Friday, October 14, 2011

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

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Happy weekend, East Bay. Here's what you're doing:

East Bay Mini Maker Faire
What happens when you put a bunch of dueling robots, pedal-powered carnival rides, Lego Jeeps, and vegan taxidermists in a room together? The East Bay Mini Maker Faire, of course. Now in its second year, the DIY craft fair features a slew of artists, crafters, and scientists showing off their handiwork, selling their wares, and offering hands-on workshops throughout the day. Notables: an unmanned aerial vehicle demoed by Wired magazine's Chris Anderson; crafts by Leafcutter Designs, creator of the world's smallest postal service; live music by The Conspiracy of Beards; and much, much more. At Park Day School (360 42nd St., Oakland) on Sunday, Oct. 16. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $7.50-$20. 510-653-0317 or EBMakerFaire.com. — Cassie Harwood

Adam Mansbach
If you have kids, or you've ever had to watch someone else's, you might understand the frustration of storytime. Despite popular wisdom that reading makes a child sleepy, author Adam Mansbach knew the opposite to be true, hence his hilarious bedtime-story book, Go the Fuck to Sleep, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller upon its release in June. While beautifully illustrated and written in verse form, the book is not exactly kid-friendly (sample line: "I know you're not thirsty, that's bullshit, stop lying, lie the fuck down my darling, and sleep"). The Bay Area author (The End of the Jews, Angry Black White Boy) is currently teaching at Rutgers University but will be back home for a string of readings, including at Diesel (5433 College Ave., Oakland) on Sunday, Oct. 16. 3 p.m., free. 510-653-9965 or DieselBookstore.com — Kathleen Richards

Brainstormer Trivia Pub Quiz
The Albatross' Sunday quiz night is great for many of the same reasons the West Berkeley bar is great Tuesday through Saturday — among them, $1 bottomless popcorn, wood-paneled conviviality, supernaturally efficient bartenders, a wonderfully lenient outside-food policy. But there is something truly magical about pub trivia: six rounds, ten questions each; a balls-out, brains-out, surprisingly competitive battle for supremacy that manages to take on ineffable significance to the people who compete. Worth trying, but in the words of Kristian Wraltad, who presides over the whoel thing with something less than an iron fist: "Don't come into it thinking you're as smart as you think are." — Ellen Cushing

Richard Misrach: "Remembering the 1991 Oakland-Berkeley Fire"
It's hard to believe it's already been twenty years since the devastating firestorm that ripped through the Oakland and Berkeley hills, destroying thousands of homes and causing more than a billion dollars in damage. The burnt landscape looked eerily moon-like, and while residents were shell-shocked, renowned local photographer Richard Misrach took his camera and began photographing the destruction. Out of respect for victims of the fire, Misrach never revealed his work — until now. A joint exhibition at BAM/PFA and the Oakland Museum features eighty photographs from the series, entitled "1991: The Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath." Misrach discusses his work with OMCA curator of photography and visual culture Drew Johnson on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak St.). 7:30 p.m., free with museum admission. 510-318-8400 or MuseumCA.org — Kathleen Richards

SFJAZZ Presents Daniela Mercury, India.Arie, and Idan Raichel
Beyoncé apparently trained for stardom by doing drills that required her to jog and sing at the same time; Brazilian diva Daniela Mercury learned by doing six-hour Carnaval performances in her native Salvador de Bahia. As a result, she grew to be a consummate entertainer, with a unique ability to twirl, trot, and samba while singing hard melodies and yelling commands at her backup dancers. She'll bring the ecstatic spirit of Carnvaval to Oakland this week, as one in a spat of international headliners that SFJAZZ is bringing to the Paramount Theatre. The following night, Israeli keyboardist Idan Raichel will appear with Atlanta-based soul singer India.Arie, who learned to sing in Hebrew for their new collaborative album (slated for 2012 release). With her husky tenor, singer-songwriter roots, and conscientious lyrics, Arie is one of the most beloved vocalists in contemporary pop music. Eighteen Grammys haven't changed her homespun style, or diminished her sincerity. Daniela Mercury performs Friday, Oct. 14 ($20-$65); India.Arie and Idan Raichel perform Saturday, Oct. 15 ($25-$75). Both shows happen at the Paramount Theatre (2025 Broadway, Oakland) at 8 p.m. ParamountTheatre.com or SFJAZZ.org. — Rachel Swan

Poetry, Dance, and Storytelling Benefit When one of its members struggles, the East Bay arts community bands together to help get them back on their feet - it's one of the many reasons dancers and other artists relocate here. So when award-winning Berkeley choreographer and dancer Patricia Bulitt, known for improvisational dance and site-specific works that entailed dancing in local urban creeks, incurred substantial medical bills after losing her health insurance, renowned local dancers, poets, musicians, and storytellers decided to join forces and support her with two benefit events. The first one takes place on Sunday, Oct. 16 (the second will be in November), with singer and songwriter Melanie DeMore, poets Susan Griffin and Al Young, and Bulitt herself performing at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Hall (1606 Bonita Ave.). 4 p.m., suggested donation $25. 510-841-6612 or 510-841-4824. - Claudia Bauer

Alternatively: Go outside, for fuck's sake.


Get your cheapskate on: This is how much we love you guys: Here are our searchable listings of every single free event happening in the East Bay this weekend.

Catch a movie: Our critic's calling Take Shelter, now playing at the Landmark Shattuck, "one of the year's best." JUST SAYIN'.

Waste some time: This may be the ultimate timewaster in the grand history of timewasters — iPetCompanion, which harnesses the power of the internet to let you play with adorable baby animals virtually and in real time.

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

Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.

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