This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 26

African-American photographers -- from James VanderZee through Gordon Parks and Milt Hinton to Jeffrey Henson Scales and Roshini Kempadoo -- have produced a remarkable array of images from the mid-19th century to the present. Blacks have been shooting photos since the medium began, but it took an academic like Deborah Willis to put it all in a scholarly context. Willis, a photographer herself as well as a historian and curator of African-American culture at Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, comes to the Mills College Concert Hall this evening (7:30) to discuss two specific topics: the transformation of the black image in photography, and the black female body in photographic history. The lecture is free. 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. -- Kelly Vance

THU 27

When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot in 1968, the world at large lost a secular saint, but seven-year-old Dexter Scott King lost a dad. This early event, a tragedy for any child, was magnified and distorted through the lens of King's father's legend. Now in his early thirties, King has collaborated with Ralph Wiley on Growing Up King: An Intimate Memoir, in which he writes about his undiagnosed ADD, his failure at following the family line to a degree at Morehouse, a turbulent five months as president of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, his grandmother's murder, and the peace he has made with his father's legacy -- through the reverend doctor's teachings. Dexter Scott King reads and discusses Growing Up King at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, 98 Broadway, Jack London Square, Oakland, 510-272-0120. -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 28

Musical improvisers run riot in Oakland tonight when Tom Djll's Weapons of Mass Dysfunction unpack their axes and start blowing at the Metro. Trumpeter-composer Djll has assembled an orchestra filled with players who have names almost as interesting as his, including members of John Shiurba's 5x5, Dan Plonsey's Popsicle Stick Reeds, the Emergency String Quartet, Brassiosaurus, "The President and His Cabinet" choral group led by Morgan Guberman, and saxophonist Jack Wright, to whom Djll dedicates a new work, Concerto for Jack Wright. For fans of the "new jazz" scene, it should be a major noise. Tickets: $12. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the Oakland Metro, 201 Broadway, www.oaklandmetro.org -- Kelly Vance

SAT 1

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Black Dawg, happy birthda -- oh? Sorry? It's a barfday? Our mistake. Well, for the blackdawgbarfdaybash, all-ages Burnt Ramen is happily (and with bucket in hand, presumably) hosting metal and hardcore bands, Mexico (Coaccion), Reno (Offering to the Sun), and the greater Bay Area (the recently re-formed Exit Wound, Deadfall, the female-fronted Sangre Amado, and I Love a Parade). As if that's not enough, this is also the first day of the Libertatia Benefit, to raise funds for East Bay punk pirate king Black Dawg's annual weeklong punk fest. So thrash yer booty on down to Burnt Ramen, 111 Espee Ave., Richmond. The bands start at 7 p.m. and cover's $5. Call 510-215-8789 for more info. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 2

Just in case you don't want to cross the bridge, park the car, pay a $10 cover, and have to deal with drunks and stylish Locust fans, Milemarker is glad to present you with an East Bay option. The Chapel Hill oddpunk concern's manipulation of irony and self-described "pretentious art fag image" has inspired some really thought-provoking critical theory (available online at http://www.milemarker.org/milemarker/bulk/essay.html), but in the end it's the music, not the lighting tricks or costume shenanigans, that matter. And Milemarker's got it all covered -- the angular guitar punk, the sludgy doom-rock, and, of course, the politics. The band's East Bay brethren-in-arms, From Monument to Masses, also play, and Cost opens the show roundabouts 5 p.m., 924 Gilman in Berkeley. The show is all-ages, and the cover is $5. Call 510-525-9926 for further info. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 3

"I hate that goddamned three-inch-high plastic nun I got out of the Archie McPhee mail-order catalog of silly toys. We all bought them, all the women in the office, as a joke, because of the silly things the catalog said about them. But I can't stand it. I can't stand it." So begins the title story in The Falling Nun, a new collection of short stories by Pamela Rafael Berkman, who covers the long nights of the soul of contemporary urban womanhood with a deceptively light touch. Berkman reportedly divides her time between Glendale and Berkeley, but tonight she's in Berkeley, at Cody's Books on Telegraph (2454 Telegraph Ave., 510-845-7852) for a reading at 7:30 p.m. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 4

Moviegoers might remember Arthur Schnitzler as the 19th-century Viennese author and playwright whose Traumnovelle was adapted for Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut -- but we shouldn't hold that against Schnitzler. David Hare also adapted a Schnitzler story for the stage, and now the Berkeley Repertory Theatre gets into the act with Fräulein Else, actor and playwright Francesca Faridany's version of Schnitzler's 1924 novella about a middle-class woman's crisis of conscience at an Italian spa. This world premiere, with Faridany in the title role, is directed by Stephen Wadsworth, who happens to be Faridany's husband as well as her longtime collaborator. Tonight is opening night. Curtain at 8 p.m. Fräulein Else runs through March 28 at the Rep's Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley. Tickets and info: 510-647-2949 or www.berkeleyrep.org -- Kelly Vance

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