Here's what you're doing this weekend, friends:
Sistahs Steppin' in Pride
After two different lesbian nightclubs went belly up, there was a joke making the rounds in Oakland: You can build it, but maybe they won't come. But they do show out for Sistahs Steppin,' an annual festival which will celebrate its tenth — and final — edition this week. Moore launched the it as an offshoot of the dyke march at San Francisco Pride, after noticing that many participants had actually commuted from the East Bay; the first iteration took place in 2002, beginning at Lake Merritt and snaking along the sidewalks of Grand Avenue, to wind up at Snow Park, where the marchers banged their drums, blessed their ancestors, and enjoyed a celebratory fair with live entertainment and artisan vendor booths. It was a rousing success. And since then, Sistahs Steppin' grown tremendously: With the help of Oakland police, Moore and company blocked off one lane of traffic on Lakeshore and Grand avenues, so the sistahs could march right alongside traffic. She said that at its height, the event had several hundred participants. Last year it also included a bicycle contingent, and speeches by mayoral candidates. But putting on a festival of this scale requires a lot of work and a lot of logistical know-how, so this year, organizer Peggy Moore is pulling out, and the event as a whole will be ending, too. Catch the final Sistahs Steppin' at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27. Participants will meet at the pillars by Lake Merritt. Free. SistahsSteppin.org. — Rachel Swan
So much for Kreayshawn being a flash in the pan. The newest, most confounding addition to Oakland's rap pantheon was just tapped to host the Video Music Awards red carpet for MTV.com this Sunday, The Bay Citizen reports. Kreayshawn was virtually unknown until signing to Columbia Records this June, after the video for her single, "Gucci Gucci," went massively viral. (It currently has more than 12 million hits on YouTube). Kreayshawn was a surprise guest at last week's KMEL Summer Jam, and she'll perform for a sold-out crowd at Slim's tomorrow. She's nominated for one MTV award, the enviable "Best New Artist" title.
Plan the next 72 hours of your life with help from our crack team of ceaselessly knowledgeable and impossibly good-looking critics.
Book release and signing for Devon Blood's Keep Laughing
When tattoo artist Devon Blood suffered a gunshot to the head in 2006, it threatened to end his life and his hard-earned career. The tenacious artist, who endured months of hospital stays, surgeries, and physical rehabilitation, had to relearn his trade using his left hand. Now he's returned to his job at Sacred Tattoo (707 Broadway, Oakland), and he's penned a book about his experiences. The shop celebrates on Friday, Aug. 19, with a release party and signing of Blood's new autobiography, Keep Laughing, which is filled with photographs and illustrations by the artist and friends. 8 p.m., free. 510-251-8287 or DevonBloodTattoo.com — Cassie Harwood
Jack London Square Fit Rave
If you like exercise as much as a good party but find you lack the time for both, there's a new solution for getting in a good workout and some simultaneous social time. Jack London Square hosts its first Fit Rave on Saturday, Aug. 20, where health-minded socialites can choose from a series of outdoor cross-training activities while a DJ provides fast-paced tunes. Do some spinning, some yoga, and a little strength training, and then stick around for a post-workout party with refreshments by Miss Pearl's Jam House. Spinners, bring your bikes. On the waterfront plaza, outside the Waterfront Hotel (10 Washington St., Oakland). 2-5 p.m., $20-$25. 510-645-9292 or JackLondonSquare.com — Cassie Harwood
San Bruno-based company YouTube has always had a testy relationship with music publishers and media conglomerates, as indicated by a spate of lawsuits filed in the last few years — starting with Viacom, which charged Google with copyright infringement back in 2007. Last year, a district court in New York absolved YouTube of responsibility. Viacom is in the process of appealing that ruling and seeking $1 billion in damages. Meanwhile, the National Music Publishers Association took another strike at YouTube, alleging that the company broadcasts music videos without authorization. Google helped broker a deal between the two parties, stipulating that the NMPA license its content to YouTube, in exchange for royalties. Apparently, the settlement left everybody happy. This morning Bloomberg News reported that NMPA had dropped its appeal of a lower-court ruling in favor of the defendant.
Mission Creek Oakland just released its schedule for this year's event. The music festival — now in its fifteenth year, but only its third in the East Bay — runs September 2-October 1 in various local venues. Although its Kickstarter campaign fell short of its goal, Oakland Mission Creek music director Kiyomi Tanouye says the show will still go on.
Local bands to perform include Bare Wires, Dreamdate, Ty Segall, Street Eaters, and tons more.
Full sched after the jump...
Feel like taking a quick road trip? Consider heading to Missoula, Montana, where a handful of Bay Area bands will play the DIY, volunteer-run, all-ages music festival Total Fest this week, Aug. 18-20. Among them: Pigs, Kowloon Walled City, Shannon and the Clams, Street Eaters, and Religious Girls. (KWC's Scott Evans notes, sadly, that it'll also be the band's last gig with guitarist Jason Pace. He'll be replaced by Jon Howell from Tigon.) Other bands playing the festival include Japanther, White Mystery, Big Business, and Helms Alee.
In an e-mail, Total Fest organizer Paul Hansbarger said he wasn't sure why so many Bay Area bands ended up on this year's bill, "besides the fact that there are some amazingly creative and unique DIY punk and indie bands coming out of the Bay Area." Sounds like a good reason! Hansbarger continued: "Total Fest typically hosts bands from all over the the Northwest and Rockies region, with a few coming from the various other parts of the country. We had the Street Eaters from Berkeley apply and come to play last year's fest. I think due to their ties to the Fleshies (another TF favorite), we were drawn to Pigs who also share some of the same lineage. Many of us were fans of other Bay Area bands like Kowloon Walled City, Shannon and the Clams and Religious Girls, and invited them to apply to play. Our volunteer organizers have a wide range of interests, musically, and this year it just so happened that several of the bands we liked came from there."
The fest, now in its tenth year, has had a history of showcasing Bay Area talent. Drunk Horse and the (Fucking) Champs played Total Fest's inaugural event. This year's festival also includes a record swap, barbecues, and river swimming. It's all reasonably priced, too ($50 for a three-day pass). If you go, send us pics!
The full Total Fest schedule can be found here.
It was already a great song, but this version is great in a completely different way: it's stretched-out and spacey, the vocals chopped, screwed, and looped even more imaginatively than they were the first time around.
According to Pitchfork, the track "will appear on a 12" single release that will also include Cut Chemist's re-imagining of the w h o k i l l highlight (as well as the original track and its instrumental and a cappella)," due out September 27 on tUnE-yArDs' label, 4AD. In the meantime, listen and download below:
Anticipation was in the air as we awaited Adele's long return to the Bay Area last night at Berkeley's Greek theater. That's no understatement. We'd already withstood venue changes, tour cancellations, a late start, an (admittedly powerful) opening act, and a drawn-out, dramatic entrance. And fortunately, Adele was worth the wait. She showed up and showed out.
We'll have a full recap in print and online on Wednesday, but in the meantime, remember the weekend (or live it vicariously) here. All photos by Joseph Schell.
Well, no one appears to be entirely sure, but this is what we know: the Boi was scheduled to go on at 6:20 and was then pushed back to 7 at some point during the afternoon; by 6:50 or so, the area in front of the Sutro stage was completely packed. As 7 and then 7:15 rolled around and the crowd went from anticipatory to angry, it appeared from backstage that Big Boi was definitely there, but that the DJ rig wasn't working, and no one had brought a backup. Dave Chapelle(!) graciously went onstage and placated the crowd with a quick, ad-libbed (and pretty funny) bit. Big Boi's team appeared to have actually gotten everything working in the end — but at that point, we were close to encroaching on Erykah Badu's set on the same stage. So his people came onstage, apologized, told the audience they'd rather not play than give a "half-assed" performance, and officially admitted Big Boi wouldn't be playing (to near-deafening boos from the crowd).
Again, this is all based on what the Express saw and heard from backstage, but we've put in calls to the Outside Lands press people and will update when we hear something official. In the meantime, follow us for real-time observations, analysis, and more.
Update, 1:30: Here's the official word from Chris Vinyard, one of the Outside Lands press people:
Unfortunately, Big Boi had to cancel his performance due to the fact that his DJ had a computer malfunction. They tried to fix it but it got too close to Erykah Badu's set time and Big Boi wanted to respect that. Dave Chappelle was on hand to entertain the audience.
Vinyard also added that "Big Boi and his team were the utmost professional given the technical difficulties at hand, we look forward to working with him in the future."