Tag Archives: the layover

Art in Commerce.

I was downtown last night for dinner and a drink with a girlfriend… specifically we were in the Oaksterdam area of 16th and Franklin, meeting at The Layover,  and I guess I haven’t been down there for a little while but it just seemed that everywhere I looked, there was something I wanted to document or photograph or check out further… tons of flyers, posters, stickers, wheatpastes… it was kind of overwhelming because, frankly, I was late…  and thirsty.

So I didn’t really to take the time to slowly explore like I might under different circumstances, but these two large what-appeared-to-be-wheatpastes were so striking they made me stop and take a quick snap.

art in commerce, wheatpaste advertisements, oaksterdam

Upon closer inspection, they both turned out to be ads.  Which kinda disappointed me.  But then again, there are some amazing creatives working in advertising, so I didn’t feel too bad for being duped.

I’m the person who typically mutes commercials, because, for the most part, they strike me as manipulative and banal.  But some… some are truly inspired. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this damn hamster car commercial!  It’s hilarious.  Brilliant. And interestingly enough, shot in Hamsterdam.

Anyway, the first poster is for an upcoming Dreamworks movie (Megamind), which actually looks pretty entertaining (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, and Brad Pitt). It’s what the original artist, Shepard Fairey, would call a “bootleg.”   You can see more here.

The second is for a Nintendo game, which I can’t say much about because I don’t play video games.  But I went to the website to check it out, and the one thing I’ll say is, it does have a cool soundtrack… kind of like that to a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie.

The Layover – a hip new spot

So my friend invited me to The Layover the other night. Have you been there?

It’s a pretty new joint in downtown Oakland… they opened a little over 3 months ago on October 9th in the old spot occupied by Pat’s, Franklin Street between 15th and 17th. Look for the neon green martini glass…

downtown oakland, the layover, layover bar in oakland

We went on a Tuesday night, which is comedy night… live stand-up comedy, followed by live music… no cover charge. Did you catch that? No cover charge. How cool is that?!

the layover, layover bar, layover bar in oakland

We saw 5 comedians, each with about a 15 minute set, and I can honestly say that four of them were quite hilarious. The emcee for the evening mentioned that the comedians are all students, and that The Layover is their training ground to try out new material.

The room was packed, which doesn’t take much, as this little club only holds 49 peeps. It’s an intimate vibe, further accentuated by the plush living room decor. Beautifully re-upholstered vintage pieces in warm velvety colors… one of the owners, RaeAnne Turner, is responsible for the fabulous seamstress-ing.

And what’s even cooler is that all of these gorgeous pieces are for sale! It’s a neat concept. They stock the house with sweet vintagey finds… including not only tables, chairs, & couches, but also light fixtures, pillows, and more… you take ’em home (if inspired and the price is right). That way they’re consistently restocking the venue with new interesting pieces. Keepin’ it fresh ya’ll!

In addition to the furniture for sale, the space functions as an art gallery too… with an associated gallery next door. They had a pretty eclectic mix of stuff up… one of a kind artist-modified light fixtures, small scale paintings, mixed media pieces, and the gorgeous collaged canvases of Daniel Healey featured in blankspace’s This Is Not My Beautiful Life show.

tuesday night comedy night, comedy at the layover, the layover bar

The last shot below was taken after the comedians wrapped up and the musicians were gearing up to get started with the live music. Don’t let the empty chairs fool you… everyone was just at the bar refilling their glasses!

I wish we could have stayed to see the band… Tuesday nights feature something of a “house” band with a rotating cast from Rogue Wave, Crown City Rockers, Persephone’s Bees, Bright Eyes, & more. Man, that sounds awesome! But it was a school night and I needed to get to bed…. waaahh.

RaeAnne’s husband, Zachary (aka Prozack) Turner, is in charge of the musical program at The Layover… selecting DJ’s and live bands, and it looks like he’s got a pretty astounding line-up. Even the house music playing Tuesday night while the band was setting up was super groovy. Can’t wait to check out the Friday night Sure Shot Soul Review (featuring DJ MTM spinning soul, funk, disco, and afrobeat)… again, no cover.

There’s a great article in the East Bay Express: Oakland’s New Layover that highlights more of Zachary’s musical background, as well as the contributions of his other business partners, Tim Martinez & wife Christie Vaughn, in the creation of The Layover.

layover bar in oakland, the layover, interior of the layover

The Layover is located just two blocks from the 19th Street BArt station, the Fox & Paramount Theaters, and a nice little collection of local restaurants: Pho 84, Spice Monkey Cafe, Awaken Cafe‎, and a whole lot more… do check it out!