This Weekend's Top Five Events

April 17, 18, & 19


As Hillary Clinton so warmly reminded us this week, Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times...and family is important and stuff...and we're all going on a trip together. In other words, she's running for president. What are you doing with your life? Here are some suggestions —at least for this weekend. 

The Flamin' Groovies
When Kelley Stoltz moved to San Francisco in 1996, he quickly found his way to Jack’s Record Cellar, a now-defunct shop where the original Flamin’ Groovies vocalist Roy Loney worked. Loney was overjoyed to meet a Bay Area garage rock luminary. Now, some might apply that label to Stoltz, who has issued several celebrated psych-pop albums and offered his recording knowhow to local acts such as the Mantles and Life Stinks. On Friday at the Chapel, it’s apt that Stoltz is set to open for the Flamin’ Groovies. The group has been in reunion mode for a few years. This performance celebrates its later catalog, specifically Shake Some Action, the 1976 Anglo-imbued power-pop classic. Loney had left the band by that point, but he’s likely to join the group for renditions of early scorchers such as “Teenage Head” and “Slow Death.” Maybe Stoltz, for that matter, should get in on it.— Sam Lefebvre
Fri., April 17, 8 p.m. $20, $22. 

It All Seeped Into the Ground 
Many of Simon Tran’s (aka ghost ghost teeth) paintings are explosive — both in color and gesture. In his current show at The Compound Gallery, It All Seeped Into the Ground, streaks of paint overlap one another as if ripping through the surface of each panel, forming a density akin to being lost in a rainbow forest. Installed like the scattered panels of a Japanese manga, each of Tran’s paintings stand alone while also cohering into a larger, even more abstract narrative. Pinks, oranges, and greens dominate the story, indicating potential cuteness — yet the compositions are too chaotic to be contained by such a reductive description. Tran is a Vietnamese-American artist whose parents immigrated to America during the Vietnam War. His work is a means of parsing his dual cultural identity. It makes sense, then, that his imagery seems to depict something that is both healthily growing and also going up in flames. Tran will speak more about his work at an artist talk and closing reception on April 19 from 3–6 p.m. Tran’s work is also up in the Worth Ryder Gallery on the UC Berkeley campus for The 2015 Wendy Sussman Prize in Painting Exhibition until April 24.— Sarah Burke
Through April 19.

Record Store Day
VAMP, the downtown Oakland record store (331 19th St.), is a charming place with an eight-month-old miniature pinscher mascot named Maxine Brown after the soul singer of yore. It’s cluttered with antiques, art, clothes, and vinyl, with a strong emphasis on jazz and soul. It’s the sort of spot that Record Store Day — an annual brouhaha for record labels to sic unnecessary pieces of overpriced wax on hapless consumers, derailing the entire vinyl manufacturing ecosystem in the process — is supposed to celebrate. Because VAMP sells mostly used records, it isn’t participating in Record Store Day officially. Instead, it elected to schedule ten hours of live music and DJs, including the store’s own Fernando & his 45s, for shoppers and passersby to enjoy — no matter how much cash they drop. A community record swap kicks off VAMP Day at noon, while music continues through the night. So, after you’re done elbowing through a Record Store Day crowd to snag one of those oh-so-crucial A-Ha ten-inch picture discs (only 6,500 copies!) for an unconscionable price, drop by. Or just go to VAMP instead.— S. L. 
Sat., April 18, 12 p.m. free.

  • Pak Han
The play starts with a man dressed all in white, standing on a upward-curving wooden ramp. Other than the man, Nick, (as in "nick of time") and the ramp, the only constant presence on Nina Ball's stage for Shotgun Players' Antigonick is a contorted papier-mâché horse suspended from the ceiling by rope. But never mind the horse, which disappears as the focus turns to the characters onstage — its presence merely sets us up to expect even stranger things.
"What is a nick?" asks Eurydike (Monique Jenkinson), in the story based on Sophocles' 441 B.C. tragedy, and adapted by playwright and poet Anne Carson. Eurydike is referring to the space of time in which the death of her son Haimon could have been prevented, but she's also asking one of Antigonick's central questions: What is time, and how do we measure it? In this case, time is tampered by the graceful, ghost-like figure of Nick (Parker Murphy), who attaches himself to different characters throughout the play, sometimes mirroring their actions, sometimes deviating from them completely. —Sascha Bos (Read the full review here.)
Runs through May 3 at Shotgun Players' Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley), $25–$40.  

Cal Day 
Cal Day can be a little bit overwhelming. It's the one weekend out of every year that UC Berkeley throws open its gates and invites the public for a full day of performances and events. That mean hundreds of events going on simultaneously from eight in the morning until six at night. Of course, it has its perks. The  Berkeley community gets to see what's going on at the University, prospective students get a taste of the campus community, and the student body gets to hang out on the grass all day while pretending not to be day drinking as they listen to the annual Cal Day concert. This year, that anticipated performer is Thundercat. But another performer that you shouldn't let get lost amid all the hullabaloo is Bandaloop. The locally based, yet internationally famous aerial dance company will be doing two performances (2 and 4 p.m.) on the side of the Sather Tower while suspended from ropes. Yeah, and it's currently their last scheduled California performance in 2015. Descriptions don't do Bandaloop justice, so watch the video below. —Sarah Burke 


All weekend, Good Mother will be hosting a zine fair with small presses from all over California selling their wares. 

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