This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 25
ViV and a Movie is on the move again. Just a little more than three months after the SF institution invaded Emeryville's all-ages iMusicast, the two-year old series has hopped East Bay venues, in search of, well, alcohol. As of the beginning of August, it's been filling Wednesday nights at Blake's (2367 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley) with one-night-only hangings of local art, showings of indie film shorts, and lotsa live music. This week's VaaM has a low-down country theme, music-wise, as hosted by the band One Horse Town. Michael Alexander and those Bush-baitin' hard-luck sirens the Pickin' Trix play before the movies; Motel Fresno and Whiskey Bucket take the stage after. The fun starts at 8 p.m. and costs a mere $6. -- Stefanie Kalem

THU 26
So you want to swing in Chinatown? We thought so. Put on your jazziest threads and get over to the Oakland Asian Cultural Center this evening for one of the center's Swing and Lindy Hop Classes. Every Thursday from 7 to 8:15 p.m., there's a beginners' swing and Lindy Hop session taught by Jordan Hardy and Lia (just Lia, please), followed by a free dance practice for students. The cost is reasonable: $12 for drop-ins or $40 for four weeks if purchased at once. Prospective swingers are invited to hop down to the center, 388 9th St., Suite 290, in downtown Oakland. Check for further information. -- Kelly Vance

FRI 27
The Billboard section usually operates under a BWB policy -- Boycott the West Bay. But sometimes we just can't help ourselves, as is the case with Circus Contraption's Grand American Traveling Dime Museum. If you've been disappointed by the neo-circus, -burlesque, and -vaudeville scenes, prepare to be amazed. The Seattle troupe's comedy is actually really funny, the girls are genuinely sexy, the acrobatics graceful and Olympic'ly awesome, the plots and characters engaging. And the freakin' stellar Circus Contraption band has been bringing the bar down at the Odeon for most Mondays this month, without the aid of high-flying shenanigans. This weekend -- Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. -- is your last chance to see the whole spectacular megillah at Cell Space (2050 Bryant St.) for a very worthwhile $15. Parental discretion is advised for those under eighteen, and it may not be the best thing for your twelve-year-old nephew. Advance tickets: 800-838-3006. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 28
Everybody loves a parade, so when you see Sistahs Steppin' in Pride down Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland this morning, join in or make a ruckus of your own. The parade, part of Pride Weekend celebrations all over the East Bay, steps off from Lakeshore just off MacArthur Boulevard at 10 a.m., and marchers are encouraged to bring their own drums, banners, or signs for the parade to Snow Park, 20th and Harrison streets. Once there, celebrants will find themselves in Sistah Village, an outdoor party featuring live music and spoken word by Afia Walkingtree and Spirit Drumz Orchestra, Montuno Groove, Momma's Boyz, Debbie Fier and Friends, Gil & Steele, Roopa Singh, JenRo, Kitty Rose Band, Nappy Groove, and Regina Wells, with DJing by Kaliente and Butta. It's all free. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 29
The folks who organized tonight's Flamenco for Peace and Freedom say they want "to stomp Bush out of the White House." You can just picture it: Hordes of female flamenco dancers, their skirts flaring and their eyes blazing, storming the Oval Office (or the fishin' hole at the ranch in Crawford, as the case may be) and making with the rhythmic feet and loud cante jondo until the entire presidential entourage runs screaming onto Pennsylvania Avenue, never to be seen again. Well, dream on, kids. The election is coming in a couple of months. In the meantime, a bunch of international flamenco performers -- Yaelisa, La Monica, La Fibi, with Jason McGuire and Ben Woods on guitars and singers Nina Menendez and Felix La Lola from Spain -- are set to wail on La Peña's stage at 8 p.m. this evening. It'll cost ya: $20-$50. 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-849-2568 or -- Kelly Vance

MON 30
If you ever wanted a noble reason to go to a chain like Pasta Pomodoro -- besides its penne primavera or ravioli di zucca (roasted butternut squash ravioli with browned butter, sage, and Parmesan) -- well, now you've got it. Through September 19, the franchise's El Cerrito restaurant will hold Benefit Days, during which it'll donate a dollar for every entrée purchased to the Train to End Stroke Marathon. Today it's open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 510-225-0128 for the rest of their hours. 5040 El Cerrito Plaza (off San Pablo Ave.). -- Stefanie Kalem

TUE 31
Cajun Film Night at Ashkenaz? C'est bon! Tonight beginning at 8 p.m., the venerable nonprofit venue holds a benefit for its own damn self, with movies both serious and not so much. For $10 (plus some extra scratch for raffle tickets) you can see J'ai Été au Bal: The Cajun & Zydeco Music of Louisiana, featuring performances by such greats as Clifton Chenier, Queen Ida, Michael Doucet & Beausoleil, Wayne Toups, "Bois Sec" Ardoin, Chuck Guillory, Boozoo Chavis, Odile Falcon, Canray Fontenot, and many, many more. Then, after a little dance break, take in Make 'Em Dance: The Hackberry Rambler's Story, a biography of the long-playing Louisiana band described as "equal parts biography, social history, and Spinal Tap road movie." Ashkenaz is located at 1317 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. Give them a ring at 510-525-5054. -- Stefanie Kalem


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