Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekender: The Top Five Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 6:23 AM

Happy February, East Bay! Here's what you're doing this doing this weekend.

Lunar New Year
While last year's Chinese (or Lunar) New Year recognized the rabbit, this year goes to the dragon, a creature that's arguably more visually striking than its fluffy, pouf-tailed predecessor. The Oakland Asian Cultural Center's (388 9th St., Ste. 290, Oakland) Lunar New Year Festival both celebrates and aspires to the grandeur of the majestic beast with an array of Asian dance, music, and martial arts performances, including appearances by Patty Chu's Chinese Folk Dance Troupe and Filipino mixed martial artists Eskabo Daan. The festival on Saturday, Feb. 4, also features arts and crafts workshops, including Japanese paper-doll-making and Korean kite-building. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., free. OACC.cc or 510-637-0455. — Cassie Harwood

Smuin Ballet
  • Smuin Ballet
Smuin Ballet
Ballet is a marvelous conveyance for human emotion — witness Smuin Ballet's winter program, which runs the gamut from elated to elegiac. The program opens with Dear Miss Cline, Amy Seiwert's suite of vivacious dances set to a jukebox of Patsy Cline hits, which garnered critical and audience kudos in its fall 2011 debut. Cline shares the bill with three pieces choreographed by the company's late founder, Michael Smuin, to music from tango to Chopin to Dvorak (respectively): the sultry Tango Palace; The Eternal Idol, a pas de deux inspired by the Rodin sculpture and created for American Ballet Theatre in 1969; and Stabat Mater, a dolorous reflection on September 11. Smuin Ballet performs at the Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek) on Friday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. $49-$59. 925-943-7469 or SmuinBallet.org. — Claudia Bauer

First Friday Concert Series
The founder of art gallery Macarthur B Arthur and the organizers of Mission Creek Oakland have joined together to launch a new all-ages concert series in conjunction with Art Murmur. Held at Sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland (2619 Broadway, Oakland) every first Friday of the month, the event is in the same spirit of those affiliations — bringing together experimental and underground music and art in various forms. The first edition featured a church organist, solo acoustic artist Danny P. Grody (Tarentel), and electro pop band James & Evander. This Friday, Feb. 3, the concert series will feature local artist Chris Duncan, who creates "colorful, geometrical visual works and abstract soundscapes crafted through percussion"; a solo performance by Joel Robinow (Howlin Rain); and Heather Normandale (accompanied by cello, bass, percussion, and trumpet), who will play works from her album — "a compilation of musical prayer for water." Luke Judd, a video artist, will project images during the show, and organist Hilary Guter will entertain between sets. For those seeking something a little different than the average rock show, it should be right up your alley. 7:30 p.m., $5-$15 sliding scale donation. — Kathleen Richards

Red Buffalos wings nomnomnom
  • Red Buffalo's wings nomnomnom
Sunday, as you likely know, is the one day a year when the flavored chicken wing, often reserved for late-night dorm runs and middle-age shame eating, emerges from the shadows and struts around like an arrogant rooster. In honor of that, I sampled four varieties of wings each at three of the East Bay's wing-specialty shops in hopes of finding Superbowl Sunday's best bet. The clear winner was Ghost town's Red Buffalo, where the wings moist, tender, and full of meaty flavor, not to mention large for a standard broiler hen. The sizzling hot wing, made with a combo of old-school Trappey's fire sauce and fresh jalapeños, bowled me over with its intensity. The deeply smoky chipotle wing was also a scorcher, with just a bit less vinegar in the sauce. Both hot wings had little pepper pieces embedded in the skin, a nod to thoughtful, handmade preparation. Also pepper-specked was the sweet chili glaze, a mildly cloying Thai-accented wing. The dry Jamaican wing was a savory treat, dusted in allspice, garlic powder, and a few other jerk flavors. Ghost Town, I shall return. — Jesse Hirsch

Latin Soul Brothers DJ Night
Oakland Faders DJ Joe Quixx is widely regarded as one of the best, most versatile turntablists in an oversaturated market. He's an incredibly agile technician, an obsessive record collector, and an entertainer who's savvy enough to keep in step with the times. Over the last two years he's transitioned from hip-hop to Latin music, which might seem like a tectonic shift for anyone who knew him as the former DJ for Sway and Tech's World Famous Wake-Up Show. Maybe it's a way of retracing his roots or finding a niche. Perhaps it's an artistic fixation. Whatever the case, Quixx has rebranded himself as part of the Latin Soul Brothers collective, a group of artists, DJs, emcees, and gallery owners who use Latino-American culture as their primary muse. He conceived a series of dance parties to fit in that vein — meaning they either emphasize Afro-Caribbean music or low-rider classics. The latest iteration stars Quixx alongside DJ Speshboogie, and they promise a nostalgia-based mix of disco, funk, soul, and Afrobeat. It doesn't have quite the same atavistic bent as "Makossa," the event that Quixx threw with fellow Soul Brother WonwayPosibul. But it should be a real happening party. At Lounge 3411 (3411 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland) on Saturday, Feb. 4. 10 p.m. LatinSoulBrothers.wordpress.com. — Rachel Swan


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