Marissa Nadler at Cafe Du Nord, SF, 8th April 09

Sitting on my own in Cafe Du Nord, waiting for “Eric Shea” to start. Witness to a sweet, fat old folkie sitting up the front of the still empty room, finally have his moment with Marissa to give her the wilting roses he brought for her, as she steps from the bar to the backstage area.

I wonder if people think I’m some kind of arty wanker writing in my journal. Too bad, I have no-one to talk to except this notebook. Also, a strategy to stop myself from over-drinking during the interminable wait for the gig to start. Came here via the Castro, which, at night at least, seems less dodgy than the Mission. Cafe Du Nord is an old Swedish club that is now a venue/room for hire. It has a very familiar, grungy Melbourne vibe about it, a bit like the old Punters Club, and being in a basement, a bit like Cherry (obviously not as gross).

I’m drinking Scrimshaw Pilsner. Not bad, working my way through North America’s boutique beers one at a time. Wish the guy would start.

I find it hilarious that people ID me here—I’m OLD. I felt old today at W—. Three black kids from the local highschool were volunteering for school credits. Osiris, Eduardo and something mumbled under his breath that I didn’t catch. They were tres friendly (especially compared to po-faced M— and B— crew), but still, I could tell in their eyes I made no sense to them. Eduardo asked me if I was getting credit from my workplace for doing this. Huh??!! NO! I’m a frigging artist. Hehehe, I realise now how stupid it must seem that an artist from Australia would come all the way to San Francisco to intern in the W— basement. Absurd.

B— and E— have been kind and respectful and seem to treat me as though I know what I’m talking about, which, I now realise, I do. Still have seen no sign of other interns! Whole thing makes me realise that with some proper funding, Tape DVD could be as serious for experimental shorts as W— is for non-experimental. Good to get this experience, regardless of how bizarre it is. Get some of that American confidence to rub off.

These “spicy nuts” are too sweet. Everything here is REALLY SWEET. I’m going to be so pissed by the time the band starts.

Eric Shea= pretty much the worst musical act ever performed. Seems to be a bit of a crowd favourite- maybe a local? Some choice lines: “One more cerveza, per favor”, “velvet mushrooms in her eyes”, and he rhymed “lucky” with “Kentucky”. Vomit. Like a dumb, boring Karl Scullin.

Marissa Nadler great, with a big, clear as a bell voice. She herself is a tall, skinny, gawky looking girl with a big nose and a hilarious sweater dress. Very shy and sweet, and sounded best without the band’s backing- just her and her guitar. Very beautiful.

Walked home through the Castro again, after midnight, but I felt safe, but I was drunk, so who knows if I actually was safe. A bag in a boutique pet store was emblazoned with the words “Dogs are the new kids”.


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