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Past Events


10.22.12 - Watch Obama vs. Romney Debate - free - 6pm

Wednesday, October 22nd
6 pm

We’ll be projecting all three presidential debates on the big screen! Get here early for seats. Drink beer, shout out loud, and enjoy the spectacle with your neighbors.


10.20.12 - Birdwire - $5 - 9pm

Saturday, October 20th
9 pm

We’re happy to welcome Birdwire back in town for a special Oakland show.


The first thought that comes to one’s mind when listening to an experimental songwriter and musician usually isn’t “social worker.” But that’s exactly who Brian Mundy, the power behind Birdwire, is in the real world. His experiences in this field inform every ounce of his eclectic musical journey, creating a depth of soul and unique vision that range far beyond the norm.

Mundy grew up on the North Shore of Chicago, the only boy in a big family, full of dreams that helped him to cultivate his creative side.  He headed to Grinnell College in Iowa to study Ethnomusicology and spent a year learning the sitar and studying music therapy in India.  His training in stringed instruments is clear in his music, to which he brings a sound that is worldly and unique. Songs frequently feature instruments such as the banjo, mandolin, and various other stringed pieces of wood and gourds.  Mundy brought his global perspective and musical training to the West Coast, specifically San Francisco, where he started the electronic band Kooken & Hoomen.  K & H put out two well-received albums, including a live recording. 

Post-K & H, Mundy found himself in Brooklyn, NY with a new family and a new life.  He decided to go back to school and studied social work, eventually getting his degree and settling into life on the East Coast.  Still, Mundy couldn’t stay away from music for long.  Soon after moving to New York, he released Birdwire’s 2004 debut EP I’ll Take It With Me.  Acclaim poured in from the blogosphere.  Muzzle of Bees said the album “carries itself with confidence and eloquence throughout its duration.” After hearing I’ll Take It With Me, said that “Brian Mundy is a name to keep track of, he’s going to places very soon, very fast.”   Birdwire’s I’ll Take It With Me illustrates with tender gravity the stages of goodbye, the indelible grief of ending, and the determined optimism about renewal amidst sorrow. Birdwire redefines the folk genre by compelling the listener with a motley array of lyrical, electronic, and traditional elements in a predominantly acoustic soundscape. By shifting the conventions generally associated with the genre, Mundy accounts for the impact of futurity on the folk sensibility. In an age when technology appears to close all distances, in reality it only makes new kinds possible.

So, what has Mundy been doing since 2004?  Continuing to grow with his family, writing his follow up, So Die Star, and getting a book deal.  A book deal?  Yes! Mundy is currently co-authoring a book on psychotherapy, due to be published by Guilford Press next year.  So here we have a songwriter, non-fiction writer, father, husband, social worker, and world music aficionado.

So Die Star is the much-anticipated follow up to the beautiful I’ll Take it With Me.   It’s an album with a mature sound that doesn’t have instant catchy hooks or pop sensibility.  Much like I’ll Take it With Me,  the new album is a complete thought that will change each time you listen,  one that is full of subtle nuances of tonality that don’t immediately catch your attention.  So Die Star is a slow burn of an album and a beautiful one at that. 




10.20.12 - Bitchez Brew Review - $5 donation - 7 pm

Saturday, October 20th
$5 Donation, no one turned away

The best literary showcase in the world! 

Bitchez Brew Revue presents an evening of brutally honest spoken word and music: Doug Cordell, Julie Gengo, Yume Kim, Peg Alford Pursell,  Jay Passer,  and Jan Steckel. With musical guest John Murry.  

(Stay after for Birdwire.)

Doug Cordell is an Emmy-nominated writer and performer. His radio stories are featured on NPR’s “Snap Judgment” and APM’s “Marketplace.” Follow him on Twitter: @DougCordell

Jan Steckel is a bisexual activist and a Harvard- and Yale-trained former pediatrician. Over a hundred of her short stories, poems and nonfiction pieces have appeared in publications such as Scholastic Magazine, Yale Medicine, Red Rock Review, So to Speak and Redwood Coast Review. Her brilliant new collection The Horizontal Poet.

Yume Kimis a MFA Poetry student at SFSU. Recently published in sPARKLE + bLINK and gesture. Also a recipient of the 2012 Kundiman Asian-American Poetry Retreat at Fordham University.

Julie Gengo is one of those rare Bay Area transplants that transplanted herself here to escape the beauty of San Diego. Originally from NYC, she is an occasional writer of poetry and flash fiction who is inspired to write when the skies open up and send words to her fingertips.

Jay Passer hails from San Francisco, but sleeps on a bed of nails in Oaktown. He hates the Yankees, loves cats and elephants, and won’t answer his cell phone for fear of extraterrestrial intervention. His newest chapbook, At the End of the Street, is available from corrupt press.

Peg Alford-Pursell fiction has appeared in the Los Angeles Review, Staccato Fiction, Annalemma, Emprise Review & others. She’s an editor & lit reading series curator. (Why There Are Words).

Musical Guest: 

John Murry hails from Tupelo, Mississippi and is a descendant of William Faulkner.  He recorded World Without End with infamous Vanguard recording artist Bob Frank in 2006. Now, five years in the making, his solo debut, The Graceless Age strips the artist bare then clothes him in a wonderful sonic tapestry that ranges from pained piano led confessionals to sumptuous narcotic pillows of sound that swirl and beguile the listener.


10.19.12 - Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts presents: BEAT PUNKS - $5 - 7:30 pm

Friday, October 19th
7:30 PM


Spoken word by Penelope Houston (of the Avengers), Chris D (of L.A.’s the Flesh Eaters) and Bucky Sinister. Music by Marc Olmsted’s The Job. Plus open mike lottery!!


10.17.12 - East Bay Green Drinks - Free - 5:30 pm

Wedesday, October 17th
5:30 pm

East Bay Green Drinks comes to Awaken Cafe for the first time with Author Beth Terry.

Five years ago, local author Beth Terry started an experiment: to live without acquiring any new plastic. The result? She successfully and sustainably reduced her plastic waste to less than 2% of the national average! Beth chronicled her efforts in her blog and in her compelling new book.

Meet Beth, hear her stories and discoveries, and start living a fun-filled, plastic-free life!

East Bay Green Drinks started in 2000, and is a monthly community and networking event for people involved in sustainable business, environmental and social causes, local and organic food, green architecture and design, media, communications, education, construction, clean energy and more.

It’s fun, it’s inspiring, it’s informal, it’s friendly, and it’s where we come together for the most important thing we need to sustain our work and community: it’s where we connect.

Join us in good community, good work and good spirits!



10.16.12 - Watch Obama vs. Romney Debate - Free - 6pm

Tuesday, October 16th
6 pm

We’ll be projecting all three presidential debates on the big screen! Get here early for seats. Drink beer, shout out loud, and enjoy the spectacle with your neighbors.

Next Debate: 


10.15.12 - Zine Launch/Poetry Read: See You Next Tuesday - Donations - 7:30 pm

Monday, October 15th
7:30 pm
Donations Accepted 

See You Next Tuesday is a gender zine based out of San Francisco. Its mission is to initiate new, as well as comment on present, discourse concerning the politics and philosophy of feminism. Local artists and writers are featured in its first (and latest) volume, and the zine couldn’t be any more excited to highlight the wonderful work of Brian Ang, Maya Weeks, Tom Comitta, Ana Baginski, Iris Alden, Giulia Bencivenga, Kellie Flint, and Alessya Bonder. Come celebrate the launch of See You Next Tuesday’s first volume with poetry read by the contributors and drinks. The first ten people to arrive will receive a free copy of the zine.


10.12.12 - OIM Presents the Red Steppes, Roberto Miguel & Blake Williams - 7 pm - $5

Friday, October 12th
$5 at the Door

Oaktown Indie Mayhem Presents:

The Red SteppesRoberto Miguel (a.k.a Miggy Stardust), and Blake Williams.

Red Steppes is the Oakland-based duo of Nika Aila States (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Owen Adair Kelley (electric guitar). We’re big on eschewing standard metres and sensible tunings for extra beats and very low C notes. Our goal is to explore these rich, underexploited textures through a folk lens. We are fans of good posture and bad jokes. The dog is an unreliable drummer.



10.11.12 - Naked Thursdays with Daniel Berkman - Free - 7pm

Thursday, October 11th

A series of stripped down shows hosted every Thursday by guitarist Tom Lattanand featuring local virtuosos making great music.

Daniel Berkman is a San Francisco based composer, multi-instrumentalist and innovator of the kora (a 21-stringed harp/lute from West Africa). Along with the kora, he plays guitar, handsonic and gravikord for Artemis and performs his more electronic works under the moniker “vessel”.

He’s composed many ecclectic scores for choreographers and dance companies in San Francisco, notably Sarah Shelton Mann, ODC, Company Chaddick, Lizz Roman and Dancers, Kunst-Stoff and many others.


10.11.12 - Mana Maddy - Free - 4:30 pm

Thursday, October 11th
4:30 pm

Multi-instrumentalist and songstress Madeline Streicek (“Mana Maddy”) was born in Quesnel, BC and has been an Oakland, CA local since 2006. Raised on a healthy diet of Maria Callas, Joni Mitchell and Bach suites, these roots show up in her songs as shades of classical, jazz and folk over a doo-wop canvas. Mana Maddy sings and plays piano or ukulele, backed by Mateo Lugo on electric guitar, Oscar Westesson on upright bass, Chris Lauf on drums and a rotating cast of backup vocalists.

“There’s a big Caribbean voice inside that tiny white Canadian.” 
~Dennis Cook,

Maddy toured the country with progressive rock / Afro-Colombian fusion band Antioquia for over 4 years as their lead vocalist and keyboardist until March 2011, when she joined the folk/blues band Whiskerman as backup vocalist and keyboardist.  Since leaving Whiskerman in August 2011 she has been wholeheartedly pursuing a path as a solo singer/songwriter and has formed a solid group that goes