Helping the Homeless Through the Arts: Community Housing Partnership in Action

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Photo by Federica Armstrong

George Taylor's smile is as bright as a klieg light, and in his wingtips and a feathered fedora, he is dapper as they come. Taylor is also the real deal, and he hails from Memphis, home to a style of sound associated with singers such as Al Green, Isaac Hayes, and Otis Redding, who were (in part) made household names by record labels such as Stax and Hi Records. Singing since 1969 with groups such as Soul Explosion and Phase 6, Taylor's past includes such illustrious events as opening for Stevie Wonder. But his next concert isn't just about him -- it's part of a arts performance to help those in need. Along with the other performers in A Night With the Stars April 9 at SFJAZZ Center, Taylor is a participant in San Francisco's Community Housing Partnership program.

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Catch The Throne Hip-Hop Mixtape Drops to Pick Up New Game of Thrones Fans

Categories: Music, TV

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YouTube
Game of Thrones needs more fans?!? LOLS!!

As you hear the words dragons, thrones and magic, you're likely to picture burly, bearded cosplayers, caped nerds crammed around a Dungeon and Dragons circle, and leather adorned metalheads. What you wouldn't expect to find in that mix are mainstream hip-hop artists Big Boi and Common -- but here they are ladies and gents. And trust me, it feels just as awkward to write that phrase as it does to digest it, I'm sure.

Today, Catch the Throne: The Mixtape, the Game of Thrones inspired soundtrack, drops with 10 tracks of urban angst. The HBO series Game of Thrones season 4 premieres April 6, and with this new collaboration, they hope to generate a dialogue that intrigues new viewers. Lucinda Martinez, SVP of Multicultural Marketing at HBO says in a press release, "We are excited to create an additional fan touch point with Catch The Throne: The Mixtape. This is a unique opportunity to give fans great original music and an innovative way to highlight the electrifying 'Game of Thrones' series."

So in short, HBO attempts to expand their audience demographic by showing that rappers and urban folk watch Game of Thrones too? That seems a little silly.

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Lamb of God: As the Palaces Burn, Not the Film Don Argott Set Out to Make

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On Sunday March 2, Don Argott's documentary Lamb of God: As the Palaces Burn will screen at the DNA Lounge. Viewers will be seeing a film that's decidedly different from the filmmaker's original vision.

Lamb of God is a heavy metal band that was founded in Richmond, VA in 1999. Though they have yet to achieve the celebrity status of legendary metal rockers like Metallica, Lamb of God has amassed a loyal worldwide following. They've sold around two million albums in the USA, have been honored at the Grammys, and play to enthusiastic crowds everywhere they go.

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A Cabaret Christmas with Craig Jessup at the Aurora

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Harley Jessup
Craig Jessup

Craig Jessup has found that to really do actor and composer Sir Noël Coward's work, he needs to do it in a British accent. So that's what he did with his three-month sold out show at Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, as well as at other shows at the Exit and Eureka Theatres.

Now Jessup, who recently released an album of original work, "Vantage Point," is back with a Christmas show, "A Swell Noël," at the Aurora Theatre, which features some of Coward's work as well as Jacques Brel, Stephen Sondheim, the Gershwins, and Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Jessup, who has been interested in Coward's life and work for more than a decade, says that he has a lot of fun doing his songs.

"He had a way of turning a phrase that was hysterical," he said. "He was sarcastic and biting and satirical. He was big in World War II, and did songs like "Bad Times Just Around the Corner."


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Viracocha Fundraiser: Performances to Support Impending Change

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Looking for something special?

For four years now, Viracocha has been one of San Francisco's most cherished venues for everything from artisanal crafts and furniture to local art and literature, clothes, typewriters, custom light installations... you name it. Cactus in a boot? No problem. Hand-blown glass bottles from France? You betcha.

The store's ever-changing design and overall aesthetic is so appealing that proprietor Jonathan Siegel is often commissioned to assist other businesses with his interior design savvy. Simply walking through the store is an inspirational experience; each item invokes the precious, reminds us that no detail or characteristic is unimportant should we pay it the right attention. It's not uncommon for someone to stroll in off the street, sit down at the piano, and set the mood for an hour or two.

A recent finalist for best bathroom in America, Viracocha is also home to the innovative gem of a lending library, Ourshelves, and the downstairs speakeasy-esque venue that is one of the Bay Area's most intimate, breathtaking, and beloved performance spaces. It's also a classic S.F. story that many don't know because the event space is technically illegal and no one's officially allowed to talk about it. But that's changing.

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Lenora Lee Tells Stories of Human Trafficking Through Dance

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Robbie Sweeney
Lenora Lee Dance
Growing up, dancer and choreographer Lenora Lee went to youth groups and summer programs at the Donaldina Cameron House in San Francisco's Chinatown. A conversation several years ago with the filmmaker James Q. Chan, a friend who attended these programs with her, led Lee to create, The Escape, which deals with the human trafficking of Chinese women at the end of the 1800s and in the early 1900s.

"I wanted to do research about what these women had to go through and learn their stories," Lee said. "I went to the Cameron House which provided services for these women and young girls. I was reading first hand accounts of what they had to go through, and it became clear to me this was really modern day slavery."

For the past year, Lee has been an artist fellow at the de Young Museum, working on The Escape, along with Rescued Memories: New York Stories, which focuses more on labor trafficking.


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"Piano Heights" Brings Beautiful Music to Bernal Hill

Categories: Music

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Remember when a piano mysteriously appeared on Bernal Hill back in June?


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Checkmate: San Francisco Ranks Third for Flannel Cities in the U.S.

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Danny Tanner wears flannel

This is the only time when San Francisco will gladly step aside and be a bridesmaid, but only if the bride wears Doc Martens and goes by the name Seattle.

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'60s Icon Peter Max Talks Music, Art, and His "Groovy" Outside Lands Poster

In the late 1960s, painter Peter Max was almost as famous as the rock stars he befriended, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Paul McCartney. Like them, he was a fixture on TV (Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson) and in print, as when he made the cover of LIFE magazine in 1969. With artwork that employed bright, boisterous colors and festive scenes of stars, planets and rainbows, Max helped define the counterculture of his era. He's still an active artist (and a rabid fan of rock and other music). So when Outside Lands invited Max to create a poster for this weekend's festival in Golden Gate Park (the poster is only available at the festival itself), Max leaped at the opportunity.

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New World Order: The Symphony Does Dvorak

Categories: Music

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By Jessica Hilo
San Francisco Symphony musicians return to a more palatable world of symphonic performance with a family-friendly concert featuring Dvořák's "New World" Symphony. The composer wrote "New World," his ninth symphony, during a visit to America in the 1890s; and, indeed, the piece captures the chaos and creation of the Gilded Age. "New World" is a collage of multinational voices including those from the composer's Bohemian background, African-American spirituals, and Native American music.


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