Be a stranger in paradise

SAT 5/24

They paved a landfill and put up a homeless paradise. "Ghosts of the East Bay," a summer film series presented by Nonchalance, those vigilant promoters of "original Oakland charm," refers in part to the displaced souls who built a community on the Albany Bulb, only to be evicted after ten years of residence. In 1985, after years of litigation against the landfill for illegal dumping operations, the city gave up its fight and let it return to nature. Bum's Paradise , a documentary by Thomas McCabe and the first in the four-part series, chronicles the eviction of the men and women who magically transformed the landfill from dump to dwelling. "We love the Albany Bulb because it is one of those last locations for unregulated artistic expression in public space," says Jeff Hull, director of field operations at Nonchalance. "Our event will be a celebration of the art and people who inhabit this space -- past, present, and future." Robert "Rabbit" Barringer, one of the landfill's resident artists, provides the narration for the film and captured much of the footage using a video camera that was on a thirty-day return policy "loan." In the opening moments of the film, Rabbit explains, "This landfill stands as a brooding monument to obsolescence. What could be a more appropriate refuge for America's unused people? Here, they can be hidden away from a society which regards them as a nuisance and an eyesore."

Rabbit and other residents are more than documentary subjects. Witnessing their lives, touring the varied structures and dwellings of their community, hearing their poetry, and viewing their art, we are emotionally involved at the sight of their forced removal. The 53-minute doc screens on Saturday at 9 p.m., on-site at the Albany Landfill Amphitheater (on San Francisco Bay at the end of Buchanan Street, off I-80). Come at sundown and stay after the screening to enjoy the music (DJ Tree, Aren Downy, and Bobby Peru), the bonfire, and the BYO. Bring a folding chair and/or blanket (a flashlight might come in handy), and be prepared for the ten-minute walk from the parking lot to the amphitheater. If the weather is nasty, the rain date is the following evening or evenings until the show goes on. or -- Malka Geffen

MON 5/26

Soft and Warm

On the Grass

One more reason the '70s will never die: Old school rules on Memorial Day when KBLX 102.9-FM takes to the green for its sixth annual Stone Soul Picnic at the Dunsmuir Historic Estate in the Oakland hills (2960 Peralta Oaks Ct.). Put on the floppy bell-bottom double knits, the Nik-Nik shirt, and a Big Apple cap, and surrey on down for a full day of smooth vocal R&B and flaming funk with War ("Low Rider," "Slippin' into Darkness"), the Dramatics ("Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," "In the Rain"), the Brothers Johnson ("Strawberry Letter 23," "Get the Funk Outta My Face"), and the Dazz Band ("Let It Whip," "Joystick"). Music starts at 12 noon. With any luck, the only Quiet Storm will be in the station promos. Tickets: $45 from 510-762-2277. Visit -- Kelly Vance

SAT 5/24

Stalk Show

Leave it to Kitchen Sink, the "Magazine for People Who Think Too Much," to capitalize on urban paranoia and turn it into an excuse for a party. The Oakland mag's third number is devoted to stalkers and stalking, so make sure no one -- except a dozen or so of your friends -- follows you to the Liminal Gallery (2000 Myrtle St., Oakland) Saturday night for the Stalker Issue Release Party . Music by two experimental bands: SF's Deerhoof and Jamie Stewart of Oakland's Xiu Xiu. A stalker-inspired fashion show by Oaktown Stitchdown. Artwork on the walls by Express cartoonist Jesse Reklaw and others. 7 p.m. till midnight. $7-$20 sliding scale ($10 also gets you a copy of the mag). -- Kelly Vance

SAT 5/24


Julianne Shepherd (of ) compared the live show of DC's Black Eyes to "a funhouse of tiny, screaming singers twitching about with the herky-jerky motion of flipbook animation." The quintet (whose debut full-length was produced by Ian MacKaye, and put out by Dischord, natch) has the noise to match, often seeming like at least twice its membership as it steeps taut post-rock in dubby experimentation. Also on the bill at 924 Gilman in Berkeley are Colorado's Love Me Destroyer, Canada's Mach Tiver, and, in the headlining slot, Planes Mistaken for Stars, who come straight outta Denver with a more traditional emo style. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m., and cover's $5. 510-525-9926. -- Stefanie Kalem


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