Like the rest of us, Jackson Browne has just about got over last fall's election by now, and is free to pursue other causes. Nobody does the contemporary version of high lonesome like singer-songwriter Browne. His last CD, The Naked Ride Home, was released in 2002, but he has spent a lot of time since then being praised -- with the John Steinbeck Award (for environmental and social values) and last year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. No wonder Browne's name occurred to Wavy Gravy when the '60s-era court jester, acid tripper, ice-cream inspiration, and hippie to end all hippies needed a rocky-roller to headline a benefit for Camp Winnarainbow, the circus and performing-arts summer camp Wavy runs with his wife Jahanara at the renowned Hog Farm in Laytonville. The Saturday afternoon concert (12:30 p.m.), which features a surprise guest (Bonnie Raitt?), takes place at Downtown, 2102 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Tickets are a stiff $200, but as Wavy often declares, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."
Visit CampWinnarainbow.org or call 510-869-4564 for more info. -- Kelly Vance
Rising from the dead, teenage Teresita has healing powers. Based on novelist Luís Alberto Urrea's real-life great-aunt, this heroine of The Hummingbird's Daughter becomes a living local saint. Meet Latino Literary Hall of Famer Urrea at Cody's Telegraph (Thu., 7:30 p.m.). ... Girly men, take note. While researching Fantastic, his unauthorized biography of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Laurence Leamer interviewed many of Schwarzenegger's close friends and associates, as well as the sickly kid-turned-iron-pumper-turned
-Governator himself. Ask Leamer about Arnold's first girlfriend at Borders Pleasant Hill (Fri., 7 p.m.). ... It's the holistic way to a washboard gut. California Yoga Teachers' Association president Judith Hanson Lasater signs her book Yoga Abs: Moving from Your Core at Berkeley's Elephant Pharmacy (Sat., 6:30 p.m.). ... Irish immigrant Molly Murphy puzzles over a corpse in Murphy's Law, one in a series by Agatha Award-winner Rhys Bowen: It's the topic of today's Concord Mystery Book Club, which meets at Concord Library (Sun., 2:30 p.m.). ... Smells like Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy, a new book by ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who is at Black Oak to discuss civic engagement with Arthur Blaustein, author of Make a Difference: America's Guide to Volunteering and Community Service (Mon., 7:30 p.m.). ... From vindaloo to free verse, Berkeley's Priya Indian Cuisine is the venue for Poetry Express, featuring this week's headliner Charles DuBois plus an open mic hosted by Mark States (Mon., 7 p.m.). .... In 1860, an aphid infestation set out to destroy France's wine industry. Raise a glass with The Botanist and the Vintner author Christy Campbell, who chats about vinicultural catastrophes at Rakestraw (Tue., 7 p.m.). -- Anneli Rufus
Wagers of Sin
You might say Bill Lee has been a gambler since birth -- his gambling-addicted father tried to sell him to settle gaming debts when the younger Lee was four years old, living in San Francisco's Chinatown. All too naturally, as Bill Lee explains in his book Born to Lose: Memoirs of a Compulsive Gambler, he got bit by the same bug. He lost his baseball card collection in third grade, and eventually lost everything at the blackjack tables in Las Vegas. Lee tells the story of his forty-year addiction Saturday afternoon (3 p.m.) at Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University Ave. Info: 510-548-2350. -- Kelly Vance
She has been nominated for Grammy awards, had million-selling records, and recorded with Jerry Garcia, Willie Nelson, and Stevie Wonder. Long associated with Americana and roots music, she's also explored blues and gospel, although she'll always be remembered for her 1974 classic, "Midnight at the Oasis." She's Maria Muldaur, and she'll be singing Friday night in Antioch, at the El Campanil Theatre. 925-757-9500 or ElCampanilTheatre.com -- Eric K. Arnold
Adults-only night at the Oakland Zoo
When you have top-shelf vendors like Kincaid's and Spenger's restaurants, La Bocca Fine Catering, Rosenblum Winery, and Bison and Drake's breweries, it's safe to assume that an adults-only evening is in the works. And you'd be right. This year's Walk in the Wild -- the Oakland Zoo's biggest and most anticipated social event -- is a 21-and-up-only shindig that includes inspired cuisine from a variety of fine local eateries, a trough of booze, a silent auction, music by the Masterpiece, and all the animal watching you can do in five hours. Leave the job and all your grownup duties somewhere else and put on your best kid face -- because this Saturday it's up to you to have all the fun. After all, it's the zoo! Remember the zoo, with all of the wonder of your first time -- as if you've been doused in pixie dust (or a half carafe of Pinot) and you've just found the key to a mythical world? Try screeching with the chimps as they reach an exalted crescendo while swinging through the deep jungle. Or stalk the night slopes listening for prey across a make-believe savanna with a pride of regal lions. Even the playful meerkats are a treat to witness, jumping and jostling like tiny, fur-covered jesters. The zoo is a place to let your imagination go wild. Which is why it's so important to support and preserve it for generations of explorers to come.
The event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. and benefits the Oakland Zoo and its many programs. For tickets ($75 members, $85 nonmembers)or information, visit OaklandZoo.org -- Justine Nicole
Culture Spy - April 20, 9:52 AM
Culture Spy - April 13, 12:18 PM