SomaFM Needs You!!

If you want some kick-ass web-based free streaming music, then look no further than SomaFM. I’ve been listening to their “Groove Salad” channel for more than 1/2 a decade now, and it’s done me right every time. And if you become a regular listener, you really should show a bit of love with a $$ donation every now and again. They’re totally listener supported, and are completely worth it.

SomaFM independent internet radio

Slice of SF History

A building just came down at the corner of Howard and Hawthorne Streets, across from the world famous(ly bad) strip club, The Gold Club, and in its wake was exposed this old skool advert. Something tells me that it’s not going to be around much longer, so I’ll enjoy it while it is. Wonder how old it is and what’s the story behind it…

Sherwood Packing Company
Jobbers and Distributors
Packing House Products
Decker’s Iowana Brand Hams & Bacon
Quality Brand Hams-Bacon-Lard
Perfect Products

3 Flavs, 2 Rides

When Matt & Sarah were out in SF for X-Mas with the rest of the fam, we took some time to go on a couple of EPIC Bay Area rides.

The first one, down somewhere near UC Santa Cruz, was shown to us by Bob and Friends. Probably one of the most fun rides I’ve ever been on in my life. It was 18 miles of climbing fireroads and bombing completely insane Redwood-tinged single track. I have no idea where we were, and would never be able to find my way around in that network of trails if I were to go back by myself. Bob & Co. were a killer bunch of peeps to ride with, though, so I’ll just have to have them show me around again some time.

The second ride, the 30 mile Home -> GG Park -> Presidio -> GG Bridge -> Marin Headlands (Bobcat & Miwok) loop, was one that I know all too well. It’s a blast of a ride as well, but given that it’s a City to fireroad grinder and back, it’s completely different than riding in Santa Cruz.

We had a killer time on both rides, and I was stoked to finally be able to show M&S what mountain biking in the Bay Area’s all about. Too bad we just scraped the surface… good thing they’ll be back one day for some more!!

3 Flavs, Super Secret SC Ride

Matt & Sarah, Golden Gate Bridge

Big Flav & Lil’ Flav, Marin Headlands

Flav & Big Flav, Marin Headlands

Matt, Bomb into Tennesse Valley

Sarah & Matt, Tennessee Valley Stables

Dude. Hawtin?

Man, I’ve been so caught up in JuniorFlav land that I pretty much figured I’d be off the map here for at least a few months. That would have been the case had I stuck with my original internal plan and backed out of the late nite that was Magda and Richie Hawtin at Mighty last Friday nite. You see, sleep has been alluding me for the past few weeks, and I was pretty much driven to the point of giving up on going out until I received a few encouraging words from some other father-friends. The first one told me, “Go home, take a nap and go out!!”, which was pretty convincing, but then the other one said, “Dude, take advantage now, because it’s only going to get worse from here.” That one did it. I kept my trap shut, sucked it up, met up with Cho’nuff and we headed over to Mighty.

Upon arrival, Magda had already taken the decks and was in the midst of working the crowd into a steady groove. The place was pretty full and was only getting fuller. Mighty is no Mezzanine in terms of capacity (anyone have any idea how many Mighty holds?), but the promoters that brought this duo to town didn’t seem to notice that they were no longer hosting Hawtin off of Jessie St. The notice that they sent out on Friday afternoon even said, “the remaining 300 tickets will be sold at the door.” *Remaining* 300?!? Mighty seriously looks smaller than 111 minna, and that place can’t legally hold more than 600 or so. Remaining my ass. What gives?

Anyways, I did enjoy Magda’s set, but realistically we more or less spent the entirety of her set having a few drinks, catching up with friends and getting settled in for the evening. And then around 1:15AM the entire landscape of the nite changed. Hawtin grabbed the helm and immediately brought things up and up and up until there was a crushing frenzy within the beyond capacity crowd. It was hot, it was loud, it was bangin’ and everyone was going bonkers. About an hour in I realized that Hawtin had spent the previous 60 minutes working some crazy voodoo techno majik and had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand. We had gone from bang zoom to deep journey and no one even noticed the transition. All they knew was that they were on a ride that they couldn’t easily eject from.

Richie kept this pace up until roughly 3AM, at which time he quickly pulled the bus over and let all those who couldn’t hang get off. I couldn’t believe it, although I had experienced the same thing two times before when we saw him at Mezzanine… an hour after the booze runs out so does the energy of 1/2 the crowd, so they all bail, yet the show goes on. All of a sudden, we were left with a club that was at capacity, but still full of people who had no where else they would have rather been. What ensued from there is pretty much indescribable. What I thought was deep from the 2nd third of the set turned out to be not so much, and what I thought was banging from the 1st third paled in comparison.

Hawtin sucked us in, slapped us around, spit us out, and just before letting us get away, did it all again… over and over and over during the last hour of his set. And then for the last 15 minutes, he just toyed with us… taking it down, and then bringing back the bass. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP… and then down again and then… THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. I have never in my life been in such awe of a live music experience, and up until now I was pretty sure I had had my fill of bone chilling, life changing musical adventures. Apparently this is/was not the case. All I really have to say to that is, “SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK!!” Just knowing that I can still have a nite like last Friday really helps me keep the faith in terms of new music. And whenever I fall back into thinking that the world is destined to become full of a bunch of noisy shit, I’ll just harken back to that nite and rememeber that somewhere out there, things are aiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Oh, and if you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and go experience a nite of Richie Hawtin before you kick the bucket. I’ve learned my lesson about questioning whether or not I need to be in attendance on a Hawtin nite, so if you happen to do it in San Francisco, then keep an eye out for me and Cho’nuff, ‘cuz we’ll definitely be there.

And mucho thanks to Cho’nuff for pushing me in this direction musically, because if you hadn’t, I would have never known what I was missing. Foeweel.

Yo T-Third, Where’s My B-Bike Lane?

I remember first hearing about the new Muni Light Rail line that was to connect downtown SF with Hunter’s Point via the Third Street Corridor back in early 2000. It was just a few weeks after we had started up (RIP) over in Potrero Hill, and we were all super stoked that we’d soon have a decent public transit option for quickly getting to and from work. Well two years came and went, 911 took place, the bubble burst, and macroplay went down with the ship. Sadly, it all happened before the new Light Rail was ready… sadlier, it was about 5 whole years before it was ready, in fact.

So here we are in April, 2007, and the new Muni T-Third rail line is finally open!! Yay? Um, not really… not only was this project over budget and behind schedule but the first few weeks of service have been a nightmare of a debut, frought with bottlenecks, delays, confusion and some extremely frustrated passengers.

But I’m not here to talk about all that. Why I’m writing this is because through all of the conversations and news coverage and fanfare and other blah blah blah about the T-Third rail and the new Mission Bay and connecting downtown SF to Hunter’s Point via the redone Third Street, there’s one thing that I’ve yet to hear mentioned by anyone: WHO FORGOT TO PUT IN THE BIKE LANE?

Wow, for a city that has led the way in the introduction of bike lanes over the past 15 – 20 years, this is a huge oversight. Or maybe it was intentional? The Third Street corridor hasn’t historically been the most highly travelled or densly populated part of the City, so I can see how it would have been off of the radar of the SF Bike Coalition and other groups that have done an amazing job of fighting for safe biking in SF. I can see Willie Brown and his cronies back in ’99 or so thinking, “You know, adding support for a bike lane on either side of Thrid Street is gonna cost a lot of money as well as take up precious space. Sure we’re essentially ripping up the whole thing, putting in new sewage and other infrastructure and re-laying Third Street, but the SF Bike Coalition is looking the other way right now, so…”.

So now we’re left with a newly paved two way street, that’s wide enough to fit two lanes of traffic, and some curbside sewage/water drains. Yup, the sewage drains won out over the bikes. Sure, the water needs to go somewhere, but does it really need to be collected a foot and a half out into the street? There’s no doubt that bikes are going to come down this road… hell, I ride down it at least once a week. And when Mission Bay fills out and traffic really starts flowing, and people are strolling down the sidewalks and bikes have nowhere to go, there are going to be accidents. And they ain’t gonna be pretty. Gavin Newsom’s possee needs to wake up and do something about this while they still can.

Let me take you on a little photo journey starting at 16th & Third, heading north to the ballpark…

There’s a flat sewage grate up there, but looks pretty wide other than that.

Drivers are leaning left in the lanes, which makes it wide enough for all of us.

Uh, oh. Pitched sewage grate with thin grate meshing. Nice for water flow, bad for bike tires.

Good thing I’m riding my mountain bike.

Ok, guess I’ll just get used to rolling over these grates. At least there’s plenty of space that way.