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Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, May 11, 2012 at 5:26 AM

We know you're still doing the happy dance over Obeezy's big coming out, but it's time to ficus on important stuff, like chocolate and drinking outside. Herewith, our critics' best bets for the following 72 hours:

Skins & Needles
The title of this event is a wincing lesson in bad marketing, but the musicians behind it are no joke. DJ Zeph has been a fixture in the local hip-hop scene for more than a decade, best known for his collaborations with the vastly unheralded emcee Azeem. (Their 2007 Om Records collaboration, Rise Up, is still a knock, five years later.) Drummer Max MacVeety is equally respected, both for his Berklee College of Music credentials and for his work with the hip-hop band Crown City Rockers. In fact, both of these artists have an enviable talent for flitting between the jazz, soul, and hip-hop worlds. In Zeph's case, that amounts to having ample knowledge of several different genres, and a penchant for blending them — he does that with alacrity in "Floorwax," a disco track sutured to a looped backbeat. (It's enhanced by verses from Crown City rapper Raashan Ahmad.) Similarly, MacVeety improvises with free-jazz saxophonist David Boyce just as easily as he pumps the snare and high-hat for underground rappers. Together, these two percussionists make a formidable, if unorthodox, combination. They'll play with the Afrofunk Experience at Vitus (201 Broadway, Oakland) on Saturday, May 12. 10 p.m., $5. VitusOakland.com — Rachel Swan

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Alice Medrich
The Bay Area woman who helped revolutionize chocolate and opened an aptly named dessert shop, Chocolat, shares some of her secrets! Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts,Quicker Smarter Recipes makes making sweets manageable, even if you're not a cook or a baker. The key words to remember are "fresh," as in seasonal fruits, tarts, ice cream toppings, and pies; and "quick," as showcased by her easy-peasy food-processed cakes. Author, pastry-chef and teacher Alice Medrich will discuss recipes, sign books, and provide delicious chocolates for tasting at The Pasta Shop (1786 Fourth Street, Berkeley) on Saturday, May 12. 1 p.m., free. 510-250-6004 or ThePastaShop.net — Alison Peters


Drink Outside!

FACT: The only thing better than summertime drinking is outdoor summertime drinking. To that end, we've compiled our first-ever comprehensive guide to every East Bay bar we could track down with a patio, deck, backyard, or otherwise open-air space. Check 'em all out here.

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Sound of My Voice
An example of how much a movie can accomplish with a good script, a few decent actors, and almost nothing else. A pair of investigative video reporters (Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius) infiltrates a furtive Los Angeles cult built around a charismatic young woman named Maggie (Brit Marling from Another Earth), who claims to be a time traveler from 2054 – and who urges her browbeaten devotees to increasingly violent acts. The screenplay, by actress Marling and director Zal Batmanglij, relies heavily on Marling’s spooky demeanor, and the story has the same eerie, obliquely oppressive flavor as the similar 2011 drama about cults, Martha Marcy May Marlene. But something is missing. Think of it as a kind of down payment on the Marling mystique. Playing at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood (2966 College Ave., Berkeley) all weekend. — Kelly Vance

David Seiler
David Seiler's iconic, explosive paintings currently grace the walls of Old Oakland's newest bar/restaurant, District (827 Washington St., Oakland). An emerging East Bay art star and owner of Victorian Rat Gallery, Seiler masterly creates graphic motifs of expertly colored mountains blasting apart, pyramids falling from cloudy perches, and other epic imagery, spread out across hypnotic backgrounds — invoking graffiti and illustration. District's tall brick walls could easily swallow the works of a less capably dramatic painter, but Seiler's bright-pink lightning storms, electric-blue gods' eyes, and monumental prismatic shapes seem able to potently dominate the cavernous space. By opening with the works of David Seiler, District has announced itself as an Oakland art destination, although currently there's no plan to take the paintings down anytime soon. They'll be on display through July, but don't let that delay you getting down there. 510-272-9110 or DistrictOak.com — Obi Kaufmann

Bonus: Listen to this new track by staff favorites Antwon and SAFE
If this doens't become your own personal song of the summer, you're doing it wrong.

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.

Friend and Follow Us: Here we are on Facebook and Twitter.

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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