In honor of our pets issue, check out these adorable photos of a toddler napping with his puppy. Once you're done squee-ing, read on for our list of the five best events happening this weekend:
Giraffage, aka San Francisco bedroom producer Charlie Yin, has gained a steady following since he began releasing dreamy sample-based pop music in 2011. Like his contemporaries Ryan Hemsworth and R.L. Grime, Giraffage has a keen ear for incorporating R&B into electronic music: His 2013 mixtape Needs is mellow and sexy, as he alternately speeds up and slows down familiar tracks. On “Close 2 Me,” Giraffage samples Cathy Dennis’ 1991 song “All Night Long (Touch Me),” transforming a disco hit into a sultry haze (complete with requisite bleeps and bloops, of course). Giraffage performed at last year’s Treasure Island Music Festival but otherwise does not often perform locally, so his upcoming show at The New Parish will be a rare treat. 8th Grader, Bobby Peru, and ChadSalty will open the show. Friday, Jan. 31. 9 p.m., $10, $13. TheNewParish.com — Madeleine Key
“These guys sound like no time has passed since Husker Du, The Replacements, and Dinosaur Jr were influential on the alternative-leaning mainstream.” That’s the accurate assessment by Brooklyn Vegan of San Mateo’s High Water, which traffics in Telecaster guitar-driven earnestness and “whiskey-soaked awesomeness” taken straight from the Nineties. Singer Neal Sharma does double duty in the hardcore band Ghostlimb, and one can detect the punk rock aesthetic in some of the driving riffs on High Water’s forthcoming, self-titled debut. But these songs are crafted in the traditional sense, with hooky melodies, building dynamics, and prominent lyrics. Sharma’s semi-scratchy voice lends yearning and world-weariness to both ballads and upbeat rockers. In an era of increasingly louder, heavier, and more produced music, the band’s stripped-down approach feels especially welcome. See High Water this week at 924 Gilman, with Anne, Loma Prieta, and Dangers. Friday, Jan. 31. 7:30 p.m., $10. 924Gilman.org — Kathleen Richards
Martha Graham Dance Company
Cal Performances will bring a century of dance full circle this weekend when it presents the Martha Graham Dance Company, whose namesake performed at the Greek Theatre in 1916 with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers. She went on to eclipse her mentors, and everyone else, with seminal works like “Appalachian Spring” (1944), with its Pulitzer Prize-winning score by Aaron Copland, and “Cave of the Heart” (1946), a retelling of the Medea legend set to music by Samuel Barber. Graham passed away in 1991, but her company carries on and will revive those two works at Zellerbach Hall, along with her final creation, the “Maple Leaf Rag” (1990), with its score by Scott Joplin. The evening may sound nostalgic, but these works are as fresh as ever, and they reveal the origins of today’s contemporary dance. Gain insight into Graham’s work at a pre-performance talk by Marni Thomas Wood, a former Graham dancer and co-founder of Cal’s dance department, on Friday at 6 p.m. in the Durham Studio Theater, across from Dwinelle Annex. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1. 8p.m., $30-$92. CalPerformances.org — Claudia Bauer
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.