Friday, January 29, 2016

This Weekend's Top Five Events

Jan. 29, 30 & 31

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 7:00 AM

If you've recovered from your fit over the Twitter battle between Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa that eclipsed all other content on the internet this week, you should probably reacquaint yourself with the outside world because it's the weekend again! Below, find suggestion on how to do just that.

Metro Boomin
  • Metro Boomin
Metro Boomin
If Young Metro don’t trust you/I’m gon’ shoot you, Future croons softly before the beat drops on his now-iconic hit with Drake, “Jumpman,” from their collaborative 2015 mixtape What a Time to be Alive. Metro Boomin, the 22-year-old Atlanta producer who made the majority of the beats on WATTBA, also gets plenty of shout-outs on Future’s brand new tape, Purple Reign. A sample of one of Drake’s lines from “Digital Dash,” Esco and Boomin/They got it on smash, echoes throughout the thirteen-track project, giving due credit to one of the key architects of Future’s sound. These endorsements from Future and other established artists have revolutionized Metro Boomin’s career, making him one of the most sought-after beatmakers in the industry — and for good reason. His hit-making ability, so far, has been bulletproof. Metro Boomin DJs at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco on January 29.
— Nastia Voynovskaya
Fri., Jan. 29, 10 p.m. $25.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

This Weekend's Top Five Events

Jan. 22, 23 & 24

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Definitely don't go out and have fun this weekend. Definitely don't attend any of the super fun events listed below! 

Diesel Dudes, Toner, OVVN, and Casual Hex
If you go to a Diesel Dudes show, you can expect to see lots of tighty-whities, leather, and sweat. The Oakland electro-punk group’s live performances have a reputation for their absurdist displays of masculinity. But while it’s tempting to call Diesel Dudes’ hyperbolic aesthetic parody, it ultimately comes off as sincere — albeit completely bizarre. The band members are disciples of EBM (or electronic body music), a style of dark, synth-driven punk that became popular in Europe in the Eighties. Rife with pulsating, danceable beats, EBM emphasizes that listening to music is a physical experience. Diesel Dudes tap into this theme with allusions to muscles and pumping iron, with tracks such as “Body Clench” and “Thrusts Per Minute.” On January 23 the band performs at Sgraffito Gallery with Oakland bands OVVN and Toner, as well as Casual Hex, which is on tour from Seattle. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Sat., Jan. 23, 7 p.m. $TBA.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hear P-Lo's Surprise Mixtape, 'Before Anything'

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 1:34 PM

  • Bert Johnson/File Photo
  • P-Lo.
The Express last caught up with P-Lo, a rapper and HBK Gang's most prolific producer, not long after he returned from tour promoting his collaborative album with Kool John, Moovie!, which made our list of top local releases of 2015. Fans have come to know P-Lo through his bare-bones, minimalist slappers that are deeply indebted to the hyphy movement. Apart from producing Moovie! in its entirety, his recent productions have included Nef the Pharaoh's "Meantime" and Jay Ant's "Let Me Ball," which he co-produced with Jay Ant and Tario. 

See more:
Welcome to the Shmoplife

Top Fifteen Local Releases of 2015

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Friday, January 15, 2016

This Weekend's Top Eight Events

Jan. 15, 16, 17 & MLK Day

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 10:26 AM

Whether you're honoring Bowie's death by getting freaky out on the town or honoring Martin Luther King Jr's birthday by getting involved with your community, this weekend will be a busy one.  Details below.

Larry June.
  • Larry June.
Larry June
The minimal, piano-sampling production with thunderous bass on Larry June’s brand new mixtape, Sock it to Me, is heavily indebted to Atlanta trap, but the San Francisco rapper (who is originally from Georgia) makes the Southern aesthetic his own with off-the-wall rhymes and adlibs that uninhibitedly bare his eccentricities. The adlibs, in particular, are the record’s most amusing and inventive feature: June peppers his blasé drawl with high-pitched calls of “yee-hee,” “sock it to me,” and the Austin Powers-esque “yeah, baby,” which he inserts between almost every line. These odd verbal tics complicate June’s nonchalant-sounding flow and cool-guy posturing, revealing a self-effacing, jokey side to the otherwise ice-cold lyricist. He performs at Venue in downtown Oakland on January 15 as one of the opening acts for Atlanta trap rapper 21 Savage. Wolfpack Keith (aka Stunnaman) is also featured on the bill. On Twitter, Keith and Larry June have been hinting at a collaborative mixtape for later this year. It should be one of 2016’s most interesting releases. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Fri., Jan. 15, 7 p.m. $15.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

This Weekend's Top Five Events

January 8, 9 & 10

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 9:47 AM

Congratulations on making it through the first week of your new ascetic lifestyle. You've abided by your resolutions all year so far! Wow! Go out and treat yourself to some fun this weekend. Here's how:

Matt Ingalls of the San Francisco Tape Music Festival.
  • Matt Ingalls of the San Francisco Tape Music Festival.
San Francisco Tape Music Festival
Once a year, the San Francisco Tape Music Festival invites listeners to experience experimental, fixed-media compositions in complete darkness through its high-end, immersive speaker system, which festival organizers purport is the best way to take in the challenging, abstract, and non-melodic works at the event. The only requirement for a piece to be considered “tape music” is that it can’t be composed for a live band or orchestra, and instead utilizes recorded media as a means of sonic innovation. The festival features 32 local and international composers — some of whom are in their eighties and have been involved in electroacoustic music since its beginnings — presenting a variety of works, including contemporary pieces as well as some early cylinder recordings dating to the late 1800s. Maggi Payne, an electronic music pioneer and director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, is one of the most prominent Bay Area composers at the event. She will present her piece, Black Ice, which uses a Moog synthesizer to create a dynamic, textural sound collage. The festival takes place Friday through Sunday at the Gray Area Grand Theater. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Jan. 8-10. $15-$40.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Black Oak Books to Close

by Erin Baldassari
Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Gary Cornell, who brought Black Oak Books in Berkeley back from the brink of closing in the mid-Aughts, said today that he will shutter the new and used bookstore by the end of January. Doors will remain open for the next few weeks as the store hosts a sale to empty its inventory.

Black Oak Books will close to the public at the end of January.
  • Black Oak Books will close to the public at the end of January.
Cornell first bought the store in 2007 or 2008, he said, from the previous owners who were struggling to adapt to the internet age of book selling and had racked up debt with the IRS.

“When they got into trouble, I wanted to rescue it,” Cornell said. “But at some point, you have to say enough is enough.”

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Flax, San Francisco Art Supply Fixture, to Move to Oakland

It will be located at Martin Luther King JR. Way and 15th Street.

by Sarah Burke
Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 12:05 PM

Flax Art & Design, a fixture of Market Street in San Francisco, has been looking for a new home for nearly two years, and has finally decided on a sprawling space at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 15th Street (1501 Martin Luther King Jr. Way) in Oakland, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The migratory trek across the bay can only be expected at this point. Previously San Francisco-based artists and galleries have been steadily trickling into Oakland over the past few years, adding to the city's already rich arts community. For the most part, the reason is affordability. 

Flax, a San Francisco family-owned business since its inception in 1938, opened its 1699 Market Street location in 1978, according to the store's website. The massive outlet is a landmark for San Franciscans, with its huge, idiosyncratic signage that includes a giant artist's mannequin and paint brush adorning the building's light blue facade. Over Flax's 77-year tenure in San Francisco, the business has served as the go-to art supply store for the city's thriving artist community, as well as a trusty employer of creative types. But it's become apparent that San Francisco's needs have shifted. Flax will be moving in order to make room for brand new condominiums. 

The new Flax building is a 14,000-square-foot former garage. It's directly adjacent to the East Bay Fencers Gym, but not much else. However, downtown Oakland and Old Oakland are only a few blocks east. Howard Flax, the store's third-generation owner, told the Chronicle that he had hoped to keep the business in San Francisco but ultimately could not find a spot even after an extensive search. Oakland made that search simple, however, and the city has even offered the business a $99,000 grant for interior renovations. 

Flax's future location in Oakland. - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
  • Google Street View
  • Flax's future location in Oakland.

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