Hello everybody!  I took a short hiatus from my weekly column and newsletter because life just sometimes requires you to take a break to get everything done.  I’ve been traveling, I’ve been visiting, I’ve been working and I’ve been drankin’.  Just kidding on that last one!  But I have been a busy bee in my corner of the world getting ready for exciting and fresh things that are happening.  Every single damn day is a new adventure, I wish I knew in my 20’s that I would be living the life I am now, maybe I wouldn’t have been so emo.  ANYWAY, I hope your life has been treating you fabulously and that you are doing well.

With that said are you ready to get on this weekend’s roller coaster ride of all that is BAYutiful in the YaY!?  Well I hope you are because it is gonna be one helluva a ride, so get strapped in, put your hands in the air and get ready for the rush!

Up first is my interview with Tracie Collins, mastermind behind V Monologues: A Black Woman’s Interpretation, then some gloriously fun, exciting, sexy things to do this weekend and finally my review of Pican.  I hope to see you out and about this weekend!

1397408_10151770782131806_654792859_oMiz Chris [MC]:  Where are you from?

Tracie Collins [TC]:  San Francisco Bay Area

[MC]:   What inspired you to re-create the original Vagina Monologues?

[TC]:  I wanted to offer black woman’s perspective. From our cultural upcomings, body image, relationships issues,first intimate experiences, our dialect and our music since in the African American culture music is a big influence. I wanted to make it relatable to my generation.

[MC]:  Tell us a little bit about what to expect from V Monologues: A Black Woman’s Interpretation?1404526_10151770782231806_156514072_o

[TC]:  You will see a diverse cast of African American women ranging in all ages, backgrounds, shapes and sizes. Former Channel 5 News Anchor Dana King, narrates the production and helps bring each Monologue to life which ties it all together. There are many unexpected moments of laughter and tears. I want people to leave with their minds haven been opened and their point of views expanded.

[MC]:  What has been the most rewarding aspect of this show?

1398343_10151709140656806_1838594054_o[TC]:  What has been rewarding is the amount of requests from around the country for this production, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans and more. But what makes it even more rewarding is the fact that those who have seen this production return time and time again to see it again. Bringing their family and friends with them. The V Monologues: A Black Woman’s Interpretation is Oakland Grown and Oakland Proud!

[MC]:  What do you think people will find most shocking about the V Monologues?1399671_10151709139291806_2010788052_o

[TC]:  People often think that because we are speaking about Vaginas that we are male bashing. In this production I’ve gotten some of the greatest compliments from men who’ve attended the show about how great it was, and that more men need to see it. The male audience felt comfortable to be there and really enjoyed themselves.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIiWg4wyfhM]





The Truth Tour
The Warfield
982 Market St, SF
All Ages
Doors at 7 pm
Buy Tix

A woman filled with confidence is a force to be reckoned with. For singer/songwriter Ledisi, that exuberance rings through on every track of her new album The Truth.

“I changed my life!” Ledisi says with a laugh. “With every album I grow, and with The Truth I am really starting to accept myself fully. I mean, I’ve always felt great about myself, but this time I’ve gone to a new level.”

The result is an album filled not only with Ledisi’s trademark soaring ballads but also something unexpected: a generous collection of up-tempo, beat-driven celebrations of love and lust. Ledisi describes the effort as “vibrant, sensual and fun. Of all of my recordings, this is definitely my favorite album ever.”


10370451_10202778448239544_1153308998093003913_nGABRIELA EXPO HAPPY HOUR
Somar Bar
1727 Telegraph, Oakland

A fundraising mixer to support the GABRIELA SF exposure and community integration trip in the Philippines this summer

*win a limited edition DIWANG PINAY poster*
*15% of drink sales will go towards our fundraising

Where? SomaR Bar – Oakland
(FREE | 6PM-8PM)

Special thanks to SomaR Bar for supporting our community work!




35th anniversary Open House
427 South Van Ness, SF

6:30 pm – 9 pm

From the White Night Riots of 1979 to challenging the systems that criminalize us in 2014, CUAV has been at the forefront of LGBTQ safety. Come celebrate CUAV’s 35 years of powerful work in our community.

Enjoy small bites, meet other CUAV supporters and see artwork and photos from 35 years of work, all to the beats of our very own DJ!
More information at www.cuav.org


1609829_10151997222391962_1963889016558016615_nStrictly Vinyl
Awaken Cafe
1429 Broadway, Oakland
7 pm-9 pm

At long last we have an event for all you raging vinyl heads out there, a space to come and play all those secret treasures, rare finds, and iconic tidbits you have been hiding away all these years. As the name suggests, vinyl only please! It is recommended to bring your own needle but all else is provided by venue. We’re especially interested in blues, jazz, rock n roll, americana, and world music. Some electronica is welcome but lets keep it diverse, in other words, this isn’t a dubstep, trap, or house event. Be courteous to others and don’t hog the decks. Otherwise, enjoy! Feel free to bring records to trade also!




510 Embarcadero, Oakland
8 pm & 10 pm
Buy Tix

Somehow in our hunger for perfection it’s become difficult for music to just be. And so when BILAL began making A Love Surreal (his latest-and fourth full-length album over all) the acclaimed Grammy nominated vocalist/songwriter /producer knew where he needed to go. “I’ve always wanted to make music that is so basic and simple that it can be recreated every time. Something simple like a jazz standard. On this album I let go of a lot of shit for the first time and that opened my eyes up to a lot of more stuff. It was a real complete thought.”

A soulful rumination on love’s varying rhythms Bilal describes A Love Surreal as a “musical art gallery.” As the title might suggest the cd is a reference to the father of Surrealism Salvador Dali. Although Bilal is quick to point out that he isn’t “a painting connoisseur” he loves Dali’s work.


10298675_10152016970086086_133252004615224075_nTHE SAN FRANCISCO
Modern Times Bookstore
2919 24th St, SF

now getting close to it’s ten year anniversary, the show that will not quit is going to have an amazing May! Two artists that will take your breath away!

Poetry by CAM AWKWARD-RICH and music by ROSANONYMOUS!!!

The show starts right on time at 7:30, the show is FREE, but we ask for an optional suggested donation. No one is turned away from lack of funds, our mission is to provide our community with a free and or affordable queer performance experience, and damn good show!!

if you want to sign up to perform, the list is up at 7pm sharp.
This is a space for queer identifying folks, queer, bi, trans, gender queer, lesbians, gay men.
We do welcome heterosexual folks, as long as they respect the queer space. If you are a straight person who wants to perform, you can sign up on the list, straight folks can perform too, as long as you understand our mission is to support queer artists and make them a priority.

signing up gets you 5 minutes to do one piece and one piece only.

we will stop you if you go over time.

we want to hear your most vulnerable, new, old, tough, worked on, fresh stuff, whatever it is as long as you’ve made something. Come to show off, or come to try something new.




1939485_10203043019378568_219209575_nThe V Monologues
Kaiser Lakeside Center
300 Lakeside Dr, Oakland
Buy Tix

An off Broadway adaptation of the Tony Award winning play, The Vagina Monologues written by Eve Ensler. However the V Monologues, derived from The Vagina Monologues, is from a Black Woman’s perspective. Speaking to and stemming from childhood issues, cultural perception, societal pressures, body image and how it’s all has shaped our views in intimate relationships when it comes to a Black Woman’s Vagina

the New Parish
579 18th St, Oakland

$5 before 10pm/$10 after




Amy Nabong

* BushMama (jewelry & art)
* Ital Pinay (jewelry)
* Urban Antiq (designer jewelry)
* Alouba Custom Creative Arts (up-cycled jewelry)
* SafetyFirst & TuffGyal 808 ( (original art & beauty)
* Shinobl Jaxx (jewelry)

* James Gayles
* Malik Senefru
* Creative Shields

Flier Design by Lychee 33
Event Photos by RSVP Event Photography
Flower Bouquets our on welcome table by our sponsor: Belle-Flowe




10406951_10152795983184918_1283758718882819184_nThe Social Life
811 Washington, Oakland
9 pm-2 am

Sunday May 25th we are back at it with a special nighttime edition of The SocialLife! People are still talking about the last function, it was that dope. So make sure you’re in attendance, this month will be just as EPIC!

Resident DJ Lady Ryan + guest DJ Pam the Funkstress providing the perfect Sunday soundtrack, alongside Chaney aka SocialLife.

FREE complimentary champagne from 9:30pm-10:30pm + $7 Jameson shots & $5 well all night!

Table service if filling up fast. If you’d like to reserve one for you and your crew. Send email to sociallife510@gmail.com

Dresscode: FRESH & CLEAN!


Era Art Bar
19 Grand, Oakland
9 pm-2am

STIMULI breathes new life into Sunday Night with a special HOLIDAY SUNDAY EDITION.

Join us as we curate your favorite SUMMER JAMS the rolling down tha street, doors wide open, sitting on the hood of your car type jams as we welcome the summer heat.

Your Local Town Boyz
MPENZI curate the sound and keep the grooves com in’

Need Special Service???
Email: concierge@oaklandera.com

FREE W/ RSVP Simply Click GOING or List Names on comment section…

No Work Monday | Get SUMMER with us.


10001211_10152803502404676_6577763607599464750_oTHE ART OF STORYTELLIN, PART ONE
Somar Bar
1727 Telegraph Ave, Oakland
9 pm – 2 am

A night of all Outkast & Outkast affilated music. Dre, Big and their extended Dungeon Family will be played from start to finish!!!!!


DJ Sake One (((Local 1200))) curating sound with special guest DJ Sean G.

Hosted by Juanita aka Wah Wah and Somar Bar

Outkast ✜ Goodie M.O.B. ✜ Killer Mike ✜ Organized Noize ✜ Sleepy Brown ✜ Joi ✜ Slim Cutta ✜ Witchdocta ✜ Earthtone III ✜ Purple Ribbon All Stars and more….

21+ with ID | Come as you are….




2295 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 834-1000

I am from the South, the deep South, where the best fried chicken is made by your neighbor and you find the best BBQ you can find is on a Saturday at a cookoff.  I really want to like l0 copyPican.  They do a twist on Southern food and as a Southerner I am missing the food of my people.  I have been there four times with friends and lovers for hang out time and dates but really there is nothing on the menu that is spectacular over the top for the price they charge.  The fried chicken is without a doubt the best thing on the menu with the truffle honey sauce but it is not enough to warrant a $100+ for two check.  We had the mac and cheese which was really good, but again the price is a factor, unless they are put 14k gold dust it is too much.  n copyDown home cooking shouldn’t be overpriced, even good down home cooking.  But I can’t say I was disappointed by the mac n’ cheese it was enjoyed by the entire table besides the cornbread which is also quite delicious.

The decor is stylishly understated and it is a perfect date night location, especially if you are trying to impress your date.   But there are many places more reasonably priced with good southern inspired food so if you don’t want to drop a lot of dough I would say Pican is not the spot for you.

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