Thursday, August 9, 2012
Upon landing in SFO and gaining two hours between the time zones, Christine and I took advantage of our extended moments by adventuring to the Yerba Buena Gardens, a beautiful two blocks of park and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – both located a hop, skip and a jump from our hotel.
The gardens included an array of flowers from all points on the Roy G. Biv spectrum and offered shaded rest spots on the lush green grass.
We explored the area for about half an hour before buying entry to the SFMOMA. There we delve into a world of experimental art and photography with pieces by Robert Rauschenbuerg, Andy Warhol, Picasso and a featured exhibit by Cindy Sherman of conceptual self-portraits which explored issues of identity and representation. Working as her own model, she transforms into characters through the use of wigs, makeup, costumes, prosthetics and props. With a retrospective of 150 pieces, including her prominent series “Untitled Film Stills,” Sherman’s work was a highlight for me.
After scaling Floors 1 through 5, Christine and I left the museum hungry and ready for noms. We found a cute bistro and chowed down on flat iron steak, frites and bacon wrapped prawns before heading back to the hotel.
Friday, August 10, 2012 – Outside Lands Festival, Day 1
An accidental turn led us to shuttle which took us directly to the festival grounds without any difficulty. While personal space was non-existent, the ride was free and convenient. No more than 15 minutes had passed before we were let off in front of the Historic Golden Gate Park. Degrees cooler than anticipated and accented by the aroma of fresh pine, the setting was breathtaking and one of the more stimulating i’ve “fested” at. Despite a 40 minute wait time for credentials, we caught the the last few songs of Wallpaper, a Bay Area hip hop act before uniting with @TitosHappy at the Tito’s Airstream.
With a desire to dance and a shared love for the band Yacht – Happy, Christine and I trekked to the Twin Peaks stage to get our groove on. “Hello my children! Hello my sons! Hello my daughters! Hello my brothers and sisters!” sang Claire L. Evans as she emerged on stage in a white blouse and shirt combo complemented by opaque sunglasses and blue lipstick. “Thanks for joining us in the nice corner of the park,” expressed co-vocalist and guitarist Jona Bechtolt. “The classy corner, where you’ve got red wine and oysters,” continued Evans – referencing surrounding booths.
“The only time is now, so let’s party together… in this moment,” she said before singing a cover song by the fictitious Fabulous Stains entitled “Waste of Time.” Stripping down to a white Madonna corset, she implored “Don’t be an old man in a young girl’s world,” before performing “Psychic City.”
A few bars into “Dystopia (The Earth is On Fire)” the band’s Mac computer crashed — prompting Evans to remark that she upgraded to Mountain Lion. During the the wait time, she conducted a Q&A where she was asked what the she likes to eat at the Olive Garden.
With an intent to grab a bite to eat before seeing Beck, we walked through McLaren Pass, home of Flotsams Wonder World – a dark and eerie lost carnival. showcasing clowns and paneled art. Across the interactive installation was a Tito’s bar with speciality cocktails which included Tito’s Electric Mule (Ginger Beer, Lime & mist of Fee Bros Mint Bitters) Tito’s Feelgood Fizz (Yerba Mate, Tea, Hibiscus, Ginger, Lemon, Honey & a mist of Absinthe) and Tito’s Wonderful-Collins (Watermelon, Lemon Juice, Honey, Mint and a mist of Rhubarb Moroccan Mint Iced Tea) – all of which included fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
(Photo by Christine Chun)
While sitting at a table across the food court area, we heard Beck’s “Loser” in the distance competing with The Walkmen who were playing nearby. Following an epic nom down, we finally made our way to the main stage where we caught “Gamma Ray” and “Where It’s At.”
(Photo by Christine Chun)
Concluding the evening was Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Having seen him play solo in Austin had left much to be desired. But as a long time fan of the album “Rust Never Sleeps,” seeing the original Southern Man with his band mates of 1979 was a dream come true. “Powder Finger,” “Cinnamon Girl,” and “Hey Hey My My” were among the artillery of songs played.