Weird Weather 

Greek out at the Mile High

Fri 11/26

Bring a pillow to sit on, a rain slicker, and maybe some special tea or cookies to the Mile High this weekend to properly appreciate Charalambides. The Texas project has been crafting protracted, ambient enchantment since 1991, making sounds more closely akin to arpeggiated weather than commonly heard music. Relocating from Houston to Austin around the turn of the century, Christina Madonia and Tom Carter have been joined by a series of third parties over the years, hooking up with Heather Leigh Murray in 2002. The group's electric guitar space-outs gently unfold beneath the women's wordless vocalizations like a Plutonian landscape cracking and changing beneath multicolored storm clouds. Close your eyes and sway softly Friday night at 3629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland. The noisier Different Yellow Swans (whose first name fluctuates from d-word to d-word, i.e., their appearance as Das Yellow Swans at the Hemlock later this month) and arty, dense Axolotl open the show. 9 p.m. start time, $7 cover. 510-654-4549. -- Stefanie Kalem

Sat 11/27

Hawaii Uh-O

In Hawaii -- Hawai'i to purists -- where the social landscape is divided into camps mostly along racial lines (local, haole, tourist, etc.), Juliet S. Kono is definitely one of the locals. The Hilo native, who lives in Honolulu and teaches English at Leeward Community College, is best known to readers as a sensitive poet attuned to nature (see her poetry collections, Hilo Rains and Tsunami Years), but with her new collection of short stories, Ho'olulu Park and the Pepsodent Smile (Bamboo Ridge Press, $15 softcover), Kono manages not only a nostalgic portrait of island life in the Baby Boomer era but also a subtle narrative investigation into the racial stratification that characterizes everyday Hawaiian culture, especially from the Japanese-American point of view. Evidently it's not all smiles in the isles. She visits Berkeley's Eastwind Books (2066 University Ave., 510-548-2350) Saturday afternoon at 4:30 to read from Ho'olulu Park. Visit EWBB.com and BambooRidge.com for more information. -- Kelly Vance

Thu 11/25

The Raw and the Cooked

For its annual Raw and/or Vegan Potluck celebrating Turkey Liberation Day (you know, the holiday with the Pilgrims), KookNoCook is joining forces with Bay Area Vegetarians, but KNC's intentions are clear: It wants all those attending to get fed, but the vegetarians "we hope to recruit into our cult." Bring enough animal-free vittles to share, lists of ingredients to display, a serving tool, and a reusable eating dish and utensil. Oh, and don't drink the fresh-squeezed Kool-Aid. No RSVP required, $1 donation requested. 2 p.m. at the Upaya Center, 478 Santa Clara Ave. (at Grand), Oakland. BayAreaVeg.org/events.php -- Stefanie Kalem

Sat 11/27

The Gay Games

Are you crazy for Cranium? Passionate about poker? Doofy over dice? Oh, and, by the way, you wouldn't happen to be gay, would you? Because every Saturday night from 7 to 10 p.m., there's a mixed-gender LGBT Games Night at the Pacific Center, 2712 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley. Bring your own or pick from the center's vast collection. Call 510-548-8283 or write info@pacificcenter.org -- Stefanie Kalem

Mon 11/29

At Last

Zadell finally plays Yoshi's

It had to happen. But though Dave and Zoe Ellis have been making music all their lives, neither was in any hurry to work on a group project. "If our dad was cracking the whip like [Joe] Jackson, we probably would have done this a lot sooner," Dave jokes, noting that he and his sister have "always been musical, and always musical together, just not necessarily publicly." Still, forming the group Zadell (also the name of the family publishing company) was a no-brainer, because the chemistry was there from day one. The beta version of Zadell first surfaced four years ago for a one-off show, and Dave and Zoe have recorded several demos together over the years, but the siblings' busy schedules made it impossible to further explore the idea until now. "Our life paths converged at this time," explains the saxophonist, famous for his solo work and as a member of Grateful Dead spin-off bands Ratdog and the Other Ones.

After booking a date at Yoshi's a year ago, the Ellises put together a band that could handle both the extremely technical jazz Dave plays and the funky, soulful R&B associated with Zoe (best known for her work with the Mo'Fessionals, the Braids, and Slammin').

The sound is still being fine-tuned, but judging from a recent demo it sounds like it'll be smooth jazz of the KBLX variety, featuring Zoe's creamy vocals trading off with Dave's bluesy solos. Monday night at Yoshi's, says Dave, could be the birth of a new era. Zadell will be playing "my originals, Zoe's originals, a couple of Stevie Wonder covers. We're trying things out." Dave estimates folks will have to wait until 2006 for a full-fledged Zadell album, he's hopeful about what the future holds for the group: "I'm real into it. I have a lot of energy for the project." Yoshis.com -- Eric K. Arnold

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