Local rap personality Kirby Dominant is always into something, sort of like NWA, although he's much cuddlier, and much less menacing. Or is he? His latest project, together with Chris Sinister, fittingly called Kirb and Chris, is an album called ... ready for this? ... Niggaz and White Girls. Scared, outraged, and strangely turned on? You should be, with song titles including "Girl, I'm Only Human" and "New Wave Soul." Catch a preview of the future of miscegenation, if not the future of hip-hop, tonight at Good Life at Luka's Taproom (2221 Broadway, Oakland), when DJs VNA and D'Madness host a listening party (followed by their regular sweaty house music, downtempo, neo-soul, and world-beat dance session). Kirb and Chris will be in the house as well, so act accordingly. For more juicy details, visit Rapitalism.com -- Eric K. Arnold
Propaganda is what the enemy tells us. It is not to be trusted. When our side engages in it, it's called news. Neither brand of wartime information ages very well; what once were "facts" are often later revealed to be lies. That's something to keep in mind when watching Selling Democracy: Films of the Marshall Plan, 1948-53, a remarkable series of propaganda, er, informational films produced and screened by the Allied forces in post-WWII Europe. The first installment of the 25-film traveling series, "Out of the Ruins," presented by the Academy Film Archive of AMPAS and consisting of grim newsreels of destroyed German and Italian towns, plays this evening (7:30) at the Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft Way on the UCB campus. For more propaganda, er, info, visit BAMPFA.berkeley.edu or SellingDemocracy.org -- Kelly Vance
In hip-hop's lexicon, a beat with particularly pleasing aural qualities is known as "the bump." The term can also be a verb, as in "That song is bumpin'." For that reason, Bump Records is a great name for a label, and it just happens to be the moniker of the newest youth-identified indie out of Oakland you need to be up on. Get introduced to the Bump roster tonight at O-town's 2232 MLK, when it presents a label showcase and record release concert, also featuring live performances by conscious rap kingpins Zion-I, next-level New Bay-ers the Attik, and hostess with the mostest Femi, plus Native Guns, Panama, and DJ Treat U Nice. $5 gets you in; $2 more gets you a CD to boot. That's the realio dealio, playas and playarettes. BumpRecords.org -- E.K.A.
When playwright Lao She wrote The Teahouse in 1958, the drama's narrative form, as well as its social observations, were still somewhat new and unusual in China. The large cast of characters represents an outspoken cross-section of society, speaking in the Beijing local dialect -- possibly part of the reason the play has been revived several times and has emerged as one of the signature pieces of the Beijing People's Art Theatre. That company's production of The Teahouse visits UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall tonight (8 p.m.) and then again tomorrow afternoon (3 p.m.) under the Cal Performances banner. The play will be presented with English supertitles. Info and tickets: CalPerfs.berkeley.edu -- K.V.
Where can you hear, see, and feel the multisensory, multimedia creations of constantly evolving avant-gardists? At 21 Grand, you visceral experience junkie, you. The Oakland art gallery and performance space (415 25th St.) is known for showcasing the weird, the unusual, and the atypical with such frequency as to make it seem almost normal, and Sunday's show, Synaesthesia: Modern Multimedia, continues in that vein. Free-form fusionistas The Why Because's lineup varies from four to ten members, and so does their sound. Little is known about irr.app.(ext). , at least little that can be taken seriously, so we'll just say they're mysterious and leave it at that. Galena is a multifaceted artist and musician who does sculpture as well as his own album covers. The gender-bending Troops update cabaret-style musical theater with electronic music, while Songs of the New Erotics is the alias of polymedia artist W.A. Davison, who may be a member of irr.app.(ext). as well. Or not. 21Grand.org -- E.K.A.
Thousands of years ago, when the Ohlone Indians lived in what is now the Bay Area, they marked their sacred burial grounds with shells, built up into impressively stacked mini-hills. One such site, the Huichun Shellmound, was unfortunately lost when the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville was erected right on top of it. However, many historic shellmounds still remain, and to promote awareness and support preservation efforts, several local Native American tribal leaders are teaming with Buddhist monks for a Peace Walk, which begins this morning at Sogorea Te in Vallejo's Glen Cove, and travels to various East Bay cities, averaging eighteen miles per day, before ending at the spot where the Huichun Shellmound used to be on November 25. For more info, e-mail Ligaya Pono at firstname.lastname@example.org -- E.K.A.
Say what you will about U2. Regardless of whether you think Bono is a pompous ass or your dream date, it's still the biggest band in the world, having attained Beatle-esque stature and longevity in a music industry where dinosaurs are regularly surmounted by younger bands with better hair. Not that they're Jurassic or anything; U2's recent single "Vertigo" proved it can still rattle and hum with the best of them. Tonight (and tomorrow), the band moves in mysterious ways at the Oakland Arena, also featuring opener Damian Marley. The shows are sold out, but tickets can be found online or from scalpers. And if you're short on bread, you can still enjoy a reasonable facsimile of the U2 experience, when tribute band Zoo Station plays Oakland's new Uptown club (1928 Telegraph Ave.) for only $5 -- free before 10:30 p.m. -- E.K.A.
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