Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

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It's Labor Day Weekend and the Bay Bridge is closed, but don't despair. Here are five awesome ways to spend your long weekend in the East Bay:

Alt-J
Alt-J is an English indie rock quartet that sounds even better live than it does on its popular 2012 debut album, An Awesome Wave. The band’s style is both familiar and totally foreign, mashing together poignant wailing, folk verses, hip-hop syncopation, psychedelic rock, and dub pop. It shouldn’t work, but it does — especially live. Each song on An Awesome Wave is kind of an odyssey unto itself; the tracks take you on a journey as they quickly change direction and tempo. As a result, Alt-J’s live show feels unpredictable, even if you’ve heard its album before and should leave the crowd at The Fox Theater alternately swaying and head-banging. Catch the band with Canadian avant-pop sextet Royal Canoe, whose dance-y jams also defy easy categorization. Friday, Aug. 30. 8 p.m., $35. TheFoxOakland.comMadeleine Key

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fiveTEN Oakland Pride Events
Oakland Pride is this weekend and it's time to party. fiveTEN, an Oakland events production company, is kicking things off with a casino-themed party at The Den at the Fox Theater, where attendees can play blackjack and roulette and enter a raffle. On Saturday, a Pride Ride will start at the Embarcadero and end at The New Parish, in time for bikers to attend the WERQ! Vogue Ball, where Double Duchess will perform and audience members can strut their stuff on the catwalk during a vogue competition. After the official Pride festival in Uptown Oakland on Sunday, head to The Oakland Metro for an after-party and music fest featuring Lila Rose, Aima the Dreamer, and headliner The Memorials. Fri.-Sun., Aug. 30-Sept. 1. $30 for an all-weekend pass. FiveTENOaklandEvents.com and OaklandPride.orgZaineb Mohammed

Dancing Under the Stars
Perhaps the only thing more fun than dancing with the stars is dancing under them. Skip the club covers and the sweaty dance floors in exchange for an outdoor venue and a dance lesson in Jack London Square. On Friday, the weekly event will feature a free salsa-dance demo by the folks at Linden Street Dance Studio, followed by a full-fledged dance party. Fridays, continues through Aug. 30. 8:30 p.m., free. JackLondonSquare.comAzeen Ghorayshi

SF Bay Area Brazilian Day Festival
If you can’t jet to Rio de Janeiro to celebrate Brazil’s independence day, head to BrasArte’s Brazilian Day Festival at Casa de Cultura. Featuring a musical procession, capoeira demonstrations, Brazilian food, craft stands, and a samba circle, the festival is also the celebration of capoeira artist Mestre Acordeon, who will be traveling from Bahia to Berkeley on bicycle with the goal of spreading awareness about the Brazilian art form. Catch the procession of children and adults in traditional Bahian dress in the afternoon and the after-party at night. And if you’re feeling like your moves on the dance floor have been getting stale lately, head over to the morning workshops that festival artists will be conducting on African and Brazilian dance. Sunday, Sept. 1. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., free. BrasArte.comZ.M.

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Labor Day BBQ
Don’t feel like firing up the grill on Labor Day? Homestead will host a special Labor Day barbecue buffet on Monday, Sept. 2. The menu will include barbecue pork ribs; beef brisket; corn on the cob; salad; fingerling potato salad; baked beans; Firebrand artisan bread; melon with figs; peach cobbler; s’mores bars; sodas, lemonade, ice tea, beers, and one red and one white wine. Cocktails and well drinks will be charged separately. Monday, Sept. 2. 12-6 p.m., $10 for kids, $20 for adults. HomesteadOakland.comAnneli Rufus

Plus... 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 Zaineb.Mohammed@EastBayExpress.com.

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