Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


Here are five things that should convince you to change out of your sweatpants this weekend:

Ippo Ramen Popup
Slippery, sinuous, satisfying, soupy noodles are popping up at the Commonwealth Cafe & Public House on Sunday, January 20. Mobile Oakland outfit Ippo Ramen features Japanese-style ramen in broth with eggs, vegetables, seaweed, pork, and other toppings. And yes, steaming-hot ramen pairs perfectly with the Commonwealth's diverse draught and bottled brews from the East Bay and the UK. 11 a.m., prices vary. 510-663-3001 or CmonOakland.comAnneli Rufus


Aesop Rock
Not to be confused with A$AP Rocky, a 24-year-old African-American rapper from Harlem, San Francisco-based, New York-bred Aesop Rock is a thirtysomething white rapper who came up in the early Millennium. He's a master of wordplay, and everything else — including beats — takes a backseat to his frenetic flow. While his style might not fit the mold of modern hip-hop, his message does: Long before Death Grips attempted hip-hop anarchy, Aesop Rock spit truths about capitalism and corporate America on his seminal 2001 album Labor Days. On last year's Skelethon, Aesop Rock sounds a little less angry, but no less heady — his imagery still surreal and his mood still manic. He'll be joined by fellow Gen X rappers Busdriver and Rob Sonic plus DJ Big Wiz at The New Parish on Saturday, Jan. 19. 9 p.m., $18, $20. TheNewParish.comWhitney Phaneuf

Company C Contemporary Ballet
Always keen to dance on the edge, Company C Contemporary Ballet opens its eleventh season with a slate of world premieres at the Lesher Center for the Arts on Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 17-19. Artistic director Charles Anderson loves to entertain and enlighten in equal measure, and the winter program accordingly encompasses abstraction, storytelling, dark humor, and even some spoken word. Brian Reeder contributes Being Served, with couples at a party misbehaving to music by Benjamin Britten. In Patrick Corbin's For Use in Subhuman Primates Only, dancers costumed for a rave push each other's boundaries over Massive Attack's trip-hop beats. Artistic director Charles Anderson dives into new artistic waters with Polyglot, choreographed to a recorded monologue by actress Amy Walker. A reprise of excerpts from Anderson's Beautiful Maladies, with its wistful Chet Baker soundtrack, completes the program. Thu.-Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; $23-$45. 925-943-7469 or CompanyCBallet.orgClaudia Bauer

Sketch Albany
If you've ever seen a motley crew of ten or so individuals in Pastime Ace Hardware in El Cerrito sketching a row of toilet seats — enraptured — or tracing columns of roast ducks on a corner in Oakland Chinatown, you've probably encountered the Bay Area branch of Urban Sketchers. Meet them this Saturday, Jan. 19 at noon on the corner of Solano and Masonic at noon for the first in their new series of monthly public urban sketching events. Sketch for a few hours then at 3 p.m. head over to the Albany Public Library to enjoy refreshments, compare sketches, and view the library's new exhibit of sketches by the group. UrbanSketchers-BayArea.blogspot.comAzeen Ghorayshi

Harlem Globetrotters
The razzle-dazzle basketball stylings of the Harlem Globetrotters return to Oakland, this time as part of a new "You Write the Rules" world tour — whether that means playing a six-on-five game, having two basketballs on the court at once, or just having all baskets count for double points — on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Oracle Arena. Keep an eye out for Tammy "T-Time" Brawner, an Oakland native who as a 2013 rookie is the tenth female player in the team's 87-year history. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., $15-$147. 510-383-4982 or HarlemGlobetrotters.comA.G.

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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