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Past Events


09.14.12 - Poor Old Shine - $5 - 8 pm

Friday, September 14
8 pm
$5 advance/door


We’re in for a special treat with this Conneticut band passing though Oakland.  Poor Old Shine rocks some old-timey but really fresh sounding Americana.  Oakland’s Art Elliot opens.

From their handpainted cereal box cd cases to their thoughtful arrangements, Poor Old Shine, a Roots/Americana band from Storrs, CT is about honesty and hand crafted creativity. It’s foot stomping, mind racing, dirty bluegrass like you’ve never heard it before! They travel with an assortment of instruments including guitars, banjos, pump organ, mandolin, string bass, musical saw, washboard, and a yard-sale-scrap-metal drum set. It’s old songs with a new feel, banjos with paint peeled, shoes with holes and treadless soles, and music that is real.

The music is rooted in the folk and Appalachian mountain music tradition and fits in well at bluegrass festivals and sticky rock clubs alike. They have been compared to The Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, Langhorne Slim, and The Low Anthem because of the changing instrumentation and harmonies. Each set mixes the band’s modern songwriting with traditional folk ballads, prison work songs, and front porch style jamming.

Poor Old Shine features Chris Freeman (banjo), Max Shakun (guitar, pump organ), Antonio Alcorn (Mandolin, guitar), Harrison Goodale (Bass), and Brian Conlon (drums). The band began in late night jam sessions at the University of Connecticut’s Folk Music Society.


Art Elliot, stage moniker of musician Martin McGinn, sings of apocalyptic futures, lost loves, bleak ice ages and depression-era folk art, among other topics.  Fashioning himself as a modern day alchemist Art transmutes popular music to the experimental, jazz to power pop and folk to blues.  His tropes are cryptic messages etched into the ether for a generation deaf and droned out to their portable electronic listening devices.  

Born in a one room shack on the Cretaceous bedrock of central Iowa, Art Elliot grew towards the sky alongside the ghosts of big bluestem grass.  At a young age Art’s first musical experiments were conducted on the Thomas California Organ.  This was followed by formal lessons on the piano in an attempt to reign in his avant garde forays.  While home from college one summer Art began writing songs.  At 22 Art rode his iron horse west where he now lives among the common criminals and well-to-dos of Oakland, California.

Art has performed at many local Bay Area venues including Mama Buzz, El Rio and AMF Southshore Bowling Alley.  At the time of this writing Art has emerged from his laboratory with his first EP, Earth Abides, which features songs about robots, national parks, loneliness and a planet where the rich sell the rest of society for monetary gain and shoot themselves into outer space. 


09.13.12 - Naked Thursdays - free - 7pm

Thursday, September 13th

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

This week: 

The Doppler Trio.  Growing up on skateboarding, punk-rock and spicy food is what shaped Brian Carmody’s approach to jazz drumming. He likes fire and intensity in his music. With a diverse taste in styles, many influences come through in his playing. Sticks, brushes, mallets or fingers are the weapons of choice as he pushes beyond the comfort zone with the Doppler Trio.

Brandon got hooked on music at an early age. He didn’t wait long to get his out in public, playing loud rock music in bars and clubs as early as age 15. Still in his teens, Brandon flipped for the double bass and jass music, joined a quartet and landed his first steady gigs. Soon after that, he actually started learning how to play, and has never looked back. Now with a voracious diet for both quarternotes and syncopation, playing music has become a self sustaining habit, with many chairs and cigarette machines agreeing that his vicious cycle of fourths is from the gut and addictive.

Erik brings East and West (coast) together. Born in Cali, schooled in NYC, relocated back to Cali, he has heard and played many different musical fusions. Erik didn’t grow up with the cool kids, but hung out with his pops listening to dixieland and marching bands. When Erik discovered Coltrane and Stan Getz, his vocabulary grew and his mind began to wander away from the norm, and now his dreams of streams of consciousness and subconsciousness come to fruition through the Doppler Trio.


09.12.12 - Live Jazz - Kankyou - free - 7 pm

Wednesday, September 12th
7 pm

Part of our Wednesday night Jazz series.  This week Oakland’s jazz duo Kankyou.


09.07.12 - Art Murmur Live Music & Artist Reception - Free - 7pm

First Friday, September 7th
7:00 pm

Artist reception for Otto Thorsen.

We’re pleased to welcome Oakland’s rock-electric St Tropez (think Radiohead), with San Francisco’s indie-rock group One F (think Dinosaur Jr., Pavement), and Oakland’s indie darling Ash Reiter (think modern Fleetwood Mac).  


09.07.12 - Coffee Cupping by Fourbarrel Coffee - Free - Noon

Friday, September 7 
12:00 pm

Similar to wine tasting, coffee cupping allows you to compare and assess the complex taste, smell, and mouth feel of specialty coffees.  An expert from Fourbarrel Coffee will be in the house cupping all of the single origin coffees we offer for sale.  Join us for this fun free event.




09.06.12 - CANCELED - Trivia Night - free - 7 pm

Thursday, September 6th
7 pm


Our trivia night is under construction.  It will be back.  We will have some board games here for you to help make it up to you!  So come by, play a game, and share your trivia night ideas with us.



09.03.12 - Labor Day Closing Early for Staff Meeting - 6 pm

The cafe will be open from 730 am to 6 pm.


08.30.12 - Naked Thursdays - Free - 7 pm

Every Other Thursday
Thursday, August 30th
7 pm

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

This week: 

If such a joyous sonic welter as the music of Oakland’s Artemis needs a handle, then call it “pavement psychedelia,” or “urban robot raga” or “trip-pop.” On a song like “Hypno,” spectral keyboard washes and sinuous dance beats set up a feeling of warm alienation before the singer’s voice heats things further. Over the thump and shimmer, she croons with detached fervor, the production dissolving in a storm of pixie-dust disco until a rude riot of effects snaps the tether and she vanishes.

Aesthetically, the band is a poppier variant on trip-hop, with layers of beats and synth effects providing atmospherics for sophisticated classic rock song structures and the velvet swoop of Artemis’s vocals.


08.29.12 - Live Jazz - Wrapped in Plastic - free - 7 pm

Wednesday, August 29th
7 pm

The first in our Wednesday Jazz Series, Awaken Cafe welcomes  Wrapped in Plastic.  

Wrapped in Plastic, from San Francisco, provides the freshest sounds of old and new jazz to the Bay Area.  In addition to an ever-expanding repertoire of jazz originals, the group reinterprets old favorites and lesser-known gems in new and modern ways - passing from Miles Davis to the music of David Lynch’s films.  




08.28.12 - Water Tower Bucket Boys (Portland, OR) - free - 7 pm

Tuesday, August 28th
7 pm

Back for a free encore performance, we’re very luck to have this band back. Punk rockers playing bluegrass. Get on down here tonight to see the Water Tower Bucket Boys!

After 5 years on the road, 4 albums under their belt and multiple international tours, Water Tower has been brewing up a storm in the folk music world.  The boys have collaborated live with members of bands like Frank Turner, Kitty Daisy and Lewis, the Red Stick Ramblers, and the Foghorn Stringband and shared the stage with acts like Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford and Sons, Wilco, Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, and Woody Pines.  They have toured extensively in both the USA and abroad, and performed live on the BBC, NPR, and RTE.  Their all original sound is infectious and has spread far and wide to audiences of all ages and walks of life.  Based in Portland, Oregon these young gents got their start busking on street corners playing traditional old time and bluegrass, eventually honing their sound as a solid dance band playing square dances and bluegrass festivals up and down the west coast.

However, the boys wanted to take the music further and thus, their new sound was born.  Loosely based in the traditions of  bluegrass, punk rock, blues, cajun, folk and country their music slides between musical boundaries. Their songs feature tight 3 part harmonies and powerful instrumentals.  This combined with the lightning energy of their stage performances has made them a favorite amongst audiences everywhere. Their latest recording is a 5-song EP recorded in Portland at Type Foundry Studios called “Where the Crow Don’t Fly” and showcases the band’s original songwriting, diverse arranging, and solid playing.