Friday, February 26, 2016

This Weekend's Top Six Events

Feb 26, 27, & 28

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Peel yourself away from politics for a moment and look outside. Not only is it sunny, it's the weekend! Here's a list of ways to enjoy yourself over the next few days. Then you can go back to shaking your fist at the TV. 

DJ Spinn.
  • DJ Spinn.
Teklife’s DJ Spinn and DJ Earl
Chicago footwork is a fast-paced, percussive style of house music with an accompanying DIY street dancing culture. And while the footwork scene in the Windy City is pretty underground, it has many appreciators in the Bay Area, where turfing occupies a similar niche in the hip-hop and DJ scenes. So the untimely death of DJ Rashad, one of footwork’s pioneers, in 2014 was deeply felt in Oakland’s music community, with many artists and DJs expressing their condolences for the legendary producer on social media. Footwork fans in the Bay Area can rejoice, however, as DJ Spinn and DJ Earl of Rashad’s original Teklife crew are coming to Oakland to play at Brix on February 27. Sela Oner, a Vallejo producer who considers footwork a major influence, is also on the bill, alongside up-and-coming Bay Area DJs Namaste Shawty, Drea Faux Real, and Shruggs.— Nastia Voynovskaya
Sat., Feb. 27, 9 p.m. $12-$15. 

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Art Practical Founder Patricia Maloney Leaves to Lead Southern Exposure

She hopes to hone in on and enact best practices for compensating labor in the art world.

by Sarah Burke
Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:07 AM

On Tuesday, the long-running San Francisco arts organization Southern Exposure announced that its new executive director will be Patricia Maloney, the soon-to-be former head of the popular online art publications Art Practical and Daily Serving. The news may come as a surprise to many in the Bay Area arts community, considering that Maloney founded Art Practical — which is based out of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco — and has been at its helm for seven years, during which time she merged it with the national publication Daily Serving. But in an interview this past weekend, Maloney said that she feels now is the perfect moment to hand over the reins.

In the press release sent out by Southern Exposure on Tuesday, Maloney is quoted echoing that sentiment. “I am excited to take on this new role as the Bay Area cultural ecosystem undergoes one of the most consequential transformations it may ever experience, with the confluence of new spaces opening alongside shifting demographics and significant economic challenges,” she said. “Southern Exposure’s position within this new landscape is perhaps more vital than ever because of its capacity to catalyze and support artists’ practices.”

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Want to See Prince in Oakland This Weekend?

Tickets go on sale today at noon.

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Prince at the 2015 American Music Awards. - KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES
  • Kevin WInter/Getty Images
  • Prince at the 2015 American Music Awards.
Pop legend Prince is notoriously unpredictable. Though he's a world-renowned superstar, he frequently opts to play intimate concerts rather than huge arenas, often announcing his shows on the fly. 

Prince decided to surprise his Oakland fans last night when he declared on Twitter that he'd be playing two back-to-back shows at Paramount Theatre this Sunday, February 28, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets for both shows go on sale today, February 24, at noon, and are available exclusively through Ticketmaster
If you remember how quickly Kendrick Lamar tickets sold out last year (literally within seconds), you might want to have your browser ready at 11:59 a.m. sharp to vie for a spot. 

The performance is part of Prince's Piano & a Microphone concert series, where he'll be performing stripped-down, acoustic versions of his hits. 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

This Weekend's Top Five Events

February 19, 20 & 21

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 9:56 AM

It's the weekend! Rejoice! Here are five fun ways to enjoy yourself over the next three days. 

Sugar Coma, DSTVV, and Morning Hands
Valentine’s Day can bring out all sorts of neuroses in people who aren’t secure in their relationship statuses — which is why Sgraffito Gallery in Emeryville is hosting a show billed as a “Post V-Day Cry Fest” for those that have reason to gripe about last week’s couples-centric holiday. The lineup includes the new Hole cover band Sugar Coma, featuring Candace Lazarou (the frontwoman of the abrasive, avant-garde rock band Mansion) and members of well-regarded, local punk bands Violence Creeps and The World. DSTVV, an Oakland band whose static-laden compositions contain strains of grunge, shoegaze, and noise, joins Sugar Coma on the bill. Morning Hands, a synth-pop off-shoot of Oakland EBM group Diesel Dudes, will provide a washed-out, mellow counterpoint to the other bands’ more aggressive sound. The show will include a Courtney Love costume contest, so don’t forget your smudged eyeliner, vintage negligees, fishnets, and combat boots.— Nastia Voynovskaya
Sat., Feb. 20, 7 p.m.

Candace Lazarou. - MADELINE ALLARD
  • Candace Lazarou.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Watch the Trailer for Thizz Entertainment's New Mac Dre Documentary

by Nastia Voynovskaya
Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:36 AM

The late Vallejo rapper Mac Dre is an undisputed Bay Area music legend and godfather of the hyphy movement. A stylistic innovator and staunch proponent of individuality, he became a symbol of unapologetic self-expression as well as regional pride after his untimely death in 2004. Even twelve years after his passing, his iconic sound and exuberant persona continue to have a major influence on local hip-hop culture.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

This Weekend's Top Five Events

February 12, 13 & 14

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 7:00 AM

You've read enough think pieces about Bernie Sanders and Beyonce. Seriously, get outside and do something fun. Here are out top five suggestions: 

Still Not Quiet on the Western Front
Founded in 1982, Maximumrocknroll is a non-profit publication that covers punk and hardcore scenes from around the world. The magazine has clung to its staunchly DIY ethos over the years. Even as it has grown into something of an institution, it has continued to eschew corporate sponsorship and coverage of major-label acts, positioning itself as an ardent champion of formidable underground bands that may not otherwise have a chance at coverage in the mainstream press. This Thursday, MMR will kick off its festival, Still Not Quiet on the Western Front, which features dozens of bands playing shows at various venues in both San Francisco and the East Bay through the end of the weekend. A few events under the Still Not Quiet umbrella to look out for? Noise-punk outfit Criminal Code at Thee Parkside on Thursday; Saturday’s record swap at LoBot (which precedes that day’s concert with Uranium Club, The World, Neighborhood Brats, and Neutrals); and Cold Beat and Flesh World at Oakland Metro Operahouse that same night. Refer to for the complete schedule.— Nastia Voynovskaya
Feb. 11-14 Prices vary per show

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Friday, February 5, 2016

'Revolutionary Love Is a Beautiful Thing'

by Darwin BondGraham
Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 12:54 PM

Ramsey Orta and Jessica Hollie. - BEORTAMEDIA.COM
  • Ramsey Orta and Jessica Hollie.
In 2011, Jessica Hollie, an Oakland native who goes by the name Bella Eiko, was a Chabot College student and award-winning speaker in the parliamentary debate league circuit when the Occupy Movement erupted. Hollie joined the protest and quickly distinguished herself as a grassroots citizen journalist. She amassed a big online following thanks to her deft use of social media and livestreaming. She guided thousands of online viewers through historic events like the shutdown of the Port of Oakland and documented clashes between police and protesters.

Around the same time Ramsey Orta was living in Staten Island and working as a landscaper. Orta, who was born and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, had become friends the previous year with a man named Eric Garner. Like many working-class men of color in New York, the two were frequently stopped, frisked, and questioned by police. By then Orta was already filming the cops, both his own encounters with them, and what he witnessed on the streets. It was no coincidence then that on July 17, 2014 when a group of New York police officers surrounded, tackled, and choked Eric Garner to death for the crime of selling “loose cigarettes,” that Orta filmed the incident. The video – tragic, iconic, potent – was another turning point in the movement against police brutality.

Hollie and Orta got married last December. Hollie announced the news on her Facebook page by writing, “revolutionary love is a beautiful thing.” Since tying the knot, Orta and Hollie have been working to marry their grassroots media projects. They call their combined brand Bella Eiko Orta Media.

“We had a lot of admiration for each other before we met,” said Hollie in an interview.

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This Weekend's Top Five Events

February 5, 6 & 7

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 9:59 AM

There's a big sportsball game this weekend! Plus, Obama came out with a new Warriors-themed stand-up routine! What a time to be alive. If that's not enough, find five other ways to enjoy your weekend below:

  • T.I.
T.I. & Friends Super Bowl Finale After-Party 
Apart from one glaring lapse in judgment that involved promoting the career of a rapper whose name rhymes with Igloo Australia, T.I. has enjoyed a long and storied rap career that began to gain traction in the early Aughts. While his image in the press recently has not always been favorable because of his refusal to acknowledge his protégé Iggy Azalea’s blatant cultural appropriation, there’s no denying T.I.’s le gacy of hits from the past decade-plus. Tracks like “Whatever You Like” and “U Don’t Know Me” have enduring appeal, earning him pop and rap royalty status, and his recent releases, such as “About the Money” featuring Young Thug, continue to keep him on the charts. Along with Gucci Mane, T.I. deserves credit for galvanizing Atlanta’s rap scene, ushering the rise of today’s Southern-indebted trap sound that’s currently dominating the airwaves. To celebrate Superbowl Weekend, T.I. performs at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco on February 7. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Sun., Feb. 7, 9 p.m. $60-$100.

  • Courtesy Our City
Oakland Public Design Fair
Over Super Bowl weekend, downtown Oakland will likely look a little different. The folks over at Our City hope to include everyone in that transformation, even those not necessarily interested in sports. The design nonprofit puts together projects that invite viewers to reimagine the look of their cities, and from February 4–6, they will take over Frank Ogawa Plaza with a free design fair featuring twelve participatory installations. The works include “Block by Block,” a large-scale building block kit; “Jelly Fish,” a smartphone accessible website that will allow people to play music together in real time through speakers in the plaza; and a multi-player pedal-powered pump organ. Each installation is presented by a local artist, design team, or organization such as the West Oakland Youth Center. The fair’s theme is “play,” as Our City hopes the installations will activate the plaza’s potential as an urban playscape.— Sarah Burke
Through Feb. 6.

Chhoti Maa
Local rapper Chhoti Maa teamed up with fellow MC Madlines to start the music collective BrujaLyfe last year. Its first endeavor? A concert with a diverse lineup of female performers titled The Brujas You Couldn’t Kill. The provocative title helped the event gain traction on social media, resonating with a wave of self-identifying witches who tap into pagan spiritual practices to reconnect with traditions that colonialism had previously stamped out. In recent years, the term bruja, or witch, has become a potent vehicle of resistance for some Latinas and for women of other diasporas, as well. Chhoti Maa, who often rhymes in Spanish, invokes her Mexican roots in her work regularly. Outside of making music, she’s an activist and educator, and her lyrics frequently touch upon themes of resilience. She performs on February 6 at Venus Rising Collective’s showcase at The Legionnaire Saloon in Oakland. — N.V.
Sat., Feb. 6, 9 p.m. $5, $7.

Lianne La Havas
In the music video for her breakout single, “Unstoppable,” English singer Lianne La Havas twirls around an empty room, showing off her poised, ballerina-like dance moves and rich, soulful voice, while bouncing her mane of curls. Though La Havas sings about romantic love — We are unstoppable — in the video, she is the embodiment of self-contained happiness, the kind that doesn’t rely on others for validation. In addition to being a talented vocalist, La Havas is also a multi-instrumentalist, and her album Blood, on which “Unstoppable” appears, is currently up for a Grammy. It’s a light, breezy pop record that La Havas began to write after an inspiring trip to Jamaica, where part of her family is from, and her songwriting contains palpable strains of island charm in its acoustic instrumentation. Catch her at The New Parish on February 9 with DJ Nina Sol. — N. V.
Tue., Feb. 9, 8 p.m. $35, $38.

From Little Erik.  - DAVID ALLEN
  • David Allen
  • From Little Erik.
Little Erik
A tale not so much about death as it is about what follows in its wake, Little Erik is the latest adaptation by acclaimed writer and director Mark Jackson. Showing through February 28 at Aurora Theatre (2081 Addison St., Berkeley), the play is based on Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s Little Eyolf. This version is set in a mountain home just north of San Francisco and follows a couple as they reckon with their guilt — and each other — in the aftermath of the untimely death of their youngest son. Jackson, who the Express has twice named “Best Director” in the East Bay, is sure to bring all of his directorial might to the adaptation, which serves as this season’s mainstage production for Global Age Project 2.0, Aurora Theatre Company’s recently revamped new works initiative. More than one hundred years have passed since Little Eyolf was first performed, but Jackson seems to have transformed Ibsen’s classic play into one worth the contemplation of contemporary audiences.— Sarah Elizabeth Adler
Through Feb. 28. 510-843-4822. $32-$52.

If your pockets are feelin' light and you're still yearning for more suggestions, we've got a ton, and these ones are all FREE! We're Hungry: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Feed us at

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