Snap out of your post-Bastille Day/HP7 haze; there's fun to be had!! Herewith, the top five events going down over the next 72 hours in the East Bay:
Venture Dance Project
Kristin Damrow, an emerging young choreographer who moved to Oakland in 2010 from her hometown of Chicago, has found a creative nexus at the Subterranean Arthouse (2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley), where her newly formed company, Venture Dance Project, performs Friday and Saturday, July 15-16. Perhaps not surprisingly, given how far from family Damrow now lives, she developed the 45-minute performance around the theme of home, sense memories, and perceptions of place. In the Arthouse’s spirit of interdisciplinary experimentation and collaboration, the performance incorporates other local artists via a video by Kristin Rooney-Nguyen, layered instrumental music composed by Robert Shelton and Patrick Martens, and a gallery of collage by Anna Greenberg. 8:30 p.m., $8-$15. 800-838-3006 or SubterraneanArthouse.org — Claudia Bauer
MC Hammer Bobblehead Day
Isn’t it time Oakland’s baseball team properly honored one of the city’s most important hometown heroes? And isn’t the best way to do that by turning him into a humorously-proportioned novelty item? We’re talking, of course, about the Oakland A’s MC Hammer Bobblehead Day, happening Sunday, July 17, as part of “’80s Weekend” at the Oakland Coliseum (7000 Coliseum Way). This will reportedly make the A’s the first (and hopefully not last!) Major League Baseball team to use a rapper as bobblehead fodder. Hammer, who spent seven years as a ball boy for the team, will throw the first pitch as the A’s take on the LA Angels in the last of a four-game series; fans are advised to come in their “freshest gear.” 1:05 p.m., $10-$200. 877-493-2255 or OaklandAthletics.com. — Ellen Cushing
Oakland sculptor Matt Dostal discerns “shapes, patterns, and meaning” in “post-industrial waste, often culled from local landfills, shorelines, [and] sidewalks,” and he works these suggestive bits of scavenged wood to create wall-hung shallow-relief assemblages suggestive of walls or fences that have broken or eroded into fortuitous shapes. The use of found materials in abstraction derives from Cubism and Dada, and Dostal’s forms preserve their workaday thingness while hinting, as assembled, at illegible texts — “sculptural flat zines.” The vertical striations between planks in some pieces suggest growth and expansion, pleated garments, birds, pan pipes, and even dripping paint; the shapes in others suggest utensils or tools (like the pruning shears in “Tree”). The ambiguity continues in the somewhat dissonant (i.e., elusively allusive) titles: “Elephant,” “Grandfather Clock,” “Squid,” “Alluvion Wave,” “Whitey’s on the Moon,” “King Tough.” Consonant Detritus runs through July 30 at FM (483 25th St., Oakland). FMOakland.com — DeWitt Cheng
It was Iris Chang’s parents who told her about the heinous acts commited in their native country of China by the Japanese, in the massacre Chang brought to light in her bestselling and contentious 1997 book The Rape of Nanking. Now her mother, academic Ying-Yang Chang, has written The Woman Who Could Not Forget, about her daughter’s life, career, depression, and 2004 suicide. Chang discusses her book on Saturday, July 15, at the Asian Branch of the Oakland Public Library (388 9th St., Ste. 190). 2:30 p.m., free. OaklandLibrary.org or 510-238-3400 — Stefanie Kalem
’80s Block Party with DJ Jay Dubb
There was a point, not too long ago, when Internet social networks and wireless communication gadgets didn’t exist, and people talked to each other on big, honkin’, cumbersome corded phones. And now, we feel sorry for those people — just as people thirty years from now will feel sorry for us. But keep in mind that they did produce some bangin’-ass music. Tony Basil, Depeche Mode, Devo, Madonna, Prince, and one-hit wonder Soft Cell all came out of the Eighties, as did a lot of the poor fashion choices that we’re still making today. DJ Jay Dubb celebrates that era at during a special ’80s Block Party, which will feature vintage electro, disco, soul, funk, rock, and rap hits. It all goes down at the Shattuck Down Low (2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) on Saturday, July 16. 10:30 p.m., $5. ShattuckDownLow.com — Rachel Swan
Catch a Movie: Choose your own adventure! For fans of "old-fashioned two-silk-hanky weep[ies," our critic recommends Snow Flower and The Secret Fan, playing at the Albany Twin. For wizard-lovin' muggles: Harry Potter, obvi. And for "pre-school kids and sentimental grown-ups": Winne the Pooh. Everyone else: go outside?
Eat Up: Our critic goes taco hunting and recommends the Oaxacan-style carnitas; the chicharrón; and the the Friday special at El Taco Oaxaco, a taco truck that'll be parked at Corner of Kennedy and Diesel Streets today and at the Ashby Flea Market this weekend.
Get Buzzed: ...at the Trappist, waxed about rhapsodically in this week's installment of Last Call.
Feed Us: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Holler at us at Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.