Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ozomatli at The New Parish this Friday

by Azucena Rasilla
Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 4:37 PM

  • Photo courtesy of Ozomatli's Facebook

Ozomatli is coming back to the bay and kicking off the group's Non-Stop Mexico to Jamaica West Coast tour at The New Parish.

The band loves the Bay Area, and especially The New Parish in Oakland, where it played back-to-back sold-out shows in 2012, 2014, and last year. This time, Ozo is only playing one show at The New Parish, however, but Friday’s gig will be all about their new release, Ozo-fied Volume 1: A Century of Mexican Classics.

The record is a collection of classic Latin songs, an homage to the group's roots and the music that defined their youth. Each song has been given a reggae-dancehall vibe, a twist to the classics that only Ozo can pull-off on stage.

Get your lungs ready to belt out your best rendition of “Tragos Amargos” the classic norteña by Mexican composer Ramon Ayala, 1940s "Bésame Mucho" (Kiss Me a Lot) by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez, or how about "Sabor a Mí" (Taste of Me), the 1950s-classic made famous by Mexican trio Los Panchos. Also, the rendition of Selena's "Como La Flor" is quite something. (I got to hear it live at last year’s BottleRock.)

Friday July 14, 8pm, $30 General Admission, $125 VIP, 18+, The New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, TheNewParish.com

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ship Show Day Two: Wu Tang On An Aircraft Carrier, And No DMX

by Azucena Rasilla
Tue, May 30, 2017 at 5:27 PM


As Alameda recovers from the Ship Show Festival, we look back at the highs and lows of night two:

Rapper DMX was a no show, even though his set time was listed as early as Sunday morning. Back in April, DMX canceled a string of shows and voluntarily checked himself into rehab. Another scheduled performer who also was a no-show, Kelis, hours earlier she had been active on social media, posting on Instagram.

No explanation was given as to why neither DMX nor Kelis showed up, although only a handful of people seemed upset. The night was all about Wu-Tang — but another performer stole part of Wu-Tang’s shine.

Lupe Fiasco, who was partaking in Ramadan, absolutely killed it . "If my performance feels underwhelming, please forgive me, as I'm fasting," he told the crowd. The politically conscious rapper is currently promoting his sixth studio album, DROGAS light.

An honorary mention goes to Wyclef, who played earlier in the day, spitting fast rhymes, putting the sound engineer on blast for not having his microphone "right," and climbing the side of the stage to get a better view of the crowd.

Like Saturday’s sets, there was a long wait before Wu-Tang appeared, and the weather was a lot colder. There also seemed to be fewer people in attendance.

But it didn’t matter; it was Wu-Tang Clan, a hip-hop institution. It has been 24 years since the release of 36 Chambers, and while the New York rappers might be well into their forties, their chemistry still prevails. All living members were part of this epic performance — Raekwon, GZA, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna.

Ship Show Festival has some kinks to figure out if it plans to return for a second installment next year. It was certainly an innovative idea, holding a festival on the deck of an aircraft carrier, and if the promoters are able to better the experience for the festival goers — add more food and drink vendors, and work out the sound issue with residents — it would surely become a coveted ticket.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ship Show Served Up Hip-Hop On A Former Navy Aircraft Carrier, Complete With First-Time Festival Hiccups

by Azucena Rasilla
Sun, May 28, 2017 at 12:45 PM

The first edition of any music festival is bound to have glitches and mishaps. And so, while attendees appeared aggravated by long entrance lines at yesterday's Ship Show festival on Alameda's naval base, all was forgotten once inside — sort of.

Folks took to social media to vent frustrations about the lines, and the fact that they were told Keak da Sneak, a Bay Area Legend, would not be performing, only he did take the stage in the early afternoon.

As YG made it onto the stage, hundreds of people were still outside, trying to make their way on to the USS Hornet tarmac. Almost an hour went by between Jeremih and YG’s set, though, and while this could’ve been the perfect opportunity for people to take advantage of the vendors, there was a shortage of food and drinks.

The most confusing moment of the night came during YG’s set. The crowd was at its liveliest as the Compton rapper performed “Bitches Ain’t Shit,” from 2011’s Just Re'd Up; plus “Left, Right,” “I Just Wanna Party,” and “BPT” from 2014’s My Krazy Life. But the one song the crowd was most eager to hear, “Fuck Donald Trump,” didn’t happen: YG's set was abruptly cut short, no explanation given, just sound and lights out. YG and his camp were not happy, and left the stage visibly upset.

Wiz Khalifa headlined the first of this two-day festival, and, as is typical with his shows, smoke clouds filled the USS Hornet. Many questioned if smoking weed would be tolerated, considering the location, but security did not care. Even as Wiz performed, he addressed the crowd, “Who’s got the best weed in here tonight?” (His set also was cut short, to less than 45 minutes, concluding at exactly 10pm.)

If you have tickets for day two, allow yourself plenty of time to get to there, as you will have to go through the three different check-in areas. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes; you walk up a set of narrow stairs. And, most importantly, dress warm: The temperature dropped to the low 50s, and the breeze made it extra chilly. Layers are your best friend.

Day two has an even better line-up: Wyclef, Lupe Fiasco, DMX, and Wu-Tang Clan.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Find The 2017 Best Of The East Bay Readers Choice Nominees Here!

by Express staff
Fri, May 26, 2017 at 9:56 AM

In case you were looking ...

Here is a list of this year's Best of the East Bay 2017 nominees, which were announced on Wednesday!

And here is the ballot.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Oakland’s Legend Too $hort Coming Back To Fox Theater

by Azucena Rasilla
Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 9:52 AM

  • Photo Courtesy of Too $hort
Too $hort is back with a new album, a tour, and a concert at The Fox Theater, scheduled for Friday May 19. His 30th anniversary show last March sold out so fast that a second night had to be added, so expect a similar outcome this time around.

At 50 years old, Too $hort remains an unstoppable force in the music game. He is set to release his 20th studio album, The Pimp Tape, on May 26, which was originally scheduled for a March 10 release date. The album includes collaborations with Ty Dolla $ign, Mistah F.A.B., G-Eazy, 2 Chainz, Snoop Dogg, and Jazze Pha. The first single off the album “Ain’t My Girlfriend” was released on December 26, and it features Ty Dolla $ign, Jeremih, and French Montana.

Presale begins Thursday, April 20 at 10am using the password shiba. The general on sale begins Friday, April 21 at 12pm. You can also buy tickets at The Fox Theater’s box office on 19th Street.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wiz Khalifa and Wu-Tang Concert ... On A U.S. Aircraft Carrier Next Month ... In Alameda (Say What?)

by Azucena Rasilla
Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 12:18 PM

  • Photo Courtesy of Wiz Khalifa
The unusual pairing of rapper Wiz Khalifa, lots of pot, and a United States naval aircraft carrier will get very real next month in Alameda.

A new two-day fest, the Ship Show Music Festival will take place on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, inside the USS Hornet on the shuttered naval base in Alameda.

Headliners include Wiz Khalifa and Wu-Tang Clan (all living members), with more acts to be announced soon. The festival is a benefit show for the USS Hornet, with a portion of proceeds going to go the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum.

It's no secret that Wiz Khalifa is an enthusiastic marijuana user. Just check out his Instagram, where his love for weed is plastered all over his page.

Recently, he played a show in Medellin, Colombia, after which he made a trip to where Pablo Escobar is buried, leaving behind flowers and a joint. (The people of Colombia took great offense, the mayor of Medellin even demanded an apology from the rapper.)

It will be interesting to see how the weed factor plays out during the two-day festival. According to the event’s site, “music performances will take place on two stages, including the outdoor flight deck and inside the cargo hull.”

If you are curious about the show, tickets start at $149; the Ship Show festival will coincide with BottleRock, going down in Napa, with Maroon 5, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and the Foo Fighters as headliners.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

'Oakland Is Where I Got The Game From': Interviews With Members of Planet Booty, Zion I, and More (From Santa Cruz Music Festival)

by Deanna Boutte
Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 2:42 PM

  • Photo Taken by Deanna Boutte
The Santa Cruz Music Festival took place last weekend. Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz hosted local vendors, a comedy jaunt, yoga classes, a bike party, a live discussion panel, and much more. Let’s talk music though—with so many different genres teaming up to put on a multi-faceted showcase, it was quite an exhibit.

One of the acts that took the Blue Lagoon stage on Saturday night was Oakland’s own, Planet Booty. The trio consists of Dylan Germick, Josh Cantero, and Rob Gwin. Planet Booty is a group who can’t simply be labeled under one genre. Rather, a melodic mix of old-school funk, soul, jazz, dance, house, disco, and R&B. Planet Booty also incorporates electronic beats with live instrumentation for an original, but unique sound. The Express spoke with Dylan Germick, the group’s lead singer.

Express: What's your favorite thing about being from Oakland?
Germick: I love Oakland for so many reasons, its history, its diversity, and its energy. It's my sincere hope that our music does our hometown justice. There is certainly something special in the air when we play a show in Oakland. Whether it's somewhere on a street corner for a festival, a First Friday, or one of the many ever-changing venues—you’ll find every type of person in the audience and if you're bringing it with a full heart, no matter who you are, Oakland will show love.
  • Photo Courtesy of Planet Booty
Express: What lead Planet Booty to making music?
Germick: Music has been a part of our lives from the beginning. It’s probably our mutual love of music and [our love for] each other that keeps us motivated. Also, the immediacy of current events, like the passing of Prince and the election of Donald Trump makes the need for positive, funky art extremely urgent.

During their set, the crowd cheered for Planet Booty’s positive messages about loving yourself and loving the people around you. They said, “in this time especially—we need to all love each other—no matter what!”

Sunday at the Santa Cruz Music Festival, a hip-hop showcase went up at The Catalyst. Oakland native, The Grouch, headlined the series. Other Easy Bay artists that touched the stage were Zumbi (of Zion I), Deuce Eclipse, Pure Powers, DJ Twelvz, and Souls of Mischief/Hieroglyphics member, A-Plus featuring, Knobody. The Express was backstage chatting with a few of the artists.

Express: What do you love about Oakland?
Zumbi: The thing I like the most is the eclecticism, the culture, and the diversity of the people. I had no idea, back in the day, that Oakland [was one of the] most diverse cities in the country. As I stated to travel on tour and I saw the difference when I came back to the Bay—how like everybody kicks it, everybody hangs out, everybody influences each other. That is, to me, an ideal. That has lightweight been reached—I’m not saying it’s perfect and without problems—it’s not. But I am saying, in terms of people getting down with each other, and just hanging out, and learning about one another’s culture, and appreciating the difference, and still being the same, Oakland’s got that on lock.
  • Photo Taken by Deanna Boutte
  • Zumbi (of Zion I)

Express: How do you stay connected to your hometown?
DJ Twelvz: I stay close to the streets no matter where I go. The youngsters are always going to push the curve in the evolution of modern music. So [with] hip-hop, if you stay in tune to the youth, you will alw
  • Photo Taken by Deanna Boutte
  • Pure Powers
ays know what’s up and what’s poppin’, and how this music shit is really evolving.

Express: How has living in the East Bay influenced your music?
Pure Powers: Tupac said it,  Oakland is where I got the game from.” And I really relate with that. There is a lot of game, and a lot of charisma, a lot of wit, a lot of culture, and a lot of heart. And that’s what I really love about it—it's just got a lot of flavor. 

Express: What do you have to say about the Santa Cruz Music Festival?
DJ Twelvz: I think that it’s good that  you can come and represent who you are and represent your artistry. And I  think when you have events like this, it’s a really dope thing because it's people of all walks of life, different types of styles in music, all coming together and really enriching the culture of music, so anything like this—
  • Photo Taken by Calioto @connercalioto
is cool.

If there was one similarity  amongst all the artists across the multiple venues at this year’s  Santa Cruz Music Festival, it was the fact that everyone was happy to be there. While right now may not be the best of times considering Trump’s reign over America, music is just one way people are coming together to spread love, practice peace, and unite as a community. For more information about the festival, visit www.santacruzmusicfestival.com.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Five Memorable Beers From Yesterday's Inaugural East Bay Brewer's Fest

by Nick Miller
Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 1:45 PM

  • Photo Courtesy of Drake's
Some terrible news: It's the last day of San Francisco Beer Week.

The annual gathering was actually nine days of some of the best brew in the world, from locals offering once-a-year favorites (think triple-IPAs from everyone from Altamont to Russian River) to out-of-town guests (Jester King, Sante Adairius thrilling the Bay with pop-up events). And now — exhale — it's done.

Hopefully you didn't miss out on the many highlights (the Mexican Beer tap-takeover at Trappist, the secret gala pop-up by Fieldwork in S.F., and so on).

And I especially hope that you made it to yesterday's debut East Bay Brewer's Festival, which for the first time united brew offerings on our side of the bridge. Hey, even the mayor was there.
Anyway, more than two-dozen breweries poured special offerings and taproom favorites at the sold-out event, which was hosted by Drake's outside its downtown Dealership location in Oakland (disclosure: The Express was a media sponsor).

After days of rain and wind, the sun peeked out for the afternoon showcase, which drew some 900 attendees. There were all sorts of inventive beers — from gin-barrel-aged sours and lupulin-powder IPAs.

The take home from the event was that, even though S.F. gets all the press, East Bay breweries are putting out some of the most exciting and consistently tasty beers on the West Coast. Here are five of the most memorable beers from the day:

Temescal Brewing
Creamsicle IPA with peach and vanilla, 6.6%
Temescal first released four-pack cans of this brew earlier in the week, and I was initially skeptical, what with my aversion to fruited IPAs. However ... what a remarkable brew: gentle notes of vanilla and cream, a nice stone-fruit character, and that familiar and delicate Temescal body. Better than anything you'd find on the ice-cream truck.
Alternative Facts
Faction Brewing
"Session" IPA w/ Mosaic
Mandarina and Dr Rudi hops, 4.6%
Award for Best Name this Beer Week goes to Faction for this sharp, dry, low-ABV brew with a hint of mango. The perfect remedy to White House nonsense — and conveniently only 4.6%, since you'd have to drink a few of these every day to counteract The KellyAnne & Bannon Shitshow.
Juice Above the Clouds
Altamont Beer Works
Double IPA, 9%
This Altamont banger kicked the haze craze in its teeth. A big-dog IPA, complete with all that hazy-brew character (tropical juice, via a generous dose of Mosaic hops, and killer aromatics), but without any cloudy gimmicks — more, please.
Imperial Affliction
Novel Brewing Company
Bourbon-barrel aged imperial stout, 9%
Novel is a new neighborhood spot, but this classic BA stout hit all the right notes: gently boozy, a nice roast and vanilla character, not too sweet and with a mouthfeel at once full but not viscous. Tremendous executive by a new spot on the block.
Drake's Brewing Co.
Malt Liquor, 7%
I missed the launch party for this one at Eli's Mile High Club on Friday, so it was nice to hit the hop-palette reset button with this malty, "classy" head-changer. Yeah, I get that it's an unremarkable, no-frills brew. But it scratched all the right itches. And that's sometime all that matters.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Burger Boogaloo Lineup Just Announced (Hint: Iggy Pop!)

by Nick Miller
Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Burger Boogaloo, the festival curated by the record label of the same name each summer in Mosswood Park, has evolved into this sort of quintessential Oakland music gathering, the perfect anti-fest in the bay.

And, for 2017, the producers have really outdone themselves. I mean, this lineup!
Tickets are on-sale now, and a two day general-admission pass is super affordable. The fest goes down July 1-2. Don't sleep on tickets, as this will sell out.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Oakland's Fantastic Negrito Won A Grammy!

by Nick Miller
Sun, Feb 12, 2017 at 5:45 PM

Fantastic Negrito's earned his first Grammy nomination for The Last Days of Oakland — and this afternoon he took home the big prize, the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Here's his Tweet announcing the win:
Congrats! Buy his record here!

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