Christi Foist Shares Some Tips #2

September 12, 2011 by bryan

Stephanie and I have a great circle of thoughtful friends and colleagues that inspire us daily. It dawned on us that we should share their knowledge with you. So from time to time we would like to have them guest blog on our website.

This entry comes from our friend Christi Foist, writer, editor, knitter, and fellow film and music fanatic. She has a great knack for following trends, baking bread, keeping up with the news, and following Bay Area music venues. Christi has a great email she sends out called, artRecs, and I thought I would share it with you.

Well, as usual, I've wound up with more here than I expected. To mix things up a bit this time, I'm switching up the order and starting with poetry. You'll also find some highlights of upcoming concerts, since we're into quite the festival and tour season shortly. In brief, though:


  • This via Mako Fujimura: the New York poet Samuel Menashe has died. I hadn't heard of him until now, but he was a WWII vet who saw "all but 29 members of his company of 190 men ... either killed, wounded or taken prisoner" during one day of the Battle of the Bulge, an experience that affected his approach to time. I share that because I was really struck that someone who witnessed such horror would respond by creating art. Would recognize how uncertain his future was, how precious each day ... and choose to write poetry. According to the Times, his literary career was one of belated acclaim, with the Brits appreciating his talent before Americans did. After the war, he had a largely non-academic career, which included "a motley assortment of pickup jobs: tour guide on Gray Line buses, French tutor, lecturer on cruise ships." Read the full obit. You can hear Menashe in NPR's 2006 interview with him. And, of course, read some of his poems.

Visual Art

Film & Video

  • This weekend I discovered the Retronaut blog, which led me to this entertaining short film (a kind of very early music video, really): "A Little Jive is Good for You."


  • In case you didn't get enough former-Beatle and Zooey Deschanel Buddy Holly covers with the release of Rave On earlier this summer, there's another tribute album out, Listen to Me. Deschanel contributes another cover, alongside Ringo Starr, Chris Isaak, Natalie Merchant and others. NPR has the story and a few sample tracks.
  • Ryan Adams has recently released a few news tracks: the single "Lucky Now" (from his new album), as well as an acoustic take on the Iron Maiden song "Wasted Years" (featuring some very nice guitar work). I've liked some of his songs and been so-so on others, but I'm afraid I'll have temporarily worn out "Lucky Now" by the time the record drops on Oct. 11. Most tickets for his local shows appear to have sold out, alas, so you'll have to try your luck with Craigslist (as I plan to).
  • Do you know of the band, Tinariwen? The New York Times has a neat write-up on Tinariwen, with a very cool discussion of " 'asuf,' a sentiment from their own culture and Tamashek language that describes both a sense of spiritual pain, yearning or nostalgia and the emptiness of the desert itself ... [and] ... creates a certain kinship with the bluesmen of Mississippi and Chicago." The band is also featured in the latest issue of Paste, which includes a free download of one of their songs. Most excitingly, though, San Francisco is on the U.S. leg of their international tour this fall.
  • I'm not usually a fan of mash-ups but my friend Reid, a former editor for Paste recently shared one combining Radiohead and Dave Brubeck that I actually quite liked.
  • Upcoming concert highlights:
    • Bon Iver @ the Greek, Sept. 22
    • The Jayhawks @ Hardly Strictly AND Slim's, Sept. 30
    • Crazy lineup of artists @ Hardly Strictly, Sept. 30-Oct. 2
    • Esperanza Spalding @ Paramount Theater, Oct. 1 (part of the SF Jazz Festival)
    • Michael Franti @ the Greek, Oct. 8
    • Zee Avi @ the Independent, Oct. 13
    • Ryan Adams @ Herbst Theater, Oct. 14
    • Ryan Adams @ Uptown Theater in Napa, Oct. 15
    • McCoy Tyner @ Herbst Theater, Oct. 16 (part of the SF Jazz Festival)
    • Paul Simon @ the Greek, Oct. 20
    • Tinariwen with Cake @ the Fox, Oct. 30
    • Feist @ the Warfield, Nov. 14
    • Over the Rhine @ Great American Music Hall, Nov. 15
    • The Civil Wars @ the Fillmore, Nov. 17
    • Lucinda Williams @ the Fillmore, Nov. 19-20
    • Rachel Yamagata @ Slim's, Nov. 25
    • Morrissey @ the Fox, Dec. 1
    • Jake Shimabukoro @ the Warfield, Dec. 3
    • Tori Amos @ the Paramount, Dec. 16

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