Symphony sale, a Banksy fake (?) + googlestalking

I wanted to get this out before the symphony sale ends, so accept my apologies for any typos in the following. Just one new piece since last time: a look at intimacy in the age of googlestalking, which became much more timely after I pitched it.

And in a follow-up to my #workhaiku piece for Books and Culture, Amy L. Peterson has a nice meditation on everyday art and community.

Lastly, I'm still madly at work on Pray for the Johns Day promotion, so any and all help spreading the word would be greatly appreciated. The Facebook link I shared last time now works, but I've also created a during-game prayer guide you could share with friends (especially people hosting Super Bowl parties!). Yes, I know that probably sounds like the most culturally obtuse suggestion possible ... but read up on it a bit and see what you think. Could you take even one bathroom or commercial break per quarter to pray?

:: tunes ::

  • Symphony sale: Thru 6 p.m. tonight, you can get tickets to the San Francisco Symphony's spring season for as little as $20.
  • The Atheist Hymnal - journalist Tony Carnes highlights a funny musical skit with Steve Martin.
  • I wish you could have heard the radio interview that introduced me to this guy, but he's a Martha's Vineyard-based drummer who does some really cool therapy with people who have Parkinsons.
  • One of my favorite radio stations, though I've never actually heard it via the dial, has lost its signal. MVY is currently fundraising to transition to a solely internet-based stream. I've been enjoying their nightly Blues at 8 show (on at 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday), but they also play a lot of other music you're unlikely to hear on most other stations. Find them in iTunes under "eclectic" radio stations or stream from MYVradio.com.
  • On the lighter side, I kind of liked this piece on the inauguration lip-synch kerfuffle, which gave one professional musician cover to nerd out on the sound technicalities of live performance.
:: visual art ::
:: your stuff ::
:: reading/food for thought ::
  • Image editor Gregory Wolfe responds to a recent article claiming fiction has lost its faith, in this piece for the Wall St. Journal.
  • I don't know this writer, his "10 Lies Artists Tells Themselves" was shared by the International Arts Movement Twitter account, which has yet to disappoint me in its recommendations.
  • I'm always fascinated by things attain the popularity they do, so this analysis of current TV hits' narrative appeal was intriguing. Also, I finally started watching Downton season one, which this discusses.
  • This piece on our habitual avoidance of death is worth meditating on for various reasons, but I was especially struck by his summary of how we tend to envision life's trajectory. I've wrestled with that a lot -- the sense that singleness might deprive one of life's key drama and events, but also that the "settling down" marriage often entails commences a downward slide from the narrative peak of one's life. I don't actually think that's true -- my parents' lives providing a strong counter to such a notion -- but this author's comment suggests that notion is deeply ingrained in our culture.
:: food ::
  • I had a really fantastic meal and drinks at a place in downtown Tucson last weekend, so if you ever get out there, check out 47 Scott. They no longer serve the "Smoke Signal" that first caught my attention, but the bartender's off-the-cuff attempt to reproduce it was might tasty. The moral of this story: if you're patronizing a bar with a decent bartender, you might get a very tasty result when you ask for an off-the-menu drink.
  • Hankering for a homemade meal, but don't time to cook? A friend of Nate, Laura and Steve's has a small meal business called Shira's Kitchen, which offers affordable, tasty dinner options. Check out her Facebook page to see this week's menu.


Turmeric tea, Keller on work, birdhouse jazz

Happy January! Just one new piece to share since last issue: The Kids Aren't All Right, my new book review for Books and Culture. You'll have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing. But, hey! Guess what? I still haven't found a winner for my Books and Culture subscription contest, so this could be your day to pass the velvet online ropes and waltz behind the scenes like a real subscribing rockstar. Just write a sentence or two in the comments below, saying why you want a year's subscription! Be sure to provide an email address in the contact information.

:: events ::
Birdhouses constructed with found materials.
  • Jazz party: Remember that North Berkeley birdhouse maker I told you about a few weeks back? Well, I happened to bike by his truck the other night and wound up buying three birdhouses. While there, I also got the scoop on his now-weekly jazz night, which runs 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Fridays, but not for long (he still plans to return to the Philippines soon). I'm curious to check out the scene (one recent act was visiting from New York, he said), but such an outing promises far too much adventure for me to keep it to myself. Anyone in? The house is across the street from the North Berkeley BART station on Sacramento.
  • Cole Porter's musical Anything Goes (on which P.G. Wodehouse collaborated) starts a four-week run tonight. Any fellow musical/Porter fans out there? While I don't know CP's work exhaustively, some of the songs in the show are as good a testament as any to his lyrical prowess.
  • Cody ChesnuTT plays the Independent Jan. 29. I really enjoyed the First Listen of his newest album -- especially "Under the Spell of the Handout." Anyone else want to hear him? $15/8 p.m. show.
:: tunes ::
:: reading / food for thought ::
:: your stuff ::
:: Keller corner ::
:: visual art & film  ::
  • Paste's review is the first I've heard of this new film from Dustin Hoffman (yes, he directs!), but Quartet sounds great. Anyone want to go? It comes out Friday, and I suspect my movie-companion options are one or some of you or my 60something aunt -- a lovely woman, but not super close by. The New York Times has more on this and another film set in the world of classical music, the latter of which features Christopher Walken.
  • National Geographic recently announced the winners of its annual photography contest.
  • Politics aside, this slideshow of the White House photographer's favorite pictures from 2012 presents a more intimate portrait of the president and his family than you normally see — especially several fun interactions with children.
  • A couple recommendations from The Grotto's J.D. Beltran:
    • THE THIRD WAVE AT GARDEN GATE CREATIVITY CENTER, BERKELEY - Check out iPhone art at  "The Third Wave" show, through Jan. 30 at the Garden Gate Creativity Center, 2911 Claremont Ave. in Berkeley.
    • "ABOUT FACE" AT PIER 24 - An exhibition of nearly 1,000 photographs drawn primarily from the Pilara Foundation's permanent collection. "About Face" encompasses wide-ranging approaches to portraiture from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day, from August Sander's "Face of Our Time" to Richard Avedon's "The Family," to Jim Goldberg's "Rich and Poor" and Larry Sultan's "SF Society." Through February. By advance appointment only.
:: food ::This one's for the aspiring hippies ... or taste adventurers among you: try this turmeric tea recipe that was just shared in our office newsletter yesterday. I haven't tried it yet, but I hope to tonight. The most popular comment on the About version says that, with fresh ginger and a couple other tweaks, the drinker likes it almost as well as coffee! I'm certainly intrigued.