One of the distinctive features of the expansive East Bay city of Oakland is the amount of churches that dot its wide landscape from Deep East Oakland to North Oakland, and of course West Oakland. Churches are everywhere --every few blocks in most parts of Oakland it seems there's a church building.
What's so wonderful about these churches is how they range so widely in architectural styles and types.
Each church boasts its own unique structure and they vary from the fancy to the functional.
If time allows, it's fun to leisurely travel Oakland's streets and take in their beauty.
Click on this website for a list of many (not all) of the churches of Oakland. But really, you don't need a guide to find them. Go anywhere in Oakland and you'll pass a church within no time.
West Oakland (the red part in opposite map of Oakland) is a good place to start where there's a church on every second or third block. As a result the churches of West Oakland play a key role in defining the image of this East Bay neighborhood. However, with the fast advancing gentrification that's been going on in West Oakland in recent years, many longtime residents may be forced out due to rising real estate value.
Hence economics would dictate that many of these little West Oakland churches, most of which draw a steady but small congregation every Sunday, will in short time become an endangered species, so if you want to see them in all their beauty do it now.
George Carlin died earlier today (June 22, 2008) in Los Angeles. He was 71 years old. The truly unique and always outspoken American comedian/social commentator/actor, who had a history of heart problems, died of heart failure at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica at approx 6PM today.
Unlike so many comedians who tend to tone down their act as the years slip by or as they become more famous & widely accepted, George Carlin consistently kept his work on the edge by always being brutally honest and darkly satirical as he routinely tackled such targets as religion, culture, politics, and the hypocrisies of America.
The ever anti-establishment Carlin will probably be best remembered for "The Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV" routine of his (found on his Class Clown album) in which he tested the limits and challenged the government regulated words that dared not be uttered on television (or the radio).
In 1972 in Milwaukee at a show Carlin did this routine, uttering those seven "dirty" words from the stage, resulting in his arrest for disturbing the peace. The same routine, when played on American radio, led to the 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government's authority to sanction stations for broadcasting offensive language.
Personally, I loved everything he ever did that I got my hands on: records, books and filmed performances-- three video clips of which are included below. One is the aforementioned "The Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV" from a 1978 concert. Another is the wonderful "Modern Man" from more recent years, in which he does an inspired piece about modern technology (great for mixing over beats because of its poetic flow) and another amazing recent piece - the no-holds-barred "America Is Tyranny" in which Carlin tells it like it really is today in the messed up United States of America.
When you think about, it all holidays are basically the same -- days of celebration, all similar, just with different names.
Father's Day, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Memorial Day, BIrthdays and the million other "days" that we celebrate are all pretty much one and the same thing: days where we stop to celebrate life, sometimes past, but usually present.
It's about the love...for life: a time to sing out on the positives and to vow to live each day to the fullest.
Hence I think it appropriate on this "day" (or any) to re-watch that celebratory scene from Hal Ashby's 1971 film Harold and Maude (avail on DVD @ Amoeba) in which Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort's characters sing Cat Stevens' "If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out." Immediately below that clip is Cat Stevens performing "Father and Son." Another appropriate Father's Day song is the 1991 hip-hop single from Ed O.G. & da Bulldogs "Be A Father To Your Child." The third video below is "Father and Daughter" which is "animacion con acuarela por Michael Dudok de Wit," and below that is "Father's Day Poem: to Dad" -- a stop motion animation by YouTuber indiestopmotion.
Oakland band Subtle pictured left to right: Jordan Dalrymple, DoseOne, Alexander Kort, Jeffrey 'Jel' Logan, Marty Dowers, and Dax Pierson.
In 2004 Subtle released A New White and in 2006 they dropped the second installment, For Hero: For Fool. Very recently they released their third full-length, Exiting ARM on Lex Records. Amoeblog caught up with DoseOne to learn more:
AMOEBLOG: For those who may just now be hearing your band's music for the very first time, can you bring them up to speed on what Subtle is all about and in particular the central character Hour Hero Yes? Additionally, how important is it to be familiar with the previous two Subtle albums, with their ongoing intricate themes, to fully appreciate Exiting ARM? In other words, is it like that TV show 24 where if you missed the previous episodes you feel kind of left out in following the storyline?
DoseOne: To be honest: all along we have woven these themes and motifs into the music knowing that the music should also remain accessible from any point in listening. These works should be accessible as both a work of song and as a timeless four minute chunk of layered creativities. So that being said, there is by no means "homework" that comes with Subtle records. It's meant to be rich and abound with things to interpret: next decade proof, if you will.
Otherwise the lore runneth over. Hour Hero Yes is a modern man. As flawed as he is brilliant; both hero and fool. The three Subtle full-lengths follow his arm and ascension entirely. A New White is the writings of the shell and man Yes once was, the man he must reconcile with. It all takes place in one bedroom in
Oakland. And as his quest for self intensifies, his one bedroom begins to come to life as his night terrors and day dreams begin to flood with omen and creature. At the end of A New White, Yes opens his door and takes to the world, fear at his back.