My co-host this week is Sarah Sexton, an Oakland music promoter, founder of the record label Oakland Indie Mayhem, and one of KQED's 'Women to Watch' in 2016. The best part of doing the show with Sarah? We got to take an audio field trip to the Oakland Museum for the Dorothea Lange show Politics of Seeing. Read on for more.
July 8: Madeline Kenney (video above) is an Oakland baker, cartoon enthusiast, musician, and one of the headliners for Company Pop, a showcase and pop-up store for Company Records and its artists. Company Pop was founded by Berkeley's Chaz Bundick, of the band Toro Y Moi, and features Bundick's side projects such as Les Sins and collaborations with The Mattson 2 and others -- the roster is a diverse mix of indie rock, pop and jazz. The city of Berkeley recently celebrated Bundick by giving him a day in his honor, so we're happy they're sharing him with Oakland for this show featuring music, art giveaways and video projections at the Starline Social Club on Saturday. Details here.
July 13: The Quebe Sisters, out of Texas, are three young women who play fiddle and harmonize in a stylistic blend of Bob Wills and the Lennon Sisters. Like Wills, they mix country, jazz, and a little bit of bluegrass into an upbeat sound. My wife is a huge fan, so we'll be at one of these shows. Details for their appearance at the Sierra Nevada Big Room in Chico on Tuesday July 11 are here. Then they play Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on Thursday, July 13 (details here), or catch them Friday, July 14, on the plaza in Cloverdale for a free show. Details here.
July 12–Aug. 6: Theatreworks founder and Artistic Director Robert Kelley never met a musical he didn't like, so it's no surprise to find him greenlighting a full production of The Four Immigrants, an American Musical Manga, a play developed at the company's New Works Festival last year.
Playwright Min Kahng of Alameda based the musical on a graphic novel written by Henry Kiyama in 1931, based on his own experiences in San Francisco in the early 20th century, a period that covered the 1906 earthquake, the 1918 flu epidemic, and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The show promises to be both a celebration of the way immigrants have always believed in the American dream, but also a cautionary tale of how unwelcoming the United States has been for many Asian-Americans and other immigrants. Details here.
Continuing through Aug. 13: Dorothea Lange: Politics of
Seeing is an exhibit showing that Lange, a journalist famous for her Depression era photos, was always working to fight injustice in her documentary work -- whether covering poverty in the south (see above), migrants leaving the Midwest for California, Japanese-Americans facing internment, or Public Defenders working for indigent clients. The pictures are always beautifully shot and framed, but for Lange, they only mattered if they provoked the viewer and brought reform. The show also shows how Lange influenced other photojournalists to expose poverty and injustice, among them Ken Light, who’s taught for years at the Journalism school at Cal Berkeley. Details for the exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California are here.