Arts & Culture
“Musically, we were in an intense and dark place to begin with,” guitarist Andrew Lund said. “The pandemic paved the way for the album to be recorded in a way that allowed us to put that kind of energy into it. It was touch and go for a while, musically and personally. None of us knew what was going to happen. I don’t think anybody did.” j.poet talks with the East Bay band on moving forward with a debut album post-pandemic.
Theater & Performance
For our West Alameda Spotlight, Lou Fancher shines on the Alameda Comedy Club, the only comedy club in Alameda, and owners Patrick Ford and Lori Theis as they reopen their doors and invite laughter back into our lives.
"Opportunities to appreciate the pivotal role of women artists continue in several of five other current, or upcoming, exhibits," writes Lou Fancher. "The major new exhibits include 'Ulrike Ottinger / MATRIX 276', with photography by the German filmmaker, visual artist, 'Present Tense: Five Centuries of Colonialism in Latin American and Caribbean Art' a student-curated group exhibition of Latin American art drawn from the collection that explores colonialism in Central and South America, and 'Beyond Boundaries: Buddhist Art of Gandhara' which presents rare Buddhist artifacts from the ancient civilization of Gandhara."
"72-year-old Yonfan's latest, 'No. 7 Cherry Lane' is a procedural tale of a sensitive young man’s coming of age in Hong Kong, circa 1967. Splendidly conceived animation with themes borrowed from a virtual encyclopedia of European and Chinese visual art and films. In other words, a spectacle," writes Kelly Vance in this week's review.
"Ancient Future, the collective led by guitarist Matthew Montfort, can take many forms, from solo excursions by Montfort, to ensembles of three, five or 10 members, drawn from the 28 master musicians who rotate in and out of performances. Montfort usually takes center stage, stating the melodies on his scalloped fretboard guitar that he's been playing since the first Ancient Future concert in 1978."
Eric K. Arnold sits down with singer Jennifer Johns to discuss Oakland history, Joni Mitchell, and finally being able to return to live shows post-pandemic.
Kelly Vance reviews Ahmir Khalib “Questlove” Thompson’s 'Summer of Soul' saying, "The most moving performance in the movie features Mavis Staples singing backup to the legendary Mahalia Jackson on “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” the favorite hymn of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated the year before," in describing this moving and stunning tribute of a movie.
Lou Fancher visits Oakland's Isis Asare and her Sistah Scifi online bookstore which focuses on Black speculative fiction through an Afrofuturistic lens. "Increasing interest in readers seeking sci-fi specifically has been propelled by not only the Black Lives Matter social justice movement, but also by the genre’s elevation through scholarly attention," Asare said.
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