Arts & Events

Don't Miss This: The Rap Scene Squared

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday August 10, 2010 - 10:56:00 AM

As a living personification of the term "Square", I'm understandably not a devotee of rap music. Nonetheless, I'm endlessly fascinated by the highly imaginative and fanciful names of these musical groups. Most of my scholarly research on this academic subject is derived from the East Bay Express, which I pick up every Wednesday from a nearby news rack that stands next to the empty, greatly lamented Berkeley Daily Planet news rack. 

Leafing through the Express, I catch up on such groups as the Mighty Underdogs, The Gift of Gab, The Memphis Murdermen and the Oakland Faders. To my disappointment I discover that the above musicians, sponsored by Amoebe Music, performed this past weekend at Jack London Square Waterfront. Likewise, I missed the Stripmall Architechture (no, that's not a misspelling) and the Heavenly States at the Uptown on Telegraph Avenue 

Not to worry -- I can still catch The Grouch on August 12th at Shattuck Down Low in downtown Berkeley. And, happily, there's the 10th Anniversary Oakland Showcase on August 21 and 22, featuring the very popular musicians John Handy and Pete Escovedo. For this you have to pay admission: $10 for adults, $5 for seniors/youths. Money well spent 

Not forgetting the LGBTQ Oakland Pride program on September 5th, there'll be all kinds of hip-hop, R&B, Jazz, Electronic and more. This Diversity in Action show will take place on Labor Day Weekend at the Uptown, 19th and Franklin Streets. 

Another treat for Rap and R&B fans is the Outside Lands Program in Golden Gate Park this Saturday and Sunday, August 14-15, which will be reigned over by Kings of Leon and other groups such as Stoopid, Social Distortion and The Temper Trap. These programs will be shown on four different stages: Lands End, Sutro, Panhandle Solar and Twin Peaks. Public transportation is advised; take Muni #28 to 19th Avenue at the Park. 

With such a wealth of Rap music opportunities, it's obvious that summer in the Bay Area is going out with a bang!