Under the Stars: Celebrating DJ Stef’s legacy, mourning the Mutiny Radio clubhouse’s end

It’s Under The Stars, babe. A quasi-weekly column that presents new music releases, upcoming shows, opinions, and other adjacent items. We keep moving with the changes and thinking outside the margins. Keep. Dancing.

Let’s get it!

DJ STEF FEST, SAT/16 AT DRAKES DEALERSHIP, OAKLAND

DJ culture is such a stronghold in the Bay Area that when a unifying figure slips away, it is that exact culture that ensures their contributions are not in vain. Alain Grissette, also known as DJ Delon, has been a central figure in East Bay DJ culture for almost three decades. He recently informed us at 48hills about a truly worthy event.

For those unaware of music venue Drakes Dealership’s history, it began in 2015 with a lineup of DJs that included a local heavyweight within the hip-hop DJ community named Stephanie Ornelas, also known as DJ Stef. She hosted every third Saturday afternoon at Dealership. She built a following of old heads and new enthusiasts who fell in love with her exquisite taste, stylish blends, and extensive knowledge of soul, funk, modern and classic hip-hop, and music in general. DJ Stef played a crucial role in establishing Dealership as a legitimate destination for music lovers of all genres.

Unfortunately, Stef passed away due to a heart attack in the fall of 2017, shocking everyone who knew her and leaving behind a fruitful and promising legacy. To honor her memory, friends and DJ peers of Stef, as well as regular DJs at Dealership Toph One And DJ Davoud, will host the first annual DJ STEF FEST, 1pm-9pm on Sat/16. Friends will spin tunes, share memories, and celebrate the legacy of an irreplaceable figure within Bay Area DJ culture.

Join in honoring her memory, surrounded by so many who loved and respected her talent and heart. More info here.

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POTATOHEAD PEOPLE, “LAST NIGHT” FEATURING REDMAN

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Reggie Noble is the go-to emcee who can add that veteran dankness, punch-up jokes, or simply bring out charisma on your track in a matter of seconds. That’s right, Redman has always been around, so there’s no need for a comeback talk about him. First, he surprised everyone by making a cameo appearance in JLo’s “Can’t Get Enough” performance on SNL this past February 5th. And now, the Rap legend is featured on a track by Potatohead People, with one-liner accents popping up throughout the song, while he celebrates the day-to-day aspects of being in a relationship and shares the crazy things that happened to him the night before.

It’s a Fender Rhodes vibe, created by Vancouver’s multi-faceted production duo of Nick Wisdom & AstroLogical. They started working together in 2008 as part of the hip-hop collective Elekwent Folk, and soon after, the two producers formed Potatohead People. They began creating forward-thinking instrumental music that both neo-soul enthusiasts and true school hip-hoppers are always eager to embrace and engage with.

Their fourth album, Eat Your Heart Out marks their return to the Bastard Jazz imprint and will be released in May.

Pre-order here.

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BACAO RHYTHM & STEEL BAND, BRSB (BIG CROWN RECORDS) 

The mysterious steel pan outfit hailing from Hamburg, Germany, returns with a potpourri of topical songs that traverse modern TV series themes songs to classic disco extravagance, retooled with cool vibes and slick inventiveness. 

Pop this in your “easy to vibe to” pick-up list.

We teased this last year with that “Stranger Things” tune, and that was cool, on the topical trending type of get down. But yo, the dubbed-out version of Claudja Barry’s disco classic “Love For The Sake Of Love”.

Mang. It’s a Mutha.

Cop it, here.

Pirate Cat Radio. Photo by Christopher Michel via WikiCommons

MUTINY/PIRATE CAT RADIO CLUBHOUSE, RIP

It’s dark out there for the media. We’re witnessing the crumbling of it all. One Friday news dump after another. 

The closing of the Mutiny/Pirate Cat Radio clubhouse in the Mission hits not just close to home for San Franciscans but cuts that much deeper in the realization that the ideas and tenets that this city was once built upon, are gone. 

Mission Local did an excellent write-up on the ending. I forgot that I interned there during the Pirate Cat Radio “Monkey Man” era. And the station did attract a rapscallion collection of characters who were seeking that “beat poet” era of SF, that had long passed as soon as we hit Y2K. (The legacy Pirate Cat Radio station, established in 2019, is still going strong in, where else, Los Gatos on KPCR-LP 92.9FM. A previous version of this article suggested it was shut down as well.)

I had an obnoxiously early am shift, where I was arranging chairs in the lobby, stocking cold items in the cafe, and trying to figure out what type of show I wanted to do. It was a ship of unsteadiness where the present didn’t always match up with the plan.

There were live jazz shows that gave off a bygone type of atmosphere, but as Mission Local puts it, the dot com tech boom erased all the boho accents the city was once known popular for.

Finally, I stopped going to the internship. It was too early in the morning to deal with that type of sadness.

Sail on Mutiny/Pirate Cat Radio……

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SUCKER, SEEIN’ GOD

Skip through a band’s random liner notes on their Bandcamp page, and you get a sense of how fast and loose a burgeoning outfit wants to play it.

Sucker, a four-piece outta Oakland, sets off all the car alarms with their commotion-clatter racket.

Seein’ God presents a buzz-blast style in four tracks via the “classic black vinyl with small hole” name.

This is a lo-fi, no-care, gloom so meh slice of gold. It distinctly reminds me of the first Dehd record—when they had a beer and pizza budget and all the ideas were rooted in two band members breaking up.

Peep the killer tag of “recorded and mixed by Capt. Tripps Ballsington at High Command in Olympia, WA” at the bottom of the liner notes page. I don’t know if Capt. is real, but that tag made me go and listen to this EP, and uh, well, we got a new vibe-merchant to follow this year.

Pick it up here.

This post was originally published on this site