul Night, which is a bunch of white Djs spinning (mostly) black music, so they dub in modern dancy indie-rock made by white people. Not that anyone anywhere would notice, but it is a funny switcheroo. There's a few seconds of it at the end of the trailer.

I think the film's on demand now too. Yes, that's how we watched it -- which means we're helping kill off the movie theaters too, which makes, yes, makes me sad. Or, rather, melancholic.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Love You, Man

Have you seen this movie yet? It's funny. Plain and simple. But it's also kind of odd. I can't really think of another film about men that was written for women by a man. It's basically a female fantasy, come to life, but wrapped up in a buddy film. Fascinating. Especially when I realized that at several points in the movie, only female members of the audience were laughing -- and I mean really really laughing.

Kind of reminded me of being in one of the 15 student classes at Sarah Lawrence and realizing, in the midst of discussing some male/female issue, that I was one of only three dudes in the room. And that included the teacher.