A glimpse to an aisle at the Video Room in Piedmont Ave. on Friday December 2, 2016. (Yesica Prado/Oakland North)

A big red house stands in the middle of Telegraph Avenue, two blocks from the Berkeley border with Oakland. It resembles Santa’s workshop: fun, colorful and packed with a massive amount of “stuff.” The building is two stories high and even on a normal day, found objects hang all over the property. From giant drive-thru Jack in the Box signs, to headless mannequins, vintage Victorian furniture or small quirky ceramic figurines, James Cross, the owner of the Antique Centre has it all—hidden somewhere in a corner of his store.

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woman and man on grey background

Today Antique is wearing a black skirt over green tights, a boldly-striped tank top over a black long-sleeve shirt, bright earrings that look like ice cream cones you might find in a Dr. Seuss story, an orange and black bandanna in her hair, and black 1950s-style cat’s eye glasses with sparkles in the corners. “I dress in different eras every day,” she says.

The music she creates, however, is naked.

As the lead vocalist of the ensemble Antique Naked Soul, Antique, along with vocal percussionist Tommy Shepherd, also known as Soulati, and vocalists Jayme Brown and N’gala McCoy, composes songs that consist solely of the human voice. The challenge, she and Shepherd say, is managing to create full-bodied “manifestos” within the limitation of such spare instrumentation.

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