Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events

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Miley and Sinead are still feuding and the government is still shut down, but at least it's the weekend! We've got five expertly selected activities to help you forget all of your troubles:

Will Viharo
MC Hammer aside, Will “The Thrill” Viharo might be one of the closest things we have to an East Bay cultural hero, one of those people who’s seemingly everywhere, all the time, probably with a smile on his face. He used to run a regular B-movie night at Alameda’s Forbidden Island, helps out with programming at The New Parkway, was one of the public faces of the theater’s old iteration, blogs occasionally, and, oh, has a prolific fiction-writing career on the side. Viharo — who was actually named for none other than William Shakespeare, believe it or not — has published more than twenty novels at this point, each larded with the kind of sparkling wit, eye for satire, and love of all things campy that you might expect from someone who’s devoted a professional life to unearthing such cinematic masterpieces as Dracula vs. Frankenstein. Join Viharo as he celebrates the re-release of his wry 1995 cult classic, Love Stories Are Too Violent for Me — currently in the early stages of production as a film starring Christian Slater — at Books Inc. Alameda. Friday, Oct. 11. 7 p.m., free. BooksInc.net/AlamedaEllen Cushing

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  • Richard Downing

Sins Invalid
Sex and disability aren't words you often hear together, says spoken-word artist Maria Palacios in the trailer for the new documentary Sins Invalid. When you do, Palacios continues, it's often in the vein of "Those people ... have sex?" The film, and the organization it documents, seeks to change that. Debuting in 2006 at the Brava Theater in San Francisco, Sins Invalid began as a performance that celebrated the sexuality of disabled artists — including those who are queer, gender-variant, and of color — through spoken-word, poetry, dance, and song. Recently, the group completed a documentary that they hope will expand their reach, featuring interviews with artists discussing their pieces, the process involved in creating the shows, and the performances themselves. The New Parkway Theater will host a screening of the documentary on Friday, October 11 and Saturday, October 12. Beforehand, a performance will include spoken word and music by some of the artists, including Sins Invalid co-founder Leroy Moore, and a question-and-answer session will take place following the screening. Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12. 7 p.m., $15. SinsInvalid.org Zaineb Mohammed

Old Light
  • Old Light

Old Light
Years ago, Garth Steel Klippert was a struggling musician living in San Francisco, back when the city was still a place where struggling musicians could afford to live. He rented an apartment above the infamous 6th Street Vietnamese dive Tu Lan, worked as a taxicab driver, and wrote odd little songs using a mishmash of instruments (Casio keyboard, saxophone, pot lids) and cobbled-together recordings he made while driving his cab late at night. (Music for Taxicabs was finally released on cassette three years ago.) Klippert eventually relocated to Portland, Oregon, where he currently resides and fronts the band Old Light. His new project is much more straightforward musically, but is still imbued with that gleefully unrestrained sense of imagination, a collage of shuffling and propulsive rhythms, funky guitar lines, unabashed rock riffs, rootsy Americana, and whatever else the four members fancy. The band set a goal of releasing five cassettes this year, and is apparently on track to do just that. In the meantime, Old Light will stop by the Bay Area this week for three shows: on Friday at The Chapel with Thee Oh Sees, The Blind Shake, and OBN III’s; on Saturday at The Night Light with BrEaKaRtS and My Life as a Dog; and on Sunday at The Make-Out Room with Kelley Stoltz and Virgil Shaw. Saturday, Oct. 12. 9 p.m., $7. TheNightLightOakland.comKathleen Richards

Life Is Living Festival
Spoken-word nonprofit Youth Speaks will bring the party to West Oakland’s DeFremery Park during the sixth annual Life Is Living Festival. Drawing a crowd of more than 6,000 people each year, the festival aims to promote social change through hip-hop and urban arts in an often-neglected part of the city. Activities will include a youth mural competition, stencil and ’zine workshops, and Estria Foundation’s graffiti battle, in which sixteen artists from across the country will compete to see who can best use the form as a way to empower communities. If the visual arts aren’t your scene, the festival will also feature skateboarding demonstrations, a dance stage, and performances by Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Obasi Davis, Grammy nominee John Santos, classical hip-hop outfit Ensemble Mik Nawooj, and singer Kimiko Joy. Saturday, Oct. 12. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. YouthSpeaks.org/LifeIsLivingZ.M.

Sunday Streets
Pedestrians will replace cars on one of Berkeley’s most trafficked avenues during the city’s second annual Sunday Streets. Part of a nationwide movement that transforms urban streets into car-free zones, the event will shut down Shattuck Avenue to automobiles from Rose Street to Haste Street for five hours. Attendees are encouraged to use the space creatively, and activities will include bike rodeos, dance performances, yoga classes, and more. Among the highlights are a pop-up parklet installed by Livable Berkeley, pedal-powered beat-boxing by Cello Joe, and libations courtesy of Drake’s Brewing Company. For the nerds among you, there will be hands-on science activities hosted by Berkeley Lab and Science@Cal, as well as a giant chess game set up by the Berkeley Chess School. Last year, more than 40,000 people turned out, so be prepared for a crowd. Sunday, Oct. 13. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. SundayStreetsBerkeley.comZ.M.

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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