The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of Oct. 12-15

Ashkenaz's rustic-looking building on San Pablo. Photo: Jeremy Brooks
Ashkenaz is kicking off its new comedy series with a fire relief benefit show. Photo: Jeremy Brooks

COMEDY BENEFIT AT ASHKENAZ There haven’t been many reasons to laugh this week, but Ashkenaz is bringing you some comedic relief Thursday night — and an opportunity to help fire victims at the same time. Comic Lisa Geduldig kicks off the venue’s new monthly stand-up series with a benefit show, donating 100% of the ticket proceeds to the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Audience members can also drop off food and clothing donations. The theme of the show is “political comedy,” and features Scott Blakeman, Yayne Abeba and Aundré the Wonderwoman, as well as Geduldig. Tickets are $15-$20. Thursday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m., 1317 San Pablo Ave.

STAY OUT AT THE GILMAN Around the corner from Ashkenaz, the legendary punk venue The Gilman is also hosting a benefit, this one on Friday. The show is Stay Out’s record release party, where bands Grumpster, Calling the Skies, Treetop Flyer, Kinetic Radio and Necessary Noise will join the bill. Tickets are $10-$20. Friday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m., 924 Gilman St.

BAMPFA Those from the North Bay who have sought out refuge in Berkeley can distract themselves with the compelling — and free — exhibits at BAMPFA. All week, the museum is waiving its entrance fee for any visitors affected by the fires. Just check in at the front desk. Current exhibits include a Martin Wong retrospective, Gordon Parks’s photography and an exploration of the art of the written word. The galleries, at 2120 Oxford St., are open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

SOUNDTRACK TO THE 60s The sounds of the 60s undoubtedly still ring in the ears of many longtime Berkeley residents, but those who want a refresher can check out the new Berkeley Historical Society exhibit. “Soundtrack to the 60s: The Berkeley Music Scene” features items from the archives of local folk legend Country Joe McDonald and more. The exhibit looks at the role of music in protests, local recording studios and the Berkeley folk, rock and R&B scenes. The center, at 1931 Center St., is open Thursday to Saturday, 1-4 p.m.


UPDATE, 1:40 p.m. Sunday Streets, which includes the Pet Parade which was originally featured on this It List, has been cancelled. From the Downtown Berkeley Association:The organizing committee for Sunday Streets Berkeley announced today that it has decided to officially cancel Sunday Streets Berkeley on October 15 due to the risk posed by exposure to poor air quality from the tragic and devastating fires in the North Bay. Also, canceled are the Pet Parade, Salsa Sunday, and the Vine Street Block Party, which are companion events to Sunday Streets Berkeley.”  

UPDATE, 2:20 p.m. Grateful Day, a Saturday, Oct. 14, Telegraph Avenue street fair with live music and festivities, is still on, from noon to 6 p.m., but it has been converted into a benefit. There will be a donation booth near Amoeba Music for those who would like to support the Vista Family Health Center in Santa Rosa.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

East Bay food businesses helping those affected by North Bay fires
Cooking up a new world in the Music Action Lab
Shotgun Players’ ‘Blasted’ is haunting and unforgettable