Weekender: The Next Three Days in the East Bay

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Happy March, East Bay! Plan the next 72 hours of your life, with help from our esteemed critics. Below, the five events not to miss this weekend.

Methods and Materials
Land art, traditional craft techniques, and environmental awareness combine in the ecological artworks of Daniel McCormick, an artist and architect who has for 25 years created outdoor sculptures that do practical as well as aesthetic work. On view are drawings and photographs of past and present projects as well as wall sculptures that proudly manifest their organic bona fides. With their s branches, burlap, rope, and riparian brush gathered into bundles and packets, the sculptures trap silt, combat erosion, and enhance or heal damaged environments while treading lightly on the earth and, eventually, disintegrating. Pieces like the silt traps for the Point Reyes Coho salmon breeding grounds and the erosion-control baskets for Olema Creek also help raise public awareness about watershed stability and sustainability. Methods and Materials: Ecological Art in Practice runs Monday-Friday through May 11 at David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way, Berkeley). 510-809-0900 or BrowerCenter.org .— DeWitt Cheng

Too $hort: Still pimpin
  • Too $hort: Still pimpin'
Too $hort
Lascivious lyrics and a larger-than-life pimp persona helped guarantee longevity for Oakland rapper Too $hort, who released his first album in 1985 and has since been the subject of documentaries, tributes, numerous interviews, and many gushing encomia. Yet being a pimp wasn’t the only secret to his success. Too $hort also has a distinct, drawly rap cadence, a deadpan sense of humor, and a deep, visceral groove. From the funky snare fills on “Life Is … Too Short,” to the elastic bass line on “I’m a Playa,” to the Kool & the Gang sample on “Money in the Ghetto,” every song had its own sense of musical integrity. Moreover, Too $hort often performed with a live band instead of just rapping over tracks. He enjoyed being controversial, but still treated hip-hop as a genuine performance art. And just to prove as much, he’s dropping by the Bay Area’s most famous jazz club, Yoshi’s San Francisco (1330 Fillmore St.), on Saturday, Mar. 5, with backup musicians in tow. 8 and 10 p.m., $28. Yoshis.com — Rachel Swan

Morcheeba
Not unlike its peers in Portishead, Morcheeba came into being during the great UK electronica boom of the mid-1990s that spawned the likes of Goldie, Tricky and Faithless. Whereas Portishead’s Beth Gibbons provided forlorn vocals for the band’s chilled-out gems, Skye Edwards lent a sweeter and more soulful touch to what the Godfrey brothers were trying to achieve in Morcheeba. Edwards left the group in 2003 but returned for last year’s Blood Like Lemonade. Thanks to songs like the atmospheric opener “Crimson” and “Self Made Man,” with its abundance of undulating beats and throbbing synth washes, this most recent project served as a bookend to the band’s 1998 classic sophomore outing, Big Calm. Morcheeba’s original lineup will be making its triumphant return to the Bay Area at the Warfield (982 Market St., San Francisco) on Saturday, Mar. 5. 9 p.m., $28-$30. TheWarfieldTheatre.com — Dave Gil de Rubio

Oakland Streets and Ladders
Better hope for sun this weekend, because Oakland Streets and Ladders is the rare outdoor event that offers something for everyone: For urban explorers, it’s a chance to act out all their Amazing Race fantasies, without having to board a plane, sign a confidentiality agreement, or eat fish guts; for serious athletes, it’s it’s a heart-pumping, hilly test of will that provides a much-needed shake-up to the tired road- race template; and for Oakland geography nerds, it’s it’s a way to get to know the city in a less dry, less didactic way than a group tour. Here’s how it works: teams of one to five people convene at Dimond Park (3860 Hanly Road, Oakland), where they’re given a brief how-to and a list of “checkpoints.” From there, it’s a 5, 10 or 25K free-for-all through the hills of Oakland and Piedmont; the first team in each age category to reach every checkpoint — in any order — wins. There are categories for people under the age of 18 and over the age of 40; The 25K also has an optional duatathlon component. Saturday, March Mar. 5. Registration starts open at 9 a.m., $5-$40. 510-681-6181 or TerraLloco.com — Ellen Cushing

Merce Cunningham Dance Company
The Berkeley campus first welcomed the Merce Cunningham Dance Company fifty years ago; this week, the campus hosts one of its final performances. Cunningham died in 2009, and the company will disband at the end of this year, so don't miss this chance to see seminal works from his career on Thursday through Saturday, Mar. 3-5, at Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Way at Dana St., Berkeley). The first two nights include Pond Way, Antic Meet, and Sounddance, while Saturday brings the Finnegans Wake-inspired Roaratorio. With dÉcor by artists including Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg and music by the likes of Brian Eno and John Cage, these dances hark to the origins of the modern era — the wellspring of today's contemporary dance. 8 p.m., $22-$56. 510-642-9988 or CalPerformances.org— Claudia Bauer

Plus...

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Catch a Movie: Hey, it's hella rainy! Our critic recommends Rango.

Eat Up: Sandwiches must one of humanity's greatest inventions since, well, sliced bread. College Avenue's Southie apparently has some of the best in the Bay.

Waste Some Time: Apparently, if you take pictures of literally everything in the known universe (more or less), you're bound to come up with some pretty cool images. Behold, Buzzfeed's list of 93 Awesome Google Street View photos.

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

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