This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 15

Is Emeryville still home to artists and creative types? Can they afford to live there? Do shopping malls and in-fill development mean the demise of bohemianism? You might ask yourself this type of question -- or you might not -- while grazing at the 17th Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition, ensconced in the Bay Street shopping block (5616 Bay, to be exact, across from Barnes & Noble) through October 26. More than one hundred artists are displaying their sculpture, jewelry, paintings, textiles, ceramics, photographs, glass works, and whatnot at the show, curated by Paul Tomidy. And everything you see is for sale, mesdames et messieurs. Admission is free. For further info: 510- 652-6122 or -- Kelly Vance

THU 16

Noble Willingham, a film character actor with more than thirty features under his belt (Up Close & Personal, City Slickers II, The Hudsucker Proxy), has a face you'd remember if you saw it. The Texas-born thesp reportedly once ran for Congress from a district in that state (as a Republican), and he's mostly been typecast as a Southerner, notably in Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon and The Last Picture Show -- but his starring role in The Corndog Man puts the rest of his work in the shade. It's about a powerboat salesman named Ace Barker, whose foul-mouthed racism is no protection for him when he begins getting crank phone calls from someone claiming to be his long-lost son. What does it all mean? Ask writer-director Andrew Shea when he appears in person tonight (9:15) at the Parkway to screen the movie, which did well on its release at Sundance in 1999. -- Kelly Vance

FRI 17

Alfred Uhry, author of Driving Miss Daisy, sheds light on the South's Jewish elite in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, a family-friendly comedy about love and prejudice playing at Lafayette's Town Hall Theatre (3535 School St.). In the shadow of WWII, Atlanta's goyim gawk outside the premiere of Gone with the Wind, the city's Jewish community prepares for the big Ballyhoo dance, and one mother frets over finding her awkward daughter a nice, Jewish date. Barbara Larsen directs the 1997 Tony-winner, which is based on Uhry's own memories and family history. The Last Night of Ballyhoo plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., through Nov. 9. Call 925-283-1557 for tickets, which range in price from $12 to $22. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 18

Meat. Music. More meat. More music. That's the bill of fare at today's Meat & Music Festival at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds. For a mere $35, you can tuck into marinated ball-tip (uhh ... never mind), quartered chicken, a baked potato, green beans, etc. (what, no Rocky Mountain oysters?), slathered in Kinder's BBQ Sauce from Kinder's Custom Meats. Then listen to five bands -- Soular, the Breakdown, Cadence, Nero, and Blue JuJu. Then have 'nother sandwich 'n' a beer. Bring your PETA-member friends and let the fur fly. But seriously, folks, it's a benefit for CAARMA, the California Association for the Advancement of Recording and Music Arts. The fun runs from 5-11 p.m. at CoCo Fairgrounds, 1201 West 10th St., Antioch. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 19

Psst ... hey, you. Want a nickel? How about a nyckelharpa? The bowed instrument is related to both the fiddle and the hurdy-gurdy, and in the hands of Väsen's Olov Johansson, it adds to the quirky-but-authentic sound of the band. Rounded out by violist Mikael Marin and guitar player Roger Tallroth, Väsen takes the traditional Nordic folk music of Uppland, Sweden, and imbues the marches and polskas with groovy new life. In its native country, the band appears on bills with acts as diverse as the Kronos Quartet and Swedish folk-rock stars Nordman; tonight at the Freight & Salvage (1111 Addison St., Berkeley), it's on its own. The show starts at 8 p.m., with doors at 7:30, and tickets cost $16.50 in advance, $17.50 at the door. Details: 510- 548-1761. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 20

Marta Thoma's sculpture, Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes (2003), besides being a tribute to Elvis Costello, is notable for its whimsical juxtaposing of a gauzy, see-through woman's party dress (with steel supports visible) above a pair of clumpy red shoes -- with no one inside either the dress or the shoes. Oh, and did we mention that the sculpture stands eight feet tall and is four feet wide? Thoma's sculptures are the biggest thing to hit the East Bay since Art Shell retired from the Raiders. She also seems to have a preoccupation with footwear. Stand'n in Dad's Shoes measures 15'x11'x8', and the other four works in Thoma's show, Stretch, follow suit. All five huge sculptures are crammed into Gallery 555 through December 31. It's open Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 555 12th St. in downtown Oakland. 510-238-2200. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 21

Whatever your opinion is of Dave Eggers -- brilliant editor, overrated hack, voice of a generation -- you gotta admit the guy's heart is in the right place. As the founder of 826 Valencia, he fosters the writing life of underprivileged young people in the Bay Area (not to mention providing San Francisco with its only authentic pirate store). And this evening he'll read, along with Opal Palmer Adisa, to raise funds for local hunger relief efforts during Mills College's Annual Writers' Harvest. The Alameda County Community Food Bank, Mills Place for Writers, and the Mills English Department invite word-lovers with big hearts to listen to Eggers and Adisa, and make a $5-$20 donation. Oakland resident Adisa has authored seven books, including fiction, a children's book, and the poetry collections Leaf-of-Life (Jukebox, 2000) and 1992's Tamarind and Mango Women, a PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award-winner. The event starts at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Mills Student Union, 5000 MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland. 510-430-3250. -- Stefanie Kalem


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