This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 


As band beginnings go, that of IGNiT is a winner. The band started up in 1994 when four childhood friends in their very early teens decided that they didn't need to actually own instruments in order to play music. They were called Radioactive Death then, and they practiced on borrowed instruments. Nine years and six or seven name changes later, only one original member remains, but the now-Sonoma County-based metal trio has been consistently gigging throughout its history, picking up new members along the way. They play at Blake's (2367 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley) tonight with Misfits tribute band Green Hell, Caps-X, and Parkside Dr. The music starts at 8 p.m. and cover charge is $6. Call 510-848-0886 for venue details. -- Stefanie Kalem


From the mind of Ira Levin (Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, The Boys from Brazil) comes Deathtrap, a stage drama about a playwright with writer's block who unexpectedly receives a manuscript from a student. The over-the-transom play turns out to be terrific, so the playwright plots to kill the student and steal his creation. Just the scenario for an evening of thrills and chills at San Leandro's California Conservatory Theater, where Levin's 1979 hit play (reportedly Broadway's longest-running mystery) opens tonight for a run through June 29. Louis Parnell directs. Opening-night curtain is 8 p.m. 999 E. 14th St., San Leandro. Tickets: 510-632-8850. -- Kelly Vance


Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew/Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two? The Candy Man can. Try to blot it out of your mind that Sammy Davis Jr. sang Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse's aforementioned gooey ditty as Richard Nixon's presidential campaign theme song in 1972 -- and concentrate instead on the story of unassuming young Charlie Bucket, horrid brat Veruca Salt, the Oompa Loompas, gluttonous Augustus Gloop, and of course Willy the Candy Man himself, played by Gene Wilder as someone kids probably shouldn't have been left alone with. That's right, the hyperglycemic yet eerily disturbing movie version of author Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is back, at the Paramount, tonight at 8 p.m. Tix are a mere $5. Stop your gob with that. -- Kelly Vance


In 1999, Nikky Finney's second book, a collection of poems, stories, and photographs titled Rice, won the PEN American Open Book Award. The latest collection of prose and poesy by this associate professor of creative writing at the University of Kentucky is called The World Is Round, and has been in the making for eight years, as has Finney's forthcoming novel, Frogmarch. The World Is Round, she writes, "focuses on the intimacy of life." Within its pages, she is "a chorus of monks. I am an elephant. Sweetgrasss. The confederate flag. My mother's umbilical cord. I am a southern congressman's retarded son. A black woman's grotesquely cut body. My father's last cigarette." Finney has been on the road almost nonstop since December, and tonight at 6:30 she appears at Marcus Books (3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland) for a reading and signing. Call 510-652-2344. -- Stefanie Kalem


Need an excuse to stroll around the scenic small-town environs of Alameda and gawk at artwork this weekend? Put on your island clothes and visit the final day of the third annual Alameda Sidewalk Fine Arts and Crafts Festival, sponsored by the Park Street Business Association. More than fifty California artists, gathered together by Pacific Fine Arts Festivals, are displaying their original paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and ceramics on the Park Street main drag downtown from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. today. And it's totally free, of course. For more details, visit -- Kelly Vance


When you visit the "party" at Diorama-Rama, the new art show at Buzz Gallery, you'll have to pardon the other guests if they don't respond to you quickly enough -- they're made of paper. Still, they're pretty lifelike, as artists Alika Cooper, Kelly Jones, and Marci Washington intended. "Everything becomes a facade and/or play world," comment the artists, referring to the life-size dolls' remarkable realism. "The irony is that when you play with the dolls, you act out real life. Thus, there is some truth in make-believe." The dolls are constructed of watercolor paper and finished with house paint, acrylics, and fabric, then posed in classic diorama style, in various situations. "Diorama-Rama" runs through June 29 at Buzz Gallery, 2316 Telegraph Ave. next to Mama Buzz Cafe in the heart of downtown Oakland's bohemian quarter. The cafe and gallery are open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more info: 510-872-0561 or -- Kelly Vance

TUE 10

Moe! Staiano brings you yet another close encounter of the avant-garde kind when Go-Go Fightmaster celebrate the release of their new CD tonight at the Black Box (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). The free-jazz improv quartet features saxophonist Aaron Bennett, bassist Adam Lane, and guitarist John Finkbeiner of the Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, plus prolific drummer Vijay Anderson, and the music contained in their self-titled debut on Pax Recordings was described by the session engineer as "heavy-metal country jazz." Can't bang on that with a can, now, can ya? Also helping to commemorate the virgin disc are those electro-acoustic aggressors, Adam Lane's Full-Throttle Orchestra (also featuring Anderson), and the duo of Nick Didkovsky and Tom Dimuzio. This all-ages event kicks off at 8 p.m., and admission price is on a sliding scale from $7-$20. Call 510-451-1932. -- Stefanie Kalem


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