Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events



First Friday, Art & Soul .... It's gonna be an eventful weekend in downtown Oakland. TiVo the Olympics and get out of the house! Here are our top five picks for the weekend:

Art & Soul
Well ... duh. Read all about the festivities here.

Summer Cinema on Center Street
Forget what you remember about last summer’s outdoor movie screenings in the Bank of America parking lot on Center Street (2219 Center St., Berkeley). The savvy curators at UC Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archives are organizing this year’s series (which is still co-sponsored by the Downtown Berkeley Association and also aptly located at the site of the BAM/PFA’s future home), and have shifted the aesthetic from family-friendly street fest to eclectic art-house mixer. The “Cerebral Cinema” series includes offbeat 35mm films, insightful lectures, and later start times replacing last year’s assemblage of food trucks, costume contests, and blockbuster movies. Its premiere, on Saturday, Aug. 4, features live music by the Smooth Toad jug band, a lecture on “Connectomics,” sound-emitting sculptures, and a twilight screening of the 1963 flick The Atomic Brain. Series continues on Aug. 11 and 18. 7:30 p.m., free. 510-642-5249 or BAMPFA.Berkeley.edu — Cassie McFadden

Sometimes known by his more typographically challenging moniker, eLZhi, 33-year-old Detroit hip-hop artist Elzhi is also occasionally dubbed a “hidden gem” in his hometown. He replaced J-Dilla in the group Slum Village and, after the group’s dissolution, went solo, releasing a spate of mixtapes and three solo albums. He built a reputation on his effortless, rubber-band rap cadence. Last year Elzhi received plaudits for Elmatic, his tribute to a canonical 1994 album by Nas, for which he supplied original raps while repurposing many of the old samples. More than mere mimicry, it was both a genuflection and a new spin on the original: Elzhi changed the sentiment on songs like “It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” which he rendered as an autobiography instead of a boast track. His version of “Memory Lane” is a sweet, moving reverie about the Nineties, with details about his mother’s cancer. Elzhi is known for plumping his raps with internal rhyme and always staying in the pocket of the beat; if Nas were to choose a disciple, he’d be a good candidate. He’ll perform at The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland) on Friday, August 3. 9 p.m., $20. TheNewParish.comRachel Swan

Dios de los ((Bass)) Sunday Streets Day Party
Well known as a bike-and pedestrian-oriented city, San Francisco decided to celebrate its unique geography with a series of festivals from March through August, each held in a different neighborhood. The idea apparently has its antecedent in Bogotá, Colombia, which began hosting a huge ciclovĂ­a (or “bike path”) event in 1976, and ultimately extended it to non-cyclists — San Francisco’s version uses the same concept, albeit with a more inclusive theme. This Sunday, Aug. 5, marks the last of the Mission District edition, for which organizers roped off a large area between Valencia Street and Potrero Avenue. It will feature several miles of car-free roads with dance and yoga lessons, merchant vendors, live music, and DJs, plus ample open space for people to walk, bike, or skate. Among the entertainers are a large consortium of DJs, including VTron, Poppa Doses, CheyFigs, Halfbreeds, and The Doctor. They’ll spin techno, house, drum ’n’ bass, dubstep, and other party music, all geared toward movement and physical fitness. The DJs have yet to announce their exact location, so stay tuned. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. SundayStreetsSF.comRachel Swan

Night Birds
The snarky surf-punk sound unleashed by New York-New Jersey four-piece Night Birds is a furious nod to canonical So-Cal Eighties outfits like Agent Orange and The Adolescents, so it’s fitting that the band would wrap up its two-week West Coast tour in California. The group — whose members are perhaps as passionate about eating pizza as playing fast-paced punk — is touring with a new LP from Grave Mistake Records, and is also included on Adeline Records’ new comp, The Thing That Ate Larry Livermore. Catch Night Birds live with locals Sharp Objects, Ruleta Rusa, and Bad Coyotes on Friday, Aug. 3, at the Hemlock Tavern (1131 Polk St., San Francisco). 9:30 p.m., $7; or with Sharp Objects and Bad Coyotes on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records (420 40th St., #5, Oakland) at 3 p.m. Saturday’s show will be followed by a gig at 924 Gilman (924 Gilman St., Berkeley) with Bobby Joe Ebola & the Children MacNuggits, Neon Piss, No Mistake, and The Marshmallows. 7 p.m., $8. 924Gilman.orgCassie McFadden

Night Birds
  • Night Birds