"Welcome to Oakland" compilation is an indie pop love letter from local label Dandy Boy Records
NO BIAS drops two fresh, impeccable club singles; a variety of selections of Bay Area music across experimental, hip hop, house; plus a roundup of upcoming live shows
Last Friday evening, after enjoying a trip on the chair swing ride and scarfing down a turkey leg—but before trying on the pendulum ride and scarfing down funnel cake—I witnessed the magic that is a Ginuwine live performance. Yes, in spite of all your cool rock bars and late night raves, the best music across the Bay Area in the past week may have happened at the Alameda County Fair.
Or maybe not.
As if seeking to balance out that highly recommended yet gluttonous experience, four days later I wandered the Garden of Memory, an experimental music festival held across the labyrinthine chambers, sanctuaries, plazas, gardens, and hallways that together make up the wondrous web of stone called the Chapel of the Chimes.
In the first room I entered, Dylan Mattingly fired off zig zagging piano lightning.
In another, Robert Nance shredded under the open sky, strumming an entrancing twister of telecaster fire. (Sadly, he also announced in between songs that it would be his last performance before moving out of the Bay Area.)
In another, Karen Stackpole played like a child, free of prejudice and fiercely curious, with metal and fluff, wood blocks, chimes, rattlers, and gong, gong, gong.
Timed with the solstice, it was altogether a musical feast, a celebration of life and death, and a stirring reminder that all we have is the present. Even better, juxtaposed against the nostalgic, adolescent heartbreak summoned by Ginuwine singing “Differences” and “Pony” at the county fair—not to mention all the other daily, nightly sonic experiments and explorations that took place this week—it was a glorious reminder of the diversity of the Bay. In sights, in souls, in sounds.
LOVE LETTERS FILL THE AIR
“I wanted to show everyone how exciting Oakland music is. This is a true love letter to our hometown and I could not be prouder.”
Y’all know the way to my heart. A week after Discos Resaca dropped their love letter to San Jose, now we get Dandy Boy Records writing one to Oakland. Welcome to Oakland is a 16-track compilation highlighting the amazing dream pop and indie rock blooming bright and beautiful in the East Bay, including the 1981, Blue Ocean, Sob Stories, R.E. Seraphin, Owen Adair Kelley, James Wavey, Shutups, and many more. If you still haven’t dug into this scene, this is a great place to start.
BACK TO BACK HEATERS, NO BIAS
In the last week alone, NO BIAS treated us to two fresh and impeccable club singles: the deep house rider “MAKE ME FEEL IT” by rental vhs (plus remixes by RITCHRD and Xyla) followed by the hot sweaty “FLEX TRAX VOL 1” by one DJ Flexaholic—an alter ego of one of the aforementioned or yet another great local producer? I guess it’s just another mystery of the universe.
One Step Forward. Two Steps Back by the Bruce Lee Band on Asian Man Records
punk, ska, reggae
Renzoku Jump - Henry Kaiser Remembers Toshinori Kondo (1948-2020) by Toshinori Kondo, Henry Kaiser, Greg Goodman and John Oswald
free jazz, avant-garde, experimental rock
Grand Prix by Grand-O
Black Ice by Hitta Slim
LADIES & GENTLEMEN by Philco on Valencia label theBasement Discos.
deep house, electronic, disco
Summer Solstice Suite by ROSE HAZE
ambient, modular synth, psychedelic
rock, indie, pop
LIVE SHOWS THIS WEEK
Live music is in full effect. Here are some recommendations for the coming week:
[rock] Oakland Weekender ft. Peel Dream Magazine, Jeanines, Seablite, Kids on a Crime Spree, Artsick, DJ Poindexter, Mick Trouble, Boyracer, the Reds, Pinks & Purples, the Umbrellas, and DJ Kid Frostbite — June 23-26 at the Golden Bull
[hip hop] Gems: Hyphy Edition ft. DJs Asabackwards, Yung Tucson, Ewock, Whatsupalbert & DJ Ignacia — June 24 at Crybaby
[rock] Helltones, the Hot Takes, the Towns — June 24 at Elbo Room Jack London
[metal] Croissant, Praying, Talk Show, and Buge — June 25 at Thrillhouse
[club] Queerbait ft. Alice Glass, Technopagan, Amor Digital — June 25 at F8
[club] BRING IT BACK: A NO BIAS TAKEOVER ft. Bastiengoat, Taraneh, Adam O, and Technopagan — June 25 at Brix 581
[club] MIGHTY REAL Pride Weekender ft. David Morales, Derrick Carter, DJ Heather, Tedd Patterson, Robin S, David Harness, Nina Sol, Jeremy Rosebrook Jimmy DePre — June 25-26 at the Phoenix Hotel
[folk] Maggie Gently, Hannah Frances, Mae Powell, Katsy Pline — June 26 at Elbo Room Jack London
[hip hop] Sunday Service ft. DJs Popit4Slim, Shellheart, Meleswave and Hhola — June 26 at Crybaby
[jazz] Blues in the City ft. Marcus Shelby and Dr. Rupa Marya, MD — June 30 at the Museum of the African Diaspora