Located on Telegraph Avenue near 66th Street in North Oakland, close to the Berkeley border, is the unique hair salon and vintage boutique Down At Lulu's -- which is owned and run by the fun, music-minded duo of Tina Lucchesi and Seth Bogart, two good friends who both happen to love music, fashion, hairdressing, and retro rock culture. They also clearly love what they do at Down At Lulu's which, while only a little over a year old, has won a Best of the Bay award and gained a strong clientele. The store, which is located roughly midway between the White Horse pub and the Smokehouse burger joint, has a festive storefront window with the large glittery words GABBA GABBA HEY -- a nod to one of their mutual favorite bands, the Ramones. Inside are records (not a whole lot, but carefully selected ones), cool clothing, and of course, the hair styling stations. I recently stopped by the store and caught up with Tina (Seth was away on tour with his band), who talked about Down At Lulu's, and about her and Seth's interests and passions -- especially music.
AMOEBLOG: How would you describe Down At Lulu's to someone who has never seen it?
TINA: Hmmm !!! A John Waters, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Rock N Roll High School, the Madonna Inn, Rock N Roll Burrito!
AMOEBLOG: How exactly did Down At Lulu's come into being?
I have been hearing friends talk about this band for years. Numerous people told me of their great devotion for Okkervil. But I didn't really give them the time they deserved until the last album, "Black Sheep Boy." The album was great and a bit magical. It got a lot of praise as I am sure this new one will get as well. I say magical mostly because of singer Will Sheff. He has one of those voices that is really easy to fall in love with. He is also in the band Shearwater with Jonathan Meiburg.
As I have been talking about this band more lately, I have also found out that many of my friends also like Okkervil River. It is always a nice little surprise to find out some of your friends like a band that you had hoped they would like.
Class is something that some people severely lack. I hate to generalize but some of the most awful displays of low class that I’ve seen have come from affluent people. People with money and success can act the most “ghetto,” as they like to call it. The funny thing is that you can’t get away with that kind of an attitude in most barrios, otherwise someone would put you in check. Last week after I finished my DJ set at Zanzibar (insert shameless self-promotion here) in Santa Monica, I sat with my lady to have a drink. There was an older gentleman that was way into the music we were playing that night. He looked like he could have been someone’s Anthropology professor. He had a little bit of an Australian outback look to him. Anyhow, he was dancing by himself, a little strangely, but harmless. A group of drunken West Side peeps came into the club during Mexican Dubweiser’s set. One Paris Hilton knock-off noticed the guy and immediately started taunting him by dancing just like him. The guy stopped dancing, perhaps conscious of the fact that she was making fun of him. I quietly fumed as I continued to watch the bitchy Paris Hilton knock-off prance around the club.