There’s been exciting news coming from all over the city and all the way from our history, from jazz and hip-hop to our Oakland-based NPR contest winner who made a Tiny Desk appearance in Washington, D.C. Take a moment to revel in these music stories from our town.

The 7th Street Walk of Fame

From the 1940s to the 1980s, Oakland’s 7th Street was full of blues, jazz and gospel in venues up and down the street. Over time the venues disappeared, with Esther’s Orbit Room one of the few standing memories of that era. Until now. Eighty-eight plaques on the 7th Street Walk of Fame have officially been unveiled.

Billie Joe opening Broken Guitars in Oakland

As the internet took center stage for buying instruments, instrument stores across the country felt the pinch, but Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong is opening a music store, Broken Guitars, on the 40th Street corridor across from 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. The idea is to have mid-range guitars for those who want a jump up from baseline, but aren’t looking to spend a fortune on a rarity.

Road Map to Hip-Hop in the East Bay

The history of hip-hop in Oakland is long, deep and underground. Eric Arnold, of the culture blog Oakulture, has put together a spectacular history of spots, and in effect the people, in Oakland and Berkeley which are important to hip-hop history in the East Bay. The roadmap includes the importance of Eastmont Mall, Sweet Jimmie’s (now The New Parish), MC Hammer’s childhood home, and much more.

NPR Tiny Desk Contest with Fantastic Negrito

It was a shock but not a surprise when Fantastic Negrito beat out nearly 7,000 submissions across the nation to become the winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert competition. After a series of interviews and preparation for SXSW, Fantastic Negrito graced the Tiny Desk in Washington, D.C., with some Oakland soul.

About The Author

Katie is the Music Editor at OL. She's a music geek, culture junkie, massive A's fan, and Oakland native. When she was six, she stood for five minutes with a felt pennant stuck under Chris Mullin’s armpit. Check out her Oakland music listings at, follow on twitter/instagram as @craziesthawk, or contact at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.