This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 


W. Otto Emerson once walked from his Hayward home all the way to Yosemite, despite an infirmity in his legs. But that's not all. The painter, photographer, and naturalist studied and painted birds, shot and processed cyanotypes (early blue-tinted photographs), and collected what are now affectionately known as "Ottofacts" from his scientific investigations. Renaissance man Emerson (1856-1940) is the subject of a new exhibition, W. Otto Emerson: Hayward's Artist and Naturalist, at the Hayward Area Historical Society, 22701 Main St. The show, curated by Kathy Middleton and Niccolo Caldararo, runs through June 12, and features several ancillary events including tours, workshops, and talks. Info: 510-581-0223 or -- Kelly Vance


Pity Thin Lizzy. Though frontman Phil Lynott wrote some of the 1970s' most poignant and poetic examinations of race and politics, the band will forever be known for such hard-rock, bad-boy anthems as "The Boys Are Back in Town" and "Jailbreak." (Well, some indie-rockers still value the soft stuff -- Ted Leo recorded Lizzy's stirring "Little Girl in Bloom" back in 2000.) With Lynott passed on now some eighteen years, the band has been touring as a revival act since 1999 with original guitarist Scott Gorham holding down half of the band's trademark double-axe attack. And before you think, hey, at least they still don't need day jobs, keep in mind that two days before the band plays tonight in Concord, they'll be in San Diego, and a day later, in Portland, then it's back to the Bay Area next Wed. to play the Warfield. Come get your hard-working bar band fix in style at Bourbon Street, 2765 Clayton Rd. in Concord, with Servants and Cradle opening the show. Tickets for the 21-and-up show cost $15. Call 925-676-7272 for start time. -- Stefanie Kalem


Antiwar films are undeniably attractive these days, so it's a good time to catch up with one of Stanley Kubrick's best films, Paths of Glory (1957), a painfully well-done story about long-ago military foolishness and up-to-the-minute integrity. The integrity is handled by Kirk Douglas in the role of Colonel Dax, a World War I French army officer forced by his superiors to pick out and court-martial for cowardice three of his foot soldiers, in order to atone for his regiment's battlefield lapses. The prissy commanding generals are appropriately loathsome, the scapegoat soldiers abjectly pitiful, and Col. Dax's moral quandary genuinely troubling -- especially under Kubrick's pitiless gaze. Prepare yourself for all this sorrow and pity by walking around the gorgeous Paramount Theatre and admiring its Art Deco design beforehand -- the box office opens a full hour before the 8 p.m. show time. $6 gets you in. 2025 Broadway, Oakland. -- Kelly Vance


You're almost out of chances to see McCoy Tyner at Yoshi's. Today is the second-to-last day of the pianist's annual two-week stand at the jazziest sushi place east of Nemuro, Japan. And the group he's got ain't gonna get any hotter -- John Coltrane's son, Ravi, and the magical, mystical Pharoah Sanders (like Tyner, a former Coltrane sideman) on saxophones, Charnett Moffett on bass, and Eric Harland on drums. There are two shows, one at 8 p.m. and another at 10, and tickets for each cost $28, so hurry up and call 510-238-9200 or visit Yoshi's is located at Jack London Square, 510 Embarcadero West in Oakland. -- Stefanie Kalem


Every family has a ham -- the irrepressible one who gets up and sings, dances, or makes a spectacle out of her/himself at family gatherings. Now there's a family-style outlet for that showbiz urge: the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre Free Theatre Workshops. Designed for families to enjoy together, the two-hour classes are taught at the Nevo Education Center, 2071 Addison St., Berkeley, beginning this afternoon (1-3 p.m.) with the "Storytelling" session. "Creating Character" follows in March, with "Circus Skills" in April; families can attend the whole series or choose each one independently. Best of all, admission is free -- just bring a children's book as a donation. No reservations are necessary, but for more info call 510-647-2972 or e-mail -- Kelly Vance


Don't you hate cocktail party chatter? Standing there, mojito in hand, nodding and smiling while some trust-fund turkey talks about her tour of European museums. Well, now you can snob it up with the best of them -- just attend Carol Fowler's Grand Art Tour of Europe class today from 10 to 11:50 a.m. Fowler, an author, freelance travel writer, and retired Contra Costa Times editor, will discuss the artworks, history, and architecture of Paris' Louvre and Pompidou, London's National Gallery, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Milan's Pinacoteca di Brera, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. The class takes place at the Lafayette Senior Center (500 St. Mary's Rd.) as part of Diablo Valley College's Emeritus College program, and the cost is $12, or $10 for Emeritus College members. Call 925-676-8796 or visit for further details. -- Stefanie Kalem

TUE 10

Kissing's easy, right? You start out practicing with your stuffed animals, and then move on to more animate objects, trying out techniques as you go. But if you want to take it to another level, bring your favorite bussee to Change Makers' "Tantric Kissing Secrets" class, tonight from 7:30 to 10 p.m., to learn ancient ways to "explore your ability to generously give and receive" from certified tantra educator Jan Robinson. Bring a pillow and small blanket to create your own little lovin' space, and bottled water to parch your lusty thirst. The class costs $20 per person, and Change Makers Bookstore for Women is located at 6536 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Call 510-469-8268 or visit for more information. -- Stefanie Kalem


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