Happy day-early Weekender, in honor of the long weekend! Happy solstice, one day late! Happy Thing You Celebrate! Cookies! Latkes! Umoja! PEACE ON EARTH! Here's what you're doing, unless you're doing other things!
DIY Animation Workshop
There's still time to make a truly unique holiday gift — come to Rock Paper Scissors (2278 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on Thursday, Dec. 22, for a workshop facilitated by Price Cobbs that includes a brief history of animation, an overview of various precursors to film animation, a short screening of selected shorts, and a hands-on workshop in planning and shooting stop-motion or cut-out animation in video or film. No experience required! 6-8 p.m., $1-$10 suggested donation. 510-238-9171 or RPSCollective.org. — Stefanie Kalem
Good Vibrations Customer Appreciation Nights
While sex is (technically) free, throw some vibrators, handcuffs, and other gadgets into the mix and fornication can be an expensive undertaking. That's why Good Vibrations (2504 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley) is throwing a series of year-end customer appreciation nights at each of its stores, where patrons can indulge in complimentary chocolates and sparkling apple cider and take advantage of sales on select toys. If you're looking to cross some items off your kinky Christmas list, check out the store's sexy holiday kits. On Thursday, Dec. 22, 6-9 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 23, 6-8 p.m.; free. 510-841-8987 or GoodVibes.com. — Cassie Harwood
Remember that video that Drake was filming around these parts a few weeks ago? Well "The Motto" clip arrived via interweb late last night, and, except for a poignant intro from Mac Dre's mother, it's pretty much what you'd expect. Drake drives around some bridges and stands around with FAB and E-40, to prove that he did, in fact, take a little Bay field trip for the weekend. Meanwhile Tunechi and Tyga sit alone in a parking lot in SOMA. And Amoeba Music is probably pretty happy. Also, green Uggs.
Next: Check out Dope Mountain Fuck vol. 2, a new, incredibly wide-ranging mixtape featuring a few of our favorite East Bay dudes.
Pop music fans, brace yourselves. One of the most important magnum opi in the R&B canon has just expanded by about a hundred fifty percent. That's right — according to the AV Club newswire, R. Kelly has written 32 new chapters for Trapped in the Closet, his epic, soap operatic, slow jam sonata about — well, about being trapped in a closet. Think he has nothing more to say after adding the midget named Bridget? Well, hear it from the source himself, on an exclusive TMZ interview:
Shortly after famed Chicago rapper Common unleashed The Dreamer, The Believer onto the world, one of his guests — the poet and author Maya Angelou — expressed outrage and dismay over a track in which she was featured. It appears she unwittingly licensed her poetry for a song that was littered with profanity and n-words. It was meant to be innocuous — indeed, Common has actually been hailed by many publications, including this one, for his socially conscious bent — but Angelou wasn't amused. "I don’t think the word 'disappointment' quite makes it. I was 'surprised,'" she said, calling into BET's 106 & Park yesterday for a segment in which the two finally made amends. It was perfect timing, given that Common had just launched a new beef, this time with one of his rapper peers: Drake.
From the great minds that brought you Whole Foods Parking Lot comes yet another sure-to-be-viral YouTube vid about the pains of yuppie angst — and this time, there's a local angle. The conceit is thus: LA transplant DJ Dave's being challenged for being, well, "not Berkeley enough" — so he's forced to spend four and a half minutes proving his Bay bona fides, with the help of on-location shoots at the French Hotel and Berkeley High, and by name-checking such institutions as Cancun Taqueria and the Solano Stroll. Seriously, you just have to watch it:
(h/t every single Berkeley High alum on Facebook)
Hello, beautiful people. Here's what you're doing this weekend.
Mama Buzz' Final Show
Visitors to MamaBuzzCafe.com will receive an arresting surprise this week: some random placeholder ads and the message "This domain has expired." Unfortunately it's not an error. After almost ten years in business, the cafe — a longtime hub for in-the-know Berkeley undergrads, art school experimenters, self-employed writers and thinkers, and new musicians of all inclinations — is facing closure after losing its lease. And unless matters improve, it'll have to shut its doors on January 1. So with its future still up in the air, Mama Buzz is spending the month of December reluctantly wrapping things up and celebrating nearly a decade of local culture. On Saturday, December 17, the cafe holds its final show, featuring Street Eaters, Heist, Know Your Saints, Great Apes, and Company. The event also has an added philanthropic element: In an attempt to strike a charitable chord with the DIY community, the show will include a canned-food drive to benefit the Alameda County Food Bank. Each can or boxed-food item will count as a dollar off the $5 suggested donation. That seems apropos of the Mama Buzz ethos. It started out as a scrappy eatery and became a veritable institution, without letting go of its roots. It will surely be mourned and missed. — Will Butler
Only a playwright like Mark Jackson would have the audacity to dredge up and dramatize the first play ever staged in America — a colonial satire called YeBarre, Ye Cubbe. And interestingly enough, it's still timely. Turns out the colonists were using a bear and cub to protest an unfair taxation system, which was funneling all the profits from their tobacco bumper crop back to rich aristocrats in England. Sound familiar? Jackson doesn't shy away from political subtexts in his own updated rendition, but what he's mostly interested in is the colonists' fixation with religion. The title of his play, God's Plot, derives from the idea that Puritans thought they were acting out a grand play for God — thus, they spent their lives performing, confessing, acting penitent, and always watching one another. The conceit is fairly cerebral, but the execution is thoroughly engaging, especially since it's staged as a musical. Daveen Di Giacomo wrote the score; Nina Ball designed the stark, churchy set; Juliana Lustenader and Carl Holvick-Thomas star. Through Jan. 15 at The Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley). $18-$27. ShotgunPlayers.org or 510-841-6500 — Rachel Swan
So, guys... East Bay Express is holding an Erotic Short Films Festival on February 16, 2012, aptly titled "Briefs." We were hoping the flier would be enough to pique your interest:
It took a good deal of squabbling, and a little effort to placate the "family-friendly" denizens of Oakland's Lake Merritt district. But sex-positive retailer Good Vibrations finally emerged triumphant. The well-established Bay Area sex shop will open a new outpost on Lakeshore Avenue on January 28, with a special inaugural party, featuring Real Housewife of Atlanta Kandi Burgess, who will showcase her new "intimate luxury line," Bedroom Kandi. Not to mention the store will offer sex toy giveaways, a photo booth, and drink specials from the bar next door. Hopefully the storeowners' munificence will help neighbors warm up to it — even the ones who thought a sex toy shop had no business being on the same block as a real toy shop. For now, Good Vibes reps are sanguine: "It's too soon to sound the trumpets just yet, since we're still doing construction," publicity manager Camilla Lombard wrote in a recent email. Still, she couldn't hide her excitement.