New Moon 

New street fest in town

SAT 8/23

"The Lakeshore Luna Festival is a spinoff of the Lakeshore Fine Arts Fair," says Cricket Deetz, owner of the Spettro Restaurant and a principal organizer of the event, along with the area's merchant association. "For 22 years we hosted the arts fair the weekend before Mother's Day. The last five years we've closed off the street and made it into a fine-arts block party, but the timing was off. While people came to the outdoor party, they weren't going inside into the stores. Being the weekend before Mother's Day, it hurt area sales." So the association decided to reinvent the fair as the Luna Festival, which has its first go-round this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Lakeshore Ave. (between Trestle Glen Rd. and Lake Park Ave.). The emphasis is on local artists and performers; gone are the traveling caravans of out-of-town artisans and big-name headliners, giving space and much-needed opportunity to a long list of resident artists and talents.

For example, jazz poets Upsurge, whose appearance at the Luna Fest is one of its first since the release of latest album Chromatology (Abolition Media). Produced by Richard Howell, it's an array of stories and wordsongs with jazz accompaniment, which lend truth to power and passion to pain. Comprising poets Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg, Upsurge has created an excellent follow-up to its acclaimed 2000 debut All Hands on Deck! Upsurge was also named Best Poet or Spoken-Word Performer in this year's Express Best of the East Bay, and will no doubt bust out with fresh jams and flows, underscored by the influence of Jewish New York, African-American Los Angeles, and many places in between and beyond.

"We're calling it the Luna Festival because it's the closest Saturday to the full moon," adds Deetz, whose restaurant is also celebrating its tenth anniversary. "The idea was to give artists in this area a chance to connect with the public. Oakland is a cool town, and I hope our event inspires other business districts to do similar community gatherings in their neighborhoods." -- Jesse 'Chuy' Varela

SAT 8/23


Liquid lounge

Do you have any idea how much water is in five thousand cubic feet? It's a fuckin' lot! Regardless, that's how much it will take for Adam Hatch to create the installation at the heart of Saturday's Liminal Water Show , 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Bring your swimsuit to Liminal Gallery (2000 Myrtle St., Oakland) and check out the art by Joyce Hsu, Pete Petrochko, and Chen-Ju Pan hidden within the pool. Hsu has received attention for her fantasy world of "NaaBee," mechanical insects exhibiting distinct personality attributes. Rounding out the watery domestics will be artist/musician Matt Volla on the "Bumbolitor," Arns on sitar, and electronic music by Run_Return (who have been recording with Doug Scharin of HIM and June of '44), Roots of Orchis, and OKR. -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 8/21

Pop Askew

Imagine They Might Be Giants playing a run-down lounge at the crossroads of many countries, and you're starting to get an idea of what Mesa, AZ's Fatigo is all about. Trio leader Mike Montoya writes songs about squirrels and occasionally sings in Spanish to keep things even more interesting. The band plays tonight at the Oakland Metro (201 Broadway) with local flavors Lemon Juju and Thread opening the show. Lemon Juju is a brainy, female ukulele duo. Thread comprises four singer-songwriters playing keyboard, acoustic guitar, cello, and mountain dulcimer -- no bass, no percussion, just soaring melodies and intricate playing. The show purports to start at 9 p.m., and cover's $7. -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 8/22

East Bay & Down

If you just can't wait for the big "Westbound & Down" all-day show and chili cook-off tomorrow at Thee Parkside -- or if six bands and all that chili seems a little overwhelming -- then head to the Westbound & Down Pre-Party . The bill at the Ivy Room (858 San Pablo Ave., Albany) boasts two of Los Angeles' countrified finest: rocky-throated honky-tonker Mike Stinson and rambunctious, rotating supergroup I See Hawks in LA. The former has written for Dwight Yoakam and played drums for Christina Aguilera (!); the latter regularly comprises members of the Magic of Television, Double Naught Spy Car, Strawberry Alarm Clock (!!), the Real Sippin' Whiskies, and many more. Show starts at 10 p.m. 510-524-9220 -- Stefanie Kalem


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