Here's what's up this weekend:
Oakland shoegaze trio Vir describes its sound as a collision of My Bloody Valentine and Doves, but it's groovier and more psychedelic than that comparison might suggest. Yes, there are buckets of distortion and reverb, but songs have a tendency to build into climactic noise jams, such as on "Joy in Space" off the band's new album, Engineers. A lot must be said for bassist Natasha Arens, who not only keeps the foundation solid but also sounds interesting underneath all the feedback, fuzz, and delay. The band opened for Bob Mould at Noise Pop earlier this year, and is now promoting its third album. Catch it at The Starry Plough on Friday, July 20, with Portland's The Blacklights and fellow Oaklanders James and Evander. 9:30 p.m., $7-$12. StarryPloughPub.com — Kathleen Richards
Bikes 4 Life Peace Ride
Whether you typically ride a bicycle for good health, fun, or a cheap commute, the proprietors of West Oakland community bicycle shop Bikes 4 Life invite you to ride for peace at the 5th Annual Peace Ride on Saturday, July 21. The ride is intended to bring together everyone from youth on handcrafted scraper bikes and dapper sorts on fancy fixed-gears to little old ladies on kid-size BMXs. Meet at Lake Merritt (468 Perkins St., Oakland) at 5 p.m. for a ride around the lake followed by a trek to the West Oakland bike shop (1600 7th St.) for a block party complete with bike competitions, outdoor movie screenings, and food and libations for sale by neighboring Revolution Cafe. Free. 510-452-2453 or BikesForLife.com — Cassie McFadden
The 45 Sessions with DJs J-Zone and Centipede
Some particularly assiduous hip-hop fans may know J-Zone for his erstwhile rap career — his discography includes the LPs Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes, $ick of Being Rich, and Music for Tu Madre — along with some rather inspired neologisms (e.g., “pimpotent”). But he’s also a pretty well respected DJ and producer, boasting a curriculum vitae that includes collaborations with Biz Markie, Devin the Dude, Gnarls Barkley, and a host of other hip-hop titans. In fact, J-Zone boasts, rap is really just a hobby; turntables and soundboards are his real stock in trade. (Incidentally, he’s also written a memoir.) Based in New York, J-Zone will grace Oakland this week alongside local waxslinger DJ Centipede, who specializes in rare funk and breaks, often chopped and realigned in unusual ways. They’ll both be spinning seven-inch records at 45 Sessions, held at Disco Volante (347 14th St., Oakland) on Friday, July 20. 9:30 p.m., $5, $10. DiscoVolanteOakland.com — Rachel Swan
Eat Delicious Food at Kamdesh Afghan Kabab House
Even if you’ve never tried Afghan cuisine, you’ll find the food at Kamdesh Afghan Kabab (346 14th St., Oakland) House entirely approachable. It’s the essence of down-home comfort fare: tender braised meats; soft, garlicky vegetables; warm bread. The bolani — a traditional stuffed flatbread — arrives at the table piping hot with a potato-and-onion filling that recalls good homemade pierogi. Kamdesh’s charbroiled kebab options are intensely flavorful but prone to being overcooked. Best of all is any dish that comes with braised lamb shank, especially the quabili pallow, a biryani-like rice casserole with raisins, pistachios, and rice that’s cooked in the juices of the lamb. Portions are large; prices are reasonable. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. — Luke Tsai
Termite soup for dinner and a craving for fresh worms: sure signs that things are not as they used to be. In a world ravaged by earthquakes, plague, and the eruption of volcanoes in Yellowstone that blanket most of the US in ash, one woman, Sophie Cohen, steps up to fight serial killers, wage war on those who would hoard the world's supply of toilet paper, and perhaps save the world as she knows it. Etiquette for an Apocalypse is full of thrills, chills, spills, a lot of humor, and won't leave you high and dry. On Friday, July 20, at Dark Carnival (3086 Claremont Ave., Berkeley). 5 p.m., free. 510-654-7323 or DarkCarnival.com — Alison Peters
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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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