On Sunday, at the Oakland Art & Soul Festival, Bay Area author Jeff Chang will be presented with a 2005 American Book Award for his riveting Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation (St. Martin's Press). But the real party's going down two days before, on Friday, Sept. 2, as DJ Kool Herc , who contributed the book's foreword, helps Chang celebrate his significant achievement at the DNA Lounge. Herc is truly a god of mythical proportions -- he's almost universally recognized as the first hip hop DJ, though he could walk down the streets of most places outside of New York and not be recognized. The night will be hosted by the MCs of Quannum Records, who are all longtime compatriots of Chang (who is one of the architects of Solesides, the label that preceded Quannum). Additional cuts and scratches will be provided by DJs Pam the Funkstress, Teeko, Sake One, and Deuce Ace. A DJ appearance from Herc in this neck of the woods is rare indeed, a can't-miss; call 626-1409 or visit www.dnalounge.com for more info.
Canadian techno veteran Richie Hawtin makes his home in Berlin these days and seldom performs in California, let alone San Francisco, so we're lucky that one of his few stops on a tour through the States, Europe, and Latin America is at Mezzanine. Since moving to Deutschland he's immersed himself in consulting with audio software developers, helping to push the envelope of what's possible in music production. For his DJ sets he often brings auxiliary gear that he's helped to customize, such as Stanton's Final Scratch (which allows MP3 files to play on turntables through encoded vinyl platters) and CTRL:92, a special version of an Ableton virtual mixer for MIDI applications that Hawtin assisted in the design of. These bells and whistles give Hawtin the ability to blend records with original compositions, and to remix everything on the fly. He'll also likely bring teasers for his forthcoming album, DE9: Transitions, when he drops by on Friday, Sept. 2; call 625-8880 or visit www.blasthaus.com for more info.