Friday, December 20, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

by Zaineb Mohammed
Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 7:30 AM

It's Friday, it's almost Christmas, and tomorrow is the winter solstice—lots to celebrate! Here are our expertly selected suggestions for the five best ways to spend your time this weekend:

The 45th 45 Sessions
For its 45th show, the 45 Sessions will host Natasha Diggs and Danny Holloway at Legionnaire Saloon. Diggs and Holloway are famous in New York City and Los Angeles, respectively, for spinning vinyl on 45s: Self-described treasure hunters and vinyl collectors, they’re sure to bring their extensive catalogs and devotion to cratedigging to the festivities. Diggs, who opens a party for Q-Tip every week in New York, is partial to funk, soul, disco, and house. Holloway is an avid reggae fan — he spent a year living in Jamaica and worked on three Bob Marley albums. With their presence, the 45 Sessions — during which local DJs Platurn, E Da Boss, Enki, Delgado, and Mr. E typically spin soul and funk — should be even more eclectic than usual. Friday, Dec. 20. 9 p.m., $10. LegionnaireSaloon.comMadeleine Key

John Murry
  • John Murry

Winter Solstice Concert with John Murry and Friends
Singer-songwriter John Murry, who was born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi but now lives in Oakland, makes poignant, bluesy rock ’n’ roll music. His debut album, The Graceless Age, released earlier this year, details his struggle with substance abuse and how he overcame addiction. It received acclaim from NPR, The Guardian, Uncut, and American Songwriter, but interviews with Murry reveal his river of discontent runs deep: He’s a poet that sees mostly darkness, with occasional flickers of light. On The Graceless Age, his husky-yet-delicate voice is accompanied by touches of guitar and piano. The album veers toward dreariness, but Murry’s storytelling is so unadorned and honest (e.g., I held my hands out, blood-stained, and I got my doubts) that he’s transfixing, not depressing. Listening to him, along with openers Melissa Phillips and Vincent Rodriquez, an Americana folk act, at The Starry Plough this week should be cathartic. Saturday, Dec. 21. 9 p.m., $7-$12. TheStarryPlough.comM.K.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

by Zaineb Mohammed
Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Hey party people, you made it through the week! Time to celebrate by watching this fake, zombie-filled trailer for a Love Actually sequel and reading our list of the five best activities to partake in over the weekend:

2nd Annual 'Hobbit' After-Party and Costume Contest
If you’re eagerly awaiting the release of the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy, fear not: Your appreciation of all things LOTR need not end after the film does, because the Stork Club is hosting a night of fantasy-themed music. Performers include Bryaugh, a Tolkien-tribute lore-core band that plays punk and metal covers of songs from Tolkien movies; thrash metal band Dizastor; heavy punk band Agata, who wrote a song about Games of Thrones in sword and dragon solidarity; Limbs, a death metal group; and Thee Hobo Gobbelins, a quintet who describe themselves as “the green-skinned child of punk rock, avant-garde performance art and hobo soul.” Dress to impress. Friday, Dec. 13. 9 p.m., $5. StorkClubOakland.comMadeleine Key

A Funkadelic Holiday Show: Tribute to Teena Marie
There is no shortage of solemn, classical music events with religious undertones in the Bay Area this holiday season. But sometimes, properly celebrating the season of joy demands a little bit of lighter fare. Get loose while you hold friends and family close with the help of Carmen Jones and the DejaVu Band which will pay homage to legendary R&B and soul singer Teena Marie at Rhythmix Cultural Works for the third year in a row. Marie was the protégée of Rick James and arguably the most famous white Motown artist: Over the course of her decade-spanning career, she received multiple Grammy nominations, released fourteen albums, and had many light-hearted, groovy hit songs. With commanding stage presence and impressive range, Jones (who met and recorded with Marie when she was a young girl) is an adept stand-in. She’ll also sing some of her own funk and R&B songs, as well as “funkadelic” versions of holiday favorites. Saturday, Dec. 14. 7 p.m., $25-$30. Rhythmix.orgM.K.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Beastie Boys vs. GoldieBlox Continues: Band Alleges Copyright Infringement

by Sam Levin
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM

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."

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

by Zaineb Mohammed
Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 6:00 AM

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.comKathleen Richards

  • Fred Fago

37th Annual Lighted Yacht Parade
This year, Oakland’s annual holiday yacht parade rings in the season with a global theme. Stake out a spot at Jack London Square, the Oakland Yacht Club, the Encinal Yacht Club, or any waterside restaurant along the Oakland/Alameda estuary and watch boats adorned with lights and festive decorations — such as giant inflatable Santas, lit-up reindeer and snowmen, holiday bands, and symbols representing holidays around the world — glide by. Owners of vessels from canoes to sailboats will go all out to compete for the “best decorations” distinction. If you’d like a closer look at the craftsmanship, you can participate in the parade yourself by donating a toy and earning a ride on the San Francisco Bay ferry for free. All proceeds will go toward the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Saturday, Dec. 7. 4:30 p.m., free. LightedYachtParade.comZaineb Mohammed

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