3 interesting people.

Yes, I'm back. I don't really want to be back, but I guess if I have to be back somewhere, San Francisco isn't a bad place to be. I could be living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - which, incidentally, I hear is an absolutely lovely place - and as much as I like saying "Saskatoon, Saskatchewan" obsessively to myself over and over and over (apparently, I'm not the only person with this problem) I'm glad I hang my hat in San Francisco.

At any rate, I cannot say enough good things about Atari and Raybee. They're absolutely amazing people, and I'm honored to count them among my friends. I'll go into details later...I have a half-finished post in my drafts, but I promised myself I'd finish this post I started last week. So first things first...

One of the best things about living in San Francisco is you meet the most interesting people. I'd like to introduce three friends of mine...I think they deserve a little attention and kudos.

For starters, my friend Matthew Cannon. Matt is a musician and a painter and overall just a quirky, beautiful person. I've had the honor of spending time with him, and we just play off each other creatively and boost each other's spirits every time we hang out. Matthew is an extremely talented percussionist and is involved in a cabaret called Cotton Candy; if you want to hear samples of his work or see samples of his paintings, check out his website, mlcmusic.com.

This is probably my favorite picture of Matt:

From his site:

Cotton Candy will be exploding all over the scene in May as well. In a recent CNN.com article, Marcus Selby (a very popular and successful San Francisco jazz musician) gave his top 10 venues to hear good music in the City. On the list were Amnesia and The Red Poppy Art House. I am happy to report that we have performances at both locations this month and I highly recommend attending either of them. Both venues have their charms and are very intimate indeed. Lastly, but certainly not least, is Martuni’s-a lovely martini/piano bar in San Francisco. Kielbasia will be opening for us, and we always enjoy playing with her. Come by for a Manhattan and get your Cotton Candy fix in an elegant and sophisticated setting.

Matthew and I are doing a sort of art trade; I am giving him a set of my photos (his choice of whatever he wants, or I will produce something original for him), printed, mounted, framed, and signed, AND a photo session of him that will probably be completely off-the-wall and wonderful. He, on the other hand, said he'd paint a portrait of someone quite influential and important in my family...someone who has had an incredibly lasting impact on who I am today. I'll reveal who that is at some point, but until then it's going to be a closely-guarded secret (that means I'm not telling you who it is, Mom). The portrait is destined to become a Fox family hierloom for generations to come. Not to mention it'll be worth tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars someday (and I am dead serious when I say that...I have that much confidence in Matt and his artistic aspirations).

I can't wait. :-)

Next, I want to introduce you to Darwin Bell.

I've had the pleasure of knowing Darwin for a few years now, and whenever I think of his name, I think of the great time I have whenever I run into him or when we hang out. He's one of the few people who "gets me" if you know what I mean...I have a tendency to say things that really confuse most people but Darwin has evolved to the point to where he understands exactly what I'm talking about. He currently has a show called Sign Language, which is one of the most brilliant concepts I've seen...ever. He takes Polaroid pictures of words, scavenger hunt-style...of street signs, billboards, stores, graffiti, anywhere there is text in the urban setting...and creates phrases and sentences from them.

As you can see, he goes to great lengths for his art:

They're quite insightful, and they say a lot about how Darwin sees the world around him.

From his website:

"Sign Language was born on a whim," says Darwin Bell, the man behind the Polaroid camera, "while I was trying to come up with an original gift for my friend's birthday."

And so he began taking pictures of words from the urban environment surrounding him. With those words, he created phrases that were either twists on well-worn clichés ("Beauty is in the eye of the media") or personal statements, both humorous and serious in nature ("Natural selection is a bitch"). The end result has been a unique, fresh perspective on a familiar idea that is one-of-a-kind and impossible to duplicate.

Here is a portrait I took of Darwin last summer at the Eagle Tavern here in San Francisco at one of the weekly Beer Busts:

I must say I am in posession of a single Darwin Bell original Polaroid that he left here after an impromptu after-hours birthday party I threw for a mutual friend. It's prominently displayed in my living room next to another Polaroid shot...of me with John Waters at a book signing at Amoeba Records up in the Haight. Darwin, if you want it back, I'll totally bring it to you. Just let me know. :-) At any rate, I am confident that like Matt, Darwin is also going to excel and take Sign Language to a whole new level. He's that intelligent and clever.

Finally, I want you all to meet Andrew Bundy.

That sexy, beverage-sipping guy would be Andrew. Not only is he intelligent, engaging, and a master mathematician, he also has an incredibly soulful and sexy singing voice. From his myspace page:

[Andrew] Bundy has been writing and performing his own music since 1997 and is currently working on his first full-length album. Since the release of his homemade demo EP, "Speak Easy," in December of 2002, Bundy has played open mics and concerts throughout the Bay Area. Citing the likes of fellow singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and Stevie Wonder as his key musical influences, Bundy's music contains elements of jazz, folk, soul, R&B and funk and spans lyrical topics ranging from internet dating to gay society. Vocally, Bundy is as influenced by the great jazz crooners Chet Baker and Bobby Darin as he is by the soulful sounds of Nina Simone and the folk stylings of Nick Drake.

Here's a picture I took of Andrew at a party last year...he's the one on the left wearing the bedazzled cowboy hat. If you click on it, you can see the larger version and also if you look carefully, you can see Andrew's pierced left eyebrow...a bit of bling I find absolutely sexy and irresistable:

Sexy! Hot! Talented! Acquaint yourself with him! You'll be hearing a lot more of him in the future! You can download a few of his tracks from his myspace page...I've listened to him more than once on dreary MUNI rides, with his crooning filling my ears and warming my heart.

So while I miss New York, New Jersey, and the amazing people I've met and grown to adore who all live there, I'm quite glad to call San Francisco my home...where I get to meet, befriend, and hang out with some of the most interesting, quirky, sexy, talented, and amazing people in the world.

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by Chad Fox. All rights reserved.