downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — music

Eleven years of Art and Soul

August 19, 2011

The headline event of this weekend is certainly the 11th annual Art & Soul Festival. Headlined by Tower of Power, Goapele and the Kev Choice Ensemble, this year’s festival of arts and culture will again draw tens of thousands to downtown to enjoy affordable and family-friendly fun. The official program is in this week’s East Bay Express, and more information can be found online.

The Art & Soul Festival also brings attendant annoyances such as street closures. Starting this evening, streets around City Center and Old Oakland will be closed for the duration of the festival, to both cars and pedestrians, so plan your DTO excursions carefully.

In other news…

The Third Annual Eat Real Festival is only a month away now, and detailed information about the gourmand event is online.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission gave Oakland a reprieve and appointed a committee to study locations for a new headquarters.

The Butch Voices conference is underway at the downtown Marriott convention center. Check out the website for information on the conference, and for instructions on tying a handsome bow-tie.

Oakland’s longtime hip-hop duo Foreign Legion will be playing at Disco Volante tonight with a live band instead of the usual DJ.

El Elle, a new dance-pop group founded by Lisa Light of Oakland favorites the Lovemakers, plays their debut show with Bam!Bam! and Sisu at the Uptown tonight.

The Oakland Museum’s Oakland Standard parties, a mixture of art, politics, and culture, are being posted online, beginning with a discussion of political posters from last year. Check it out at OMCA.org.

Last but not least, Bar Three Fifty Five at 355 19th St in Uptown celebrates its first anniversary on Saturday.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you at the Art & Soul Main Stage!

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Never gonna give you up…

July 29, 2011

The month of July, despite heralding the much-delayed introduction of summery weather, bore mostly bad news for downtown Oakland’s economic development. But there is good news on the horizon, as well as a full plate of cultural experiences for your DTO weekend.

Economic revitalization attempts

Mayor Quan vowed not to give up on keeping the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in Oakland.

Bay Area chain Faz announced it will be taking over the old Verbena space in 1111 Broadway.

Civic leaders pushed for locating the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab expansion near downtown, as part of the Oak-to-Ninth development.

And in cultural news…

OaklandNorth tells legends from Oakland’s oldest bar, Heinold’s First & Last Chance Saloon.

Jack London Square will teach you the foxtrot as part of Dancing Under the Stars, tonight.

Upscale Southern-inspired eatery Pican celebrates Georgia’s peach with signature dishes, desserts and drinks.

The Lake Merritt Hotel’s Terrace Room hosts swing dancing with dinner, on Saturday.

Miss Pearl’s Jam House hosts stand-up comics tonight and Saturday, and on-going.

The new Art Murmur event, called Saturday Stroll, is now every Saturday – so you don’t have to wait a month to get your art on!

The Oakland Museum and its revamped cafe host a Happy Hour with late-night gallery hours.

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