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i have been to san francisco a number of times, but have never really gotten a chance to be a true tourist.  i sailed competitively all thorough college and one of my favorite places to race was city front in san francisco.  butterflies would fill my belly with excitement as the breeze would pick up and the halyards would clack against masts faster and faster.  i got to know the wave organ well at the end of the peninsula.  we would post up there, watch the racing, eat a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, and try to soak up the sun before we had to go out for the next race.  but, that’s really all i got to spend some real quality time experiencing.  we, of course, hit the usual suspects: the golden gate bridge, the exploratorium (even better as an adult), coit tower, ghirardelli square, peir 39, chinatown (to pick up a friend’s dry cleaning, no less).  i’ve never taken BART, i’ve never been to alcatraz, i’ve never been to the farmer’s market, i’ve never been to a giant’s game.  all of these seem so quintessentially san francisco.  all of which i probably need to do, seeing as i live in california…….but, THIS was the attraction that really struck my fancy, above and beyond all of the previously noted: san francisco’s camera obscura.   how cool is this?!?

 

from their website:  “The camera obscura is a rare device,based on a 15th century design by Leonardo da Vinci.It produces 360 degrees of spectacular Live Images of the Seal Rock Area. Call the operator today! (415) 750-0415”

images via: one // two // three // four 

AND for your listening pleasure:

 

“french navy” ~ camera obscura

the indie pop band from scotland – not bad.

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“Stillness is the Move” ~ Dirty Projectors

her underbite is really distracting but the song is catchy.  and the video has llamas.  can’t go wrong there….

and here is another i really like.  his voice is angelic…..cliche…..in a wonderful way.  these ladies are so….so….homely.

“No Intention” ~ Dirty Projectors

I like this version better than the album version even though the album is AWESOME.

the dirty projectors have been dubbed experimental rock.  if i were to have a band i think i’d want it to be experimental rock.  why keep doing the same thing everyone else is?  why wouldn’t you want to be taking chances?  and there’s a pretty decent article about them in the NY Times.  So, bottom line….check out Bite Orca by the Dirty Projectors for some “experimental rock”.

….cause stillness is the mooove….

 

We made up a story about these guys just for fun one random day.  This story was inspired by both this particular music video and another of them on Letterman.  Man they’re so into their sound.  Especially the lady with the shaker.  And dang this guy has got some serious whistling skillz.  If that doesn’t prove their legitimacy, I don’t know what would.  

 

We made up this story about them being from New Mexico, all twenty of them.  They live in a couple trailers side by side.  One, an old school Airstream.  This one is the kitchen.  The other, an early ’80s version RV.  “Wood” paneling kind of hazy dark, but bright inside with gauzy curtains that blow from here to there in the dry New Mexican breeze.  The cushions are covered in a striped ’70s palette, matted down from years of lounging.  Across from this is a smaller royal blue one, rusting corrugated steel roof and rocks one behind the other creating a walkway to entryway.  The opening is covered by a wispy tie-dyed curtain, also a little worn and dusty.  Beads hang intermittently.  Inside, pillows everywhere.  A still smoking hookah sits perched on an wrought iron side table with curling legs.  Random musical paraphernalia sit scattered throughout the camp, near the fire pit, leaned against the Airstream.

 

And they’re just so stoked on being together.  And that’s just it.

 

Home is whenever I’m with you.

 

However, turns out they’re from LA.  They form a 10-piece band “folk-rock” in nature.  They’re from this little dirty niche that plays on.  They play on.  Seems like they would rock Burning Man.  Refrain from wearing shoes.  Hold hands.  Hippie meets hipster.  

 

Their whistling front man, Alex Ebert, used to hang out with Ima Robot.  But after losing a major label deal decided to turn to the whistling desert shaman within.  According to a Rolling Stones interview Ebert shares, “I really am a firm believer in utopia, otherwise I have no reason to be here.”  And after taking them nearly a year and a half to complete a funky pile of an album Up from Below the whole team has taken on a more commun, family oriented perspective……hey…..kind of like that story we made up about them…….