Friday, February 3, 2017

To-Do This Weekend: Art Or Football ... Or Both!

by Deanna Boutte
Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 12:57 PM

A storm will be rolling through this evening — canceling First Friday — but there's still art galleries open, plus the "big game" on Sunday. Here are two options that won't break the bank.

Era Art Bar and Lounge will host a viewing party for Super Bowl LI. Watch the game on eight screen, over two levels. Or if football isn't your thing, there are countless drink specials. 106 KMEL's very own DCisChillin will be mixing songs during commercial breaks. This is a 21-and-over event and admission is free.  Sunday, February 5, at Era Art Bar and Lounge, 19 Grand Avenue, Oakland. Doors open at 2:30pm; kick-off is at 3:30pm. For more information visit:

Unlike the outdoors First Friday block party, Oakland Art Murmur doesn't stop for rain. This free event offers a variety of art at more than forty galleries. From classic cars to coffee cups, and ceramics to cocktails, there is certainly something that will catch your eye. 
Courtesy of
  • Courtesy of
Friday, February 3, in Uptown on Telegraph between Grand Avenue and 27th Street, Oakland. 6:00 to 9:00pm. For more information and to download the OAM map, visit:

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Beer Week in The Bay Area Kicks Off Next Week (Don't Miss The Big S.F. Beer Week Gala, Too)

February 10 to 19. Not seven days, but who's keeping track?

by Nick Miller
Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 5:56 PM

  • Courtesy SF Beer Week
I'm doing all the right things. I'm hydrating. And stretching in the afternoon, instead of annihilating a barbacoa burrito or something. I'm substituting my evening hoppy-beer regimen with that of cold-pressed vegetable juice. I even went for a long run in the storming rain. Why? I'm training ... for S.F. Beer Week.

OK, so none of this is even remotely true. Hell, I was at Beer Rev last night, enjoying the latest Bare Bottle Galaxy Dust batch, and that de Gardge ale with Riesling grapes. Hell, yes.

Anyway, February 10. That's when the Bay Area's big celebration of all things brew kicks off. Sure, S.F. Beer Week lasts more than seven days — until February 19. But who's keeping track? A few pro tips:

1. Be sure to pick up the Express next week for a complete rundown of Beer Week goodness. It'll be the front-cover story; hard to miss.

2. There are still tickets for the SFBW Opening Gala, which goes down on Friday at Pier 48. This is a tremendous opportunity to sample many of the best offerings from regional breweries. Seriously, it's fun. Do it.

3. There is a Beer Week calendar with a veritable smorgasbord of brew-related happenings. Check it.

4. The East Bay brewers are getting in on the act this year, with the inaugural East Bay Brewer's Fest. Mark those calendars.

5. Each year, regional brewers get together to brew an S.F. Beer Week beer. And this year it is, mercifully, and easy-drinking Kolsch-style ale — with a twist.

I recently chatted with Fort Point Beer Company's head brewer Mike Schnebeck about the 2017 collab:

Express: I like the plan for the 2017 collaboration beer. Can you explain why this style was settled on, and these ingredients?
Mike: I think there were a few factors that drew people to this style. It provides a good foundation for the specialty ingredients to stand on and is also very approachable. This year's collaboration beer is being packaged in 12 oz. cans along with kegs, so drinkability was especially important. Citrus seemed to pique everyone's interest and the satsuma is a nice variety that you don't see too often, so it made sense to give it a chance. The Douglas fir tip tea impressed everyone with its purity and intensity of flavor. It's really beautiful. Citrus and Douglas fir tips might seem like an odd combination but they end up having a nice wintertime vibe and also invoke a lot of the same flavors commonly associated with hops.

What's your favorite Beer Week memory?
My favorite memory is attending my first S.F. Beer Week Gala. Having such a great community and so much beer all under one roof was an awesome experience.

Most memorable beer you drank in 2016?
Guinness in Ireland.

What you’re most excited about when it comes to beer in 2017.
The most exciting thing to me is the unknown.

Pick up the Express next week for more on Beer Week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Radiohead Announces Two Berkeley Gigs At Greek Theatre, Tix On Sale Friday

by Nick Miller
Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 10:25 AM

I'm not the Radiohead fan that I was in the '90s, when The Bends dropped and it felt really hip to be an angsty teen and listen to something different than quotidian jock ballads or the The Wallflowers.

And I'll admit that, for a period, seeing Radiohead live was a sort of addiction, beginning first with their OK Computer preview gig at The Warfield in 1997, and going so far as to follow the band across the globe, from San Sebastian, Spain, to Red Rocks in Denver. And so on. First-world problems.

But eventually, I guess I tired of doing the same ol' thing. Yet it remains a pleasure to revisit Radiohead, and I especially enjoyed the group's live renditions of its The King of Limbs record — a must watch:

I'm also stoked that Radiohead just announced two gigs in Berkeley this spring, on August 17 and 18, for which tickets go on sale this Friday, January 20, at 10 a.m. The shows are both general admission. And, while the price tag is $95-a-pop, when I shared this news on Twitter, nobody balked at the face value. Ballers!

Of course, these tix will sell out in seconds ... best of luck!

At the Greek Theatre
April 17 and 18
Tickets on sale Friday, January 20, at 10AM.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

First-Ever East Bay Brewers Festival Tickets On Sale Now

by Nick Miller
Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 9:55 AM

San Francisco Beer Week is nigh — and, this year, our side of the Bay Bridge is getting in on the action with the first-ever East Bay Brewers Festival.

On Saturday, February 18, in Oakland, host Drakes Brewing Co. (at its Dealership location) and 25 East Bay breweries will pour at inaugural gathering. And — very cool — each of these breweries will bring a special event-only beer to the fest.

Participating breweries include 21st Amendment, Alameda Island, Ale Industries, Altamont, Benoit-Casper, Calicraft, Cleophus Quealy, Drake's, East Brother Beer, EJ Phair, Eight Bridges, Faction, Federation, Ghost Town, Gilman, Independent, Jupiter, Line 51, Novel, Pacific Coast, Temescal, Triple Rock, and Woods. There will be more than fifty brews to sample.

There will be food, deejays, and the proceeds benefit City Slicker Farms. Tickets are just $30 and include ten pours, and tickets will also be on sale the day of at the event. Learn more on Facebook and purchase tickets at EventBrite.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Primus, Tune-Yards, Hieroglyphics, and More to Play 'Oakland United' Fire Benefit at Fox Theater

by Nick Miller
Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 6:10 PM

Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday, December 9, for Oakland United, a special benefit concert for Ghost Ship fire victims, which will be held next week at the Fox Theater.

The show will be an evening of music and stories, and will feature Bay Area musicians, journalists, and artists.

The lineup so far includes: "Boots Riley (The Coup), Christopher Willits, Dan Deacon, Gabe Meline (KQED) Geographer, Hieroglyphics, Jay Som, Josette Melchor (Gray Area), Primus, Rogue Wave, Sam Lefebvre (East Bay Express), Sidecar Tommy (Beats Antique), Thao Nguyen, tUnE-yArDs, and Tycho.

Again, tickets are on sale tomorrow at noon, and Another Planet Entertainment is waiving all service charges. And 100 percent of the proceeds from the tickets will go to the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts Ghost Ship fire-relief fund.

Learn more here, or donate now to the victims here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Oakland rapper Elujay releases video for “Flagrant” featuring YMTK

by Eda Yu
Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 2:53 PM

With Jentrify, Elujay sought to create a feel-good album that nonetheless addressed pressing issues. - ANDRE MALIIK
  • Andre Maliik
  • With Jentrify, Elujay sought to create a feel-good album that nonetheless addressed pressing issues.
Elujay, the Oakland rapper who’s taken the music world by storm with recent release Jentrify, just dropped a video for “Flagrant,” a popular track off the album featuring another Oakland musician YMTK. Teeming with playful, youthful energy, the video features the two musicians as they battle for the affection of a romantic interest through a casual game of hoops.

Carefree vibes shine through the soulful, upbeat track, as the duo dance, rap, and joke around like good friends. Elujay’s wide grin and YMTK’s teasing attitude create the video’s vibrant energy, an easygoing feeling enhanced by the warm, daytime sun. Even though the Oakland rapper ultimately loses the pick-up game, Elujay still wins in the end: He walks away with his arm around his girl, throwing the ball back at YMTK, who shakes his head as he gets left alone on the court.

Watch the video here.

Friday, November 4, 2016

This Weekend's Top Six Events

November 4, 5 & 6

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 12:07 PM

It may not be Halloween anymore, but there are still a million reasons to go out this weekend. Here's six:

  • Courtesy Interface
  • Quiet Riot.
Art + Craft Beer Fest At Interface Gallery
Temescal Alley is a go-to for many Oaklanders seeking a barbershop cut or fancy cactus, but perhaps fewer are familiar with the very consistent curating at the alley’s resident gallery, Interface. For the uninitiated, Interface’s outdoor Art + Craft Beer Fest this Saturday will be a prime chance for art lovers and rookies alike to appreciate the work that Interface showcases — and get buzzed. The event will feature four local breweries, including Temescal Brewing Company and Federation Brewing Company, and the outdoor environs of Temescal Alley will be host to a temporary group art show featuring local artists Lisa Rybovich Crallè, Laurie Reid, Megan Reed, Manuel Angeja, Kari Marboe, David Mohr, Emily Wick, and Elizabeth Russell. This will also be a great opportunity to see the show currently on view inside Interface Gallery, by Oakland artist Lana Williams. The exhibition, titled Quiet Riot, is a series of bold, colorful paintings and photographs cut and pasted into irregular shapes, sometimes not even fitting within their designated frames. For $20, attendees get a 6 oz commemorative tasting glass and tickets for eight tastings. Or, pay $3 per individual taste. All the proceeds go toward supporting Interface Gallery’s future programming. — Seung lee
Saturday, November 5, 2-5 pm, $3-20. 486 49th St., Oakland.

More …

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Oakland A's Twitter War with Smashmouth Actually Happened

by Nick Miller
Sat, Oct 29, 2016 at 2:18 PM

It's since been deleted, but there really was a post-World Series Twitter feud between the Oakland Athletics' official account and '90s pop-rock hitmakers Smashmouth last night.

It began after Cleveland beat the Chicago Cubs in game three of the Series, with the only run of the night coming from a Coco Crisp RBI.

San Francisco Chronicle sports writer John Shea Tweeted about how far Crisp had come this year, from feuding with A's management to winning playoff games.

And that's when Smashmouth, who got its start in nearby San Jose, started talking trash:

To which the official A's account promptly shot back:


And so began the A's-Smashmouth Twitter Brawl of 2016:


Quickly, A's relief pitcher Sean Doolittle jumped in to drop some kumbaya:


But his interjection was just fuel on the fire:


Admittedly, that's some real talk from the straight from the Smash's mouth.

But official A's Twitter also kept it 100:



At this point, The Smash tried to de-escalate the feud.


But A's official didn't let up:



(Note that it is now midnight.)

At this point, Smash was running out of material:


And A's fans on Twitter were in disbelief:


And then, as quickly as the Twitter war kicked off, it was over. Until this morning, when A's official deleted the evidence and posted an apology:

To which fans responded:

Smashmouth has yet to reply to the A's offer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In Case You Missed It: Fantastic Negrito’s stunning short film for “In the Pines (Oakland)”

Directed by Rashidi Natara Harper, the film is a gorgeous meditation on gun violence.

by Eda Yu
Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 5:13 PM

Oakland native Xavier Dphrepaulezz, better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, made significant waves with his LP, The Last Days of Oakland, released earlier this year. His sound — a mixture of jazzy, electric-guitar-infused blues and angry punk edge — shared the spotlight with his eloquent lyricism as he carried listeners through his perspectives on love, class, and the city he calls home.

Late this past September, Dphrepaulezz released a video for a track off the album, “In the Pines (Oakland)”, a popular cover of a traditional Appalachian folk song from the 19th century. The nine-minute montage — directed by Rashidi Natara Harper — reads more like a short film, as it touches on the heartbreaking issue of gun violence. Dphrepaulezz has imparted that he intended for the video to serve as an offering to the women who’ve tragically lost loved ones to gun violence — something he’s encountered in his own family firsthand.

“I really wanted to change some of the lyrics so that they would pertain to women who bury their babies, their children, because my mom buried my brother, whom we lost to gun violence at fourteen,” Dphrepaulezz says, in the video’s opening scene. The black-and-white shot create a somber setting as the musician stands beside a maternal figure.

“And I just ... I always promised to him, I said ... I’ll never … ” he continues before trailing off, overcome with emotion. The spoken words act as a recurring motif throughout the video, scoring different scenes in which other mothers share their poignant stories of sons and children who fell victim to fatal shootings. 

 If you haven't seen it yet, watch the short film below.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Five Memorable Rants from Kanye West's Concert Last Night In Oakland

by Nick Miller
Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 11:07 AM

Kanye West took a seat on his "floating" stage to ramble about why he's not crazy, one of many self-aggrandizing Yeezus homilies during his Oracle Arena gig last night. - NICK MILLER
  • Nick Miller
  • Kanye West took a seat on his "floating" stage to ramble about why he's not crazy, one of many self-aggrandizing Yeezus homilies during his Oracle Arena gig last night.

Kanye West's part road show, part therapy session made the first of two stops in Oakland at Oracle Arena last night. And the performance — a nearly-two-hour rundown of hits old and new, peppered with several lengthy rant-soliloquies by the contentious rapper — probably satisfied only the most rabid, wide-eyed Kanye adorers. 

This tour, in support of West's recent The Life of Pablo record, featured a minimalist production design: For the entire set, West stood alone atop a "floating" stage, which hovered over a moshing, photo-snapping crowd. He was anchored to the stage by a bungee rope, which connected to his upper back, and was lit only by dim bronze light, so it was difficult to catch a glimpse of his face during most of the night. 

At one point, West told the crowd that his previous tours were stellar shows, but that they weren't profitable, because of the elaborate production. He didn't go so far as to call this latest tour on-the-cheap, but he referred to it as his "most profitable" one.

The setlist featured hits old and new — from "Famous" and "Jesus Walks" and "Black Skinhead" and "Flashing Lights" — which were often abridged or interrupted by a prodding West. 

For instance, Yeezy stopped five times in the middle of "Famous" to complain and egg-on the crowd, reminding the nearly-sold out Oracle that they were about to witness a "legendary moment in concert-going history."

It wasn't. In fact, after more than ninety minutes, this writer left early to beat the ride-hauling surge.
But there were still golden-nugget moments during the meat of West's set. Here are the five most memorable things that tumbled out of Kanye's pie-hole last night in Oakland:

1. West whined at length about the Grammy's, calling it rigged. The rant was not unlike a Donald Trump stump speech, and he even promised to boycott next year's event if Frank Ocean's Blonde doesn't rake in Grammy hardware. "If that album isn't nominated ... I ain't showing up to the Grammies," he promised.

2. Kanye stopped the show many times during the night to criticize the media for labeling him crazy and, specifically, a New York Post Page Six story this week on how Jay-Z thinks Kanye is a "nut job."

"I'm not crazy, I'm brave," West assured the crowd at one point, to cheers. "I'm gonna let the cat out of the bag right now: I'm not crazy. I'm absolutely a fucking genius."

3. Crazy talk persisted later in the night: "I'm sick of this 'Ye is crazy' shit. A crazy person cant do all this, bro. .... A crazy person cant make this floating stage."

4. Ye also dinged "the media" for amplifying this screws-loose narrative. He even called us out directly: "To the media, I'm one of y'all!

"Stop writing negative shit about me and help me help people."

5. After a while, the show devolved into what felt like a lower-division lecture hall experience, with West seated on the edge of the stage, feet dangling over a crowd aiming smartphones at him, while he  spewed his dubious cultural insight. The most memorable quote of the night? There were many, but "We were brought over here as slaves, and Lincoln turned us into unpaid interns or some shit" stands out.

In the end, West came across as the Trump of rap: unscripted, unhinged, probably broke — so perhaps it's fitting that Kanye's promised to run for president in 2020.

Kanye West performs at Oracle Arena again tonight.

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