This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 18
Arundhati Roy spun a lush and lugubrious world in The God of Small Things, but has since turned her voice to matters of real life, penning books and essays on environmental issues and geopolitics. This evening at 7:30, KPFA, Global Exchange, and Mother Jones magazine present Roy and some friends: fellow firebrands David Barsamian (director of Alternative Radio), Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, and Boots Riley of the Coup. Tickets to the talk at the Berkeley Community Theatre cost $21 and are available for purchase at CityBoxOffice.com, 415-392-4400, or from local independent bookstores (visit KPFA.org for a list). -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 19
Bay Area singer-songwriter Saul Kaye has a jazz background, a South African past, and a voice that resembles Randy Newman's in tone if not in timbre. On his forthcoming seventh CD, Doctor's Orders, he steeps smart pop in jazz swing and blues bluster to create a concoction that's definitely radio-ready, but with considerable substance. Live and on record, Kaye's guitar and keyboards are bolstered by the talents of Bay Area musicians Sam Bevan (bass), Cole Alanson (organ), and drummers Adam Goodhue and Ricky Carter. Kaye and Co. play at the Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, with rock/country soul hybrid 7th Direction. 9:30 p.m., $5 at the door. Call the Plough at 510-841-2082 for more info. -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 20
Summer is traditionally a slow season for visual arts, but not at Oakland's Thelma Harris Art Gallery. It's their time to hang out the white linen -- as in the White Linen Nights art exhibit, a show of new works rarely seen on the West Coast. Take sculptor and painter Artis Lane. The Ontario, Canada native, descended from slaves who escaped north on the Underground Railroad in the 19th century, specializes in celebrity portraits -- her likenesses range from civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks to Barbara Stanwyck, Hillary Clinton to Quincy Jones, and have been collected by the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian. Lane is only one of several artists on display beginning today and continuing through September 30 at the Harris gallery (5940 College Ave., 510-654-0443). At the reception this evening at 7 p.m., white linen attire is requested. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 21
You have two grand options for indie art and music tonight, both put together by grassroots organizations with the underground's best interests at heart. In the afternoon, you can check out the first in the new bimonthly series of concerts presented by the California Association for the Advancement of Recording and Music Arts (CAARMA), IndieXposure, at the Contra Costa Fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St., Antioch. From 4 to 9 p.m., many stripes of unsigned rock will be represented, from metal to indie pop, punk to straight-up rock, in the human form of Thin Acid Angel, the Skyflakes, Kineto, the Ty Kaufman Group, Sputterdoll, Monotype, and Broken Static. ($5, CAARMA.org). Then, in the evening, celebrate Liminal Gallery's first big event since its landlord trouble: a benefit to buy a Northern California resort town and turn it into a giant art project. The party will feature art by Janay Growden Rose (whose work normally graces several Haight St. vintage store windows), prankster puppetry by International Maggot Theatre, music by Forbidden Deer Love, Le Flange du Mal (featuring Jason Stamberger from Crack We Are Rock), Tommy Cognac (of Run_Return), and others, plus surprise guests and activities. (8 p.m., $5-$10 sliding scale, 510-893-3012). -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 22
This weekend, families and college dropouts invade the streets where, normally, sorority gals and stinky mumblers hold court. That's right -- it's time for the second annual Front Row Festival in downtown Berkeley (Addison St. at Shattuck Ave., to be specific). The free fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and includes art and craft vendors, gourmet food stalls, and live music by Kelly Takunda Orphan, Snake Trio, Tee Fee, and others. You can also participate in a special "performance tour" of the Berkeley Poetry Walk, led by Poetry Flash and the Anima Mundi Dance Company. Visit www.downtownberkeley.org or call 800-310-6563 for complete details. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 23
The East Bay is a long way from Vietnam physically, but spiritually the distance isn't very far at all, as evidenced by Piecing Together, a new exhibition of art by four emerging Vietnamese women artists, at the Asian Resource Gallery in Oakland Chinatown. The artists -- Thuy Tran, Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen, Sylvia La, and Anne Nguyen -- work in a variety of styles and media, everything from drawings and prints to photography and installations. But their common denominator is the Vietnamese-American experience. The show runs through September 30 at the gallery, 310 8th St. at Harrison. For more info: 510-287-5353. The Asian Resource Gallery is open Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 24
Bay Area author Leonard Chang's latest detective novel, Fade to Clear (St. Martin's/Minotaur, $23.95), features Korean-American PI Allen Choice, aka "The Block," and is set in familiar East Bay surroundings, but what happens to Choice shouldn't happen to you. He gets shot at (many times) by drug smugglers and money launderers, his office is torched, and he becomes embroiled in an investigation involving his ex-girlfriend's niece, precipitating trouble between the remarkably durable Choice and his current girlfriend. Things just go downhill from there, but that's fine with Chang's loyal readers, who will undoubtedly pack the Oakland Public Library's Lakeview Branch (550 El Embarcadero, 510-238-7344) this evening to hear Chang read from the book. Join the pro-Choice crowd at 6:30 p.m. OaklandLibrary.org or LeonardChang.com -- Kelly Vance

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