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Clandestine music comeback

Nic Buron | Photo: Oscar Arriola | June 16, 2011 | Story Best of the Bay

In Oakland’s Uptown, nearly every night of the week, people who like their music up close and personal gather behind nondescript doors, like Templars at a secret ceremony. The area has been the epicenter of the Easy Bay’s underground music revival that in the ’90s revolved around punk (ahem, Green Day), in the aughts featured hyph-y hip-hop (E-40 and Too $hort), and is now devoted to indie rock. The 15 or so venues range from art galleries to warehouses to roomy apartments. They’re hard to spot and not listed in your favorite weeklies, so you pretty much have to pick a band you like—regulars include Summer Blondes and Uzi Rash, plus a few that have garnered national attention, like Bare Wires and Religious Girls—and stalk its Facebook or MySpace page. Each summer, aficionados also come together for a now notorious street festival called HoodStock, which has spawned sister celebrations in New York and Los Angeles. Keep your eyes peeled, because the date won’t be announced until a month before the event—and the location, not until the day of. They don’t want too many outsiders spoiling the party.


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