Malcolm X would approve

SAT 5/22

The time is now; the source is East Oakland. The fifth annual Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival happens this Saturday at San Antonio Park, 18th Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, Oakland. Presented by the Eastside Arts Alliance to celebrate the birth of freethinker El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), this year's theme draws from his words, "Return to the source! Serve the people!" The free festival will honor two cultural arts activists who truly exemplified that. The late Malonga Casquelourd and Edsel Matthews were pillars of the Alice Arts Center community and will be remembered with a special New Orleans second-line procession led by Tacuma King. This year's festival features an amazing cast of creative musicians and spoken-word artists, all of whom were touched by the spirits of Edsel and Malonga. Highlights include Marcel Diallo's Black New World with violinist India Cooke; San Jose's ambassador of jazz, Eddie Gale, and the NOW Band; and Avotcja & Modupue, with pianist Jon Jang and others. The afternoon concludes with Bobi Céspedes, the renowned Bay Area Cuban singer, sharing sounds from her album Rezos (Six Degrees) -- son and Santeria with a beat. For more info: 510-533-6629. -- Jesse "Chuy" Varela

SUN 5/23

Pick Yo' Teef

They're pickin', he's grinnin'. Toofless Sean Corkery is a slender-voiced guy-with-a-guitar folkie with lowdown songs such as "Bill the Cat" and "Barefoot American Blues." Some say he got his nickname when a fellow street musician told him that he shouldn't worry that he couldn't sing like an old black man, because he plays the guitar like he ain't got no teeth. The Pickin' Trix , however, have plenty of teeth, which enable the Oakland femme duo (Xenia Rudnycka and Camille Anderson) to wow crowds with their war-protest song, "Bush Yoga." See all three Sunday (8 p.m.) at Berkeley's Jazz House, 3192 Adeline St., 415-846-9432. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 5/22

One-Tracker Mind

Layered goodness at the Plough

Tracker is the well-chosen alias of Portland's John Askew, a recording engineer and writer for Tape Op magazine. You can see how his carefully layered songs -- he does with the studio and a handful of session players what Califone does with five or six guys -- go over with a band at the Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) Saturday. Headlining the show is San Francisco's Citizens Here and Abroad, who lost two guitars, a computer, and more when their van was broken into on tour this month (so buy a T-shirt, dammit), and spacetastic Oakland quartet Audio Out Send opens. 9:30 p.m., $6, 510-841-2082. -- Stefanie Kalem



Did you hear that?

Pack up your boom mikes and such and make for the Nature Sounds Society's Field Recording Workshop, but don't worry about the whiskey. The event -- now in its twentieth year -- is being held at the biodiverse Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, in the Shasta-Trinity Mountains near Redding. The weekend junket is themed "Surrounded by Sound," and features speakers such as nature sound recordist Lang Elliott, videographer Sam Easterson, sound designer and Nagra Audio specialist Dan Dugan, and sound engineer Rudy Trubitt. Field recording opportunities will be interspersed with lectures, discussions, and short intensive sessions for overcoming recording challenges. The cost for all this quiet education is $185-$210, which includes meals and shared cabins beside Clear Creek. (Scholarships and internships are available.) Call 510-238-7482 or visit for further details. -- Stefanie Kalem

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