Square dancers do-si-do at local library

There was talk of chickens and pigs at North Oakland’s Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library on Friday night, but it wasn’t a discussion of Animal Farm. Jordan Ruyle named the barnyard critters while calling out square dance steps as part of a monthly event he puts on with his wife’s quartet, the Squirrelly Stringband.

Girls learn empowerment through rock music

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp kicked off last week in downtown Oakland. Eighty girls, from ages 8 to 18, learned to play guitar, drums, synthesizer and sing. This is the third summer of Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, where attendees get to do more than just learn about music—they also go to screen printing classes where they design band logos and print them on t-shirts, take self-defense classes, participate in image and identity workshops, and learn about song writing and music her-story.

Folk hero Bert Jansch plays Oakland

On Thursday, historic musician Bert Jansch headlined an intimate concert at the New Parish nightclub in downtown Oakland. Jansch’s music blends acoustic folk, traditional Irish and Scottish music with some blues and jazz. He is thought of as one of the world’s most influential folk guitarists and music greats such as Neil Young, Nick Drake and Jimmy Page have covered his songs.

Iconic Cuban musician headlines the Paramount Theatre

Silvio Rodríguez — who took his first US tour in thirty years to Oakland’s Paramount Theatre — is to Latin America as Bob Dylan is to the United States. He is a folk singer and guitarist who sometimes veers into jazz or other styles of music, but first and foremost his music is about the lyrics — and politics.

The New Parish joins the Oakland music scene

Off of 19th and San Pablo in downtown Oakland lies an unassuming two-story building; if it’s a quiet night, the only giveaway that something is going on inside is a big bouncer with an ear-piece standing out front and a small black and white sign that says “The New Parish.” But inside, the New Parish is Oakland’s newest music venue.

The National headlines the Fox Theatre

It’s been a little over a year since the Fox Theatre in downtown Oakland reopened, and since then it has gained a reputation for front-lining all the top rock bands touring today: Wolfmother, Monsters of Folk, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Decemberists, just to name a few. On Wednesday night, the crowd lined up early to come see the National, a melodic indie band that has been steadily building a loyal audience over the past few years and now is capturing mainstream attention.