Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Radiohead Announces Two Berkeley Gigs At Greek Theatre, Tix On Sale Friday

by Nick Miller
Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 10:25 AM

I'm not the Radiohead fan that I was in the '90s, when The Bends dropped and it felt really hip to be an angsty teen and listen to something different than quotidian jock ballads or the The Wallflowers.

And I'll admit that, for a period, seeing Radiohead live was a sort of addiction, beginning first with their OK Computer preview gig at The Warfield in 1997, and going so far as to follow the band across the globe, from San Sebastian, Spain, to Red Rocks in Denver. And so on. First-world problems.

But eventually, I guess I tired of doing the same ol' thing. Yet it remains a pleasure to revisit Radiohead, and I especially enjoyed the group's live renditions of its The King of Limbs record — a must watch:

I'm also stoked that Radiohead just announced two gigs in Berkeley this spring, on August 17 and 18, for which tickets go on sale this Friday, January 20, at 10 a.m. The shows are both general admission. And, while the price tag is $95-a-pop, when I shared this news on Twitter, nobody balked at the face value. Ballers!

Of course, these tix will sell out in seconds ... best of luck!

At the Greek Theatre
April 17 and 18
Tickets on sale Friday, January 20, at 10AM.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

First-Ever East Bay Brewers Festival Tickets On Sale Now

by Nick Miller
Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 9:55 AM

San Francisco Beer Week is nigh — and, this year, our side of the Bay Bridge is getting in on the action with the first-ever East Bay Brewers Festival.

On Saturday, February 18, in Oakland, host Drakes Brewing Co. (at its Dealership location) and 25 East Bay breweries will pour at inaugural gathering. And — very cool — each of these breweries will bring a special event-only beer to the fest.

Participating breweries include 21st Amendment, Alameda Island, Ale Industries, Altamont, Benoit-Casper, Calicraft, Cleophus Quealy, Drake's, East Brother Beer, EJ Phair, Eight Bridges, Faction, Federation, Ghost Town, Gilman, Independent, Jupiter, Line 51, Novel, Pacific Coast, Temescal, Triple Rock, and Woods. There will be more than fifty brews to sample.

There will be food, deejays, and the proceeds benefit City Slicker Farms. Tickets are just $30 and include ten pours, and tickets will also be on sale the day of at the event. Learn more on Facebook and purchase tickets at EventBrite.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Primus, Tune-Yards, Hieroglyphics, and More to Play 'Oakland United' Fire Benefit at Fox Theater

by Nick Miller
Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 6:10 PM

Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, December 9, for Oakland United, a special benefit concert for Ghost Ship fire victims, which will be held next week at the Fox Theater.

The show will be an evening of music and stories, and will feature Bay Area musicians, journalists, and artists.

The lineup so far includes: "Boots Riley (The Coup), Christopher Willits, Dan Deacon, Gabe Meline (KQED) Geographer, Hieroglyphics, Jay Som, Josette Melchor (Gray Area), Primus, Rogue Wave, Sam Lefebvre (East Bay Express), Sidecar Tommy (Beats Antique), Thao Nguyen, tUnE-yArDs, and Tycho.

Again, tickets are on sale tomorrow at noon, and Another Planet Entertainment is waiving all service charges. And 100 percent of the proceeds from the tickets will go to the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts Ghost Ship fire-relief fund.

Learn more here, or donate now to the victims here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Oakland rapper Elujay releases video for “Flagrant” featuring YMTK

by Eda Yu
Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 2:53 PM

With Jentrify, Elujay sought to create a feel-good album that nonetheless addressed pressing issues. - ANDRE MALIIK
  • Andre Maliik
  • With Jentrify, Elujay sought to create a feel-good album that nonetheless addressed pressing issues.
Elujay, the Oakland rapper who’s taken the music world by storm with recent release Jentrify, just dropped a video for “Flagrant,” a popular track off the album featuring another Oakland musician YMTK. Teeming with playful, youthful energy, the video features the two musicians as they battle for the affection of a romantic interest through a casual game of hoops.

Carefree vibes shine through the soulful, upbeat track, as the duo dance, rap, and joke around like good friends. Elujay’s wide grin and YMTK’s teasing attitude create the video’s vibrant energy, an easygoing feeling enhanced by the warm, daytime sun. Even though the Oakland rapper ultimately loses the pick-up game, Elujay still wins in the end: He walks away with his arm around his girl, throwing the ball back at YMTK, who shakes his head as he gets left alone on the court.

Watch the video here.

Friday, November 4, 2016

This Weekend's Top Six Events

November 4, 5 & 6

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 12:07 PM

It may not be Halloween anymore, but there are still a million reasons to go out this weekend. Here's six:

  • Courtesy Interface
  • Quiet Riot.
Art + Craft Beer Fest At Interface Gallery
Temescal Alley is a go-to for many Oaklanders seeking a barbershop cut or fancy cactus, but perhaps fewer are familiar with the very consistent curating at the alley’s resident gallery, Interface. For the uninitiated, Interface’s outdoor Art + Craft Beer Fest this Saturday will be a prime chance for art lovers and rookies alike to appreciate the work that Interface showcases — and get buzzed. The event will feature four local breweries, including Temescal Brewing Company and Federation Brewing Company, and the outdoor environs of Temescal Alley will be host to a temporary group art show featuring local artists Lisa Rybovich Crallè, Laurie Reid, Megan Reed, Manuel Angeja, Kari Marboe, David Mohr, Emily Wick, and Elizabeth Russell. This will also be a great opportunity to see the show currently on view inside Interface Gallery, by Oakland artist Lana Williams. The exhibition, titled Quiet Riot, is a series of bold, colorful paintings and photographs cut and pasted into irregular shapes, sometimes not even fitting within their designated frames. For $20, attendees get a 6 oz commemorative tasting glass and tickets for eight tastings. Or, pay $3 per individual taste. All the proceeds go toward supporting Interface Gallery’s future programming. — Seung lee
Saturday, November 5, 2-5 pm, $3-20. 486 49th St., Oakland.

More …

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Oakland A's Twitter War with Smashmouth Actually Happened

by Nick Miller
Sat, Oct 29, 2016 at 2:18 PM

It's since been deleted, but there really was a post-World Series Twitter feud between the Oakland Athletics' official account and '90s pop-rock hitmakers Smashmouth last night.

It began after Cleveland beat the Chicago Cubs in game three of the Series, with the only run of the night coming from a Coco Crisp RBI.

San Francisco Chronicle sports writer John Shea Tweeted about how far Crisp had come this year, from feuding with A's management to winning playoff games.

And that's when Smashmouth, who got its start in nearby San Jose, started talking trash:

To which the official A's account promptly shot back:


And so began the A's-Smashmouth Twitter Brawl of 2016:


Quickly, A's relief pitcher Sean Doolittle jumped in to drop some kumbaya:


But his interjection was just fuel on the fire:


Admittedly, that's some real talk from the straight from the Smash's mouth.

But official A's Twitter also kept it 100:



At this point, The Smash tried to de-escalate the feud.


But A's official didn't let up:



(Note that it is now midnight.)

At this point, Smash was running out of material:


And A's fans on Twitter were in disbelief:


And then, as quickly as the Twitter war kicked off, it was over. Until this morning, when A's official deleted the evidence and posted an apology:

To which fans responded:

Smashmouth has yet to reply to the A's offer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In Case You Missed It: Fantastic Negrito’s stunning short film for “In the Pines (Oakland)”

Directed by Rashidi Natara Harper, the film is a gorgeous meditation on gun violence.

by Eda Yu
Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 5:13 PM

Oakland native Xavier Dphrepaulezz, better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, made significant waves with his LP, The Last Days of Oakland, released earlier this year. His sound — a mixture of jazzy, electric-guitar-infused blues and angry punk edge — shared the spotlight with his eloquent lyricism as he carried listeners through his perspectives on love, class, and the city he calls home.

Late this past September, Dphrepaulezz released a video for a track off the album, “In the Pines (Oakland)”, a popular cover of a traditional Appalachian folk song from the 19th century. The nine-minute montage — directed by Rashidi Natara Harper — reads more like a short film, as it touches on the heartbreaking issue of gun violence. Dphrepaulezz has imparted that he intended for the video to serve as an offering to the women who’ve tragically lost loved ones to gun violence — something he’s encountered in his own family firsthand.

“I really wanted to change some of the lyrics so that they would pertain to women who bury their babies, their children, because my mom buried my brother, whom we lost to gun violence at fourteen,” Dphrepaulezz says, in the video’s opening scene. The black-and-white shot create a somber setting as the musician stands beside a maternal figure.

“And I just ... I always promised to him, I said ... I’ll never … ” he continues before trailing off, overcome with emotion. The spoken words act as a recurring motif throughout the video, scoring different scenes in which other mothers share their poignant stories of sons and children who fell victim to fatal shootings. 

 If you haven't seen it yet, watch the short film below.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Five Memorable Rants from Kanye West's Concert Last Night In Oakland

by Nick Miller
Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 11:07 AM

Kanye West took a seat on his "floating" stage to ramble about why he's not crazy, one of many self-aggrandizing Yeezus homilies during his Oracle Arena gig last night. - NICK MILLER
  • Nick Miller
  • Kanye West took a seat on his "floating" stage to ramble about why he's not crazy, one of many self-aggrandizing Yeezus homilies during his Oracle Arena gig last night.

Kanye West's part road show, part therapy session made the first of two stops in Oakland at Oracle Arena last night. And the performance — a nearly-two-hour rundown of hits old and new, peppered with several lengthy rant-soliloquies by the contentious rapper — probably satisfied only the most rabid, wide-eyed Kanye adorers. 

This tour, in support of West's recent The Life of Pablo record, featured a minimalist production design: For the entire set, West stood alone atop a "floating" stage, which hovered over a moshing, photo-snapping crowd. He was anchored to the stage by a bungee rope, which connected to his upper back, and was lit only by dim bronze light, so it was difficult to catch a glimpse of his face during most of the night. 

At one point, West told the crowd that his previous tours were stellar shows, but that they weren't profitable, because of the elaborate production. He didn't go so far as to call this latest tour on-the-cheap, but he referred to it as his "most profitable" one.

The setlist featured hits old and new — from "Famous" and "Jesus Walks" and "Black Skinhead" and "Flashing Lights" — which were often abridged or interrupted by a prodding West. 

For instance, Yeezy stopped five times in the middle of "Famous" to complain and egg-on the crowd, reminding the nearly-sold out Oracle that they were about to witness a "legendary moment in concert-going history."

It wasn't. In fact, after more than ninety minutes, this writer left early to beat the ride-hauling surge.
But there were still golden-nugget moments during the meat of West's set. Here are the five most memorable things that tumbled out of Kanye's pie-hole last night in Oakland:

1. West whined at length about the Grammy's, calling it rigged. The rant was not unlike a Donald Trump stump speech, and he even promised to boycott next year's event if Frank Ocean's Blonde doesn't rake in Grammy hardware. "If that album isn't nominated ... I ain't showing up to the Grammies," he promised.

2. Kanye stopped the show many times during the night to criticize the media for labeling him crazy and, specifically, a New York Post Page Six story this week on how Jay-Z thinks Kanye is a "nut job."

"I'm not crazy, I'm brave," West assured the crowd at one point, to cheers. "I'm gonna let the cat out of the bag right now: I'm not crazy. I'm absolutely a fucking genius."

3. Crazy talk persisted later in the night: "I'm sick of this 'Ye is crazy' shit. A crazy person cant do all this, bro. .... A crazy person cant make this floating stage."

4. Ye also dinged "the media" for amplifying this screws-loose narrative. He even called us out directly: "To the media, I'm one of y'all!

"Stop writing negative shit about me and help me help people."

5. After a while, the show devolved into what felt like a lower-division lecture hall experience, with West seated on the edge of the stage, feet dangling over a crowd aiming smartphones at him, while he  spewed his dubious cultural insight. The most memorable quote of the night? There were many, but "We were brought over here as slaves, and Lincoln turned us into unpaid interns or some shit" stands out.

In the end, West came across as the Trump of rap: unscripted, unhinged, probably broke — so perhaps it's fitting that Kanye's promised to run for president in 2020.

Kanye West performs at Oracle Arena again tonight.

Friday, October 21, 2016

This Weekend's Top Five Events

October 21, 22, & 23

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 10:18 AM

See you there!

  • Bert Johnson/File
  • The Seshen
The Seshen At UC Theatre
People have said The Seshen resembles a United Nations meeting because the seven-piece East Bay band is about as diverse as a small group of people can get. The ensemble, led by a husband-wife duo composed of vocalist Lalin St. Juste and bassist Aki Ehara, layers soulful vocals with psychedelic electronics and a rich tapestry of jazzy pop instrumentation. Their live shows are not only impressive because of the band members’ musical prowess, they’re also high-energy and incredibly fun to dance to. Following the success of last year’s kaleidoscopic album Unravel, last week, the band released their latest album, Flames and Figures. Its new project sees the band deepening its exploration of electronic instruments and dance beats. Catch them live at the UC Theatre on October 22 with Bells Atlas and ANML (formerly Lila Rose) as they tour to promote the new LP. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Sat., Oct. 22, 7 p.m. UC Theatre (2036 University Ave., Berkeley). $25.

  • Tricky
Tricky and Rituals of Mine At the Independent
UK producer Tricky is one of those versatile visionaries whose work always tip-toes between pop accessibility and experimentation. The trip-hop pioneer got started in the early Nineties making dark, pared down beats and recruiting various vocalists to execute his vision — though his own whispery, chilling voice is a staple in his work. He’s worked with legends like Björk, Grace Jones, and Massive Attack, and his solo work is always collaborative in spirit. Tricky is currently touring to promote his latest album, Skilled Mechanics. And he recruited Rituals of Mine — formerly known as Sister Crayon — to join him on tour. The duo makes minimal electronic music with gorgeous, acrobatic vocals, and will be sharing the stage with Tricky on October 23 and 24 at The Independent in San Francisco. — N.V.
Sun. and Mon., Oct. 23 and 24, 8 p.m. The Independent (628 Divisadero St., San Francisco). $30.

Pop-Up Dinner with Chef Marcus Samuelsson and People’s Kitchen Collective
For five years now, the Oakland-based People’s Kitchen Collective has been bringing people together with its food justice-oriented events — from its Black Panthers-inspired free breakfasts to its sliding-scale community dinners, which allow folks of all budgets to enjoy a restaurant-caliber, family-style meal. In keeping with that community-oriented theme, the collective is hosting this pop-up at West Oakland’s Alena Studios (2725 Magnolia St.) in collaboration with the celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. The family-style menu will feature recipes from Samuelsson’s new book The Red Rooster Cookbook, which is based on the food the chef serves at Red Rooster, his nouveau soul-food restaurant in Harlem. A limited number of tickets are available via Brown Paper Tickets. — Luke Tsai
Fri., Oct. 21, 7–9 p.m., $50,

  • Courtesy BAMFest
Check out the 2016 Bay Area Mural Festival
This week, the Bay Area Mural Festival (or BAMFest) is taking over the Oakland and Berkeley border, in the neighborhood around the intersection of Alcatraz and Martin Luther King Junior Way. The festival pairs seasoned muralists with groups of “at risk youth” for workshops that culminate with the painting of twelve murals in the area. Participating muralists and groups include Dignidad Rebelde, Cece Carpio and Priya, Dan Fontes, the Community Rejuvination Project, Vogue of TDK, and many others. The murals will be unveiled on Sunday, October 23 at a celebration featuring live hip-hop, cumbia, and Latin jazz, dancing by Mix’d Ingrdnts dance crew, food, and a community paint station. The event will take place at Youth Spirit Artworks (1740 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley) from 1–5 p.m., and a bike tour will depart from there to view all the new murals in the neighborhood. For a more educational experience of the festival, you can also attend a lecture and Q&A featuring Precita Eyes’ Susan Cervantes and Art Forces’ Susan Green at La Peña Cultural Center on October 21 at 7 p.m. — Sarah Burke
$5–$10 sliding scale donation.

  • Courtesy Freedom Theatre
Palestine in Focus At La Peña Cultural Center
The Freedom Theatre is a creative community in the Northern part of the West Bank. With the goal of empowering Palestinian women and youth, the organization offers drama workshops and theatre performances, as well as training in stage management, photography, filmmaking, and creative writing. Its initiatives include Voices magazine, a publication produced in Jenin Refugee Camp, Jenin city, and surrounding villages. On Sunday, October 23, artists from The Freedom Theatre will be at La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) to present Palestine in Focus, a multimedia exhibition that includes oral narratives, photographs, and film clips about life in the West Bank. Admission is $15, but for a higher donation, attendees can buy soup for five Freedom Theatre students, a Freedom Theatre T-shirt, or a signed print from the exhibition. — S.B.
Sun., Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m. $15–$100.

If your pockets are feelin' light and you're still yearning for more suggestions, we've got a ton, and these ones are all FREE! We're Hungry: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Feed us at

Yeezus is Coming to Oakland: Two Shows at Oracle this Weekend

by Nick Miller
Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 9:09 AM

Kanye West floats above the audience on his St. Pablo-mobile. - KENNY SUN/FLICKR
  • Kenny Sun/Flickr
  • Kanye West floats above the audience on his St. Pablo-mobile.

Kanye West takes over Oracle this Saturday and Sunday, back-to-back nights for his St. Pablo tour. And this got me thinking about a funny experience I had once with Ye's security guard.

It was April 2008. West was in Sacramento. What the hell was Kanye doing in Sac? Touring, of course. But a friend informed that he was also holed up in a secret (and awesome) local recording studio, laying down vocals for what would become 808s & Heartbreak.

I never get to play paparazzi, so I immediately headed over and posted up out front the studio with a camera.

Here's what I wrote back in 2008:
After about an hour of loitering streetside eavesdropping to Kanye rap about Bobby and Whitney and breaking up with chicks, a black Escalade finally rolled up. A man in street clothes hopped out and said, “Hey, you‘re going to have to leave because there are no photo-ops here.”

“I don‘t need a photo-op. I just need a photograph,” I replied.

“That‘s not going to happen, because you won‘t even get that lens cap off,” he threatened. (I already had my lens cap off.)
After this, the studio owner — basically the nicest dude in Sac — asked me to leave, so I scrammed.

I also remember that day because, later at the show, Kanye came out an yelled "What's up, Seattle?"

A few months after my run-in with West's bodyguard, Ye and his entourage assaulted a photographer at LAX:

So, yeah, be sure to check Kanye this week3end — and if I don't survive to see Monday ... now you know.

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