This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 14

21 Grand has had everything else -- why not its own radio station? The arty Oakland venue enters the brave world of microcasting tonight through Sunday, when the Neighborhood Public Radio project sends out signals on an unclaimed frequency, 88.7 MHz, to demonstrate alternative low-power models for "public" radio. The station will be on the air round the clock with a wide variety of live performers and prerecorded programming -- indie rock, improvised jazz, accordion tunes, interviews, a left-wing talk show (now there's a rarity), experimental music, recordings of avant-garde figures, etc. You can be part of the live studio audience each day; there's a $6-$10 sliding scale. "All performances will be recorded for posterity," promises the project's publicity. To learn more, phone 510-444-7263. 449-B 23rd St., Oakland. -- Kelly Vance

THU 15

The bay. What would we do without it? We'd have to call our home region the Gray Area, or worse. Did you know that the bay was named San Francisco before the city was? Nature photographer David Sanger has thought a lot about the bay, and the products of his concentration are on display, starting today, in a new exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California. Portrait of an Estuary: San Francisco Bay is a collection of thirty color photographs of that body of water that makes the trip from Oakland to Burlingame, for instance, so memorable. Sanger's photos are large-format (15.5 x 23.5) Lightjet prints of familiar landmarks -- container cranes at the Port of Oakland, the salt marshes of the South Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, etc. They'll be up through March 14 at the museum, 10th and Oak streets in downtown Oakland. For more details, visit MuseumCA.org -- Kelly Vance

FRI 16

The Lincoln Theatre has been a lot of things -- West Oakland's black movie house, a blues club, a rehearsal space and, after a while, a boarded-up building. Its roof collapsed in late 2002, and the whole thing was razed the following spring. Now a group of artists, some of who were working on retrofitting the theater when it was demolished, are trying to raise funds to rebuild it. And they're doing it through the estimable power of ... rock. Tonight at the adjacent Orange Peel Studios (1640-1642 7th St.), the Cliftons, the Butchered Hens, Texas Thieves, Throat Oyster, Death by Excess, and house DJs the Hormone Brothers will make the party jump starting at 8 p.m. Bring your skateboard and a $5 donation. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 17

Super-melodic, hardcore-lite outfit Fingertight is a big hit with the kids, for sure. It could be the angst-laden lyrics ("I've seen the better man/And the better man is chasing after me/And I've seen the braver man/And the braver man is who I'm trying to be"). It could be the pummeling rhythms. But crowd shots of the Concord band's live audiences reveal what might be drawing the most fans, as teenage girls by the score stare wide-eyed at Scott Rose, the band's dark-haired, back-flipping lead singer. Fingertight's full-length debut, In the Name of Progress, came out on Columbia in November; see the band live at iMusicast (5429 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) with Thought Crime, Forthmoring, and Domeshots. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m., and cover is $8. 510-601-1024. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 18

In the Golden Age of Hollywood, love was often a confusing thing, and not for the usual reasons, either. Forget sexual frustration and subtly mixed signals -- mistaken identities, false proposals, and, well, song-and-dance routines were the courtship norm back then. Case in point: Singin' in the Rain, the 1952 classic that uses one studio's transition to talkies as the frame to hang a comedic tale of love both requited and un, with over half the original film comprising musical numbers. Weekends through February 1, the Pleasanton Playhouse presents Betty Comden and Adolph Green's adaptation of their own screenplay at the Amador Theater (1155 Santa Rita Rd., Pleasanton), directed by Margot Abbott and featuring the title number and all those other songs you love. Today's show is a 2 p.m. matinee, and tickets cost $28, $26 for folks over sixty, and $20 for ones under eighteen. Info: PleasantonPlayhouse.com or 925-462-2121. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 19

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and you might consider showing up at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO) this afternoon for its special Martin Luther King Film Series. The main part of the program is selections from Henry Hampton's Eyes on the Prize, the 1987 PBS documentary on the civil rights movement from 1952 to 1965 -- with soul-stirring footage of Dr. King as well as Rosa Parks and other rights crusaders, narrated by Julian Bond. The follow-up documentary, Eyes on the Prize II (1990) hears from Amiri Baraka, Jesse Jackson, Bobby Seale, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and many more. Also on the bill -- the show starts at 1 p.m. and runs until 5 -- are various other nonfiction films on Dr. King and the '60s struggles for racial equality. The AAMLO is at 659 14th St. in Oakland. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 20

Heaven bless Laura Dern. Very few actresses could take a trashy, compulsively pregnant paint- and glue-huffer and make her lovable, as Dern did in 1996's Citizen Ruth. Alexander Payne's film takes satirical aim at both the pro-choice and anti-abortion movements, and the beneficiary of tonight's Parkway screening is equally fair and balanced. Local nonprofit ACCESS is dedicated to bridging "the gaps between rights and reality" via free, confidential information hotlines, a volunteer support network helping women get access to reproductive health care and abortions, and other services. And they'd love for folks 21 and older to come on down to 1834 Park Blvd. in Oakland to celebrate the 31st anniversary of Roe v. Wade with them, whilst huffing down beer and pizza and laughing yourself stupid. Admission is $7; call 510-814-2400. -- Stefanie Kalem

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