Posts Categorized: Leisure

The 50-Year Echo: Grace Cathedral Celebrates Vince Guaraldi’s “Masterwork”

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.

What’s So “Undateable” About Ron Funches?

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 24: What We Know So Far

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.

Symphony Royale

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).

My Day at Cypress Point

Golf Digest ranks the Top 100 Courses in the World, and #2, repeatedly, is Cypress Point in Carmel, California (Augusta is #3 if that’s any indication). It’s private, with a very small membership, and golf geeks can argue over whether it is the toughest course to get onto in the country, or 2nd, or 3rd, but no one would argue that it’s really, really hard to get an invitation. A few months ago, I was invited to play, and a vacation 18 months overdue was postponed to accommodate the opportunity.

One Noisy Night Of San Francisco Music

How much music can fit into one night? That depends on how carefully you plan. Last Saturday I sampled some opera, jazz, and disco. It could have been rap, hardcore, and bluegrass, I suppose, but I was in the mood for opera, jazz, and disco. In that order. This is a recap of a night spent checking in on San Francisco’s musical grand buffet. At 5:30pm, I bought a standing room ticket for San Francisco Opera’s “Les Troyens” (The Trojans). Composer Hector Berlioz based the work on Virgil’s epic poem, “The Aeneid,” and the undertaking was so massive it had to be split into two separate operas, each with their own curtain call.

Sochi Style Wrap-Up

With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi all wrapped up, we wanted to take a look back at the most impressive looks. (And we mean impressive in the dictionary sense of “to leave an impression.”) The looks are ranked from Gold to Did-Not-Finish. And if they look a little off-color, that’s because we use the bacon medal system, as imagined by American snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg…

Extras Style: Tim Burton Takes North Beach Back to the 60s

Yesterday, SFist tipped everyone off about Tim Burton filming Walter Keane bio-pic “Big Eyes” in North Beach, near the intersection of Grant and Green. While yesterday’s shoot reportedly was set in the late-50s, today they were shooting for the mid-60s, as evidenced by the VWs, Continentals, and blend of funky and Jackie O-type costumes.

Wall Street Journal on The Forgetful Gentleman

Last Friday, an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Dapper For Dummies” highlighted some services for modern gentlemen. Among them was The Forgetful Gentleman, whose stationery has long been a staple on our desks. In part, the article notes, “[Nathan] Tan’s website began as a reminder system for men prone to forgetting their mothers’ birthdays. He has since suspended the reminder service, and sells personalized stationery, complete with stamped envelopes, packaged in what look like cigar boxes.”