Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, May 25, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Long weekend! If you're sticking around, here's what's happening:

James Farm
Although the name doesn't yet have wide currency in jazz circles, James Farm is a veritable supergroup. Its default leader, saxophonist Joshua Redman, is a Berkeley High alum, son of the late avant-garde composer Dewey Redman, and 1991 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, which is widely regarded as a forum for choosing the best young musicians in the world. His James Farm bandmate Aaron Parks took third place in the 2006 piano iteration. The other members, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland, served with Redman in SFJAZZ Collective, and are known for their intuitive playing and introspective composition styles. And it shows on James Farm's recordings, which are harmonically dense and sometimes confrontational, but also full of funky drumming and light, jaunty grooves. The band members pride themselves on having a wandering palette, meaning the mix has influences from rock, blues, hip-hop, and R&B, even if jazz is their basic template. You can hear all those raw materials in their songs, and the result is pretty satisfying. James Farm plays at Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero, Oakland) Friday through Sunday, May 25-27. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Sun. 7 p.m.; $13-$30. Yoshis.com — Rachel Swan

Lorin Station Crop Swap
Get super-seasonal and hyper-local: Bring your own homegrown garden produce to the Lorin Station Weekly Crop Swap (northeast corner of Alcatraz Avenue and Adeline Street, Berkeley) on Sunday, May 27, and trade it for backyard produce grown by others. Transition Berkeley and the Victory Garden Foundation organize these free hour-long weekly crop swaps throughout the late spring and summer; right now it's lemon, lettuce, kale, and beet season. 1 p.m., free. TransitionBerkeley.com — Anneli Rufus

Rosie's Big Bash
It's been a more than a decade since Big Bad Voodoo Daddy dominated charts and got everyone feeling all nostalgic for simpler times, but a Rose the Riveter party seems just the right occasion to get back in the swing of things. The National Park Service is unveiling its new World War II Home Front NHP Visitor Center in Richmond, and to celebrate it's throwing a night of cocktails, food, and dancing. Even if you've got two left feet it might be worth it if you've never been to an event at Richmond's elegant CranewayPavillion (1414 Harbour Way South Marina District, Richmond). Plus it's a throwback event for a good cause. The new Visitor Center, which opens Saturday, commemorates the 70th birthday of equality WWII's famous symbol of women's equality. If you spring for the VIP option, you'll get special early access to the museum, plus free drinks to wet your whistle and get you dancing.It all happens Saturday, May 25 at 7 p.m., $19.42-$250, Craneway.com — Will Butler

Ancillary Adaptations
Masako Miki creates monumental work that evades cliché at every turn. Whereas some may criticize that deer are the new bird — as in, "put a bird on it" — Miki uses the animal in a fresh way. There is a biting psychology in exploring deer as a motif in fine art. When done right, the buck and the doe become at once a symbol of prey and capable defenders, regardless of gender. In Ancillary Adaptations at Swarm Gallery (560 Second St., Oakland), Miki presents a multimedia exhibit of the life cycle of the deer, from its birth to its inescapable death. Miki's tenderly rendered illustrations, paintings, and sculpture deftly depict a grand zeitgeist. Thus, the deer becomes a metaphor of something inside each of us — a thing with antlers that's also vulnerable, a thing we trust to only the most capable artists. Through May 27. 510-839-2787 or SwarmGallery.com — Obi Kauffman

Weiner Nationals
If you haven't experienced any of Golden Gate Fields' (1100 Eastshore Hwy., Berkeley) previous Wiener Nationals races, you've denied yourself a world of dachshund-infused delight. For those yet to witness the hilarity that ensues when scores of long-bodied dogs attempt to execute a thirty-yard dash in a setting typically reserved for horses, consider the race on Saturday, May 26, a chance to catch up. More than one hundred competitors will vie for cash prizes between the day's horse races, and will be sure to provide post-race entertainment when they waddle through the stands with their owners. 12:45-5 p.m.; $6-$8, free for kids. 510-559-7300 or GoldenGateFields.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.

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