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Author: KQED

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Rightnowish digs into life in the Bay Area right now… ish. Journalist Pendarvis Harshaw takes us to galleries painted on the sides of liquor stores in West Oakland. We'll dance in warehouses in the Bayview, make smoothies with kids in South Berkeley, and listen to classical music in a 1984 Cutlass Supreme in Richmond. Every week, Pen talks to movers and shakers about how the Bay Area shapes what they create, and how they shape the place we call home.

225 Episodes
The dense green woods of Sonoma County's Forestville are home to a two-story music studio and residence that runs on solar energy. Known as The NEST, the terracotta colored building is made completely of wood, clay and cob; and it was created for the purpose of serving Native artists. Ras K'dee, a Pomo-African, hip-hop musician who grew up in the area, is the caretaker of the space but he didn't build it alone. He worked with over 350 people from youth groups to his own family and friends. This week on Rightnowish, we talk about the importance of working together to create spaces for artists to grow and the ins-and-outs of land reclamation in the North Bay. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Human memory can be triggered by certain smells, sounds or even a photo. It's funny how the mind works; one small symbol can lead to the rehashing of feelings from years ago. The latest work from artist Marcel Pardo Ariza urges people to take a trip down memory lane by using images of gone but not forgotten bar signs. Pardo Ariza is clear: these bars served more than booze, they were sanctuaries for folks from San Francisco's queer and trans community and they should be celebrated as such. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
West Oakland's Loove Moore is a superhero. His special power? His ability to participate. He's a talented musician, dancer, and community documentarian, who interviews people about everything from current events in the Bay Area to how they define love. Plus he can get down behind the camera, producing all of his own stuff. Known for his interview series, The Loove Moore Show and for making songs that sample classic Bay Area tracks, what drives Loove Moore's affinity for culture and dedication to his community is a deep-seated spiritual conviction. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Tomas Moniz's novel All Friends Are Necessary explores the profound depths of friendship and the unique ways in which love is expressed. The book is chock-full of remedies for grief, sweet moments between friends, observations about Mother Nature and shoutouts to some key Bay Area landmarks and cultural institutions — all of which we discuss on this week's episode of Rightnowish.  Tomas Moniz will read and sign copies of his new book at Doña (3770 Piedmont Ave., Oakland) on June 13, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. and at Green Apple Books (1231 9th Ave., San Francisco) on June 18, 2024 at 7 p.m. Also, Moniz is a big fan of exchanging letters. He can be reached at P.O. Box 3555, Berkeley, CA, 94703.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jazz and hip-hop are technically two different genres of music, but for bassist and composer Giulio Xavier Cetto, the connection between the two is indivisible. Both genres seamlessly compliment each other as they show up in the music Cetto listens to as, as well as the music he makes. On this week's Rightnowish, San Francisco's own Cetto discusses the story behind his Instagram handle, his favorite Bay Area music venues, and what it's like to lead Big Trippin, a band that features drummer Thomas Pridgen, saxophonist John Palowitch and pianist Javier Santiago.  This story was originally published June 30, 2023 as part of “Liner Notes” a five-part series, about jazz in Bay Area. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This week we revisit a story that was originally published September 2, 2022 as part of “Permanent Behavior: Getting Tatted in the Bay” , a four-part series, about local tattoo artists.  Miguel "Bounce" Perez is a visual artist who owes a lot of his talents to childhood memories with his family. His mother introduced him to sketching, as she'd draw “chola-style” portraits of women with feathered hair and sharp brows. His uncles taught him the art of lettering in "Cali-Chicano" Old English script. And Bounce's father was part of a car club in West Berkeley, a neighborhood that was also home to a number of graffiti murals. Through these interactions Perez was introduced to what he does today: spreading culture through murals and tattoos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This week on Rightnowish we take a little dive into family history and explore the big concerns of the next generation with published poet, educator and youth advocate, Michelle "Mush" Lee.  Lee is the executive director of the well renowned poetry organization, Youth Speaks. The organization boasts a long list of alums who are playwrights and poets, actors and activists. Just two years after its founding in 1996, Youth Speaks launched the annual youth poetry slam, Brave New Voices. This year, the three-day conference that pulls young poets from all corners of the country will be in the nation's capital, Washington D.C., just months before the presidential election. As an organizer, Lee is looking ahead to this year's conference with a clear understanding of why young people's voices are so important right now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
We love having conversations about culture, identity and place with local change makers and hometown heroes. If you appreciate the work that we do on Rightnowish, please visit to support us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
As we celebrate Mother's Day, we're taking some time to honor those who have strained relationships with their mothers, are missing their mothers or grew up without their mothers. We're also thinking about the mothers who are missing their children for one reason or another. More than just thinking about them, we're hearing from them. This week we're passing the mic to our friends over at "Ear Hustle", a podcast from PRX’s Radiotopia. This special episode highlights the stories of elderly mothers who are incarcerated at California Institution for Women, a prison located in Chino, CA. Their tales of aging behind bars, while yearning for family are gut-wrenching but necessary, for we can't grow as a people unless we understand the plight of those on the margins of society. And when it comes to ensuring that we grow as a people, that's something that mothers know best. Happy Mother's Day from the Rightnowish family! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Golden State Warriors had a rough 2023-2024 campaign, but at least the music was slappin'. During timeouts, breaks between quarters and sometimes even when the ball was in play, the Chase Center's speakers would vibrate with the sounds of legendary Bay Area hip-hop artists. The person often on the turntables making it happen: DJ D Sharp. He's been the Warriors in-house DJ for a decade, providing the soundtrack for Steph, Klay, Draymond and company during their legendary run of four NBA championships. DJ D Sharp, clearly an essential part of the team, even has four NBA championship rings of his own. This week, we talk about providing a soundtrack for the Warriors' dynasty while building a lasting legacy for his family and community.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
nic feliciano (who also goes by Coco Machete) contains multitudes. She's a fashionista who currently resides in Berkeley, but was born in the Philippines and spent her teenage years in Southern California. After moving to the East Bay for school two decades ago, she's grown into a playwright, chef, thespian and — as she says — "a master of fun." feliciano's creations go beyond the stage. She's currently writing a comic book in which she gives a modern spin on the mythological creature from Filipino folklore. This week, we talk about how the Bay Area has assisted feliciano's artistic endeavors, from rapping over bass-heavy hip-hop beats in the early 2000s to forging a "creative family of misfit Filipino kids who didn't follow the path." Episode Transcript Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Adonis is a DJ who is immersed in downtown Oakland's nightlife scene. When they're not on the turntables, Adonis spends significant portions of their summers deep sea commercial fishing in Alaska. Adonis sees it as a way to pay bills, build community, and learn more about their Filipino roots. This week we discuss how it all intertwines-- the search for self, the love of community, the deep sea fishing and the appreciation of the Bay Area. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In her book White Supremacy Is All Around: Notes from a Black Disabled Woman in a White World, Dr. Akilah Cadet brings the reader into her life as a Black woman living with a disability who recognizes that oppressive forces are as constant as her chronic pain. Dr. Cadet talked with the Rightnowish team about racism, ableism and ways one can go about fixing a broken system.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
On this episode of Rightnowish, we’re passing the mic to our friends at Immigrantly podcast. Host Saadia Khan and her guests examine traditional narratives Americans hold about immigrants and people of color. Through the process, they carefully unravel the nuance and depth of the immigrant experience. Immigrantly explores the everyday miraculousness of immigrant life, like love, food, faith, friendship and creativity through first-person accounts. Immigrantly’s guest for this episode is Meklit Hadero. She is a vocalist, songwriter, composer and former refugee who is known for her innovative Ethio-Jazz vocals and lively stage presence. Her music blends together folk, jazz, Eastern African influences, and what Hadero calls "everyday sounds." She has performed worldwide, and just released a new EP called "Ethio Blue." Her album “When the People Move, the Music Moves Too,” was named among the best records of the year by Bandcamp and the Sunday Times UK. She is a National Geographic Explorer, a TED Senior Fellow, and a former Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University. Hadero is also the co-founder, co-producer, and host of Movement, a podcast, radio series and live show that celebrates songs and stories of immigrant musicians. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Zoë Boston is a talented artist who takes the highs and lows of life, and creates moving works of art of all sorts. She paints huge, brightly-colored aerosol murals depicting otherworldly beings, with elements of Afrocentrism and scenes inspired by nature. She also does oil-based paintings on canvas, smaller in stature but just as powerful. She's a fashionista, who knows how to put an outfit together-- accessories and all. She's a writer, of both short journal-like essays and profound lyrics for songs. Plus she's a talented vocalist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The Mamas for a Free Palestine collective is made up of mothers across the Bay Area who say they are fed up with business as usual. While they are a relatively new group, these mothers are not new to activism and political organizing. With their children in tow, they are joining with other social justice organizations to demand that elected officials declare a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, as well as end the use of U.S. public funds for Israel's military. Editor’s note: This episode has been edited in accordance with KQED’s editorial guidelines and Code of Ethics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mehndi or henna artist Sabreena Haque talks to KQED's Pendarvis Harshaw about setting intentions when having art added to your body, doing menna, aka henna for men and expanding into tattoos.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This week KQED's Sheree Bishop speaks to Michelle Cruz Gonzales. Michelle spent the late 90s in two iconic all-female punk bands, Spitboy, and Kamala and the Karnivores. In 2016, she released a memoir about her time in Spitboy and being the only woman of color in that band. Now, she teaches English classes with Punk literature at Las Positas College. Michelle talks about feeling seen as a person of color, the importance of supporting artists and musicians, dealing with toxic masculinity, and how east bay punk shaped her personality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
George Crampton Glassanos says he isn't an artist, he's a painter. Despite this assertion, his work is full of eye-catching colors and symbols representative of San Francisco's Mission district culture. It's born out of both a need to serve others, and George's personal urge to create. He's also driven by the need to advocate for the rights of working class people locally and abroad. This all adds to his paintings and drawings, but don't call it artwork. He recently stopped by KQED's headquarters to share a bit of his story. Then he took us on a short ride to see a few of his hand painted signs and murals— his work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Last year I drove over 33,000 miles all around Northern California, constantly pursuing a deeper understanding of this region's culture. And then one day, while sitting in traffic, it hit me: you can tell a lot about our culture by simply looking at the freeways. This week, as we celebrate Rightnowish's 200th episode, I give you a glimpse into the things that I think about while I'm bending corners on Northern California's highways and byways. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (5)

Aakash Amanat

"Rightnowish" is an engaging and culturally significant podcast that captures the essence of contemporary life and creativity. Hosted by the talented Pendarvis Harshaw, the show offers a unique platform for artists, activists, and changemakers to share their stories and perspectives on the issues that shape our world today. What sets "Rightnowish" apart is its deep dive into the experiences of individuals who are making a difference in their communities and beyond. Through insightful interviews and conversations, listeners gain valuable insights into the diverse voices and initiatives that are actively shaping the world's social, cultural, and artistic landscapes. The podcast explores themes such as art, social justice, music, activism, and community, making it a valuable resource for anyone seeking to better understand the pulse of the current moment. With its powerful storytelling and thought-provoking content, "Rightno

Oct 25th

Aakash Amanat

Rightnowish" is a captivating podcast that transcends the confines of traditional audio storytelling. Hosted by Pendarvis Harshaw, the show brings forth a dynamic exploration of contemporary culture, art, and the zeitgeist. It delves into the pulse of the moment, uncovering narratives and voices that capture the essence of the now. What makes "Rightnowish" truly special is its commitment to highlighting the intersection of creativity, social issues, and individual experiences. It's not just about the latest trends or headlines; it's about immersing the listener in the richness of the current cultural landscape. From discussions on music, fashion, and visual arts to in-depth interviews with artists, activists, and change-makers, this podcast covers a wide spectrum of topics, all rooted in the present.

Oct 17th

Leon Ransom

I've told you a number of're the son I never had. Proud of you, son...keep the faith. Uncle Smokey

Oct 21st
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