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Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 5:48 AM

Glorious weekend! Herewith, our critics' top event picks:

Cher Horowitz
Cher Horowitz: Great handle, impossible to Google. But despite the fact that this all-girl punk quartet shares its name with the much-more-famous Clueless heroine (and onetime idol of fifth-grade girls everywhere), it's well worth whatever keyword acrobatics it takes to track 'em down: The band's 2011 EP, the brilliantly-named Babes! Snax! Jamz! Outfits! Astrology! is a rollicking, reverb-drenched ride through the high school experience you never had; or like what might've happened if the fictional Cher Horowitz had gotten mixed up with a bunch of riot grrls in freshman gym instead of Dionne and Tai — or, maybe just Nineties pop-culture nostalgia done exactly right. That is, with fuzzed-our guitars, unrelenting drums, half-yelled lyrics, and a palpable (if snarly) kind of giddiness — neither too ironic nor too reverent, stuck in the delicious somewhere between complete seriousness and all-out joking and wisely employing the character less as a conscription than as a jumping-off point to sing about all kinds of problems (high school-specific or not). The show goes down at 924 Gilman (924 Gilman St., Berkeley), which means there's a decent chance the Gilman audience will be too young to get it, but as Horowitz herself would say, What-ever! On Sunday, Apr. 29 with Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits, American Splits, Jeff Rowe, Boxglove, and Criticism as part of a benefit for El Sobrante's Hansel and Gretel cooperative preschool. 3 p.m., $5-$10 sliding scale. 924Gilman.orgEllen Cushing

Dumpling Wars
Tour the world via delicious fillings tucked into wrappers as Kearny Street Workshop presents the first-ever Dumpling Wars at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (388 9th St., Oakland) on Thursday, Apr. 26. The dumpling-making contest with an international flavor allows attendees to sample offerings from seven competing teams of amateur chefs in a smorgasbord setting augmented by local treats and live music. May the best stuffers win. 6 p.m., $20-$25. KearnyStreet.orgAnneli Rufus

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April Follies Same-Sex Dance Championship
Ladies, grab your gals; guys, grab your dudes: The tenth-annual April Follies Same Sex Dance Championship gives same-sex, queer, and transgender couples a chance to hit the dance floor for a day of competitive dancing. Movers and shakers of all capabilities can cut a rug in genres ranging from salsa and Argentine tango to West Coast swing and lindy hop, with an open dance session following the final competition. Straight couples are welcome to dance in separately judged competitions — as long as the female leads at least 75 percent of the performance. At the Just Dance Ballroom (2500 Embarcadero, Oakland) on Saturday, Apr. 28. 10 a.m.-1 p.m., $15-$35. 415-333-1650 or AprilFollies.comCassie Harwood

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Eat Delicious Pizza at Rotten City
Emeryville’s reigning pizza champ is a hybrid, merging the New York-style slice aspirations of Brooklyn-born Jonas Bernstein with the Cal-cuisine pedigree of Chef John Streit (Pizzaiolo, Pizzeria Delfina). The basics don’t quite hold up, with the thin crust on the margherita not able to withstand the thick coating of sauce. But once Streit starts working his magic on the combos, look out. The Calabrian pizza is a can’t-miss, with a house-made Italian sausage (ground with paprika, fennel, and Beeler pork shoulder); Gaeta olives (striking, though milder than a Kalamata); potent Calabrian chilies; and a sprinkling of toasted fennel seeds. 6613 Hollis St., Emeryville; open Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. noon-10 p.m. RottenCityPizza.comJesse Hirsch

Roach Gigz
He may be petulant and pottymouthed, but there's little debate that KMEL Top 10 Freshman emeritus Roach Gigz is one of the best rappers operating in the Bay Area right now. And were it not for his utterly infuriating lyrics, he might be hailed as the best, bar none. Roach tends to fixate on personal vices and ineluctable pleasures — he's a drug user, loafer, moocher, manipulator, and indefatigable womanizer — but he'll occasionally let slip a bit of social commentary. It's crazy how the city change/I don't see nobody from the city, man, Roach raps, waxing philosophical about gentrification and San Francisco's burgeoning tech economy in the song "Gina," which is otherwise about some girl with a booty. Lyrics notwithstanding, Roach has a near-perfect sense of rhythm. He syncopates lines, raps words as triplet figures, and always stays in the pocket of the beat. In a genre that tends to privilege style over substance, he'll have amazing longevity. At Oakland Metro Operahouse (630 3rd St., Oakland) on Saturday, Apr. 28. 8 p.m., $12, $15. OaklandMetro.orgRachel Swan Plus...
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.
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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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