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Closer: Goapele loves the crab at Oakland's Le Cheval.

Change of Plans

Goapele passes time waiting for her record to come out

By Todd Inoue

IT'S BEEN a minute since Goapele finished up her second album, Change It All. Originally set for release in August, the Sony/Skyblaze release date has been pushed back to late December. Damn, now fans will have to wait a bit longer for the full-length. Thankfully, the single "First Love" is getting plenty of spins and causing a substantial buzz. A new mixtape, Big Things Start Small Vol. 1, should be out soon.

Change It All includes a duet with Dwele, "You"; a collaboration with Linda Perry on "Darker Side of the Moon"; and boudoir songs "Crushed Out" and "Fly Away." She worked with longtime producers Jeff Bhasker, Mike Tiger, Zion I's Amp Live and new friends Perry and E-40 associate Bedrock. Faced with a few months to wait, I asked the longtime Bay Area resident to riff on her favorite local things to do to pass the time. She was happy to oblige. She appears at Summer Jam 2005 on Sunday.

Dining

GOAPELE: "The special thing about the Bay Area, any type of food you're in the mood for, they have.

Le Cheval is my spot for Vietnamese. I think pretty much everything is there. The dried fried crab is my favorite thing. The watercress salad, shrimp rolls—it's really good, fresh flavorful food. You can really taste the Asian and French influences."

"I don't eat a lot of beef so I like Vic's Chaat House in Berkeley. It's this cool Indian restaurant, connected to an Indian store—really good and inexpensive. There's a dope Mexican spot in San Francisco called Papalote. I love sushi and there's a hella good spot called Karala in Berkeley. For more informal dining by Lake Merritt, I love Arizmendi. It's a cooperative with different locations in the Bay Area. They have a lot of baked goods.

Salon

"If you have natural hair like me, go to a spot in Sacramento called Kinks International. It's in an old Victorian house where beauticians do locks and braids."

Bars

"I don't go to bars, but I'll do what Sake-One [of the Local 1200 crew, which includes her brother Namane] is doing, because that's a cool mixed crowd [that likes] good music from soul to reggae to hip-hop. If someone wanted to check out live music, and they were into jazz, a nice spot to go out to is Yoshi's in Jack London Square. It's a lot quieter and intimate than other places I perform. When you can hear every note, I can feel free to perform even the quietest songs. They also serve sushi there. It's a nice environment.

I played four shows there earlier this year. It's unusual for me to do so many shows in one place, but it was cool. It was like having a residency. It was my first opportunity to do new music from the album, which we just finished and hadn't performed live. We got some standing ovations, there was definitely a lot of energy there, but it was all booths. There were a couple of people dancing, but it's a 'sit and listen to music' type of place."

Record Shops

"Amoeba and Rasputin's. You can find anything you want. They're the first stores we got into when we put out Closer, and we can sell mix CDs there as well."

Clothing

"I know a couple of cool independent designers. If I'm looking for something personal, I'll go to Mamasan (by Andrea Lamadora) and Nick Asselli. One of the places to hit is called Truth in San Francisco. They have women's clothes. You can find some cool alternative T-shirts, jeans and everything else. The ambience is pretty cool down there in the Haight. And Shoe Biz. There's unique stuff there. I bought some boots with fur in them, and before that, I got some camouflage tennis shoes. Shoe Biz is one of those places [that] when I go other places, they say, "Where'd you get those?"


Goapele performs Sunday at KMEL Summer Jam 2005 on Sunday (Aug. 21) at Shoreline. Acts include Jodeci, The Ying Yang Twins, Common, Talib Kweli and more. The show starts at 2pm, and tickets are $35-$70 through Ticketmaster (408.998.TIXS).


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From the August 17-23, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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