Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

This week the world learned that the larger-than-life Destiny's Child is back with a new track, and JT is "ready" for 2013 — need we say more? Here are five fun things to do with all the rest of that second-week-of-the-year juju:

Slow Reading Dinner
Statistically speaking, there's a decent chance your New Year's resolution was to a) read more, b) live more intentionally, or c) meet new people. Why not knock out three birds with one stone with the latest installment of University Press Books' beloved Slow Reading Dinner series, in which a group of like-minded strangers gathers around a table for a professionally cooked meal, good wine, and a wide-ranging discussion of literature? Friday, Jan. 11's event will feature a meal prepared with local ingredients by Erick Balbuena, chef at the Musical Offering; guests are asked to bring a passage or paragraph to read aloud and then discuss. 6 p.m., $40 includes food, wine, tax, and gratuity ($15 for "students and starving artists"). UniversityPressBooks.com or 510-548-0585 — Ellen Cushing

Fiery Fashion at the Crucible
Fashion shows are by definition spectacles, but who said all spectacles are created equal? From Alexander McQueen's nail-lined "spike" runway in 2000 (models had to be suspended above it) to Karl Lagerfeld's $10 million Great Wall of China catwalk in 2007 to the mile-long runway at the 2010 Copenhagen Fashion Week, an emphasis on the spectacular is woven into the fabric of the runway psyche. Fire, for seemingly obvious reasons, hasn't really ever been part of the equation. But at The Crucible, fire happens to be the spectacle of choice. Celebrate their 14th anniversary on Friday and Saturday, January 11-12, when it hosts "Hot Couture: A Fusion of Fashion and Fire," an event fusing together industrial arts, fashion, and, of course, lots of flames. 7 p.m., $30-$75. 510-444-0919 or TheCrucible.orgAzeen Ghorayshi

Lecherous Gaze
Throwback rock seems to be making a resurgence in the Bay Area underground. Not that local bands haven't long been obsessed with sounds from the past, but for whatever reason (tech backlash? black metal backlash?), we're increasingly seeing outfits like Glitter Wizard, Golden Void, Hot Lunch, Hot Fog, and Hazzard's Cure, whose music sounds freshly offloaded from a time machine. Add Oakland "sleaze rock" band Lecherous Gaze (featuring members of the now-defunct Annihilation Time) to the mix. The band released its debut album in October on Tee Pee Records; recorded at West Oakland's Earhammer Studios, On the Skids combines elements of psych and heavy rock (with a punk-rock attitude) for an expertly executed party-in-the-gutter soundtrack. Expect the party to rage on Friday, Jan. 11, when the band headlines Eli's Mile High Club with Pins of Light, Swamp Wolf, and Hazzard's Cure. 8 p.m., $7. ElisMileHigh.comKathleen Richards

Shapeshifters Cinema: John Davis and Josh Churchill
It doesn't get much more "multimedia" than this. Shapeshifters Cinema — the brainchild of curators Gilbert Guerrero and Kathleen Quillian — is a monthly performance series mixing live video art, film, music, and sound art to create a totally immersive (and totally free) viewing and listening experience. On Sunday, Jan. 13, join sound and video artists John Davis and Josh Churchill at Temescal Art Center for an evening of audiovisual improvisation. Davis will combine his live film projections with sounds mixed by Churchill, and the duo will also collaborate in a musical performance with live synthesized video feedback. Shapeshifters continues every first Sunday in 2013. 8-9 p.m., free. ShapeShiftersCinema.comA.G.


Located in the former home of an Israeli eatery, Padi still looks more like a falafel house than anything distinctly Asian. Yet the restaurant is that rare place where Indonesian expats can get food that tastes like it does back home. Padi’s stock in trade is its sambal, the fiery, chile-based condiment that Indonesians slather on everything like ketchup. Chef Jimmy Sujanto’s delicious version plays the leading role in Padi’s ayem penyet — chicken that’s fried until the skin crisps, then smashed and smothered in sambal — and is great, too, on a plate of batter-fried hard-boiled eggs. Pro tip: Even chile fanatics might want to think twice before requesting the “crazy spicy” spice level. For spice wimps, standout dishes with little to no chile kick include the bakso kampung (handmade beef balls) and the fried fish cakes. — Luke Tsai

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.

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

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