Boo-gie Oogie 

It only gets funkier

THU 10/30

With ghouls out pounding the pavement and Dia de los Muertos on the horizon, there's no question it's a freaky-deaky time of year. October is a time to celebrate death, meditate on life, and note the continuity of past, present, and future -- but it's also about boogying down with your family while paying homage to your ancestors. And the best way to groove with old ghosts is through -- in the words of Oakland R&B singer Mama Earth -- "spirit music with a bump." Join Mama Earth Thursday evening (7:30 p.m.) for Boogie Nights, a celebration of the ancestors through music, storytelling, and spoken-word poetry. The night kicks off with children's stories from Achebe, a master drummer and performance artist. Local fashion designers Oshun 07 will floss their threads, the spoken-word artist Asante will regale you with her gift o' gab, and DJ Sake 1 will rattle your bones with swank grooves and pop-lockin' beats. It only gets funkier, as the musical lineup includes Bicasso from Living Legends, and Jua featuring Mama Earth. Proceeds benefit the forthcoming bimonthly magazine Mothers of Color, which addresses the need for parents of color to be heard in a literary forum. La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-849-2568, $7.-- Rachel Swan

FRI 10/31

Kalem's Lot

East Bay scares aplenty
May we present a few suggestions where you can embrace your inner demon this Halloween? Bart Davenport's old band, the Loved Ones, reunites at the Ivy Room (858 San Pablo Ave., Albany), performing their '60s R&B-style rave-ups with Harold Ray Live in Concert opening; Ashkenaz (1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley) hosts its annual party with Burning Man staples the Venusians, whose trademark synth horn only adds to their unique hybrid of dance beats and worldbeat; scooter aficionados can meet at 5 p.m. on the basketball courts of Grass Valley School (4720 Dunkirk Ave., Oakland) for a Halloween Scooter Ride; the Pardee Home Museum (672 11th St., Oakland) hosts its Fourth Annual Halloween at the Mansion with flashlight tours, a ghastly photo gallery, a basement autopsy room, and more; and California College of the Arts (5212 Broadway, Oakland) offers a workshop, The Figure by Candlelight (510-594-3710).-- Stefanie Kalem


The Art of the Spontaneous

Calling all wisdom seekers: At Cal State Hayward's University Art Gallery you can hear the sound of one hand applauding Zen and Modern Art, an exhibition of paintings, calligraphy, and memorabilia reflecting Zen Buddhism's influence on art and artists in the US and Europe. Artists include Sam Francis, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and writer-teacher Alan Watts, as well as Berkeley resident Kasuaki Tanahashi. or 510-885-3299. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 11/2

House of Pain

Rock out with your shock out
Sometimes Florida-based shock-rock outfit the Genitorturers play all-ages shows; other times, the gigs are limited to 21-and-over, and then doors are locked after the last hand is stamped. Why? Oh, the usual -- elaborate scenes of submission and domination, audience participation, that sort of thing. The band was the brainchild of frontwoman Gen back in the late '80s, and as the sets and concepts have gotten more elaborate, the music has moved into a more industrial-metal hybrid, with rock-opera grandeur. Check 'em out (with Gen's husband, original Morbid Angel bassist David Vincent) at Cadillac Ranch (1655 Willow Pass Rd., Concord) tonight, with Hanzyl und Gretyl. 925-686-6809. -- Stefanie Kalem


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