Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


It's Friday! You did it! Here are five expertly-chosen ways to spend the next two and a half days of your life!

Jodie's Restaurant
Tucked under a BART overpass on a quiet side-street in Albany, Jodie’s is so small it’s easy to miss — just a six-stool counter and a plastic table or two outside if the weather’s nice. But despite its unassuming appearance, Jodie’s offers one of the best greasy-spoon-style American breakfasts you’ll ever have the pleasure of eating. For 24 years, Jodie Royston has been serving up eggs poached or scrambled just so, crisp hash browns, and English muffins grilled to crunchy, golden-brown perfection — all in a cubbyhole of a space that positively exudes small-town charm. A vast specials board means there’s always something new to try, but surefire winners include the Eggs Royston (a tangy spin on a traditional Eggs Benedict) and any dish that comes with Royston’s thick, creamy grits (available Friday through Sunday). — Luke Tsai


The Seshen + Bells Atlas
Experimental, electronic bands are a dime — no, a penny — a dozen these days, which makes it all the easier to handpick the truly talented ones. Seven-piece Bay Area electropop outfit The Seshen stands out due to the prowess of its two vocalists, Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr, who evoke the velvet-soft yet slightly husky crooning of R&B high demigoddess Erykah Badu. Their soulful, echo-y vocals meld smoothly with the unearthly chillwave textures concocted by The Seshen's producer and bassist Aki Ehara, who masterminded the band's self-titled debut. Joining the band at The New Parish on Wednesday, Mar. 18, is fellow East Bay rising star Bells Atlas, which bridges the gap between indie rock, Afro-pop, and jazz, creating a uniquely warm and entrancing sound. 9 p.m., free. TheNewParish.comLenika Cruz

Persian New Year Festival
As far as cultural celebrations go, Chahr-ShanbehSouri — also known as the Festival of Fire — is pretty ancient. Dating back to at least 1700 BC, when it was celebrated by the early Zoroastrians far before the dawn of Islam in the Persian Empire, the festival is a purification rite that involves singing songs and jumping over bonfires. On Tuesday, Mar. 12, join the Persian Center for a night of fire — timeless, but safe enough for the 21st century. 6-10 p.m., free. 510-848-0264 PersianCenter.orgA.G.

Oriana Fallaci
  • Courtesy Edoardo Perazzi
  • Oriana Fallaci

Berkeley Rep Teen Night: Fallaci
On Friday, Mar. 8, it's a drama kid's dream come true: a dinner at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, a performance of Berkeley Rep's newest production, Fallaci — a play about the legendary Italian journalist OrianaFallaci, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright — and a chance to meet a member of the play's creative team. It's an inside look at the backstage workings of theater that, for a select group of teenagers, should be eye-opening in the best way possible. Anyone currently enrolled in grades 9 through 12 can attend, but make sure to RSVP first by calling 510-647-2973 or emailing TeenCouncil@BerkeleyRep.org. 6:30 p.m., $10. BerkeleyRep.orgAzeen Ghorayshi

"Rudolf de Crignis / MATRIX 245"
Gazing at a painting by Rudolf de Crignis, one cannot help but assume a suspect posture. Did we not dispense with the monochrome square back in the Sixties? On what merit do thirteen such works, in varying shades of blue and gray, make up a whole exhibition today? Granted, de Crignis' works are not monochrome per se, but rather agglomerations of thin, semi-transparent washes of various oil pigments — ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, royal blue, copper, zinc white, dianthus pink, cinnabar green and others — that, layered meditatively and extemporaneously over the course of several weeks, add up to a seemingly pure hue. That's something, and perhaps it does account for the paintings' special qualities of shimmer and depth. But what really makes this exhibition, de Crignis' first solo show in the United States, worth seeing does not inhere in individual paintings at all. As the artist says, "[the paintings] are just catalysts to create the space and the light." Indeed, these canvases frame an ambience of sensuous grip; once inside, for reasons hard to articulate, it becomes very difficult to leave. Matrix 245: Rudolf de Crignis runs through May 5 at Berkeley Art Museum. 510-642-0808 or BAMPFA.Berkeley.eduAlex Bigman

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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.

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