This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 25
Comrade Lily Brik says this of the Breathing Space: "It's a warehouse. They have minimal bathrooms. I don't know if anyone lives there. They've just been throwing crazy parties lately." The new, loftish performance space, on the desolate stretch of San Pablo Avenue as it escapes downtown Oakland, springs to life tonight at 8 p.m. when The Spitfiyah Set takes over. The evening's divertissement includes spoken-word performers, live music ("with musical vibrations!") by Hair Doo, and an open mic, plus surprise artists and special guests, and a DJ set after the performances. $5 before 10 p.m. 3617 San Pablo Ave. Info: 510-467-9391. -- Kelly Vance

THU 26
There may come a time when a lass needs a lawyer/But diamonds are a girl's best friend. So sang Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry a Millionaire, which, though colorful and filled with style and wit, is terribly dated. Sure, there's some equity in baubles and Manolo Blahniks, but if you really want to know how to feather your nest egg, consider attending this evening's free Financial Fitness for Women Workshop at the San Leandro Public Library at 7 p.m. Catherine Arlin, Debbie Carruthers, and Sandra Richman of Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. offer insight into your money personality, how to become financially independent, how to make real estate work, and more. RSVP at 925-983-0060. -- Stefanie Kalem

FRI 27
Skip the petroleum products and get right to the good stuff with an all-natural cold process soapmaking class at the Nova Studio (24 W. Richmond Ave., Point Richmond). If you have $38 and $5 for materials, Lori Nova will give you all the knowledge you need to make vegetarian (even vegan) soaps for many kinds of skin, -- history, basic chemistry, molding options, natural additives, and more. The three-hour class is open to adults only (since making soap from scratch involves the use of lye) and is mainly demonstration-style, though you'll leave with thorough handouts and one full-size bar of Lori's soap. Bring a long-sleeve shirt, rubber gloves, and safety goggles if you can (some provided)., 510-234-5700. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 28
If you're going to check out the highly evolved electro of Fog and Boom Bip tonight at the Plough, get there early: Local opener Rapatron, aka Andy Seger, will be backed on live drums by his master programmer, Run_Return's Raj Ojha, who just happens to be the best Bay Area drummer you won't see at Yoshi's. Seriously -- the guy has to be bionic, or at least hydroelectric. The other two -- Andy Broder as Fog and Bryan Hollon as Boom Bip -- are pretty decent, too, if you consider Coachella gigs, rave reviews, and Urb covers to be proof of that sort of thing. Minneapolis' Fog is bringing a five-piece band with him on this tour; Cincinnati's Boom Bip -- who collaborated with Dose-One on 2000's landmark Circle -- specializes in jazztronic compositions; his new Lex Records studio album, Blue Eyed in the Red Room, is a sample-free, nearly voiceless affair. 10 p.m. start time, 21 and up, $8 cover. 510-841-2082, -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 29
Doncha make your gray coats blue at Ardenwood Historic Farm (34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont) this weekend: Civil War Days features hundreds of volunteers done up like cavalry, infantry, and artillery units, engaging in battle at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday. There will also be a memorial service Sunday, but it doesn't really end there. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, check out a traveling exhibit of the Confederate submarine C.L. Hunley, the first submarine to destroy an enemy naval vessel under combat conditions, that includes a life-size replica of the sub. Tickets $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for four-to-seventeen-year-olds, and free for kids three and younger. Details and tickets at and 510-636-1683. -- Stefanie Kalem

MON 30
There's a lot of hot air in San Ramon, and it'll rise this morning at 6 a.m. That's right: It's time for the San Ramon Art & Wind Festival, featuring today's early-morning launch of ten hot air balloons from San Ramon Central Park (12501 Alcosta Blvd.). For the "art" half of the equation, check out the watercolors, acrylics, leather, glass, furniture, and much more on display by the California Artists' Group. And don't forget Dolly Cahill's kites. Live music plays on three stages -- Lady K and the Kings of Swing, the Groove Doctors, and Irish, Indian, Hawaiian, and Taiko drumming dance ensembles -- and for the kids, the inevitable inflatable slides and bouncers and a petting zoo. Lotsa munchies, as well: chicken Caesar salad, the ever-popular tri-tip sandwiches, sushi, cotton candy (burp!), and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 925-973-3200, San -- Kelly Vance

TUE 31
Everybody has a favorite scene in Repo Man. Some people hoot at the generic names of all the products, especially in the convenience store where Otto (played by Emilio Estevez as a precursor of the Michael Douglas character in Falling Down) runs into the punk-rock holdup crew. Others can't get over the glowing, radioactive space gunk in the trunk of the Chevy Malibu driven by the sweating mad scientist. But the champ has to be Harry Dean Stanton's character Bud, top duke of repo men, who bitterly surveys a beat-out street scene in Los Angeles and mutters: "Ordinary fucking people. I hate 'em. I wish there was some way of finding out what each of them owes, and making them pay!" Way back in 1984, Repo Man was the wake-up call for a new talent -- director Alex Cox, before he soared to the heights with Sid and Nancy and then crashed and burned with Walker. Or you could look at it as a nutty punk sci-fi flick. It plays the Parkway (1834 Park Blvd., Oakland) tonight at 9:15. PicturePub -- Kelly Vance


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