So the holidays are over, the New Year is now just the boring old current year, and it still ain't raining in the Bay Area. What to do with yourself this weekend? We have some ideas, and none of them involve pissy vegan queer punk. Okay, one does, but the rest are essentially free of it.
The latest Berkeley iteration of that national sensation of literary humiliation, Mortified — wherein everyday people let the shame fly — happens on Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Shattuck Down Low (2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley). 21 and up. 8 p.m., $15-$20. 510-455-4735 or GetMortified.com — Stefanie Kalem
Bette’s Oceanview Diner
1807 Fourth St., Berkeley, 510-644-3230. In a former industrial district that was given a dazzling new lease on life, Bette’s sends typical diner cuisine into the stratosphere. A jukebox and shiny counter bespeak the 1940s, and Philadelphia scrapple and corned-beef hash are popular. But FDR never tasted anything like these soaringly fluffy souffléed pancakes (served with seasonal fruits), or the lightly fried cod fillets, served on open-faced baguettes with house-made tartar. Expect consistency, as most menu items and preparations have been the same since Bette’s opened in 1982. Be forewarned: Bette’s wait times can be brutal, so bring a book and a sense of humor. $$ — Jesse Hirsch
Although its members proclaim themselves to play “pissy vegan queer punk” and hail from the land of Earth Crisis (Syracuse, New York), the trio of Josh Smith, Kari Charlsworth, and Meredith Graves takes its cues from a different strain of punk. Graves’ guitar tone can veer from chuggy pop punk riffs to feedback noise blasts while maintaining a feral sneer in her vocals. Drummer Smith and bassist Charlsworth swing between full-on aggro ragers and droney noise rock. Shoppers’ debut LP Silver Year (on Smith’s own Feeble Minds label) puts one in mind of contemporaries like Broken Water and White Lung, or even the Bay’s own DADFAG. The thread through all these new bands is the late-Eighties post-punk pantheon of Homestead Records, one-time home of Big Black, Dinosaur Jr., and Squirrel Bait. That the new wave of this sound is largely female-fronted is not lost on us. Those Eighties bands were trying to wrest guitar heroics away from the Seventies cock-rock gods, and this new generation is even better at degendering those heroics. With Rank/Xerox, Neon Pixx, and Cathedral Ghosts at 1234 Go! Records (423 40th St., Oakland) on Saturday, Jan. 14. 7 p.m., $5. 1234GoRecords.com — George Chen
“The Deeper Side of Soul”
The house scene in Oakland isn’t just alive, it’s thriving. And not just downtown, but lakeside, too. Beloved family-owned Mexican restaurant La Estrellita Cafe (446 E. 12th St.), which boasts an impressive entertainment calendar for such a small venue — including salsa nights, spoken word, and the monthly Hella Gay comedy showcase — recently brought soulful dance music into the fold. Fans of long-running events “Brothers and Sisters” and “The People Party” have a new place to convene, albeit a slightly smaller one. The latest version of “The Deeper Side of Soul” happens on Saturday, Jan. 14 (and every second Saturday), with DJs Dedan, Cali, and Nina Sol; live art by Aloeye and noa; video projections by Variat Productions; and an organic “tea infusion” beverage called Blank Tea, which, with its emphasis on “sweet, peppery” flavors, seems to befit the occasion. 9:30 p.m., free. Fusicology.com/event/deepersideofsoul — Rachel Swan
The Harlem Globetrotters really need no introduction — but for those unfamiliar with the world-famous ballers, suffice to say the team has merged sport, comedy, and theater over more than 85 years and twenty thousand games. It’s even been depicted in both a Saturday morning cartoon and a Nintendo video game. You won’t have to trot far to see the dynamic performance yourself, as the team comes to the Oracle Arena (7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland) for two games on Saturday, Jan. 14. 2, 7 p.m.; $14-$69. 510-569-2121 or HarlemGlobetrotters.com — Cassie Harwood
Get your cheapskate on: This is how much we love you guys: Here are our searchable listings of every single free event happening in the East Bay this weekend.
Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.