Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dengue Fever and Shifting Currents

My trip to San Francisco was super inspiring.

I stayed with my very hospitable friend Michelle. We had some lovely meals with friends, and I managed to talk her into going to a hipster concert.

(view from her kitchen window)
I didn't have time to get to all the museums, I was only able to see the De Young, but that was enough. I was struck by the Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900 - 1970, and then Maya Lin. I didn't really expect to be. Much of the exhibit was chronological, the 1900 - 1935 was lighter in mood, expansive, universal (the postcards shown are from this time period), and then when WW II and internment camp time came, I nearly cried, the work was so moving. It was notable that much of the work made in internment camps was already degrading, good materials wouldn't be easily accesible. And then the 50's 60's and 70's came, modern and cool stuff. and Maya Lin can do amazing things with two by fours and press board.

Frank Y. Soto - Shadow From Garden 1925 Chiura Obata Setting Sun: Sacramento Valley 1925

So I'd heard that Dengue Fever - a group I've been listening to a lot this past year - was in San Francisco, I thought the tickets would cost a fortune, so I didn't look into it until the day of the show - and guess what! the tickets were 9$ - Wow! So it was too late to book online, and the club didn't open until 9pm - the show's start time. Michelle was hesitant - she thought she'd be the oldest person there, but for 9 bucks, let's just see. So we get down there and there is a line from the club to the end of the block and around the corner. It didn't look good. It was just a tiny venue. So we get in line and hear that they only have 50 unsold tickets and clearly we're too far back in line. So as we were discussing this, the man in front of us (who was at least Michelle's age) said he had an extra ticket, which he'd give us if we found another. Michelle and this guy suggested I should walk the line calling out for extra tickets -(not really in my nature) - but I did it, and someone had an extra, which I bought and so we got to go! It was 9:30 or so before we got in, and then the opening act had to play and so we were looking at 11:00 before Dengue Fever would go on, so I broke down and had some whiskey. (I've been on a special diet and haven't had alcohol for 3 months -(with one other exception). But I figured whiskey can't have much sugar (which I'm not supposed to have) so I enjoyed it.

The show was excellent - there are six musicians, sax, organ, drums, bass, guitar and the amazing Cambodian singer. They were all really solid and they played together. It was super inspiring. I can't even begin to describe how much it fed me creatively. Art won't save the world, but it is important. Below is a short video from the show.

And by the way, Michelle said she enjoyed the show and didn't feel out of place.

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