Hooray for three-day weekends. Yes, it could be warmer, but hey, at least it's not raining. Spark up the 'que, bust out a game of Scrabble, and get your butt over to one of these fine events.
We managed to procure 2 tickets to Luvplanet's June 3rd show at George's in San Rafael. Any takers? Ahem, Lawngun?
Just announced via Twitter: Five more artists added to this year's already-impressive Outside Lands lineup: including Oakland's "it" band of the moment, Tune-Yards, plus Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Ellie Goulding, Christina Perri, and Bob Schneider.
It's Friday and we we we so excited, so let's get to it, shall we? Herewith, the events not to miss this weekend in the East Bay:
A product of the Philadelphia music scene, Vivian Green has spent the past decade making her mark amidst a class of neo-soul peers that include Musiq Soulchild, Bilal, and Jill Scott. When the latter tapped Green to be a back-up singer for her world tour, it didn’t take long for a major label deal to follow. Ten years later, Green is a single mom whose third album, 2010’s Beautiful, was her first recording in five years. Aided by producer/composer Anthony Bell, the 30-something singer-songwriter opted for a contemporary R&B sound that embraces hip-hop nuance (“So Far Gone”), reggae rhythms (“Save Me”), and the obligatory ballad inspired by her son (the string-laden “Jordan’s Song”). A well-respected singer-songwriter whose talents have been tapped by the likes of Guru and Cyndi Lauper, Vivian Green will be sharing the stage with Eric Roberson at their Soul Survivors Tour on Wednesday and Thursday, May 25-26 at Yoshi’s (510 Embarcadero West, Oakland). 8 & 10 p.m., $22. Yoshis.com — Dave Gil de Rubio
Dig some crusty mid-tempo death metal? Yeah, thought so. Check out Carnal Law, the debut from local band Vastum here.
This morning Pandora tweeted gleefully about a new Tumblr site launched by someone with unbounded creativity — and too much time on his or her hands. Called "The Cosby Sweater Project" it spotlights all the fine fabrics sported by characters on The Cosby Show, from a diamond-shaped sweater vest pattern that Dr. Huxtable wore in Episode 1, to Rudy's stripey, blue and purple getup in Episode 5 of Season 2. The creator offers small mock-ups of each pattern, alongside a screen shot that shows the sweater in action. As one commenter averred, he or she is doing god's work.
Some nice sweater vest action, as Mr. Huxtable gives Theo a dressing-down:
In an interview with the gossip site TMZ, Cali Swag rappers Jay Are and C Smoove speculated that the murder of their cohort, M-Bone, might have just been a "wrong place at the wrong time situation." TMZ interviewers allege, to the contrary, that the perpetrator have been a "jealous man" who threatened M-Bone on Twitter. They trace the jealous man theory back to an anonymous woman who claimed to be M-Bone's girlfriend. She told the web site that the murderer lived in her apartment complex, and that M-Bone had been driving her car to the studio at the time he was shot. So far, police haven't confirmed the veracity of these leads.
The hip-hop world lost another hopeful talent last night, when 22 year-old rapper M-Bone of the Capitol Records group Cali Swag District was fatally shot in a drive-by. Famous for his role in the 2010 bubblegum hit, "Teach Me How to Dougie," M-Bone, whose real name was Mante Talbert, suffered two gunshot wounds to the head in his hometown of Inglewood, California. He was apparently shot while driving along the 400th block of North La Brea. No motive has been specified, and the Inglewood Police are asking anyone with information to call its homicide division at (310) 412-5246, or its 24-hour anonymous hotline number, (888) 41 CRIME. RIP, M-Bone.
Boot up your Google calendars, East Bay. Here's what you're doing this weekend.
Jazz Mafia Stevie Wonder Celebration
On September 27, 2009, Stevie Wonder — yes, the real Stevie Wonder, of Talking Book and Music of My Mind, and that bizarre album about the secret lives of plants — showed up at Coda jazz club in San Francisco to jam with Jazz Mafia. It was, bandleader Adam Theis would write in a blog post the next day, "the best night of my life." And even from a crappy video posted on the Jazz Mafia web site, the enthusiasm is contagious — especially when Wonder launches into a dazzling rendition of "Can't Help It," the song he wrote for Michael Jackson. In the two years since, Theis and company have tried over and over again to rekindle that experience. They'll do it again at The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland), on Friday, May 13, with a ten-piece band in honor of Wonder's birthday. The man himself isn't scheduled to appear this time, but, well — you never know. 9 p.m., $15, $20. TheNewParish.com.— Rachel Swan
Stonesthrow crooner Mayer Hawthorne can sure rock a pinstripe shirt — and hey, he can sing, too. This week Hawthorne released his new EP, Impressions, as a free download. It includes reinterpretations of relatively obscure tunes by the Isley Brothers and Electric Light Orchestra, plus a heartbreak ballad by the electro group, Chromeo. Rolling Stone blogger Matthew Perpetua praised the singer's delicate balance of slickness and subtlety, which makes Impressions seem modern, even as it resurrects old source material. We'd add that although Hawthorne doesn't have quite the chops of his forbears, it's certainly hard to resist that chalky male alto. Check it out for yourself, and see if you agree.