Berkeley-based promoter Another Planet Entertainment, which books the Greek Theatre, Fox Theater, and The Independent locally, has taken over operations of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the Chron reports. APE, having signed a twenty-year lease with the city, has agreed to make $10 million in improvements and to start booking regular concerts there, according to the article. In exchange, the city will get $100,000 annually in rent with 2.5 percent increases — more if ticket sales exceed expectations. The city will also be allowed to use the facility rent-free for up to fifty days per year.
While Oakland businesses and police are bracing for possible violence in response to the upcoming Mehserle verdict, local venues are continuing with entertainment this weekend as planned. Tomorrow's First Friday Art Murmur largely appears to be happening, though at least one venue has decided to cancel its event. The Uptown will host a free, early show featuring Judgement Day, The Ferocious Few, Distance From Shelter, and Weston Elementary. The Stork Club's free "First Friday Follies" burlesque show is also happening, while The Vince Wallace Jazz Ensemble performs at Cafe Van Kleef . In the art world, Royal Nonesuch Gallery has decided to cancel its First Friday opening, citing "concern for safety in Oakland and respect for public protests that may occur" — even though a verdict isn't expected until next week. But Vessel Gallery is going ahead with its reception.
Yoshi’s’ San Francisco location started off with a bang when the jazz venue opened its doors in December 2007. But since then, the venue has consistently lost money, according to co-owner Kaz Kajimura. Thanks to some recent management restructuring and programming changes, however, Kajiumura reports that Yoshi’s SF finally made money in the first quarter of 2010.
“It is very, very challenging but I think it’s turning around finally with the economy coming back,” said Kajimura. “We actually made money in the first quarter. That hasn’t happened in a long time.”
The Independent, which typically hosts shows nearly every night of the week, doesn't have anything on its schedule from July 3 to August 4. But the calendar is full as usual after that, until September 30. Sarah Fink of Another Planet Entertainment, which runs the venue, declined to comment on the issue.
Facing declining CD sales and illegal online sharing, the major-label record industry is calling on the government to help them regulate the piracy. In an e-mail sent yesterday, Jim Urie, president and CEO of Universal Music Group Distribution, also said the industry should try to emulate other countries in negotiating deals with Internet Service Providers. "The government has not responded in a meaningful way to help us address this crisis. My call to action is for all of us to become more aggressive in lobbying our government, more outspoken in drawing attention to the problems caused by piracy and more actively engaged." The letter concluded with a "call to action" to send an email to legislators, and a link to the effort's Facebook page, which has 539 friends.
The entire e-mail after the jump.
A new studio hopes to put the Bay Area back on the map as a place for high-end recording facilities. Studio Trilogy, launched in April by local recording veterans Justin Lieberman, Cindy McSherry, and Willie Samuels, is housed in the former home of Talking House Productions, which closed its label earlier this year. McSherry, Lieberman, and Samuels all worked at Talking House; McSherry as a manager and Lieberman and Samuels as engineers.
"It’s a really nice studio with really nice gear and there’s not many of those left," said Samuels. "Our focus is trying to make it more like an old-school studio where there’s a family vibe — not so corporate like a lot of studios are now."
We’ve officially entered the season of the summer festival, and with no shortage of them, concertgoers can be picky about where they spend their dollars. And they are. With so many festivals, especially during a down-turned economy, local promoters are struggling to stay on fans’ radars.
“There’s a lot more festivals right now than there used to be,” said Rebecca Sparks, co-owner of the Berkeley-based High Sierra Music Festival. “There’s a lot of competition. As far as longevity goes, you have to create a niche and offer something that other festivals don’t have.”
Pick up discounted records from your favorite local labels and nosh on some bagels at an Absolutely Kosher-sponsored "Ye Olde Record Label Faire/Sunday Brunch" on Sunday, June 27. Participating labels including 1-2-3-4 Go!, Absolutely Kosher, Alternative Tentacles, American Dust, Antenna Farm, Broken Rekids, Chocolate Covered, Gold Robot, Lefse/Waaga, Misra, Porto Franco, Prank, Ralph America, Seismic Wave, Slumberland, Three Ring, Tricycle, tUMULt, and Zum. There will be bagels and beverages for sale along with the music, which will be on sale at discounted, wholesale, and "blowout" prices. Bands and musicians can also use the opportunity to drop off their demos. It happens at Absolutely Kosher's HQ (1501 Powell St., Suite H, Emeryville), from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Admission is free.
After one person died from a drug overdose and nine others were hospitalized following Pop 2010: The Dream on Saturday at the Cow Palace, a police official and San Mateo county supervisor are calling for a ban on raves at the venue, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But it’s questionable whether a ban on such events would prevent such deaths from happening in the future; in fact, it could make the problem worse.
The Chronicle initially reported that the victim, twenty-year-old Anthony Mata of Santa Clara, was likely given a “tainted” drug. "Obviously someone was either giving away or selling drugs that were laced with something that caused a number of kids to be taken to the hospital," said Eileen Shields, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Doctors and police backed that up, saying that all the patients exhibited “life-threatening symptoms such as internal bleeding and kidney failure” that was inconsistent with an ecstasy overdose. According to the article, more than 800 ecstasy tabs were confiscated during the event, along with LSD and methamphetamine.
Apparently, we'll find out soon. For the last handful of years, the Toyota-produced Scion car company has sought to create brand loyalty among the Gen Y crowd through its marketing and with events like Scion Rock Fest, a free annual metal festival held in different parts of the country. Now the car manufacturer is focusing its efforts in Northern California by throwing an event which will "bring together the most contemporary players in music, art, and fashion to commemorate the launch of the new regional platform." It's not entirely clear what this new platform, called "Scionify," will be exactly, but the press release describes it as something that will "tie(s) regional social media and web together with live experiences and interactive engagement." Okaaaay. Here are more clues: "Scionify highlights the rich cultural and artistic landscape of Northern California. Trend setting musicians, visual artists, designers, event producers, artists, and creativity connoisseurs converge here."
As for the launch event, it will be held Thursday, June 17, at Temple Nightclub (540 Howard St., SF), and will feature Craze and The Gaslamp Killer, plus fashion installations by Irene Hernandez-Feiks of Chillin' Productions, an "art environment" courtesy of ArtNowSF, plus Solid Gold Jacuzzi, Rock It Science's Eric Sharp, Lights Down Low’s Sleazemore, Shane King of Hacksaw Entertainment, Blasthaus resident Nisus, Midweek Meltdown’s Swayzee, Surya Dub's Maneesh the Twister, Dials of Change the Beat, White Girl Lust, Honey Soundsystem, Hakobo of Fresco, and The Culprits.