The Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


Kung hei fat choy! Also Mardi Gras happened! But most importantly, it's the weekend! That's a reason to celebrate. See our suggestions of how to do so below. 

Noise Pop
Every year, the booking logisticians behind Noise Pop bring a menagerie of talent to San Francisco, and then scatter those dozens of bands throughout the city’s cozier venues under one festival banner. Yeah, it’s a model akin to CMJ, but self-respecting denizens of the Bay Area are rightly through with enduring comparisons to New York. Its own beast, the first week of this year’s Noise Pop features highlights such as New Jersey’s Screaming Females, who are set to slay at the Hemlock Tavern on Saturday; upstart tuneful doom outfit King Woman, opening for the Black Ryder at the Rickshaw Stop on Tuesday; local folkie turned Angeleno defector Jessica Pratt, playing at The Chapel on Wednesday; and many more purveyors of slop pop, indie rock, and throwback thump.— Sam Lefebvre
Feb. 20-March 1. See website.

Latte Art Throwdown
Calling all ace baristas: On Friday, the Berkeley coffee shop Local 123 is hosting a latte art “throwdown.” According to owner Frieda Hoffman, latte art masters who sign up will be judged on the aesthetics, difficulty, symmetry, and originality of their steamed-milk creations, as they vie for an array of prizes — cash money, as well as coffee-related swag. To add another wrinkle to the contest, competitors are also welcome to bring their own unconventional “cups.” (Hoffman said she has seen baristas pour lattes into everything from beer boots to seashells.) While there’s a $10 buy-in for competitors (signups start at 6:30 p.m.), the event is free to the general public, and the gorgeous coffee drinks that each competitor pours will be up for grabs for audience members to taste. The event also promises a DJ on hand, and beer, wine, and bar snacks available for purchase.— Luke Tsai
Fri., Feb. 20, 7-9 p.m. Free.

The Garden 
One of the less likely benefactors of California indie rock in recent years has been Hedi Slimane, jet-setting creative director of the venerable Yves Saint Laurent fashion house. He has been known to show up at, say, Burger Records showcases around Los Angeles, taking pictures like so many other anonymous photographers on assignment. Shortly afterwards, a young six-string dreamer will be summoned to lunch, whereby Slimane offers a runway modeling gig at Paris Fashion week. That’s sort of what happened to The Garden, a duo composed of twin brothers from Fullerton whose stage presence and disjointed rock endeared Slimane. Supporting The Garden at Leo’s Music Club on Friday are Baus and Beekeepers, excellent local outfits with impeccable fashion sense. — S.L.
Fri., Feb. 20, 9 p.m. $10.00 - $12.00.

Turkish Flavors for Tapas and Tea
Last summer, Camila Loew launched Sobremesa — a multi-pronged food business that included, among other things, a series of intimate, seasonal pop-up dinners rooted in the veteran cooking instructor’s love of Spanish food culture — at Berkeley’s Far Leaves Tea (2626 San Pablo Ave.). For the winter edition of the pop-up, Loew is going in a slightly different direction: Inspired by a recent trip to Istanbul, she plans to serve Turkish-inspired mezes instead of her usual Spanish fare — “tapas,” basically, but with the flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Loew is still finalizing her menu, but possibilities include “daughter-in-law” red lentil soup, Circassian chicken with walnuts, and labneh (strained yogurt) rolled in za’atar, sumac, and pistachios. As with the previous Sobremesa pop-ups, beverages — Spanish wines and hot and cold teas — are included in the $60 cost of admission.— L.T.
Fri., March 20, 7-9 p.m. $60.

Zoovie Night: Over the Hedge
Looking to get into some fun that’s suitable for the whole family? Then head over to the Oakland Zoo this Friday for Zoovie Night. Throw on your pajamas, grab a few pillows, blankets, and chairs, and snuggle up in the zoo’s auditorium (which holds up to fifty participants). Movies chosen for Zoovie Night are animal in nature (pun intended) and this week’s is no different: Dreamwork’s Over the Hedge is an animated film with an appropriately East Bay theme — a raccoon teams up with some other forest animals who are unhappy with the suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating — and stars Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, and Steve Carell. Other highlights of the event include a visit from the zoo’s costumed alligator mascot, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and all the popcorn you can eat. If popcorn’s not your cup of tea, moviegoers can also bring their own snacks for extra munchies during the film. Pre-registration is required.— Kris Stewart
Fri., Feb. 20, 6:30-9:30 p.m. 510-632-9525 ext. 220.
$7 per adult and $7 per child. For groups of 4 or more people, $6 per adult and $6 per child.

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