Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events


Hello party people! It's officially the 199th day of the year! That's as good of a reason as any to celebrate, by partaking in any of the following weekend-worthy activities:

Made and Found Instruments with Thingamajigs
As it turns out, bamboo, tin cans, buckets, postage tape, pinecones, and soda straws are the stuff of great instruments. So say the folks behind Thingamajigs, an arts organization devoted to throwing to the wind everything you thought about music — starting with reimagining the tools used to make it in the first place. And starting on July 21, the Thingamajigs Performance Group will be artists-in-residence at Berkeley Art Museum, collaborating with poet Sasha Hom to investigate the ideas of "Migrations, Maps, and Labyrinths" in a month-long series of performances, talks, workshops, and open rehearsals. Join them this Sunday, July 21, at Berkeley Art Museum to play some "thingamajigs," build your own, and listen to the artists perform some of their own compositions. 12 p.m.-2 p.m., $7. BAMPFA.Berkeley.edu/Azeen Ghorayshi


Vocalist, songwriter, and poet Carla Bozulich has fronted some of the most groundbreaking bands of the past three decades, and yet she continues to make music in relative obscurity. Although her Los Angeles band The Geraldine Fibbers released two major-label albums, earned praise from Spin as one of the “most vital artists in music today,” and helped launch the career of guitarist Nels Cline, the band’s bluesy punk-country sound never quite resonated with a mainstream audience. When the Fibbers dissolved in 2003, Bozulich released the critically acclaimed The Red Headed Stranger, a reimagining of Willie Nelson’s 1975 album, Red Headed Stranger. Shortly thereafter, she formed the solo project Evangelista, using samplers, guitar, and orchestral string instruments to create emotionally charged, avant-garde music with the confrontational punch of punk. The group — which now includes Oakland bassist Tara Barnes and keyboardist/sampler Dominic Cramp, as well as occasional guests like Oakland guitarist Ava Mendoza — has developed an overseas fanbase, due partially to the fact that Bozulich resides primarily in Europe. To prepare for her band’s upcoming European tour, however, Bozulich has temporarily relocated to the East Bay and will make two rare appearances: at The Night Light, where special guests, a dance party, and visual art will accompany the music; and at Hemlock Tavern on Saturday, Aug. 17. Fri., July 19, 9 p.m., $10. TheNightLightOakland.comWhitney Phaneuf

Brainwash Film Festival
The Brainwash Film Festival started out as a DIY stunt — with Xeroxed flyers, films way out in the freakiest reaches of the avant-garde, and everything projected onto a tarp in a West Oakland parking lot by David Krzysik and a group of friends, who The New York Times once described as “cultural pranksters.” But in case the Times coverage wasn’t indicator enough, somewhere between the mid Nineties and now, the festival became an actual, reputable film festival, even beyond just the world of indie film buffs. But don’t let them know you think that. The drive-in, bike-in, walk-in festival continues for its nineteenth year over the next two weekends at NIMBY (8410 Amelia St., Oakland), with more than thirty short films. In true DIY fashion, bring a blanket and a chair, and know that if you’re one of the first one hundred patrons, you’ll receive a free, specially made Brainwash Barf Bag. Fri., July 19, 8 p.m., Sat., July 20, 8 p.m., Fri., July 26, 8 p.m. and Sat., July 27, 8 p.m. $10 per night, $35 for a festival pass. NIMBYSpace.orgA.G.


Pedalfest 2013
Celebrations of two-wheeled transportation are a dime a dozen in the bike-friendly East Bay, but none are quite as highly anticipated, or as big, as the annual Pedalfest in Jack London Square (98 Broadway, Oakland). With performances by the BMX Stunt Team, Oaklandish’s ever-cute parade of small children on bedazzled bikes, bike-powered carousel rides and live music, and a thirty-foot banked wooden velodrome called the “Whiskeydrome” for more stunt action, Pedalfest takes bike enthusiasm to extremes. Food and drink will also be available, with a special Pedalfest pig roast at Lungomare, and a New Belgium beer garden serving up the perfect brew for a sunny, bike-filled day. Sat., July 20. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free. PedalfestJackLondon.comA.G.

Vegan Cupcake Bake-off
They’re small, they’re sweet, they’re swirly-topped, and some of them are sprinkly: They’re cupcakes, and they’re the main course at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective's fifth annual Cupcake Bake-Off. General admission lets participants sample all the competitors (along with local teas from Solidaritea) and cast votes in hopes of selecting the East Bay’s best cupcake. An extra plus for the animal kingdom — and an added challenge for bakers — is that all competing recipes must be vegan: No butter’s in these babies. — Anneli Rufus

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.