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Past Events


10.28.12 - Gamelan X's Monthly Monkey Chant - Free - 8pm

Sunday, October 28th

Join Gamelan X for their monthly Monkey Chant workshop! 

“Kecak, also known as Monkey Chant, has it’s origins on the island of Bali. It is an interlocking vocal rhythmic chant that breaks down individual boundaries even as it binds participants together into a cohesive whole. It is visceral, powerful and playful. Over the past 10 years we have created our own tradition of Monkey Chant that allows us to share this dynamic art form with anyone and everyone. Come out and learn the language of Kecak in vocal play!”


10.27.12 - Jack O' The Clock with Grex - $5 door - 8pm

Saturday, October 27th
$5 door 

Oakland’s Jack O’ The Clock with Grex.

Jack O’ The Clock brings a quietly giddy sort of energy to the intersection of American folk songwriting and experimental music. The group’s sound, a jangly mix of concert-hall agility, acoustic rock drive, and junk shop scouring, is characterized by tight vocal harmonies and intricate arrangements for unusual combinations of instruments made possible by the varied musical experience and multi-instrumentalism of its five members, who have played everything from new music to art metal to fingerstyle folk to free improvisation, sometimes in the same concert. Jack O’ The Clock’s recordings go beyond the group’s live sound to incorporate bits of on-location percussion, found sounds, clandestinely recorded monologues, city noise, and various birds and insects, as well as a number of guest musicians and singers.

Grex (the band) was formed in and around the Mills College music axis, late night inside jokes, and intense dissections of South African music, emphasizing genre bending, cross-idiomatic conceits and melding elements of mostly everything (Evangelista has a background in free jazz and Scampavia is a biologist) into something stark and eldritch. Elements of jazz, pop songwriting, garage rock, 20th century chamber music, and free improvisation merge to form an idiom in and of itself—”Grex music”—a living, breathing musical entity.


10.26.12 - Broken Shadows - Free - 8pm

Friday, Ocotber 26th
8 pm

Darren Johnston - trumpet/vocals
Jamie Moore - percussion/vocals
Daniel Fabricant - bass/vocals

Broken Shadows is the latest project by ubiquitous local trumpeter/composer/songwriter Darren Johnston (Nice Guy Trio, Brass Menazeri, Darren Johnston Ensemble…).  Mixing his love of music from Balkans and American jazz with a down-home approach to lyrics and songwriting, the Broken Shadows have arrived at a sound that is difficult to accurately describe, other than a highly entertaining and soulful mix of grooving, swinging, bowing, blowing, stomping and ‘a crooning that’s not to be missed.  Among other originals, selections from Johnston’s latest work, Songs of Seven Miles, will be performed, a song cycle for which he interviewed a diverse collection of immigrants who now live in San Francisco; from Russia, Burma, Peru, Mexico, South Korea, Bulgaria, and Egypt, creating the lyrics using direct quotes from the interviews.  Watch the making of Songs of Seven Miles.


10.25.12 - Patrick Cress' Yosemite Soundscapes with Performance Painter Nancy Ostrovsky - $10 - 730pm

Thursday, October 25th
Doors 7 pm
Show 7:30 pm

Patrick Cress’ Yosemite Soundscapes with Performance Painter Nancy Ostrovsky (NY)

Patrick Cress’ Yosemite Soundscapes combines sounds recorded from Yosemite’s alpine meadows such as coyotes, birds, waterfalls, tree frogs juxtaposed with people made sounds like airplanes, cars, and chainsaws.  He wraps it all up in several short cinematic-like compositions for saxophone and bass clarinet.

New York Artist Nancy Ostrovsky has been called “one of the pioneers of performance painting.” Her “Paintings to Music” is a live spectacle where painting and music take center together to boldly meld sight and sound.      



10.24.12 - Wednesday Night Jazz Series: Gurkestra - Free - 7pm

Wednesday, October 24th
7 pm

Part of our Wednesday Night Jazz Series.  This week: Gurkestra


10.23.12 - Board Game Night - Free - 7pm

Tuesday, October 23rd
7 pm

Every Tuesday Night! Bring your own board game or play ours.  We have Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Scategories, and Cranium.


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!!