Last month, a viral ad from the Oakland-based toy company GoldieBlox got even more attention when the Beastie Boys publicly criticized the business for using the group's song without its permission. GoldieBlox, which works to confront gender bias with toys that promote engineering for girls, has since taken down the video, a parody on the Beastie Boys song "Girls." (For example, instead of the Beastie Boys lyric Girls - to do the dishes, the girls in the GoldieBlox video shout Girls - to build the spaceship!).
The legal fight, however, is not over.
Yesterday, the Beastie Boys filed a counterclaim against GoldieBlox, alleging copyright infringement. This move comes two weeks after GoldieBlox posted an open letter to the Beastie Boys on its website, saying it wanted to avoid a legal battle and that it had removed the song from its video. "We don’t want to fight with you," GoldieBlox wrote. "We love you and we are actually huge fans."
Happy Friday East Bay! Listen to this epic mashup of the most popular songs of 2013 as you read our round-up of the five best things to do with yourself this weekend:
Queens of the Stone Age
Josh Homme may have started off his career as an excavator of desert-rock riffs, but he soon made it clear that he’s a far more versatile and appealing songwriter, not to mention a controlled-yet-slightly-unhinged performer. (I once saw him encourage a member of the audience — who he claimed was his brother — to grab his crotch.) Queens of the Stone Age, his primary vehicle of the past seventeen years, has included a rotating cast of players and guest performers, and has fearlessly taken his distinct brand of riff rock into conceptual, experimental, and melodic places. …Like Clockwork, the band’s latest (and its first release since 2007’s Era Vulgaris), shows Homme continuing to stray from the potent riffs on which he built his early career. Still, there’s a bombastic art-rock scale to songs like “If I Had a Tail” and “Kalopsia,” the latter of which is balanced with doo-wop dreaminess. The dirty bluesy riff of “Smooth Sailing,” meanwhile, sounds like an outtake from Eagles of Death Metal (Homme’s other outfit). Throughout, Homme is helped along with an even bigger roster of guests, including former collaborators Mark Lanegan, Nick Oliveri, and Dave Grohl, as well as Elton John, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, and others. Sadly, those guests won’t perform with the band when it stops by the Oracle Arena on Friday as part of LIVE105’s Not So Silent Night, but count on Homme to be plenty engaging — even from the nosebleed section. Friday, Dec. 6. 5:30 p.m., $37.50-$50. Ticketmaster.com — Kathleen Richards
It's Plaid Friday! Here are the five best shopping and non-shopping related events to check out this weekend:
Shopping on the day after Thanksgiving usually means long lines and lots of grumpy shoppers, but this Friday, for the fifth year, small businesses in Oakland are offering a "mall-ternative" event to make holiday gift-buying fun again. In addition to the shopping itself, Latham Square, the new parklet at Broadway and Telegraph Avenue, will be transformed into a Santa's Village with live music from local bands like the Kev Choice Ensemble, The Dedications, The Riot Professor, Dynamic, and Say Bobby, as well as DJ Tanoa. There will also be gift-wrapping services, hot chocolate, and free photos with Santa. Artisans will set up pop-up shops around the square as well as in ten surrounding bars. Cyclists can try a self-guided five-mile bike and shop tour that begins in the Golden Gate District and ends in downtown. Those who wear plaid can score additional giveaways and discounts. Friday, Nov. 29. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., free. OaklandGrown.org/Plaid-Friday — Zaineb Mohammed
Small Business Saturday/Indies First
This holiday season, put your money where your heart is and shop locally. On Saturday, Mrs. Dalloway’s will participate in Small Business Saturday in solidarity with other independently owned bookstores across the country. Established by American Express in 2010, the annual event aims to support small businesses to order to boost local economies on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Inspired by the success of Small Business Saturday, the acclaimed author Sherman Alexie started the Indies First movement to encourage writers to volunteer at their neighborhood bookstores on the same day. Advocate for your community and shop at Mrs. Dalloway’s, where the East Bay’s own Annie Barrows, Mac Barnett, Patricia Polacco, and Anthony Marra will stop by throughout the day to chat with customers and sign copies of their books. Saturday, Nov. 30. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., free. MrsDalloways.com — Ivy Kim
GoldieBlox, an Oakland-based toy company that encourages girls to become engineers, is publicly feuding with the Beastie Boys over its new viral advertisement. The company, which aims to push back against gender biases in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, has received a lot of attention over the last week for its catchy parody of the Beastie Boys' song "Girls."
And now, GoldieBlox has taken legal action against the band in what appears to be a preemptive measure to thwart threats from the group — which has since released an open letter to the company, claiming that, while it supports the message of "empowering young girls," it cannot condone the use of its music in a commercial ad.
Hey East Bay, it's Friday! Time to throw a mini dance party at your desk and check out these five weekend-worthy events:
I Hate the Holidays Cabaret
The holidays are such a circus. Escape the three-ring madness this weekend at Kinetic Arts Center’s I Hate the Holidays Cabaret, its second annual juried festival of circus arts and a send-up of “everything excessive, tacky and overdone” about the season (which, let’s face it, is pretty much everything). A coterie of disgruntled elves will host the high-flying shenanigans, with the Bay Area’s finest aerialists and acrobats mocking holiday tropes and travails while competing for audience votes. This year’s acts include an enslaved elf in a shock collar, and a pole artist under the influence of poisoned sugarplums — we all know the feeling. Friday and Saturday winners will perform in the Sunday-night finals for the ultimate prize of $350 or a year’s worth of fruitcake. The under-21 crowd can watch the show up close from mats on the floor, and there’s plenty of street parking for all the clown cars. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 24. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 7 p.m., $15-$35. KineticArtsCenter.com — Claudia Bauer
Huzzah, it's the weekend! Put off your holiday shopping and check out these five awesome events happening between today and Sunday:
Toro Y Moi
In 2009, Toro Y Moi (aka Chaz Bundick) rose to fame as an exemplar of chillwave — ambient, atmospheric, borderline-lethargic pop music that’s easy to listen to. But for his third album, 2012’s Anything in Return, Bundick (who lives in Berkeley) ditched his computer in favor of instruments. At this year’s Fuck Yeah Fest in Los Angeles, the shift was evident: Bundick and his band took full command of the stage, defying the idea that chillwave is primarily bedroom music. Live, Anything in Return’s mesh of smooth R&B and funky pop sounded every bit as sensual and groovy as Toro Y Moi’s previous material, but louder and more assertive. Toro Y Moi will get the crowd dancing at The Fox Theater this week; Classixx, a duo from Los Angeles that makes glittering, sun-soaked electronic music (and perform it excellently with a full band), will start the night. Friday, Nov. 15. 8 p.m., $27.50. TheFoxOakland.com— Madeleine Key
K-Ci and JoJo
Much as Sam Moore and Dave Prater did in the Sixties, Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey and Joel “JoJo” Hailey draw on the Southern gospel quartet tradition for their emotive soul vocals. The Monroe, North Carolina-born brothers were half of the hit-making new jack swing group Jodeci in the Nineties, and topped the R&B charts as a duo in 1998 with “All My Life.” K-Ci sings in a raspy, back-of-the-throat low tenor reminiscent of Bobby Womack, while his younger brother answers with higher pitched cries. Their one-two punch guarantees a knockout performance. The two, who recently released My Brother’s Keeper, their first full-length album in more than a decade, open for new jack swing king Keith Sweat on Saturday’s KBLX Hot Winter Night concert at The Paramount Theatre. Saturday, Nov. 16. 7:30 p.m., $68.45-$142.80. ParamountTheatre.com — Lee Hildebrand
Jordan Kurland, co-founder of Noise Pop and the Treasure Island Music Festival, was arrested for domestic assault in September and last week pleaded no contest on two misdemeanor counts, according to a spokesperson from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Kurland, who also owns Zeitgeist Artist Management and manages many well-known bands, including Death Cab for Cutie and She and Him, received 3 years of probation and 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling, and now has a protective order against him, the spokesperson told the Express.
The assault allegedly involved his girlfriend who he was living with at the time of his arrest on September 29. At that time, he was charged with two counts of domestic violence and another count of battery. The Express attempted to contact Kurland, but he did not respond to our inquiry as of publication. Meanwhile, his attorney told the Chronicle that his client did not admit to committing physical violence since misdemeanor assault is defined as an “unlawful attempt” to injure someone.
The San Francisco Police Department incident report stated that, when officers arrived, “Kurland was very apologetic stating that he and his girlfriend of four years … had an argument that turned physical.” The argument reportedly escalated when Kurland, according to the victim’s account to police, slapped her in the face, pushed her to the ground, “grabbed her by the hair and dragged her towards the front door.” He then kicked her hard once to the left side of her ribs causing great pain, the report continued.
The victim refused to go to the hospital and officers arrested Kurland without further incident.
He gave a written statement to police that said he had asked her several times to leave the house and that she refused. He described how the fight got physical, writing, “She continued to provoke me and I kicked her in the side.” He ended his statement: “All very unfortunate. I feel terrible and ashamed.”
Hey party people, it's Friday! Here is our round-up of the five best activities this weekend:
With the opening of the new Bay Bridge bike path, the decision by BART management to allow bikes on trains during rush hour, and the installation of new green “super sharrows” on streets in Oakland, it’s been a banner year for bicyclists. Celebrate these accomplishments at the East Bay Bicycle Coalition’s annual member party and fundraiser at Venue Oakland. Drink beer and wine from New Belgium Brewing Company and Beaune Imports and enjoy food from Kamdesh Afghan Kabob House while local bike heroes are honored with Platinum Pedal awards. Browse through the silent auction items and score a fancy new ride, or get a jump on your holiday shopping with cyclist-friendly gifts like tickets to the East Bay winery bike tour and the “Party for Your Bike” package, which includes a portable speaker and Monkeylectric lights. Friday, Nov. 8. 5:30-9:30 p.m., $15-$30 for members, $35-$50 general admission. EBBC.org/biketopia — Zaineb Mohammed
Huzzah, it's the weekend! Halloween is over, but it's First Friday, so there is still plenty to celebrate. Here are our expertly selected suggestions for the five best ways to spend your time today through Sunday:
Do salted caramels go best with Merlot or Chardonnay? If you’re still hungry — and thirsty — and your Halloween costume’s still intact the day after, sip and slide at Rock Wall Wine Company’s first annual Hallowine Party. The admission fee includes a souvenir wine class and introductory glass of wine. Party festivities include wine-and-candy pairings, a photo booth, a spooky sensory bar, pumpkin bowling, gourmet chocolate tastings from Cocotutti, and a costume contest with prizes for the most original, the spookiest, the best homemade, and the best couple’s costumes. Wine by the glass and food from Scolari’s Good Eats will be available for an extra charge. Friday, Nov. 1. 7-10 p.m., $10. RockWallWines.com — Anneli Rufus
Laserium 40th Anniversary
The psychedelic musical laser lights show from the Seventies is back this Friday at the Chabot Space and Science Center. Created in 1973 at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, the shows were popular among laser-obsessed science nerds, families, and folks who just wanted to get high and gaze at the trippy light formations. After a long run at the California Academy of Sciences, Laserium had its last concert in the Bay Area in 2000. Celebrate its return during the opening-night festivities, when lasers will shoot across the planetarium set to the music of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, which also celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. The Laserium will have a three-month run at Chabot, so if prog rock isn’t your scene you can check out other shows featuring songs from bands like U2, The Beatles, and Nine Inch Nails. Friday, Nov. 1. 6:30-10 p.m., $100. ChabotSpace.org — Zaineb Mohammed