Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


As Katy Perry once said: TGIF. Here are our weekend recommendations, slightly late because of an extremely unfortunate hangover unforeseen circumstances:

Prometheus and Faces
House and apartment galleries haven't caught on in the Bay Area as they have in other cities — Chicago, for example. For this and other reasons, the relatively young Important Projects, located in an inviting craftsman-style house in Rockridge, is a distinctive addition to the Oakland gallery scene. Resident artists/curators Joel Dean and Jason Benson painted their warm upper story white, and there they have been showing work by artists both local and not. Currently on display are two exhibitions that seem purposely to resist interpretation. In Prometheus, Nicolás Colón hangs a baggy T-shirt drenched in gold paint, the imprint of which he has left on the wall, as well as a series of blown-up, indecipherable color photographs. In between: small, pinched clay sculptures and store-bought stalks of verbena. Miniaturized sculpture gardens? One room over, Brooklyn-based Austin Eddy's Faces presents a series of crude portraits, a sculptural bust, and the artist's signature in dripping sherbet colors.Prometheus and Faces run through August 28 at Important Projects. ImportantProjects.net Alex Bigman

Non Stop Bhangra
Seldom does San Francisco's hottest world-music dance party, Non Stop Bhangra, make it across the bridge, so this Saturday's East Bay iteration is certainly a special occasion. And the organizers planned accordingly, booking Om Records producer J-Boogie and DJ Sol Rising, who are both well-reputed in a variety of circles. J-Boogie is known for hip-hop and lounge mixes, but he's also maintained a long residency at Dub Mission, a weekly reggae party at San Francisco's Elbo Room. Similarly, Sol Rising grew up steeped in hip-hop, but ultimately forayed into global fusion — he now mixes popular rap samples with bass lines that are redolent of dub or reggae. They'll both appear alongside bilingual hip-hop group Bang Data, whose members give traditional Latin styles (ranchera, cumbia, and norteño music) a contemporary spin. At The New Parish on Friday, Aug. 24. 10 p.m., $10. TheNewParish.comRachel Swan

Dinner, a Movie, and the Universe
It's a fact that ice cream is more delicious on a hot day and a book is more enjoyable when read in moments of silence — and it might also be true that a sci-fi film is most thrilling when viewed in the Chabot Space & Science Center's Tien Megadome Theater, where movies are screened on a vast IMAX-style screen. See for yourself when Galaxy Quest and the 1978 Star Wars parody Hardware Wars run back-to-back on both Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25 and 26. It's the final weekend of the center's Dinner, a Movie, and the Universe series, which also includes dinner from Chabot's Skyline Bistro, access to activities and exhibits, and use of the observatory deck. 5-10 p.m., $13-$25. 510-336-7373 or ChabotSpace.orgCassie McFadden

Jonathan Tropper

In May, Jonathan Tropper inked a seven-figure deal with Paramount Pictures for the film rights to One Last Thing Before I Go, with the movie tentatively set to be directed by none other than J.J. Abrams. The book, Tropper's sixth, wasn't even set to be published for three more months. That's the kind of otherworldly success that would be both intimately familiar and heartbreakingly out of reach for the book's protagonist, Silver, a washed-up musician with a single big radio hit, a bitter ex-wife, and little else to his name. He's suddenly faced with a fatal medical condition that either threatens to end a life that doesn't seem particularly worth saving or promises to turn it around entirely. (You can guess which one happens.) One Last Thing is a perfect slice of late-summer reading, composed of equal parts pathos and light; it's easy to see how it could make a great movie. Tropper reads at A Great Good Place for Books on Friday, Aug. 24. 7 p.m., free. 510-339-8210 or GreatGoodPlace.IndieBound.comEllen Cushing

Chinatown Streetfest
If you notice an abundance of pregnant women and newborns at this year's Oakland Chinatown StreetFest, it might be because 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which according to the Chinese Zodiac is the most fortuitous time to conceive. Babies aside, the 25th-annual festival — held between 7th and 11th sts. and Broadway and Harrison St. on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25-26. — includes two performance stages, an expansive kids' area, food galore, and health and nonprofit resources like free blood-pressure screenings and eyeglass cleanings. Don't miss the Great Wall Youth Orchestra on the Cultural Stage on Saturday; Club 90 (covering Nineties hits by favorites from Nirvana to Whitney Houston) on the Popular Stage on Sunday; and a chance to walk in a pool of water while stuffed inside a giant plastic WowBall. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free. 510-893-8979 or OaklandChinatownStreetFest.comCassie McFadden

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 Ellen.Cushing@EastBayExpress.com.