This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 9

As any member of a readers' group or creative writing workshop can attest, the Bay Area is thickly carpeted with writers. And often, when they go to sell their books they end up talking to someone in Noo Yawk who thinks that Berkeley is a suburb of Los Angeles and Napa is on the coast. What's a struggling scribbler to do? Forget New York -- the title of this evening's book editors' panel (7:30 p.m. at UC Berkeley's Journalism Library, Hearst and Euclid streets) sponsored by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Subtitled The Books That Bay Area Publishers Buy, the panel gangs together editors from HarperSanFrancisco, Chronicle, Ten Speed, and Avalon/Seal Press, all of whom publish right here and know. Learn what they're looking for, and how their points of view contrast with those of New York editors. Here's the best part: Admission is free, but be sure to RSVP to Laird Harrison at 510-530-6699. -- Kelly Vance

THU 10

The Exiles is the sort of movie that is done these days on video, but when former USC film student Kent MacKenzie made it in 1961, he used 35mm black-and-white, much of it handheld -- which gives his priceless socially conscious narrative even more of a documentary feel. The docudrama moves from an afternoon to the next morning in the lives of a close-knit group of contemporary young Native Americans living in the Bunker Hill neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles. We essentially tag along with Tommy, Homer, Rico, and the lonely left-at-home wife Yvonne, as the Indians make the rounds at bars and an impromptu after-midnight drumming session on a hilltop, letting off steam. If this film were made, say, twenty years later, it would have to end in violence. That way is not MacKenzie's way, and it makes his film all the more remarkable. The Exiles shows at the Pacific Film Archive at 7 p.m. this evening, preceded by a MacKenzie short doc, Bunker Hill 1956. Info: BAMPFA.Berkeley.edu -- Kelly Vance

FRI 11

Imagine if you found out your grandmother was the inspiration for The Graduate's Mrs. Robinson. Never mind that it would mean your dad was almost a date-raping redheaded fool, your mother a whiney Cal coed, and your grandfather a shitty husband. What it would really mean was that your dear ol' grammy was, at one point, a leopard-print-dripping, highlighted bouffant-wearing, bedroom-voiced hottie with a penchant for the boy next door. That's exactly the premise of a movie shooting this summer, starring Jennifer Aniston as the littlest Robinson, Shirley MacLaine as her va-va-voom nana, and Kevin Costner as the older man who seduces Aniston and gets the whole conceit rolling. Check out the sure-to-remain-superior original when The Graduate shows at the Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, at 8 p.m. tonight. Tickets cost $6 (including newsreel, cartoon, and Dec-o-Win prize drawings), and doors open at 7 p.m. so you can snoop around the Deco alcazar and get yourself a glass of whatever Mr. Robinson is drinking. 510-465-6400. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 12

Wanna play like those demon drummers of Japan? Well, before you can rock the taiko, you gots to procure the taiko, and one way to do that is to build one. Tatsumaki Taiko (725 Gilman St., Berkeley) will be glad to show you how at their taiko-making workshop today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or so. The class covers the making of the drum body from a wine barrel, gluing techniques, biscuit joints and other reinforcement options, skin selection and preparation, sizes and styles, and pretty much everything else you need to know. $40 gets you printed materials, hands-on exercises, a skinning demo, and more. Participants are encouraged to bring in taiko they've made, or are about to make, so the group can discuss their construction. Register at tatsumaki@email.com -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 13

Just how popular are cover bands these days? Popular enough that they've filtered into avant-garde hangouts like 21 Grand -- with a twist. Duck and Cover, a series now in its last night at the Oakland art gallery and performance space, aims to commit "violence against the songs you hate." Or, as they put it: "Witness the top hits of your youth rent asunder and reconstructed into something more interesting. Experience serious schadenfreude as songs in heavy rotation and omnipresent on the phone-tree jukebox are eviscerated or humiliated through unconventional performance" by experimental and other noncommercial musicians. Performers include electronic musicians Blevin Blectum and Lesser; saxophonist Philip Greenlief; performance artist Gennifer Hirano; the Obnoxification Brigade; clarinetist Matt Ingalls; and more. Let's see them try to cover the Usher songbook. 21 Grand is at 449-B 23rd St in Oakland. 21Grand.org -- Kelly Vance

MON 14

Smash the dominant paradigm, you queer punk, you, and hang out at the Long Haul Infoshop's weekly late-night queer cafe, No Loitering. Bring your punk-rock mixtapes, enjoy some hash browns, cheap refreshments, and latex tablecloths, and just fuck shit up. 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 10:30 p.m. to whenever. 510-540-0751. -- Stefanie Kalem

TUE 15

The calories in most vegetable oils mean that you'll have to do a lot of moving to burn their fat off of you. If you prefer to do that moving in a car, stop by BioFuel Oasis at 7 p.m. tonight and check out the "Oakland to Argentina in a Veggie Oil Car" slide show. Some folks named David, Mali, and Emilio made the title trip, covering eleven thousand land miles in five months, passing through twelve countries. Come by 2465 Fourth St. (at Dwight Way), Berkeley, to hear about the trip and participate in a discussion about biodiesel and veggie oil fuels. Parents are encouraged to bring the kids, because, let's face it, fueling up at the back door of a fast-food restaurant is just cool. 510-665-5509. -- Stefanie Kalem

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