Heaven For Bay Area Graffiti Fans This Weekend

Posted by Billyjam, October 8, 2009 06:22am | Post a Comment
Style Wars
Bay Area graffiti fans should be in heaven this weekend, with so many amazing events celebrating the urban art form jumping off in both SF and the East Bay starting today, Thursday, and ending on Saturday with The 3rd Annual Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle (EIGB). This evening (Thursday, Oct 8th) kicks things off at the 1:AM Gallery in San Francisco with The Can Film Festival, which will include screenings of the two graf films, Style Wars and Bomb It. The films will be followed by a Q&A session with a panel that will include Kevin Epps, Suzie Lundy, Erin Yoshioka, Estria Miyashiro and will be moderated by hip-hop author Jeff Chang. Screenings start at 7pm but doors open at 6:30pm. Even better, this is a free event, so get there early to ensure admission. 1:AM Gallery is located at 1000 Howard St. (near 6th St.), San Francisco, CA . Click here for more info. Note that tomorrow at 1:AM gallery will be the last day for the exhibit Don't Sweat The Technique - Ode To The Spray Can Art Show, featuring art by judges and contestants involved in Saturday's Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle.

Then tomorrow (Friday, October 9th) is the big event at the Eastside Arts Alliance in East Oakland-- the Pecha Kucha Night Oakland: Don't Sweat The Technique - Graffiti For Social Change, which is being presented in partnership by the Eastside Arts Alliance, Hard Knock Radio, Samurai Graphix and Youth Speaks. The event is happening at 2277 International Blvd., Oakland, CA 94606 from  7:30-10:30pm tomorrow (get there early)! Its ten presenters scheduled include legendary graf archivalist Jim Prigoff (co-author of Spraycan Art, Walls of Heritage Walls of Pride and Graffiti New York), Spie from the mighty Bay Area TDK crew, Steve Grody (author of Graffiti LA), and San Francisco community activist Nancy Hernandez.
According to artist Estria, who is another of the presenters and who was instrumental in bringing this event to Oakland, "Pecha Kucha is a great way to expose your art to many professionals in other fields in one quick-fire burst."

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Posted by Billyjam, October 7, 2009 02:22pm | Post a Comment

It seems we take music for granted in our current times, which is easy enough to do since we are so innundated with endless music from a seemingly endless stream of artists. With the way things are these days, it might be difficult to stop and imagine a time or a place where music could be much, much more scarce -- a place where music and the artists who create it are valued and treasured so much more than they are here and now. One of these long lost places has been captured in the great documentary on music fandom The Posters Came From The Walls, in which diehard Depeche Mode (DM) superfans look to their heroes for meaning in their lives. The documentary's subjects are primarily in second world nations, fans who bonded with the music of DM in the midst of political turbulence.

The feature length documentary about DM fans around the world was co-directed by Nick Abrahams and Jeremy Deller. In the documentary, the directors spend some time in the US and UK interviewing DM fans, but the flick is at its best when capturing DM fans in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union, where DM's music has taken on a whole new meaning since the 1980's, when it was not only hard to find but illegal and only available via much coveted bootleg tapes. From that point DM's music became a sort of freedom soundtrack for many of these fans. DM's Dave Gahan’s birthday falls on May 9th, which is Russia’s National Day. In St. Petersburg DM fans celebrate the date as “Dave Day” every year.

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Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2009 12:50pm | Post a Comment

In the male dominated music world, female DJs are in the minority, especially when it comes to hip-hop. And when it comes to female scratch DJs, aka turntablists, the number of female artists is even smaller. Exceptions include DJ Shortee, Kuttin Kandi, and the Bay Area DJ duo of Deeandroid and Celskiii, who have been busy perfecting their game for over a decade now.

Tonight the Filipino female DJ duo, who were invited on tour by KRS-One a few years back, will be throwing their popular twice-monthly Skratchpad turntablist event (every first and third Tuesday) at The Cellar in San Francisco. The event had been on hiatus for a few years and returned just this May. I caught up with the two Vallejo natives to ask them about their party (including its "funky freestyle jam") and other aspects of the hip-hop DJ music they both so passionately love. They, like many other diehards, spell "skratch" with a K.

Amoeblog: Can you run down the history of Skratchpad -- from the first time out to the revised 2009 version?

Deeandroid: We started Skratchpad at the (old) Sublounge in May 2003. The Resident DJs were Celskiii, Wint-One, Amerriica and myself. We had a desire to organize and start up an open turntable event, since the Bay Area is like a DJ mecca. We loved to skratch and party and really missed the inspiration from when they had night events like the Beat Lounge at Deco. Celskiii and myself
were very influenced by the Beat Lounge weekly party/DJ session that was held at Deco back in 1997, where we [were] exposed to a great selection of rare & original music from DJs that were very talented, guests and rotating DJ residents/turntablists that were making some noise in the DJ scene at that time. The showcases and DJ sets were amazing, from cats like Apollo, Vin Roc, Derrick D, Shortkut, Spydamonkey, Snaykeyes, etc. So when Beat Lounge stopped...years later, Cel, Winst-One and I thought it would be dope if we created our own space for the DJs in the Bay Area to network, come together, and just jam in honor of Beat Lounge and to inspire new heads and practitioners of the DJ arts.

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Posted by Billyjam, October 5, 2009 04:04am | Post a Comment

Ukrainian sand animation artist Ksenya Simonova, who came to fame in her country via an American Idol styled TV show, has been taking her country by storm -- even moving people to tears -- with her unique handmade sand art, which she creates live as a kind of requiem to those who died during the Great Patriotic War. As in the video clip above, her real time public performances of sand animation are typically made up of Simonova swiftly hand crafting various war images, quickly morphing from one tragic image to the next, all to the accompaniment of a somber soundtrack of classical & traditional music plus soundbites of wartime news footage.

Working with a mixture of regular sea sand and volcanic sand, all spread out on a glass pane as canvas, Simonova uses her hands to craft her engaging moving stories. At the end of each dramatic live art performance consisting of tales of death and destruction she blows out a votive candle. Usually at this point audience members are seen tearing up. Surprisingly, Simonova, who is also a part time model, only took up the unusual art form (she is only one of a handful of such artists -- the others are from an older generation) just one year ago after becoming a victim of the credit crunch. Reportedly her next project will be a Michael Jackson themed live art installation piece.


Posted by Billyjam, October 4, 2009 04:00am | Post a Comment

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (from Yellow Submarine)

Lucy O'Donnell, the real-life 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' who was a childhood friend of John Lucy O Donnell lucy in the sky with diamondsLennon's son Julian, died from lupus this past week. Lucy Vodden (her name after marriage) was 46 years old and had suffered for fifteen years from lupus, the disease of the immune system that has no cure. The treacherous malady, which also took the life of hip-hop producer J-Dilla, causes the body to attack its own cells.

The story of Lucy (“the girl with kaleidoscope eyes") becoming the inspiration for The Beatles' 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album track goes back to when a four year old Lucy, who was a classmate of young Julian Lennon's at the Heath House Nursery in Weybridge, Surrey, had another classmate at the nursery paint a picture of her surrounded by stars and colorful squiggles.The story goes thasgt pepper's lonely hearts club bandt Julian took this picture home and showed it to his dad, telling him, “It’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds..." And the rest is pop music history.

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