Friday, August 13, 2004

Friday after work I felt a little restless so I headed to the Red Vic Movie House in the Haight to See Super Size Me. The Red Vic is one of my favorite theaters in the city. It's worker owned and operated shows art films and second runs. The staff is very pleasant and the popcorn is served in recyclable bowls and they provide a wide variety of spices to season your corn, salt step to the back.

Super Size Me, made we feel embarrassed that I eat so much junk food, the film makes a strong argument that McDonalds uses marketing techniques to hook eaters from cradle to grave. I was a child raised on Cheeseburgers, my favorite semi-beefy treat, but at this date I know how to control my diet. It's not like I eat McDonalds weekly but if it isn't McDonalds it's something else and this is the other issue of the the film . Can we blame McDonalds if we eat high fat diets daily? Whether it's the Big Mac, Whopper, Oreo cookies or sodas it's dangerous to stick this stuff in our bodies. Children need advocates in regards to their diets what does your child eat at school, adults we have to take a few moments to educate ourselves. Super Size worked for me - I'm recommending the film to family and friends.

After being Super Sized I headed to Amoeba Records, been dying to buy some jazz CDs especially Duke Ellington at Newport Complete, I heard clips of the 1956 concert on NPR and Duke's Band was swinging and the audience went wild. Amoeba has a great selection and reasonable prices I had no trouble finding the CD (free commercial). I've haven't had much success hearing big bands today that swing...at the San Jose Jazz Festival there was a Big Band Stage. The band I heard was ok, it's not fair to make comparisons to Ellington band but I'm looking for some live big band with energy not just precision playing..

My evening wasn't over, a friend swung by Ameoba and we where on our way to the Hemlock Tavern to see Harlem Shake Burlesque. Harlem Shake Burlesque is an African American Burlesque troupe. I know there's a resurgent of Cabaret, New Vaudeville, and Burlesque, this was my first Burlesque performance, I wanted to see how these sisters are representing. I've known about the Hemlock Tavern for years but the name, didn't inspire me to taste their libations. The Tavern is located in the Tenderloin, the gentrification surprised me in the neighborhood, new clubs and restaurants...while I have mixed feeling about gentrification I don't miss the boy prostitutes who used to fill the corners of this area when I first moved to the city. I know they're still there just more concealed, it's a heavy prostitution location for males and females. As we waited at a corner, a transgender man was yelled at by a group of men in a car. I felt a jolt of nervousness that we were about to get involved in a hate crime. Thank God those ass-holes kept on driving. This is my complaint about gentrification the people moving in really want to drive out the current community. The guy waiting on the corner wasn't bothering anyone what makes these men feel the need to intimidate others. They're the ones white males and clean cut our society defines as normal but there's something sick and primitive happening in these guys psyches. Why aren't they having a good time enjoying their friends without threatening others?

Anyway, nothing happened, the Tavern, a large bar full of mostly kids - we made our way to the back where we found a small room almost full, we where lucky of get a seat and table. It was an interesting audience mixed race and age with a strong dose of hip-ness. The opening act was Tippy Canoe and the Paddleman, Tippy is a Ukulele playing 1930ish-vampish singer, Paddleman company her on bass. I like, their style laid back but vampy, and choice of music rock-a-billy and 1930 songs. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the ukelele.

Harlem Shake Burlesque, show was a combination of songs, dance, and striptease. It was fun and interesting. Since strip joints aren't on my activity list I can't compare these performances to current strips shows, except to say this show didn't have full nudity pasties and tassles were tastefully used. The show made me cognitive of the art of striptease. I just want to know how they make those tassels spin. Also, one of the dancers Lady Marmadlade, performance brought memories of Josephine Baker, her energy and dancing was fun. The singer/dancer Alotta Boutte, did saucy blues numbers she did a nice job. I'm going to see the troupe again and see more artist performing in this scene.


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