Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events



Weekend! Huzzah!

Berkeley Kite Festival
Sometimes — on the perfect Berkeley day, with the perfect bay breeze — there is no simpler or better pleasure than flying a kite. And once a year, during the Berkeley Kite Festival, you can partake in the pastime with thousands of others, with kites elevated to a transcendent, passion-filled art form. This Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, head to Cesar Chavez Park and fly a kite. The festival has an impressive slew of kite-centric activities. The Berkeley Kite Riders will fly sixteen 100-by-20-foot octopus kites, which — when all of the 35-pound kites are in controlled flight at the same time — "looks like you're staring up into the sky of a whole different world." The Sode-cho Kite-Flying Society of Japan will be flying their traditional Machijirushi kites, which are constructed traditionally out of fine paper and bamboo. Kite team ballets will perform choreographed kite dances to music — "a kind of cross between the Blue Angels and pairs ice skating," according to McAllister. For the amateurs, there will be kite-making workshops and flying lessons, while kids can enjoy candy, face painting, bounce houses, arts and crafts booths, a petting zoo, and more. Everyone is welcome to bring their own kites — small or giant, plain or bedazzled — to fly. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., free. 510-235-5483 or HighlineKites.comAzeen Ghorayshi


The Postal Service
At this year’s Coachella festival, Ben Gibbard introduced the trio behind the anthemic 2003 album Give Up as “an imaginary band called The Postal Service.” As most now know, the band — composed of Gibbard, Jenny Lewis, and Jimmy Tamborello, each prolific solo artists in their own right — only produced that one album, but this year reunited to celebrate its ten-year anniversary and to go on tour. Although I primarily remember Give Up as a sappy, overplayed album with a lot of electronic bleepity bloops, the album sounded outrageously good at Coachella — nostalgia-inducing, yes, but mostly just incredibly fun to dance to. Too few bands in the indie-rock/electronic-dance spectrum make music that withstands the test of time. And yet, despite the fact that the three members have played few shows together in the last ten years, it’s now clear that the Postal Service was a pioneer of sorts. And you’ll have two opportunities to see it. As a bonus, both shows — held at the Greek Theatre — will have great, if not slightly surprising, supporting acts: Baths will open on both nights, with the addition of Big Freedia on Friday and Divine Fits on Saturday. Fri., July 26, 8 p.m. $45 — Madeleine Key

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
If a craving for intimate, interdisciplinary performance strikes you anytime from 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 26, to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, head to Temescal Arts Center and slake your desire during Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. During this 24-hour installation of music, dance, and audience participation, joiners can jump into ongoing “performance stations” like solo dance, drum timekeeping, and musical improvisation, while voyeurs can take in any of five “focused performance times,” when artists including MEND Dance Theater, Thingamajigs Performance Group, Laura Renaud-Wilson, and Bandelion (the house band of Dandelion Dancetheater) perform. The marathon kicks off with an opening ceremony on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and wraps up with a closing ceremony on Saturday at 8 p.m. The performance accommodates up to eighteen audience members per time slot, so RSVP to info@DandelionDanceTheater.org, or take your chances at the door. Fri., July 26 and Sat., July 27. $12-$24 sliding scale. Dandelionstem1.blogspot.comClaudia Bauer

“Urban Wine Xperience”
Wine meets sunshine at the East Bay Vintners’ Alliance’s eighth-annual Urban Wine Experience, where more than fifteen local urban wineries belonging to the Oakland-based EBVA will pour whites, reds, rosés, and dessert wines at the Jack London Pavilion for four straight hours, as live music makes the day even brighter and local food purveyors serve perfectly pairable bites. Participating wineries include Aubin Cellars, Periscope Cellars, Dashe Cellars, Prospect 722, Stomping Girl Wines, and many more. Bites will be supplied by Bocanova, Picán, Wood Tavern, La Farine, Otaez, Plum, and other East Bay restaurants. Each guest also receives a souvenir wine glass. Sat., July 27, 1-5 p.m. $45 advance, $60 door. — Anneli Rufus

  • Daniella La Fors

Steamstock 2013
On the Facebook page for the annual Steamstock festival, one dedicated steampunk follower posited, “There really should be a corset lacing/unlacing booth. Million dollar idea. Just sayin’….” For those uninitiated in the world of steampunk, the Victorian-era retro-futurist subculture will be invading the Craneway Pavilion for a weekend-long steampunk-inspired festival of music and dance. Bands with names such as “Frenchy and the Punk,” “The Cog Is Dead,” and “Brass Farthing” will be accompanied by various troupes of aerialists and fire dancers. Lastly, dozens of steampunk-y vendors will be on site selling wares as diverse as monocle-wearing felted stuffed animals, all the brass gear paraphernalia you could possibly hope for, and, of course, corsets. Sat., July 27, 3 p.m.-12 a.m. and Sun., July 28, 3 p.m.-12 a.m., $20-$50. — A.G.

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