Photography by Matt Gonzalez, Jeff Hunt, and Erin Lim
Here at Storied: SF, we love poetry. Going back nearly all the way to our founding, poetry and poets have been an important part of what we do.
And so, with a two-month art show at Mini Bar, Hungry Ghosts, we knew we wanted to include spoken-word arts. We reached out to some of the heaviest-hitting orators we've had on the show (full list here). And we ended up with a lineup for the ages: Kimi Sugioka (Alameda's poet laureate), Kim Shuck (SF poet laureate emerita), and friend of the show and all around bad-ass woman K.R. Morrison.
A dozen or so of us huddled in the steamy backroom at Mini Bar that night, settling in amid the waning hours of an 80-degree evening, and got treated to poetry mostly related to the theme of rebirth, the underlying motif of Hungry Ghosts.
L–R: Aireene Espiritu, Jeff, Michelle, Brian Belknap. Photo by Angela Tabora
To continue our celebration of culture and the arts (and drinking and neighborhood bars) as part of Hungry Ghosts, we hosted a fabulous music event at Mini Bar on Sept. 7, 2023. We're sorry that you missed it, too.
Friend of the show (and performer at our last music event, on Valentine's Day 2020) Brian Belknap got things started in fine one-man-band fashion. Do yourself a favor and listen to Brian. Get to know Brian at the three-part podcast we did with him back in 2018. Put him on your playlist and leave it on shuffle. He's pure delight to listen to and you just might learn something ... about the world around you, other people ... hell, yourself.
If you're new to Storied: San Francisco, you might be asking, "Wait, I thought y'all are a podcast?" You're 100 percent correct in thinking that, because it's been three-and-a-half years since we've done an art show.
Hungry Ghosts, which runs through Oct. 9 at Mini Bar (837 Divisadero), opened last week to a packed-ass house. Michelle and I joined nine artists on Wednesday, along with Erin from Mini Bar, to hang the show. Once the dust settled, more than six months' worth of planning came to fruition. Here's a little tour, before bar patrons started to file in that day ...
Art in the video, from beginning to end: Michelle Kilfeather, Kate Cambell, Valentin Feichtenschlager, Jim Murphy, Jason O'Hara, Kundan Baidwan, Matt Gonzalez, Ryan Akerberg, Marcell Turner, Lil Tuffy. That's the show. They are the show.
But this is all about Opening Night ...
L-R: Broke-Ass Stuart, Jeff, Michelle, Larry Dorsey, Jr., Pam Benjamin (in front)
Photo by Erin Lim
Folks, we did it! Last night, we hosted a live event with real human beings! There were drinks, food, merch, a raffle (which we've extended; see below), San Francisco-themed trivia, and comedians making us laugh so hard it hurt a little (in a good way).
First, we have to thank the fine, fine folks at Casements (Gillian [Part 1 / Part 2], Sean, Eric, Yonny, and others whose names escape [sorry!]) for hosting and doing such an amazing job serving our guests while also staying safe and helping keep everyone safe. Events during the pandemic, y'all ...
We kicked things off with SF Pub Quiz, hosted by Pam Benjamin. The questions were written by bartender and trivia wizard Matt Sterling. Folks organized and came up with some creative team names (more on that in a moment) and Pam led us through three rounds: city landmarks, SF general knowledge (not the hospital LOL), and San Francisco in movies, TV, and literature.
Team Meat Sweats were the big winners, taking or tying for the win in all three rounds. We let the audience applause-vote for the best team name, and Monkey Knife Fight took home that prize.
We broke for a quick 15 and came back roaring with comedy. Pam returned as the comedy host, opening with a good 20 minutes or so of side-splitting and, ahem, insightful observations.
Photo by Michelle Kilfeather
Our theme, our kickoff event, our closing party ...
This year on Storied: San Francisco, we're writing love letters to the city. The January event got things started, and Michelle Kilfeather's photo exhibit of the same name stayed up in the gallery at 63 Bluxome Street. Naturally, we chose Valentine's Day as the end date, and honestly: How could we not throw a party to mark the closing of the show?
Photo by Erin Lim of Bitch Talk Podcast
Man, that was fun!
On Saturday, we kicked off Season 3 of Storied: SF with an art opening, poetry reading, and live performance by young Bay Area rockers. The event was sponsored by Cheese Plus, who provided trays of delicious cheese, fruits, and meats, and The Jug Shop, who poured big-ass bottles of red and white wine. It was hosted by the rad folks at Babylon Burning/63 Bluxome Street Gallery (including S1E47 storyteller Mike Lynch).
Scroll through the slideshow below to get a glimpse of the fun.
The lineup included two powerful, inspiring poets and our favorite average-age-19 band:
Over in the gallery next to the screen-printing shop, Michelle's solo show "Love Letters to the City" will be up through Valentine's Day. The gallery's hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please stop by, check out the photos and slideshow, write your own love letter on our special stationery, and "post it" in the mailbox. We got quite a few letters Saturday, which really warms our hearts.
Thanks to all who participated and came out to celebrate San Francisco with us.
And now that Season 3 is officially started, here's to the next 48 weeks of bringing you some of the best of what this city has to offer. See you online and offline, we hope!
Michelle and Jeff
Photos in slideshow above by Erin Lim
Our first independently produced show was a total success! So many awesome people said "screw you!" to the smoke cloud covering San Francisco and came out to look at some fresh art, watch the incredibly talented dancing of Flowers of the Apocalypse, laugh (and maybe cry) with our spoken-word artists, and tap their feet to the awesome musicians.
Please scroll through the galleries above (by Erin Lim) and below (by Morgan Shidler).