Friday, July 26, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

by Azeen Ghorayshi
Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Weekend! Huzzah!

Berkeley Kite Festival
Sometimes — on the perfect Berkeley day, with the perfect bay breeze — there is no simpler or better pleasure than flying a kite. And once a year, during the Berkeley Kite Festival, you can partake in the pastime with thousands of others, with kites elevated to a transcendent, passion-filled art form. This Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, head to Cesar Chavez Park and fly a kite. The festival has an impressive slew of kite-centric activities. The Berkeley Kite Riders will fly sixteen 100-by-20-foot octopus kites, which — when all of the 35-pound kites are in controlled flight at the same time — "looks like you're staring up into the sky of a whole different world." The Sode-cho Kite-Flying Society of Japan will be flying their traditional Machijirushi kites, which are constructed traditionally out of fine paper and bamboo. Kite team ballets will perform choreographed kite dances to music — "a kind of cross between the Blue Angels and pairs ice skating," according to McAllister. For the amateurs, there will be kite-making workshops and flying lessons, while kids can enjoy candy, face painting, bounce houses, arts and crafts booths, a petting zoo, and more. Everyone is welcome to bring their own kites — small or giant, plain or bedazzled — to fly. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. 510-235-5483 or HighlineKites.comAzeen Ghorayshi

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The Postal Service
At this year’s Coachella festival, Ben Gibbard introduced the trio behind the anthemic 2003 album Give Up as “an imaginary band called The Postal Service.” As most now know, the band — composed of Gibbard, Jenny Lewis, and Jimmy Tamborello, each prolific solo artists in their own right — only produced that one album, but this year reunited to celebrate its ten-year anniversary and to go on tour. Although I primarily remember Give Up as a sappy, overplayed album with a lot of electronic bleepity bloops, the album sounded outrageously good at Coachella — nostalgia-inducing, yes, but mostly just incredibly fun to dance to. Too few bands in the indie-rock/electronic-dance spectrum make music that withstands the test of time. And yet, despite the fact that the three members have played few shows together in the last ten years, it’s now clear that the Postal Service was a pioneer of sorts. And you’ll have two opportunities to see it. As a bonus, both shows — held at the Greek Theatre — will have great, if not slightly surprising, supporting acts: Baths will open on both nights, with the addition of Big Freedia on Friday and Divine Fits on Saturday. Fri., July 26, 8 p.m. $45 — Madeleine Key

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Parish Owners to Open New Temescal Venue

by Whitney Phaneuf
Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Parish Entertainment Group, which owns The New Parish in Oakland and Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco, has confirmed that it purchased the former Leo's Pro Audio building, at 5447 Telegraph Avenue, to open a new bar, music venue, and boutique.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Videos: Space Ghost Documentary, Emily's Army, Griddle

by Whitney Phaneuf
Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Lest you think we don't read your letters over here at the Express, after receiving a request from Kevin Seal of the Oakland-based band Griddle this morning asking for an "East Bay Music Video" section, I present to you, not a section, but a handful of some good local videos:

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Monday, July 22, 2013

What We Like: Lorde, Farro, Brotzeit Lokal

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 8:14 AM

ARTICLES
How could a "good kid," universally described as beautiful and bright, who seemed to pass through his American life with ease and grace, ultimately become a terrorist? The searing portrait of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, reveals the complexities of the Boston high school student, and what led him toward tragedy. The photo of Tsarnaev on the cover has already created a flurry of controversy, but the article itself is insightful and worth a read. — Elly Schmidt-Hopper

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Hello party people! It's officially the 199th day of the year! That's as good of a reason as any to celebrate, by partaking in any of the following weekend-worthy activities:

Made and Found Instruments with Thingamajigs
As it turns out, bamboo, tin cans, buckets, postage tape, pinecones, and soda straws are the stuff of great instruments. So say the folks behind Thingamajigs, an arts organization devoted to throwing to the wind everything you thought about music — starting with reimagining the tools used to make it in the first place. And starting on July 21, the Thingamajigs Performance Group will be artists-in-residence at Berkeley Art Museum, collaborating with poet Sasha Hom to investigate the ideas of "Migrations, Maps, and Labyrinths" in a month-long series of performances, talks, workshops, and open rehearsals. Join them this Sunday, July 21, at Berkeley Art Museum to play some "thingamajigs," build your own, and listen to the artists perform some of their own compositions. 12 p.m.-2 p.m., $7. BAMPFA.Berkeley.edu/Azeen Ghorayshi

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Evangelista
Vocalist, songwriter, and poet Carla Bozulich has fronted some of the most groundbreaking bands of the past three decades, and yet she continues to make music in relative obscurity. Although her Los Angeles band The Geraldine Fibbers released two major-label albums, earned praise from Spin as one of the “most vital artists in music today,” and helped launch the career of guitarist Nels Cline, the band’s bluesy punk-country sound never quite resonated with a mainstream audience. When the Fibbers dissolved in 2003, Bozulich released the critically acclaimed The Red Headed Stranger, a reimagining of Willie Nelson’s 1975 album, Red Headed Stranger. Shortly thereafter, she formed the solo project Evangelista, using samplers, guitar, and orchestral string instruments to create emotionally charged, avant-garde music with the confrontational punch of punk. The group — which now includes Oakland bassist Tara Barnes and keyboardist/sampler Dominic Cramp, as well as occasional guests like Oakland guitarist Ava Mendoza — has developed an overseas fanbase, due partially to the fact that Bozulich resides primarily in Europe. To prepare for her band’s upcoming European tour, however, Bozulich has temporarily relocated to the East Bay and will make two rare appearances: at The Night Light, where special guests, a dance party, and visual art will accompany the music; and at Hemlock Tavern on Saturday, Aug. 17. Fri., July 19, 9 p.m., $10. TheNightLightOakland.comWhitney Phaneuf

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Monday, July 15, 2013

What We Like: Cold Beverages, Hoodslam, Twerk Trio

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 8:46 AM

DRINKS
In honor of summer and (knock on wood) continued warm weather, here are the most refreshing cold beverages I've had recently (non-alcoholic edition), in no particular order: 1) the minty, not-too-sweet homemade fruit punch at Homeroom; 2) assorted aguas frescas at Marrow and Molcajete; 3) the mauby at Miss Ollie's (like a non-carbonated root beer — licorice-y, and just sweet and bitter enough); and 4) any of Asha Tea House's seasonal fruit teas, which are loaded with pulpy bits of fresh fruit. — Luke Tsai

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Oakland Artists to Bring Burning Man Brain to Schools

by Sarah Burke
Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Remember when you were a kid, and mood rings were the coolest thing ever? How did it always know when I was feeling “lovable” or “unsettled?” How come nobody wears those anymore? Kids these days are so hard to please. Luckily, a group of Oakland artists are building a sort of 21st century mood ring in the form of an interactive sculpture that they are hoping will blow students minds. Headed by Don Cain, the team is creating a 15-foot-tall steel brain hooked it up to an EEG headset. When it is finished, kids and adults will be able to step right up and illuminate the sculpture with their brain activity, as LED “neurons” change hue in correspondence to their mood. Slightly more accurate than 25-cent jewelry, I imagine.

The sculpture is entitled “Mens Amplio,” which translates to “expanding mind” in Latin. It will be a massive, outlined brain formed out of sinuous steel pipes encased in a head-shaped cage that is half-buried in the ground. The EEG headset will measure levels of brain activity, showing how attentive or meditative the participant is. This activity will then translate into a spectrum of color that lights up an LED “neuron tree” inside of the brain. There will also be an element of combustion involved, but Cain doesn’t want to give that away just yet.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM

It's the weekend! Eat! Drink! Be merry! Party like there's no Monday! Here are five expertly-selected ideas to start you off:

Octopus Literary Salon
"San Francisco has Viracocha," said Rebecca Grove, referencing the quaint Mission District retail shop, which peddles all manner of antique furniture and bric-a-brac on its top floor, but also houses a cozy underground stage where musicians, poets, comics, actors, and dancers can flex their creative muscles to a small, but captive, audience. And Grove hopes the Octopus Literary Salon — currently wrapping up a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo and slated to open by early next year — will be a similarly multifaceted space in Uptown: a fully-functioning cafe, restaurant, bookstore, and performance venue. In the meantime, Grove — who quit her day job and is now working on opening the space full-time — is continuing to host the small salons that inspired the space to begin with. Join her this Friday, July 12, at the historic Borax Smith Red House for a night of musical performances, comedy, and a "1 Minute Storytelling" rapid-fire open mic, the theme of which is "An Evening of Songs and Storytelling About the Sea." Friday, July 12. 7 p.m.-midnight, $20. OaklandOctopus.orgAzeen Ghorayshi

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Elder and Pine Opening Party
Much-loved retro vintage spot Pretty Penny’s new boyfriend store, Elder & Pine, may have been open for around two months now, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to throw a “We’re here!” party. The shop is perfect for vintage pocketknife enthusiasts, those who prefer to cleanse their bodies with a hint of bergamot, lovers of quality wool, and anyone who owns a pair of duck boots. If that sounds like you, or if that sounds like someone you’d like to take home at night, stop by this Saturday for their big opening bash, featuring music by Midnite Snaxx, Once and Future Band, and DJ Frankie, and food provided by Kronner Burger. Saturday, July 13. noon-7 p.m., free. ElderandPine.comAzeen Ghorayshi

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Monday, July 8, 2013

What We Like: Non•Market, Lou Reed, 'The Craft' in Drag

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 8:10 AM

ARTICLES
Let them use Uber” is the perfect way to sum up the way (half of) San Francisco (guess which one) has dealt with the BART strike, and is also a perfect way to sum up the city’s obsession with entrepreneurial privatization. — Azeen Ghorayshi

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Friday, July 5, 2013

New Music: The Grouch and Eligh, DRMS

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Last week, Oakland’s The Grouch and LA’s Eligh (both originally of the group Living Legends) released a Bay-centric music video for the newest fruit of their collaboration, “All These Lights.” The new song is also the indie hip-hop artists’ first collaboration with electro-sensation Pretty Lights (which also released its first all-original solo album this week). The resulting track is one of seeming effortlessness, with Pretty Lights layering hits signature rock-sampling beats under the rap duo’s seasoned lyricism. The video is elaborate, and bright with Bay Area pride from start to finish. It’s made in a style called "lyric-lapsing" that combines time-lapse with stop-motion and simultaneously lip-syncs the song lyrics to the video. Epic time-lapses of a lit-up Bay Bridge are interspersed with stop-motion clips of The Grouch and Eligh floating amid familiar scenery like SF Civic Center Plaza and the Oakland Tribune building. Meanwhile, their clothing changes around their motionless bodies, conveniently giving them an opportunity to rep endless logos including Oaklandish, the California state flag, Cal and, or course, their own merch. To create the effect, they apparently had to take 24 shots for each second of the 2-minute, 40-second video. A remarkable effort with a sleek and shiny outcome.

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