Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


It's the weekend, so in the spirit of the new Miley Cyrus song, it's time to experiment with party drugs, twerk, and bash around piñatas filled with hot dogs! Or, in the tried-and-true spirit of old Miley, you can just Party in the USA. Or just not go to work. Here are five things to do with yourself this weekend:

The Medea Hypothesis
Attempt to adapt a Greek tragedy to the context of contemporary Manhattan, and it should hardly come as a surprise when the result turns out to be dynamite soap opera — though of a decidedly daytime variety. In Marian Berges' The Medea Hypothesis, now at Central Works, Euripides' famously infanticidal character takes the form of Em, a busy executive who ranks perhaps a little short of Mom of the Year. Abandoned by her husband for a younger woman and attached to an ominously monotone, trigger-happy assistant, Em finds her thoughts becoming murderous with baffling speed — but not before a tryst with a hunky plumber and a series of bizarre, improbable, and often philosophical video-chat dates with her ex's father-in-law-to-be, a shady Eastern European businessman named Carl. Running through this pulpy melodrama is a poignant strain about a mother losing her sanity while perhaps regaining her compassion. Mostly it's a mess, though, and a first-rate one at that. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Sundays, 5 p.m. Continues through June 23 — Alex Bigman

  • Leslie Kalohi

Tom Tom Magazine Showcase
Carla Azar. Sara Lund. Sheila E. What do they have in common? They're all powerhouse drummers (for, among others, Autolux, Unwound, and Prince, respectively), and they also happen to be women. Yet they haven't received nearly the level of acclaim that their male counterparts have because, despite their growing presence, female drummers are still largely considered an anomaly. Tom Tom Magazine aims to change that: The Brooklyn-based publication, which comes out four times a year, profiles various female drummers and includes practical things like stretching exercises, tablature, and gear reviews. But it needs help. The magazine, along with co-organizers Mission Creek Oakland, will hold a fundraiser at The Uptown featuring local bands with female drummers, including the garage-punk duo Dark Beach, lo-fi indie-poppers Upside Drown, twee twosome Bam!Bam!, and Silver Shadows, which describes itself as "hardcore new wave." If drumming isn't your thang, there will also be a "nail art fundraiser." (Full disclosure: The Express is co-presenting the event.) Sat., June 22, 9 p.m. — Kathleen Richards

Summer Cinema and Food Trucks
Settle in for a free full-length, family-friendly film with your choice of food-truck goodies to brighten the night. As part of its Summer Cinema and Food Trucks series, Studio One Art Center will screen Walt Disney Animation Studios' Wreck-It Ralph on its front lawn on Friday, June 21, with the assorted trucks of the Oakland-based Bites Off Broadway food-truck confab parked on-site offering their wares for sale. BOB's dozen-plus trucks, in constant rotation, offer everything from tamales to barbecue to vegan treats. Fri., June 21, 7:30 p.m. — Anneli Rufus

Alameda County Fair
It's nigh impossible not to love the county fair, with its tractor pulls, amusment-park rides, pig races, goat auctions, "diaper derby" (fastest baby wins), and myriad cooking contests for dishes as diverse as gumbo and cake pops. It's a weird cultural mainstay, particularly in urban Alameda County — a remnant of a time when so many entertainment options weren't available at our fingertips — but that's also what makes it great. The Alameda County Fair, now in its 101st year, returns on Wednesday, June 19, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fridays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Continues through July 7 — Azeen Ghorayshi


The Spiral Electric
San Francisco's The Spiral Electric is a psych-rock group with an acid-drenched sound that creeps and crawls into the recesses of your mind where it stays with you, kinda like those fuzzy college memories of when shit got weird. Much like the band's predecessor, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Spiral Electric's songs are hypnotic and build into a crescendo of sound. Lead vocalist Clay Andrew lends the band a distinct sound with his strong, clear voice and impressive range, anchored by synths, electric guitar riffs, and steady drumming. It manages to be thought-provoking, too. For example, "A Better Way" is a reverberating jam that poses vulnerable questions: Is there a better way?/Am I the only one? The complexities of the band's sound deserve to be heard live, so go get lost in it at The Stork Club. With Deep Space, Max Pain and The Groovies, Electric Magpie, and DJ Al Lover. Sun., June 23, 9 p.m.
$5 — Madeleine Key

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 Azeen.Ghorayshi@EastBayExpress.com.