This week’s picks for Oakland live music are some bands new to me and maybe new to you as well. What better way to shake up things than to listen to people who aren’t pushing itunes down your throat, am I right? There's a lot of great music happening in Oakland, like the Roozapalooza indie fest, so let's get this week started.
Monday – August 15 – EP release party for Polyhymnia
California band Polyhymnia is releasing a new EP and playing at Yoshi’s in Oakland to share the good news. Once an all female band, the mixed gender band blends influences of jazz, funk and soul. The stage will be packed with the seven regular members, Nina Kasuya (lead vocals), Mariel Austin (trombone/vocals), Camille Ramirez (alto sax), Ariel Vento (trumpet), Julian Le (piano), Tommy Hodul (bass) and Brijesh Pandya (drums), and the list of special guests planned for the evening. Tickets are $12 and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Tuesday – August 16 – five bands for one
Glimpse Trio is the “extreme jam band” and worth the $8 to see them open for The Memorials at The New Parish. Various Blond, Sam Johnson and S.K.O.P.E. (Some Kind of Psychedelic Experience) play first, then Glimpse Trio, and then The Memorials. All that music for $8 and the show starts at 7 p.m. That’s a weekday concert dream.
Wednesday – August 17 – when was the last time you went to The Fox?
There are two good reasons to go to The Fox Theater in Oakland this week: Amos Lee and his opener, Calexico. Amos Lee is all over the radio despite having a decent album and rumored to put on a good live show. Come early and see Calexico and you will wonder why they are not the ones headlining. Tickets are $32.50 for this general admission show.
Thursday – August 18 – the shjips are sailing
The psych rock force that is Wooden Shjips returns home to San Francisco to play at Bottom of the Hill. Sailor Jerry presents the FREE show to all those over the age of 21, all you have to do is fill out a Wooden Shjips RSVP online. Good music for free. Yep, that’s pretty much all you need.
Friday – August 19 – bluebirds are for suckers
Have you heard of The Bye Bye Blackbirds? They are an Oakland band with a Tom Petty sensibility. The Bye Bye Blackbirds are playing at the International Pop Overthrow Festival at the Hotel Utah Saloon in San Francisco on August 19. Tickets are $10. A string of local dates is upcoming including a KALX 90.7 Berkeley show on August 28, so mark your calendars.
Saturday – August 20 – it’s Roozapalooza
Yes, I ‘m aware of the Art and Soul Festival in Oakland, but did you know about Roozapalooza? Roozapalooza is a new musical microorganism in Oakland taking place at Rooz Cafe on Park Blvd. Hosted by Ssquar’d, Oaktown Indie Mayhem and Avita Treason, this a free monthly event happening every 3rd Saturday featuring a variety of indie bands. It also features some very tasty homemade tacos and sangrias. Saturday’s event is 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. and free, but bring at least $5 for a taco and sangria (seriously).
Sunday – August 21 – the gangly ganglians
One band that has caught my ear lately is the Ganglians making me very happy upon discovery that they are playing at the Hemlock Tavern on Sunday. If you like psychedelic –punk-rock then check them out. You can expect to hear a mix of new songs off their upcoming release Still Living (August 23, 2011). Tickets are $8.