Mayer Hawthorne Brings the Soul Brigade to Oakland + Photos

 

Photos by Kola Shobo
Words by Brandon Diaz

As if Oakland needed any more soul, they sure got it from Mayer Hawthorne‘s stellar performance at the Fox Theater in Oakland’s Uptown district.

The evening began with a brief but lively performance from curly-haired songstress, Gavin Turek, who strode about the stage with Tina Turner flair in a stunning lavender dress. As the theater filled, Danish soul duo Quadron stole swoons from the packed house as vocalist Coco O. took center stage with a stunning sequined ensemble and ruby red lips.

Their 45-minute set was filled with lively songs from 2013’s Avalanche, all ears clinging to Coco’s angelic voice, eyes affixed to her striking pant-suit dress and tasteful fingerwaves. Sans producer Robin Hannibal (technically one-half of the band), Quadron held attention as they ran through a set that included “LFT,” “Sea Salt,” and a breathtaking cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor.”

And as that sweet perfume of soul music washed the crowd, Quadron finished, allowing Mayer Hawthorne and his backing four-piece band to bring the funk.
Emerging from a glowing broken heart at center stage, the Detroit-area native brought a convivial night of neo-Motown to the Fox. Sporting a royal blue two-button suit and a pair of Nike Air-Max sneakers, Hawthorne lead his band through a nonstop set of grooves that kept hands in the air with continuous jams from his sing-a-long songbook.

Read the rest after the jump

Giant Step’s Hudson Parties: 18 Going On 19

Photo (c) Bartek Radwan

We’re fast approaching the 20th party at Hudson and showing no signs of slowing down – quite the opposite actually.  Big thanks to everyone who made it uptown for Pete Rock last night.  It was incredible.

Next up is Jellybean Benitez, a disco king back in the eighties and recent inductee into the  2005 Dance Music Hall of Fame.  He’s remixed Whitney Houston, Jocelyn Brown, Patti Austin, George Benson, Shalamar, Hall & Oates, Billy Joel, Pointer Sisters, Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson’s hit “Say, Say, Say,” Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” and Freeez’s “I.O.U.”  Jellybean helped his once-girlfriend to remix her songs, starting out with “Everybody,” followed by “Physical Attraction,” “Borderline,” “Lucky Star” and her radio breakthrough “Holiday.” “Holiday” was the first song Jellybean ever produced from scratch and the girl was of course… Madonna!

RSVP for Jellybean Benitez at Hudson on 10/20 here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdF2zqs1bxQ[/youtube]
(For those who partied at Hudson last night, you might remember this one setting it off)