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DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate

Posted by Daniel 
DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 21, 2011 03:52PM
DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
Tomas A. Palermo, Special to The Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle July 21, 2011 04:00 AM



It's a sunny afternoon on the back patio at Cafe International in the Lower Haight, and DJ/promoter Doland Dahlstrom is doing something unusual: relaxing with a cup of chai tea.

The 33-year-old San Francisco native doesn't get a lot of downtime between his club, radio and live show gigs. He's out six nights a week and clocks daytime hours booking events, designing flyers and doing street promotion. But Dahlstrom's work ethic has solidified his reputation as a DJ and contributed to the current upswing in local live reggae music.

At venues like Pier 23 Cafe, Rockit Room and Shattuck Down Low, live reggae is thriving - thanks in part to Dahlstrom's local music showcases. He presents live reggae artists twice monthly Saturdays at Pier 23 Cafe and weekly Sundays at Shattuck Down Low. Still, his recent success was 15 years in the making, a product of being around music since birth. After all, his mom was listening to Bob Marley on her way to the delivery room at San Francisco General Hospital.

Dahlstrom adopted the DJ name Irie Dole - which translates loosely as "purveyor of good vibes" - in high school. He was introduced to reggae via his mom's Jimmy Cliff, Marley and Bunny Wailer albums.

"The first records I DJed with were hers," he says.

After a high school internship with reggae DJ Tony Moses at KPOO and a stint at San Francisco State University, he realized that the DJ game was where he wanted to be. Since then, reggae has become his full-time job.

He spins Tuesday night's Bless Up party at Haight Street bar Milk, does the Rebel Music radio show KPOO on Wednesdays, plays at Feel Good Thursdays at the Rockit Room, DJs second and fourth Fridays at Luka's Tap Room in Oakland and promotes live shows at Pier 23 and Shattuck Down Low on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively. His girlfriend, Beth Davis, occasionally has to fight for his time but doesn't seem to mind.

"He's my favorite DJ," she says. "It's (what) he was born to do."

Dahlstrom's reggae club nights - including Tuesday's seven-year-running Bless Up party - feature Jah Warrior Shelter, a four-person DJ collective that includes Dahlstrom, Rocker T, Jah Yzer and I-Vier. Formed in 1997, Jah Warrior Shelter plays regularly in S.F. clubs, spins at festivals like Reggae on the River and competes in "sound clash" competitions, where DJ crews battle in head-to-head rounds spinning exclusive songs called dubplates.

Beyond the clubs, clashes and hype, Dahlstrom says he felt an urge to do more for local artists. In February 2010, he spun at the minifestival honoring Bob Marley's birthday at Pier 23 and took the opportunity to propose live local reggae shows to the venue. Last July, he produced Reggae by the Bay, a 12-hour live music marathon.

Since then, his phone hasn't stopped ringing.

"There's not enough Saturdays in a month to book everybody at Pier 23," Dahlstrom says. "There are a lot of good artists."

He books local reggae acts like Native Elements, Heartical Roots, Inner Riddim, Ras Digital, Soulmedic and Rankin Scroo, offering new stages to rock and new fans to reach.

Part of Dahlstrom's formula for success has been to with the roots reggae music he's known his whole life.

Dahlstrom says artists touring from Jamaica say that Northern California is second only to Europe in its appreciation of roots reggae. This is something he sees every week for himself at the clubs.

"At a dance, it will be going good," he says. "We'll be playing some dancehall remixes or whatever, people are dancing but not really losing it. But we put on some roots (reggae), and all of sudden the walls are sweating. Reggae can always touch people."

10 p.m. today. $10-$15. Rockit Room, 406 Clement St., S.F. www.rock-it-room.com. Also 10 p.m. Fri. $10. Luka's Tap Room, 2221 Broadway, Oakland. www.lukasoakland.com. 10 p.m. Sat. $10. Pier 23, the Embarcadero, S.F. www.pier23cafe.com. 8 p.m. Sun. $10. Shattuck Down Low, 2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. www.shattuckdownlow.com.

Original Source ~ SF Chronicle
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 21, 2011 03:55PM
thumbs up

~Highest Heightz Every Time~
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 21, 2011 04:03PM
Can't say enough good things about Irie Dole!

Love that reggae!
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 21, 2011 04:47PM
Niceness!! Raspect!!
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 21, 2011 05:10PM
Laaaarge up the man Irie Dole everytime!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 21, 2011 05:23PM




This would have been a much more appropriate inspiration for the headline. LOL. Regardless, good piece. Props on the coverage.
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 21, 2011 11:49PM
Respect Dole!

You and the crew deserve the coverage everytime!

Truly good (hard working) people!!!

-BC
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 22, 2011 03:39AM
Irie Dole - which translates loosely as "purveyor of good vibes"
feeling red smiley
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 22, 2011 05:12AM
irie dole is one of the most humble truly nice people in d biz........................allwaze a pleasure 2 hangout with any of the jahwarrior crew.................................................................................................................thumbs up

=Every- Thing- Blessed----=B-Dank-=-----
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 23, 2011 04:02AM
big up REAL MAN like IRIE DOLE - one ah mi tru fren inna di buisness

JAH WARRIOR / ZIONS GATE FI LIFE - WORLDWIDE / INIVERSALY
Re: DJ Irie Dole: Doland Dahlstrom, reggae advocate
July 23, 2011 07:58PM
Bless up y'all, thanks for the love!
-ID
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