Sometimes I get lucky. I was super lucky this past Thursday as I got to attend to the SF Symphony Spring Gala. This is an event I wouldn’t think to attend but the opportunity to see an innovative and truly talent artist like Monae with a symphony was a rare opportunity. Her music is theatrical and cinematic and I knew with the SF Symphony it would be a great performance and experience. It was an impressive sight to see the whole symphony on stage along with her band of talented musicians.
Monae was amazing. She has such a great voice and puts on an excellent show. Her love of theater comes through in her dynamic performances. The energy she brings to her singing and dancing makes her so much fun to watch. It is so exciting to see her dance moves. You can see the James Brown and Michael Jackson in her moves.
She opened with Smile, a beautiful poignant song based on the instrumental from Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times. I wonder if she is basing her interpretation on Michael Jackson or Nat King Cole. I have a lot of questions for her. I would love to Terri Gross her for more than 15 minutes.
The best part for me was her beautiful introduction to the song ‘Cold War’. She dedicated to those in the audiences that working to being their own unique person resisting the pressures to conform and appreciating themselves for who they are.
Below is the video for ‘Many Moons’ from her first album ‘Metropolis: The Chase Suite’. I knew I would really like the album once I learned the album was built around Metropolis the 1927 silent film. I love the aesthetics and the message of the film. The film is perfect since social inequality in the U.S. is at an all time high and very similar to the social conditions of 1927. I was glad to see she continues to use the Metropolis concept and aesthetic in QUEEN with Erykah Badu.
To support Arts in the Schools Grant Program, the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council is putting on The Big Draw Chalk Festival May 10 & 11th, 2013 in Downtown Pleasanton. It is an opportunity to watch professionals create chalk drawings and make your own.
The amazingly creative group I work with put together this great video for The Big Draw. It is under a minute and charming.
Follow us on Twitter @PleasantonArts#drawninchalk#pleasanton#chalk
Share the video and post it on your friend’s FB pages especially if they live in the Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore area.
Hey Kids! Check out the piece in the SF Guardian about Surya Dub coming back. You can tune to Kush and Maneesh on Monday, July 23, 2012 when Surya Dub takes over Off the Beaten Path.
Brownout is on a West Coast Tour appearing at the Elbo Room this Friday with support by DJ Oz & Chucha Santa Maria. I caught some of their set at the Roxy. They sound real good & tight together which can be hard for six or more musicians to accomplish. If funk is your thing you will probably dig Brownout.
Hey Kids! Magic System is coming to town, a rare treat! They will be here on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Mezzanine in SF.
Here are some Magic System videos:
If you love dance music with heavy on music from around the world then you should check out Dub Mission on May 30. Nickodemus will be spinning while Zeb the Spy from Cairo will be performing a live set with his oud and electronics featuring music form his latest album.
Check out the video from their last visit to Dub Mission in November 2009:
Wednesday May 12th The People Live presents Wunmi @ the New Parish 579 18th Street, Oakland. Doors open @ 9pm $10 advance.
UPDATE: Wunmi at New Parish was great. She is fun to watch on stage as she is an excellent dancer and has got some attitude. She was very charming and playful with the audience. It was great! She chastised the audience for standing around and not dancing telling the audience something along the lines of ‘they told me this was house party! what are doing just standing there, not dancing?’ Hysterical!
In our defense, some of us were dancing but at some point i had to stop and watch Wunmi sing, dance and do her thing. She has a really great engaging stage presence and personality. She came on stage wearing a silver lame cape type thing and rocking a cool look with her hair braided and shaped to a mohawk look.
Her band provided an awesome sound seamlessly going from afrobeat to house and dub sometimes in the span of one song. She sang a really good cover of the Police’s Message in a Bottle. She shared with the audience that The Police was one of her favorite bands growing up in London. I think one of my favorites that night was “Crossover”. The video is below.
As always with a show in Oakland, there were a lot of artists in the audience. At one point she asked local artist Valentino to join her on stage. While he was up on the stage, she took the opportunity to get down with audience and dance. There was, of course, a professional dancer or two. A circle of dancers formed and each one danced showing off their moves whether they were African dance, house or breaker. It was damn entertaining. In short, it was a dynamic show. The Crossover video below does not do her justice. Her live show is full of energy. If you enjoy this music, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to see her the next time she comes through town which is hopefully soon.
Hey Kids!! Getting to talk about music on The Morning Show was fun.
Here is a listing of club and live music events talked about the Morning Show along with others not mentioned on air.
If you get the chance, listen to the most recent archives of Off the Beaten Path on KPFA. The playlists are below this post. I really dig the song that started off the program on April 26: http://kpfa.org/archive/id/60571
I am sitting in for Sep June 21, 28 & July 12 & 19. Off the Beaten Path airs every Monday 10pm to Midnight on KPFA 94.1 FM.
FRI MAY 7 Worldly Cheb i Sabbah, Mighty Dub Killaz, Janaka Selekta, DJ Dragonfly, DJ Amar SupperClub 657 Harrison SF
FRI MAY 7 10pm Braza! at Som., 2925 16th St., SF; (415) 558-8521., $10. Once a month, the Braza! crew will take you on a musical trip around Brazil to explore the rhythms and sounds of Samba, Funk, Batucada, MPB, Broken Beat, and much much more.
FRI MAY 7 8PM Carlos Varela performs Friday at Ramekins Event Center, 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma
FRI MAY 7 8 PM Anna Estada & Almasferas at La Pena in Berkeley (3105 Berkeley) (Brazilian & Latin Jazz)
SAT MAY 8 Gaudi at Hopmonk in Sebastopol
SAT MAY 8 10pm Tromenta Tropical with DJ Orion, Oro 11 & Disco Shawn at the Elbo Room SF
SAT MAY 8 9PM Ritmos Sin Fronteras with Be Brown and Hakobo at SOM SF
SAT & SUN MAY 8 & 9 Carlos Varela at Yoshis Oakland
SUN MAY 9 Gaudi at How Weird, San Francisco
MAY 13 Gaudi at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz
MAY 13 7PM Meklit Hadero at Bimbos 365 Club
MAY 16 BANG DATA @ UC SANTA CRUZ
THURS MAY 13 9PM Yoruba Dance Sessions with Carlos Mena & DJ Cecil the Bench & Bar on 510 17th Street in Oakland
MAY 21 BANG DATA @ SOUTH 1ST BILLIARDS IN SAN JOSE
MAY 22 BANG DATA WITH MALECO COLLECTIVE & KOOL KYLE @ LA PENA, Berkeley
MAY 28 Fuga at the New Parish in Oakland
Ana Tijoux is performing Thursday, March 25 at La Pena in Berkeley. Check out her sound and 1977 video: