Thursday, July 21, 2011

LovEvoluton Coming to the Oracle

by Ellen Cushing
Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM

LovEvolution, the massive annual ambulatory rave "electronic music party and parade", is packing up and moving to our side of the Bay this year, according to the Examiner. Deemed too unruly for downtown San Francisco (!!) after a spate of nightlife-related violence here and elsewhere, the event was widely rumored to be cancelled in what would've been its seventh year when organizers failed to finalize sites elsewhere in SF. But never fear, neon-hot-panted masses: Oakland to the rescue! Specifically, the Oracle, which will host the event on September 24. Better stock up on glowsticks, guys.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekender: The Top Five Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Snap out of your post-Bastille Day/HP7 haze; there's fun to be had!! Herewith, the top five events going down over the next 72 hours in the East Bay:

Venture Dance Project
Kristin Damrow, an emerging young choreographer who moved to Oakland in 2010 from her hometown of Chicago, has found a creative nexus at the Subterranean Arthouse (2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley), where her newly formed company, Venture Dance Project, performs Friday and Saturday, July 15-16. Perhaps not surprisingly, given how far from family Damrow now lives, she developed the 45-minute performance around the theme of home, sense memories, and perceptions of place. In the Arthouse’s spirit of interdisciplinary experimentation and collaboration, the performance incorporates other local artists via a video by Kristin Rooney-Nguyen, layered instrumental music composed by Robert Shelton and Patrick Martens, and a gallery of collage by Anna Greenberg. 8:30 p.m., $8-$15. 800-838-3006 or SubterraneanArthouse.org — Claudia Bauer

MC Hammer Bobblehead Day
Isn’t it time Oakland’s baseball team properly honored one of the city’s most important hometown heroes? And isn’t the best way to do that by turning him into a humorously-proportioned novelty item? We’re talking, of course, about the Oakland A’s MC Hammer Bobblehead Day, happening Sunday, July 17, as part of “’80s Weekend” at the Oakland Coliseum (7000 Coliseum Way). This will reportedly make the A’s the first (and hopefully not last!) Major League Baseball team to use a rapper as bobblehead fodder. Hammer, who spent seven years as a ball boy for the team, will throw the first pitch as the A’s take on the LA Angels in the last of a four-game series; fans are advised to come in their “freshest gear.” 1:05 p.m., $10-$200. 877-493-2255 or OaklandAthletics.com. — Ellen Cushing

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Slideshow: Harry Potter 7 Midnight Showing at Bay Street

by Ellen Cushing
Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 3:21 AM

Harry Potter, if you're not familiar, is a little-known but very charming set of indie films from Britain, with an unknown cast, few effects, and a tiny budget.
Just kidding, obviously. The last installment is finally out, and it's bananas, and here are some pictures from last night's midnight screening in Emeryville.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Crass New "Got Milk" Campaign Targets PMS Symptoms

by Rachel Swan
Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Got PMS? A glass of milk should do the trick. So says San Francisco ad agency Goodby, Silverstein, and Partners, whose new campaign touts the curative powers of milk, particularly with respect to monthly mood swings. The campaign's web site includes a global PMS meter, a "sensitivity vocabulator," a "video apology enhancer" (to help the user extricate himself from an irrational argument), and other tacky features. The agency's executive director says it's funny and self-effacing. Uh, yeah. Ha ha.

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Lil Wayne Covers "Gucci Gucci"

by Ellen Cushing
Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 11:51 AM

and it's pretty fantastic. His version of the Kreayshawn super-smash — available on his new mixtape, downloadable in its entirety here —actually uses only the original beat and hook; other than that, it's a completely original, completely Weezyfied, completely X-rated freestyle. Listen below:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Video "Work That Body" By Oakland Rapper Dolla Will, Featuring Too $hort

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM

So here's tantalizing new workout video from Oakland rapper Dolla Will, directed by Casual of Hieroglyphics, and featuring an extremely grizzled Too $hort. To quote staff writer Ellen Cushing, "I definitely interpreted 'vet' to be short for veterinarian, not veteran, and am now hella disappointed :( ."

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Weekender: The Top Five Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 2:00 AM

Weekendface, awesomeface. Here's what you're doing:

Working for the Mouse
So-called "lifers" at Disneyland have colorful ways of describing their worksite — among them "Eisnerland" and "Mauschwitz." Mickey's Toontown, a new theme-park subdivision inspired by the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, is "a cartoon concentration camp," in the words of one grizzled employee. And yet, it's also a place for insouciant UCLA theater majors, aspiring character actors, and young adults who never want to grow up. Trevor Allen was all three when he landed a gig at Disneyland twenty years ago, first as Pluto the yellow dog, then as the Mad Hatter (for which he actually got voice clearance). He offers a humorous, slightly sobering, but ultimately warm-hearted account of the whole experience in Working for the Mouse, a monologue he developed fifteen years ago in a solo performance workshop. Although it will mostly appeal to people who grew up steeped in Disneyland culture, the performance benefits from Allen's talents as a writer and storyteller — not to mention his fabulous Ed Wynn impersonation. Nancy Carlin directs. Through July 8at LaVal's Subterranean (1834 Euclid Ave., Berkeley) $12-$20. 510-224-5744 or ImpactTheatre.com


Update, 11:45: Jaykay, there are no shows this Saturday and Sunday, but there is one tonight as well as three final shows next week, Thu-Sat, 7/14-16.

— Rachel Swan

Eddie Vedder
Ever the iconoclast, Eddie Vedder has used his second solo outing Ukulele Songs to add some artistic legitimacy to the titular instrument whose best-known use was by the late novelty performer Tiny Tim. The Pearl Jamfrontman wields his uke with nary a scintilla of irony as he passionately croons his way through eleven originals and five covers that include The Everly Brothers' "Sleepless Nights" and a Cat Power duet on the standard "Tonight You Belong to Me." For this pair of Bay Area dates, expect Vedder to dip into the PJ canon in addition to doling out plenty of politically-charged stage patter. Glen Hansard (The Frames/Swell Season) will be opening and reprising his Ukulele Songs guest role at The Paramount Theatre (2025 Broadway, Oakland) on Monday, July 11 and Tuesday, July 12.* 7:30 p.m., $77. ParamountTheatre.com.
— Dave Gil de Rubio

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Art & Soul Lineup Announced

by Rachel Swan
Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 12:39 PM

And it's a good one. This year's festival features performances by headliner Five for Fighting, local soul diva Goapele, rock band The Heavenly States, R&B singer Marc Broussard, singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins, ’70s croon act Tower of Power, jazz group Mingus Amungus, and hip-hop hearthrob Kev Choice. There's also a WomenGig Stage with an apt host — comedienne Marga Gomez. It's lineup includes Faye Blais, Lia Rose, Sistas in the Pit, Rosie Burgess Trio, Vicci Martinez, and Mel & The Wild Cellist. And if that isn't enough to pique your interest, there's always the perennial Gospel and blues stages, wine samplings, dance showcases, food, drinks, and even a wine tasting. This years fest runs noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Facebook Introduces Video Chat to Compete with Google

by Rachel Swan
Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Evidently, the rising popularity of Google + Hangouts — a video chat system that allows users to interact with many people at once, via a computer screen — is giving Facebook a run for its money. That was certainly the intent, anyway. But yesterday Zuckerberg upped the ante by announcing a new partnership with Skype, which would allow users to video-kick-it with friends without ever leaving the social network. Called Facetime, Facebook video chat is available as a mobile application — meaning you can purchase it at the Mac App Store for .99. The price tag distinguishes it from Skype, which is free, but unlike Skype, Facetime offers seamless transmission. Technology buffs applaud Google + Hangouts for having a similarly user-friendly system, because it's integrated with the browser.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tom Hanks' Son Is a Prep ... and a Rapper

by Rachel Swan
Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Now this is precious. Chester Hanks, son of famed Concord-born actor Tom Hanks and actress Rita Wilson, is generating his own little cult of celebrity — as a frat boy rapper. And he's just released an ode to his school colors at Northwestern University, done over the beat to Wiz Khalifa's hit, "Black and Yellow." In "White and Purple (Northwestern Remix)" Haze puts his own collegiate twist on Khalifa's anthem to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some favorite lines: This is college/Hittin blunts after hittin books/Soon as I hit the keg dudes be gettin' shook. Check out that socialite swagger:

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