Drama Talk & Drinks: “It felt like a bad joke.”

Brittany & Katie do this column because they love theater. They really do. And so it is with two heavy hearts that they delivered this review of Patterns, at The New Stage in Hayes Valley:

“Wall-size video projections surround the audience with an awe-inspiring panoramic view of love in life.” This was the description we read when we got the invitation to check out Patterns a one woman performance piece. Sounds awesome right? We thought so.

After the show, at the line for the bathroom

Man in line: Did you guys get it?
Katie: Nope.
Brittany: Nope.
Man in line: Ok good, me neither.

The Verdict: This piece feels like a over-thought and over-indulgent Master’s thesis. It’s definitely interesting but not necessarily enjoyable.

The Drama Talk: Amy Munz, The New Stage founder and the creator and performer of Patterns is obviously a talented artist. But Patterns feels more like an artist’s contemporary take on Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, than a piece designed to entertain. The show kicks off with screaming manic laughter and devolves from there. Although The New Stage concept of immersing the audience in video projections is intriguing, the positioning of the screens made us feel like were were watching a tennis match. We had to constantly readjust and look from side to side around fellow audience members heads to catch obstructed views of the dream-like video projections. It was tiring.

Video of what looks like a cow being disemboweled plays while the character of a young girl delivers a disjointed schizophrenic monologue (not about cows getting disemboweled, mind you). It felt like a bad joke. Munz might be trying to alienate the audience, but the performance fails to actually assault the senses (largely because video screens are obscured) while playing into every stereotype of the out of touch ACTOOOR. The characters, though vibrant and distinct, lacked an arc. There wasn’t really a story to speak of, just flashes into the psyches of unstable women. Without a story, without a character arc, and with obstructed video screens which nearly gave us whiplash we didn’t really enjoy the show. This piece has so many promising elements, but this execution falls short.

The Drinks: After the show we couldn’t wait to get a drink and sort through what we just saw, luckily Sauce was very nearby. Sauce is a quaint little bar and restaurant under a boutique hotel. Katie had the moscow mule and Brittany had the American Honey Side Car. They were tasty and strong and helped us relax after a hectic performance piece that left our heads spinning and neck aching.

Patterns runs through 8/16 at the the Dennis Gallagher Arts Pavilion, and tickets can be purchased through their website. Ticket prices vary from $35-$65 depending on what package you buy.

3D City: Crashing Faster


3D City is a year long stereoscopic photography project by Doctor Popular

Crashfaster, a local chiptune rock band, have just released a brilliant new EP called “Superchroma“. A couple months back they invited me to hang out and document the process as they recorded at Different Fur Studios in the Mission. I wanted to pick a format that worked with their lo-fi electro sound, so I created this experimental series of glitched out 3D images of the band in action.

All shots taken on my little Lumix 3D1 then glitched in text editors. BTW, I’m teaching a series of artist’s workshops in The Secret Alley throughout August, including workshops on creating 3D Wigglegrams and glitching images in text editors. Basically, how to create images just like these.


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Sun punching through

Sign sun punch

Seen on 18th Street.

Nicholas Krgovich is playing an early show at Rite Spot this Saturday afternoon!

This song should be all you need to know:

Nicholas Krgovich rules! (And seeing live music at Rite Spot rules.) (And being able to go see a show at 5:30pm on a Saturday and still being able to go out and do something else afterward rules.)

Here’s the tour info:

UPDATE: L.A. Takedown? Also rad…

(Thanks, A!)

DJ Purple brings Dance Karaoke to SoMa StrEat Food Park this Saturday night!

Food trucks and karaoke!!! (And a beer/wine truck, duh.) What could be better??? Here’s the deal:

We’ll be covering 5 Saturdays for Karaoke KJPaul! Mark your calendars for July 26th, August 2nd, 16th, 23rd and 30th (we’ll miss August 9th)!

Karaoke will be 7pm-midnight! Get there early to enjoy the fabulous food! Food trucks start closing between 9 and 10! The bar truck stays open until midnight!

Food and Dance Karaoke! Who knew? Join us for fabulous singers, fancy pyrotechnics, great company, and FOOOD!

If you haven’t been, you should know SoMa StrEat Food Park is actually just right across the street from the Mission — very accessible. Their soundsystem is loud, and their beer/wine/sangria menu is pretty damn good.

And I promise, whether you really love karaoke or you only kind of love karaoke, this will be awesome!

RSVP and invite your friends!

The perennial aesthetic merits of the Muni-only thoroughfare between 21st and Liberty

In my early days living in the city, I liked to walk home from SF State like this: north along the Muni tracks into West Portal, up over Forest Hill and down into the 9th and Irving area (where I’d stop for a slice or a cookie or a loaf of bread at Arizmendi), past Kezar Stadium, down Haight Street to Toronado (where I’d stop for a pint or three) (they were $2.50 back then!), then down Church Street and up to the bench at the crest of Dolores Park (where I’d stop and do some homework), and then along some more Muni tracks to 21st or 22nd Streets (in what’s called “Dolores Heights” or the “Liberty Hill Historic District” depending on your map) where I’d turn left and head down into the Mission.

I had lots of favorite sights along that route, but this weird Muni-only thoroughfare with high walls between Liberty and 21st just really visually struck me every time I saw it. So after a while I started taking a picture of it every time I passed by, and I compiled them into a PowerPoint. (David Byrne popularized the idea of PowerPoint as art about 10 years ago; I was into it too.)

Soon after, I graduated and stopped walking that route, and then I got busy with work (and blogging) and forgot all about it. Some years later, I was visiting my sister at my parents’ house in Sacramento and she proposed we go to (and participate in) a “multimedia open mic night” at the Villanova House performance space in Davis. I dug through some old boxes I’d put into storage in their basement, found some SF State-era thumb drives and my old Minidisc player, and improvised this “multimedia open mic” performance:

Then Primo ‘grammed this photo the other day and got me reminiscing all over again.

(Oh and it was also along those tracks that I took the photo that became the first Mission Mission post ever.)

[Photo by Google Maps]

A sanitized, corporate San Francisco, as predicted by David Cross and Bob Odenkirk in 1996

In the comments thread about the impending closure of Valencia Street vintage-by-the-pound outlet Clothes Contact, one commenter reminded us about this prescient Mr. Show sketch from nearly 2 decades ago. Keep an eye out for familiar faces:

Dang, Mr. Show sure is great.

Hot new look for summer: His-and-hers matching legs and feet

(Thanks, Mikey and Morgan!)

Friday night partytime

First there’s the 3-year anniversary of American Tripps. I’m DJing!

But that’ll be over somewhat early, and then it’ll be time to go to the return of Haçeteria, which goes til 4am (and features real DJs):

Modern romance

My pal Chad is really into karaoke. (As am I.) Apparently he says so on his online-dating profiles, and here’s what happens when a nice young lady doesn’t heed his warning:

Done and done. Easy peasy.

Now, before you rip on Chad for being so quick to pass, and before you rip on this nice young lady for not branching out more at karaoke, think about it… Back in the old days, it might take you 10 years of marriage (followed by a bitter divorce) to figure out that it wasn’t going to work because the only song she’d karaoke was “Gangsta’s.” Modern romance cuts right to the chase!

(Also, be sure to check out DJ Purple’s debut at SoMa StrEat Food Park this Saturday night!)