Zoned In 

Forbidden? In Berkeley?!

6/25-6/26

In 1980, Richard Elfman made The Forbidden Zone to document the transition of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo-Boingo from theater group to rock band. And there was obviously something to record, because The Forbidden Zone has it all in terms of what you want from a midnight movie. It's campy, kinetic, kinky, and crude. It has T&A, and a teenager who communicates with chickens. It's visually unique, with the majority of the action taking place in an underworldly sixth dimension that closely resembles the Max Fleischer cartooniverse. It has a great soundtrack, with totally bizarre original songs and scratchy nuggets by Cab Calloway and Josephine Baker. And the casting ... Herve Villechaize (yep, Tattoo), cult queen Susan Tyrrell (Cry-Baby, Tapeheads), the director's brother Danny as the devil, legendary performance artists the Kipper Kids, Warhol staple Viva, and more. Thank you, Landmark, for bringing it back to us, specifically to the Act 1 & 2 at midnight this Friday and Saturday night. 510-464-5980. -- Stefanie Kalem

6/16-6/22

Lit Happens

There's more to Wisconsin than badgers and polkas, as novelist Larry Watson proves with his sixth book, Orchard, in which sorrow flows like rain. Watch Watson at Rakestraw (Wed., 7 p.m.). ... Start your Pride Weekend with the sixth annual Queeriosity, where NYC poet ButtaFlySoul and samba drum-and-dance troupe Loco Bloco flank a poetry open mic hosted by Deepdickollective at Oakland's Sexual Minority Alliance of Alameda County Youth Center, 1608 Webster St. For details, call 415-255-9035 (Fri., 6 p.m.). ... He was Chile's consul to Burma, and his mamacita knew him as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. To you he's Pablo Neruda. Celebrate his hundredth birthday with singer Rafael Manriquez and Quijerema at Berkeley's La Peña Cultural Center ($12-$14) (Fri., 8 p.m.). ... She started singing gospel at age five, went on to record a dozen albums, and now Lorie Ham writes mysteries. In Deadly Discrimination, newly arrived Pastor Mike confronts murder in a Northern California cow town. Hear Ham at Altamont/Goodenough Books (Sat., 3 p.m.). ... Has the narrator of Alex Garland's new novel The Coma really awakened from said state or is his battered brain playing tricks? The author of the Brit-lit cult hit The Beach -- which may or may not have inspired Survivor -- reads at Cody's Southside (Sat., 7:30 p.m.). ... She was only twelve when she started writing a fantasy novel about three girls on a magical mission, and fifteen when it was published in 2002 -- and Flavia Bujor's The Prophecy of the Stones promptly became a European best-seller. Meet the phénomène at Barnes & Noble Walnut Creek (Sat., 2:30 p.m.). ... Who's bad? Find out at Black Oak as Stephen Batchelor reads from Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil (Tue., 7:30 p.m.). -- Anneli Rufus

SAT 6/26

Calling Out in Transit

Beside defying media too fast/Instead of pushing palaces to fall/Put that, put that, put that before all/That this isn't fortunate at all. Whether these are actually the lyrics to REM's "Radio Free Europe" is something only Michael Stipe's collegiate journal knows for sure. But it's a fair, if abstract, rallying cry for Radio Free Radio in the East Bay, a new micropower outfit whose benefit and kickoff party happen this weekend at the Long Haul Infoshop, 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Alkaline and Spaz provide the music, and start time is 8 p.m. 510-540-0751. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 6/27

Popsicle Fingers

Expect the unexpected this Sunday (1-3 p.m.) at MOCHA, Oakland's Museum of Children's Art (538 9th St.), when Dan Plonsey and friends take the courtyard stage for a performance of Daniel Popsicle, a pick-up experimental orchestra featuring adults and kids . The concert is part of MOCHA's summer Music & Art Series, which continues in July and August. Mocha.org or 510-465-8770. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 6/28

Big Things

Pick out the green ones at Ego Park

When you stroll into Ego Park Gallery Saturday night for the Monuments & Masses rock and photo show, you'll know that your $7-$15 donation isn't going up anybody's nose or toward a down payment on the singer's girlfriend's Vespa. Nope, all proceeds go to the Oakland-based nonprofit Neighbor Lady Community Arts Project -- and doesn't that name just make you feel all warm and goofy inside? NLCAP's main focus right now is publishing the award-winning literary magazine Kitchen Sink, whose seventh issue, "Kitchen Sink Hooks Up," comes out in early July. But they have a couple more things stewing in the slow cooker -- sponsoring and organizing exhibits for emerging artists of all disciplines, and youth arts education programs, for example. Yup, those crazy cultural alchemists are gonna take your money and turn it into art. Headlining the show is the gloriously hard and post-everything homegrown trio (how'd you guess?) From Monument to Masses, just back from touring Japan; they'll be happy to dose you with their special concoction of drums 'n' bass 'n' anti-imperialism; tenebre fills out the bill. Walls will be graced with photographic works by Joe Niem, Jessamyn Harris, Emma Spertus, Shane Montgomery, and Nicole Neditch, among others. Some of the art will be for sale -- ask the artists -- and all of it will have to do with either of the two above-mentioned M-words. Go ahead, give that nice neighbor lady some of your money. She has your best interests at heart. Ego Park is located at 492 23rd St. (at Telegraph), Oakland, and the event takes place between 8 and 11 p.m. Admission $5-$15, sliding scale. 510-823-8045. -- Nora Sohnen

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