Monday, July 31, 2006
Afterward I strolled from downtown through the Stockton tunnel to Chinatown packed with shoppers. My goal was the North Beach Jazz festival Washington Square (Saturday and Sunday) in the park and free.
I went to the matinee and saw A Scanner Darkly - the new film based on the Phillip K Dick novel. I thought the film's concepts were interesting and the rotoscope animation something old seen by a new audience, as something new was effective within the film. I saw the movie at the Landmark Theatre at the Embarcedero, which is not the bargain movie chain of my choice. I appreciate the selection of films they present but I'll take one of the smaller local theaters any day. Afterward I strolled from downtown through the Stockton tunnel to Chinatown packed with shoppers. My goal was the North Beach Jazz Festival at Washington Square (Saturday and Sunday) in the park and free. The festival is a multi day and venue event in North Beach, because of politics in the city there was a possibility the festival was not going to occur in the city this year. Fortunately the fighting subsided and the festival was able to occur.
The music selection was eclectic, not a day of pure jazz. My favorite was the Stooges Brass Band – they are a fusion of Brass Band, Hip Hop and Soul. Their set was a lot of fun hopefully they will tour San Francisco again soon.Afterward I walked from Pier 39 to Fort Mason. It's a great walk plenty of people watching and nice views. I'm always amazed how tourist seem flock to the wharf. But with the great views, cable cars, shops and restaurants it easy to understand.
Monday, July 24, 2006
The museum was crowded and visiting the exhibit was really an introduction. I’ll return to enjoy on a more peaceful day. Another exhibit at the museum I wanted to get a taste of was Quilts of Gee Bend an exhibit of works by African-American women quilters. Their pieces remind us how ideas are not isolated inventions of one group of people. The patterns on the quilts can’t help but remind the viewers of modern abstract painting we’ve all seen in museums.
John Santos and Saul Sierra tearing it up.
However, these ladies were making quilts from their own visions not books or instructors from an art school. Since this exhibit was also bustling with folks I headed to sculptor garden for relief from the crowds.
Sunday I went tothe Stern Grove Festival and I got a picnic table!! Hey it's possible but you have to dial like you've returned to your teenage days. Now I know why people have autodialers. I was on the phone over 30 minutes just to get on the waiting list but lady luck was with us and we got a comfortable place to enjoy the concert.
For those who don't know Stern Grove is an actual grove in San Francisco where every summer for the last 69 years their is a music concert series. The program is diverse it is a wonderful opportunity to introduce yourself to various types of music and admission is free to every program. The Grove is woodsy and green and shelters folks from the wind and fog. For those who can't get a picnic table there is plenty of lawn seating and terrace seating.
Mavis Staples from the Staples Singers was the headliner. She sung several songs from her days with the Staple Singers and she also performed some of her own inspirational songs. I spent the afternoon listening to good music, good food and company.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The power of live performance!
I had the opportunity to see Permanent Collection at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley. The Aurora theatre is in Berkeley's downtown Art District, sandwiched between the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Jazz School I was discovering the Theatre for the first time.
The space is intimate and very comfortable with seating surrounding three sides of the stage (black box) type, wonderful views come with every seat.
Permanent Collection is a fictionalize story of the Barnes Foundation an art foundation in Philadelphia known for its' extensive collection of French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings which the foundation's establisher left to a historically Black College to manage after his death. As the new Black directors attempted to make changes conflicts arose.
Permanent Collection is about power and race within one of the most perceived civilize environments, the art community. But the play is a metaphor for racial conflict throughout the culture.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I've enjoyed many programs this summer but I was compelled to informed folks about a mini-concert series of evening music held by Nextarts.org a non-profit organization that is holding free evening concerts at Potrero Park in the Mission District. Last Saturday concert was local jazz musicians Paula West and the Fillmore Preservation Jazz Big Band so I decided to check out the program.
Getting over to the Mission was a struggle yusually I would ride my bike or either partially walk the route while waiting for the bus. Well I wasn't feeling great and waiting for Muni bus 33 Stanyan turned out to be a nightmare. At this point I cannot recommend riding this route on Saturday, saying it was off schedule and slow is an understatement Simply a gross waiting experience would be a better description. If you're going to use this slow bus from hell try the GPS based Nextbus website to determine when the 33 will arrived. (Good Luck and bring a book)
Fortunately, a car-owning friend rescued me from the bus stop and we headed to the park dreading our future search for parking after arriving late for the program. However, we had no problem finding parking; we soon found out the concert was woefully under attended. So much good music so few people yikes. I found out about the concert because I subscribe to the yahoo group FunCheapSF, which provides a weekly mailing of free events in the Bay Area otherwise I would have known nothing about the program.
Having a private concert should be a good thing and the uncrowded evening was a very pleasant experience. But the concert was benefiting the Malcolm X Elementary and those attending the concert were asked to bring a donation of school supplies. I had my goodie bag, but I couldn't but help and think about how many supplies would have appeared with a stronger attendance.
This week the Project Homeless Connect is the benefiting organization, The Everyone Orchestra will be performing and the donation are socks amd underwear. I like this concept very much I hope this week their PR machine kicks in.
Fillmore Preservation Jazz Big Band
It was an evening of the American-Songbook and
Straight ahead Jazz under the urban Sky