Friday, October 31, 2008

DJ Spooky + One Pot = Hot Ticket

Saturday evening Nov 1 offers a trifecta of food, conversation, and music, featuring DJ Spooky (Paul Miller), tasty eats from Michael Hebb's One Pot, and sharp wit from Charles Mudede.

The get together is in honor of DJ Spooky's new book "
Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture." (Party-goers will receive a copy.) About the book, Branford Marsalis said, "Paul Miller has grabbed disparate philosophies and references from the past five hundred years and tied them into a neat and interesting narrative on music, sound, and current thought in our time. Sound Unbound is an excellent reference on art—in the popular context—in the twenty-first century."
This intriguing and sure-to-be-yummy get together will take place at the Caffe Vita loft space on Capitol Hill. RSVP is required; space is limited and going fast. You can opt for with or without the One Pot dinner ($45/$30). Dinner package starts at 6pm and the post-dinner event begins at 8:30. Things will wrap up by 10:00pm so DJ Spooky can get over to Fremont for his show at The Nectar later.
If interested, email NOW to reserve your space.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Photo: where's he looking?

This picture I snapped of Crystal Castle's Alice Glass isn't great but it totally cracks me up. Look closely at fella at the bottom middle of the frame. Where's his eye gaze? Yep: right up the dress. You have been MADE, dude!

I'm still laughing about this, and it's been hours. Heh heh heh heh.

(You may need to check out the larger version to see it clearly. Click the pic to do so.)

Congrats Phillies! and superfan Mark

According to Mark and Sandra (both Penn alums) authentic Philly cheesesteak must include Cheez Whiz. Mark hosted a little viewing party for World Series game #4 at his home in Seattle, after attending game #3 in Philadelphia the night before! Now that's a superfan.

He brought back genuine cheesesteak fixin's, pretzels, and TastyKakes (which are like Philly's version of Hostess brand sweets).

Apparently a genuine cheesesteak is all about the bread, the onion (no peppers!) and the Cheez. No peppers - that's sacrilege.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Try The Kingfish Cafe for knockout southern comfort food

Believe everything you've heard about The Kingfish Cafe. Yes it really is that good, and yes, you will wait for a table --unless you arrive ahead of the 5:30 dinner opening and hang out with other hopefuls who skipped lunch in anticipation.

The nine dinner entrees range in price from $11.25 for red beans and rice up to $18.75 for a ribeye steak. Entrees include appropriate accompaniments, such as collard greens, grits, or mashed potatoes. Starter salad or soup is not included.

For a delicious sharable starter, try the trio of Wonderful Dips. The catfish spread is the southern version of the northwest's salmon spread: fresh, creamy and rich: perfect on the sturdy and salty crackers. Slather the spicy black-eyed pea spread on a piece of crispy flat bread for a treat which puts mexi bean dip to shame. The cool artichoke garlic dip is tasty, but not as remarkable as the other two. Saying that, I must admit to mopping the artichoke dip bowl clean with the last bite of lightly toasted bread.

I had the griddled catfish entree: a generous portion of cornmeal-dredged and pan-fried fish, accompanied by a hearty scoop of tomatoey, garlicky, spicy grits and enough collard greens to make both your mom and your nana happy ($12.75) The catfish was cooked to perfection: crispy brown outer and moist, flavorful inner. The grits were mighty fine - the savory seasoning was a new thing for me. (Growing up with southern parents, grits were dressed up with butter and sugar and served with breakfast.) Collard greens hit the spot too, but if you are vegetarian, ask questions first. I'm pretty sure I tasted ham hock along with the onion and other flavors in the dish.

The menu warns that the buttermilk fried chicken entree may run out and I can understand why($15.50). I tasted a bite and it beats Ezell's chicken hands down. (Granted, Ezell's costs less and you get it quicker.)

I rarely RARELY order dessert, but couldn't pass up pineapple upside down cake. Another staple in my childhood kitchen, I imagined it would be something like the Duncan Hines kit: a flat one-layer cake, pineapple rings shining through the butter/sugar topping, and a half of maraschino cherry centered in each circle. I couldn't be more wrong. The Kingfish Cafe version of pineapple upside down cake was so right.

Kingfish Cafe

Check out Kingfish Cafe for the knockout southern home comfort food, attentive service, and warm and friendly staff. Well worth the wait.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Art on Broadway: artist reception & guided tour tonight

You can view the STart on Broadway art installations anytime through November 15th, however tonight is the only opportunity to meet the artists and have a guided tour of the works staged in empty retail spaces.

The reception is tonight from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Artist Trust office (1835 12th Ave), followed by an hour-long guided tour on Broadway.

untitled, Jason Puccinelli
Broadway STart art

If you can't make it tonight, plan your own walking tour when it is dark; many of the works are washouts during daylight.

Look for one of my favorites, Sky Dance. It's like a mashup of the Nutcracker with Disney's Haunted Mansion.

Parasol, by Webster Crowell

Band Smoosh likes this picture

I forgot to mention Asy of Smoosh contacted me a few weeks ago to arrange use of a few of my pictures from one of their live performances. The following is currently Smoosh's MySpace profile pic.

Smoosh @ Neumos 5.18.08

Smoosh is a sister-duo who started writing songs and performing in their 'tween years -- a mere 5 years ago. Asy and Chloe acheived enough noteriety in their first year to open for the likes of Cat Power, Sleater-Kinney, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab for Cutie and even Pearl Jam by the end of 2004. [#] At first a novelty, the young ladies have matured their song-writing and performing skills to grow a solid fanbase which reaches well beyond their own demographic group.

This picture is from a Smoosh performance at the Head Like a Kite CD release party this summer. Speaking of HLAK, you really MUST check this group out. Asy co-wrote and sings the track "Daydream Vacation" on HLAK's 2008 release There is Loud Laughter Everywhere. Stream that tune on HLAK's MySpace page, and while you're there check out one of my favs from HLAK's release, "We Were So Entangled." Dave Einmo sings into an analog phone on this one. Rad.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Now at Blvd Gallery: Gremlins and Mogwai Terror by 179

The eclectic collection of works at the Blvd Gallery this month include this asian-influenced piece by artist OneSevenNine (179).

I first saw 179's work on the Seattle Georgetown graffiti wall in December, 2007.
OneSevenNine's style is consistent, but also showing good artistic development: compare this Gremins piece to the koi on the Georgetown wall. OneSevenNine's flair for the asian style and color palette creates images which take common asian architectural elements and turns them into gently affectionate figures. The Gremlin's piece is a cleaner image and more mature understanding of line, without loss of faint irony seen in earlier work.

Several other pieces at Blvd Gallery are worth a look-see if you are in the Belltown neighborhood. I particularly liked Julio Guerrero's collage "Día de los Muertos," located in the back left corner of the gallery. This is Julio's first gallery show.

The Fanatic show runs through November 8th.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Build your own solar-powered theramin or robot

The Seattle Dorkbot group is holding a MAKE-worthy fundraiser workshop Wednesday November 5th. A few weeks out yet however, the deadline is today Oct 20th to register and select a kit for the group-build evening.

Late notice, but who plans ahead in Seattle anyways?

Kit choices:

Solar-Powered Theremin beginners
Use free energy from the sun to produce lovely music, or at the least some fun sounding warbles. This is the simplest choice and is best for beginners. The kit is designed to fit in an "industry standard" mint tin which is not included, so if you want an enclosure you will need to bring your own.

Solar-Powered BEAM Robot experience recommended
BEAM is an acronym standing for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, Mechanics and represents a very simple approach to building low power robots with almost biological properties. These aren't kits, as much as they are an inexpensive bag of components so you can build yourself a small robot (instructions included).

The Infamous TV-B-Gone experience recommended
This is a fairly complex kit, but it comes with a high quality printed circuit board and all the parts needed to turn off any modern TV from up to 150 feet! If you choose this one be sure to bring 2 AA batteries to power your kit.

More info. Register.

artwork: "Ghosts" by Brian Despain, @ Roq La Rue Gallery

Craigslist quirky gigs (v.3): Cymbal Crasher Wanted

Wanted - Cymbal Crasher (SEATTLE) A marriage proposal? I asked the poster but didn't get a reply.


"i'm in the market for a qualified cymbal crasher. . . throughout the day i've been known to spew out some 'classic' lines often leaving my fellow co-workers in stitches"


"must have own equipment. . .variety of cymbals preferred in order to punctuate various one liners and their tone including but not limited to - sarcasm, zingers, jabs, puns, irony, etc. . . must be: available 24/7. . .willing to travel. . .comfortable with nudity. . ."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How to tell if your co-workers are zombies

Evil Nine's They Live music video illustrates identifying markers of zombie office workers.
The new album They Live drops October 28th in the US. (October 20th in the UK.)

In this vid, the two policemen are Tom Beaufoy and Pat Pardy (Evil Nine), and I spotted their manager Steve Sattherwhite as one of the office workers. Nice guys, all. Tom's a new daddy, and Steve is newly married. Don't know what's up with Pat -- perhaps he's a real zombie and doesn't just play one on TV.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lake View Cemetery: just 'cause it's OctoberWeen

Graves and headstones and crows: oh my!

crows and stones
Lake View Cemetery, Seattle

I shot this photo back in March and blogged it then, but it seems much more appropriate to share with you this month of OctoberWeen.

Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee are buried here in Lake View. (How to find their spot.)

Four quickie reviews of documentaries

I've started using the Seattle Public Library for videos. There's always a long wait for fiction - I think I'm number three-hundred-something for "Weeds." However the non-fiction section at the downtown (central) library has a decent selection sitting on the shelves. Here's four quickie reviews of videos I've borrowed in the last couple of weeks:

A Brilliant Madness - The real John Nash was not married to Jennifer Connelly. Grade: A -
Spellbound - Get to know kids who spell well and the families who support them. Grade: A
An Inconvenient Truth - An overlong lecture on global warming. Grade: B
Crazy Love - How an obessessive, possessive relationship goes off the chart. Grade: B+

You'll find the non-fiction video section in the book spiral at the Central library.

Seattle Public Library

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Neil Gaiman Reads to You

Good news for everyone who didn't make it to a reading The Graveyard Book: British author Neil Gaiman reads the entire novel to you, a chapter at time, on the The Graveyard Book Video Tour, available (free) here.

The video readings are not particularly interesting visually but are definitely a treat to hear. Listening to an author express out loud the phrasing and pacing of the internal voice heard while writing is a learning experience.

What's the book about?

"Gaiman’s latest novel, The Graveyard Book, is an affectionate homage to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book channeled through Webster’s morbid aesthetic. Aimed at both younger and adult readers alike, the story opens on a dark night, following a shadowy assassin as he calmly and dispassionately slaughters a sleeping family one by one," says Bridget McGovern of Tor.

My favorite Gaiman work is American Gods. Neverwhere is a close second and I just recently learned that book is a companion to a BBC TV series. Perhaps the Seattle public library has the BBC series on DVD.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spoken Word Advert Rocks My World

This ad is art.

Directed by Shilo, it blends spoken word artist Ainsley Burrows' magnetic performance with smoke-drift-like images to immerse the viewer in a provocative and mesmerising space of poetic substance. Powerful words, powerful images: it's a challenge to live life fully in the moment.

Only in the last few seconds do we see it is an advertisement for Guinness beer. Created for Carribean TV by Shilo, with Saatchi & Saatchi London.


Play golf on city streets on Saturday October 18th

Nine holes, nine bars.

Seattle's Fifth Biannual Urban Golf Tournament/Bar Crawl is next Saturday October 18th, around Capitol Hill neighborhood. Check Seattlest's write up on the July event to get a sense of how not-serious this goes down.

The deets:

Meet at Cal Anderson Park at 2pm Saturday October 18th

Bring $3, or your golf ball from the previous tournament to play for free

Bring a golf club (Goodwill has cheap ones)

Bring cash for the bar crawl part

Dress appropriately for the seriousness of the event

Maps, rules and golf balls will be provided

Players will be assigned a tee time in groups of 8 - 10

RSVP to It's not necessary, but it helps give the organizers an accurate ball count.

This is a 21+ event. These Scottish girls will have to stick with St. Andrews

Who wants to play?

photo: lauralemur

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

iPhone + cupcakes = sweet tech lust

Behold the winning entry in the cupcake decorating contest at last month's IgniteNYC : the iPhone!

I'm tech-lusting for an iPhone 3g but not quite ready to pull the trigger. The two-year AT&T contract requirement is giving me pause, not to mention other barriers to entry: upgrading my service (ka-ching) and the actual h/w purchase outlay.

Anyone know where I can get an iPhone cupcake in the meantime?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Music: DJ Z-Trip's Obama mix

Check out this great mix from mashup DJ Z-Trip. He and artist Shepard Fairey organized a "Party for Change" fundraiser for Barack Obama last month, and Z-Trip has made the mix freely available for download. It's the soundtrack of our lives over the next few weeks. Get it.

And BTW, Adam Freeland's Aer O-B-A-M-A speak-and-spell track get's hit at 45:35. It is R-A-D, defined.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Banned Books Week, now through Oct 4th

We all know Huckleberry Finn shows up on the list of banned and challenged books year after year. Did you realize Huck has plenty of youthful company? Harry Potter, Alice (Go Ask Alice), Lyra (The Golden Compass), and Scout and Jem (To Kill a Mockingbird).

For more, check the list of banned and challenged books from the American Library Association. The ALA explains, "The challenges documented in this list are not brought by people merely expressing a point of view; rather, they represent requests to remove materials from schools or libraries, thus restricting access to them by others. Even when the eventual outcome allows the book to stay on the library shelves and even when the person is a lone protester, the censorship attempt is real."

Top Ten Challenged Books in 2007
  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
  2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
  4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
  10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Primary reasons for book challenges: (2000 - 2005)
  • Offensive language
  • Sexually explicit
  • Unsuited to age group
  • Violence
  • Occult/Satanism
  • Other (something that doesn't fit the other 19 categories)

Additional interesting information and datapoints here. (I'd love to get my hands on the raw data and make their graphs pop.)

Returning now to reading the slim little novel from 6th grade Minnesotan curriculum: The Giver. Good stuff.

How to irritate a retail customer: make her play 20 questions

I needed to get a quart of paint which matches the other front doors in the row of townhouse condos. I have the specific brand (rhymes with herman millions), type of paint, and color code. I'm a dream sale: I know exactly what I want and don't need advice on complimentary colors or the type of paint for the surface I'm working with.

Easy sale, right? Here's how it actually went down.

Customer enters the storefront in Sodo. A chime alerts a worker in the warehouse.

Worker: (enters) Hi.

Me: Hi. I'd like to get a quart of this paint. (Shows page with specific paint type and color code.)

Worker: (Looks at the information.) I don't think we have that.

Me: Oh. What don't you have? The quart size, or this type of paint?

Worker: I don't think we stock that.

Me: Ok. What do you suggest? (Starting to get irritated.)

Worker: I can check if we have any. (Types on computer.) Nope, we don't have any of that in stock.

Me: What do you mean by that? Do you still make it? May I order it? Or is it discontinued?

Worker: I guess I can check to see if another store has it.

Me: Ok.

Worker: (Types on computer.) Ballard has it.

Me: Great, thanks. Where is the store located in Ballard?

Worker: Do you know the Ballard Bridge?

Me: Yes.

Worker: (silence)

Me: Do you have an address or a phone number?

Worker: It is at NE corner of Leary and 15th.

Me: Ok, thanks. (exit)

How could this have gone better? Start by incorporating three principles into customer interactions:

  • Anticipate the customer's questions

  • Offer options

  • Help solve the customer's problem or need
Here's an alternate-universe version of the interaction, where these three service principles were incorporated:

Worker: Hi, can I help you?

Me: Hi, I'd like to get a quart of this paint.

Worker: I don't think we have that in stock. Let me check. (Types on computer.) I'm sorry, we don't have it at this store. Would you like me to check another location?

Me: Yes, thank you.

Worker: Looks like the Ballard store has it in stock, or I can order it for you to be delivered here.

Me: The Ballard store is fine. Where is it located?

Worker: The store is on the NE corner of 15th and Leary. They are open until 5 pm today. Do you need the address or phone number?

Me: No thanks, I know the cross streeets. Thanks for your help.

Worker: Thanks for coming in. Have a good day.

Notice how much shorter this exchange is? Not only am I more satisfied as a customer, the worker is more efficient as well and can go back to whatever he was doing. Probably picking dried paint off his nails.

some of which has been used