Go buckwild every single night this weekend, thanks to our critics. Without further ado, the five awesomest events going down over the next 72 hours:
Poet Emily Dickinson revealed few details of her life, and the mysteries she left behind inspire curiosity and creativity nearly 125 years after her death. Among the enchanted is Berkeley choreographer Kathryn Roszak, whose dance-drama Pensive Spring: A Portrait of Emily Dickinson poignantly embodies the cryptic, compelling emotions Dickinson expressed in her poetry. On Sunday, May 1, Roszak joins her company, Danse Lumiere, to perform the piece, which also features soprano Kristin Clayton in a song-cycle of Dickinson’s poems by composer Gordon Getty, dancer Hally Bellah-Guther, and pianist Kristin Pankonin. The Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley) provides a suitably atmospheric space for Dickinson’s elusive spirit and marvelous artistry. After the performance, join the artists at a reception. 2 p.m., $15-$25. 510-848-7800 or BerkeleyCityClub.com — Claudia Bauer
OH HAYYYY. Oakland-based Afro-pop outfit tUnE-yArDs, aka Merrill Garbus, continues to be positively showered in buzz these days: in the three weeks since our story on her, Garbus has also been the subject of breathless profiles in SF Weekly and the Village Voice; been featured on NPR; and been named an Editors' Pick by Rolling Stone, which apparently still exists. Last week, arbiter of all things indie-music-related Pitchfork awarded the band's second album, w h o k i l l, a prestigious 8.8 rating, along with a Best New Music designation. And yesterday, in what's surely irrevocable evidence of hipster street cred, Garbus got called out as nothing less than "the next female indie sex icon" by music blogger/cult hero/quotation-marks-enthusiast Carles on his insanely popular blog, Hipster Runoff:
Freak-folk band Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits — a duo featuring guitarist Dan Abbott and singer Corbett Redford — has a long -entrenched history in the local punk scene, mainly for throwing a series of Geek Fests (aptly-named, low-budget music festivals that the group described as a "taste optional" affair) in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and for running the abortive label S. P.A.M. Records. Abbott and Redford are also famous for trafficking in shock humor and outré lyrics. Lest you doubt that characterization, just take a look at their song catalogue. It includes ditties about skin cancer, childkillers, defecation, flies, and — most famously — a misguided attempt to conjure the ghost of Eazy-E. And now, they have a new song about falling for a girl who's into, well, some freaky practices. It's the first in a spate of 13 vidoes to be released this year, all on a shoestring budget. NSFW!
Anyone who attended Lil' B's show at The Mezzanine last night got to hear the 23-year-old rapper rail about his phobias and discontents, among them a perceived threat of haters. Apparently, Lil' B has every reason to be paranoid. He received a whole spate of death threats after announcing the title of his next album, I'm Gay. Lil' B says it's not a gimmick or a provocation, even though he's avowedly heterosexual (as indicated by the constant repetition of lines like, Hoes on my dick, hoes on my dick). Rather, it's an olive branch to the gay community. "I hope GLAAD sees that I'm taking initial steps to break barriers," the rapper said. (A GLAAD spokesperson told XXL magazine that the organization remains wary, but hopes Lil B's album is "a sincere attempt to be an ally.") Lil B also reminded fans that there are other definitions of the word "gay." "I've never been attracted to a man in my life," he told MTV News. "But yes, I am gay, I'm so happy. I'm a gay, heterosexual male."
But, you know, not in a gay way.
Don't waste a single second of this weekend, with help from our absurdly wise and impossibly good-looking critics:
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien’s new release is actually three albums rolled into one. Think of it as a triptych: Automatik Statik and Funk Man dropped digitally in 2009; Golden Era contains all new material. The single, “One Out of a Million,” has all the signature markings of an old Del song: the down-tempo beat; the odd bar flows; the slurry, drawly intonation; the quirky sense of humor (Put pressure on ’em, just like a zit, he interjects between lines). For all the dense language, it’s really just a typical boast track. Then again, nothing Del puts out is ever typical. This is an emcee who can rhyme for days about unidentifiable funk on the BART train, after all. In the 1993 song “Catch a Bad One,” he chastened an imaginary foe by vowing to loosen teeth and split gums. He opened the rap “Wack MCs” by comparing himself to a dog with a powerful bite, and rhymed “Funkee Homosapien” with the line Monkeys I will make of men. He’ll appear at Shattuck Down Low (2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) on Friday, Apr. 22. 9 p.m., free. ShattuckDownLow.com — Rachel Swan
Berkeley Earth Day Celebration
Celebrate Earth Day in the city that practically invented it. This year’s event starts at noon on Saturday, April 23, in Civic Center Park (2151 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley) — just where it’s been for the last forty-odd years — and features informational and vendor booths; a food court; dance and music performances; sustainable living demonstrations; and more. Meanwhile, from 2-5 p.m., Trumer Brauerei (1404 Fourth St., Berkeley) hosts an auxiliary celebration featuring $2 Trumers, a raffle, food and drink for sale, brewery tours, tastings, and more. Proceeds go to the East Bay Bike Coalition, and a free shuttle (biodiesel, naturally) will run to and from Civic Center Park every half-hour. Both events are free. HesterNet.net and Trumer-International.com — Ellen Cushing
Live 105 announced the lineup for its annual BFD concert, set to be held this year on June 5 at Shoreline. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on April 23, and the full lineup is below:
So tomorrow is Record Store Day, which means that despite the fact that scores of vinyl/cassette/CD purveyors have closed in the last decade or so, we should rejoice in the fact that many are still open. To celebrate their most-cherished existence, indie record stores across the country, and right here, will host live in-store performances and sell all kinds of special, limited-edition releases by your favorite artists. Here’s what’s going down:
As if country fans in the Bay Area don't suffer enough! Today brings sad news for followers of the 95.7 The Wolf, formerly the Bay Area's home for contemporary country music: according to the Chron's sports blog, as of 10 a.m. today, the station switched to an all-sports format and will soon be changing its name from The Wolf 95.7 to the much-less-evocative SportsRadio 95.7. Per Susan Slusser at the Chron, "the station promises A's and Sharks' programming, with on-air personalities and other programming to be announced at a later date." Execs from Entercomm, the station's parent company, are also apparently in talks to broadcast from Stanford and Cal.
Insert achey-breaky heart reference here. But on the real: RIP, The Wolf. You will be missed.
Plan the next 72 hours of your life with help from our critics. Herewith, the five unmissable events going down this weekend in the East Bay.
When Elizabeth Bernstein and Carrie Hott opened the Royal NoneSuch Gallery (4321 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) two and a half years ago, they knew they wanted to create the kind of space where people could really interact with the art. And, indeed, in its short two years, the gallery has presented a slew of multisensory, multidisciplinary, interactive, and occasionally risky shows, workshops, and community events that often have little in common with the prototypical passive white-walled gallery experience. In that sense, the gallery's current undertaking, 21 Projects x 21 Days x 21 Hours, is the natural extension of that impulse. The concept is simple: take 21 artists, broadly defined, and give each of them exactly an hour to do whatever they want with the gallery. "It was kind of like a dare: If you had one hour and a blank space, what would you do?" Bernstein said. Thus far, the answer to that question has been, well, just about everything. The first project in this year's series, Dan Graham's "2011 Zevon Awards," was a borderline absurdist performance piece that placed elaborately characterized genre authors at a fake science-fiction awards ceremony; two nights after that, Aaron Terry invited guests to wear hand-sewn "Urban Yetti" outfits while he documented their actions as part of a meta-social experiment. The remaining half of the series, which ends Sunday, April 17, promises to be equally manifold, with projects including drawing sessions, a citrus tasting, and workshops both utilitarian (how to make your own paint) and less so (how to speak with a convincing fake accent). Check website for full schedule; free. RoyalNoneSuchGallery.com — Ellen Cushing