Happy Pride! Happy summer, officially! Happy National Catfish Day on Saturday! Much to celebrate this weekend; plan accoridngly with help from our esteemed critics.
Slaughter by the Water
Though local black metal outfit Ludicra is sadly no longer on the bill, Slaughter by the Water should be the Bay Area's metal event of the year. Organized by Nicholas Gomez of Zombie Holocaust and Brian Montague, the festival aims to rectify the region's unfortunate absence of big metal shows, despite its abundance of metal bands. Now in its second year, the event has branched out beyond the thrash genre to include a bigger and more diverse lineup, including NuclearAssault, Autopsy, CattleDecapitation, Whiplash, Zombie Holocaust, Warbringer, Undivided, Vindicator, Dread, Hatchet, Insanity, Exmortus, and Witchaven. There will also be a "heavy metal expo" featuring vendors likely to appeal to the crowd (skateboarding companies, record labels, clothes, etc.) and the heavy metal food truck, Grill 'Em All. Should be a sausage fest. At the Craneway Pavilion (1414 Harbour Way South, Richmond) on Saturday, June 25. 2 p.m., $32, $35. SlaughterbytheWater.com. — Kathleen Richards
Benicia Gantner's semi-abstract collages are as beautifully ambiguous and richly ambivalent as her title, Eos, Greek for "dawn," (remember the proto-horse Eohippus?), which invokes both past and future. While her material may be computer-cut vinyl, her designs come from drawing; her intricate floral assemblages, also suggestive of fireworks, derive their simplified shapes, flat backgrounds, and overall patterning from Kandinsky/Pollock modernist abstraction — but also, perhaps, from quilting and embroidery. (Jean Lipman made that heretical point about Formalism and craftwork in her 1975 book Provocative Parallels.) "Unfolding Florescence," "Mariner," "Memorial," Nebullita," and "Vis Viva" (i.e., life force), each a virtuoso improvisation without prior design, proffer clearly artificial, metaphorical visions of nature while simultaneously commenting on its historical depiction in arts and crafts work. Catalog available.Eos runs through July 9 at Traywick Contemporary (895 Colusa Ave., Berkeley). 510-527-1214 or Traywick.com. — DeWitt Cheng
Of all the house music dance nights in Oakland, The People Party is perhaps the most popular, well-attended, and the most established. Launched in 2007 by DJs Cecil and Be Brown, it favors a very accessible, groove-driven form of house music — the kind based around hip-hop or reggae samples, with that bedrock "thwump" beat that bleeds into everything. Adventurous, but still tasteful, the DJs find ways to stitch together songs from a variety of genres. Overall, their style is a little more austere than that of the DJs at Bass Time Continuum or Free the Robots, but it's also profoundly addictive. People Party now happens every month at The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland) and usually draws enough people to form lines around the block. Next edition is Saturday, June 25. 10 p.m., $5 before 11 p.m. TheNewParish.com. — Rachel Swan
Joey Alison Sayers
The East Bay's Joey Alison Sayers is known for the understated, sarcastic comic strip Thingpart, contributions to MAD, and mini-comics such as Just So You Know, about a trans woman. Now Sayers has a massive new collection of comics — each drawn in five minutes or less — called Stupid Dreams, whose release will be celebrated via a multimedia reading that also kicks off Pride weekend at Escapist Comics (3090 Claremont Ave., Berkeley) on Friday, June 24, with fellow readers Tessa Brunton, Kane Lynch, and Sophie Yanow. 7 p.m., free. 510-652-6642 or EscapistComics.com. — Stefanie Kalem
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Possessing the most angelic voice this side of Dolly Parton, and instrumental wizardry to match, Alison Krauss has an extreme talent for crossing musical boundaries. So is it really any wonder that she's gone way beyond being a mere bluegrass artist? And while her 2007 collaboration with Led Zeppelin great Robert Plant appeared to be a classic mismatch, the duo's album Raising Sand won an armful of Grammys. After a seven-year hiatus, Krauss has reunited with backing band Union Station for Paper Airplane, the Illinois native's twelfth album. An artful poacher of other songwriters' work, Krauss stays true to form by tapping the oeuvres of Richard Thompson and Jackson Browne for stellar covers of "Dimming of the Day" and "My Opening Farewell," respectively. Expect more of the same, up to and including a reading of the Bad Company nugget "Oh Atlanta," at the Greek Theatre (Gayley Rd. at Hearst Ave., Berkeley) on Saturday, June 25. 8 p.m., $39.50-$125. ApeConcerts.com. — Dave Gil de Rubio
Catch a Movie: Nouveau blaxploitation? From Africa? Check out Viva Riva!, currently showing at the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley.
Eat Up: Our food critic recommends the fried chicken and the pulled-pork sandwich, among other deliciousness, at the newly revamped Kwik Way drive-in.
Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.