SHAKE YOUR PEACE! is an Oakland-based band known for their ebullient live performances, ecological and social justice advocacy, and their epic bicycle-based music tours. They’ve created a new style of music called Whup - a celebratory dance music that combines: Afro-Latin rhythm, marching band percussion, bluegrass fiddle, gospel choir-style harmony, call & response, spirit invocation, and bandleader Gabe Dominguez’ own anarchistic take on the American folk and pop/rock music traditions.
::: Personnel :::
Gabe Dominguez – guitar, lead vocal
Justin Ancheta – Cuban tres, backing vocal
Jesse Weber – percussion
Patricio Angulo – percussion
fiddle cloud: Alisa Rose, Leif Karlstrom, Annie Staninec, and Anton Patzner
Waist Down Demolition Drumline cloud: Blake Henderson, Andrew Brennan, Ezra Lipp, Andrew Maguire, Kim Agnew
::: Bio/History :::
SHAKE YOUR PEACE! (yes – it’s written in all caps and ends with an exclamation) is at once a shout of encouragement, and a mischievous double entendre; it’s as much a call for people to get out into the streets and shake the status quo, as a call for people to get out on the dance floor and shake what the good Lord gave ‘em. Part ecological performance-art project, part multicultural Whup band, SHAKE YOUR PEACE! has continued to explore how a band might create “harmony both onstage and offstage,” and since 2004 has built a reputation for its explorations in both directions.
Founded in 2004 by lead singer Gabe Dominguez in New York City, the band has seen two distinct phases:
From 2004-2009 the band was an acoustic three-piece punk/folk/pop ensemble (this sound is captured on the 2006 release: Sing It As You Please). During this period the band helped to establish the growing subculture of bike-touring bands, centered in the San Francisco Bay Area, that celebrates its zenith every year at San Francisco’s Bicycle Music Festival, which Dominguez co-founded in 2007 with Paul Freedman from Rock the Bike. During this time the band also embarked on 4 bicycle/music tours of Dominguez’ home state of Utah, 1 bicycle/music tour down the coast of California, and also roped together 3 walking/music tours along the California Coastal Trail. Friends, fans, and the general public joined the band as they rolled or walked from location to location – creating an epic summer camp-in-motion vibe.
When he’d go out to concerts at this time, he’d always find himself wishing he was hearing some other combination of music than what he was hearing. He wanted to hear the rhythms of a salsa band backing up the guys in cowboy hats at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, he wanted to hear call & response and spirit-possessed gospel choir energy when he’d stand amidst the solemn head-nodders at indie music shows, and he’d go to the Latin rock concerts in San Francisco’s Mission District and find himself wishing they’d launch into a fiddle hoedown that would never arrive. Inspired by the vision of a music style that might combine all of these things, he began recording demos of what he’d later call “Whup” music.
Recruiting an all-star band of musicians from the Bay Area’s salsa, bluegrass, and indie rock communities, Dominguez debuted Whup in the Fall of 2011 at a bicycle-powered concert at UC Berkeley’s historic Sproul Plaza.
Since the debut of Whup the band has been honored to perform at venerable Bay Area institutions including: The Independent, The Great American Music Hall, Yoshi’s San Francisco, and the main stage of the ’12, and ’13 Maker Faire. The band’s been equally honored to have the chance to perform at schools from elementary to college levels, play benefit concerts for a variety of non-profit causes, and to play for people of all ages, political orientations, and slices of life: from a public park full of senior citizens in Orem, Utah, to a farmer’s market full of families in San Rafael, California, to a tarp-city full of soaked Occupiers in the rain in San Francisco.
In April 2012 SHAKE YOUR PEACE! launched the Bay Rising Tour with their friends Rupa & the April Fishes, and the two bands circumnavigated the entire San Francisco Bay by bicycle playing pedal-powered concerts along the way, inviting the public to ride along with them. It was a big ‘ol hoot.
The band is currently recording an album of Whup music with Bay Area engineer/producer Blake Henderson, due to be released in 2013.
You can see SHAKE YOUR PEACE! at one of their upcoming shows in the San Francisco Bay Area.