By Brent James
Nestled inconspicuously on 12th Street in West Oakland in a neighborhood known as Prescott (or the “Lower Bottoms” to the longtime residents of the area) is a quaint little building that you will probably miss if you blink. A structure of brick and hardwood and matted red carpets that haven’t been touched since the 1960s, the building standing at 1658 12th Street is the Continental Club – a once a mighty Jazz and Blues supper joint that helped Oakland and the East Bay Area garner the reputation of being the “Motown of the West.” Along with Slim Jenkins’ Supper Club, Esther’s Orbit Room, and dozens of other nightclubs that sprawled along 7th Street, the stages in these rooms once hosted the likes of Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Etta James, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, and even Jimi Hendrix. The list goes on and the stories are endless if you’re lucky enough to get some face time with the “old timers” of the area. In this neighborhood, people still say “good morning” and spend many a Summer night on their porches, so that’s pretty easy to do.
By Brent James
Hey you! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Like it’s next week. We’ll leave the chocolates and stuff to you, but we’ve got your music covered. Pick up any of these releases to help you seal the deal. Or to just enjoy quietly on your own with some white wine. That sounds great, actually.
This compilation CD was just released and features some of Turner’s best songs, focusing on her comeback from 1983’s Private Dancer and on. Songs include a cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “The Best” and more.
I mean, c’mon, duh. You can’t go wrong with any Sade album, but this readily available collection has all the hits, including later period songs like “Soldier of Love.”
Aloe Blacc "You Make Me Smile"
Yesterday Stones Throw Records unveiled the brand new Aloe Blacc video, "You Make Me Smile" - the latest music video from the SoCal neo-soul artist's ever-popular album Good Things. Although the album was originally released back in the Fall of 2010, when the Orange County native celebrated its release with a record release party/in-store performance at Amoeba Hollywood, it continues to sell well due to the popularity of such tracks as "Green Lights," "Hey Brother," "Loving You Is Killing Me," his version of the Velvet Underground & Nico's "Femme Fatale," and of course the album's standout soul-stirring track "I Need A Dollar," which many people discovered as the theme music for the HBO television series How To Make It In America. That song, which immediately confirms why Aloe Blacc has been heralded as a modern day Marvin Gaye, sounds like classic '60's/'70's soul but simultaneously acts as the perfect soundtrack to these economically challenging times for many in America.
According to Spinner, a new Marvin Gaye biopic is in the works, and will be directed by Julien Temple, whose The Filth and the Fury, about the Sex Pistols, is legendary. The Gaye biopic will focus on his exodus to Belgium, after IRS troubles pushed him out of the US, and the recording of what would be his final album, Midnight Love, there.
To simulate this experience, as you read the below story of a day lived, you will be given certain music clips to play. These are inserted to provide you with the same tunes Job was hearing as he was doing what you’ll be reading.
The boyfriend and I need a lamp. Not just any lamp – something that can complete his “reading nook” in the prominent corner of our living room. It must be a lamp that won’t be diminished by our awesome Italian chair (roughly the size of my last apartment) which it will stand behind, be powerful enough to provide the boyfriend with the amount of light he likes in order to read (roughly the brightness of two suns) and, in general, should be hella rad.
So, every Sunday for the past month, he and I have set out into the deliciously temperatured* but cruelly trafficked land of Los Angeles. Armed with my trusty iPod, which I plug into his car – a Lexus with a capacity for smarts exceeding most high school students – its music gives me the fortitude to face another shopping day.