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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekender: Five Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 11:59 PM

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

National Dance Week
Give your dancing feet a whirl during the thirtieth annual National Dance Week, Friday through Sunday, April 22-May 1, when four hundred local schools, companies, and venues welcome the public to classes, rehearsals, open houses, and fun for all ages and abilities. Jim Beatty’s Ha Ha This A-Way in Berkeley hosts creative movement for the toddler set, Oakland’s Crucible dares visitors to take a rope-dart Chinese martial arts class, and Butacada do Leste invites the public to a Carnaval Dance Jam in Emeryville. Other events feature world beat, kathak, improv, poetry dance, clogging, aerials, Bombay Jam, Broadway jazz, hula hooping, and more. So get your back off the wall and do some dancing — just RSVP online to let them know you’re coming. Check web site for full details; free. 415-920-9181 or BayAreaNDW.org — Claudia Bauer

Philosophy Talk Live
At first blush, a show devoted to philosophy and hosted by two academics is about as unlikely a concept for a radio program as you’ll find. After all, talk radio tends to favor sexy, slickly produced, fast-paced news and opinion — not the long, languid discussions of abstract concepts and dead intellectuals often associated with philosophy. The label “philosophy” alone, with all its connotations, could easily alienate the average radio listener — even the average public-radio listener, for that matter. Nonetheless, though, in its seven-plus-year run, Philosophy Talk has proven to be consistently popular, and that success owes largely to its hosts, Ken Taylor and John Perry, both Stanford professors. Taylor and Perry have a natural rapport between them, and they’re careful to frame the show in concrete language; employ a classic three-part story arc; and break up the headiness with humor. Ultimately, it sounds less like a lecture than a conversation between two of your smartest friends — Car Talk for the philosophy set, perhaps. On Sunday, April 24, Taylor and Perry will record two of their upcoming shows live at The Marsh Berkeley (2120 Allston Way, Berkeley). The first, starting at noon, is entitled “Gay Pride and Prejudice”, and the second, starting at 3 p.m. concerns the philosophical and lingual basis for conceptions of agency and responsibility. $15 each. PhilosophyTalk.org — E.C.

DJs Backside and Pam the Funkstress
So it turns out Shattuck Down Low is the East Bay hub for all your hip-hop needs this weekend. Not only is the venue hosting the aforementioned free Del Tha Funkee Homosapien show on Friday, it’s also featuring two homegrown female hip-hop DJs on Saturday for a night of classics and “heavy duty” Top 40 hits. DJs Backside and Pam the Funkstress aren’t just wax slingers who can get a party started. They’re also well-respected among underground heads and activists. Pam made her name by manning the decks for famed agit-prop group The Coup, and her cult of idolatry eventually rivaled that of emcee Boots Riley. “Best of the East Bay” winner DJ Backside came up playing community dance battles, hosting the barbecues at Moses Music in East Oakland, and establishing herself as a booster of local hip-hop. She also co-owns It’s a Grind coffee shop in downtown Oakland. At Shattuck Down Low (2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) on Saturday, Apr. 23. 9 p.m., $10. ShattuckDownLow.com — R.S.


Plus...

Catch a Movie: Our critic recommends the latest Morgan Spurlock vehicle, Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

Eat Up: If you're a fan of "hearty manicotti, bodacious gnocchi, and living-in-luxury Alfredo sauce" — and who isn't?? — get thee to Luca Cucina Italiana in what appears to be the East Bay's newest hip microhood, San Pablo Avenue between Addison Street and University Avenue.

Get Buzzed: Chag sameach, East Bay. Learn all about Scmaltz Brewing Company's beers in this week's installment of our drinking column, Last Call.

Waste Some Time: CuteRoulette, y'all. Like ChatRoulette, except with fewer disembodied dicks and more baby animals. YOU'RE WELCOME.

Friend and Follow Us: Here we are on Facebook and Twitter.

Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.

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