Saturday, January 15, 2005

what a big baby

Note to self: don't listen to early Counting Crows when upset. Bad combo.

I could write about being in the dumps, but that's really boring. Instead, I'm going to write about a night on Sixth Street in SF. I went there last night, excited and abuzz about seeing ?uestlove. My resolution to find S a man had to be put on hold last night, since she ditched me. I still needed to get out of the house, though. On my urging, I forced my friend P to get there at 9:30. I don't know what that neurose was all about- anyone who knows anything about clubbing knows that there is nothing going on at 9:30. Oh yeah... except that I don't know jack about clubbing. So, across the street we went to a very cool bar, as it turned out. Must have been kismet, because the bar wound up specializing in vodka, so we sat around drinking Charbays and Hangars, and P became a bigger vodka snob than me. The bartender was a goofball, though not at all unpleasant on the eyes. He poured P some top-shelf-ish Hangar and said "if you don't f***ing love this, I'm not Irish" with a heavy brogue. Count on me to get stuck on this point for a good minute- but I still don't understand what being Irish has to do with vodka. Is vodka big in Ireland??? Is it something to do with potatoes? Any Irish person I've ever known has known about two things to do with alcohol- whiskey and Guinness.

When we crossed the street again, back to the club, the place had picked up considerably. Unfortunately, ?uestlove was nowhere to be found, so we grooved to reggae for a while. Maybe it's from going to too many clubs in Manhattan, but I always relate reggae to 2-3 in the morning. Am I the only one? It felt very odd to be listening to it at 11. Finally, at midnight, an unmistakable silouette graced the front of the dancefloor, standing beside the other lowly DJs. ?uestlove's signature 'fro, complete with comb inserted on one side, loomed before us. But where were the drums??? I turned to P and his friend; we all three looked dismayed. Turns out he was spinning tunes. We were disappointed. I've seen ?uest drum live, and it breaks your brain with its beauty. Sigh.

Then I looked around the basement, as ?uestlove prepared to start his set. It was a cross-section of San Francisco, yuppies and scenesters, skilled dancers and completely clunky head-nodders, dancing alone, dancing with each other, multicultural. Just everything you could ever hope to want to see in San Francisco, distilled down to one steaming basement. And then ?uest came on, and it was like listening to his personal mix tape. He goes super old school, he's playing the Beasties, Tribe, and Ice Cube. He takes a break and slows it down, throws on some LL, then follows it up with Ludacris. He's all over the place, and the crowd is loving it. Upstairs, club kids are breakdancing while artists are painting. It's maelstrom... it's hangama. It's awesome.

And I think, time to stop whining.

Tonight: more SF weirdness- we're going to see a cook who performs live, who is constructing what he calls a "Gingerbread Crackhouse." What's not to love??

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