Readers Say the Darndest Things: Arts and Culture

Best Annual Event
420 HIPPIE HILL
— Nate Quitplayinwitme Day

Beast Crawl
A literary event such as the Beast Crawl has been long overdue in the East Bay! — Lily Chien-Davis

HOODSLAM!
There is a show one year ago from any month of the year... — Heather Roberts

How Berkeley Can You Be?
Bring it back! — Greg Keidan

Mission Creek Oakland Music and Arts Festival
I may be biased :P but dang it is a lot of fun. — Kiyomi Tanouye

My birthday
— songarbor

Piedmont Pet Mayor Contest
A DOG or other animal gets to be mayor, very cool!!! — Noel K

Scottish Highland Gathering and Games
Guys in kilts — need I say more? — Gabrielle Brown-Wing

Shotgun Players at John Hinkel Park
THE BEST. — Elka Karl

The Accidental Dog Show at Hillside Swedenborgian Community Church
Any dog can accidentally win and usually does. Ribbons and prizes for all. Categories of competition that fit your dog. — Eileen Andrade

Tikkun Leyl Shavuot
This is probably the only city in the country where Lubavitchers, modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Renewal, Secular Humanist and unaffiliated Jews come together for the annual all-night Shavuot study. — yidlg

WorldOne Festival, El Cerrito
Every year on the Fourth of July a park in El Cerrito turns into a really big party! World Music Bands play on a huge stage all day long ... thousands of people show up, and there's so much to see and do. Booths, music... all sorts of people you know! It's a blast. Seriously! El Cerrito ... it's crazy that this thing happens, but it's great! — The Wacky Italian

Best Artist
Alex Pardee
Death. Destruction. All done with a spidery hand! — Jamie DeWolf

Allison Wald
She's my wife. — sabalthedog

Darius Varize
My twelve-year-old son Darius is the raddest — evarize

Dark Shiek
This man can make magic with a bunch of men in spandex and a warehouse. — Heather Roberts

Elias Duchowny
Coolest twelve-year-old representing Oakland right now!!!! Seriously! — psyyyched

Farnaz Shadravan
Most unique art medium. Engraves art using her dental tools into porcelain bathtubs. — Shari Godinez

High on Fire
REHAB! — Elka Karl

Jon Carling
His whimsical pen-and ink-work, often etched onto the sepia tones of yellowing book covers, are populated by otherworldly chimerae, intricate patterns, and skinny mod humans and cute animals calmly navigating impossible worlds. JonCarling.com — Dan Abbott

Best Art Exhibit
Daniel Clowes at the Oakland Museum of California
So awesome! Oakland-based artist, great cartoons ... etc — Chris Voss

Johansson Projects (anything)
THEY ARE GOOD. — Elka Karl

Oakland Museum of California
Their rotating exhibit of the moment proves that variety is the spice of life. — Tom Walton

R. Black, graphic artist
Poster designs for Shotgun Players have been amazing. — Taylor Gonzalez

The Great Wall of Oakland
Also, can we please stop the awful groupthink public art? (I'm thinking especially of every piece of outdoor art in Berkeley as an example of how not to do anything interesting, ever). We have such creative and eclectic artists — let's get them on our streets! — popijininsky

Best Art Gallery
CK Gallery
Always interesting and well curated. Charlotte does so much with the small space she has to work with and always has thought-provoking shows chock-a-block full of great (and affordable) art! — Jennifer Holmes

Monkey Forest Road
Wild stuff, if a bit pricey. — Marco Cuerdo

Best Band
Asheba
My kid loves him and is becoming a groupie. — Alissa Hauser

Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits
Touring and recording constantly, responsible for some of the best independent music (and the most ridiculous name) anywhere, this may be the hardest-working band in the Bay Area. With hilarious lyrical barbs, catchy-as-hell songwriting ("pretty songs about awful things"), and seemingly boundless energy, the duo of Dan Abbott and Corbett Redford are making the impossible seem inevitable. — Dan Abbott

Cash Pony
Electric sitar, and they shred. Duh. — Stphn Wrght

Cycloptopus!
A REALLY REFRESHING NEW KIND OF METAL — alyce camille

Dirty Hand Family Band
I'm a sucker for a good harmonica player — zooey66

Frozen Folk
Awesome new "sophisticated punkish" band from Oakland — Patrick Friedman

Nephilim
They are metal. They are good. They are good metal. — Mary Jane Lawless

One in the Chamber
Oakland speed metal at its finest. — Sam Khandaghabadi

The Hobo Goblins
These guys are Oakland-a-rificaly amazing! — Skyler Fell

Best Booker at a Club
JoAnn "Rockmom" Gillespie
SHE ROCKS. — Elka Karl

Kristen at Ashkenaz
She's not drunk or coked up! — Greg Keidan

Larry Trujillo
Easy to work with. Pro. — jason lucero

Mike Spiegelman, Layover Comedy Night at the Layover Music Bar
OK it's me. — Mike Spiegelman

Scott Alcoholcaust
Crazy productive punk-rock booker — Chris Voss

Best Club
Baby Seal Club
Technically, it's a band. But it's so good that it's worth including in multiple categories. Have you seen their Apple Store video? — Raines Cohen

Disco Volante
Where else can you walk in for a drink on a Tuesday night and see a world-class flamenco group for $7? — Karen Hester

Yoshi's Oakland
Jazz jazzy — Anna-lisa Silvestre

Best Dance Club
Ashkenaz
TODDLERS ALLOWED. FUUUUUUUUUUCK. — Elka Karl

The Layover
Mellow place, not too big, not too small, and good DJS, best of all, no cover — Josh Kemper

Best Local Author
Alice Waters
Her cookbooks count. — Susan Pfiefer

Ericka Lutz
Her novel The Edge of Maybe captures the essence of the middle-class academic/yoganista East Bay experience! — Saill White

Fleur De Lis
The sexiest blogger in the bay, who documents dungeons and sex parties, all in the dark. She's fearless and razor-sharp. — Jamie DeWolf

Phillip K. Dick
Yeah, he's dead. But still the best. — Stphn Wrght

Best Local Blog or Website
Berkeleyside
The bible. — Matti Klotz

Daily Kos
The man does live in Berkeley, right? And has national impact. — Alden Mudge

MissionLocal.org
(even if it is West Bay) — janey skinner

Oakland Local
Sorry, EBX, but you can't beat the grassroots appeal. — Raines Cohen

Best Local Book
Bryant Terry
I almost want to become vegan ... — Rory Brown

The book Devin Tanchum just finished writing
Keep an eye out for it. — Mary Jane Lawless

Best Local Film or Documentary
The Waiting Room
ANYTHING WITH A FUGAZI TITLE AUTOMATICALLY IS COOL. NOT THAT I CARE ABOUT HEALTH CARE OR ANYTHING. — Elka Karl

Best Poet
Caitlin Gill
Her dirty haikus are unparalleled. — Sam Khandaghabadi

Hollie Hardy
HOLLIE HARDY leaps tall buildings in a single bound. She can teach you how to survive anything. Her Survival Poems have titles ruthlessly appropriated from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. She teaches writing classes at San Francisco State University, where she is finishing up her MFA for poetry. She is a producer for the Beast Crawl literary pub crawl in Oakland, co-curator of Litquake's Flight of Poets, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. Her work has appeared in Eleven Eleven, sPARKLE & bLINK, The Common, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, Parthenon West Review, One Ded Cow, Transfer, Milvia Street, and other journals. She lives in Oakland, California. Write to holliehardy@gmail.com if you want to give her money. — Hollie Hardy

Mykee Ramen
My songs are poetry set to music. — Mykee Ramen

Best Protest Artist
Boots Riley
Without an ego, he was up with a bullhorn at every Occupy event. This is man who is more than just his music. — Jamie DeWolf

Dude with the spray can
— mike punky

Julian Assange
— kendra magnuson

Occupy Oakland
Everyone in Occupy. No exceptions. Protest is how you live your life. — Barbara Jean Sunshine Walsh

THE GUYS WHO MADE THE HELLA OCCUPY POSTER
YOU KNOW THE GUYS WHO MADE THE ICONIC POSTER DURING OCCUPY OAKLAND AND GOT IT FEATURED IN THE OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ... YEAH THOSE GUYS — ginsuthegreat

The 99 Percent
— Ana Raz

Best Rapper
Can't stand rap
— Cullen Smith

J Stalin
WEST OAKLAND REPPIN' HARD! — psyyyched

ME
TOMMY TORCHEM YOU KNOW I STAY SPITTIN IM UNSIGNED HYPE BUT DONT SLEEP ON ME CUZ IN MY CITY ON MORE THAN 100 BLOCKS YOU CAN GET PUT TO SLEEP HOMIE — ginsuthegreat

Best Singer
Aretha Franklin
— Mindy Germinder

GOAPELE
BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED — ginsuthegreat

Kia Smith
Performs live with Ghost and the City and Parentz. A force to be reckoned with. — dana schnittman

Mary Jane Lawless
Keep an eye out for her all-female Oingo Boingo cover band: Oinga Boinga! Should debut in November. — Mary Jane Lawless

Me, yo!
— mike punky

Paul McCartney
— David Ourisman

Usher
— repclocker05

Stavros of the Three Splooges
His rendition of "Careless Whispers" usurps George Michael's for the top spot. — Sam Khandaghabadi

Best Underground Cultural Event
East Bay Bike Party
Does that count as underground? — Tom Holub

HOODSLAM
THAT ISH CRAY!!!! — ginsuthegreat

That one party space over in West Oakland ... I think it might be on Market Street?
My memory of it is hazy ... — Laurel Shane

Tourettes Without Regrets
Freak. Fest. What more needs to be said? — Taylen Peterson

You wish you knew!
— laurenmb

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