If there were 13 symbols in the Lunar New Year calendar then 2015 would not be the Year of the Sheep, but, rather, the Year of the Spy. Sam Mendes’ “Spectre” has been recently released this week along with a flood of spy films this year such as Kingsman, the Man from U.N.C.L.E., and another Mission Impossible flick. (We didn’t make it to “Hitman: Agent 47.” Any good?) Don’t get us wrong here, we enjoy high-octane espionage flicks as much as the next guy, if not more, but with so many of them out we needed to compare them into a Battle Royale type-situation, to see which franchise is truly the best.
Last night, in an emerging Wingtip tradition, members were treated to a private screening of the latest James Bond film, “Spectre.” Guests enjoyed a medley of skewers, bruschetta, and cocktails. As expected, outfits ranged from your standard evening wear to classic Bond character renderings, such as Dr. Holly Goodhead and Emilio Largo. (For the record, your humble neighborhood journalist wore a midnight blue evening jacket with peak lapels and blue satin trim, a wing-collar tuxedo shirt, black trousers, a slim black bow tie, and a white pocket square.)
St. Germain’s album “Tourist” (2000) fused French house and Blue Note jazz and seemed to fit every scene. It was played everywhere: the cafes with their second-wave combinations of milk and coffee; the boutiques stacked high in shades of beige, grey, and variegated white; the deliriously uncomfortable restaurants with the hard, reverberating walls; the lounges with arcane flavors of vodka. “Tourist” was a genre-bending musical esperanto that broke down borders. It was futuristic and idealistic, and seemed primed to accompany us into the new millenium. So it was a bummer when “Tourist” faded into the aughts without a proper follow-up from St. Germain (real name: Ludovic Navarre). And it was a little nerve-wracking when that follow-up suddenly materialized this month. Would it be the long-awaited album fans wanted to hear? Or the sequel no one needed?
Fall is back, and with the season comes the falling of leaves, pumpkin spice, and the wearing of Uggs. While we couldn’t care less about the latter, the new TV season is officially underway. Some millions of people have been watching football, some even baseball, but we’ve been busy digesting the most inspiring and most misguided looks for our annual Fall TV Style Report.
Super Sideman: Sax player Mark Rivera on touring with Billy Joel, working with Ringo Starr, and where to find the best slice in Brooklyn
Some people declare their major at 19. Or lose their virginity. Or try a Manhattan for the first time. At 19, Mark Rivera was just getting his first real gig: playing sax for Sam & Dave. From that auspicious breakthrough, Rivera worked on a number of projects, any one of which could have been a career-defining highlight: marquee gigs working with Foreigner, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, and Ringo Starr.
You may not know her name, but you’ve seen her work. Catherine Thomas is the costume designer you call when you need a hero to look his best while firing a gun, accurately, in a rapidly descending plane (Liam Neeson in Non Stop) or when you need a swarm of paperdoll bad guys to all look like menacing Japanese Reservoir Dogs (the Crazy 88s in Kill Bill Vol. 1) or when you need the right hat for the right officer who needs it to stay tilted just-so even while they bust down a casino. That last challenge comes courtesy of Public Morals the long-gestating cop drama from Ed Burns and Steven Spielberg that gets rolled out on TNT tonight. In this interview we talk with Thomas about her menswear tips, her storied career, and what makes Public Morals style different from, say Mad Men
In May 1965, pianist Vince Guaraldi dragged his “saloon music” up from North Beach to the top of Nob Hill, and laid it bare before the altar of the newly-completed Grace Cathedral. He had a well-oiled rhythm section backing him, and a corps of 60 voices. James Easton and S.S. Weiss from Fantasy Records only had a couple hours to set up their whole portable tape rig (couldn’t disturb the other services), but they were used to strange setups; they once recorded Guaraldi at the crowded Nighthawk from the comfort of the men’s room (no other space to set up). While the public clamored to get into the sanctuary, the dissenters were likely there, too, gathering fuel for their next death threat against the event’s mastermind, Reverend Charles Gompertz. Critic Ralph Gleason was in the audience, too, and that night, perhaps while smoking a pipe of his custom Dunhill blend, #965, he would ink a fresh and enthusiastic review.
Funnyman and actor Ron Funches takes the stage at the Outside Lands festival this weekend. While music is the main attraction, the Barbary Stage hosts a plethora of comedians. This year’s line-up includes veteran stand-up comic, Tig Notaro, and the renowned comedy houses The Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade. Performing among them is our current favorite comic, Funches, who was kind enough to take some time to chat with us about his acting, his vices, and what he has in store for Golden Gate Park this weekend.
Bond’s latest outing bows Oct 26 in the UK and Nov 6 in the US. You probably know that Daniel Craig is still the man in the suit, but you may not know that “Spectre” will likely be Sam Mendes’ last turn at the helm. Here are some more bits of intel on Bond 24.
Now the next James Bond installment, Spectre, is on the horizon. So what better way to get jazzed up (See what I did there?) about Bond 24 than to check out the San Francisco Symphony’s “The Spy Who Loved Me: Music from the Bond Films & Favorite Spy Movie Themes,” featuring Sheena Easton, who performed the theme from Bond 12, “For Your Eyes Only” (which hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1981).