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tug gut: Alyssa Lempesis

Sept. 20-21
<i>tug gut</i>
The insides of the human body are intensely intimate, and yet somehow so grotesquely unfamiliar. We manage to mostly ignore the fact that we each house a collection of tender, bloody organs because we are so rarely (if we’re lucky) confronted with their raw meatiness. The work of Alyssa Lempesis disrupts that bliss. Tug · gut, her current solo show at Aggregate Space (801 West Grand Ave., Oakland) captures all the textures and shapes that make us squirm because we’re so used to ignoring them. Through sculpture and video work, Lempesis evokes slimy excretions, gaping pores, overgrown hairs, jiggling blubber, and other aspects of organisms that we don’t want to see — but can’t look away from. Using unusual materials in even more unusual pairings, she invites the viewer into an oddly pleasurable discomfort zone where polyurethane foam, epoxy resin, concrete, and acrylic all mesh together in an awkward encounter. One end of the gallery is filled with an inflatable sculpture entitled “gulp,” which resembles a massive, blown-up surgical glove made for a hand with 25 fingers. Its numerous protrusions seem subtly perverted, and yet it’s difficult not to want to reach out and grab one.
Aggregate Space 801 West Grand Ave., Oakland (map)

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Amen

Through Oct. 31
510-473-5919
<i>Amen</i>
To celebrate the fourth anniversary of Betti Ono (1427 Broadway, Oakland), gallery director Anyka Barber decided to reflect on the past by looking forward. For Amen, Oakland artists Amaryllis De Jesus Moleski and Kholi partnered to create a show that depicts an idealized present by envisioning it as a future history, with a focus on the inclusion of marginalized, queer people of color. The show features paintings by Moleski with poetry by Kholi interspersed among the works and written using cutout, water-colored letters, dreamily articulating the myth that Moleski illustrates. Moleski’s paintings collapse temporal context, telling a future that draws heavily from the past. The women she depicts float weightlessly, without a setting to restrain them. They have exaggerated proportions, with massive hands, feet, and large, powerful limbs, reminiscent of old renderings of Amazonian warrior women. They sport sneakers and 1980s-esque spandex getups, and hold guitars and gemmed scepters — all in a pastel palette. Moleski also used pastel-colored synthetic hair to weave a number of textiles emblazoned with ancient geometric symbols. She is interested in complicating the Western understanding of history and craft, showing that practices such as hair-braiding are just as culturally important as traditional artistic crafts. How will queer communities of color be remembered in the future? Together, Moleski and Kholi aim to answer that question through artistic determination. Free
Betti Ono Gallery and Shop 1427 Broadway, Oakland (map)

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The Jet Set

, Wednesdays, 9 p.m.
510-451-4677
The Jet Set
The son of a Guatemalan mother and Salvadorian mother, Erick Santero grew up in Panama and Costa Rica, studied in Puerto Rico and Cuba, and poached a lot of his musical knowledge from Latin scenes in New York. So it's no overreach for Santero to say he gets around Latin America, or that he tends to eschew borders. His fan base is centered in the Bay Area, for sure, but it's also spread throughout the Latino diaspora, as is his palette. As a DJ, he's known for mixing contemporary hip-hop with vocal samples filched from Cuban singer Celia Cruz, bachata rhythms that originated in the Dominican Republic, and cumbia styles of the Caribbean. His weekly world music party, called The Jet Set, features grooves from throughout the Americas, as well as parts of Asia and Africa, with a rotating lineup of guest DJs. Every Wednesday at Luka's Taproom (2221 Broadway, Oakand). 8 p.m., free. LukasOakland.com free
Luka's Taproom & Lounge 2221 Broadway, Oakland (map)

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Friday Nights at OMCA

, Fridays, 5-9 p.m.
510-318-8400
Friday Nights at OMCA
East Bayizing the international tradition by which neighbors meet and eat in the moonlight, the Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak St., Oakland) will hold its weekly night market on Friday: Off the Grid’s gourmet food trucks will offer artisanal local cuisine, with local beer and wine served in the Blue Oak beer garden. A Makers & Tasters discussion will bring together great minds in the brewing and gardening communities. Live music, dance lessons, a DJ, and an LGBT history tour of the museum help guests digest all that stout and kraut. $7.50
Oakland Museum of California 1000 Oak St., Oakland (map)

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Oakland Showga

, , Mondays, 6:30-8 p.m.
Oakland Showga

If yoga is your jam but the usual gongs and grunts are getting you down, bring your mat to the Starline Social Club (2232 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland) on Mondays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for Oakland Showga, where East Bay Community Yoga founder Katie Colver teaches vinyasa classes for yogis of all levels to the sounds of a live local band. While the live music/yoga combo has been done before, Colver strives for a more mind- and body-bending experience by booking psychedelic line-ups that buck the New Age-y, Burning Man trend. If you leave class feeling a bit funky, it might be owed to more than just a strenuous workout. Showga.com

$5-$15
Starline Social Club 2232 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland (map)

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Motown on Mondays

Mondays, 8 p.m.
510-891-8660
Motown on Mondays
Prozack Turner has certainly made good on his promise to “avoid the Top-40 hip-hop trap” at Legionnaire Saloon, his new Uptown bar. The venue’s parties showcase a wide variety of genres — disco, country, and more — and it recently began hosting one of the Bay’s longest-running weekly events, Motown on Mondays. Started in San Francisco in 2009, Motown on Mondays has since spread to Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Honolulu, and now Oakland, and brings together young and old fans with its mix of Sixties soul, doo-wop, and R&B. At Legionnaire Saloon (2272 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), DJs have included Pam the Funkstress of The Coup and J-Boogie, and this week will feature DJ Fuze of Digital Underground. Fuze helped produce some of Digital Underground’s biggest hits, including “Freaks of the Industry,” “Doowutchyalike,” and “The Humpty Dance,” and has collaborated with Tupac and The Luniz, but he’s also made a name for himself as one of the Bay’s most eclectic cratediggers, amassing a collection of soul, house, and world music. Expect him to dust off some of his best records for the occasion. free
The Legionnaire Saloon 2272 Telegraph Ave., Oakland (map)

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Fight Night

, , Tuesdays, 4 p.m.

The first rule of The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment's (610 16th St., Ste. 230, Oakland) weekly Fight Club gatherings: Gamers of all ages are free to duke it out via old-school video games like Soul Caliburand Street Fighter 2, played on gaming systems from Atari 2600 to Neo Geo. The second rule of The MADE's weekly Fight Club gatherings: Halfway through the evening, the gloves come off and the real tournament begins, with the game du jour determined by participants, and games and other geekery awarded to the winners. Kids under fifteen: Bring a parent or guardian. Every Tuesday, including Dec. 6.6-9 p.m.; general play free, tournament $5. 510-788-5702 or TheMADE.org

$2

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Fuzic

Fourth Friday of every month, 9 p.m.
510-832-4400
Fuzic
Every fourth Friday, DJ Fuze — best known for being a member of seminal Oakland hip-hop group Digital Underground — takes over the sound system at Era Art Bar (19 Grand Ave., Oakland). He knows his stuff — he produced for Tupac and worked with artists like The Luniz, Goapele, and Dave Chappelle. And although Fuze’s background is in hip-hop, he also spins R&B, soul, disco, and funk. At his monthly party at Era, he incorporates sounds from the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa into his set as well. With such a diverse array of music, you won’t be bored. $10
Era Art Bar and Lounge 19 Grand Ave., Oakland (map)

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