Oakland's Fox Theater has a concert calendar that sometimes seems like it was booked by the music gods themselves (this fall's lineup includes the xx, The Black Keys and the Flaming Lips, to name a few). But what's out there for pre-show grub and drinks? Here's a guide to the best to be had in the 'hood before a show:
Joanna Newsom is a serious musician. Don't reference elves and otherworldly creatures or draw comparisons to fairytales—she hates that. She prefers, instead, to pontificate on “patterns of syllabic emphases” and “the emotional landscape of songs,” and rightly so. The indie sensation known for her quirky demeanor, deft composition, intensely literary lyrics and mastery of the harp has perfected the art of marrying classical and contemporary in the most unexpected of ways. Don't mistake her music for the folk-psych chantings of Bonnie (Prince) Billy or Devendra Banhart. Newsom is vastly singular, as evidenced in Have One on Me, her newest 125-minute, three-CD magnum opus of poetry in motion. Here, she puts aside her harp for a few moments to enlighten us on self and song.
Confession: I don't know Yoko Ono's music, I've never seen her perform and I had no idea what was in store for Noise Pop's opening night. But being that this marked the band's reunion tour after a 20+ year break, there was no question that I must go. And if the standing ovation Yoko got just by walking onto the stage was any indication, no matter what followed, she would do no wrong.
It’s sheer pleasure to encounter a debut as delightfully fresh as Anjulie’s. There’s nothing musty or fussy about the retro-soul/R&B stylings of the self-titled Hear Music disc by the Los Angeles-based, Oaksville, Ontario-bred daughter of Guyana immigrants. This is the type of music that gently grooves with the throwback soul of Duffy and Adele -- and despite her pouty, morning-after poses of late, little of the bad-girl drama of Amy Winehouse. Anjulie opens for Oakland-native hometown hero Raphael Saadiq at Fox Theater Wednesday, Nov. 18.
East London post-punk indie sensations, Bloc Party will make a sheduled stop at the brand new Fox Theater in Oakland on April 20th to promote their third album, Intimacy out now on Atlantic Records. Bloc party, now a platinum success, got their first big break after handing a demo of their now Silent Alarm single, "She's Hearing Voices," to Franz Ferdinand's lead singer, Alex Kapranos at their show in 2003. After getting lots of local UK radio praises, the heat spread here and everywhere else in the world.