Friday, February 10, 2012

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

Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Happy Friday! Here's what you're doing this weekend.

Black Choreographers Festival
This year's festival scored a major coup with Word Becomes Flesh, Oakland artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph's compelling paean from a single father to his unborn son in which an all-male cast merges hip-hop, spoken word, and contemporary theater. Fresh off a much-heralded revival in New York, it's headed for a national tour in 2013 — catch it on Saturday, Feb. 12. True to its name, the Black Choreographers Festival highlights the Bay Area's talented African and African-American dance makers, and the opening show on Friday, Feb. 11, includes Reginald Savage, Corey Action, Teela Shine Ross, and Kendra Kimbrough Barnes, while the Sunday, Feb. 13, family matinee showcases pre-professional youth — you just might spot the next Marc Bamuthi Joseph among them. All shows are at Laney College Theater (900 Fallon St., Oakland); the festival continues for two more weekends in San Francisco. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 4 p.m.; $10-$25. 1-888-819-9106 or BCFHereandNow.org. — Claudia Bauer

If your only exposure to Estelle was her (amazing) 2008 Kanye collabo "American Boy," that's a start, but it's also kind of like saying you only know Rick James because MC Hammer sampled "Super Freak," or Ke$ha because she sang the hook on Flo Rida's ubiquitous hit "Right Round." Okay, that last one was a bad example, but still: This British singer's got an impressive, vastly underrated catalog all her own — one which displays a preternatural ability to float between genres (mostly hip-hop, pop, R&B, reggae, and rap, often in the space of a single song), and which comes across as a sharper, spikier antidote to her better-known British peer, Adele. Live, she's said to be electric, playful, and legendarily foulmouthed; see for yourself at the New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland) on Friday, Feb. 10. 8 p.m., $27-$45. TheNewParish.com. — Ellen Cushing

Chocolate and Beer Festival
If you're having a tough time choosing from the slew of brew-themed events scheduled throughout the Bay Area during SF Beer Week (February 10-19), perhaps the promise of chocolate will help make up your mind. The Craneway Pavilion's (1414 Harbour Way S., Richmond) third annual Chocolate and Beer Festival on Saturday, Feb. 11, unites brewers and chocolatiers for an afternoon tasting of suds and sweets. Attendees can sample beers from locals like Trumer and Triple Rock, paired with chocolates from Galaxy Desserts, Bittersweet Café, and others. Kids, designated drivers, and other sober sorts can opt for the less costly chocolate-only tasting. The Emperors' Jazz, Beam, and others provide live jazz jams. 2-6 p.m.; $15-$40, free for kids under 9. 510-215-6000 or Craneway.com. — Cassie Harwood

Broun Fellinis
It's sometimes considered a backhanded compliment to say that a band "defies expectations." But in the case of local experimental jazz trio Broun Fellinis, it's simply an appropriate descriptor. Formed in 1991, the band has weathered all kinds of changes in pop culture and taste — including the renaissance and decline of improvisational, art rock-influenced jazz bands. Yet the individual talents of drummer Kevin Carnes, electric bassist Kirk Peterson, and saxophonist David Boyce have given the band real staying power. Their music flirts with many genres, incorporates through-composed material with freewheeling stuff, occasionally uses processors or loops but always sounds raw, and often privileges sounds over notes. The Fellinis have kept a fervent following for twenty years now, and they're still an absolute treat to witness live. They play at Disco Volante (347 14th St., Oakland) on Friday, Feb. 10. 9 p.m., free. DiscoVolanteOakland.com. — Rachel Swan

Space, Time, and Architecture
In 1941, the scholar and critic Sigfried Giedion wrote Space, Time, and Architecture, a now-classic multidisciplinary analysis of architecture and city planning. Luca Antonucci and Cybele Lyle see architectural history and space as, respectively, a dead zone and a "place of permissions." Antonucci obscures the book's 881 pages, transforming it into "an object that represents the knowledge it fails to hold onto" — and perhaps meaningless to him, a failed attempt to define space. (Doesn't all sculpture or architecture supposedly do that, with varying degrees of success?) Lyle creates handsome digital collages similar to architectural or theatrical renderings; she seems them as "queer, safe, architectural, and emotional," forming a "mirror of reality in which all forms of intimacy are allowed to be visible." Christina Linden will moderate a cookies and beer artist talk at the gallery on February 26 from 2-4pm. Space, Time, and Architecture runs through February 26 at Royal NoneSuch Gallery (4231 Telegraph Ave., Oakland). 415-652-1623 or RoyalNoneSuchGallery.com. — DeWitt Cheng


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