Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


It's the weekend! Eat! Drink! Be merry! Party like there's no Monday! Here are five expertly-selected ideas to start you off:

Octopus Literary Salon
"San Francisco has Viracocha," said Rebecca Grove, referencing the quaint Mission District retail shop, which peddles all manner of antique furniture and bric-a-brac on its top floor, but also houses a cozy underground stage where musicians, poets, comics, actors, and dancers can flex their creative muscles to a small, but captive, audience. And Grove hopes the Octopus Literary Salon — currently wrapping up a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo and slated to open by early next year — will be a similarly multifaceted space in Uptown: a fully-functioning cafe, restaurant, bookstore, and performance venue. In the meantime, Grove — who quit her day job and is now working on opening the space full-time — is continuing to host the small salons that inspired the space to begin with. Join her this Friday, July 12, at the historic Borax Smith Red House for a night of musical performances, comedy, and a "1 Minute Storytelling" rapid-fire open mic, the theme of which is "An Evening of Songs and Storytelling About the Sea." Friday, July 12. 7 p.m.-midnight, $20. OaklandOctopus.orgAzeen Ghorayshi


Elder and Pine Opening Party
Much-loved retro vintage spot Pretty Penny’s new boyfriend store, Elder & Pine, may have been open for around two months now, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to throw a “We’re here!” party. The shop is perfect for vintage pocketknife enthusiasts, those who prefer to cleanse their bodies with a hint of bergamot, lovers of quality wool, and anyone who owns a pair of duck boots. If that sounds like you, or if that sounds like someone you’d like to take home at night, stop by this Saturday for their big opening bash, featuring music by Midnite Snaxx, Once and Future Band, and DJ Frankie, and food provided by Kronner Burger. Saturday, July 13. noon-7 p.m., free. ElderandPine.comAzeen Ghorayshi

Cosmos and Cocktails
Who wouldn’t enjoy drinking bottomless wine while watching Men in Black — complete with “Getting Jiggy Wit It”-era Will Smith, campy animatronic aliens, and dated special effects —and then being able to ACTUALLY gaze out at the possibly-alien-inhabited universe through a super fancy telescope? Spend your Friday evening at Chabot Space & Science Center (10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland) for their summer “Cosmos and Cocktails” program, a night of sci-fi, drinks, and great views of the Bay Area — and beyond. Friday, July 12. 7 p.m., $21 (add dinner for $15, add bottomless wine for $10). ChabotSpace.orgA.G.

A Function of Lines and Frustrules
It is amazing what Sabine Reckewell achieves with ribbon and nail. Using Chandra Cerrito's gallery space as her canvas, the artist creates site-specific "drawings" — a technique she has been developing for decades — by mounting hooks on opposite or adjacent walls in simple geometric formations and stretching ribbon across to activate the z-axis. As the viewer moves about these deceptively simple structures, a parallax effect between the ribbons alters the appearance of the whole; a curving plane conjoining line and parabola, like the interior of an uneven grand piano, morphs from wave cross-section to hammock. Though it may not sound like it, the effect is strangely painterly. Rachel Abrams shares the gallery space with a collection of foam frustules — spiny sea creatures that are sometimes found stuck to desert rocks, suggesting that now-dry regions were once home to marine reefs. Adhered as they are to the gallery walls, here they strike an ominously post-apocalyptic chord. — Alex Bigman


Fans of The Sword, Torche, Baroness, Mastodon, Kyuss, et al: ASG is your new favorite band. Hailing from Wilmington, North Carolina, the Southern-tinged stoner rock foursome has been playing for more than a decade, but appears on the verge of breaking through thanks to its fourth album and Relapse Records debut, Blood Drive. The twelve tracks are sufficiently sludgy, stony, and bluesy, but have the clean polish of radio and a singer who belts clearly and unabashedly. Folks have called it "summertime metal," and that's not too far off. The band is currently on tour with fellow Wilmingtonites Weedeater, whose lead singer is known for drinking cough syrup during his set. Expect few coughs (but probably a lot of smoke), when the bands stop by the Oakland Metro Operahouse with local duo Black Cobra. Friday, July 12. 8 p.m., $13. — Kathleen Richards

Plus... 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.