Moaning bagpipes, squirrelly sitars, and the Velvet Underground's "Heroin" all feature the same key trait -- droning, hypnotic notes that seemingly go on forever. Experimental musician Matt Davignon redefines "forever" this Saturday with DroneShift, four hours of continuous drone music played by more than forty artists working in six-person shifts at 21 Grand in Oakland. Davignon has cross-pollinated territorial strains of Bay Area experimental music for the past decade, enabling him to amass specialists in strings, woodwinds, laptops, conches, bicycle wheels, and beyond. The musician orchestrates such sounds in shifts of seven minutes, wherein a new musician plugs in and adds a note to the four to seven other tracks droning at that moment. "The new note is tweaked and blended," he says. "Sometimes it changes the entire sound; other times it's so subtle you can't tell how the music is different, just that it is."
This will be Davignon's biggest, most improvisational set to date. Expect anything from all-out failure to total transcendence.
Tickets $8-$12; proceeds go to 21 Grand's April move to its new space at 416 25th St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and musical chairs and turntables start exactly at 7 p.m. 21 Grand is at 449-B 23rd St. David Downs
Video Latino is a bilingual TV show encompassing all aspects of Latino musical culture, from salsa to hip-hop, ranchero to rock en español. The Univision program usually airs videos, concert performances, or in-studio sessions, but now it's coming at you live during Video Latino in Concert. This is the first of two semifinal events, wherein nine young area performers sing it out for a chance to compete at the May 11 finals, as determined by a panel of guest judges. But these aren't just concerts -- they're full-blown fiestas, with mariachi, ballet folclórico, traditional banda music, food, contests, and goodie bags. And your $12 ticket ($10 with student ID) helps fund scholarships for Bay Area Latino students. The other semifinal happens on April 14, and all three start at 7 p.m. at the Chabot College Performing Arts Center in Hayward. For more info: Ticketweb.com, ChabotTV.com Stefanie Kalem
Born in the United States, raised in the Philippines, and informed by time spent in France, photographer Caroline Abasta plays call-and-response with identity in her solo show, A Litany for the Other, on display this weekend at the Pusod Center for Culture and Ecology, 1808 Fifth St., Berkeley. Abasta's conceptual portraits explore what it means to be a woman -- Filipino and otherwise. There's an opening reception Friday from 7-9 p.m. Info: BWF.org/pusod, 510-883-1808. -- Stefanie Kalem
The Eyes Do Lie
CG messes with your mind
Thaumatropes were among the earliest optical toys, and are often cited as kick-starting both animation and cinema. The two-sided discs on strings or sticks are sure to be represented at Optical Illusion , the latest exhibition at the Creative Growth Art Center (355 24th St., Oakland). You can also expect fantast-a-scopes, zoetropes, and other two- and three-dimensional works at the monthlong show. As usual, all of the art was created by the center's artists with developmental, physical, mental, and/or emotional disabilities. Celebrate the fine art of messing with your mind at a reception Thursday from 5-8 p.m. CreativeGrowth.org, 510-836-2340. Stefanie Kalem
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