Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Hard Truth - live concert to benefit pediatric cancer and team Sofia

1993 Bellarmine Alumni, Matthew Largent (The Hard Truth) and Coach Mike Rodriguez, (father of Sofia Rodriguez currently battling Leukemia) are hosting a benefit concert to help raise awareness and funds for all children and families battling pediatric cancers.

The event will be on Saturday August 27, 2016 at 5:00pm at Bellarmine’s Sobrato Theatre with a short drink reception followed by an hour and a half set played by The Hard Truth. The evening will then conclude with speeches bringing awareness to struggles of pediatric cancer patients and families. The night will end roughly around 7:30pm.

All in attendance will have the opportunity to purchase music and apparel (#teamsofia) in which all proceeds will go directly to Team G foundation honoring Sofia Rodriguez. The money raised will help fund Pediatric Cancer Research at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital as well as programs to benefit the well-being and comfort of children battling cancer. We look forward to seeing you there!


For more information:,,
Coach Mike Rodriguez:
Follow: @thehardtruthmusic , @lolasounds , @matthew_largent

Friday, August 26, 2016

Silicon Valley Pride festivities take place this weekend

Pride kicks off tomorrow in Downtown San Jose with an electronic dance music party on Almaden Boulevard from 6pm to 11pm. Then on Sunday, the parade starts at 10am on Market Street and is followed by a huge festival from 11am to 6pm. There will be food, drinks, cosplay, a family garden, games, and live performances. They are even advertising 7 hours of Pokemon Go lures (why not). For more information and for tickets, head over to

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Strike Brewing Company Scores a Hit with its Bullpen Series

The Bullpen Series from Strike Brewing Company has been all about the chance to offer guests a wider variety of beer styles at the taproom. It's also provided an outlet for Strike to develop and try out new recipes.

Recent beers coming out of the Bullpen Series have included Berliner Weisse with blueberries and pomegranate, Rained Out Pale Ale with pineapple and toasted coconut, Bergamot Breakfast Pale Ale with local lemon zest and Earl Grey tea, Milk Stout and Big Wall Imperial Stout with Madagascar Vanilla Beans.

With such creative beers coming out every month or so and only available at the taproom, it's not a surprise that these Bullpen beers don't last long upon their release.

I was curious about how the Bullpen Series came about and was able to connect with its developer, Strike brewer Ryan Bridge, a South Bay native. My Q&A with him can be found here on my local beer site.

Strike is also celebrating the 2nd anniversary of their taproom opening on Oct. 8. Click here for more info. and tickets.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

JINS is coming to Valley Fair on August 31st

JINS is a Japanese eyewear company with 350 retail locations in Asia. They opened their first US store last year in San Francisco. San Jose gets the honor of being their 2nd location in the US. The 2,300 SQFT Valley Fair store features 960 different styles (all designed in Tokyo) and customers can receive their glasses in only 30 minutes. Prices are reasonable, starting at $60 for frames. 15 minute eye exams will be available as well.

This marks yet another instance of San Jose grabbing an international brand that not widely available in the US. Others include Warby Parker, Kit & Ace, Bonobos, Scotch & Soda, Halston, MUJI, David Yurman, Miu Miu, and many more.

JINS will be located on the second floor between Nordstrom and Old Navy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tower of Power performs Aug. 25 at Music in the Park

Show opens with popular local band Super Soul Brothers

SAN JOSE – Tower of Power returns to Music in the Park on Aug. 25.

Acclaimed for its five-piece horn section, Tower of Power tours the world each year, playing hundreds of dates and pleasing their audiences with a parade of funk and soul classics including: “You’re Still a Young Man,” “Down to the Nightclub,” “So Very Hard to Go,” “Time Will Tell,” and “What is Hip?”

Tower of Power previously appeared at Music in the Park in 1994 and 1995.  Founding members Emilio Castillo (tenor sax and vocals), Stephen “Doc” Kupka (baritone sax), Francis Rocco Prestia (bass) and David Garibaldi (drummer), have never stopped recording or touring in 48 years.

Marcus Scott joined T.O.P. as its new lead singer in April.  “I have always been known as a ‘Soul Man’ but the T.O.P. has me singing Soul with a capital S,” he said.

The show begins at 5:30 p.m. with Super Soul Brothers, which combines funk and jazz with familiar melodies from classic video games, anime and TV and movie soundtracks.

All Music in the Park shows are at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, located in downtown San Jose along Market Street and surrounded by the Fairmont San Jose, Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose Museum of Art and other downtown landmarks.

The Tower of Power date is the last of four Music in the Park concerts scheduled for 2016:

June 24:  Los Lobos and Maxx Cabelllo, Jr.
July 14:  AC/DShe, The Killer Queens and The Drought
Aug. 4:  Ozomatli and Sonido Clash Session
Aug. 25: Tower of Power with Super Soul Brothers

For more about the Aug. 25 artists, visit and

Tickets --$10 per adult and free for 12-under when accompanied by an adult -- are now available at At the door, admission will be $15 per adult.

Music in the Park is presented by Metro Newspapers and produced by the San Jose Downtown Association.  The events are supported by a grant from the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs.

Visit for information about downtown San Jose and the San Jose Downtown Association.


About San Jose Downtown Association:  SJDA, a non-profit membership-based organization founded in 1986, represents business and property owners and works to enhance downtown’s vitality and livability.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Samsung adding retail at San Jose HQ

Samsung opened their North American headquarters last year in North San Jose (at Tasman and First Street). One of the perks of the new campus is that is is publicly accessible unlike most tech offices in Silicon Valley (ex: Google, Facebook). However, while you can walk around the beautiful campus there really isn't much to do as a non-Samsung employee. That is about to change with two need retail options that will be a perk to employees and visitors alike. Samsung is adding a Honey Berry and Peet's on the ground floor.

As Nathan Donato-Weinstein alludes to in the source link, tech companies have become pretty notorious for discouraging outsiders to visit. Perhaps that is due to fears of intellectual property leaks or wanting to build camaraderie with internal employees. This mentality really does not feel like the right thing to do in an urban environment. It's great to see Samsung trying to do something different that will perhaps pay dividends by promoting their brand to the local community.

Honey Berry is a popular Asian ice cream/dessert shop that will be a welcome addition to the North San Jose community. They have a few other locations in Silicon Valley, but none in North San Jose. I highly recommend their ice cream sandwiches. Peet's I think requires no introduction.

Speaking of being open, Samsung's corporate cafeteria is also open to the public! I was not aware of that until reading Nathan's article.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, August 19, 2016

Chacho's Taco Festival is this Saturday

The second annual Chacho's Taco Festival is going to bring a ton of tacos, live music, and good times to St. James Park this weekend. Part of the festivities include the only MLE (Major League Eating) sanctioned taco eating contest in Northern California. In 2014 Matt Stoney won the inaugural competition by eating 101 tacos in 8 minutes (!!!).

The event runs from 11am to 8pm. Admission is $10 and parking is available at 64 N. Market St. and San Pedro Square. For more information head over to the Taco Festival website over here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Uproar Brewing Company Hopes to Open by the End of the Year

I thought I'd pop in to provide a quick update on Uproar Brewing Company. I recently visited the brewery to check out the progress on their buildout and to find out when they might be looking to open.

Though there weren't any specific opening dates mentioned, they were all hopeful that they would be able to open by the end of the year.

It was evident inside the building that a lot of construction has taken place, and it was great to see that most of the brewery equipment had already arrived.

I wrote a quick post about the visit - with a bunch of pictures - over at my local beer site at

Prost! Gunbae! Cheers!