Daily Archives: August 30, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 08.30.12

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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WEAVE IT TOGETHER  Master Weaver Judith Thomas will teach students how to source materials and craft a pine needle basket at a workshop Saturday Sept. 1 at the UC Botanical Gardens. Weaver will show class participants how to work with pine needles to create a coiled basket, using a needle and waxed linen to bind the bundles of needles together. The workshop runs from 9:30 to 2:30 pm and costs $50.

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Getting around with Cylinder and Lisa Mezzacappa

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There’s simply no point playing Six Degrees of Lisa Mezzacappa. A prolific performer who collaborates with a vast array of filmmakers, poets and fellow musicians, the San Francisco jazz bassist is probably no more than three steps from just about any contemporary American artist who comes to mind.

More than a mover and shaker, Mezzacappa is an essential catalyst with an international web of musical connections who is always on the lookout for opportunities for creative cross pollination.

After a fairly subdued summer, she kicks into her usual frenetic mode in September, including several exciting gigs in the East Bay.

On Saturday, she performs with Cylinder at the Subterranean Art House. Anchored by her thick, imposing tone and reactive lines, Cylinder is a rambunctious collective quartet featuring trumpeter Darren Johnston, alto saxophonist Aram Shelton, and drummer Kjell Nordeson, who are all prodigious improvisers. The ensemble corrals “a lot of strong personalities,” Mezzacappa says. “We all bring in our own compositions, mostly stuff we’ve written for each other.” … Continue reading »

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Street cleaning site created to help people avoid tickets

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Helping people avoid getting ticketed on street cleaning days was clearly a form of therapy for Dan Moja, co-creator of a series of city websites that pinpoint cleaning schedules down to specific streets. “I cannot tell you how absolutely angry I was when I got towed for the third time,” he says. “Each time we launch a new site, I slowly gain a little bit of satisfaction.”

Moja lives in Chicago. Back in 2010, his car was ticketed and towed three times in three weeks due to street cleaning, a frustrating experience which set him back hundreds of dollar). “I was so upset over the towings and fines that I sold my car and it ultimately led me to want to create a website which helps people avoid street sweeping tickets,” he says.

Moja researched the field and found Peter Malkin, creator of the San Francisco Street Cleaning website. Mojo contacted Malkin and explained how he wanted to bring his website to Chicago. This led the pair to form a partnership which has seen them roll out sites for Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, and, now, Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Barry McGee’s urban art takes over Berkeley Art Museum

Barry McGee installation at BAMPFA 2012
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The savage, often red-hued work of San Francisco artist Barry McGee, presented in a mid-career survey exhibition by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), threatens to take over.

Not content with consuming four galleries of the museum’s parking structure-like interior space, the man known generically as a “graffiti artist”— and more intentionally recognized as a leader in urban-inspired art — is stopping passers-by with “SNITCH”, painted in 25-feet spray-can font on the museum’s Bancroft Street façade.

McGee, who bears the tag name “Twist”, developed his skills on the streets. Refining and expanding his visual command while training as a painter and printmaker at the San Francisco Art Institute, he has an elegant mind and the full potential of a master draughtsman.

His brain-boggling torrent of expression,  seen in solo exhibits at places like Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center in 1998 and San Francisco’s Center for the Arts Yerba Buena Gardens in 1994, catapulted his trademark “come closer/stay away” message onto the national stage. … Continue reading »

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