Monday, 20 June 2011

San Francisco part 6

On Sunday (June 5th) we had to send a mysterious package to Kuwait which involved me doing a super-quick drawing of Goober, the cat we were looking after. He's a big lump of a thing and give or take some night-time freak-outs (mostly on his part) I actually rather liked him despite my usual indifference to pets.

We then walked up through North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf which is something of a tourist hot-spot (or honey pot*) but not without it's charms. For a start there's the delightful Musee Mecanique which is crammed full of slightly sinister antiquated amusement machines a lot of which wouldn't seem out of place in a League of Gentlemen episode. Temporarily lacking direction in life I chanced my arm on the Career Pilot only to be informed I'm ideally suited to the career of 'Hot Air Artist'. This speaks volumes given my penchant for talking up a myriad of art projects and only completing a pathetic number of them. So I smashed the fuck out of it and spent the rest of my tokens playing pinball and the original Star Wars arcade game.

On the way back to the flat we stumbled across an art exhibition featuring the work of Marta Elise Johansen entitled 'Recondite Landscapes' which baffling explanations aside made for some stunning artwork. I thought I had issues with attention to detail but her drawings are eye-bleedingly detailed - the lines are so tightly drawn together that when you step away from them they look like almost 3d with a relief all of their own. Below Annie refuses to adhere to common courtesies usually associated with art exhibitions by leaving her tag all over this piece.

Feeling suitably cultured we headed off to find happy hour beers to cleanse ourselves of such bourgeois activities only to discover we were too late. Instead we paid over the odds for beers in hipster hang-out the Hemlock where the rounds seemed to increase by a dollar at each order. Needless to say we left pretty sharply.

The next day involved a great deal of fucking around with the aforementioned package to Kuwait which also required us to return to North Beach for the umpteenth time but it did allow for a quick root through a record shop - 101 Records - the sister store on Grant/Green to the one I mentioned before with the basement full of crap. This one is much more organized though with a nice selection of vinyl and I managed to pick up Gabor Szabo's brilliant 'Bacchanal' lp for a decent price.

Back at the flat I got a chance to try out my new cheap gouache paints. I've an idea for a film poster I want to redesign but rather than hurtle head first into it I thought I'd be better off doing some research and preliminary illustrations. There's a first time for everything...

I quickly discovered that I much prefer using water colours and I spent the rest of the day doing more research illustrations but I haven't had a chance to scan them yet. We end the day with a curry at Chuntey's and some beers - the way all days should ideally end.

The next day we left the Tenderloin and headed to BART for a train back to Orinda. As if to signify the completion of the TL (level 1 at least - we're cat-sitting again in a few weeks) the sun finally made an appearance after what felt like weeks of rain.

In the evening we got BART back into Oakland to see old-school hardcore band Youth of Today. It was something of an occasion for the Bay Area hardcore scene so everyone was out in force. And wearing black. Nobody told me I had to wear black so I felt a little bit out of place in my jaunty coloured hooded top but considering just how furiously perturbed some of these hardcore bands seem to be the fans are surprisingly friendly. I wasn't overly enamoured with the other bands on the line up but Youth of Today were brutal - short, sharp, shouty Dischord style hardcore jut the way I like it. And just the way the crowd liked it as well apparently - I've never seen so much stage-diving and energy in a venue. I stood at the back clapping vigorously to show my appreciation especially when they covered Minor Threat's classic 'Minor Threat'. AWESOME SQUARED.

The following day was a little less eventful but I did manage some more record shopping at Rasputin's sprawling vinyl basement in Berkely where I picked up a few dirt cheap goodies. I even squeezed in some design work later on in the day to help finance this whole SF adventure.

* Human Geography degree related humour. Minus the humour.

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