Hip-hop music and art collide in the heart of downtown Saturday for a one-night only clash of creativity at “Queendom: An Event Dedicated to Women, Hip Hop, Soul & Funk” at Sandrini’s.
Organized by Bakersfield promoter and vocalist Stephanie “Soul” Solis, the jam-packed evening will include performances by local and out of town rappers, artists, DJs and musicians performing in tribute to the power of women in the arts.
“I came up with this concept Queendom because I truly felt that Bakersfield was missing an event dedicated to the women who are working very hard to break barriers in the underground music scene,” said Solis, who began organizing the ambitious event three months ago.
On the live performance side, fiery SoCal rappers Vel The Wonder and Kiddo along with Austyn Williams and Angelique will take to the microphone between DJ sets from Soulcatcher, Mr. Groove, Lil Red and Crazy Cruz. You can also check out live pop-up art sets from Unkwn.jpeg and Vivian.
To give you an idea of how underground some of these artists are, I put in a search for Vel The Wonder on YouTube to get a preview of her latest video for “Gunfire,” a tightly produced portrait of her emcee skills at work. That was followed by an endless string of recommended videos and live DIY freestyle sessions featuring a number of rappers garnering massive fanbases way below the mainstream with views reaching the high thousands. Women of every age and ethnicity imaginable. To call it inspiring is putting it way too lightly. There is some fire going on here by an empowering scene all too hidden from the masses. This event could be the perfect introduction.
“I had a vision specifically for this event, and I just knew these special artists would fit perfectly," said Solis.
She's followed Kiddo through social media for the the past few years and said she inspired by how prolific Vel The Wonder has been, dropping two albums in less than a year and producing a whole line of merchandise.
"Both of these artists inspire me and many women, and I’m very happy to host them here in my city,” Solis said.
Solis will also take the stage Saturday for a tribute to late vocalist Amy Winehouse, where she will be backed by keyboardist Tony Rinaldi and Mojomatik. Brava.
“Queendom," 9 p.m. Saturday, Sandrini’s Public House, 1918 Eye St. Free. 322-8900.
Acoustic KRAB Christmas Show
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, the annual Acoustic KRAB Christmas Show returning to the Fox Theater on Wednesday is where you’ll find yourself welcome to rock, roll or just shoe-gaze into the holiday.
A gift to listeners courtesy of Bakersfield’s lone surviving terrestrial alternative rock radio station (106.1 FM), this year’s lineup features a blend of artists in rotation and/or on the promotional circuit hoping to make the cut. Let’s take a look at this year’s lineup and what you can expect:
The Blue Stones: This Canadian guitar and drums duo pound out catchy blues rock nuggets a la The Black Keys and White Stripes. Fans of those bands will enjoy the pair's latest release, “Black Holes."
SYML: Moody, haunting and sweet can best describe the solo work of Brian Fennell, formerly of indie fave Barcelona who now performs as SYML. He hasn’t completely abandoned the sound of his former band, nor has he forayed into some bizarre free jazz experiment. Check out the video for his song “Where’s My Love” for something really heavy.
Barns Courtney: English singer-songwriter Barns Courtney has hit with his song “99,” an ode to easier days of youth with references to Atari, Sega, Sony Electronics, even voodoo economics — a phrase popularized by late President George H.W. Bush.
Meg Myers: Rumored to be a personal favorite of longtime KRAB jock Danny Spanks, Tennessee/Los Angeles transplant Meg Myers returns with a new album, “Take Me To The Disco,” released this year and a new single, “Numb,” a song about her former record label. Similar to Barns Courtney’s video for “99,” Myers’ video for “Numb” also takes place in a cubicle. Go figure.
Blue October: The seasoned vet of the bunch, the group’s album “I Hope You’re Happy” was released in August, debuting nicely in the upper reaches of the Billboard alternative rock charts.
Fox and Bones, 7 p.m. Thursday, Sonder, 9500 Brimhall Road. $12. 247-0000.
Based in Portland, Ore., these internationally touring sweethearts aren't your average folk pop duo. Rather than simply documenting their experiences in song, Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore write from the perspective of quasi-fictional characters. There’s Fox (Vitort), a down-and-out it girl, and Bones (Gilmore), a rootless orphan bad boy with a heart of gold. Their sound is rootsy in the vein of The Lumineers, minus the buttery syrup, making them an ideal Bonnie and Clyde for the new Americana roots set. Their latest release “Better Land” is available for preview at foxandbones.com where you can snag a free download of their song “Roots.” Also performing is fellow troubadour Lonely Avenue.
Viento, 8 p.m. Friday, Centro 18 Latin Steakhouse, 1517 18th St. Free. 493-0177.
After making their debut at this year’s Bakersfield Jazz Festival, this local Latin jazz collective has been a welcome addition to the local live scene. With a repertoire of spicy standards pulled from the music catalog of Tito Puente and Herbie Hancock, to the contemporary ritmos of salsa icon Marc Anthony, along with some interesting adaptions (“Pink Panther Mambo”) and more they continue improving with each outing. Led by Bakersfield music educator and trumpet player, Jorge Santos, the group also feature vocals by Wilfredo Cruz.