Is It Too Soon to Tell You that I Love You?

I’ve talked about Annie Bacon before. Her O-Shen plays all over town on a pretty regular basis. But she also wrote and performs in The Folk Opera. Tonight (Sunday June 20) this beautiful piece of work will be performed at Amnesia in San Francisco, starting at 6pm. If you can make it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you can’t make it (or you’re reading this on Monday, Tuesday, so on), you can still support Ms. Bacon and her operatic endeavor through the Kickstarter Project.

The Folk Opera tells of Elizabeth, a caretaker in her twenties in charge of Aunt Sara, an cantankerous, down-home grande dame afflicted with dementia. Their car breaks down on the way to the mechanic, and in one short afternoon their lives become entangled in those of the small town in which they find themselves. Tragedy mixes with romance, the personalities are clear and true, and the music is gorgeous, moving.

There are four main characters in this tale: Elizabeth, Aunt Sara, the Old Man, and Rita the Waitress. Here I’ve pulled together four vintage-inspired looks for these folks, all culled from Bay Area vendors.

Aunt Sara

Aunt Sara is, as I said, a little off her rocker, but it is clear from the little we know of her life that she is not and was not without bravery and gumption in her life. While it may be said that she led a pedestrian life, in her own small town, with her own tight-knit family, there is no reason, in my mind, why she wouldn’t also be stylish and daring of dress. She was once a very beautiful woman, I suspect. So for these reasons, I’ve chosen bold, balls-to-the-walls pieces for her and tried to throw them together like I imagine a drunk five year old would.

From BREDVintage: Gorgeous abstract floral, silk sheath dress by Mam'selle by Betty Carol, size 8, $39.99.

Aunt Sara should also pile on the costume jewelry like it’s going out of style, which, you know, maybe it is. Also, she’s may have Alzheimer’s but even she knows you can’t take it with you, so you might as well rock what you got while you still have it.

From BREDVintage: I think Sara should throw this crazytown, gold, sequin and bead, diamond-patterned vest over her red dress. It's $59.99, in case you're interested.

I picture her, for some reason, in high top Chuck Taylors. Pink maybe to match this coat.

Also from BREDVintage: Beautiful poppy print, linen, 3/4 length coat, $39.99.

Aunt Sara can top the coat with some great broaches. Grande olde dames favor broaches.

From Sewn in Pieces: To top it all off, I think these pink velvet combs are charming and appropriately quirky. And they're only $8.


It is unclear, or unimportant, whether Elizabeth is actually related to Aunt Sara or whether she is merely her caretaker. It is very clear, however, that she takes excellent care of the old broad and cares for her very much. I picture her dressing casually and comfortably, particularly for this little dramatic sojourn, though I think she may also borrow liberally from Aunt Sara’s closets. I see no reason why this should be a bad thing. She is only much more simple in construction and compilation than Aunt S. Tone down the jewelry and piled -on prints and you’ll come closer to the truth.

From SweetRocket99: Green, paisley dress, $30. I love that this looks so easy to wear, while still being super cute with a vintage twist. Elizabeth also looks smashing in green.

I see her wearing Tom’s loafers, because they are comfortable, cute, and clearly Elizabeth is one who wants to give back.

From Triple Gemini: I see her topping off her simple dress with something equally simple, equally cute, and super versatile, like this blazer with puffed shoulders and a fitting waist, $36.

The Old Man

We eventually learn the identity of the Old Man but it would be wrong to tell you now. Know though, that he’s dapper as can be and suave from years of practice. He is a romantic. I see him in some classic suit, daily, and throwing on great accent pieces.

From OutFit: Like this 14k gold pocket watch circa 1894. It is an American Waltham Watch with exquisitely engraved decorations and it'll run you only $60.
From BREDVintage: This Jean Paul Gaultier men's pinstripe vest features a hand painted orchid, $50. It is perfect for the old man.

The funny thing is, Joel Dean Stockdill, who plays the Old Man, already kind of dresses like this. He’s got great style. I tell him so all the time.

Rita the Waitress

So Rita actually owns the diner in questions, the de facto home away from home for the residents of the unnamed small town. She’s got sass and she keeps all the secrets. I also suspicion she keeps all the clothes she and her kids have ever owned. I think she cultivates kooky.

From SweetRocket99: Like take this tee, she's probably been rocking it for years. I think it's probably always covered in flour and food stains, $25.

I picture her in jeans, possibly cut offs (though not of course as short as the ones worn by the young lady above). Of course, she wears and apron, and has bic pens stuck in her bun.

From SweetRocket99: This is the another example of the kind of shit Rita rocks. This boho patchwork vest, $15, will have been in her wardrobe rotation forever. Throw it over the tee. Whatever, it's cool.

I hope I’ve got you intrigued. I cannot recommend the Folk Opera enough. Please donate and help Annie hit her mark, and get a recording made of this amazing, musical, moving experience.

BREDVintage has a mantra: mantra is “Be Resplendent Every Day”. Dress with style, make people smile. Here you can find beautifully made vintage clothing, perfect for crazy women, apparently.

Sewn in Pieces is based in Berkeley and comes courtesy of a long-time fashion lover. She’s got a great eye and wonderful pieces to offer.

SweetRocket99 you’ll find hand picked vintage items from the 40’s to the 80’s. The aesthetic is influenced by everything from bohemian gypsy girl, Brazilian Tropicalia to 40’s pin-up and 80’s glam rock stars.

Triple Gemini has a great selection of vintage clothes from all the big decades. Free shipping on orders over $100.

OutFit is another Berkeley based vendor. Another vintage clothing seller with great taste.

Last but not least, Claridad sells all kinds of amazing little treasures and says she finds her inspiration from all over, especially San Francisco where she is currently based.


With Friends Like These


Elizabeth Greenblatt and Annie Bacon (see sidebar)

Tonight Annie Bacon sings at Cafe Royale with the talented and lovely Elizabeth Greenblatt. The show starts at 8 and is FREE, so you have no excuse not to go. For two and a half hours, these two beauties will woo you with their talent and charm. Alone, Annie and Elizabeth have two of the most emotive, stirring, and beautiful voices you’re likely to hear, but together they are powerful, phenomenal — and you won’t be disappointed.

Heidi, Erin, Sylvia, and Jessica of the fantastic and fun (and do-wop and dirty and danceable) Hot Toddies. How cute are they?

Also tonight, KCRW and Noise Pop present ZEE AVI, the Hot Toddies, Leslie & the Badgers, and Tiny Television at 8pm at the Rickshaw Stop. Advanced tickets have already sold out, but there will be some tickets available at the door for $14.

Noise Pop 2010

Borneo’s answer to Jolie Holland and a 23-year-old with an old soul and a gorgeous voice. A huge talent in a petite frame bringing a universal message from the unlikely birthplace of Borneo, an ancient island east of Malaysia which remains an untouched, natural paradise, an apt description of her songs. “The resulting record keeps very much in tune with the Brushfire aesthetic, with a warm and cozy sound, intimate vocals, and a general feeling of calm. While her songwriting is strong and she dishes out many fine melodies and perfectly fine lyrics, the real draw is Avi’s vocals. Breathy, quiet, and sweet as spring, yet never wandering into cutesy territory, she hooks the listener in right away and never lets go.” –

“Four cute girls singing about being bad and horny. Could there be anything better? Casio tone keys, barbershop-style harmonies and retro-surf pop guitars soften the edge a bit, but once you decipher the silly lyrics, you’ll be the hot one.” – Owl Mag

LA’s finest new altcountry act! “Canyon country bands are as common as brush fires in LA but the thing that separates this combo apart is the voice of the titular Leslie … a rounded shining thing that evokes Patsy Cline’s sass and sorrow in one swoop.” –-LA Times

Tiny Television frontman and founder Jeremy D’Antonio sings a particularly southwestern brand of Americana courtesy of his time in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Now living in San Francisco, the singer/songwriter is joined by a community of artists in presenting a dusty array of old fashioned country and folk music. His latest, Mission Statement, is a fitting tribute of sorts to his new hometown.” –Noise Pop


DJ Samala is a friend of mine and she kicks ass.

Wanna go dancing Friday night? Me too. Party like it’s 1999 at Madrone Art Bar’s 4th Friday 1990s dance party. It’s high school all over again. Now with better booze, skin, and clothes.


Happy Birthday guys! and Congratulations!

I’ve mentioned this gallery before, but (because?) Alphonse Berber is a buzz-worthy space. The curators, Cameron Jackson and Jessica Cox, have a knack for finding talented and diverse artists and the thematic shows rotate regularly. The space is Julia Morgan-designed and the floors upstairs were once doors in a convent. This place is cool as hell and this event is free.

You’re welcome.


Audio Heirlooms in action

Listen to some of the most intimate stories you’ll ever hear from complete strangers.

Audio Heirlooms will celebrate their 5th anniversary by opening their audio archives for a one night “listening party” of personal narrative storytelling at its best. Join them at 7pm for an evening of food, drinks, and radio at the Mission District’s Slow Club, located at 2501 Mariposa Street.

You’ll have the chance to hear:

* Audio cameos by gold medal Olympian Scott Hamilton and the late New York Times columnist William Safire
* Behind-the-scenes moments at an AudioWedding in Tahoe
* Birthday wishes from country singers Clint Black and Brad Paisley on an AudioBirthdayCard
* The AudioChronicle of the former president of the board of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
* A local woman remembers Harvey Milk’s assasination in her AudioChronicle
* A local couple recalls the day their child was born in a AudioBaby heirloom

Since this is a party, listeners won’t have to stand around empty-handed. There will be plenty of finger food to keep grumbling stomachs from interfering with the audio. Drinks can be purchased at Slow Club’s bar and will be prepared by master mixologist Hilary Burdge. The world’s #1 pesto maker, Danny Bowien, fresh from his win at Genoa, Italy’s 2008 Pesto Championship, will provide a taste of his signature dish.

Audio Heirlooms will also be giving away gift certificates to Slow Club and Serpentine, and a free massage from Gabriel at Somatic Bodyworks. You’ll be entered to win just by walking in the door. And just to mix it up: Rupa Marya– of Rupa and the April Fishes — will treat listeners to a song between radio pieces.

*There is no cover charge. Listen and eat for free!*

Things to Do Without Me

Here are the events that I would be attending, with bells on and joy in my heart, if I didn’t already have other things to do.

Annie McKnight, Untitled (taxidermied mice and silver)

The Alphonse Berber Gallery in Berkeley has a new show opening tonight: Works that Disturb the Moonlight. Featuring eight diverse artists, this exhibition “seeks to enrich and explode preconceived ideas about the grotesque and sublime … [and] invites the viewer to encounter the aestheticized human body in both extremes of its cultural perception.” The eight artists are Angie Crabtree, Julia Davis, Igor Josifov, Joshua Martinez, Annie McKnight (see above), Maja Ruznic, Kadet Kuhne and Kim Ye.

So yeah, the opening reception is tonight from 6-9pm and it’s FREE, which is always fun. You can find more information on tonight’s event and the exhibit in general here. And it doesn’t say on the invitation but I’ve been to AB’s openings before and one can always find cheap wine to drink and interesting folks to watch/talk to. These are more things we like.

If you too can’t make it tonight, the show runs through March 27.

The Foundation for the Preservation of Fantastic Possibilities presents...

On Friday night you, you can have A NIGHT OF ELATION! with staged readings from the Elationists’ feature screenplay and selections from the Treasure Horde of Elationist Art. The Elationists Centennial Band will also be live in concert. Finally, who can resist Chocolate Elixir by Fearless Chocolate! Some of the great folks who make up the Elationists are good friends of mine and they will blow you away. It’s music, story telling, art, and historical fiction all fused together in a wild ride.

It all happens at the Million Fishes Art Collective Fri Feb 12, kicking off at 8pm. There is a $10-15 suggested donation, but no one turned will be turned away for lack of funds.

Visit for more information on these crazy kids and their crazy schemes and be sure to tell Annie Bacon “Happy Birthday!”
Feel like dancing?

Also on Friday night is the Matchmaker Mashup, presented by Brass Cowboys at the Paradise Lounge. With a bunch of great DJs and all of the proceeds benefiting AIDS Lifecycle 2010, this is a great way to feel even better shakin what your momma gave you.