Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rawk and Roll & The Depths of House

Fallin' In Love All Over Again
I love Oakland and The East Bay because we embody "openness" and "inclusion" on every level. The perfect laboratory for all that is possible. No pigeon-holes allowed! Some home girls and a house head transplant from the East Coast are making THIS Friday night mighty musically tasty. Read on!

Why She Gotta Rawk Like That?
Last May, DJ Oliver invited a few friends over to celebrate his new digs-some 20+ musicians, vocalists, performers, DJs. You know? Just a little party. One of the performers was a local rapper/vocalist named Holly Saucy. I remember Holly because she was focused. So focused that she killed it in spite of a technical problem. Professional and polished. All I could think was, "Finally!" and I looked forward to an opportunity to see her do her thing again. So I was excited to hear about her new show Damn She Rawks premiering this Friday at the Shattuck Down Low.

What excited me was a featured artists list that included Saucy, Punk Funk Mob, and legendary Bay Area DJ queen Pam The Funkstress. Ok. Saw PFM last year for the first time as well (BTW they ripped it as well) and I have always wanted to hear Pam spin, but on the same bill? Did I mention that Jessica Holter (Punanny Poets) will MC? Now thats something. I had to call Olaywa Austin, founder of Town Logic Media Group and the shows promoter for the real.

A "No Poser" Show
Damn She Rawks came from a concept that Saucy and Austin devised as a way to shed light on hometown rock sheroes. "DSR is a collective of very talented ethnic women rockers", Olaywa continues, "the artists most often left out of rock music discussions." A seasoned MC, Holly is a seasoned stage vet. "Holly has performed around the world", Austin warns. "She has built strong relationships with other brown lady performers." The plan? Pick up local stars from around the globe as headliners and have the ladies of DSR serve as the "opening acts" for the best local lady rockers you've never heard of. A traveling "under card" of sorts. A September Prague show is in the works as well as shows featuring Latoya London's band Urban Punk and Stax Records artist N’dambi.

Is this truly unique (Oakland) approach the beginnings of a new standard? I'll be watching!

Shattuck Down Low
2284 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley

EVOLVE: Soulful Dance Music
House DJ Soul Luciani is on a mission and he is evangelizing for Oakland's house music scene! You know the genre: Soulful dance music marked by repetitive undertones and percussive overlay. Made legendary by DJs/Producers like Louie Vega, Joe Claussel, and Timmy Regisford. Soul believes Oakland is ready for choices and he's ready to lend a hand.

Under a canopy of Old Oakland trees and over tea, he recently explained his belief in Oakland's future as a House Music Mecca. "Oakland is the center of The Bay and therefore, closer to culture and more firmly rooted." "Like Oakland, house is down to earth and open."

The Temple Effect
Luciani talks about the music as a platform for change; for healing. "Like drumming, house music opens the mind and the body. When you leave you feel rejuvenated." "I am creating ambassadors for Oakland", he continues. "This music is is spiritual."

His passion is compelling. It comes from witnessing the healing effects of the music. It all depends on what you want to attract. "Music is a subconscious can talk about negativity or you can talk about love and caring." House makes you high because house music is about changing...about spirituality." That's the temple effect. Partying with HIGHER purpose.

Keep an eye out for parties that bump until sunset. Until then, DJs Soul, David Harness, and Rahiem Jihad set the tone at from 9-2 @ Evolve. It goes down every second Friday at Era Art Bar.

Oakland Stand Up!

Mr. Oakland

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