It's a complex issue, but for Thiam, who has always paid his mortgages on time and maintained the facility, it's all about the music, some of which comes piping in via bellowing horns from the main room while we discuss the venue in his cluttered office. "We've been trying to promote the aesthetics of the American art form, jazz," he says simply. "We have students who come here from the community, from other states, from across the globe, to perform here at Savanna."
"We talk about jazz, but we often forget that jazz gave America its identity markers away from the cannons of Europe in the beginning of the 20th century. Jazz elevated it to the level of a cultural superpower. It reflected a new consciousness."
For more on the ongoing struggle between the jazz club and the bank, visit SFBG.com/Noise.
ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN
Picture an orchestra tuning, beginning, then wholly dropping to the center of the earth, while playing all the way down. Godspeed You! Black Emperor's first album in a decade, Alleluja! Don't Bend! Ascend! (Constellation Records, Oct. 16) doesn't stray too far from the Canadian collective's proven track record: forceful plucks of orchestral strings (cello, violin, hurdy gurdy), swelling guitar riffs, crashing mid-tempo percussion, gloomy, dystopic atmospheres that feel like they're swallowing you up whole, reaching a climax (err, crescendo) then tumbling back down to earth and respawning anew. It's a tiring, beautiful, and emotional journey. Having spent a year falling asleep nightly to 2000's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven so as to create my own powerful dreamscapes, I'm ready to return to my nightmares with Alleluja!.
CLARION ALLEY BLOCK PARTY
If you've never been to the Clarion Alley Block Party, then you're not yet a true San Franciscan. That's an exaggeration, but it seems like a true rite of passage for SF folk. The ever-evolving walls will boast new, brightly saturated murals, and in between them, a robust showcase of local musical talent on two stages: Future Twin, Moira Scar, Apogee Sound Club, Brass Liberation Orchestra, Afrolicious, Grandma's Boyfriend, and more. Who doesn't love an alley party?
Sat/20, parade at noon (led by Brass Liberation Orchestra), noon-8:30pm, free. Clarion Alley Mural Project, between 17th and 18th Streets, Mission and Valencia, SF. Facebook: Clarion Alley Block Party.