They sing songs about fat men in small cars, and they don't need no stinkin' bass drum: They're Shellshag, and they're the noisiest, danciest thing you could possibly do Sunday afternoon. That's right -- step into the Ivy Room between 4 and 8 p.m., tell the doorman to go screw (there's no cover, so he should be okay with that), order up a drink special, and pretend it's dark outside. Shellshag, comprising Jennifer Shagawat and Shellhead from Kung Fu USA, Static Faction, and 50 Million, is the latest act to grace the Ivy's new Sunday happy hour series. With naught but crunchy guitar, two amps, a snare, and a tom, the San Franciscan duo makes an ass-cranking, minimalist racket. It's kinda new wave, but also kinda old cave -- you can hear why they were such a good fit with O.G. Pavement drummer Gary Young, who produced the band's 2004 EP. Warming you up for their assault will be fellow West Bayers the Chantigs, who have been perfecting their poppy avant-twee for some seven years now, but don't often bother with this side of the bay. 858 Solano Ave., Albany. 21 and up. 510-524-9220. Stefanie Kalem
A murder connected with a fertility clinic? That happened in Baby Mine, one of Janet LaPierre's mysteries set in the fictional Northern California coastal town of Port Silva. Meet LaPierre in a real Northern California coastal town when she reads at Alameda's Spellbinding Tales (Wed., 7 p.m.). ... Sunshine and leprosy: It's Moloka'i, Alan Brennert's historical novel about the resiliency of the human spirit. Say aloha at Orinda Books (Thu., 4 p.m.). ... Bolster those pecs by buying bagsful at the Friends of the Danville Library Book Sale, today through Sunday. Fill a sack for just a sawbuck (Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sun., noon-3 p.m.). ... Learn to write fiction the touchy-feely way with romance writer, tarot reader, and clairvoyant Beth Barany. Her workshop for beginners at Change Makers for Women features music, collage, and more intuition than you can shake a ganglion at (Sat., 2 p.m.). ... Those aren't wrinkles -- they're enlightenment-folds. Arnaud Maitland launches Living Without Regret: Growing Old in the Light of Tibetan Buddhism at the Dharma Publishing bookstore (2910 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley) (Sat., 4 p.m.). ... Farmer McGregor isn't invited to the Dare to Care for a Hare international poetry contest awards ceremony, a benefit (with readings and pizza) for the House Rabbit Society at the society's national headquarters at 148 Broadway, Richmond; for details, call 510-970-7575 (Sun., 1 p.m.). ... After being orphaned and becoming a labor-camp soldier, Loung Ung escaped from her native Cambodia. The author of First They Killed My Father continues her memoirs in Lucky Child, a tale of traumatic stress and roads not taken. Remember Pol Pot with her at Cody's Telegraph (Mon., 7:30 p.m.). -- Anneli Rufus
Let's Get Metaphysical
Now that she's got your attention, Camille Paglia wants to talk about English poetry, not blow jobs. The humanities prof, onetime intellectual gadfly, pro-sex feminist, and author of the best-selling Sexual Personae back in 1990, has some new positions she'd like to try out in public this Thursday evening (7:30 p.m.) at Oakland's Diesel, A Bookstore (5433 College Ave., 510-653-9965, DieselBookstore.com). They're called Andrew Marvell, John Donne, and William Shakespeare -- a few of the classic poets she praises in her newish lit-crit volume, Break, Blow, Burn , which will be on sale. -- Kelly Vance
Connie Burton, whose radio show was canceled by a Pacifica affiliate; attorney Lynne Stewart; and Omali Yeshitela of the Uhuru Movement will appear at a community forum, "Free Speech Under Attack! Stop the Silencing of Those Who Speak Out for the Rights of Arab, African, and Oppressed People," Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. at Oakland's Humanist Hall. 510-295-7834. -- Stefanie Kalem
Fribberdollarfourdollarfive ... Sold!
True backcountry auctions, of the sort that send pigs and cattle to their certain doom, are not conducted in English. That guttural slur used by the auctioneer is a language unto itself, decipherable only to the trained ear. But for us city slickers, the average auction is usually conducted in our mother tongue -- even if those eBay denizens do mangle their grammar and spelling. If you're into auctions, and into English, and also into immediate gratification, then you'll definitely want to go to the third annual EndGame Auction this Saturday. The event begins at 10 a.m. and ends whenever the customer-supplied items are gone. Sellers bring in their old games ahead of time, then watch with glee as auction patrons bump the asking price from five dollars to a hearty $6.50. If you're hankering for some nifty games but don't want to pay new prices, you'll delight in this chance to pick up copies of Huggermugger, Puerto Rico, and old Avalon Hill games at chopping-block prices.
While you're nosing around the items to bid on, you should check out EndGame's excellent selection of pewter miniatures, classic board games, and topnotch role-playing books (the computer is your friend!). It's much faster than eBay, much more fun than putting yourself up for sale at a charity ball, and infinitely more comprehensible than the sale of the state fair's winning heifer. 921 Washington St., Oakland, 510-465-3637, EndGameOakland.com Alex Handy
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