Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Paper in Three Dimensions

Paper is one of the most economical and versatile of mediums. We handle this material every day, using it in its 2 dimensional form. However, with a few basic tools and some time set aside one can create an amazing array of 3 dimensional crafts.

The San Francisco Public Library has a good selection of books on the subject of paper work. Paper in Three Dimensions by Diane Maurer-Mathison gives an idea of the breadth of possible projects. The author writes: "Sheets …can be folded, twisted, bent and curled, woven, slit, stitched, layered, collaged, wrapped, embossed, and manipulated in myriad ways to create fine craft and artworks." Even more possibilities are presented when you make your own paper…

Each the chapters in the book describes a different type of paper craft. At the beginning of each chapter, there is an introduction giving some history of the technique and the properties that this method lends to the paper. The next section gives a list of supplies needed and goes over basic skills that are used during this process. This is followed by instructions for more in-depth projects, some with step by step photographs. The last feature of each chapter is a "Gallery Tour," consisting of paper artists’ work.

Pennsylvania Woodlands II by Nancy Lenore Cook

The back matter of the book includes contact information for manufacturers and wholesale distributors, as well as for the featured artists. A bibliography and index round out the last section.

Paper in Three Dimensions: Origami, Pop-ups, Sculpture, Baskets, Boxes, and More by Diane Maurer-Mathison (Watson-Guptill, 2006).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Do Museums Still Need Objects?

One of San Francisco's great attractions is its museums. Over the past couple of decades a number of new museums have opened, or established institutions have moved into new buildings. This is happening as museums as an institution are going through a period of re-definition.

Do Museums Need Objects is a deeply thought out reconsideration of museums and their collections. Author Steven Conn argues that originally, for museums, the classification of the object was thought sufficient to convey its meaning, but now the public has “lost faith in the ability of objects alone to tell stories and convey knowledge.” Furthermore museums have come to collect objects of many different types and functions and make use of these objects in a variety of new ways.

Today museums must find a balance between being a public and a corporate institution, and being a place for education and entertainment. Conn notes that the museum originally came into existence as a warehouse for objects but today the museum also treats itself as an object. The museum today has a “civic and social function” that goes beyond the exhibit. Museums go beyond the display of objects to include events like concerts, film screenings and social functions.

Another way that Conn takes up objects is according to their cultural value and genealogy. He looks at the controversial topic of repatriating objects that have been removed from their cultures or countries of origin.

Do Museum Still Need Objects is a serious, scholarly look at role and meaning of museums today. Other recent titles that also consider this topic include Museums in a Troubled World by Robert R. Janes and Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience by John H. Falk.

Do Museums Still Need Objects? by Steven Conn (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010).

Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience by John H. Falk (Left Coast Press, 2009).

Museums in a Troubled World: Renewal, Irrelevance or Collapse? by Robert R. Janes (Routledge, 2009).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Song Collections

Every holiday season we move a selection of our Christmas-themed song collections to the Art, Music & Recreation Center reference desk for quick and easy access.

Our two most paged Christmas songbooks are both fake books -- The Real Christmas Book and the Ultimate Christmas Fake Book. Both of these collections provide stripped down arrangements of the songs with only their melody, chord progression and lyrics.

The Christmas Hits Sheet Music Playlist is our best circulating songbook. (But, of course all our copies are borrowed already since it's so close to the holidays). Frosty the Snow Man and Other Christmas Songs is also very popular every year.

Frosty The Snow Man and Other Christmas Songs (Big 3 Music Corp., 1970?).

Christmas Hits Sheet Music Playlist (Alfred Pub. Co., 2008).

The Real Christmas Book for C instruments (Hal Leonard, 2008).

The Ultimate Christmas Fake Book
(Hal Leonard, 1992).

Related entries:

Holiday Music For the Beginning Pianist (December 2, 2008).

May Your Holidays Be Filled With Music (December 5, 2007).

The Fake Book Collection and Index (July 30, 2007).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Architecture: A World History

Architecture: A World History is a thick pocket-sized book presenting the broad sweep of architecture through the ages. Arranged chronologically from the earliest prehistoric structures, this book presents medium’s evolution up through some of the more innovative works of the early 21st century. Its 512 pages include more than 600 color illustrations of buildings from throughout the world.

The book is divided into 10 sections, each encompassing an historical epoch -- “Pre- and Early History,” “Antiquity and Early Christianity,” Romanesque,” “Gothic,” Renaissance,” Baroque,” “Neoclassicism,” “19th Century,” “20th Century 1900 to 1945,” and “Architecture after 1945.” Each section begins with a time line and consists of a series of two to four page chapters on the various styles, movements, regions or architects deemed most significant during that period. The earliest named architects appear in the Renaissance; the following sections are all dominated by the notable creators in the field. These entries include brief biographies and note each architect's major works, usually including a color photograph.

There are sections including non-Western buildings such as East Asian Religious Architecture, Ancient Pueblos, Southeast Asia (limited to the 11th to 15th centuries), the Mughal Empire, etc... However, the greatest attention is given to monumental works of the West. There are also chapters on Urban Planning (in Paris) and on Building Techniques (most of the sections include such a chapter).

The book includes a helpful and detailed index. Individual buildings are indexed under the heading of the country where they are located. Architect and architectural styles are also indexed. Terms defined in the course of the text are included here, in italics.

Architecture: A World History is a visually exciting, information-packed introduction to architecture and buildings through the ages. It is an excellent resource for the autodidact wishing to master the fundamentals of the subject, or for someone interested in skimming the rich variety of structures created by human-kind across the millennia.

Architecture: A World History
by Daniel Borden Jerzy Elźanowski, Cornelia Lawrenz, Daniel Miller, Adele Smith and Joni Taylor (Abrams,2008).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Creating Coraline: The Making of a New Musical

Maya Donato as Coraline (source SF Playhouse)

Children, teens and adults alike can relate to Coraline’s theme of fantasizing about an ‘Other Mother’ and running away to find idealized-versions of our families. Perhaps no more so than at the holidays, do we need to humorously indulge these fantasies and be guided back to an appreciation of our real family. SF Playhouse’s current production, a musical adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award-wining graphic novella Coraline does just that.

This holiday weekend, SFPL invites you to Creating Coraline: The Making of a New Musical, a unique behind-the-scenes look at (and a chance to win tickets for) this currently running production.

Maya Donato and cast

A host of talented people are behind the musical adaptation of Coraline. Gaiman’s material provides a springboard for playwright David Greenspan’s production book. (Of Greenspan, Tony Kushner has said he "is probably all-round the most talented theater artist of my generation.") Its original score, rich with tinkling toy pianos, was composed by indie-music legend Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields, composer of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s 2010 screening of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and subject of Strange Powers, a recent documentary film). Bill English, artistic director and co-founder of SF Playhouse, brings it all together, guiding the hands of some of the Bay Area’s finest artists: Erika Chong Shuch (choreography), Robert Moreno (music director), Chris White (puppetry), Michael Oesch (lighting design) and Valera Coble (costumes).

Get a glimpse behind the curtains. Learn how the show came about and how the cast was selected. Hear about the challenges of learning (and playing!) Stephin Merritt's score and what it is like to work with puppets on stage. Learn how the stage designers were inspired by Tim Burton, and what it is like to create the "Other World" each night. This event is ideal for music lovers, Coraline fans, and theater-goers ages 11 to 111.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Diary of a Lost Girl - an author talk and film screening

On Sunday, November 14, Thomas Gladysz will speak about his new edition of The Diary of a Lost Girl in the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Public Library. This author talk and film screening are sponsored by the Art, Music & Recreation Center in association with the Louise Brooks Society, an online archive and international fan club based in San Francisco. A small display with archival material relating to the 1905 book and the celebrated 1929 film are on display on the fourth floor. Gladysz wrote the following:

As anyone who knows me knows, I’m nuts about the silent film star Louise Brooks. I find her an endlessly fascinating subject – and my interest and research into her life and career extends into the books and plays which were turned into her various films. They include The Diary of a Lost Girl, a little known 1905 novel by an equally little known German writer named Margarete Böhme.

Wanting to know more about the book –– I began by doing research at the San Francisco Public Library. My 20 page introduction to a new edition of The Diary of a Lost Girl (the first in English in more than 100 years) details the book’s remarkable history and relationship to the celebrated film of the same name.

The Diary of a Lost Girl was first published in Germany as Tagebuch einer Verlonenen. It tells the story of Thymian, a teenage girl who through circumstance turns to a life of prostitution. Today, the book is accepted as a work of fiction. But when first published, it was believed to be a genuine diary. Naturally, it caused quite a scandal. Böhme claimed only to be its editor (a claim she always maintained), and controversy swirled around its authorship.

The book was also a bestseller. It was translated into 14 languages including English, and was published in the United States in 1908 as The Diary of a Lost One.

Though little known today, the book was something of a sensation in the early 20th century. Controversy over its authorship, spirited debate over its merits, and even lawsuits followed its publication – as did a popular sequel, a banned play, a parody, a score of imitators, and two silent films. The best remembered of these is certainly the celebrated G.W. Pabst film from 1929.

By the end of the Twenties, the book had sold more than 1,200,000 copies – ranking it among the bestselling works of its time. Then, it was called “one of the saddest of modern books.” Today, a literary scholar has called it “Perhaps the most notorious and certainly the commercially most successful autobiographical narrative of the early twentieth century.”

Böhme was a progressive minded writer and early feminist and the author of 40 novels. She starting publishing in German newspaper at the age of 17, and in her day, her work was compared to that of another popular and prolific author, Emile Zola. However, only two of Böhme’s books were ever translated into English, and each has been long out-of-print.

There is very little in English about either Böhme or The Diary of a Lost Girl. The only three about the author are in German. Thus, it was challenging to find out more.

However, through a series of inter-library loans and link+ requests, by delving into some of the old bound periodicals held by the library, and by exploring some of the various electronic databases (namely JSTOR and the historic New York Times), I was able to piece together a history of the book as sketched above.

I think it’s a remarkable history, and I was often amazed to learn some new fact in my research. A search through the New York Times, for example, revealed an article from 1907 which mentioned that Bram Stoker, the celebrated author of Dracula, would have wanted to ban The Diary of a Lost Girl!

Wow, that's the kettle calling the pot black.

I could not have put together my new edition of The Diary of a Lost Girl without the help of the SFPL. Both my new book and the DVD of the 1929 Louise Brooks film are available at the library.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jim Marshall 1936-2010

Grace Slick
(all images are from Trust: Photographs of Jim Marshall)

“I love all the musicians – they’re like family. Looking back I realize I was there at the beginning of something special, I’m like a historian. There’s an honesty about this work that I’m proud of. It feels good to think, my God, I really captured something amazing.”
- Jim Marshall

Miles Davis

The Art, Music and Recreation department is pleased to present “Jim Marshall 1936-2010”, a wall-case display highlighting some of the iconic images photographed by Jim Marshall of local and national musicians. The display includes his photographs of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles at their last concert, Miles Davis, Shel Silversteen, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, and Stevie Wonder.

Jimi Hendrix

Jim Marshall was born in Chicago in 1936 but his family moved to San Francisco when he was only 2. He played with a Brownie camera as a child and bought his first Leica in high school. When he came back from the serving in the Air Force Marshall met John Coltrane. Once, while he was photographing backstage at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco in 1960, a musician asked him for directions to Berkeley. The musician was John Coltrane. "He asked me for directions to a club," Marshall said later. "I told him I'd pick him up and take him there if he'd let me take his picture." Jim Marshall went on to photograph and forge lasting friendships with many of the greats of jazz and rock n’ roll. He died earlier this year on March 24th, 2010.

Janis Joplin

His images can be seen in the following books, available at the San Francisco Public Library:

Jim Marshall: Jazz by Jim Marshall; introduction by Philip Elwood (Chronicle Books, 2005).

Match Prints by Jim Marshall and Timothy White; introduction by Anthony DeCurtis (Collins Design, 2010).

Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles' Last Concert / by Eric Lefcowitz; with photos by Jim Marshall (Terra Firm, 1978).

Trust: Photographs Of Jim Marshall (Omnibus Press, 2009).

Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 To The Present by Gail Buckland (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Aurora Mandolin Orchestra returns to the San Francisco Public Library

The sounds of old North Beach are coming to the Koret Auditorium this Saturday, November 6th.

In their 3rd program in 3 years the Aurora Mandolin Orchestra, will play from their repertoire of traditional and semi-classical Italian, Spanish and Russian works. The orchestra for this outing will consist of approximately twenty-three professional and amateur musicians playing mandolin, mandola, mandocello, guitar, string bass, accordion, flute and percussion.

In addition to the musical delights, there will also be a demonstration of a tango (La Cumparsita) and waltz, (composed by Shostakovich), performed by two agile-footed musicians.

This program is supported by The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. All library programs are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Your 2010 National League Champion San Francisco Giants: A Reading List

As we all await the opening pitch for the 2010 World Series at China Basin it’s hard for all of us die hard fans not to remember all the Giants teams of years past. The team has a rich lore to be read about and savored.

The franchise’s 128 year history, both in New York and San Francisco, is documented in The Giants Encyclopedia, a history and compendium of players, managers and broadcasters. In Giants: Collector’s Edition provides a history and statistical overview of the team through 1993 (its 110th anniversary). Fifty Years By the Bay is a 50 year (1958-2007) history of the Giants in San Francisco. Giants Past & Present by free-lance journalist Dan Fost, is a well-illustrated history of the team from its origins to the present.

The Original San Francisco Giants, written by local broadcaster Steve Bitker, is an in-depth look at the Giant’s first season in the City that profiles every player on that team. Game of My Life and Giants: Where Have You Gone? are both books that interview Giants of the past. The former allows players a chance to recall their most memorable games in a Giants uniform; the latter looks at the post-baseball lives of many fan favorites.

Tales From the San Francisco Giants Dugout is a collection of memories of the San Francisco franchise, including the teams successes and failures, but giving perspective on what it means to be a Giants fan. Giants of the Golden Gate is a personal take on the great moments of Giants history.

Magic By the Bay retells the 1989 dual pennant runs of the Giants and the Oakland Athletics that resulted in the Bay Bridge World Series. Splash Hit! tells of the building of Pacific Bell (now AT&T) Park and the sold-out inaugural 2000 season.

For the most devoted of fans, the library’s Magazines and Newspapers Center also has a 16 year run of the Giants Magazine. As part of the Art, Music and Recreation Center reference collection we have more than a decade of the pre-season publication, the Giants Official Yearbook.

We look forward to bringing you next years books celebrating this season’s championship team. Until then...

Go Giants!

Reading List:

Fifty Years by the Bay: The San Francisco Giants 1958-2007 by Chuck Nan (AuthorHouse, 2006).

Game of My Life: San Francisco Giants by Matt Johanson (Sports Pub. L.L.C., 2007).

Giants: Collector's Edition by Joseph Hession (Foghorn Press, 1993).

The Giants Encyclopedia by Tom Schott and Nick Peters (Sports Publishing Inc., 2003).

Giants Magazine (Woodford Pub. and San Francisco Giants).

Giants of the Golden Gate: 50 Gigantic Memories from Five Decades of San Francisco Giants Baseball by A.J. Hayes (A.J. Hayes, 2008).

Giants Official Yearbook (University Sports Publications Co., Inc., 2001-).

Giants Past & Present
by Dan Fost (MVP Pub., 2010).

Giants: Where Have You Gone? by Matt Johanson and Wylie Wong; foreword by Jon Miller (Sports Pub., c2005).

Magic by the Bay: How the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants Captured the Baseball World by John Shea and John Hickey (North Atlantic Books, 1990).

The Original San Francisco Giants: The Giants of '58 by Steve Bitker (Sports Pub., 2001).

Splash Hit!: Pacific Bell Park and the San Francisco Giants by Joan Walsh and C.W. Nevius (Chronicle, 2001).

Tales from the San Francisco Giants Dugout
by Nick Peters (Sports Pub., 2003).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Diary of A Lost Girl: from Book to Film

The Louise Brooks film, Diary of a Lost Girl, is based on a controversial and bestselling book first published in Germany in 1905. Though little known today, the book, Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen, was a literary sensation at the beginning of the 20th century. Spirited debate and even lawsuits followed its publication. By the end of the Twenties, it had sold more than 1,200,000 copies – ranking it among the bestselling books of its time.

Was it – as many believed – the real-life diary of a young woman forced by circumstance into a life of prostitution? Or a sensational and clever fake, one of the first novels of its kind? This contested work – a work of unusual historical significance as well as literary sophistication – inspired a sequel, a play, a parody, a score of imitators, and two silent films. The best remembered of these is the still revived 1929 G.W. Pabst film starring screen legend Louise Brooks.

A new edition of the original English language translation brings this important book back into print in the United States after more than 100 years. It includes an introduction by local film historian and Director of the Louise Brooks Society, Thomas Gladysz, detailing the book's remarkable history and relationship to the acclaimed 1929 film. This special "Louise Brooks Edition" also includes more than three dozen vintage illustrations.

Thomas Gladysz will screen the Louise Brooks classic and discuss the history of the book to film in the Koret Auditorium on November 14th at 1 p.m.

To accompany this program, the Art, Music and Recreation Center is presenting a display that features rare editions of Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen as well as movie stills and a poster of Louise Brooks. This display located on the Library's fourth floor will be on view through November 21, 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s current exhibition, Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, celebrates "the most exciting ballet company of the 20th Century" on the occasion of its 101st anniversary year of inception. Through Diaghilev’s direction, collaborations and interpretation of the "total theater," the Ballets Russes heralded Modernism and reinvigorated ballet by imaginatively synthesizing dance, music and art in each production. Three hundred artifacts from the Company’s early years are on display, including over 80 costumes, set designs, theater backdrops, and props by artists such as Chanel, Picasso, Benois, Braque, Matisse, Bakst, Larionov, and Goncharova.

The contributions of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes to both dance and music are numerous: Many dancers built careers under Diaghilev’s direction and, in general, he elevated the role of male dancer in ballet. The company became known for its ground-breaking choreography in part because Diaghilev supported Mikhail Fokine’s choreographic reforms, supervised the work of fledgling choreographers Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska, and was also responsible for introducing to the world the 20-year old George Balanchine (who went on to create ten ballets for the company).

The composers for the Ballets Russe were of equal accomplishment. Diaghilev launched the international career of Igor Stravinsky at age 27 by commissioning The Firebird. He also commissioned other immortal works by Maurice Ravel (Daphnis et Chloé), Claude Debussy (Jeux), Richard Strauss (Die Josephslegende), Erik Satie (Parade), Francis Poulenc (Les Biches) and Serge Prokofiev (Le Pas d’Acier and The Prodigal Son).

Despite the achievements of his dancers, choreographers and musicians, many have argued that Diaghilev regarded his set and costume designers as the true stars of his innovative company. Other visual artist who collaborated with Diaghilev included Georges Rouault, Juan Gris, Maurice Utrillo, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Jean Cocteau, and Naum Gabo, among numerous others.

The finding aid below highlights the most visually interesting books in our collection, featuring the fine artists of the Company. This is not a comprehensive list but instead a starting point for research.

The Art of Ballets Russes: The Serge Lifar Collection of Theater Designs, Costumes, and Paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut by Alexander Schouvaloff (Yale University Press in association with the Wadsworth Atheneum, 1997).

An invaluable guide to the art of the company, this heavily-illustrated book emphasizes the set pieces, backdrops and costumes from the Serge Lifar Collection at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. This book is organized alphabetically by visual artist’s name, further divided by production title. Each section includes a show synopsis and an essay highlighting historical details of the production, artists’ working methods and their relationships with Diaghilev. Understandably, Bakst and Benois have the most-lengthy entries.

The Art of the Ballets Russes: The Russian Seasons in Paris, 1908-1929 by Militsa Pozharskaya and Tatiana Volodina (Abbeville Press, 1990).

Beyond the introductory essay, this book is primarily illustrated offering season by season chronology of the Ballets Russes productions.

The Art of Enchantment: Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1909-1929 compiled by Nancy Van Norman Baer ( Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1988).

This catalog accompanied the 1988-1989 De Young museum exhibition. It contains images and essays addressing the work of the artists, as well as an essay on the cross-influences of design and choreography within the company.

La danza delle avanguardie: dipinti, scene e costumi, da Degas a Picasso, da Matisse a Keith Haring a cura di Gabriella Belli ed Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino (Skira, 2005).

In Italian, this book contains over 100 pages of Ballets Russes’ color images. It includes set drawings, costume designs and finished costume photographs for many productions, including the controversial Le Sacre du Printemps (1913), and for Picasso’s Parade (1917) and Pulcinella (1920).

The Russian Theatre: Its Character and History, with Especial Reference to the Revolutionary Period, by René Fülöp-Miller & Joseph Gregor (Lippincott, 1930).

With 48 illustrations in colour and 357 in half-tone. This volume has small section covering the Russian ballet, with sumptuous photographs of Ballet Russes dancers, as well as color drawings, primarily those of Bakst and Benois.

Picasso's "Parade": From Street to Stage: Ballet by Jean Cocteau, Score by Erik Satie, Choreography Léonide Massine by Deborah Menaker Rothschild (Sotheby's Publications, in association with the Drawing Center, New York, 1991).

A thorough examination of the 1917 Ballets Russes production.

Picasso Theatre by Douglas Cooper (H. N. Abrams, 1968).

Includes concept drawings, sets and costumes from Picasso’s Ballet Russes work.

Scenic and Costume Design for the Ballets Russes by Robert C. Hansen (UMI Research Press, 1985).

Few illustrations, but a complete chronology of all productions and the designers who worked on each. Lengthy bibliography of books and articles can be used for additional research.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rug and Textile Arts: A Periodical Index, 1890-1982

Velvet fragment, Safavid, Iran, 16th century (source: The Textile Museum).

The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. is one of the foremost collections specializing in the textile arts of the world. In addition to their collection of rugs and textiles, the Textile Museum is also the home of the Arthur D. Jenkins Library of Textile Arts.

In 1983 G. K. Hall & Company published Rug and Textile Arts: A Periodical Index, 1890-1982. Like many of the portfolio bibliographies published by G. K. Hall, this volume consists of images from a library's card catalog files. These volume provides a selective index to articles found in over 300 periodicals in their collection, quite a few of which are also part of our collection. This index covers all aspects of textiles, such as costume, dyes and dying, embroidery, fiber art, lace, rugs, twining and weaving. It is particularly useful in exploring these arts in antiquity and in folk and ethnic contexts.

While the organization of this printed source remains useful, today there is more convenient access to this information through the Textile Muse database offered by the Museum. In addition to the author, title and subject access offered by the bibliography, Textile Muse also provides keyword access to the subject.

The print and online resources of the Textile Museum provide an avenue for in-depth research that goes far beyond the library’s catalog and beyond search engines.

Rug and Textile Arts: A Periodical Index 1890-1982 / The Textile Museum, Arthur D. Jenkins Library (G.K. Hall, 1983).

Textile Muse - the database of the Arthur D. Jenkins Library of Textile Arts.

Exhibitions catalogs of The Textile Museum at the San Francisco Public Library.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guitar Hero Tournament - Get A Competitive Advantage

During the month of October, Teen Services of the San Francisco Public Library is presenting a Guitar Hero Tournament for our teen patrons at several library branches.

Guitar Hero is a video game where players use a guitar-shaped controller to simulate the various solo, rhythm and bass guitar parts of rock songs. Players try to accurately finger and strum the controller in time with the audio and video from the game. The game scores the player for accuracy.

The library has owns a pair of Guitar Hero songbooks. These collections present the sóng in the "Guitar Recorded Versions" format, meaning that they give note-by-note transcriptions of the songs as they are play on the record. The songbooks present the music in both staff notation and tablature notation. The latter shows the the position of the fingers upon the guitar's fretboard. These versions include all solo and rhythm guitar parts as well as the vocal melody and chord progression.

Practicing with these song books gives the player an opportunity to work through the intricacies of performing each song independent of the game. After woodshedding on the riffs, you'll be well on your way to becoming a guitar hero.

Guitar Hero (Hal Leonard, 2007).

Guitar hero 3, Legends of Rock: Songbook (Hal Leonard, 2008).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth

Caving is a sport that does not call to mind the type of heroics that one associates with mountain climbing, but thanks to the new book Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth, armchair adventurers can get a taste of the extreme elements of the sport.

Cavers exploring the largest and deepest caves in the world deal with the same dangers that mountain climbers do: the possibility of falling, hypothermia, and getting lost – all of which can lead to death or catastrophic injury. One aspect unique to caving is that in order to go deep underground, cavers may also have to don scuba diving equipment to explore the underwater reaches of these caves. This adds another layer of risk to an already dangerous sport.

Author James M. Tabor profiles two speleologists, Bill Stone and Alexander Klimchouk each seeking to find and explore the world's deepest caves. These geological wonders are miles long and thousands of feet deep. Their quest, like any expedition, takes planning, funding, the right equipment and a high level of fitness. Stone’s background as engineer suited his needs as an explorer. Diving equipment is heavy and the regular diving tanks can hold a limited amount. Descending into the caves carrying the many tanks needed to do exploratory work is impractical at best. Over many years of tinkering Stone was able to devise a way to scrub out the carbon dioxide that is exhaled so that the same "air" could be used over and over.

For those who might be intrigued by caving, the library has a number of books on the subject:

The Amateur's Guide to Caves & Caving: Skill-Building Ways to Finding and Exploring the Underground Wilderness by David R. McClurg (Stackpole Books, 1973).

Cave Passages: Roaming the Underground Wilderness
by Michael Ray Taylor (Scribner, 1996).

Caves: Exploring Hidden Realms
by Michael Ray Taylor (National Geographic, 2000).

Caving: An Introductory Guide to Spelunking
by Donald Jacobson and Lee Philip Stral (Harbor House Publishers, 1986).

Caving Basics
, edited by Jerry Hassemer (National Speleological Society, 1982)

Entering the Stone: On Caves and Feeling through the Dark by Barbara Hurd (Houghton Mifflin, 2003).

Venturing Underground: The New Speleo's Guide by Ben Lyon (EP Pub., 1983).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Architecture for the 21st Century - a photo display

The library pays tribute this month to architecture and to the men and women whose creativity shapes our cities and our environment.

Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain (photographed by Peter Knaup)

The San Francisco Public Library with the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter will present a series of documentary films on each Wednesday in September at 6:00 PM in the Koret Auditorium as part of the sixth annual Architecture and the City Festival.

Architecture for the 21st Century, a photo display at the Art, Music and Recreation Center, cracks open a window on the kind of buildings we may see in the future. It showcases the “most important structures built since 1980” and “the most significant building in the 21st century constructed by 2005” as selected by a panel of 52 of the world’s most distinguished architects, academic, and critics. The results of this survey were published in "Architecture's Modern Marvels" from the September 2010 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. (All images in this entry are from this article).

Rem Koolhaas, The Seattle Central Library (photographed by Robert Polidori)

Advances in construction technology, in digital representation, in the use of new materials have broken down the traditional limits of architecture. Geometric forms can now be joined into startling new configurations, organic shapes can be combined to give a building the illusion of movement. In overcoming the physical restraints of the past, the 21st century seems to usher in new stage in the history of architecture.

Daniel Libeskind, Jewish Museum, Berlin (photographed by Jens Ziehe /© Jüdisches Museum Berlin)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Banjo and Bluegrass Music

The San Francisco Public Library's Green Stacks is a program to promote greener living in our community. What could be greener than going off the grid, sitting on your front porch, picking up a banjo and playing bluegrass music?

The Library has a number of songbooks of contemporary banjo music, as well as instructional material for learning the instrument. Starting Bluegrass Banjo by Robin Roller is a good place introductory method book.

With the Parking Lot Picker's Songbook: Banjo Edition you can learn the standards of the banjo repertory including song made popular by Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, and many others.

The Peter Rowan Songbook is a collection of songs by this well-known folk revivalist. Rowan also participated in the bluegrass "super-group" Old & in the Way, which has included such luminaries as Jerry Garcia, Dave Grisman and Vassar Clements. The Old & in the Way: Banjo Songbook includes transcriptions of Garcia's banjo solos.

Béla Fleck's The Bluegrass Sessions: Tales From the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 2 includes tablature transcriptions of the music of this Bay Area banjo virtuoso.

The latest treat we have for the banjo aficionado is The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo by actor and comedian Steve Martin, and transcribed by banjo great Tony Trischka. Martin's recording of these songs won the Grammy Award for Bluegrass Album of the Year in 2009.

If you're looking to put it all together with your unplugged friends, the library also offers Best of Bluegrass: 10 Must-know songs Arranged for Fiddle, Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar, Dobro and Bass.


Béla Fleck's The Bluegrass Sessions: Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 2 transcribed by Ian Perry (Homespun Tapes, 2002)

Best of Bluegrass: 10 Must-know Songs Arranged for Fiddle, Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar, Dobro and Bass, music transcriptions by Pete Billmann (Hal Leonard, 2006).

The Crow: New Songs for the Five-string Banjo by Steve Martin & transcribed by Tony Trischka (Homespun Tapes, 2009).

Old & In the Way: Banjo Songbook, transcriptions by Alan Dalton (Alfred Pub. Co., 2005).

Parking Lot Picker's Songbook: Banjo Edition by Bill Evans & Dix Bruce (Mel Bay Publications, 2007).

The Peter Rowan Songbook, music transcription, Leo Cavanagh (Homespun Tapes, 2005).

Starting Bluegrass Banjo: The Definitive Step-by-step Guide to Playing 5-string Bluegrass Banjo by Robin Roller (Oak Publications, 2007).

Black and white banjo images from Catalogue of Musical Merchandise (C. Meisel, 1894).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010 Architecture & the City Film Series

Celebrate the relationship between architecture and celluloid through this five-part series of documentary films, which spotlight the built environment, the architectural profession and the ever-mythical architect’s ego.

The films will be presented on every Wednesday in September at 6:00 pm in the San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium. Each program is free, but registration is required. Register at

September 1
- The Last Wright (directed by Lucille Carra; 55 minutes)

In 1908, when Frank Lloyd Wright was considered the most innovative architect in Chicago, he traveled to Mason City, Iowa, to design a unique, mixed-use city block—a bank and an adjoining hotel facing a park. This film offers a provocative, ironic tapestry of an American century, tracing the life, death and rebirth of a Midwest downtown through the prism of The Park Inn.

Park Inn Hotel and City National Bank Building by Frank Lloyd Wright (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

September 8 - Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City (directed by Judith Paine McBrien; 50 minutes)

Few individuals have had more impact on the American city than architect and planner Daniel Hudson Burnham. Among his firm’s best known works are the Flatiron building in New York, Union station in Washington, DC and The Field Museum in Chicago.

September 15 - Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner (directed by Murray Gregor; 90 minutes)

Infinite Space traces the lifelong quest of visionary genius John Lautner to create “architecture that has no beginning and no end.” As a young man, Lautner broke from his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, and went west to California to forge his own architecture. His life was marked by innovation and inspiration, endless battles with building codes, an accidental leap into the epicenter of pop culture, bitterness at lost opportunities, and finally, monumental achievement.

Segel House in Malibu, California by John Lautner (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

September 22 - A Necessary Ruin and Other Architectural Shorts (directed by Evan Mather; 50 minutes)

A Necessary Ruin relates the powerful, compelling narrative of the history of the 1958 Union Tank Car Dome, located north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, designed according to the engineering principles of visionary design scientist and philosopher Buckminster Fuller. The evening also features The Image of the City and So What?, among other architectural shorts, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker.

Union Tank Car Dome by Buckminster Fuller (source: Buckminster Fuller Institute)

September 30 - FLOW (directed by Irena Salina; 84 minutes)

Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigates what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century—The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel.

These programs are a joint presentation of the San Francisco Public Library and AIA San Francisco. The film series is generously made possible in part by the LEF Foundation.

The complete schedule for the 2010 Architecture and the City Festival

A Reading List of Recent Reference Titles:

Frank Lloyd Wright From Within Outward (Guggenheim Museum, 2009).

Daniel H. Burnham: Visionary Architect and Planner by Kristen Schaffer (Rizzoli, 2003).

Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner (Rizzoli International Publications, 2008).

Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2008).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

California Art Research - available online

Fisherman's Wharf Boathouse by Dong Kingman (from California Art Research, volume 20, part 2). has recently finished scanning our 20 volume set of California Art Research originally published by the Works Project Administration in 1937.

Here is a list of each volume with a link to the online version.

Volume 1 - Charles Christian Nahl and the Nahl family

Volume 2 - William Keith, Thomas Hill, Albert Bierstadt

Volume 3 - Toby Rosenthal, Dominico [Domenico] Tojetti, Thaddeus Welch, Charles Dorman Robinson

Volume 4 - Jules Tavernier, Emil Carlsen, Amedee Joullin, Christian Jorgenson, Julian Rix, Virgil Williams

Volume 5 - Evelyn A. Withrow, Mary C. Richardson, Joseph Raphael, Charles Grant, Henry J. Breuer, Arthur Atkins

Volume 6 - Arthur Putnam, Robert I. Aitken, Douglas Tilden, Earl Cummings

Volume 7 - Arthur Mathews, Gottardo Piazzoni, Anne Bremer

Volume 8 - Maynard Dixon, Frank Van Sloun

Volume 9 - Ray Boynton, Ernest Peixotto, Francis McComas, H. W. Hansen, Armin Hansen

Volume 10 - Charles Dickman, Xavier Martinez, Charles R. Peters, Theodore Wores

Volume 11 - Giuseppe Cadenasso, Nelson Poole, Rinaldo Cuneo

Volume 12 - Rowena M. Abdy, Geneve R. Sargeant, E. Charlton Fortune, Clark Hobart

Volume 13 - Matteo Sandona, Gleb Ilyin, Peter Ilyin, Nadine Ilyin, J. Moya del Pino

Volume 14 - Ralph Stackpole, Jo Mora, Bejamino Bufano

Volume 15 - Lee Randolph, Gertrude P. Albright, Oliver Albright, Constance Macky, E. Spencer Macky

Volume 16 - Margaret Bruton, Esther Bruton, Helen Bruton, Helen Forbes, Edith Hamlin, Ruth B. Cravath

Volume 17 - Robert Boardman Howard, Charles Houghton Howard, John Langley Howard, Adaline Kent, Jane Berlandina

Volume 18 - Ray Bethers, Julius Pommer, William Gaw, Joseph M. Sheridan

Volume 19 - Lucien Labaudt, Otis Oldfield, Mathew Barnes

Volume 20, Part 1 - George Booth Post, William Jurgen Hesthall, Dong Kingman, Jacques Schnier, Sergey John Scherbakoff, Dorothy Wagner Puccinelli, Raymond Puccinelli, Yoshida Sediko, Victor Mikhail Arnautoff, Frank Walter Bergman

Volume 20, Part 2 - Maxine Albro, Chin Chee, Bernard Zakheim, Andree Rexroth, Chiura Obata

Earlier blog entry: California Art Research (April 9, 2008)

The Road by Xavier Martinez (from California Art Research, volume 10)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Large Screen Videos: Opera Series 2010

Valkyrien (1869) by Peter Nicolai Arbo (source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Audiovisual and Bernard Osher Art, Music & Recreation Centers of the San Francisco Public Library in association with San Francisco Opera Guild present their annual program of large screen videos. These programs feature selected clips of previously film productions of operas from the upcoming San Francisco Opera season. Narration and commentary is provided by Opera Guild director George F. Lucas.

The August 5th program featured a screening of excerpts from a 2005 Wiener Staatsoper performance of Werther by Jules Massenet.

On Thursday August 12, 2010 we will present The Makropulos Case by Leoš Janáček in a 1995 production from the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. This performance is conducted by Andrew Davis, with Anja Silja as Emilia Marty and Kim Begley as Albert Gregor.

The Thursday August 19 and 26 programs will be devoted to Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung. The first week will cover the Prologue and Act One. Acts Two and Three will be discussed the following week. We will show a 2009 production from Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia" Valencia, conducted by Zubin Mehta, with Lance Ryan as Siegfried, Jennifer Wilson as Brünnhilde and Matti Salminen as Hagen.

Each screening begins at noon at the Koret Auditorium, Main Library, Lower Level and will last approximately 60 minutes. All programs at the Library are free and open to the public. This program is supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

The library also has scores, recordings, and libretti for The Makropulos Affair and Götterdämmerung for circulation.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Celebrity Black Book 2009 Deluxe Edition

One facet of our department's subjects of Art, Music and Recreation is that they are all intertwined with the world of celebrity. Hollywood stars, Broadway actors, rock musicians, rappers, television hosts, visual artists, photographers and athletes can all achieve notoriety
in the fields.

The current edition of the Celebrity Black Book has contact information for more than 55,000 public figures of all kinds. The information provided is limited to only mailing addresses. These mailing addresses are usually those of the celebrity's business agent, professional team, company or business, or talent agency. Only rarely is a home address provided.

The Star Guide is another similar resource, however, since it was last updated in 2005 the information may not be sufficiently current.

We also use other more specialized locating for finding contact information. For example, there is the Players Directory for Hollywood actors and actresses. This source provides head shots along with agency contact information. In the world of popular music there are two excellent resources: The Billboard International Talent & Touring Guide and Pollstar's Artist Management Directory. Finally, for locating classical musicians there is the Musical America Worldwide directory.

All of these resources are available at the Art, Music & Recreation Center on the 4th floor of the Main Library.

The Celebrity Black Book, 19th edition (Contact Any Celebrity, 2009).

Star Guide (Axiom Information Resources, 2005).

Players Directory (Now Casting, Inc., 2008).

Billboard Talent & Touring International Guide (VNU Business Publications, 2010).

Pollstar. Artist Management Directory (Pollstar, 2010).

Musical America Worldwide: International Directory of the Performing Arts (Commonwealth Business Media, Inc., 2009).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CLUB FOOT Presents: A Generous Illusion, Post-Punk SF (1978-82)

After new wave punk first hit North Beach in 1976 and before 80's hardcore took over The Vats, San Francisco's heaviest neighborhoods saw a brilliant flurry of Do-It-Yourself artist-run venues. Target Video, Tool & Die, Survival Research Labs in the Mission. Club Generic in the Tenderloin. CLUB FOOT in Dogpatch. To name just a few. This program presents films and performances from these often overlooked locations where rock aesthetics meet live art action.

Featuring Bruce Geduldig's beautiful black-and-white 8mm short, Childhood Prostitute, starring JoJo Planteen (Inflatable Boy Clams) and Winston Tong (Tuxedomoon). Includes music by Tuxedomoon, The Units, Pink Section, Minimal Man, Invertebrates, Factrix, Richard Kelly, and Snuky Tate (live at the 1979 Gay Freedom Day Parade).

Plus, special guest actor/musician Richard Edson, one of the original CLUB FOOT founders who later went on to a big time Hollywood career.

Thursday, July 29 at 6:00-7:30 PM at the Koret Auditorium, Lower Level, San Francisco Public Library. All programs at the Library are free and open to the public.


The CLUB FOOT webpage.

The CLUB FOOT Facebook group.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cries of Joy, Songs of Sorrow: Chinese Pop Music and Its Cultural Connotations

25 years ago Liang Mingyue wrote an overview of the several thousand year old music traditions of China entitled Music of the Billion: An Introduction to Chinese Musical Culture. The author focused his attention almost entirely upon the folk and traditional musics of China that remained uninfluenced by contact with the West. However, even in 1985 he had to acknowledge that "hybridized pop music" from Taiwan and Hong Kong had spread all over China nearly overwhelmed interest in these traditions.

At present popular songs written with Mandarin Chinese lyrics are the actual "music of the billion" and perhaps represent the most widely listened to music in the world. This makes Cries of Joy, Songs of Sorrow by Marc L. Moskovitz an important book in helping Western readers understand the history and cultural significance of Western-influenced popular song in the Chinese speaking world.

Moskovitz writes primarily about the music produced in Taiwan over the past four decades or so that has proven very influential in the Chinese speaking world. This was because popular music was banned from China during the rule of Mao Tse Tung and up to the 1980s could only be produced in the Chinese communities outside the Mainland like Taiwan and Hong Kong. This music is a transnational commercial force that is popular in Chinese communities all over the globe. He argues that the music brings a “commonality” to these scattered, disparate communities in the same way that Hollywood movies might to an English-language community.

This music which he calls Mandopop (other writers have used the term Mandapop) does not strive to use an authentically Chinese musical language and unabashedly incorporates Western influences. Moskowitz finds the significance of this genre primarily in the lyrics and how the meanings therein help listeners in their adjusting to new situations they encounter the modern, globalized world.

He notes that in “traditional Chinese etiquette” it is difficult, even rude to speak directly. Yet in these songs, the protagonists articulate often suppressed thoughts, especially thoughts of an intimate nature. He writes that “Mandopop can be used as a means of expressing oneself more directly, which provides a safety buffer should one's confession be met with rejection or awkwardness.”

Moskowitz also examines topics gender roles and nationalism as well as the music’s relationship to the culturally conservative Communist Chinese state. From his personal homepage he also links to videos to which he provides lyrics with English language translations. If you want to learn about the music that a plurality of the earth’s people listen to Moskowitz’s book and webpage are an excellent starting point.

Cries of Joy, Songs of Sorrow: Chinese Pop Music and Its Cultural Connotations by Marc L. Moskowitz (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2010).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Parts for String Quartet - New Arrivals

San Francisco is a very active chamber music city with many professional, amateur and student ensembles. The San Francisco Public Library has a very large collection of chamber music parts written for every kind of ensemble. We strive to have the standard, classic chamber music literature and to find out new works for our City's musicians. In our most recent batch of new scores we received a number of new sets of parts for string quartet.

There are four new sets of Mendelssohn String Quartets: the Quartet no. 2 (op. 13 in A minor), the Quartet no. 4 (op. 44, no. 2 in E minor), the Quartet no. 5 (op. 44, no. 3, in Eb major), and a posthumous Quartet in F minor.

We have also received the parts of Grieg's posthumous Quartet Movement in F major, and for Britten's String Quartet no. 3, op. 94.

For more contemporary repertoire we have received Górecki's String Quartet no. 3, op. 67, entitled "Songs are Sung." In additional to that we also have arrangements of two Radiohead songs, "Paranoid Android," and "House of Cards." We also have a new work, Leyendas, An Andean Walkabout, by Bay Area native, Gabriela Lena Frank.

This music can be requested to be sent to any San Francisco Public Library branch by library card holders. It is also available to many other California library users through the Link+ network.


Leyendas, An Andean Walkabout by Gabriela Lena Frank (G. Schirmer, 2005).

Paranoid Android and House of Cards: Radiohead Hits for String Quartet
arranged by Eric Gorfain (String Letter Publishing, 2009).

Quartet Movement in F (1891) for two violins, viola and violoncello, op. posth. by Edvard Grieg (Masters Music Publications, 2002).

Songs are sung = Pieśni śpiewają: String Quartet no 3, op 67 by Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (Boosey & Hawkes, 2009).

String Quartet no. 3, op. 94 (1975) by Benjamin Britten (Faber Music, 2006).

Streichquartett a-Moll, op. 13 by Mendelssohn (Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1976).

Streichquartett e-Moll, op. 44,2 by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1977).

Streichquartett Es-Dur, op. 44,3 by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Deutscher Verlag für Musik, 1977).

Streichquartette f-Moll, Opus post. 80 by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (G. Henle, 2000).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ten Thousand Years of Pottery

Ten Thousand Years of Pottery is an excellent source for obtaining an overview of the innovations of pottery over the millennia. The author, Emmanuel Cooper, gives context to the achievements in ceramics by underlining the needs of each culture, setting these achievements within a historical context. The chapters advance both chronologically and geographically. In the case of the New World, the American Indian chapter groups both continents together since outside influences were not experienced until quite late.

The first chapter details the first civilizations to use clay and kilns. The author states that pottery seemed to appear around the same time that a society became less nomadic. The more sedentary way of life of farming civilizations required storage units for grains and other produce, and that could also be used for cooking. As containers, pottery was superior to other materials such as woven grasses and animals skins.

The technological leap from these less durable means to the firing of clay to change its properties has not been discovered. The most likely theory is that where fires were tended for cooking and protection, clay may have been used to insulate the area from moisture. This, in turn, transformed the clay from porous to a non-porous, hard medium. It is not until the introduction of fire into the process that pottery became much more long lived: this is when the history of pottery begins.

The invention of the wheel in Mesopotamian culture around 4000-3000 years before the Common Era gave the world the potter’s wheel and changed many aspects of how the clay was formed. The clay could be shaped much more quickly, and because of this it also needed to be more pliable with impurities removed before the potter began to throw. Since this new process involved a higher degree of skill, the potter enjoyed a higher status in society. Though the wheel allowed greater speed in creating pottery, the revolving motion did limit form. Using this method also changed decoration, as horizontal lines were much easier to create. This type of decoration prevailed throughout the area.

In the following chapters the author shows how culture, religion and technological advances influence the methods and forms of pottery. The ample use of color photographs underscores the variety of ceramics forms and decoration within and between cultures.

Un atelier de Céramistes, from the San Francisco Public Library Print and Picture Collection

The last chapter entitled Studio Ceramics Today details the work of ceramicists whose work is a merging of craft and art. Cooper states that “the broad spectrum of ceramics is often referred to as ‘clay work’ to avoid such potentially emotive labeling as potter, ceramicist, or maker.” Back matter includes a glossary, a listing of museum and national collections of pottery, a bibliography, illustration references and an index of names. Unfortunately, the book lacks a general index which would have been very useful.

Ten Thousand Years of Pottery by Emmanuel Cooper (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Wearing of the Green – It’s Not Just for the Irish!

Memory Jacket designed by Linda Watson, Artist, Second hand Levi jacket with embellishments - on display in the Art, Music and Recreation Center, 4th floor, Main Library

"Going Green" is the hot new trend in the fashion world. The appearance on the runway of haute couture made from organic cotton, hemp and bamboo indicate that more designers are leaning toward an eco-conscious clothing industry. Closely related to this trend is a growing interest in upcycling, recycling and refashioning old clothes into new garments. Using worn-out clothes as raw materials offers a creative person the opportunity to experiment freely without having to worry about making mistakes with expensive yardage. A few yards of lace and some cleverly placed beads can transform a used pair of pants into expensive looking designer jeans.

Through its Green Stacks programming, the Library is committed to providing information on green living through its resources and its programs. One such event will take place on Saturday June 19 from 12:00 to 4:00 at the Main Library. A free class called Recycled Clothing: Creating New From Old will help participants create “new one-of-a-kind works of wearable art.” Call (415) 557-4400 for more information.

For those interested in this topic, but unable to attend the Saturday class, the Library has plenty of books filled with inspiring and innovative ways to refashion any wardrobe. A few are listed below:

Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing : Fabu-Low-Sew Projects for the Everyday Crafter by KathyCano-Murillo (Potter Craft, 2009).

Denim Revolution: Dozens of Ways to Turn Denim Cast-Offs into Fashion Must-Haves by Nancy Minsky (Potter Craft, 2008).

Embellished Fashions by Mickey Baskett (Sterling Pub., 2008).

Exquisite Embellishments for Your Clothes by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader (Lark Books, 2006).

Jazzy Jeans by Mickey Baskett (Sterling Pub., 2006).

New From Old: How to Transform and Customize Your Clothes byJayne Emerson (Firefly Books, 2006).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Club Foot: Moving In The Direction Of History Artifacts from SF's Art Punk Cabaret

Opening Night (photo: Ellen Curley)

The world is changing all around us! To continue to thrive as individuals, we must look ahead, understand the trends and forces that will shape our lives in the future and move swiftly to prepare for what's to come.

One can only guess at the driving forces behind the cross-country odyssey from Albany, New York to San Francisco that birthed the Club Foot. When founders Richard Kelly, JC Garrett, Cindy Buff, and Richard Edson arrived in the city's Dogpatch district, punk rock was just reaching its peak in the Bay Area. It was 1979, and the actor/politician of the moment was Ronald Reagan. The need for a not-for-profit performance space for aspiring Surrealists was absolutely clear.

The San Francisco Public Library is offering a step back into this world with the exhibit, CLUB FOOT: Moving in the Direction Of History - Artifacts from SF’s Art Punk Cabaret, on view June 5 - Aug. 5, Steve Silver Beach Blanket Babylon Music Center, Fourth Floor, Main Library.

For eight years in an old storefront on Third Street, Club Foot hosted a wide range of performances – from the heavy hardcore of Black Flag to avant-garde luminaries such as Diamanda Galás. But this was no commercial nightclub. Club Foot proposed that we are all consumers and producers alike, erasing the line between audience and stage. Bands were not booked to simply sell beer. Artists not only ran the show, they may have been living under the stairs. It was do-It-Yourself by necessity.

Richard Kelly, one of Club Foot’s main cultural agents, infiltrated half a dozen ensembles and inspired many to start their own. In 1980, he produced the legendary compilation album that captured the Club’s trademark eclecticism: emphasis on the experimental, somehow strangely ground through a populist filter. Kelly’s sudden death at age 28 marked an end to the Silver Age of SF punk.

This exhibition offers a rare glimpse into one of the Bay Area's longest running underground venues and unearths many oddities and relics from the private archives of JC Garrett and Cindy Buff. Never before seen in 30 years. Dig it.

Related Program

Moving in the Direction of History: Films and Performances from the Club Foot Archives, Thursday, July 29, 6 p.m. Koret Auditorium,