wow, another thursday thru sunday of music, readings, firsts, and good times. not sure how long i can keep up this streak of excellent weekends, but for now i'm happy to have caught a great wave, and i'll let it ride until it runs out.
thursday's john hodgman-pogues doubleheader (in separate venues) was as good as i imagined it would be. others have already documented the hodgman reading (with video and photos) so well that there's no need for another run-down.
playing to a packed fillmore room, evidently their first time in san francisco in 15 years, the pogues were magnificent. they and the crowd were full of energy and everyone seemed to have a good time. poor shane, though. the ravages of hard living have taken a toll...he was bloated, walked slowly and stiffly...but he can still sing and he's a captivating stage presence. if shane is the soul of the band, spider stacy is the heart -- he kept the energy pumping throughout the set...the band and the crowd seem to feed off of him. it was my first time seeing them and given their potential for future touring it may be the last.
crowd highlights included the ridiculously drunk guy who at one point offered me a swig from his bottle of some whiskey (declined...don't know him, and the backwash potential was too high) and then about 30 minutes later same guy, by now 10 sheets to the wind, started harassing some woman. she held him at bay for a while, flipping him off an inch from his face and pushing him away. when he continued, taking off his sweater and offering it to her (no, really...wtf?!?!) a friend of hers tried to get between them. when that didn't take i moved up a step and tried to distract him. eventually he slithered away.
a short while after that some guy is making trouble with people to my right. a minute later he taps me on the left shoulder and asks me if he should go punch out the guy with whom he'd just had the brief spat. i told him that i didn't think it was a good idea. not sure what it was in the spirit of the night that made me the magnet for stupid drunk guys.
friday was the long winters at dunord, with openers what made milwaukee famous. wmmf were good...michael kingcaid's got a voice that can best be described as "anthemic" and they've got some good songs. the long winters were outstanding. brilliant songwriting, great musicians, soaring harmonies...they played 22 songs and not a clunker in the batch.
saturday jp and i took part in lit crawl, the closing event for lit quake. we arrived at casanova a bit late for phase one's travel writer session, but still heard a few interesting travel stories, including one from constance hale, who went to the same high school as jp and once held the same job. small world. wanting to see the phase two music writers session but finding it way too crowded to even get in, we instead went early to the make out room and secured a table right up front for the macadam/cage session featuring stephen elliot, michelle richmond, craig clevenger and michelle tea. elliott read an excerpt from his new book, my girlfriend comes to the city and beats me up, a passage juxtaposing a bdsm encounter with the dysfunctional family situation that seems to account for the guy being the sub. richmond's story was a tale of lust and the "zipless fuck" written for (but not about, she assured us) the barista who makes her daily morning au lait.
sunday afternoon, following the last soccer game of the season with one of my teams, a few of us made our way to zeitgeist. i'd heard lots about it, but hadn't yet made it over. we kind of stood out, not dressed in standard-issue hipster garb, but it didn't matter thanks to the amazing bloody mary (spicy, tangy.mmmm) and a tamale from the tamale lady (another first for me).