David Rovics wants you to spread his songs like pollen on the wind, including copying his CDs at will. But if you want the ultimate mix of musical messages by the man whom Amy Goodman called "the musical version of Democracy Now!", you might want to drop $15 and pick up the second volume in the AK Press collective's AK Folk series, Behind the Barricades: The Best of David Rovics (AK Press/Daemon Records). Chosen by the nice people at AK, sequenced and augmented (with three new compositions) by Rovics, Behind the Barricades includes such powerful favorites as "Drink of the Death Squads," "Shut Them Down," and "In One World," with Rovics protesting everything from minimum-wage restrictions to the Israeli occupation with insight and lefty aplomb. Celebrate the disc's release Saturday at the AK Press Warehouse (674 A 23rd St., Oakland). The evening begins at 7 p.m. with like-minded trio Folk This!, whose repertoire traverses the labor and antifascism movements of the 1930s and '40s, the Bolshevik revolution, the civil rights movement, and beyond. The all-ages show costs $7. Info: 510-208-1700. -- Stefanie Kalem
Dude, Where's My Car?
It's strange to see Albany Hill without that clump of condos at its northwest base. And the town of El Cerrito is pretty much not there. Ditto the freeway. That's the 1861 version of the view southwest from the El Cerrito hills, the landscape pictured on a billboard alongside the busy Bayshore freeway in Richmond. The billboard was put there by BayBoards , a public art project with an ecological purpose: to compare the scenery today with the state of nature as it existed long ago, before the "veneer" of civilization. Just so we don't forget. BayBoards is sponsoring a number of billboards and activities through the end of February. Visit www.stillhere.org -- Kelly Vance
Art First thinks young
At a time when creative opportunities for youth seem to be decreasing, Oakland's First Congregational Church's Art First project actively supports cutting-edge arts programs to help young people become empowered, creative, and active community members. This Saturday's 7 to 9 p.m. program at the church (2501 Harrison St.) lets many of those gifted youth strut their stuff. Heroes: The Power of Art in Young People's Lives unites youth from three organizations: ArtEsteem of the Attitudinal Healing Connection, Oakland Youth Chorus, and Destiny Arts Center. Hosted by Raymond Nat Turner of UpSurge! Jazz Poetry Ensemble, performances of music, dance, and spoken word complement an art exhibit, the "2003 Super Hero" series. ArtEsteem uses painting, photography, and fashion design to teach young people expression, self-esteem, community building, and literacy. The much-lauded Destiny Arts Center combines training in performing and martial arts with self-defense, conflict resolution, and leadership skills. And the Oakland Youth Chorus sings with a voice that can change the world. Donations support Art First Oakland's Youth programs. Info: 510-444-8511 ex. 15. -- Jason Serinus