Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekender: The Next Three Days in the East Bay

By Ellen Cushing
Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 8:45 AM

Plan the next 72 hours of your life, with help from our esteemed critics. Below, the five events you shouldn't miss this weekend:

Art Sucks, I Quit
"Art is over. Fine art is anyway … the entire exhibit highlight[s] the ethical thin ice of art-making in the 21st century." Despite demurrals, Lily Black explores the dark night of the soul with his usual meticulous craftsmanship and absurdist humor. The wall-mounted assemblages in shadow boxes feature bugs, toys, and historical artifacts: "I've come to hate my body" features a compendium of tank tracks; "it doesn't need a title, sweetie" includes a photo of a steam-powered AC Transit bus. Black's tableaus on pedestals repurpose global mass culture: sci-fi/military action figures ("Portrait of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche") and Japanese erotic figurines ("The sexuality implicit in mechanics") sport mechanical heads; a building's windows, rather than boarded up, are walled shut with stone and mortar ("24th & Valley"); a Papa and Baby Bear peruse higher-mammalian porn while Mama's away ("Storytime"). Art Sucks runs through March 26 at Kuhl Frames (412 22nd St., Oakland). 510-625-0123 or — DeWitt Cheng

Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam
It's not every day that you get to see trained drivers deliberately crash their vehicles and smash various obstacles while helming massive trucks with names like Grave Digger, Tropical Thunder, Iron Outlaw, and the Felon, but here's your chance: The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam makes its triumphant return to the Oakland Coliseum (7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland) on Saturday, February 26. BYO trucker hat. 7 p.m., $15-$125. — Ellen Cushing

Peanut Butter Wolf
The guy who famously named himself after a child’s nightmare has made quite a career of it, and he’s certainly the only Peanut Butter Wolf who could find favor with Madlib and MF Doom. Wolf, whose real name is Chris Manak, grew up in San Jose and launched his career making beats for Bay Area emcee Lyrical Prophesy. He also worked with a promising emcee named Charizma, who was shot and killed in 1993. Wolf started his widely popular label, Stones Throw Records, partly as a way to memorialize Charizma and release the records they’d made together. But the label took on a life of its own. In the fourteen years since its inception, Stones Throw has helped make stars of Madlib, Dudley Perkins, soul singer Georgia Anne Muldrow, Mayer Hawthorne, and the late, beloved J Dilla. Meanwhile, Peanut Butter Wolf has logged numerous production credits, though he currently focuses mostly on being the man behind the curtain. He’ll make a rare Bay Area appearance at Public Works (161 Erie St., San Francisco) this Saturday, Feb. 26, in the company of Dam Funk, Guillermo, and Hakobo, as part of Noise Pop. 9 p.m., $15, $17. — Rachel Swan

Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?
A play about a provocatively titled art exhibit deserves a provocative title of its own, decided local monologist Josh Kornbluth, who wrote his current one-man show, Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?, after he was assigned to deliver a lecture on Andy Warhol’s famous 1980 ensemble piece Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century. Kornbluth approached Ten Portraits with the same reservations as many other patrons when it appeared at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in 2008 under the name Warhol’s Jews. Still, Kornbluth ultimately defends the paintings, while creating his own sympathetic portrait of the artist. Dividing Andy Warhol evenly between historical exposition and personal anecdotes, he turns the artwork into a human interest story and a rather revealing exploration of what it means to be Jewish. Kornbluth is, by turns, witty, self-deprecating, sheepish, neurotic, clever, and punchline-prone. In many senses, he’s the perfect candidate to make the case for Warhol. Through February 27 at Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley). $17-$26. 510-841-6500 or — Rachel Swan

Leigh Raiford: "Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle"

From slavery to the speeches of Malcolm X, African-American history has been immortalized in some of our world's most stunning and telling photographs. At University Press Books (2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley) on Tuesday, Mar. 1, UC Berkeley African American Studies associate professor Leigh Raiford discusses Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle. 5:30 p.m., free. — Anneli Rufus


Catch a Movie: Our critic recommends "Cinema Across Media," a silent film series wrapping up tonight at the PFA.


Eat Up: The Germans are coming! This week, our restaurant critic checks out West Berkeley's Gaumenkitzel, and what she finds is delicious.

Waste Some Time: We here in the East Bay all know hipsterdom's an equal opportunity pursuit, and as such, it was only a matter of time before fictional characters got in the game as well. Behold, Fuck Yeah Hipster Ariel.*

Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at

Friend and Follow Us: Here we are on Facebook and Twitter.

*whether someone who lacks legs — and, therefore, can't wear skinny jeans — can still qualify as a hipster is obviously debatable, but let's just go with it, shall we?

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