Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events



Fight the post-holiday blues by checking out these five excellent events this weekend:

Cold Beat
This Friday, The Uptown will host a free show featuring two local musicians who are coming into their own as solo artists. Cold Beat is the stage moniker of Hannah Lew, the bassist and co-songwriter of San Francisco indie-rock band Grass Widow. Although Lew wrote (in the liner notes of the EP she released last year) that she wrestles with paranoia and depression, her sound is nonetheless upbeat and surf-rock-like. The live band she’ll perform with at The Uptown will include guitarists Greer McGettrick (formerly of The Mallard) and Kyle King, as well as drummer Bianca Sparta of Erase Errata. Sharing the bill will be local hardcore veteran Tony Molina (of Caged Animal and Ovens), whose first solo album, 2013’s economical Dissed and Dismissed, is pure power-pop bliss. Oakland punk band Yi and self-described “adult contemporary” artist Cairo Pythian will open the show. Friday, Jan. 3. 9 p.m., free. UptownNightclub.comMadeleine Key

reveries and elegies
Anyone lucky enough to catch Mary Armentrout’s reveries and elegies last season knows what a master she is at mixing video, spoken word, music, doorways, dusk, birthday cakes, and movement into riveting performance. Luckily for those who missed it, she will remount reveries in her space at the MilkBar, in the Sunshine Biscuit Factory every Saturday and Sunday in January. But even if you’ve seen reveries, you haven’t seen this one — an exploration of life’s fragmentary, impermanent nature, the piece changes every time Armentrout performs it, and adapts to each of the many spaces it has occupied. In any configuration, it’s performance art at its most intelligent, humorous, engaging, and beautiful. Performances are timed with dusk, so don’t be late or you’ll miss the magic hour. And dress warmly, as the space is unheated. Seating is limited to 25 people each night, and tickets are available in advance only. Saturdays and Sundays, Jan. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, and 25-26. 4:15 p.m. (start time changes weekly; check website), $20. MaryArmentroutDanceTheater.comClaudia Bauer

2012s Twelfth Night Ball
  • Jean Martin
  • 2012's Twelfth Night Ball

The Victorian Twelfth Night Ball
Dickens nerds who missed San Francisco’s Great Dickens Christmas Fair are in luck—PEERS (Period Events and Entertainments Re-Creation Society) is throwing its annual Dickens-themed holiday party this Saturday at the Alameda Elks Lodge, featuring dancing, drinks, and Dickens himself. Partygoers can learn classic Victorian ballroom moves during the dance lesson at 7 p.m. and then promptly test their skills during the formal dance hour, during which Bangers & Mash will play waltz, polka, and mazurka tunes. The evening, of course, would not be complete without a dramatic reading of The Christmas Carol by Robert Young from San Francisco’s Dickens Fair, and Peerless Music Hall’s performance of mid-19th-century pop songs. Costumes and role-playing are encouraged, but by no means required. Saturday, Jan. 4. 7 p.m., $15, $20. PeersDance.org/12th2014.htmlZaineb Mohammed

Paleo Party
Kick the carbs and push the protein at the David Brower Center on Saturday, when Chris Kresser, a Berkeley-based practitioner of integrative and functional medicine, will celebrate the release of his new book, Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life. A $10 ticket buys admission to a book signing and author Q&A, where hors d’oeuvres, artisanal chocolate, and locally made kombucha will be served. A $65 ticket buys admission to the talk and to a three-course Paleo dinner featuring kabocha squash soup, garlic-braised short ribs, and flourless chocolate cake, prepared by local caterer Zenbelly. Saturday, Jan. 4. 4:30-9:30 p.m., $10, $65. BrowerCenter.orgAnneli Rufus

Harris David Harris Bound.
  • Harris David Harris' "Bound."

Where to From There?
In 1937, Gertrude Stein famously wrote, “There is no there there,” in reference to her hometown of Oakland. By the time she had returned as an adult, the home she grew up in was gone and the city she remembered had completely transformed. Since, Oakland has continued to change. Playing off of Stein’s widely quoted description, this year’s annual juried exhibition at Pro Arts, Where to From There?, features the submissions of 21 artists that collectively work to situate us within that trajectory of change. Juried by artist, writer, and curator Arnold J. Kemp, the selected works portray non-normative beauty with romantic and playful approaches similar to Stein’s writings. Harris David Harris’ “Bound — What If All My Friends Were Dying? What If All My Friends Were Dead?” is among the most thoughtful pieces in the show. It’s a series of framed video portraits that appear to be vintage photographs from the Eighties, but actually move just slightly, imbuing a ghostly vitality to their subjects. Harris’ work highlights the ways in which today’s hip youth culture appropriates the aesthetic of 1980s queer communities, while calling attention to the ignorance of the AIDS epidemic within that nostalgia. Through Jan. 10. ProArtsGallery.orgSarah Burke

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 Zaineb.Mohammed@EastBayExpress.com.