You've read enough think pieces about Bernie Sanders and Beyonce. Seriously, get outside and do something fun. Here are out top five suggestions:
Still Not Quiet on the Western Front
Founded in 1982, Maximumrocknroll is a non-profit publication that covers punk and hardcore scenes from around the world. The magazine has clung to its staunchly DIY ethos over the years. Even as it has grown into something of an institution, it has continued to eschew corporate sponsorship and coverage of major-label acts, positioning itself as an ardent champion of formidable underground bands that may not otherwise have a chance at coverage in the mainstream press. This Thursday, MMR will kick off its festival, Still Not Quiet on the Western Front, which features dozens of bands playing shows at various venues in both San Francisco and the East Bay through the end of the weekend. A few events under the Still Not Quiet umbrella to look out for? Noise-punk outfit Criminal Code at Thee Parkside on Thursday; Saturday’s record swap at LoBot (which precedes that day’s concert with Uranium Club, The World, Neighborhood Brats, and Neutrals); and Cold Beat and Flesh World at Oakland Metro Operahouse that same night. Refer to Maximumrocknroll.com/Fest for the complete schedule.— Nastia Voynovskaya
Feb. 11-14 Prices vary per show Maximumrocknroll.com/Fest
Alfonso Dominguez and Hunter Marshall, the organizers of the Oakland Music Festival each fall, have a proven sixth sense for booking artists on the verge of blowing up: SZA, one of the headliners of the 2014 edition, was recently featured as the only other guest vocalist besides Drake on Rihanna’s acclaimed album, ANTI. Anderson Paak, who was just starting to get buzz as Dr. Dre’s protégé when he headlined OMF in 2015, stunned fans and music industry heads alike with his soulful LP, Malibu, released last month. At OMF’s new monthly event, Haus Party, audiences can now check out the pair’s prescient tastes year round. Held at the recently re-opened Uptown Nightclub in Oakland, the concert series is dedicated to spotlighting local talent. This month’s edition features R&B crooner 1-O.A.K., Berkeley rapper Rexx Life Raj, and San Francisco producer Julia Lewis. DJs Azure and Agana will be behind the decks, with bilingual Oakland rap duo Los Rakas as hosts.— N.V.
Fri., Feb. 12, 9 p.m. $3 before 11 p.m. with RSVP. WhoseHausParty.com
RavishSF Erotic Underground Dinner Valentine’s Day is a holiday that, for most folks, is all about food and sex. But there aren’t many V-Day dinners that make that connection as explicitly as RavishSF, a San Francisco-based “erotic underground dinner series” that will host its first Oakland event on Saturday at a rooftop garden at 344 Thomas L. Berkley Way. Every dish in chef Peter Jackson’s prix-fixe menu will have sexual undertones, either in its appearance or its actual substance — from oyster ceviche to sliced pig heart, plus a boozy marshmallow “hot mess” dessert courtesy of Sugar Knife Artisan Sweets. Guests are invited to come bedecked in lingerie and to play with their food — and each other. Tickets are available via RavishSF.com.— Luke Tsai
Sat., Feb. 13, 7 p.m. $99. RavishSF.com
Mercury 20 at 10
A piece by Ruth Tabancay.
Mercury 20 at 10 In 2006, a handful of artists joined together to turn a small space in Uptown Oakland into an artist-run gallery. Since then, the collective’s membership and gallery space has grown into what is now Mercury 20 (475 25th St., Oakland). In celebration of its ten-year anniversary, the gallery is hosting Mercury 20 at 10, a group exhibit showcasing the collective’s many artists, including mesmerizing installation artist Nick Dong, masterful paper cutout artist Carlo Fantin, and innovative textile specialist Ruth Tabancay. The show is also a snapshot of the gallery at a critical moment in its evolution, during a time when the Uptown area is poised for another rapid transformation. While Mercury 20 consistently exh
ibits its members’ work, it’s rare that so many of them are shown together at once. Mercury 20 at 10 is a varied portrait of a tight-knit group of local talent.— Sarah Burke
Through Feb. 20. MercuryTwenty.com
Blood Tango If adapting the story of Count Dracula for the stage is a tricky task, then adapting it as a musical must be really challenging. But Piedmont Oakland Repertory has met this challenge with Blood Tango, an original musical adaptation of the Dracula story first popularized by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel and immortalized in various adaptations for the stage and screen in the decades since. Opening on February 13 at the Pacific Boychoir Academy (215 Ridgeway Ave., Oakland), the play will run through March 13. Blood Tango was written by Piedmont Oakland Repertory producer and artistic director John McMullen, who was joined by composer and pianist Tal Ariel and actress and singer Elizabeth Jane Dunne in composing the musical’s score, which includes fifteen original numbers. Set in an asylum on the English coast in 1922, Blood Tango borrows some of its character names and broad plot points from Stoker’s novel, but as its title may suggest, reimagines them in light of a certain craving not for blood, but for a dance craze nearly as dangerous: the tango. — Sarah Elizabeth Adler
Starts Feb. 12. Fridays-Sundays, 7:30-9:45 p.m. Continues through March 13 800-838-3006 $14-$19. PiedmontOaklandRep.org
If your pockets are feelin' light and you're still yearning for more suggestions, we've got a ton, and these ones are all FREE!
We're Hungry: Got any East Bay news, events, video, or miscellany we should know about? Feed us at Sarah.Burke@EastBayExpress.com.