Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Live Review: Pete Rock and Slum Village Dish Hip-Hop History at Yoshi's

by George Schlesinger
Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 11:01 AM

  • Alana Silva
You know it’s a hip-hop party at Yoshi’s when they clear out tables.

On Sunday night, with Slum Village and Pete Rock on the bill, providing more room to dance was a smart move. SV spit their fantastic classics over Dilla beats, and PR held down the wheels of steel, representing for 90’s-era NYC boom-bap as only he can.

See also: 
Live Review: Nas Brings Illmatic to the Fox 
Interview: Booker T. on Oakland, Stax, and Impressing CCR

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Friday, March 27, 2015

What You Missed this Week: News in GIFs


by Anna Pulley
Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 12:01 PM


Happy Friday, folks. If you were, as we were, consumed with news of the drought or evictions, here's what you may have missed this week.

See Also:
Our amazing spring Taste issue

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This Weekend's Top Five Events

March 27, 28 & 29

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 7:00 AM

This week, the Internet told me that some science people claim the Big Crunch is closer than we think— because black matter. That's the end point of the universe slowly collapsing in on itself, which apparently is already happening. So, get up, get out, and enjoy the universe with one (or more!) of these five events that we recommend for you this weekend. Appreciate the world while you can. Apparently it's only going to be around for another ten billion years or so. 

Karinda Dobbins (L) and Dhaya Lakshminarayanan want to shake up the comedy status quo. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • Karinda Dobbins (L) and Dhaya Lakshminarayanan want to shake up the comedy status quo.
The Formula
Over the years, Aundré Herron, a San Francisco-based black comic, worked to carve out a niche for herself in an industry dominated by white men and plagued by sexist, racist, and otherwise offensive jokes. A lawyer who has advocated for death row inmates, Herron sees stand-up comedy as a uniquely effective platform to confront a wide range of serious topics, like homophobia within African-American churches, race relations in the United States, and other social justice issues. "The power of comedy is, at its core, based on truth," she said. While Herron has advanced her stand-up career over time, mainstream comedy is still very white and male — even in the Bay Area. A group of local comics have been working to change that, and now, they are looking to the East Bay as ground zero for alternative comedy. On Friday, Herron and six other female comics will perform at XOXO Nightclub (201 Broadway, Oakland) in Jack London Square, as part of a "socio-political" comedy night called The Formula, co-headlined by Bay Area comics Karinda Dobbins and Dhaya Lakshminarayanan. —Sam Levin (Read the full article here.)
8 p.m. on Friday, March 27. $10–$12. TheFormula.BrownpPaperTickets.com

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WATCH: Turf Dancing Meets #Blackout in Short Film

by Sarah Burke
Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 10:20 AM

The end of last year was flooded with necessary commotion — in the streets, in the media, on the internet — that arose in wake of the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner by the hands of policemen. Activism against police brutality took many forms, from angry shouts to poetic whispers. Yesterday, i-D magazine highlighted one of those more subdued battle cries, a stunning short film called Blackout. The piece was directed by young, independent filmmaker Terence Nance, and it hits particularly close to home for us in the East Bay. The gorgeous black and white short features heartbreakingly honest narration by Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris (known partially for filing a civil suit over the killing of Oscar Grant). His steady speech floats over slow motion shots of turf dancing blended into modern choreography evocative of vulnerability and resilience, all set in familiar locations in Downtown Oakland. 

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Updated: Fire Ravages Lives and a Cultural Complex in Oakland

Several fundraising campaigns are underway to alleviate affected businesses and individuals.

by Sam Lefebvre
Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 1:58 PM

  • Photo by Jose Palafox
Update: According to AK Press fire relief webpage, the building has been red-tagged by the City of Oakland, which prohibits businesses and residents from occupying the structure pending further review.

On Saturday night, two buildings facing 23rd and 24th streets, between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and San Pablo Avenue, caught fire. Two men, the artists Davis Letona, 27, and Daniel "Moe" Thomas, 36, lost their lives, while about thirty individuals were displaced and several vital cultural institutions were severely damaged or destroyed. 

Letona and Thomas lived at 669 24th Street, where the fire started. Flames then crossed into the adjacent building, which housed AK Press, 1984 Printing, and individuals. According to responding authorities, the fire appears to have been accidental. 

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Friday, March 20, 2015

The Best Thing Ever: Kindle Cover Disasters

by Anna Pulley
Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 12:11 PM

click image ghost_gay.jpg

Do yourself a favor and set aside the next half hour to enjoy these amazing Kindle cover disasters/visual bouquets of delight.

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This Weekend's Top Five Events

March 20, 21 & 22

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 7:13 AM

No matter how hot you get this weekend, and how badly you want an ice cold Orange Mocha Frappuccino, you probably don't want to head to a Starbucks and risk having to yell at an innocent barista when they try to engage you in a conversation about race in America. This past week, Starbucks announced that they will be surprising customers with such dialogue,in an attempt to start a nation-wide conversation about race. It's a well-intentioned and bizarrely misguided effort. Point is, here's a list of alternative activities to distract you from that scarringly awkward encounter. Of course, we know you wouldn't be caught dead at a Starbucks anyways. Right?

Charlemagne Palestine
Twentieth century composers tend to have really good stories about the genesis of their craft and their (relatively) big breaks. Brian Eno came up with ambient music in a hospital bed, unable to reach the volume dial. When Morton Subotnick physically repelled the president of Nonesuch Records, thinking he was a prankster, the label emissary interpreted it as hard bargaining and doubled his proposed advanced payment the next day. But Charlemagne Palestine, a minimalist composer who hates the term, tells a great origin story. Raised Jewish, he played the carillon, a bell-like instrument, at the synagogue across from MOMA in the 1960s. In a 2013 interview, he said, “I played two hymns before my cataclysms.” The cataclysms endeared the city’s fertile avant-garde community. The synagogue wanted to fire him, but an unlikely fan, the president of nearby CBS Records, protected his tenure. It initiated the oblique takes on sacred music that he’s dished for decades. Only, sources at The Lab, where Palestine performs on Friday, said his show nowadays involves more teddy bears and booze.— Sam Lefebvre
Fri., March 20, 7 p.m. $10-$20. TheLab.org

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

1933 Article Describes Frida Kahlo's Art as "Gleeful Dabbling"

by Anna Pulley
Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 10:13 AM

"Frida Kahlo (self portrait)." - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • "Frida Kahlo (self portrait)."

You might have heard of Frida Kahlo — the incredibly famous surrealist painter. Sorry, I mean the "cheeky, but adoring wife" of the also famous Diego Rivera (both of whom have works on display at the Oakland Museum of California's Fertile Ground exhibition). In this 1933 article by Florence Davies from The Detroit News, which is part of a Detroit Institute of Arts exhibition on the couple, Davies describes Kahlo in the way a pick-up artist might — praising her style as "skillful and beautiful" and then negging her "foolish little ruffled apron."

See Also:
Fertile Ground at Oakland Museum of California 
The Sexism of the Theater World

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