This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 14
Come learn the secrets of the riqq (Middle Eastern tambourine), zills (finger cymbals), or maybe even a little darbuka (hand drum) in Jen Miriam's Middle Eastern percussion class. Percussionist for the psychedelic Jewgrass band Mozaik, Miriam would love to teach you how make the rhythms that move that part of the world, so that maybe the next time you see that cute belly dancer you like, you can offer her more than those tacky five-spots you've been stuffing in her belt. Miriam has studied in Israel as well as with master drummer Babatunde Olatunji. $10 for drop-in classes, $65 for the series, at the 1923 Teahouse (aka Epic Arts Studio), 1923 Ashby Ave., Berkeley. Call 510-496-6000 x200. -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 15
Sit down. We're gonna throw some words at you, $10,000 Pyramid-style: Pizza. Curry. Zydeco. El Sobrante. Have you guessed yet? You may have, considering the success of live music nights at Pizza Co. & Punjab Palace in El Sobrante (3550-H San Pablo Dam Rd.). The incongruously cuisined establishment has been hosting live music for more than a year: country & Western on Tuesdays, Dixieland jazz on Wednesdays, blues on Fridays and, most popular of all, zydeco on Thursday nights. Tonight's featured act (7-10 p.m.) is Andrew Carrier. Cover varies on live music nights, but tonight it's $8. And what about that menu? Well, it seems the owners were cooking up some chicken curry in the kitchen of the pizza parlor they'd bought, and a customer asked to try it. The rest is culinary history -- the place now boasts a full Italian-American menu (pasta, burgers, fries) and also an Indian one. Call 510-758-4985. -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 16
New York-born, SF North Beach-based poet-painter-translator-activist Jack Hirschman has been around. He has published more than forty volumes of poetry, translated everyone from Vladimir Mayakovsky to Stéphane Mallarmé, displayed his paintings in SF City Hall, and advocated on behalf of the homeless. Influenced by the Beats, his Arcane series has celebrated Allen Ginsberg and Bob Kaufman. A collection of his poetry, Front Lines, was recently published by City Lights. This evening, Hirschman is dropping into North Berkeley to read (doors: 7:30) at the Fellowship Cafe, operated by the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. Poets, musicians, and singers are invited to follow Hirschman at the open mic. 1924 Cedar St., Berkeley. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 17
Thank heavens for Lungfish. If it weren't for stalwarts like this band, plugging away at the genre (with considerable artistic success, natch) for more than a decade, this joke would have had been retired back in 2001: How many emo kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three. One to do the screwing, and two to wonder aloud, "But, but ... why did she leave me?!" Perhaps it's the deliciously obscure poetry in which singer Daniel Higgs cloaks his Byronic gloom that's kept the band afloat, or maybe it's that, if you like dirgey, punkish repetition, you're not gonna get tired of it any time soon. The DC-area outfit's got it in spades, and now it also has the charming Sean Meadows (HIM, the Sonora Pine, June of '44) back in the ever-mutable bass slot. So share your sorrows at Berkeley's 924 Gilman tonight, where music starts at 8 p.m., cover is $5, and the bill's full-up with Yaphet Kotto, Shivering, Enablers, and Once a Hero. All ages. Call 510-525-9926. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 18
Lotta jazz on the street this weekend. For maximum thrills, make it a point to drift over to Berkeley's Fourth Street shopping district this afternoon for the seventh annual Jazz on Fourth Street Festival. The lineup cannot be faulted: the red-hot Dave Ellis Quartet, led by Berkeley-bred tenor sax funkster Ellis; the powerhouse Latin jazz of the John Santos Quartet, with master percussionist Santos and special guest timbalero Orestes Vilató; Johnny Nitro and the Doorslammers and their barroom blues; and appearances by the Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble and various other combos from the world-renowned student jazz program. That program, part of Berkeley High Performing Arts, is the beneficiary of the free event's various food and drink stands, so party it up. The fun begins at 12:30 p.m. on Fourth Street between Hearst and Virginia. Hotline: 510-644-3002. -- Kelly Vance

MON 19
Roots music this weather-beaten should probably be played in a roadhouse somewhere on the other side of Manteca, but tonight you'll find John Hammond and his band at Yoshi's. The longtime blues singer and guitarist, son of the legendary Columbia Records producer of the same name and a contemporary of Bob Dylan (the younger Hammond reportedly introduced Dylan to the Band), released a tribute CD to his pal Tom Waits last year, and his new one is Ready for Love (Back Porch), a collection of typically no-frills shot-and-a-beer tunes by the likes of Waits, Willie Dixon (Muddy Waters' wonderful "Same Thing"), Jagger & Richards, George Jones, and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, who produced. Hidalgo isn't coming to Yoshi's for Hammond's gig tonight and Tuesday, but the rest of the session band is -- including Augie Meyers (Sir Douglas Quintet) on keyboards. The 10 p.m. late show is only $10. www.yoshis.com -- Kelly Vance

TUE 20
Got some time on your hands in Pleasanton on weekdays? Want to express yourself visually in the great outdoors? Sign up for the Tuesday Painters and set your creative spirit free. The group, sanctioned by the Pleasanton Art League, picks subject locations from a pool of suggestions, then meets at the same location for two weeks running. Starting time is 9 a.m. (bring a sandwich) and there's no teacher, but fellow Tuesday Painters will be only too happy to critique your work for you. Phone Pat Smith, president of the Pleasanton Art League, at 925-846-4138 for details. -- Kelly Vance

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