Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

by Zaineb Mohammed
Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 7:41 AM

It's Labor Day Weekend and the Bay Bridge is closed, but don't despair. Here are five awesome ways to spend your long weekend in the East Bay:

Alt-J is an English indie rock quartet that sounds even better live than it does on its popular 2012 debut album, An Awesome Wave. The band’s style is both familiar and totally foreign, mashing together poignant wailing, folk verses, hip-hop syncopation, psychedelic rock, and dub pop. It shouldn’t work, but it does — especially live. Each song on An Awesome Wave is kind of an odyssey unto itself; the tracks take you on a journey as they quickly change direction and tempo. As a result, Alt-J’s live show feels unpredictable, even if you’ve heard its album before and should leave the crowd at The Fox Theater alternately swaying and head-banging. Catch the band with Canadian avant-pop sextet Royal Canoe, whose dance-y jams also defy easy categorization. Friday, Aug. 30. 8 p.m., $35. TheFoxOakland.comMadeleine Key


fiveTEN Oakland Pride Events
Oakland Pride is this weekend and it's time to party. fiveTEN, an Oakland events production company, is kicking things off with a casino-themed party at The Den at the Fox Theater, where attendees can play blackjack and roulette and enter a raffle. On Saturday, a Pride Ride will start at the Embarcadero and end at The New Parish, in time for bikers to attend the WERQ! Vogue Ball, where Double Duchess will perform and audience members can strut their stuff on the catwalk during a vogue competition. After the official Pride festival in Uptown Oakland on Sunday, head to The Oakland Metro for an after-party and music fest featuring Lila Rose, Aima the Dreamer, and headliner The Memorials. Fri.-Sun., Aug. 30-Sept. 1. $30 for an all-weekend pass. and OaklandPride.orgZaineb Mohammed

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Mission Creek Oakland Schedule Announced

by Whitney Phaneuf
Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Mission Creek Oakland has just released its schedule for this year's event. A festival of (mostly) local bands, Mission Creek started in San Francisco seventeen years ago and has been running in the East Bay for five years. This year's festival — which, full disclosure, is co-produced by the East Bay Express — will take place September 1-30 in various local venues. Shows are still being added and lineups are subject to change, so check Facebook for updates.

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Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

by Zaineb Mohammed
Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

It's the weekend! Here are the five best things to do with yourself this Friday to Sunday:

Game of Thrones Extravaganza
If your life has lacked meaning since the Game of Thrones season finale in June, fear not, for winter is coming (sort of). On Friday, Tourettes Without Regrets is hosting a Game of Thrones variety show at the Oakland Metro. So if you have been boring your non-GoT-watching friends with your ruminations on whether you would pledge allegiance to the House of Stark or Lannister, or internally debating whether you’re more of an Arya Stark or a Daenerys Targaryen, here is your chance to nerd out with fellow fans as you watch live jousting, GoT-themed stand-up comedy, and fantasy “cosplay” burlesque. The night, of course, would not be complete without Westeros medieval house band Thee Hobgoblins — though if you’re a Stark, keep your fingers crossed they don’t break into “The Rains of Castamere.” Friday, Aug. 23. 8:30 p.m., $15. OaklandMetro.orgZaineb Mohammed

  • Ravi Shankar

Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour
How well do you know your radical Berkeley history? Fill any gaps in your knowledge during this walking tour of South Asian history. Organized by longtime Berkeley activists Barnali Ghosh and Anirvan Chatterjee, the monthly tour covers about two miles and visits seven locations, each highlighting a lesser-known aspect of South Asian Bay Area history. Beginning at the Pacific Center, the tour describes how Trikone, the oldest South Asian LGBT organization in the country, was founded. Winding through Berkeley’s streets, the guides will regale the group with stories, including one about a protest organized by sixteen South Asian UC Berkeley students in 1908 against a talk by a Christian evangelist about how Hinduism was the source of India's problems. Proceeds go towards BASS, a youth camp for South Asian teenagers to learn about progressive issues. Sunday, Aug. 25. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m., $15 for general admission, $5 for students. BerkeleySouthAsian.orgZ.M.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

What We Like: Greasebox, El Gusano, Hipline

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 8:41 AM

I love the odd beauty and resourcefulness of the cobbled-together Chinese "bastard chairs" in this Michael Wolf photo series. — Luke Tsai

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

by Zaineb Mohammed
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Hey party people, it's Friday! Throw a mini dance party at your desk and check out these weekend-worthy activities, selected just for you:

If you’re curious about the best underground crust, punk, doom, sludge, and black metal bands, and can withstand several hours of hearing them at high volume, then you won’t want to miss the annual Deadfest. Held over two days at the Oakland Metro — which has pretty much become the de facto venue for metal these days — the event will feature dozens of acts, both local (Brainoil, Noothgrush, Negative Standards, Graves at Sea) as well as visiting (Providence’s Dropdead, Portland’s Stoneburner, and Dallas’ Kill the Client). On Saturday, be sure to check out Oakland funeral-doom outfit Lycus, whose new album, Tempest, is being hailed as the band’s most fully realized effort yet. Fri., Aug. 16, 8 p.m. $15 for single-day ticket. Kathleen Richards

No Man's Land
With a cast like Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Billy Crudup, and Shuler Hensley, it's a no-brainer that this production of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, now in production at Berkeley Rep, trains its focus squarely on its actors. With the exception of a few dramatic lighting flourishes and some distractingly Seventies costumes, the production clears away anything that could prove a distraction from the people on stage. McKellen nails the role of Spooner, a rambling eccentric with a vocabulary as elevated as it is dirty (he speaks of a past lover's "predilection" for "consuming the male member"), with impeccable comedic timing and an almost Vaudevillian flair. Stewart's Hirst, meanwhile, is typically more grave, giving the august actor plentiful opportunities to command the stage with lines booming and bleak, like fists shaken at an existential void. Along with the two younger men, this duo propels a postmodern-leaning play that is thin on conventional plot but singularly perceptive about the fundamentals of human nature. It's Pinter at the height of his powers, played by some of the few people who could pull that off. Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31, $35-$135. BerkeleyRep.orgAlex Bigman

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Live Mural Painting on Telegraph This Weekend

by Sarah Burke
Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 2:15 PM

If Sundays on Telegraph aren't already colorful enough, this weekend two artists will be adding a new splash of color to the festivities. Berkeley natives Tim Hon and Steve Ha of the Illuminaries art group are spray painting a mural onto the side of Shakespeare & Co Books on Telegraph Avenue. They began their work this morning and will be finishing up the painting during the street fair on Sunday evening in conjunction with live musical performances.

Hon and Ha are both seasoned mural painters, with their work enlivening walls across the Bay Area. Last year, they sprayed the Mission District of San Francisco with a 49ers mural during the Super Bowl and an SF Giants mural during the World Series. As one would expect, both were very popular with the community.


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What We Like: Outside Lands Recap

by Whitney Phaneuf
Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Love or hate Outside Lands, it’s a behemoth music festival — comparable in size and scope to Lollapalooza, Coachella, South by Southwest, and Bonnaroo — and it’s in our backyard. Kathleen Richards gave us her festival highlights in this week’s issue, but here’s what else we liked:

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

by Zaineb Mohammed
Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Bummed you didn't snag a ticket to Outside Lands? Console yourself with these excellent weekend festivities happening right here in the East Bay:

Lip Service West: True Stories
There’s your run-of-the-mill reading, and then there’s Lip Service West. Led by Joe Clifford, a heavily inked former heroin addict with a self-professed weakness for Jack Kerouac, Lip Service West showcases the less-than-rosy lives of writers. Thriving off a certain brand of gritty stories that can only come from the day-to-day lives of the creative and occasionally downtrodden, the event features writers — professional and otherwise — baring it all, to hilarious and heartbreaking effect. Join Clifford and his cast of five featured readers this Friday at Pegasus Books for the next iteration of the bi-monthly literary spectacle. Fri., Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m., free. PegasusBookstore.comAzeen Ghorayshi


Release Your Quest
Since its founding in 1958, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center has lovingly nurtured modern-dance artists — perhaps a fitting role for a school located in a century-old family home. This weekend the cozy studios are the venue for the emerging talent of Shawl modern-dance teacher and artist-in-residence Troy Macklin, a Juilliard graduate who will present his first evening-length production, Release Your Quest. Created by Macklin in collaboration with Leah Curran, Rebecca Demotte, Jerry Christopher Lin, and Vera Schwegler, the contemporary solos, duets, and trios comprise theatrical and lighthearted themes, with music that ranges from the electronic explorations of Matmos to live vocals with piano accompaniment. What the pieces share is the intimacy and inspiration that Shawl-Anderson cultivates in dancers and choreographers alike, and the risk-taking that results when artists are given a place to call home. Aug. 9-11, 8 p.m., $15, $20. Shawl-Anderson.orgClaudia Bauer

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Monday, August 5, 2013

What We Like: George Saunders, Portal, FKA Twigs

by Whitney Phaneuf
Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM

This piece by Amy Harmon over at The New York Times is good journalism at its best. Take a thorny issue like genetically engineered foods, which people — particularly in the Michael Pollan-devotee-rich East Bay — approach with an almost religious fervor, and instead tackle it through the lens of human narrative. Harmon follows orange farmers in Florida as they struggle to figure out a way to save the state’s plagued orange crop, which genetic engineering alone may have the power to save. — Azeen Ghorayshi

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Put on the new Icona Pop song and throw your keyboard in the air...IT'S THE WEEKEND! Here are some excellent things to do with yourself this Friday through Sunday:

"The Meaning of Life"
The Wall Gallery is arguably the least accommodating space among the galleries located around Telegraph Avenue and 25th Street. In fact, it’s actually more of a hallway. But don’t let its narrowness deceive you into thinking that its shows are insignificant. Through August 10, The Wall is featuring the thought-provoking work of abstract painter Adam Cardello: The Meaning of Life is a collection of five large, square paintings that depict the cycle of life. According to Cardello’s artist’s statement, the series was a way for him to weave a narrative out of two life-changing events — the birth of his daughter and the death of his close friend. The resulting story is a dynamic manipulation of color, pattern, and geometry into effervescent pictorial metaphor. By overlapping thin layers of paint, Cardello achieves a fogginess that adds crucial depth to his dreamy pieces, drawing the viewer in. Actually, a space of transition like a hallway may be the perfect place to view The Meaning of Life because it relates the same message as the work: We’re all just passing through. TheWallGallery.Blogspot.comAlex Bigman


The Mantles
Bay Area quartet The Mantles have just returned from an extensive national tour promoting their recently released second album Long Enough to Leave, which Express music critic Sam Lefebvre said contained some of their best songs to date. The band’s jangle-pop-meets-garage-rock sound is especially electric in a live setting with frontman Michael Olivares’ warbling vocals backed by tons of reverb and distortion. While some of The Mantles’ music feels simple and minimal on their records, the band plays everything louder and faster live, edging into noisier, more psychedelic territory. The Mantles took a six-year break between their debut album and Long Enough to Leave, so be sure to catch the band at The Uptown when you have the chance. With Skygreen Leopards, New Faultlines, and Cruel Summer. Fri., Aug. 2, 9 p.m., free. UptownNightclub.comWhitney Phaneuf

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