Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CD Pick of the Week: Salif Keita

Salif Keita's new release is a must-have for fans of Afro-pop. This Malian superstar has struggled his whole life against intolerance shown towards his albinism. In this release he sings about his life experiences as “a white man with black blood.” Featuring rhythmic guitar riffs and stylish kora groove plus his gorgeous voice set against a female chorus, this is all delicious.

Even better? All proceeds from the sale of this CD benefit his charity Salif Keita Pour Les Albinos which helps to combat the stigma that albinism has in Africa.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Musical Updates
KZSU has announced its Fall Schedule and I'm still on Tuesday nights, with a bit of a time change. You can listen to my show, At the Cafe Bohemian, from 5:50-8 pm. Tune in and listen to what the rest of the world sounds like.

If you have iTunes you can listen that way as well. Go to iTunes -> Radio -> Colleges & Universities -> KZSU.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Don't Call it Frisco

I'm very proud of my San Francisco roots. My great-grandparents came to SF in the 1870s. My grandmother lived through the 1906 earthquake and I remember her stories of what it was like. My father was born and raised in an area of the city then known as "Butchertown." It wasn't because it was a rough neighborhood (although, sadly, it is now). It referred to the large proportion of butcher shops in the area. It was predominately French. So much so that the neighborhood church had Sunday masses in French.

The SF Bay Area is a mecca for people who want to work in high tech or are searching for a more diverse community. Those of us who are born and raised her are something of a rare breed. One place where I worked I was on a team of 12 and I was the only one who was from here. Everyone else had relocated from another part of the US or another country.

I adore the SF Giants and am a Niners fan (even though they suck). I have great memories of raiding SF when I was in high school. We'd borrow a car and drive around the city. Dancing under the rotunda at the Palace of Fine Arts. Picnics at Land's End. One memorable night we stole a whole bunch of orange cones, blocked off the top of Lombard Street and drove up. Yes, we drove UP Lombard Street.

San Francisco is my city. And I hate it when people call it Frisco. Nearly as bad is when they call it San Fran. Would it kill you to add the other two syllables? Calling it SF is acceptable. Here it's merely called "the City." If you say "there's this great Basque restaurant up in the City" nobody would ask "what city?"

But people (mostly sports announcers who, in spite of their annoying-ness, still qualify as people) insist on Frisco or San Fran. No. Bad announcers! No cookie!

I'm not sure if other cities have this problem. Most of them don't get abbreviated the way SF does. Husband is a Philadelphia native and he's fine with "Philly." Other cities seem to have nicknames rather than abbreviations. And people seem to be OK with them. Folks in New Orleans don't get peeved when you refer to it as "the Crescent City." Detroit is proud of their "Motown" label. Chicagoians use "the windy city" themselves. (By the way, did you know that doesn't refer to the wind? It's because politicians from that city were very long-winded while pleading their case to host the World's Fair back in the 1880s.) But they don't have annoying shortening of their names that pisses off the locals.

So please, don't call it Frisco.