Weekend recs


Hidden things on hills, San Francisco, California

San Francisco gives up its secrets slowly, but they are fabulous. Relying on Google map directions to visit friends-of-a-friend, we ended up climbing the Filbert Steps up Telegraph Hill. They rose through an improbable fairyland of Victorian cottages and exotic plants, some kind of vertical Shire tucked right behind the Levi Strauss world headquarters. Another day, walking down a beach, a friend said there were food trucks nearby. We wandered up the hill and found a giant grassy field, lined with the foodiest goddamn food trucks you could dream of (scallop banh mi!) and serviced by strolling cocktail servers pulling wagons. What other adventures do those hills hold? — Dave


Oakland: In the traveler’s imagination, Oakland exists as a punchline to San Francisco, but I’ve spent vanishingly little time in that city, so I’m making Oakland my weekend rec in what I hope is a refreshing spirit of ignorance. Oakland isn’t the Brooklyn of the Bay Area, a billion internet articles notwithstanding. It lacks the density and the sarcasm and the Jews.  It may be in some ways the Austin of the Bay Area: a medium-sized, big-state-University-adjacent, slow-moving town with good down-market food and a decent cultural life you have to dig a little harder for than you would somewhere bigger. This is, granted, from the perspective of my semi-gentrified corner.  A lot of Oakland is other things, apparently: industrial, empty-streeted, violent, wildly rich up in the hills. But there are wonderful deco and mid-century relics downtown including the beautiful, bright green I. Magnin building and the Paramount, a movie palace that earns that terminology.  (Also, if your depressive response to being universally yawned at by prospective employers tends toward excessive burrito consumption, Oakland is your dysthymic paradise.)  I thought I was going to have City Envy here, as I often did living 20 stops out in NYC, but I think I might love it a little.  Just shoot me between the eyes if I ever say “hella” anything. — Greg Freed

David Bowie – “Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix By James Murphy For The DFA)”

Well THIS won’t come as a surprise to anyone (either that this exists, by now, or that I’m reviewing it), but here ya go:

This song! That clippity clappity intro, that long trancy LCD vibe, those jazzy keys, the funk-to-funky surprise filling, that chunkity background groove goin’ downstairs. The nasal robot “sy hellaow hellaow,” floating in a tin can somewhere between “Hello Goodbye” and “Telephone Line.” Beeps and boops. Claps and clops.  So much pleasure lacquered into these ten and a half minutes. DIG IT. Full respect to His Maj, but this radiant remix makes the original sound kinda “Abacab.” — Stephanie Wells

Top photo via.

4 responses to “Weekend recs”

  1. GF says:

    Hm, that could have used an edit.

  2. LP says:

    Dave and Greg: What a fabulous place to be able to explore. (And by “place,” I mean all of the following: your neighborhood, Oakland, San Francisco, the Bay Area, Northern California, California). The next few years will be revelation upon revelation, adventures galore. So excited and happy for you.

    Swells: Clippity clappity! Clippity Clappity! This is gorgeous, and I totally didn’t see the rhythmic direction the song was taking. Reminds me of one of my favorite gems from a FF collection, that Benjamin Biolay song “Little Darlin’,” another one where the rhythm takes you by surprise (that one, at the end).

  3. Bryan says:

    1: I like how it starts and starts again, trying to figure out how to get a handle on what to say. Seemed pretty real life to me.

    Swells: I love this mix. Love it. I’d listened to it a couple times last week and listened to it a couple more after you posted it. That five minute mark is the best. Yea James Murphy. Reminds me of those crazy old DFA comps we used to dance to in the early 00s. I also love how in this mix the applause gets thematized (ugh, hate that word) by its placements against specific lyrics. A really super smart job he’s done there.

  4. Bryan says:

    Also, what I wouldn’t give for a burrito from SF right now …