Archive for the ‘Western Addition’ Category

Babatunde Lea presents Umbo Weti: A Tribute to Leon Thomas

After Yoshi’s celebrates St. Paddy’s Day with the unlikely Gil-Scott Heron on Mar 16th & 17th, another unique event comes to town the next night. Master Percussionist Babatunde Lea brings an all-star jazz virtuoso quintet feat. vocalist Dwight Trible, saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist/vocalist Patrice Rushen & bassist Gary Brown to town.

The night of March 18th promises to be a musical meeting of the minds @ SF’s Yoshi’s when these 5 veterans hit the stage to celebrate their new CD release ‘Umbo Weti: A Tribute to Leon Thomas’. The album was recorded right here in the Bay Area live at Yoshi’s in 2008 and is a 2 disc tribute to the late ‘spiritual bop’ vocalist Leon Thomas who passed in 1999.

To read more about the lineup, download a sample mp3, see a video etc, and show times & details read more here @ the complete entry
read more below the fold

Catch Him If You Can: The Heartbreaking Jimmy Scott

A master balladeer is in town Tues Feb 23rd & Weds Feb 24th, and although he is well past his prime at age 85, and only 4 ft 11” tall, he’s a true giant, and just being in the room with him is well worth the pittance Yoshi’s is charging this week at the door. He is known for infusing songs with so much pathos, pain and beautiful angst it’s hard to take it all in… and if you’ve never heard of him…sadly, you are not alone.

Fortunately, you still have time familiarize yerselves with his saga, and a musical legacy that was obscured by bad business breaks, pride, and deep prejudice, the kind that was not only racial, but sexual & medical …

Almost strangled to death by the umbilical cord at birth in 1925, Jimmy Scott was soon orphaned by a car crash, along with his 9 other siblings in depression era Cleveland. If the odds against him were not bad enough, they were further stacked by a strange genetic pituitary hormonal defect known as “Kallman’s Syndrome”. This medical disorder accounts for his somewhat effeminate looks & unnaturally high singing voice. Basically Scott’s pubescent development was stunted, causing his arms to appear longer than the rest of his torso while the diminutive singer never developed facial hair.

Finding solace away from the bleak foster homes on stages, he sang in combos of the post war R&B era, notably as a featured singer with band leader Lionel Hampton, with whom he made his recorded debut in 1950 (although his name did not appear on the label). After the chart making & touring stint with Hampton ended, Scott began dividing his time between night spots in Cleveland, New York and Newark, New Jersey.

Unable to secure proper record deals, or even respect on the road from fellow musicians due to his androgynous appearance, Jimmy Scott’s show biz career was a hard road. That road hit a brick wall by the late 1960’s when tight fisted Herman Lubinsky of the Savoy label refused to release Scott from a long dormant contract, and legally prevented comeback albums for Atlantic & Ray Charles’ Tangerine label from being released purely out of spite.

Jimmy’s numerous shots at stardom had been so hampered by fiscal mismanagement & bad business dealings, it lead to failed relationships, drinking and drugging, and a career ending downward spiral that took him away from the limelight for decades, until a break finally occurred when he was well into his 60’s.

Strangely enough, it appears death is something he won’t take sitting still, and is actually the catalyst that has brought Jimmy Scott’s career back to life…

read more about the show, plus detailed info on his life & career accomplishments below the fold
more on little-jimmy-scott

J-Pop Center Opening This Year in Japantown

J-Pop CenterI’ve been very curious to find out what was going to happen at 1746 Post since it’s been torn apart… and I’ve discovered quite some news!

Anime, Manga and overall Japanese culture fans will be ecstatic to hear that Viz Pictures (an offshoot of local Anime and Manga publisher Viz Media) is a partner in building a “J-Pop Center” in Japantown! The Center will include a theatre for showing releases from Viz Pictures, Anime and other Japanese features. Also expected are a branch of the already popular Kinokuniya Bookstore, a cafe and some Japanese clothing shops… a one-stop J-Pop shop!

The website for the Viz Cinema does not show a lot of information at the moment, but it does state that it is slated to open in Winter of this year.

Sugar Pie & Sushi @ Yoshi’s

I’m on my way out the door to catch Sugar Pie DeSanto at Yoshi’s on Fillmore. I’ll be the guy with the front row table on the right hand side of the stage hootin & hollerin’…


For those unfamiliar with Sugar Pie, she’s a local treasure who was raised on Buchanan street, as well as Etta James cousin and an R&B recording artist since 1955 when she got her start on Federal Records courtesy Mr. Johnny Otis.

Back in the day she recorded tracks with her cousin Etta and Willie Dixon that were hits on the Chess & Checker labels, and she’s still going strong today with her latest CD “Refined Sugar” (found on iTunes).

I caught her last year at the San Francisco Blues Festival where she stole the set she shared with the aged Jimmy McCracklin’. I was impressed with this diminutive lady’s feisty persona, with her seasoned & saucy sense of fun and frivolity.


$4.4 Million in Grants Headed To SF via Federal Home Loan Bank of SF

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco announced on January 14th 2008 it was providing over $4 million in Affordable Housing Project grants that are expected to go towards creating nearly 600 units of affordable housing in the area. Zygmundt Arendt HouseThe funding is reserved for affordable housing sites throughout Nancy Pelosi’s pork craving 8th District, including SF’s Polk & Geary Senior Housing, the 47 unit Zygmundt Arendt Senior House at 850 Broderick, as well as projects at 275 10th St. and 53 Columbus Ave amongst others. Complete list of sites, and factoids provided by the people intent on spending yer tax dollars below the fold…

pic: The Zygmundt Arendt House project was spearheaded by SF’s Department of Human Services, and the photo courtesy Community Housing Partnership (CHP) who are now in charge. The project is named after a Polish immigrant & railroad worker who died in 1998 and left approx 6 million in stocks & real estate to build housing for the poor.

"Divisidero Corridor Improvement" meeting tonight

The DPW is itching to spend $3 million in federal funding they have lined up for Divisadero Street from Haight to Geary, and tonight you can see what the brilliant bureaucrats & cranky community members have in mind.

Tues Dec 18th from 7-9pm at Ida B Wells High School Auditorium at Hayes & Pierce where reps from the city and neighborhood groups will be taking feedback and sharing results of their latest dreams for dominating Divisidero into submission with their “master plan”.

The MTA, the Bike Coalition and all yer other fave special interest groups will be loving every minute of it, so why not join the flourescent lit fun?

You can attend, sit in the back and find out which side of the dividing line you wanna be on.

Either way, get ready for lots of construction in 2009, whose dust & disturbance will bring you the potential “benefits” of : less bus stops, more aesthetically pleasing lighting, wider medians and sidewalks, and numerous traffic altering concepts galore…

Businesses that have something to fear besides impaired access during construction, include the “Touchless” car wash and the ARCO station in particular, both whose “egresses” are mentioned in the latest study by name.

Rum, Sodomy & San Francisco: The Pogues return to the Fillmore for 4 more nights of revelry

The celtic minstrels of the Pogues whose biggest hit was entitled Fairytale of New York, certainly have left their hearts in San Francisco, a city receptive to their wicked ways. Sunday night begins a four night stand at the Fillmore, where general admission for two will set attendees back approx $160 after all the ticketbastard nastiness and fees are accounted for.

Despite the high tabs at the box office and of course the bar, no doubt the old wooden dance floor will be packed and straining under the weight of audiences excitedly clamoring to catch the band some 20 years after their first sold out west coast shows in the same venerable venue.pogues 1987 poster

Indeed that cold November night in 1987 they had Joe Strummer of The Clash along with them on guitar, and it was a very foot stompingly wild & whiskey soaked occasion. It was so uh, magically momentous actually to see the wily assemblage holding court back in the day that I’m not sure I’ll join in the fray at the Fillmore this year. I wouldn’t want to taint the foggy veils of my already perfect memories ya know?

The band came through last year as well, and they heartily held the fort down for several nights, and I heard few complaints, despite the progressively debilitated condition of lead singer Shane MacGowan. It’s just amazing to me that the fragile freak o’ habit known as Shane’s still alive, while the seemingly invincible Joe Strummer is dead…

Click to head below the fold, and download a couple mp3 tracks of rare live material. One is a celtic folk infused version of Bobby Fuller’s classic tune “I Fought The Law” ripped from some rare vinyl with Joe Strummer & Shane MacGowan trading off on raspy lead vocals…

Ladies Night : Naomi Klein and much more

Yes it’s ladies night… who knew that Weds Sept 26th held so many prospects and events to discover bold, beautiful, brainy and bodacious babes abounding in the Bay Area tonight.

Amongst the choices we have to enjoy their influence on our cultural landscape include:

Author Naomi Klein, who when she’s not grilling Alan Greenspan on the radio, is speaking at the First Unitarian Universalist Center on Franklin St, exploring the subject of “disaster capitalism” seen in the rampant corporatization occurring in the wake of cataclysmic events. Hiding in plain sight in the aftermath of either forces of nature or war, greed has replaced need and Klein’s new book “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism” explores how. Klein identifies a “disaster capitalism complex” building a booming niche amidst the traumatic breakdowns after events like Katrina, WTC collapse, the Sri-Lankan Tsunami and and the Iraq war. Using highly visible examples of corporations enriching their coffers at the troughs of trauma, she extends her analysis to include numerous instances over the past 50 years where a common economic ideology has slipped in to win similar spoils amidst a backdrop of human suffering. She’s even narrated a short film on the subject, click pic at right to preview the flick. She dissects the politics & policies of mass manipulators that have enacted egregious economic blackmail techniques into so many ravaged regions from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia, and now of course the U.S and Iraq. Is your interest piqued? Then head down to 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary), seating starts at 7 pm.

Or maybe you need something besides a shocking mental exercise, how about a series of Beginner’s Hula Hoop classes for ladies, or perhaps some Punk Aerobics?

At Thee Parkside aerobics instructor Gina “Lunges” Lovoi has tailor-made rock n roll infused workouts for all levels every Wednesday from 6ish to 7:30. Yer DJ is Me First & The Gimme Gimmes vocalist Spike, and unlike most gyms, there’s plenty of beer, cocktails and even burgers and french fries available to ease those post work out pains & hunger pangs…

Hula heads should boogie on down to 1805 Divisidero to work those abs, and be prepared to take this class run by Isabella Zamor seriously folks, as the instructor’s fees reflect that she surely does… more info at

…and for those in the mood for something a little less strenuous on the brain or body, like say kicking it to some live music, there are plenty of female talents lurking about on stages in venues ranging from The Hotel Utah to The Fillmore tonight, with several of these ladies listed after the jump. So whether you want to see a lesbian Led Zeppelin cover band, ambient indie rock from Arizona, or hear an upcoming jazzy chanteuse on tour from Rome Italy, a local lady comedian or attend a gala affair in Alamo Square… simply read on, and check out some mp3 samples and videos.

NOPNA’s Cops & Community Pow Wow

Last night before the earthquake rattled windows and nerves, a crowd of already rattled neighbors crowded into the Cafe Neon in District 5 to hear updates from the police department and city policy pushers on the recent spate of shootings & unsolved murders in the North of Panhandle area. The overflow turnout was considerably larger than one anticipates at these usual community shuck & jives where one hears how your taxdollars are being systematically siphoned and spent on who knows what.

Amongst the presenters gathered by organizer & concerned mother of two Leela Gill were reps from SF’s Drug Court, the Mayor’s Deputy Chief of staff for Public Safety, reps from the DA’s office and the headliners of the event… D5 Supe Ross Mirkirimi, as well as the affable Captain Ehrlich of Park Station and Lt. John Murphy of the Gang Task Force.
Lt.Murphy of Gang Task Force
While no solutions were likely to come from the meeting, there was some info shared, the usual venting, some back slapping, connections being made and the sense that there are many people concerned about doing some positive things in a city that can’t afford any more negatives.

Some random opinions on the meeting, and also after the jump : some potentially useful numbers you might want for reporting crimes, or contacting city agencies about issues.

Can this man stop the violence in the Fillmoe ?

Move over Ross Mirkarimi, and meet Messy Marv, an SF rapper with mucho macho street clout, whose concept to bring peace to the Western Addition includes allowing neighborhood based rappers who represent both the warring “Uptown” and “Downtown” factions some mic time to get their stories out. messy marv is a persuasive businessmanMarv has two CD’s coming out soon that will highlight the Fillmoe hood and both use local mostly unkown talents. He isn’t shy about making a buck off the battles either, rap or otherwise, but does say that he will be putting some donations from CD proceeds into local gyms & community centers.

Fillmoe Nation Vol. 1 coming this spring will represent Click Clack City’s “Uptown”, while Fillmoe Nation Vol. 2 to be released a few weeks later is a collection focused on “Downtown” based rappers. Messy recently told hip hop fansite,

“I wanted to give people that had not had their shot, an opportunity to express themselves, I wanted to put them on, give them a chance” He added “I have seen people I grew up with killed in this violence and I want to play my part by trying to help the community,” said Messy of the situation. “I decided to make these albums, so I could show not only SF and Fillmoe what is happening in our communities, but also the country — the violence that happens in our neighborhoods everyday and the need to stop it.”

More on Messy Marv, links, mp3’z of his “Muzik for Tha Taliban”and additional info after the dreaded jump…


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