Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sonoma County: Where Even Grocery Outlet has a Sommelier

Posted By on Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 4:03 PM

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Photos and Live Review: PUBLIC ENEMY - Yoshi's San Francisco, Saturday, Jan. 15 (late show)

Posted By on Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:18 AM

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Photos and review by David Sason

The first time I saw Public Enemy in concert, December 2006 at Mezzanine, was undoubtedly my biggest letdown as a concertgoer. After an energetic opening portion referencing the legendary shows I’d watched on VHS throughout my youth, the show was quickly derailed when hype man Flavor Flav – at the height of his reality TV popularity – took over the show for over an hour. He played every instrument onstage, rambled endlessly, and even filmed a video for his solo track “Unga Bunga Bunga”. It was in the middle of the week and already 2am, so I left the show to go listen to some PE records.

Thankfully Saturday’s sold-out 10pm show, the last of four at Yoshi’s in San Francisco, more than redeemed Public Enemy as an incredible live act and still the best way to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Still in the midst of their Fear of a Black Planet 20th anniversary extended tour, they hit the ground running with a lively “Brothers Gonna Work It Out”. Before continuing on the Fear tracks, though, the momentum was stalled by a 10-minute-plus talking portion that saw Flavor Flav playing an extended game of call and response with the crowd (think a Freddie Mercury who can’t sing).But this led directly into “911 Is a Joke”, which started an impressive run of hits and album tracks mostly from their late 80s/early 90s hey day. Unearthed rarities were among the highlights of the show (“Terminator X to the Edge of Panic”, “Power to the People”, “Burn Hollywood Burn”), with all tracks receiving tasteful accompaniment from the backing live band (not drowning out the Bomb Squad sound collages completely like before).Flavor was once again complementing the show instead of wielding it, allowing longtime fans to forget his television career altogether (despite a thank-you speech to all “Flavor of Love” viewers, ironically preceding a snippet of “She Watch Channel Zero?!”). Brandishing a “Justice for Oscar Grant” t-shirt, leader Chuck D delivered on the political rhetoric, specifically the immigration and extremist shooting of Arizona, which segued into a sparse yet intense run through of “By the Time I Get to Arizona”.The hip-hop legends relished the small club setting throughout the night, which made the two-hour-plus performance a two-way love fest. It was a joy in particular to see Chuck D having such a good time: finding a Harry Allen fill-in in the front row for the ending line of “Don’t Believe the Hype”; grabbing cameras and taking snapshots for endless audience members; and playing panhandler to Flav during “Can’t Do Nuttin’ for Ya Man”, just one song in a last-minute show extension.While no longer packing arenas, PE rocked Yoshi’s like it was one, exuding a pride and professionalism that’s missing from most live performers, especially hip-hop and veteran acts. I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait until the next Public Enemy concert.--David Sason*

SETLIST (Not 100% in order)

Contract on the World Love JamBrothers Gonna Work It Out911 Is a JokeWelcome to the TerrordomeShow Em Whatcha GotBring the NoiseDon't Believe the HypeCold Lampin' with FlavorTerminator X to the Edge of PanicBurn Hollywood BurnShut Em DownShe Watch Channel Zero(Flav's nephew does a verse)Black Steel In The Hour of ChaosHarder Than You Think(Band instrumental/solos)(DJ Lord riffs on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”)Anti Nigger MachinePower to the PeopleB Side Wins AgainCan't Truss ItRebel Without A PauseBy the Time I Get to ArizonaFight the Power

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Night of the Living BaseheadsHe Got GameCan't Do Nuttin' for Ya ManPublic Enemy #1

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Munch Mondays: A Ridiculous Success

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM

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"Yeah, I tried Fork, but they're out of everything I wanted," cried my friend at today's inaugural Munch Mondays event in Santa Rosa. And indeed, other trucks had tell-tale strikethroughs all over their menus, indicating—along with the huge crowds, long lines and hungry fans—that the verdict is in: Munch Mondays is a total success

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Established as Santa Rosa's meager answer to downtown Portland's famous blocks-long street food carts, Munch Mondays so far is just a handful of trucks. That's bound to change. The crowd today wasn't just a bunch of food bloggers and culture vultures—it was made up of businesspeople on a lunch break, downtown residents and merchants out for a quick bite. In other words, exactly the people Munch Mondays had hoped to attract. "I just feel bad that we're out of so many things," quipped Jilly Dorman (above), co-owner of the Street-Eatz truck and unofficial spokesperson for food cart owners.I couldn't stay long, so I just grabbed a quick burrito from La Texanita, which had the shortest lines. (Dim Sum Charlie's and Fork seemed to be slammed, and the Chicago Hot Dog guy who usually sells in Anarchy Alley next to Ting Hao was doing brisk business too.) But in the short time I was there, I did run into Bob Coburn, of the original Bob's Fruit Truck. After selling food and wrangling with the law (and with the perception of competition from Petrini's Market) for 25 years on Highway 12, a case could be made that Bob was the original street food purveyor in Santa Rosa.But that's not true, actually, and brings to mind an important story.In his old age, while working as a low-paid janitor at the courthouse, Santa Rosa's native son Julio Carrillo—who essentially founded this city with his philanthropic gifts of land—sold tamales for a time on Fourth Street in Courthouse Square to make ends meet. Historically, that would make Julio Carrillo the original street food purveyor on Santa Rosa. No wonder we love street food so much! It's in our blood, people.A little more info. on Munch Mondays is here. Be there each Monday, from 11:30am-2:00pm, in what we still charmingly refer to as the "White House Parking Lot," even though the White House department store hasn't been there for over 30 years but damn if I don't remember watching cartoons in a little coin-op booth while my mom shopped there when I was 5. Bring an appetite, 'cause this burrito I just finished at my desk was outstanding.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ted Williams, the Homeless Man with the Golden Radio Voice

Posted By on Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM

If only we weren't in print media instead of radio, we'd find work for this guy in a second.

[display_podcast]Hey KZST—drop Delilah and hire Ted Williams!(Video courtesy Columbus Dispatch)

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