This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 10

The Oasis nightclub on 12th St. in downtown Oakland is just that -- a little slice of tropical paradise, smack dab in the middle of a concrete jungle. Its weekly Wednesday night event "Lion Rock" has earned a reputation as quite possibly the best recurring reggae party in not just the East Bay, but the entire Bay Area (it's been known to draw folks from SF). The reason? Selectas Jah Warrior Shelter, Rocker-T, and Riddm, who keep the vibes bubbly with a variety of new and classic roots and roots-revivalist dancehall. Come down and get your rub-a-dub on while you sip a Red Stripe. $5 at the door; 10 p.m.-ish. Info line: 510-763-0404. -- Eric K. Arnold

THU 11

Bay Area people spend a lot of their time involved in art matters, which is why art matters so much here. The Alameda Art Center takes this reflexive little mantra seriously. Its Art Matters series of exhibitions, talks, and various ancillary events brings artistic creativity down off its pedestal and gives everybody access. This evening's presentation is Contemporary Abstracts, a panel discussion in which four curators from four Bay museums -- Janet Bishop from SFMOMA, Beth Dungan from BAM, Susan Hillhouse from the Triton Museum of Art, and Karen Tsujimoto from the Oakland Museum of California -- give an inside look at their respective institutions, with the emphasis on contemporary abstract works from their collections. It all happens at 7 p.m. at the center, 1701 Webster St., Alameda, AlamedaArtCenter.org -- Kelly Vance

FRI 12

In the mood for a little sensory overload? Try on Mike Dando's Con-Dom. Dando is Con-Dom (short for Control Domination), a one-man industrial noise band from England specializing in, as his bio describes it, "pummeling walls of audio cacophony with extreme aggressive confrontational -- at times -- vocals." Just the thing for a pissed-off night on the town. He shows up at 21 Grand tonight (9 p.m.) alongside SF-based avant-garde sampler and ambient mood manipulator Thomas Dimuzio and Berkeley's nf orchest, a trio featuring Angela Hsu on violin, Andrew Way at the turntables, and James Kaiser on tapes and bowed metal. Batten down the hatches, mates. $6-$10 sliding scale. 416 25th St., Oakland, 510-444-7263, -- Kelly Vance

SAT 13

If you've been wondering what happened to family fun outings, rejoice. The Praise-Jam Family Festival is here to lift your spirits and reaffirm your faith in the Almighty. Best of all, the event isn't confined to a stuffy church setting, but takes place during the day, in a natural setting -- Mosswood Park, to be precise. Sponsored by the Simpson Temple Church of God and Christ, the 2005 version of the Praise-Jam is really three events in one. In addition to an outdoor gospel concert, featuring the Oakland Innercity Gospel Choir, the Dance Theatre of Gospel, Sisterly, Stars of Joy, Oakland Silvertones, Praise Report, Ruth Lyons, Kevin Moore, Carmen Marshall, and many more veteran performers, an American Idol-style competition will showcase new talent: vocalists, choirs, instrumentalists, praise dancers, even gospel rap artists. Finally, there's an old-fashioned family fair aspect, with children's games, pie-eating contests, BBQs, and the like. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Info: 510-332-7631. -- Eric K. Arnold

SUN 14

Have you had your fill of supping at the intellectual trough of the Bard? Would you rather rent Free Willy than see yet another adaptation of a play by Big Willie? In other words, are you Shakespeared-out? Fear not, thespian-loving, adventurous denizens of the East Bay. Yea, verily, another classic doth come this way, not altogether wickedly, but with a clever, rapier-like wit, and elements of both comedy and tragedy. Arriving to the rescue of an overly-Stratford-upon-Avon-centric summer season is the Shotgun Players' outdoor production of Edmund Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, a tale of romance involving unrequited love, dueling swordsmen, a certain oblong proboscis, and a lovely woman named Roxanne (who, it must be said, does not have to put on the red light). Grab your lawn chair and hasten down to John Hinkel Park today at 4 pm. For more info, visit ShotgunPlayers.org -- Eric K. Arnold

MON 15

Looking for something interesting to do on a Monday? You're in Gluck. Christoph Willibald Gluck, to be precise. The classical German composer studied in Prague, worked in Milan and London, and established himself as the Konzertmeister of Vienna in the 1750s. Influenced musically by Handel, Gluck became identified with the French concept of l'opéra comique, or comic opera, and in his own works -- most notably Don Juan, Orfeo ed Euridice, Alceste, Iphigénie en Tauride, and Paride ed Elena -- he maintained the traditional structure of opera, while innovating its content and infusing the genre with lively new artistic ideas -- an altogether revolutionary notion at the time. His lesser-known 1765 opera Il Parnaso Confuso will be performed by the City Concert Opera Orchestra tonight at 7:30 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley. Tickets are $12-$22. Visit CityConcertOpera.com for more details. -- Eric K. Arnold

TUE 16

Americans hate history. Need proof? Take a look at the animated kiddie fantasy Anastasia. The 1997 Fox production, helmed by Disney runaways Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, spins the Russian Revolution as a romantic musical vehicle in which the czar's orphaned daughter (voiced by Meg Ryan) falls in love with a young man (John Cusack) against the background of the Bolshevik uprising -- a ghostly hubbub cooked up by the mad monk Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd). Feh. We didn't know it then, but Rasputin bears a strong resemblance to Osama bin Laden. Still, the story is imaginatively staged, with decent songs and splendid drawing. Anastasia screens today at the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. at the Regal Deer Valley, Emery Bay, and Hacienda Crossings -- that circuit's answer to the Parkway's Baby Brigade babes-in-arms shows. -- Kelly Vance

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