Sunday, August 13, 2006

i'm heading for that golden gate hoping i won't be too late

the weekend turned out to be as expected, which is to say busy but amazingly fun. there was good music, good hiking, good eating, good soccer, good wandering, and more good eating.

friday was the death cab/spoon/mates of state show at the greek. spoon and mates of state are two bands that i've heard songs from on kexp and though i've liked what i heard, i just as of yet haven't thought to buy any records. well, after these shows i just might. the mates do the two-person band thing (keys and drums) really well. i really dug that the drums were real, not programmed. if they'd started in the 1980s i'm certain they'd have been a two-synth band.

i've long been a huge fan of ben gibbard's songs, so knew what i was getting with death cab, at least song-wise. not having seen them yet i was a bit surprised at how frantic and energetic they were on stage. i didn't expect shoe-gazing but i didn't expect that much bopping around. but it worked. as for the music, i was glad to hear them expanding the songs, reworking some arrangments and showing some dexterity as more than once ben, chris and nick switched off on instruments, sometimes in the middle of songs.

what was most impressive was how confident they seemed. they've been around for a while, toiling their way from obscurity to indie pop heroes to major label success. they played like a band who know they're good and don't have much to prove at the moment -- the show seemed to be them reveling in the current moment's glow of their accomplishments. there might also have been some extra energy in the air due to the fact that it was ben's 30th birthday.

the next day was a trip up to point reyes national seashore.

i've been there before, along the palomarin trail and up to mcclure's beach. this trip was all inland, 7+ miles at a brisk pace along the bear, old pine, sky and horse trails.

that evening was a dinner at maverick. the grilled iowa pork chop was tender, and the whole grain mustard sauce nice and tangy. good company from a friend visiting from out of town and two more of her friends who live in the city.

sunday's packed agenda began with a soccer game at the fields on treasure island. odd but fun experience -- the island is a surreal kind of place, an abandoned navy base that's now got some people living there but it's nonetheless got a real ghost-town quality to it. the field was a bit small and had just been aerated so there were soil peelets all over the place. in addition it is home to some canada geese, meaning another kind of pellet all over the place -- just great when you're the goalie and have to dive all game. bleh. finally, the regular goals were broken so nets were strung up to the rugby goal-posts meaning that us goalies had less horizontal space to cover but more than the usual amount of vertical space. somehow neither team managed to exploit the top part of the net and we tied 1-1, this despite our team being down two players the entire game. here's to good defense and poor shot selection. and i played alright, i guess.

a short while later i was in golden gate park wandering with a friend.

i had no idea before today, but every sunday afternoon near the 8th street entrance there's a swing dance thing happening. pretty cool scene and run by volunteer djs. i need to go back and dust off my (hopefully not rusty) limited set of swing steps. nice stroll thru the botanical gardens as well.

the day and weekend was capped of by an excellent dinner at the fillmore grill. i had one of the evening's specials, a savory chicken and sausage jambalaya. mm had a very good goganzola and walnut spinach ravioli. very tasty food, good sized portions, good service. if you go, try and get one of the enclosed tables...very private and romantic.

this was the kind of weekend every weekend should be.

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