Oh what a week it has been.  I hope everyone has recovered from last weekend’s festivities.  Whether you were celebrating Pride, hanging out with the fam, cuddling with your lover or just partying with friends, last week just seem to be filled to capacity with things to do.  I really wanted to give you a week off.  I mean I really did!  It’s 4th of July weekend and surely a three day weekend is an invitation to lounge about the house in your PJs and slippers.  But alas it was not to be.  There is just too much good stuff happening this weekend in the Bay.  So “gather ye rosebuds while ye may” and get up, get out and get going!  Here is a list of my most favorite things going on this weekend plus a really great interview with the artist Elrod, whose first solo show opens at the Betti Ono gallery on July 4th.  See you out and about this weekend!


Elrod with her workMiz Chris [MC]:  Where are you from?

Elrod:  I was born and raised in the Southern California heat. I moved to the bay area about 6 years ago and I’ve never looked back. Moving to the Bay Area was the best thing that ever happened to myself and my art.

[MC]:  What inspired you to become an artist?

Elrod:  I have been an artist my whole life. From the moment I could get a grip on some crayons, I was doodling all over the walls, and sometimes, paper. Growing up, I would have much rather been by myself drawing then hanging out with friends. It’s not so much that I was an outcast or a loner, I just always got a huge amount of satisfaction from making art. It kind of ruled my life like an addiction. As I grew up, it only intensified.

[MC]:  Why did you decide to focus on car culture for your latest project?

Elrod:  For a few reasons. The biggest reason being that it was really intriguing for me to explore and portray these images of cars and women that are typically done by men only. In the automotive industry, most of the staples and big names are guys and the culture, in general, is male-dominated. It was pretty obvious to me that there was room for a woman to come in and show this world through the eyes of female.  Another big reason for my inspiration was my mentor. We worked together for 2 years and in that time, he shared with my his deep and undying passion for  custom cars. Just to hear someone talk about a car’s body the same way he would IMG_0011talk about his lover was so beautiful to me. I started looking at cars differently and the more I studied the more I realized that my over-the-top nature and love for glitter fit right in with the lifestyle. But I am just a spectator. An appreciator. A celebrator. If anything, that is what I am doing- encouraging people, especially women, to flaunt their glittering personalities and do it without fear or apologies.

[MC]:   What does this art mean to you?

Elrod:  My art glorifies the female experience and gives space to the women in my favorite subculture. This art show features bold, vibrant, glittery paintings about independent women, big hair, car culture, and overall exuberance of personality. While the show is a hot collection of sexy images of women, the women I paint are substantial, holistically interesting, not just sex objects. They balance femininity and power. With their firm eye gazes and mischievous depth of personality, they are not only gorgeous, but demanding of attention. So often are the images in the subculture created by men, it is time to show it from the perspective of a woman.This is what my art is all about!

[MC]:  What are your future plans for your art?

857207_545020645519367_1907565338_oElrod:  My plan is for total art world glitter domination…and beyond. Starting with the glitter-fabulous opening party on July 4th. On Independence Day, we will celebrate all things sparkly (including glitter bombs!). Guests will find a hot, over-the-top summer Oakland art party, full of contemporary art, independent women, kitsch, glitter, roller skates, and music. The event will serve as an over-the-top alternative July 4th celebration, toasting American cultures and subcultures that are often overlooked, such as Mexican-Americanness, lowrider scenes, and drag/femme cultures. Put simply, in my art and future I will be creating shrines to the over-the-top, to the power and allure of culture and to powerful feminine sexiness.

Check out Elrod’s solo show opening at the Betti Ono Gallery on July 4th.




10481770_10152505830222103_5735635090970575544_nBlue Nefertiti of LES NUBIANS and Friends!
The New Parish
578 18th St. Oakland
8PM – 18

Introducing her new live project FRENCH CABARET
featuring Jennifer Johns • Aima The Dreamer • Steelo

Special Guests: Dynamic
bringing a special set & backing band for Blue Nefertiti.

Guest Performers
Music:: • Naima Grace Shalhoub • Cleome • Blackberri • Hasse Emory & Sierra • Ngaire Young • Chris Cali

Spoken Word:: • Dazié Rustin Grego • Jezebel Delilah • Mali • Pr3s Play Poets (Audacious Iam and Uni Q. Mical) •

Film:: • Kei X. Griot • Gabrielle Wilson-Sealy
DJ Fillmore Wax on the 1’s & 2’s!


10380731_747347851955356_7823268886070084995_oTourettes w/o Regrets
630 3rd St
18+, $10
Sign up’s 8pm * Show 8:30pm
FULL BAR with ID *


FEATURING :  HOODSLAM! East bay Express Winners for Best Theatrical Production and SFgate winners!

FRANK OLIVER returns with his twisted circus antics!


VESPER SYND as Lady Liberty with MeeZee!




The Maniac of Mouth, Wildman SIDESHOW SYZYGY!
Battle Beats by DJ MIGGY STARDUST!
Onstage Freaking by HUNNY BUNNAH and MISS ECCENTRIC!




10446712_788136107887727_8890959599463630694_nVaVa Vroom!
Betti Ono Gallery
1427 Broadway, Oakland

To glorify the female experience and give space to the woman in her favorite cultures and subcultures, the artist, Elrod has assembled a show of bold, vibrant, glittery paintings about independent women, big hair, car culture, and overall exuberance of personality. While the show is a hot collection of sexy images of women, Elrod’s women are substantial, holistically interesting, not just sex objects. They balance femininity and power. With their firm eye gazes and mischievous depth of personality, they are not only gorgeous, but demanding of attention. So often are the images in the subculture created by men, it is time to show it from the perspective of a woman.

“Car culture is clearly a male dominated scene and women within this subculture are often seen as just hood ornaments or decoration. I felt compelled to show that there are plenty of ladies out there who are just as passionate and invested in the lifestyle as much as the men, and look damn good while they’re doing it,” Elrod explains. “I hope to portray my version of female ‘custom culture’ by honoring the time old tradition of getting dolled-up. This is how some of us customize ourselves- big hair, winged eye liner and maybe a little sparkle here and there.”

The opening night party will be a celebration of all things sparkly (there will be glitter bombs!) and kitsch- a toast to often overlooked American cultures and subcultures, such as Mexican-Americanness, low rider scenes, and drag/femme cultures. Simply put, VaVa Vroom! is a shrine to the over-the-top, to the power and allure of culture and to the power of female sexiness.



Leanne Rodriguez (b.1985) is a contemporary mixed- media artist aiming for total art world glitter domination and beyond. She spent a majority of her simple Southern California youth in solidarity, pursuing her “arts and craps” [as her older brother called them]. It was obvious to her family that her artistic interests would dominate her future. In her early 20s, she left the states for a 2 year sabbatical to Columbia where she adopted the moniker “Elrod” and befriended a female drug lord and bordello Madame named Cha-Cha Blanco who taught her the loyal and merciless ways of the cartel underworld. Elrod returned to the States and proceeded to recruit her own underground fellowship of chubby, female Hispanic art gangsters, known as 3XL or “Tres Xrazy Locas” who perform her miscellaneous illegal bidding. Currently, with a studio on the highest peak overlooking the entire Bay Area, Elrod spends her time making art and mischief and continuously expanding her arsenal of skills. She not only does specialFX makeup, glitter resin casting, silk-screening and bedazzling but also instructs her highly popular underground glitter workshop, “Glitter 101.”




10299523_10152188436292503_4562144942934107298_nFreaky Deeky
The Oakland Metro
630 3rd St, Oakland
**No Presales**
$15 at the door

Oakland’s favorite monthly place to find a variety of infectious music and spectacular performances, is bringing to you yet another twisted show, reminiscent to our previous show, Tainted Love.

Step right up, you batty babes and sub-cultural freaks! Join us for a satirical celebration of America’s weird, wild, and strangely sexy side featuring Cirquedelic along with a myriad of guest performers, and LIVE bands!!


Sidney Sin rockabilly inspired full band and back-up singers
the revengineers sounds of the gypsy mystique
DeejayLady Ryan mixing sultry beats
Shake Baby Shake swingin’ jazz to get the night started

Cirquedelic: a circus arts performance collective featuring custom acts tailored to each Freaky Deeky show. With a combination of comedy, fascinating feats, and a hint of danger, this troupe aims to exceed your expectations and take you to places straight from your wildest dreams!

Laika Fox, Interstellar Ecdysiast is gonna kill it… literally

Stylisms presents TERRORLESQUE!

Prisoners of Love deliver a combination of powerful words and visual representation. Testing your preconceived notions about sex and just about everything else.

The Displayed Labors Sideshow: Starring the destructive duo of unbridled pain, Kitty and Courtney! Their unique acts feature talents that scream, “classic sideshow”, will make you squirm in every sense of the word!

Stage Kitten: The bootyful Ms. Lola McCall and The fantobulous Wonder Dave!


10371255_889811277701921_3443531634309096340_oQueer Rebels 5th Year Anniversary
African American Art & Culture Complex
762 Fulton Street, SF
SAT 7/5 and SUN 7/6. 7:30pm

Buy Tix

Queer Rebels presents….the 5th Queer Harlem show. From Langston’s dreams deferred to the Empress of the Blues, we celebrate the Queer Harlem lives and legacies that have come before us. Featuring live music, performance, film/video, and a few anniversary surprises!

Mission statement: Founded in late 2008 by artists KB Boyce and Celeste Chan, Queer Rebels breaks down doors for queer/trans artists of color, connects generations, and honors our histories with art for the future. Queer Rebels has four main programs: Queer Harlem (now in its 5th year); SPIRIT: Queer AAPI Artivism; Exploding Lineage experimental films; and multi-ethnic QTPOC Salon shows.




10344357_657186977709686_249781024255943961_oSwagger Like Us
A Queer Hip Hop Performance, Dance Party
El Rio
3158 Mission Street, SF
3p-8p, $5 before 4p $8 after

an afternoon of booty dropping hip hop, delicious cookout realness, and live performances

Hostess:  Kelly Lovemonster

Resident DJs
davO (Double Duchess)

Guest DJ
Lady Ryan (Oakland)

Live Performance

Photos by
Shot In The City

Cookout Realness by
Antojito SF

brought to you by Kelly Lovemonster and davO




portal_logo copyPortal Oakland
1611 2nd Ave, Oakland

*This* is my new favorite place.  It’s been open for about two years now but a week ago was my first time and I have since been back again.   It is a lovely little spot 20120824_portal_560x375with a fabulous patio overlooking Lake Merritt.  It has high glass walls to stave away wind and other creatures.  They have a ton of warming lamps so sitting outside is a definite must!  I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Portal.  It is a casual and relaxed environment with really good 80’s music playing over the speakers (or that is what was playing when we were there).  The waitstaff is knowledgeable and laid back but not slow.  Both times, our waitresses were very attentive, prompt and friendly.  I like friendly.


Garbage Bread

I don’t drink alcohol so the excellent selection of beers they have there are lost on me.  However, food, food I know about and let me tell you this is some good food.  And I am super picky about what I think is good food.  We tried several items: the Garbage Bread, the Mini-Burgers, the Ribs and the Garlic Bread Meatball Sub.


Mini-Burger with a side of Frites

Each of the selections was delicious in its own right.  The Garbage Bread is a pizza stuffed with meats, vegetables and cheese served with a side marinara or pesto.  The bread was nice and crispy and the filling was piping hot and the meats spicy.  I really, really like this dish so much so that I ordered it the second time I visited Portal this week.  Next up on our taste test was the Mini-Burgers.  I have tried meat and mushroom version of this dish with a side of the Frites (fancy way to say french fries).  These too were very tasty.  Covered with a homemade cheese sauce makes the frites unbelievably tasty.  Now the frites would be tasty without the cheese sauce but the sauce definitely gives it a special umph!  I really liked the mini-burgers.  They are filling and they have a very nice savory flavor.  Whether you get the meat or mushroom option, and we tried both, they are equally delicious.

Meatball Sub

Meatball Sub

The meatball sub and the ribs are a definite must have again.  I wouldn’t necessarily order the garbage bread and the meatball sub at the same time.  They are similar in taste and very filling.  The ribs are drop of the bone tender and if I could order them every time I come to Portal I would but they are not on the lunch menu so if you are hankering for ribs go during the dinner menu.  I highly recommend Portal as a place to put on your regular rotation.  I know it is going to go on mine.

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