Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events



Hey party people, it's the (long) weekend! We picked out the five best events for you to check out that are happening today through Sunday:

Extra Classic
The lineup at The Starry Plough on Friday is stacked with three rad up-and-coming bands, each of which rocks a classic sound from a bygone era: Perhaps most notably, the headliner, San Francisco’s Extra Classic, whose mix of classic Jamaican dub and psychedelic rock ’n’ roll — recorded on vintage equipment — creates a groovy, skin-tingly, feel-good sound. If you have a pulse, its reggae rhythms will have you moving. Extra Classic plans to debut new material from its forthcoming sophomore “showcase” album, which features a dub version of each of its new songs. Also on the bill are fellow Burger Records affiliate The Abigails, the self-described “satanic outlaw country band” of Warren Thomas (formerly of The Growlers), and The Spyrals, a psychedelic garage-rock band from San Francisco. Friday, Jan. 17. 9 p.m., $5, $8-$12. TheStarryPlough.comMadeleine Key

Pressure Drop
Now there’s one less reason to feel like you have to venture over to San Francisco to get your dance on. Parliament is a new nightlife venue in Old Oakland, and each weekend, it will host a mix of local and guest DJs. And the sound is going to be supreme. According to manager Jason Bradford, Parliament is the only venue in the East Bay that has an Audio Opus Sound System, an internationally reputable setup. This Friday, Parliament will feature DJ Sake 1 for the first installment of Pressure Drrop, a night dedicated to global soul, dance-floor classics, and soulful house (think Lisa Shaw, Kaskade, and Stevie Wonder, Bradford said). The following evening, Parliament will host its grand opening celebration, with DJ Dino spinning Top 40 and EDM (expect to hear Daft Punk, Beyoncé, and Calvin Harris). Friday, Jan. 17. 9 p.m., $5. 811Parliament.comM.K.

Henri le Chat Noir
  • Henri le Chat Noir

Internet Cat Video Festival
Minneapolis’ Walker Center for the Arts is on a mission to make its Internet Cat Video Festival an annual affair. The first iteration in Minneapolis in 2012 drew a crowd of about 10,000, after which the compilation of cat videos was screened in a dozen cities, including Oakland last May. The success prompted the organizers to create a new reel of footage and take the act on tour. They’ll begin the West Coast leg this week, hosting the East Bay festivities at the Uptown Nightclub. Carefully edited and curated, the 85 videos capture a range of cat-related hilarity, including a cat dressed in a shark costume riding a Roomba and a mockumentary about a cat film director. Hosted by Will Braden, the man behind Henri le Chat Noir, the French feline philosopher suffering from an “interminable sense of ennui” that took the top honor at the first festival, the evening will include a cat-themed costume contest, stories from workers at local animal shelters, and a special cat celebrity guest. Sunday, Jan. 19. 6-11 p.m, $17. UptownNightClub.comZaineb Mohammed

Rainbow Black
Almost forty years after Cheryl Fabio first made a documentary about her mother, Sarah Webster Fabio, a pioneer of the black arts movement of the 1960s and '70s, the New Parkway Theater is hosting a screening of a re-mastered version of the film. The film depicts the life and work of Webster Fabio, who died in 1979, through interviews and clips of her recording poetry albums for Folkways Records. The screening will also serve as a fundraiser for a project Fabio is working on with the nonprofit she is trying to get off the ground, the Sarah Webster Fabio Center for Social Justice. Her first project, which she hopes to start working on with the Center for Digital Storytelling in May, is to help former prisoners re-entering society tell their stories through multimedia, such as music and photographs. Following the screening will be a panel discussion with filmmaker Cheryl Fabio, Ishmael Reed, Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley, and Carl Mack, Associate Professor at California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. Shomari "Issa" Jackson, grandson of Sarah Fabio, will perform spoken word. Sunday, Jan. 19. 12:30-2:30 p.m., $8, $10. NewParkway.comZ.M.

Melissa Bolgers Geocell.
  • Melissa Bolger's "Geocell."

Mysteries of the Organism
Life’s strangeness may be contemplated at the biological and mythological levels, via lenses including the hypnotizing symmetry of cellular structures and the 1930s-era theory of Orgone energy, which posited that all life springs from the same ether-like substance. The latter inspired a film that gave its name to Mysteries of the Organism, a group show of four Oakland artists now on view at Panorama Framing that draws upon the literal function of life, as well as our blurry, human conception of it. The show reimagines the organism as microscopic machinery (in Melissa Bolger’s brightly hued drawings of nameless cellular bodies) and as interplay between reality and imagination (in Kelly Correll Brown’s “Vermin” series, featuring unsettling, textured drawings of a hare and its pelt — the animal and its transformation into fashion for cultural consumption). Adrienne Heloise’s cut paper collagraph plates coax monolithic images of lust and glory out of pattern and repetition, while Bridget May’s intricate paintings of the cross-sections of plant roots and stems remind us of nature’s hidden artistry. Collectively, these nuanced works both delight in and disturb the apparent seamlessness of life, melding science and fantasy. Through Feb. 23. PanoramaFraming.comLenika Cruz