Weekender: Top Events in the East Bay Over the Next Three Days


First full weekend of 2012, y'all; gotta make it count. Our suggestions:

Cohen-Bray House Holiday Tea
Pinkies up, people. The historic Cohen-Bray House (1440 29th Ave., Oakland), a Victorian-style East Oakland landmark built in the early 1880s as a wedding gift for a fortuitous socialite couple, hosts three tours of the site (which is still spruced up for the holidays), followed by a formal sit-down tea in the house's dining room. Munch on dainty tea sandwiches, sip on tea, and snack on sweets, all of which will be served using family china and silver by costumed maids. Warm clothing recommended. Call to RSVP. On Saturday, Jan. 7. 12:30, 2, and 3 p.m.; $20-$25. CohenBrayHouse.info or 510 843-2906. — Cassie Harwood

Phonte and 9th Wonder

Phonte and 9th Wonder: So happy together
  • Phonte and 9th Wonder: So happy together
When the critically acclaimed (and commercially successful) hip-hop duo Little Brother split mysteriously and reportedly acrimoniously last year, music fans were crushed: Here was the rare hip-hop group that paid homage to the boom-bap rhythms of the old-school rap of the late Eighties and early Nineties without sounding like it was ripping them off; and that stood out based on quality of musicianship and tightness of rhyme in a moment when it seemed like mainstream rap was hell-bent on abandoning both — not to mention having a fairly legendary live show. Well, fortunately for all of us, two-thirds of the group's members — emcee Phonte and DJ 9th Wonder — have come together again for a national tour, including a stop at The New Parish (589 18th St., Oakland) on Saturday, Jan. 7. Reunited and it feels so good, and all that. 9 p.m., $22-$40. TheNewParish.com. — Ellen Cushing

Tony La Russa: "World Series 2011: A Champ's Perspective"
This might be the closest the East Bay gets to a World Series for a while: Coach Tony La Russa — who led the A's to their 1989 championship and the Cardinals to their 2006 and 2011 titles — presents "World Series 2011: A Champ's Perspective" on Sunday, Jan. 8, at Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek) where he'll narrate clips of St. Louis' most recent battle for the crown and, for a few dollars more, answer your questions. 6 p.m., $25 or $125 VIP ticket with extended Q&A session. 925-295-1400 or LesherCenter.org. — Stefanie Kalem

Grass Widow and Churches
There’s a video for Grass Widow’s song “Milo Minute,” in which the three women of the band calmly enter the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. They set up their instruments and turn toward a glassed-in display to face their audience of six: Gigi, Kiki, Kira, Kimani, Kambiri and Kit — gorillas all. The song is a good example of Grass Widow’s appeal. the band doesn’t rely on distortion or effects to spruce up its rock songs; rather, it employs simple, layered, borderline-apathetic vocals over driving beats and catchy riffs. And the preoccupied primates can’t seem to take their eyes off of them. Churches, Culture Kids and Wave Army fill out the bill at The Uptown (Telegraph Ave.) on Friday, Jan. 6. 6 p.m., free. UptownNightclub.com. — Will Butler

  • YUM
Brunch at Bette's
In a former industrial district that was given a dazzling new lease on life, Bette Oceanview Diner (1807 Fourth St., Berkeley) sends typical diner cuisine into the stratosphere. A jukebox and shiny counter bespeak the 1940s, and Philadelphia scrapple and corned-beef hash are popular. But FDR never tasted anything like these soaringly fluffy souffléed pancakes (served with seasonal fruits), or the lightly fried cod fillets, served on open-faced baguettes with house-made tartar. Expect consistency, as most menu items and preparations have been the same since Bette's opened in 1982. Be forewarned: Bette's wait times can be brutal, so bring a book and a sense of humor. Open Mon.-Fri. 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 6:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 510-644-3230 or BettesDiner.comJesse Hirsch


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