Friday, April 5, 2013

Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Arguably the best thing to happen to the Express since we got an unannounced box of sixty cookies delivered to our office at 3pm on a Tuesday, Production Manager Nick Wong found the best Spotify playlist of your life, culled from NOW: That's What I Call Music ONE THROUGH FORTY-FIVE. You should a) be shocked that there is even such a thing as NOW 45, b) be grateful for the person who decided to compile such an important chunk of human history, and c) be CRYING TEARS OF JOY. And it gets even better! Here are five fun things to do with yourself this weekend:

Syd the Kyd
When the Odd Future hip-hop collective drops the beat, Syd the Kyd is on the decks. The petite tomboy (née Sydney Bennett) surprised many when she produced the gorgeous, neo-soul vocals on Odd Future R&B side project The Internet. Syd met Odd Future's foulmouthed ringleader Tyler, the Creator through her little brother, Taco Bennett, and she helped the collective record its debut mixtape. Since then, she's become the go-to producer for Odd Future rapper Mike G, in addition to her work on The Internet with producer Matt Martians. Syd comes to The New Parish on Friday, Apr. 5, as part of a special appearance for local arts and culture magazine Wine & Bowties, and editor Max Gibson said she'll spin "an eclectic mix of everything from soul and funk to trap, house, and hip-hop." Hip-hop producers/DJs Trev Case and Koslov will get the dance party started. 9 p.m., $10, $12. TheNewParish.comWhitney Phaneuf

Masala Cuisine
Sandwiched between two storefront churches on a wide, barren stretch of International Boulevard, Masala Cuisine doesn’t look like much: red graffiti on the facade, a takeout window covered in bulletproof glass. But don’t let the humble environs deceive: Masala Cuisine may be the closest thing you’ll experience in a restaurant setting to being invited into the home of a wonderful Indian cook. The home-style approach means your meal might take a while, but dishes like rich, fragrant butter chicken and malai kofta (vegetable dumplings in a creamy, cashew-paste-thickened sauce) all taste fresher and more flavorful than your usual curry house fare. Don’t miss the mokki di roti with sarson ka saag, an off-menu Punjabi specialty only available on the weekends: thick corn-flour “tortillas,” hand made while you wait, served with a purée of mustard greens and spinach — perhaps the most flavorful saag you’ll ever taste. — Luke Tsai

What have the kids been up to after school? Well, those who head to Oakland's Destiny Arts Center after the final bell have been busy making RAW, a hero's tale expressed through hip-hop, modern, and aerial dance with theater, spoken word, video, and rap elements, premiering Friday and Saturday, Apr. 5-6, and Friday through Sunday, Apr. 12-14 at Odell Johnson Theater at Laney College. Created by the members of Destiny's Youth Performance Company, who range in age from nine to eighteen, RAW explores middle-school bullying, global warming, gun violence, and more. The kids' collaborators are Destiny artistic directors Sarah Crowell and Rashidi Omari, Philadelphia-based hip-hop wunderkind Rennie Harris, and Amelia Rudolph of Oakland's famed aerial troupe Bandaloop. That's one heck of an after-school program. Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m.; $6-$30. 510-597-1619 ext. 100 or DestinyArts.orgClaudia Bauer

W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell has received countless accolades, and for good reason: A self-identified "socio-political comic" who last summer began hosting his own TV series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, he subtly takes topics like race or sexuality, tackles you head-on with his perspective, and leaves you laughing uproariously but scratching your head as to how he managed to do all that in the first place. His comedic style draws from Daily Show-style journalistic shenanigans, the brutal honesty of Louis C.K., the fuzzy lovable feelings induced by Seth Rogen, and the ever-present cheeky gossamer of producer Chris Rock, who Bell likens to a "foul-mouthed Yoda." On Sunday and Monday, Apr. 7-8, join Bell at The New Parish, as the San Francisco-based comedian headlines two shows at what he says is his favorite Oakland venue. 7 p.m., $20. 415-371-1631 or TheNewParish.comAzeen Ghorayshi

Joanna Salska
The image of a cracked or otherwise disfigured doll's head has all the makings of heavy-handed symbolism or a superstitious omen. But in the large, oil-on-Masonite paintings by Poland-born artist Joanna Salska, now at Studio Quercus, they manage to function more subtly — as the artist puts it, "intuitively exploring the experiences and scars accumulated as we travel throughout our lives." Nearly every work in the exhibition features this type of subject, which is as repulsive as it is compelling, enlivened by sensuous application of paint. Salska takes special care with her dolls' eyes, lips, and skin tones, employing a vivid palette of blues and reds to produce an uncannily human appearance. Indeed, one of the more intriguing questions raised by this selection of pictures is its relationship to portraiture. Salska has, in fact, now begun painting people, too. The success of her peopled works will surely be measured against those of her dolls. Joanna Salska runs through April 20 at Studio Quercus. 510-452-4670 or StudioQuercus.comAlex Bigman

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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