This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 13

If Joe Shakarchi's CD Sunrise in the West sounds a bit like '50s-style beatnik poetry brushed with Jim Morrison, it's not surprising -- consider its pedigree. San Francisco poet Shakarchi teamed with former Doors drummer John Densmore, along with didgeridoo player and KPFA host Stephen Kent and Nepalese bamboo flutist Manose, to record the spoken-word disc on the Western Sunrise label, which weaves unplugged world-sound textures through Shakarchi's neo-Zen scene-setting. The milieu is typified by "Looking Like a Young Mother Teresa," who appears with A shawl thrown over her head/Bombay shirt and sash/walking down a Katmandu street/from Iowa by way of Arizona/on her way back to Calcutta. Shakarchi, Kent, and Manose waft into Maxwell's in downtown Oakland this evening (6-9 p.m., 341 13th St.) for a little Culture Shock Live. Admission is free for open-mic participants. -- Kelly Vance

THU 14

A funny thing happens to Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk's 2003 documentary Lost Boys of Sudan on its way from introducing us to a small group of young male Sudanese refugees trying to make a go of it in the United States. Without lifting a finger to collect grocery carts at a big-box store or explain our existence to church youth groups, we get a free lesson in the whys and wherefores of the American Dream -- the implied promise that causes so many lost boys (and girls) to throw away their families and culture to move to Texas or Kansas and start over. We can only hope that Peter and Santino, whom we come to know and care about, will some day become senators or congressmen. It would do us a world of good. Lost Boys plays this evening at James Irvine Conference Center at 353 Frank Ogawa Plaza (14th and Broadway) in downtown Oakland. The 7 p.m. screening is preceded by a 6:30 reception and followed by a visit from a "special guest" from Sudan. -- Kelly Vance

FRI 15

It's no mystery, it's Mr. E. The gray-haired patriarch of clan Escovedo turns a sprightly seventy this week. What better way to show your appreciation for the man, his music, and his life than to get your Latin jazz-lovin' self down to Yoshi's tonight to check out the septuagenarian suavecito master at work. You'll find Pete Escovedo (whose surname means "the Chosen One," by the way) in front of the bandstand, directing his orchestra through classy claves, punchy chord progressions, and syncopated shakedowns, and you'll more than likely find yourself applauding frequently or even dancing in the aisles. 8 and 10 p.m., $24. PeteEscovedo.com or Yoshis.com -- Eric K. Arnold

SAT 16

Help increase the peace today by attending the Fourth Annual Oakland Street Peace Festival. As festival founder Gregory Bledsoe notes, "We have to heal ourselves first before we can stop the violence in our communities. Often people don't know how to live a more peaceful life. My festival shows them how to find peace through positive music, meditation, spiritual practice and a healthy diet." On that note, the festivities include a range of spiritually oriented motivational speakers, including author Angel Kyodo Williams, African medicine woman Asara Tsehai, Allan Young of the Illuminata Spiritual Center, raw-food expert Brian Au, and Dr. Elouise Oliver and Willa Barber Johnson of the First Church of Religious Science. Scheduled entertainers include Bledsoe (accompanied by the Source of Light band), Rebbesoul, Son-E, Fiyawata, Sistas-wit-Style, Nubia I, and Destiny Arts. Let your inner light direct you to the Lakeside Park bandstand at Lake Merritt between noon and 5 p.m. SourceofLight.com/streetpeace.html -- Eric K. Arnold

SUN 17

With its dark, dank environment, the Golden Bull seems like a dive bar ripped from the pages of a Jim Thompson or Raymond Chandler novel or the real-life inspiration for the graphic novel and film Sin City. Somehow, the downtown Oakland joint is sleazy without being seedy -- meaning you won't have to compete with roaches and rats for barstool space, but neither will you be reproached for having visible tattoos. It's the perfect place to stage a rage-fueled exhibition of angst, as will be the case tonight when Fracas -- a perfectly named band -- headlines yet another Alcoholocaust punk showcase, also featuring the Black Furies and out-of-towners Cleveland Steamer and the Untouchables. Order a can of PBR and crush it against your forehead for extra Mickey Spillane/Bruce Willis tough MF points. $5, 7 p.m. MySpace.com/fracas; BlackFuries.com; and UntouchablePunks.com -- Eric K. Arnold

MON 18

Let's be honest: We're all loaded down with way too much emotional baggage, and nothing good happens when we exceed our mental weight limit. But knowing we need to change our lives and actually changing them are two different things, aren't they? Luckily, psychotherapist and motivational speaker Jill Lebeau -- a practitioner of the "Rapid Transformation" method -- and professional organizer Stephanie Barbie will be at the El Cerrito Library tonight at 7 p.m. to speak about "Uncluttering Your Life" with the quickness. To learn more, call 510-526-7512 or visit CCCLib.org -- Eric K. Arnold

TUE 19

Brooke Thomas was fascinated, yet fed up, with the endless parade of Victoria's Secret catalogues. "These glossy catalogues arrive in my, and in most women's, mailbox seemingly every week," says Thomas in her publicity blurb. "The obsessiveness of the identity-stripped repetition inspires me by its sheer monotony, and yet strange compulsive beauty." The Brooklyn-based artist's response was to get some satiny material and create similarly repetitious, quiltlike fabric reproductions of lingerie models in a huge, purposely useless format as mirror images of themselves. Does the satire work? You can be the judge, now through August 7, as The Siamese Twins Series unfolds across Pro Arts' gallery space in downtown Oakland (550 2nd St.). Pro Arts is open Tuesdays through Sundays, and admission is free. ProArtsGallery.org -- Kelly Vance

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