Storytime on Solano: Imagination Flannel Boards
Bring your little ones to Pegasus on Solano for a fun, interactive, and educational morning. Imagination Flannel Boards will be on hand to share stories and songs that spark your children's imagination. They will engage with the storyteller through singing, repetition, and movement. They will cheer when the ducklings find their mother and laugh when the Old Lady swallows a cow! Every 4th of the month at Pegasus Books Solano.
Jul 25, 10:30am to 11am, Pegasus Books Solano, 1855 Solano Ave, Berkeley
Dennis Dove and his band
Jul 25, 11:45am to 2:45pm, The Cheeseboard Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
Grooving Nigerian music blending traditional sounds with Rock and Roll.
Jul 25, 4:45pm to 7:45pm, The Cheeseboard Pizza, 1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA
Jul 25, 6pm to 9pm, Caffe Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
Join The Craig & MacGregor Band for an evening of "Not Just Jazz," cheap drinks, good friends, and complimentary food from Bacheesos on Telegraph. Bar opens at 6:30pm | Music
Jul 25, 7pm to 11pm, The Marsh Cabaret, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley
Jazz in the Neighborhood presents two sets featuring trumpeter Mario Guarneri. tbd-a quartet is named after the group's instrumentation and features Mario Guarneri and Erik Jekabson on trumpets, John Wiitala on bass, and Akira Tana drums. The Guarneri Quartet swaps out the second trumpet for the guitar of Randy Vincent. tbd-a quartet with two trumpets, bass and drums, plays their music in a linear way, creating implied harmonies, and stretching traditional forms. The band's original compositions are written with this particular instrumentation in mind, and often grow from a small idea that is developed by all of the members of the group. In this band, the line is the most important element, and it determines the direction and expresses the emotion and story of the music. And as for the name tbd? "tbd can be `to be determined,' reflective of the improvisational nature of the group, and/or `trumpets bass drums,' reflective of the instrumentation of the group," explains Guarneri.
Artist Website: www.guarnerijazz.com
Bio: The Guarneri Jazz Quartet has established a dedicated following for its innovative interpretations of jazz classics and originals. The group features some of the most creative musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area, and reflects their wide diversity and vast experience. Its members have performed and recorded with artists including Ahmad Jamal, Jimmy Smith, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Mose Allison, John Heard, George Duke, Donald Byrd, George Cables, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, and Roger Kellaway.
Jul 25, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex @ California Jazz Conservatory 2040 Addison Street, Berkeley
Lyrics and Dirges is our flagship monthly reading series featuring a mix of prominent, emerging and beginning writers. Its aim is to highlight various forms of writing in an effort to spotlight the diverse literary community of the Bay Area. Ayodele Nzinga Cassandra Dallet Isabelle Khoo-Miller Abigail Licad Tasha Keeble Hosted and Curated by Mk Chavez, Sharon Coleman, and Lark Omura.
Every third of the month at Pegasus Books Downtown.
Jul 25, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books Downtown, 2349 Shattuck Ave Berkeley
Singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins readily admits that several of the songs on his new album, My Stupid Heart, address his perceived relationship failures. In fact, many were written as he was falling out of his third marriage; in the title tune, he actually chides himself for being such a romantic. But it's also a bit of a joke, he says, because he firmly believes in following his heart - no matter where it leads.
That oh-so-fallible, yet essential part of our being is, it turns out, the guiding force behind just about every song on the album - the theme of which, he says, is summed up most succinctly by another song title: "It All Comes Down to Love."
In that respect, Mullins says, it's not all that different from most of his discography - which includes 1998's Soul's Core, the album that shot him to fame on the strength of its Grammy- nominated No. 1 hit, "Lullaby," and 2006's 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor, which contained his AAA/Americana No. 1, "Beautiful Wreck." (He also co-wrote the Zac Brown Band's No. 1 country tune, "Toes.") But in the years since his last release, 2010's Light You Up, Mullins has experienced more ups and downs on his romantic roller-coaster - a ride he's decided to step off for a while. He's also stayed busy co-parenting his son, Murphy, with his second wife.
Still, nothing inspires songwriters quite like a breakup, and Mullins confirms, "This record came out of all that; all the feelings, all the heartache."
He remembers sitting on his porch one afternoon, thinking, "'I know this is all in my head, but it'd be a lot easier just to blame it on my heart.' And then I thought, 'Yeah, it's my stupid heart.'" Next thing he knew, lines like "my stupid heart it plays for keeps/through hoops of fire it bounds and leaps" just started tumbling out. In the studio, the song took on a classic vibe, with impeccable instrumentation and production that sounds as if George Martin supervised.
In other words, it's gorgeous. And it carries a momentum that shifts it away from feeling like a woe-is-me wallow in self-pity. Throughout the album, Mullins deftly balances songs of suffering - from the title tune and "Go and Fall," to the powerful, yet subtle social commentary of "Ferguson" (which contains no mention of guns or police officers) - with songs such as "Roll on By," co-written with Max Gomez, which strikes an upbeat note of hope.
Mullins majored in music education at North Georgia College, where he began performing in earnest and released his first album (cassette, actually) of originals. After graduating, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he jumped out of a few airplanes before jumping full-time into music in 1992. Eventually, he formed his own label, and in 1998, he released Soul's Core. Steve Craig, a DJ at Atlanta's modern-rockish WNNX-FM, picked up on "Lullaby," spinning it on his "Locals Only" music show. He took it to program director Leslie Fram, who not only put it heavy rotation, but sent copies to a few dozen fellow PDs. Soon, Mullins was getting regular airplay on at least 15 stations. He went from modestly hoping sales might reach 20,000 units, far beyond his four-digit average, to moving 30,000 copies per week, on his way to platinum status.
Labels that had ignored his earlier efforts to get their attention suddenly clamored to sign him; at least 25 came knocking. Columbia won the bidding war; Mullins spent six years there before moving to Vanguard, which recently joined forces with Rounder/Sugar Hill under the Concord Music Group umbrella.
When Chuck Cannon heard "Lullaby" on a Nashville station, he actually did a U-turn and beelined toward a record store. Cannon, who co-wrote John Michael Montgomery's Academy of Country Music Song of the Year, "I Love the Way You Love Me," and several hits for Toby Keith, among other country stars, loved Mullins' work. But when Mullins heard Cannon was slated to open for him at a Nashville club, he thought the pairing was a total mismatch. Until Cannon played.
"Chuck's got a lot more edge than a lot of other Nashville songwriters, and a lot more rock 'n' roll and R&B," Mullins says. "There's a lot more sex in his writing, there's a lot more devil and God, and he just brings some real basic elements of the human existence more into the forefront. A lot of people don't have the guts to do it, and I love that about him."
Cannon wrote "It all Comes Down to Love," the album's only cover. It was his attempt to write in Mullins' style -16 years ago, after he'd heard "Lullaby." He'd also engineered that opening slot so he could meet Mullins - who didn't know any of the song's back-story till he asked about using it for the album. Once he heard it, he was even more determined to include it.
"I first saw Max perform when he was 17, about 10 years ago," says songsmith and sideman extraordinaire Keith Sykes. "I sensed he had something even then. When I saw him last year, I was pleased to see, and hear, something has turned into it. Listen and you'll see, and hear, what I mean. He's among the best of his generation."
Though still only in his twenties, Max Gomez has always had the heart of an old soul. As a child, the first songs he learned to sing were originally recorded in the 50s by Johnny Cash. As a teenage guitarist he adopted Big Bill Broonzy as his blues master. And as a budding performer, he apprenticed in the rarefied musical climate of northern New Mexico, where troubadours like Michael Martin Murphey and Ray Wylie Hubbard helped foster a folk and Western sound both cosmic and cowboy. You'll find his hometown of Taos and nearby Red River right there between Colorado and Texas on both your sonic and Google maps. Splitting his childhood between there and a farm in the Flint Hills of Kansas, Gomez is at home in the heartland, too.
Jul 25, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley
Jul 25, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
Come dance to a great night of the good old Grateful Dead music! Sit in with the band - vocals, keys, bass, guitar, horns, then dance to an awesome house band set!
Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm
Buy Tickets on EVENTBRITE
Tickets are $10
Jul 25, 8pm to 11pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
Jul 25, 9pm to 10pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley