I've mentioned Toshi Hirano before. Check out this great piece on him. What an amazing vibe.
These days I often find myself getting tired of the city. I think that this is largely due to the general lack of trees in San Francisco. But it may also be all the trash. And the hipsters on their fixies. (But what can I do? I LOVE the soup at the Atlas Cafe, and the Knockout is just down the street from my home. And I admit that I did get a hoot out of the guy in the Sherlock Holmes hat the other day). Strangely, the homeless don't seem to bother me anymore -- I am just that calloused. But despite all that, it is great to live in SF. And it is a great place to raise kids. So here are some shots my older daughter took of the neighborhood while we were driving somewhere. Cool and arty, huh? Plus you get to see Bernie too.
I listened to and, perhaps, even idolized Led Zeppelin consistently pretty much from age 12 until maybe my sophomore year of college ("who the hell is REM? that shit is SO gay"). Then I finally branched out a bit. Only in the last few years have I gotten back into the Mighty Led Zepp. Lately I've really been enjoying The Ocean, Good Times Bad Times, Hey Hey What Can I Do, The Rover, Ramble On and some others. Here are a few initial thoughts, after all these years:
2. Robert Plant sure has some goofy ass lyrics. ("Singing about the good things and the sun that lights the day // I used to sing on the mountains, has the ocean lost its way? // I don't know.") It is humbling to think that his words really moved me as an adolescent.
3. John Bonham ROCKS!!!!
And here are some additional thoughts:
(A) If you enjoy reading, you've absolutely got to check out Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me by Martin Millar. It's based on the author's experience seeing Led Zep in Glasgow back in 1973 and it's a sweet, very funny book. Don't know why he's not better known. It's got a beautiful Nick Hornby/Kurt Vonnegut/Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao/Belle & Sebastian/Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation thing going on.
(B) It is sad but also kind of neat to notice that Bonzo and the great Bon Scott both died by choking on their own vomit in 1980.
(C) You have to sort of admire the shear immensity of Bonham's boozing. Taken (more or less) from Wikipedia:
On September 25, 1980, John Bonham was picked up by Led Zeppelin assistant Rex King to attend rehearsals for an upcoming tour of the United States, the band's first since 1977. During the journey Bonham had asked to stop for breakfast, where he downed four quadruple vodkas. He then continued to drink heavily when he arrived at the rehearsal. A halt was called late in the evening and the band retired to Page's house. After midnight, Bonham had fallen asleep and was taken to bed and placed on his side. [At least they were trying.] John Paul Jones found him dead the next afternoon. Bonham was 32 years old. Weeks later at the coroner's inquest, it emerged that in the 24 hours before he died, John Bonham had drunk forty measures of vodka which resulted in him choking and asphyxiating on his own vomit. [Remember in Spinal Tap where they report that one of their early drummers died from choking on someone else's vomit?]
Do you know about Toshio Hirano? He is a middle-aged Japanese immigrant (maybe even a college professor?) who has a deep passion for the music of Jimmie Rodgers. (I myself have always preferred Jimmie over Hank Williams, Sr. -- Jimmie is sort of like the Stones to Hank's Beatles.) Anyhow, Toshio plays around the Mission a fair amount and does pretty much exclusively Jimmie Rodgers tunes, complete with yodeling. Keep an eye out for him, because he puts on a helluva good show. And even though he's goofy for sure (earnestly yodeling with a Japanese accent), you can't help to be inspired by Toshio's pure love for the music.
1. Delfina -- Our perennial favorite and NOT at all overrated. We love to sit at the bar. They're super friendly to my little foodie chidlren.