Tuesday Afternoon: Hear Beethoven at the Bernal Heights Library

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Valerie Reichert, manager of your Bernal Heights public library, shares this announcement about a special, live performance of Beethoven’s music happening on the library patio on Tuesday, May 10 at 4 pm:

Cypress String Quartet
Beethoven in the City: Opus 127
Bernal Heights Library: Front Patio!
Tuesday, May 10th, 4 PM 
All Ages Welcome

We’re excited to announce that we are a host for Cypress String Quartet’s 20th year celebration Beethoven in The City. The celebration featuring Beethoven 16 String Quartets takes place this month throughout (11) districts of the City. All concerts are free and publicly accessible.

Beethoven in The City was conceived by the CSQ as a way not only to give back to the city that has fostered and inspired their music making, but also as a celebration of San Francisco. Through Beethoven in The City, the CSQ aims to bring Beethoven’s music to the broadest range of individuals possible. As a composer who overcame severe personal challenges to propagate his belief in the equality of humankind, Beethoven is a great ambassador for both classical music and human rights, and CSQ believes his music can speak to anyone. Come join us this May for an incredible City-wide musical celebration!

This is a feature event, and given that good weather is forecast for Tuesday, it should be really lovely.

Neighbors Gather on Bernal Hill to Celebrate Prince

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RIP Prince. You were amazing, and you left us far too soon.

As San Francisco mourned the death of Prince last night, Mayor Ed Lee announced that the lights on City Hall would  glow purple, and your Bernalwood editor received a sad text message from one of the paternal units from the Bernal Dads Racing Team:

Uh, so no Prince on Bernal Hill?

This was Obviously Unacceptable, so within a few minutes a sound system was conjured and a power source was procured, and at about 8:30 your Bernalwood editor was ordered to transmit a call to action:

An hour later, the sound system was up and running on Bernal Hill, and a cozy group of people gathered to listen to Prince’s music. The weather was warm(ish), the moon was full, Prince’s music filled the air, and City Hall glowed purple on the horizon. It was lovely. Here’s a quick taste:

PHOTO: Top, a classic Prince moment in Bernal Heights, shared on Bernalwood, January 6, 2011

Play Ball! Neighbor Matt Nathanson Sang the National Anthem at Yesterday’s Giants Season Opener

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Yesterday was Opening Day for the 2016 San Francisco Giants season, and Bernal neighbor and rockstar-in-residence Matt Nathanson was there to sing the national anthem. You can watch it here.

A few hours later, the Giants went on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 12-6, with help from a Hunter Pence grand slam. So to recap: Neighbor Matt sang the national anthem, and the Giants crushed the Dodgers. Coincidence? Hold that thought.

Neighbor Matt got a pretty swell souvenir out of the deal:

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Neighbor Matt sang the national anthem at a Giants season opener. Historians will note he also sang it in 2010, and we all know how that turned out. Coincidence?

We think not.

PHOTO: Top, via Jason Snell. Hat Tip: kc!

Bernal Producer Co-Creates Guerrilla Homage to The Exploratorium

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Bernal neighbor Ryan Avery  lives near the southern end of Peralta. He just helped complete an unauthorized video about the fabulous Exploratorium, and he wrote to Bernalwood to tell us all about it:

One of your fellow Bernal Heights residents (myself) helped produce and direct a music video immortalizing the Exploratorium. It’s a parody of “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, shot guerrilla-style in San Francisco.

I’m a local music producer who goes by the alias of Chance’s End. A good friend of mine, Jade Stone from the Noe Valley district, called me up about a month ago and explained “I want to record some lyrics I wrote. Can you help me out?” After learning the lyrics were about the Exploratorium parodying Uptown Funk, I was in 100%.

We recorded her vocals one evening, and then set to work planning on the music video. We recruited a bunch of our friends to be backup dancers (all Bay Area residents), and Jade brought her parents up from Southern California to help with filming. Then we spent a weekend shooting the video. It was a bit tricky in places without the consent of the Exploratorium (ahem), but I think it turned out pretty nicely!

Why’d we make this? I think Jade would agree with me – “Just because we felt like it.”

Enjoy the video! It’s nerdtastic fun, and we’ve waived the admission fee:

Bernal Native Carlos Santana Says the Super Bowl Needed More Local Bands

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One of the best things about the conclusion of Superb Owl 50 is that we no longer have to hear all the complaining about Superb Owl 50. Yet with that said, celebrity Bernal Heights native Carlos Santana took to Facebook yesterday to grumble that there wasn’t enough local flavor at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show:

Dear NFL/CBS….I would like to take this opportunity to thank you both for including me as a part of your Super Bowl entertainment. I do feel compelled to point out to you that the Halftime Show should have included some of the local iconic bands that the World would have loved to see perform. Bands like Metallica, Steve Miller, Journey and yours truly. We would have rocked the Half Time Show and done the SF Bay Area proud. This is just an invitation for you to consider iconic bands as part of your Half Time entertainment. Real live music, real live vocals, and give the audience real live chills.

Carlos Santana

Estimados NFL/CBS….Me gustaría aprovechar esta oportunidad para agradecer a ambos que me incluyeran como parte del entretenimiento de la Super Bowl. Me siento obligado a señalar que el espectáculo del descanso del partido debería haber incluido a algunas de las icónicas bandas locales que a todo el mundo le habría encantado ver actuar. Bandas como Metallica, Steve Miller, Journey y quien les habla. Habríamos hecho estremecer el espectáculo del descanso y habríamos enorgullecido al área de SF Bay. Esto es tan solo una invitación para que consideren a las bandas icónicas como parte de su entretenimiento del descanso del partido. Música real en vivo, voz real en vivo y estremecer realmente a la audiencia en vivo.
Carlos

Preach!

Actually, the Superb Owl 50 halftime show would have been an excellent opportunity to stage the Mullen Reunion Tour, harkening back to the days when Santana and a few early members of Journey all lived under the same roof on Mullen Avenue.

Even better, we could have hosted one hell of a homecoming after-party in Precita Park, with Santana jamming on the little mound just west of the playground until the whole park smelled like cannabis and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Santana is right; that would have been fantastic. Let’s do it next time.

PHOTO: Carlos Santana’s Facebook profile pic

David Bowie Remembered During Renegade Bernal Hill Memorial Singalong

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Something beautiful, and lovely, and enchanted, and very Bernal happened last night. At the end of a day that many Bernalese spent mourning the death of David Bowie, a Bernal neighbor hit upon the genius idea to organize a tribute: A renegade David Bowie singalong and dance party on Bernal Hill.

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Bernalwood received a private communication about the idea from Neighbor Sam via the red phone late Monday afternoon:

Hey Bernalwood….wondering if you’ve heard of any memorial gathering in Bernal tonight for a little Starman sing-a-long? Was thinking top of the hill at sundown…

“Oh hell yes!” we said. By 5:30 pm Neighbor Sam had completed the arrangements. She’d procured two loudspeakers, wrangled a generator, and compiled an all-Bowie playlist. An 8 pm start-time was selected, and shortly before 6 pm, Bernalwood was authorized to begin transmitting an all-points invitation via our social media frequencies:

This was greeted almost instantly by an energetic cascade of Twitter retweets and Facebook reshares.

The result was that even though there had been just two hours of advance notice for Neighbor Sam’s renegade David Bowie memorial singalong, somewhere around 50 to 75 people come together on Bernal Hill to remember Bowie’s life and listen to his music.

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It was dark on our hill, but the air was  calm and clear, and the lights of San Francisco unfurled like a twinkling Ziggy Stardust galaxy below. Here’s a sampler of the scene; a video montage of three Bowie songs, as experienced by a very lucky group of neighbors on Bernal Hill last night:

The tribute lasted for about an hour and a half, and there were many smiles and hugs, and then it was over.

Immense thanks go out to Neighbor Sam, who provided the inspiration and the infrastructure to make this magical, musical Bernal Bowie memorial happen. Somewhere in space, we know David Bowie was smiling.

PHOTOS and VIDEO: Telstar Logistics

New Book Celebrates the Visual Career of Neighbor Michael Gillette

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When we last heard from Bernal neighbor Michael Gillette, he had just completed a trippy new video for My Morning Jacket that showcased his formidable skills as an artist and animator. At the time, however Bernalwood hadn’t realized that Neighbor Michael’s output is so extensive, so amazingly creative, and so closely tied to the music industry.

Now Neighbor Michael the focus of a gorgeous new book called Drawn in Stereo that’s a visual greatest-hits collection of his work:

Filled with selections from his entire career, Drawn in Stereo shares an eclectic display of artistic approaches, including gallery shows, sketchbooks, music video animation stills, and magazine contributions for the likes of; Spin, MOJO, Q, & the New Yorker.

Projects showcased include work for the Beastie Boys, Paul McCartney, MGMT, & Beck—among many others— Drawn in Stereo highlights Gillette’s ability to channel music into compelling visual art.

Featuring a foreword by Fred Deakin and an interview by Elastica’s Justine Frischmann, Drawn in Stereo reveals an inspired life, ranging from Britpop London and rooming with the Aphex Twin, to fifteen years of creativity in San Francisco.

In a message to Bernalwood, Neighbor Michael also shared these local notes:

About half of my career has been spent on Lundys, and I’d guess about 90% of the work in the book was made here.

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The book is a big deal for me as it gathers together work I’ve created over the the last 25 years. The focus is on music, as this has been a constant inspiration, and I’ve made a lot of imagery in service of that industry for folks such as Beck & The Beastie Boys to Paul McCartney and My Morning Jacket.

Also, a historical footnote: As a kid I loved Rick Griffin, and his work really helped set the course of my life. I found out not long ago, his purple patch designing Fillmore posters and the like took place on Elsie Street!

So much gorgeousness. Want a copy of Neighbor Michael’s sexxxy new book — for you, or for that special locavore on Santa’s list?  Get it right here.