If, like most of us, you can't tell your Saccos and Vanzettis from your Engels and Linggs, it might be a good idea to head down to Oakland's 21 Grand (449-B 23rd St.) Thursday night for a refresher course in anarchist history. And no worries -- with Barry Pateman as guest speaker, this won't be any boring lecture by a long shot. With a near-Kropotkin-length beard and a penchant for Chuck Taylors, Pateman seems as comfortable behind a stack of books as he does on stage with Jello Biafra and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. On Thursday, the researcher and editor for the Emma Goldman Papers Project will lend his sharp tongue and even sharper brain to this tribute to the Haymarket Martyrs. The night's proceeds will benefit the Kate Sharpley Library, which regularly publishes lost areas of anarchist history.
For those of you who slept through Anarchist History 101, the Haymarket Martyrs -- including Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, and Adolph Fischer, who were all hanged, and Louis Lingg, who killed himself before the state could kill him -- were blamed for a bomb thrown into Chicago's Haymarket Square in May 1886. The bomb, which killed one policeman outright and fatally injured seven others, could never be traced to anarchists, but they were the easiest source to blame. In an introduction to a recent reprint of anarchist Alexander Berkman's book What Is Anarchism?, Pateman wrote: "For Berkman, human evolution was instinctively predicated on mutual aid and justice was a kind of instinctive sympathy that can only be hindered or corrupted by government." As the results of last Tuesday's election continue to sink in, we can only hope the anarchists aren't right again.
Music for the Haymarket Martyrs tribute will be provided by the Devin Hoff Platform. The event begins at 8 p.m., with a suggested entrance fee of $6-$10, although no one will be turned away for lack of funds. -- Elka Karl
The Lady of the Lake's gloomy predictions seem about to come true as droughts start draining Avalon. Global warming? Or something that only magic can heal? Environmental activism augments fantasy in T.A. Barron's books for kids. He reads from The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy at Barnes & Noble Dublin (Wed., 4 p.m.). ... The beat goes on and on, as Oakland poet, jazzman, and friend-of-Ferlinghetti David Meltzer reads from Beat Thing, the latest of his forty books penned over forty years, at Alameda's Spellbinding Tales (Wed., 7 p.m.). ...I see London, I see France: New from Lonely Planet, The Travel Book presents photographs of every country on Earth. Peek at Paraguay and look at Liberia with editor Don George at Easy Going (Wed., 7:30 p.m.). ... When Anna Cypra Oliver's dad committed suicide, little did he dream that his five-year-old daughter would grow up and write a book about him. Oliver reads from Assembling My Father at Orinda Books (Thu., 4 p.m.). ...Jive to it or scrutinize it: Berkeley's Jazzschool (2087 Addison St.) presents a multimedia evening of poetry, paintings, photography, and performance, featuring Al Young, Kit Robinson, Mal Sharpe, Bill Moody, and others. $15; for details, call 866-384-3060 (Fri., 8 p.m.). ...Curious George today, and tomorrow the world. The Lafayette Library launches Children's Book Week with readings by the local fire chief, school boardmembers, and Mayor Erling Horn. All attendees score free pencils, bookmarks, and chances at bigger prizes (Mon., 3 p.m.). ...She moved from Pacific Heights to Amish country and wrote a book about it; her earlier book about Somalian-born Waris Dirie, who fled an arranged marriage and became a supermodel, is being made into a film. Cathleen Miller reads at Soda Center, Saint Mary's College (Mon., 7:30 p.m.). ...Diesel serves up Oakland's best tennis essayist, Joel Drucker, who reads from his new biography of the champ, Jimmy Connors Saved My Life (Tue., 7:30 p.m.). -- Anneli Rufus
What constitutes a "triple threat"? For the Triple Threat DJs, it's about mad scratching, beat-juggling, and overall selecting skills, road-tested and championship-approved. Former Invisibl Skratch Pikl DJ Shortkut holds the 1996 Zulu Nation International Champion and 1998 DMC West Coast Champion titles. His fellow former Pikl and Soul of Mischief, Apollo, founded SF's Beat Lounge and toured with Branford Marsalis' Buckshot LeFonque project; and 5th Platoon DJ Vinroc was the International Turntablist Federation World Advancement champ two years running (1997 and '98). Since teaming up, the trio has moved beyond mere deck pyrotechnics, producing music and creating original compositions with turntables and aplomb. The DJs' debut, 2003'sMany Styles, featured appearances by Zion I, Talib Kweli, Goapele, and many others, so who knows who'll show up at Club Oasis (135 12th St., Oakland) this weekend. But DJ G-Roove and DJ Satva will be on hand to help bump the 21-and-up party, just in case. $10. 510-763-0404. -- Stefanie kalem
Bear in Mind
oRSo soundscapes the Stork
Musically, we live in an age of reconstruction, wherein truly new styles and sounds are painfully hard to come by. Originality, 21st-century style, is a graceful combination of disparate or unexpected influences, and Chicago's oRSo has that in spades. As refugees and current players from Califone, Rex, Red Red Meat, Fruit Bats, and other skilled Windy City soundscapers have moved through its ranks, Phil Spirito's project has maintained its rustic space-folk trajectory around his evocative tenor banjo and guitar playing, combining the slowcore pace of Low, the vocal stylings of Tom Waits (Spirito's vox occupy some multidimensional crossroads between Waits' gentle, pianoman years and his latter-day, razor-gargling cabaret tones), a windy front porch tilted toward the stars (and any oncoming UFOs), a TV playing Lars von Trier flicks and cowboy serials, and a cobwebby garage full of synths, brass, strings, and anything else that rattles, hums, or buzzes. Arty but warm, lo-fi but epic in scope, oRSo plays the Stork Club, 2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, on Wednesday night. 510-444-6174.-- Stefanie Kalem
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