In Print: The Uncertain Future of Jazz in the Fillmore, Hieroglyphics Gets a Holiday, and More
A preview of what's in SF Weekly's print edition this week:
The building formerly known as Rassela's.
Is the Fillmore Jazz District Working?: After nearly 14 years, Rassela's Jazz Club on Fillmore Street closed this month -- but not without one last burst of sound. Before the club's final weekend, owner Agonafer Shiferaw fired off a letter to Mayor Ed Lee arguing that the closing of Rassela's is a sign of a bigger failure in the neighborhood. "The visionary promise of a revitalized, thriving African American commercial presence along Fillmore Street with a jazz ambiance is fading, and fading fast," Shiferaw wrote. In essence, he argues, the city's investment in the Historic Fillmore Jazz Preservation District -- which attempted to atone for a decades-long redevelopment program that moved black residents and businesses out, killing a jazz scene that had been world-famous -- was foundering. [Continue reading]
Hieroglyphics Holiday: Start looking and you'll see the logo everywhere, especially here in the Bay Area. It's one thick circle, a short straight line, and three dots, which together form an abstract face with a third eye. In total the image is maybe 50 percent empty space, with zero words. By now it's been sewed, printed, pressed, and stitched. Stickers of it have been slapped onto the toll booths of the Bay Bridge. Plenty of people have tattoos of it...
The ubiquity is somewhat surprising, considering that this ludicrously simple third-eye image represents Hieroglyphics, a loose, long-established crew of brainy rappers and musicians from Oakland. The crew's 10 members include the entirety of the hip-hop quartet Souls of Mischief, as well as the rappers Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Casual, and Pep Love. They've been banded together for a decade and a half, recording, touring the world, and having sporadic brushes with mainstream notoriety, as Del did with Gorillaz's breakout hit "Clint Eastwood." ("I never thought it would get this big," the rapper told SF Weekly in 2007 about the logo he invented.) But one could argue that the most powerful illustration of the Hieroglyphics crew's resilient popularity came only last year. [Continue reading]
Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs from the last week in S.F. music.