Friday, November 27, 2015

This Weekend's Top Five Events

November 27, 28 & 29

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 9:40 AM

Now that you've eaten your own weight in mashed potatoes and worked it all off fighting people for Black Friday deals at Best Buy, it's time to enjoy the weekend. Here's how:

  • Antwon.
Feels IV
Now in its fourth incarnation, Feels has grown large enough to be considered a festival, though the homegrown event still carries the scrappy ethos of its DIY, warehouse party beginnings. Wine & Bowties — a music and culture blog and promotional outfit that longtime friends Max Gibson and Will Bundy operate together — is throwing the music and art event at American Steel Studios in West Oakland. This time around, the sought-after Canadian producer and DJ Ryan Hemsworth tops the bill. Also headlining is Antwon, an LA-based rapper with a booming voice who got his start in Oakland’s music scene. Antwon’s sound is steeped in Nineties nostalgia and his energetic live shows hark back to his punk roots. Oakland band Meat Market, which is known for its distorted yet hooky pop tracks with a noticeable punk influence, will also perform, as will Shruggs and Rayana Jay, a new, local singer-producer duo. A plethora of local artists will fill American Steel with their artwork, zines, and collectibles, as well. DJs Neto 187, Namaste Shawty, the MoreVibes crew, and others will keep the dance party going all night. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Sat., Nov. 28, 6 p.m. $25-$75.

"100 Suns."
  • "100 Suns."
For her piece entitled “100 Suns,” Mills College Book Art & Creative Writing MFA student Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder made one hundred snow globes, each featuring an identical image of an atomic bomb pluming over Japan. When you pick one up and give it a shake, little, white flecks float around the explosion in swirls — turning what typically depicts charming snowfall into a representation of smoke and mass destruction. The piece sharply critiques the aestheticization of the atomic bomb in American cultural memory and the ways in which old nuclear testing sites in Nevada have become tourist destinations. Schroeder’s piece is one of many in Synesthesia, this year’s Mills College Book Art & Creative Writing MFA Thesis Exhibition, currently on view at Aggregate Space Gallery (801 West Grand Ave., Oakland). And it’s an apt representation of the range of sculptural works that come out of Mill’s acclaimed book arts program — despite its seemingly narrow title. The last day to view the show will be this Saturday, November 28. For the closing, there will be an artist talk at 6 p.m. — Sarah Burke
Sat., Nov. 28, 6 p.m. Free.

Leftöver Crack.
  • Leftöver Crack.
Leftöver Crack, Theories, Rats in The Wall, Heartless Folk
Though the storied New York punk band Leftöver Crack never signed to a major label, the group developed a cult following after it debuted in the late Nineties with its self-released demo, Shoot the Kids at School. Like the project’s title suggests, the group’s peppy-yet-gritty ska-punk discography is snarky and contrarian. Lead singer Scott Sturgeon, aka Stza, has used his lyrics to call out capitalism, police brutality, racism, and homophobia, and his social criticisms are as relevant today as they were more than ten years ago when Leftöver Crack released most of its material. On the track “Gay Rude Boys Unite” from its 2001 album, Mediocre Generica, for instance, he criticizes people who purport to be anti-racist but have homophobic beliefs. The track was definitely ahead of its time, as the concept of intersectionality — or seeing the overlap between different kinds of marginalized people’s struggles — has only entered into mainstream feminist discourse recently. So come on, leave the closet, and on your way out grab a bat/’Cause there’s a battle to be fought, and the prize is fucking fat, he growls. Leftöver Crack performs at 924 Gilman on November 28 with Theories, Rats in the Wall, and Heartless Folk. — N.V.
Sat., Nov. 28, 7 p.m. $15.

Techie Blood
There’s little available information about Techie Blood, the new hardcore band that features members of Stressors and Cudgel, other than its abrasive, seven-minute mixtape, Neighborhood Watch #12 aka Millions of Dead Techies. The short recording was uploaded to a mysterious YouTube channel called Guy Fieri Official in August, though the account does not appear to belong to the bleach blond, hedgehog-haired celebrity chef. Techie Blood’s music is punchy, fast, and violent, with distorted, steely instrumentation that culminates in a barrage of noise. Though Neighborhood Watch #12 sounds mechanized and industrial, it ends with a washed-out, distorted beat that strangely evokes R&B. Techie Blood’s extreme name and aesthetic resonates with the anti-gentrification current in the Bay Area’s rock scene, with many bands reacting to the region’s skyrocketing cost of living with aggressive, angry music that departs from the garage-pop of years past. The group performs with Seattle band Lysol and Oakland band The Light on November 28 at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. — N.V.
Sat., Nov. 28, 7 p.m. $7.

Disgraced. - LIZ LAUREN
  • Liz Lauren
  • Disgraced.
Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, has made its way from Broadway to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2015 Addison St., Berkeley), bringing shrewd director Kimberly Senior with it. The West Coast debut makes Disgraced the most produced play in the country this year, and for good reason: The explosive story about a Muslim-American man grappling with his both sides of his identity has never felt more prescient. Amir (Bernard White) hosts an upper-class dinner party with the hope of getting ahead at his law firm, but when sociopolitical conversations snarl the affair, it becomes clear that unspoken prejudices mar even the most progressive social circles. As Amir watches his American Dream crumble, he realizes that assimilation in a post 9/11 America may be futile after all. Riveting performances and even better writing render Disgraced worthy of the acclaim the play has received nationwide. It might just be the best, most poignant play you see this year. — Gillian Edevane
Through Dec. 20. $29-$89.

If your pockets are feelin' light and you're still yearning for more suggestions, we've got a ton, and these ones are all FREE! We're Hungry: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Feed us at

Friday, November 20, 2015

This Weekend's Top Six Events

Nov. 20, 21 & 22

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 7:00 PM

If you've been passing the time debating whether or not Justin Bieber has finally done something tasteful and relevant, you can you can give it a rest for now because the weekend has arrived — and with it, our trusty guide to the best ways to spend it. 

Queen Kyi
See you can get in where you fit in/But you ain’t about to fit in with me/And you know I stay fly to a T/I’m international, I’ll have you think you thuggin’ when you hear this beat, rhymes Washington, DC spitter Queen Kyi on the title track of her most recent mixtape, Trilluminati. Like her regal stage name suggests, the project’s opulent club anthems brim with high-femme boast raps that position femininity as a source of power. Queen Kyi’s flow is smooth and icy, and she serves disses with nimble wordplay in her nonchalant monotone. Kyi performs on Friday, November 20, at Swagger Like Us, the Bay Area’s premiere queer hip-hop dance party, at Oasis in San Francisco. This edition of Swagger features resident DJ davO of the electro-pop duo Double Duchess and Boston DJ Leah McFly, who is a veteran of her city’s party scene. Gather your cool-girl posse and come prepared to stunt. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Fri., Nov. 20, 10 p.m. $10, $12.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Grant Money Propels New Services at Luna Dance Institute

The Institute will offer more dance therapy classes for strained families.

by Melissa Wen
Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 7:00 AM

A family performs over and under shapes at a Luna Dance Institute Moving Parents and Children Together class.
  • A family performs over and under shapes at a Luna Dance Institute Moving Parents and Children Together class.
The Berkeley-based Luna Dance Institute recently won a $120 thousand grant, which will allow it to expand its dance education services for East Bay families. 

The two-year grant will go to the institute's Moving Parents and Children Together (MPACT) program, which was founded in 2001
with the goal of bringing together previously separated families within the Alameda County dependency court and child welfare systems. The money comes from First 5 Alameda County, a public entity funded by a state proposition to improve childhood education.

"They're working with very high risk families in a totally supportive, non-stigmatizing, fun way," said First 5 CEO Janis Burger, of the MPACT program. MPACT uses dance to work through themes of attachment and separation, specifically designed for families who are learning to live together again after being separated because of issues such as drug use or domestic violence. The program also offers courses in parent education, and plans to bring classes to several Oakland organizations — including the Boys & Girls Club, Magnolia Women's Recovery Programs, Allen Temple Health and Social Services, and Project Pride at East Bay Community Recovery Project — over the next two years.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

This Weekend's Top Six Events

November 13, 14, & 15

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Thank Based God it's Friday! 

Here are six ways to have a based weekend in the East Bay. 

Maya Songbird. - SILENCE DEM ALL
  • Silence Dem All
  • Maya Songbird.
Yoko O.K., Maya Songbird, and Jon Jon Cassagnol
To celebrate painter Laurie Shapiro’s latest solo show at Grease Diner, the North Oakland art gallery and print shop is hosting an opening reception that features three musical guests: Yoko O.K., Maya Songbird, and Jon Jon Cassagnol. Maya Songbird is a San Francisco native who creates danceable, disco-inspired tracks that evoke post-riot grrrl electro pop artists, such as Le Tigre. While Yoko O.K.’s left-field folk music departs from Songbird’s sonically, both artists champion a similar ethos of self-acceptance and quirkiness. O.K.’s album, Menahan Tree, is a collection of mumblecore, bedroom acoustic songs with a slightly off-beat sense of humor. Jon Jon Cassagnol, co-owner of Grease Diner, creates music in a similar vein, except with a rougher sound that has a noticeable punk influence. This show, which takes place on November 13, will be the first time Cassagnol performs his new, electronic material. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Fri., Nov. 13, 6-10

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Friday, November 6, 2015

This Weekend's Top Five Events

November 6, & 7, & 8

by Sarah Burke
Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 7:00 AM

The weekend is officially back by popular demand! Here's how to celebrate. 

A still from First Friday.
  • A still from First Friday.
First Friday' Documentary Screening
The trailer for the documentary First Friday sets the premise for the film with one succinct yet deeply complex point: “In the same year, Oakland was rated one of the top five destinations in the world and one of the top five most dangerous cities in the country.” That “destination” label famously came from a 2012 New York Times listicle, which was written at a time when Oakland was first drawing national attention for its booming First Friday block party and gallery walk. Now, co-directors N’Jeri Eaton and Mario Furloni are using the monthly festival as a microcosm of Oakland’s long-emerging culture clash and issues of gentrification in their new film. In part, it centers on the fatal shooting of a teenager at the February First Friday in 2013. Although that was over two years ago, the discussions boiling out of this film have only become increasingly relevant with time. First Friday will screen at the New Parkway (474 24th St., Oakland) on November 6, at 8:20 p.m. Afterwards, Eaton and Furloni will discuss the film in a Q&A session. —Sarah Burke
Fri., Nov. 6, 8:20 p.m. and Tue., Nov. 10, 7 p.m. 510-658-7900. $10.

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