Category Archives: Other

Hiero After Dark: Images & Words From The Best Hip Hop Party of the Year

All photos by Ché Holts.

This was a long time coming. Sure, the Hiero Day festival graces Oakland every Labor Day weekend, but Saturday night’s Hiero After Dark party at The Midway in SF represented a far more ambitious event for the Hieroglyphics crew. It was so crucial for the culture and nothing short of a triumph.

We can’t deny the influence that Hiero has on Bay Area hip hop culture. Their legacy is timeless. But building on that legacy by propping up other artists in the Bay and mainstream nightlife culture, is what Hiero After Dark did best. The Midway was an apt massive space for the 2,000+ goers and felt like a hip hop funhouse.

“Tonight was about connecting the new era…” Hieroglyphics’ Pep Love told us. “…connecting the artists with the new wave doing business: venues, promoters, people who curate events… Community and culture is what packs the house and that’s what Hiero does best.”

Continue reading Hiero After Dark: Images & Words From The Best Hip Hop Party of the Year

Saul Williams Drops New Video Filmed in Ferguson

Saul Williams’ musical flame was recently re-ignited for me in The Cipher Podcast’s brilliant interview with the New York based poet, rapper, playwright, actor and all-around hip-hop Renaissance man.

The interview between host Shawn Setaro and Williams centered on Williams’ latest release, Martyr Loser King. It’s a dense, ambitious and nothing short of cinematic album that magnifies modern sociopolitical issues within the world of a cyber hacker living in East Africa…shit that’s right out of a graphic novel (of which there also is one.) But there were certain comparisons that were drawn in the episode between Williams and David Bowie (Williams dropped a 2008 release entitled The Inevitable Rise And Fall Of Niggy Tardust) and a new interest in Williams was piqued.

His art is dense and complex. He oozes idealism and activism and his work is manifested in many mediums. Discovering Saul Williams’ body of work is a thrilling endeavor and today, he released a powerful video for his latest single “The Noise Came From Here,” directed by Anisia Uzeyman. In it, Williams walks through Ferguson, Missouri and tip-toes around the epicenter of where Michael Brown was brutally gunned down by a police officer in 2014. Do yourself a favor and watch this gripping piece of art and hop over to The Fader for more details on the making of the video. One love.

The Best Sandwiches in San Francisco

This post originally appeared in The Bold Italic on 10/22/14. 

(My Between Two Slices column in SF Weekly is a result of version 2.0 of this post which was slated to come out less than two weeks after The Bold Italic ceased operations. Enjoy!)


Oct 22, 2014 at 6am

Warning: reading this will make you hungry.

San Francisco is #blessed with some of the finest sandwich shops in all of the land, thanks in part to the blend of cultures that are so close to each other geographically. You could take a leisurely stroll to North Beach for a classic Italian number-one day and hit the FIDI for roast-beef amazingness for the second. You can stop at a signature Jewish deli in Nob Hill or walk another few blocks to a place with “the best Vietnamese sandwich in America.” There are Korean steak subs in the Mission, and the turkey sandwich of your life is a stone’s throw away from Golden Gate Park. Is your mouth watering yet?

Continue reading The Best Sandwiches in San Francisco


This article originally appeared in The Bold Italic on 01/30/2014 and is now databased on Everything Ecstatic for safekeeping. 

Jan 30 at 6am

It’s always slightly chilly in SF. What better way to cure the cool-weather blues than with hot, chunky noodle soups? At its most basic, pho is Vietnamese noodle soup that’s typically made with beef stock, herbs, and spices, and simmered for several hours. Pho is served with rice noodles and various cuts of beef (Pho Tai) or chicken (Pho Ga). In San Francisco, the Vietnamese population’s influence is strong, and the traditional cuisine across the city reflects different styles of pho. It’s become a cultish comfort food, and we’ve ventured out to different parts of town to bring you our 11 best bowls of pho in San Francisco.


Listen to Adrian Younge’s Linear Labs: Los Angeles

Producer Adrian Younge’s much anticipated Linear Labs: Los Angeles project is out today featuring collaboration tracks with Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier (swoon), Ghostface Killah, The RZA, Raekwon, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, The Delfonics and more.

Continue reading Listen to Adrian Younge’s Linear Labs: Los Angeles

AlunaGeorge Drops New Track “Supernatural”

Welp…here is the first taste of AlunaGeorge’s post-Body Music sound. “Supernatural” has a confidently existential electro-pop beat. Seems like Aluna might’ve found what she’s looking for after deliciously playing hard to get throughout Body Music. Check it below:

Read our review of Body Music – #12 Album of 2013.

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Thom Yorke Makes Surprise New Album Available for 6 Bucks via BitTorrent Download!

Thom Yorke is at it again. The king of unconventional music distribution has just made his new album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes available for download as a Bit Torrent file for the more than reasonable price of $6. I suppose we can expect something this anti-establishment from the guy who originated the “Pay What You Want” structure for Radiohead’s In Rainbows.

Buy the bundle here and you’ll not only get the album, but also a music video for the first track “Brain in a Bottle.” You can also download the “Brain in a Bottle” for free. Once you hear how awesome it is, you’re gonna wanna drop $6 for A FUCKING THOM YORKE ALBUM! YES!

I ponied up the $6 via paypal and downloaded the album in less than a minute via BitTorrent, using internet tethered from my cellphone, while chillin at a park. The revolution is here people.  Happy Friday.

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Below is a transcript of a letter from Thom and producer Nigel Gorich regarding the release. :


As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record.

The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files..

The files can be anything, but in this case is an ‘album’.

It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around …

If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work.

Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves.

Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.

If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.

The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or ‘cloud’ malarkey.

It’s a self-contained embeddable shop front…

The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network.

Oh yes and it’s called

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.

Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich




From the Top 9 Vault: The Top 9 Simpsons Episodes

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of my favorite Simpsons episode of all-time (spoiler alert), ‘Homer at the Bat’ and I couldn’t help but unearth this Top 9 List from an old blog post i wrote, strangely enough, 2 years ago today (just noticed the date, how random is that?!!?).  Until I read the article linked above, I never realized how poignant ‘Homer at the Bat’ was in the history of one of the longest running TV shows of all time. It appealed to the baseball geek in me then and still does today, but it’s cultural significance lives on. Below, is the Top 9 list I made 2 years ago and I still stand by the ranking of all of these. I miss the heyday of my favorite show and don’t care much for the new episodes that still air on the same Sunday primetime slot I watched when I was younger…in fact, I dont even watch it anymore. But we’ll always have the classics, and with that said, here’s the list:


9. Deep Space Homer – Homer turns out to be just “blue collared enough” to drive the ratings of NASA’s next space shuttle launch. NASA was losing in the ratings poll to “A Connie Chung Christmas” and something had to be done. We find out that NASA is actually run by super intelligent chimpanzees as Homer takes off into space, nearly destroys the mission, but saves the day at the end…Along with the help of James Taylor’s unique breed of folk rock and the all-too important “inanimate carbon rod”.

Memorable quote: “Careful! They’re rippled!” — Buzz Aldrin

8. Two Bad Neighbors – In the midst of an Evergreen Terrace Rummage sale, George H. Bush stops the party and moves in across the street from the Simpsons. A Dennis the Menace/Mr. Wilson relationship ensues between Bush and Bart and a war of the roses between Bush and Team Simpson (Homer and Bart) has a rainbow afro glued to Bush’s head and a swarm of locusts invading Bush’s personal space. In the end, living across the street from the Simpsons proves to be impossible for George and the sweetheart that is Barbara Bush. Meanwhile, Homer discovers that he and Gerald Ford are kindred spirits on their way to watch football, eat nachos and drink beer.

Memorable quote: “I come to bring you gift for warming of house, but instead I find you wrestling with local oaf?” — Mikhail Gorbachev

7. Colonel Homer – This is a favorite for sure. Tammy Wynette, stars as the voice of country bar singer Lurleen Lumpkin. Her sweet melodies touch Homer with their straight to heart honesty (“Well…except for the pickup truck part”) and Homer embarks on a mission to manage Lurleen to stardom. The songs are beautifully written and Wynette churns out a couple of classic songs, that if you buy me a drink, I’ll sing for you. In the end, Homer chooses his marriage over the prospect of shacking up with Lurleen and guiding her to stardom and sells her contract for $50 to a music exec.

Memorable Quote: “As much as I hate that man right now…You gotta love that suit!”– Bart

6. Bart the Murderer – Bart is reminiscent of Ray Liotta in ‘Goodfellas’ as he stumbles (literally) into a job as a bar man for Fat Tony and his mob. Principal Skinner goes missing and the mobsters are prime suspects, they betray Bart and explain to the court that “the boy was in charge of the whole operation”. In the end, Skinner reappears, Bart is exonerated and Neil Patrick Harris plays Bart in the made for TV movie.

Memorable Quote: “What have I done to deserve this flat flavorless Manhattan?” –Mob Boss

5. Simpson and Delilah – In this early season (2) classic, Homer discovers a new miracle baldness cure, Demoxinil, but can’t afford it and charges it to the company insurance policy. He wakes up with a full head of hair and races down the streets of Springfield notifying the world. My favorite scene of all time happens when Homer and a random stranger meet in front of the Jebediah Springfield statue after they’ve both been running at the street proclaiming “I have hair!” They bump into each other, face-to-face, squint and in unison shout “Demoxinil!!!” They hug, high five and dance as it cuts to a commercial. Epic.

Memorable Quote: “Dry fish-sticks! This sucks!” — Homer

4. Flaming Moe’s – To avoid spending any time with Marge’s sisters, Patty&Selma, Homer ducks away to the kitchen to make a cocktail. The beer ran out, so Homer threw everything, but the kitchen sink into the drink. He doesn’t notice until the end that he slipped some ‘Krusty brand non-narkotic children’s cough syrup’ into the concoction. When one of Patty’s cigarette embers falls into the drink, a large conflagration arises and the drink becomes instantly delicious. Homer shares the recipe of his “Flaming Homer” with Moe the bartender, who promptly steals the idea and markets the shit out of the “Flaming Moe”. Moe’s tavern quickly becomes the hottest spot in town, purely because of the Flaming Moe. Aerosmith performs on the pool table and Moe sings along. Just as Moe is about to sell the drink for $1 million (which his bar maid convinced him to split with Homer), Homer appears from the darkness of the pub, a la Phantom of the Opera and reveals the secret ingredient of the Flaming Moe: children’s cough syrup. The contract gets torn up and Flaming Moe carts start appearing at every corner. Moe’s goes back to being the comfortbale dankpit that Homer and the bar flies used to enjoy.

Memorable Quote: “Hey, Homer came up with the drink, but I came up with the idea of charging $6.95 for it.” — Moe

3.5 Homer vs. the 18th Amendment – I had to slip this one in at the last minute. Who can forget when Bart got drunk at the Springfield St.Patrick’s Day parade, was all over the news and led to prohibiton in Springfield? Of course, this prompted Homer to bootleg liquor, build a distillery in his basement and keep the town drunk via his alter Ego: The Beer Baron. Rex Banner was brought in to replace the banished Chief Wiggum and ultimately chase down the elusive Beer Baron. When the pointless prohibiton law was discovered to have never been in place, Wiggum returns, Homer is exposed and Rex Banner gets catapulted out of town, literally.

Memorable Quote: “To alcohol! The Cause of and solution to all of life’s problems!”

3. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk – Mr.Burns dupes the Germans into buying his leaky nuclear power plant. They instill their German business techniques and Homer is clearly the odd man out. The best daydream sequence this show has ever seen comes when an elated Homer dreams about “The Land of Chocolate.” The power plant stock booms, but Homer recently sold his shares for “a cool 25 bucks!”. Finally the Germans have had enough of their terrible investment and sell the plant back to Mr.Burns for “a most unreasonable price.” Homer gets his job back.

Memorable Quote: “Homer Simpson, sir. Sector sieben-Grueber, I mean, sector 7-G.” — Smithers

2. Itchy & Scratchy Land – “Smashy!Smashy!” The Simpsons take a family vacation to Itchy & Scratchy Land…”Where nothing could possiblye go wrong…uh…possibly go wrong…Thats the first time something’s ever gone wrong.” This is the greatest theme park ever assembled. While Bart and Lisa are having fun at “Searing Gas Pain Land” and “Unnecessary Surgery Land”, Homer and Marge are celebrating New Year’s “Every 10 minutes” at TGI McScratchy’s on “Parent’s Island”… Then, everything goes wrong. Bart and Homer get locked up by the park police for kicking the guy in the Itchy suit and the parade robots turn against all of the park goers. As the park is evacuated, The Simpsons are purposefully left behind. “When you get to hell, tell ’em Itchy sent you!” It’s a family triumph as the Simpsons ultimately detonate the robots en route to “the greatest vacation ever!”

Memorable Quote: “Attention Marge Simpson. Your son has been arrested……..Attention Marge Simpson: Your older, fatter, balder son has also been arrested.” — Voice over PA system in the gift shop.

1. Homer at the Bat – The single greatest episode of all-time. I’ll fight you for it too. Maybe its just cause I’m a baseball nut, but it doesnt get any better than when when Mr.Burns recruits 9 prominent major leaguers and gives them token jobs so they can compete on the company softball team and help him win a $1 million bet. Of course major catastrophes happen to 8 of them and all of the employees have to take the field for the championship game against Shelbyville. All except Homer, of course. Since nothing happened to Daryl Strawberry, who plays his position, right field. In the end, Mr.Burns plays the percentages and pinch hits the right handed Homer, for the lefty Strawberry with the bases loaded. Homer gets hit in the head with the pitch and Springfield wins. The rest is softball (and Simpsons) history.

Memorable Quote: “You watch too many movies Sax.” — Lou

and finally, for your listening pleasure:

‘We’re Talkin Softball’

Welcome to my new blog.

If you’ve followed any of my previous blogs “The Road to San Francisco”, “Cooking with Gas” and “Spinelli’s Top 9”, this is a unification of all of those previous concepts. I look forward to staying up on this site, blogging frequently and not letting this one go dormant like the other ones!

So please, have a seat, kick off your shoes….get comfortable. Enjoy!