11 reasons to celebrate five years of Magik*Magik Orchestra at Fox Theater Oakland


Photos by Sterling Munksgard //

Led & conducted by Minna Choi, Magik*Magik Orchestra and their many contemporaries have prepared an evening for the ages at Fox Theater Oakland January 31. A dynamic group of mostly local performers will join forces over three 45 minute acts to deliver a gala concert to revolve around the theme of childhood, and “collaboration” will be the word of the evening.

Here are 11 reasons why celebrating 5 years of Magik*Magik Orchestra should be in your plans this month. Secure your seats here.


11. Two Gallants
SF-based duo Two Gallants will be joining the festivities — “Fly Low Carrion Crow” from their self titled record might flourish with symphonic backing…

10. The Lonely Forest
The Lonely Forest and Magik*Magik joined forces on “Be Everything”, the first track from the group’s first track on their debut album Arrows. The band has confirmed John Van Deusen will be playing this song and a Peter Gabriel cover with M*MO.

9. Zoe Keating
The one-woman orchestra teamed up with the Magik string section in 2011 for two shows at Great American Music Hall, so Keating should be pretty locked in with the headliners.


8. Geographer
The City’s very own Geographer performed with M*MO at Stern Grove Music Festival last summer, where they opened for Kronos Quartet. Will they simply add a tasty layer of electronic sound or will songs like Geographer’s “Original Sin” get full orchestral support? Maybe both…

7. The event benefits Magik-For-Kids, Outreach & More
Magik-For-Kids is Magik*Magik’s key community project, giving local children access to brass instruments. The initiative also allows kids to compose their own string quartet, build a band, and more. So that’s pretty cool.


6. Rogue Wave
Oakland-based Rogue Wave seem like an obvious choice to include in the experience, and classics like “Eyes” or “California” seem like solid song bets. “Everyone Wants to Be You” from last year’s Nightingale Floors might be a tremendous selection for full Magik backing.


5. The Dodos
Magik have backed The Dodos on their last two records and they performed together at Noise Pop 2010, so they are probably able to send subliminal mind messages to each other at this point. Watch them perform “Substance” below with the stars of the night at Tiny Television in San Francisco.

4. How To Dress Well
Tom Krell is one of the best singers around, and his double mic technique to control vocal echo combined with minimalist, digitized R&B is remarkably haunting. We’ve been promised “Cold Nites” from Total Loss, and the 30-piece Pacific Boychoir will join a 30-piece M*MO for it. Also, let’s hope we get “Talking To You”. Expect goosebumps.


3. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers
Nicki Bluhm will lend the sole female vocals to the affair, so in this way she is key to the proceedings. Uber-popular locally yet under the radar nationwide, the group’s California Soul will sweeten the overall sound.

2. John Vanderslice
Local luminary & Tiny Television recording studio owner John Vanderslice has collaborated with Minna Choi and Magik*Magik for years — in fact M*MO is the official house orchestra of Tiny Television.

They recorded 2011’s White Wilderness together over 3 days, and joined together again last year on Vanderslice’s incredibly underrated Dagger Beach. Here’s hoping for a glorious live version of “Song for David Berman”. Watch “Promising Actress” from Cellar Door.

1. Celebrating 5 years of Magik*Magik
It’s the Orchestra’s night to shine after five years of providing auditory pleasure backing to over 100 projects. A lineup has been curated that highlights some of the ensemble’s strongest partnerships, so the comfort level and past experiences should set the table for a night to remember.

*BONUS: It’s at Fox Theater Oakland — can you imagine a better setting?



  1. Im such a sucker for Orchestras.. This sounds really fun..


  1. kids says:


    11 reasons to celebrate five years of Magik*Magik Orchestra at Fox Theater Oakland – Showbams

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    11 reasons to celebrate five years of Magik*Magik Orchestra at Fox Theater Oakland – Showbams

  3. […] to everyone who came out and made the Magik Magik 5 year anniversary Gala a huge success! Click here or here to check out reviews from the Magikal […]

  4. […] John Vanderslice introduced Diana Gameros, a Mexican-born San Franciscan that displayed remarkable talent. Her two songs made her segment feel entirely too brief — her Latin indie-rock was a pleasant change of pace, leaving the crowd wanting more. Her voice and smile deserves more attention, including from us. […]

  5. […] Blues” eventually led into the first guesting spot by fellow locals Magik*Magik Orchestra (who they will be joining at the Fox this Friday) as they joined the Gramblers on the track, “Nothin’”. A cover of the Easy […]

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