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.
Four stories below the City View room at the Metreon, where the Pinot Days Grand Festival Tasting was held, a stage in a grassy park was set for a Brazilian band. The sound crew tinkered with the system while the musicians tested their instruments: conga drums, an electronic harpsichord, and electric guitars. About 100 different wineries were then preparing their own instruments: decanters, stemware, and the stars– bottles of pinot noir. Similar to the band, these winemakers melded a variety of contributing influences into a personal style, their personal takes on common themes or grapes.
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.
Tempranillo grapes were first planted in California in the 1700s by Spanish Missionaries. As a wine, Tempranillo is noted for berry fruit, minerality, and an earthy character. Depending on where it is grown and how it is produced, it can be light like Pinot Noir or big and dry like Cabernet. In late April, the Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society (TAPAS) held their annual tasting under the Spanish tiled roof of the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio. There, guests sampled different expressions of Tempranillo–from California, sure, but also Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
The beat generation was raised at a bookstore, just a stone’s throw from Wingtip, on a jagged block of Columbus Avenue, nestled between San Francisco’s North Beach and Chinatown districts. City Lights Bookstore was opened in 1953, the brainchild of Peter D. Martin, but it was co-founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti who turned it into a place where poets could read and publish works that weren’t necessarily “fit to print,” in the established sense.
Hey, all you readers looking for something stark to rest your retinas on better get hep tonight and dig the danger that Baghdad By The Bay has on offer. Just shuffle your wingtips down to the Castro, where Noir City is launching another festival of high-octane, high-contrast flicks about doomed dudes and thrilling dames. The series starts today and runs through the 25th. Here are the screenings we’re hoping to catch:
SF Gate and the SF mayor’s office teamed up to make this Wednesday the official #LoveLocalSF day. Businesses and organizations all across the city are participating, and we’re pleased to get in on the fun by offering a 20% Discount off full-priced merchandise all Wednesday (in-store only; does not apply to alcohol). So wear the official color, red, and stop by for a deep pre-, pre-holiday discount.
The San Francisco Chronicle their Style Section with food/beverage/style events across the city. Instagram your look with #SFStyle for your chance at a style consultation and shopping spree courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle. Details at: http://www.sfchronicle.com/style-celebrations/
We are pleased to announce that, after a five year hiatus, Goorin Bros. hats are once again available at Wingtip.