Frequent New York Times contributor Jon Mooallem has always had a special eye for peculiar stories involving animals. Whether writing about gay creatures in the wild, a rhesus monkey wandering the streets of Tampa, or the urban wars being fought against pigeons by vigilant humans worldwide, Mooallem often seeks -- with just a touch of comedy to boot -- to bring the complex human-animal relationship into focus. His new book, Wild Ones, does just that. Looking at three threatened species and delving into all sorts of obscure history and science along the way, Mooallem explores how much more complicated the story of endangered animals is than a simple morality tale. Join him on Thursday, May 23, as he reads from Wild Ones at Books Inc. (1760 Fourth St., Berkeley), where you may find yourself laughing and/or crying. 7 p.m., free. 510-525-7777 or BooksInc.netfree
It wasn't long ago that Los Angeles music blogs latched onto dream-pop trio Superhumanoids -- and with good reason. Formed in the Silver Lake neighborhood, Superhumanoids likely absorbed some of the musical DNA left behind by former residents Local Natives and Elliott Smith, considering its penchant for (somewhat) cerebral, heartfelt pop. At times, Superhumanoids veers into the hallucinatory guitarscapes of, say, DIIV; bleak-sounding Eighties new wave; and even its chillwave forebears. The otherworldly harmonies of members Cameron Parkins, Sarah Chernoff, and Max St. John are underscored by an ever-funky bass and tight percussion that keeps the band from floating too far into the ether. "Geri," the lead single from the band's forthcoming debut album Exhibitionists, is perhaps more nostalgically groovy and shimmery than anything Superhumanoids has released before -- hopefully giving a taste of what's to come. Superhumanoids will open for Cold War Kids at The Regency Ballroom (1290 Sutter St., San Francisco) on Thursday, May 23. 8 p.m., $23, $25.TheRegencyBallroom.com$23-$25
It takes a moment for Tressa Pack's four large, spare prints at Interface Gallery to register as photographs, and even then it's hard to accept them as such. Consisting primarily of white expanse with the faintest outline of a landscape and the occasional, distant human figure, they rather read as minimalist paintings or delicate graphite sketches. In fact, the series, called Wanderers in a Sea of Fog, depicts the extremely socked-in landscape of San Francisco's Ocean Beach. To achieve her effect, Pack uses black-and-white film and adjusts exposure times to lighten the images, then scans them into digital form and prints them using inkjet to soften the images further. The result amplifies the effect of the fog to the point of near unintelligibility -- an utterly entrancing form of play at the limits of photographic technology. This is one way of courting the sublime. Wanderers in a Sea of Fog runs through June 1 at Interface Gallery (486 49th St., Oakland). InterfaceArtGallery.comfree
Out late? Can't face heading home hungry? Bocanova (55 Webster St., Oakland) has instituted a brand-new "Late Nite Boca Bite" menu, featuring bocaditos ("little bites") at happy-hour prices served from 9 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. every Thursday through Saturday. Bocaditos include yuca-and-cheese fritters, fried plantains with cilantro aioli, Dungeness crab deviled eggs with chipotle aioli, taco-del-día with pickled cabbage, and pork ribs with guava-barbecue sauce. Specially priced cocktails, wine, and beer wash it all down. $1.50 and up. 510-444-1233 or Bocanova.com
Restorative justice programs may offer the best new hope for reducing violence in Oakland schools and the city overall, but their future funding is uncertain.