Category Archives: Events

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

Coastal cleanup day is Saturday Sept. 20 -- a chance to help keep our local coastal areas beautiful. Photo: Clean Water Program
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COASTAL CLEAN UP DAY On Saturday Sept. 20 citizens throughout Alameda County will join volunteers worldwide for the 29th annual Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year the international event drew close to 650,000 participants in 92 countries, who picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash, according to the Ocean Conservancy. To help Alameda County residents find an event near them, the Clean Water Program Alameda County has compiled a list of local creek and shoreline cleanup events organized by its member cities and agencies. Visit Clean Water Program online for details of how to get involved.  Continue reading »

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Review: Maya Lin at Berkeley’s David Brower Center

Portrait of Maya Lin, photo credit Walter Smith
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Art/Act: Maya Lin – an exhibition of environmentally themed sculpture and interactive work by the internationally known Chinese-American artist, architectural designer and creator of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, D.C. (1982) — opens at the David Brower Center in Berkeley on Friday, Sept. 19.

Lin’s show is something of a coup for the Brower, and a rare opportunity for Bay Area residents to experience her current work on their home turf.

Lin created her landmark piece at age 21 while still an undergraduate in architectural studies at Yale, having won a competition against 1,441 other submissions. In subsequent years, she has directed her vision toward projects — often site specific sculptures and earthworks — with environmental themes. … Continue reading »

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‘The Zero Theorem:’ Terry Gilliam’s twisted brain on view

Theorem
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The very first new release I ever reviewed for Berkeleyside was Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Released in January 2010, it was Gilliam’s best effort in a while – and now, four years later, he’s finally completed a feature follow-up, which (while not quite being up to Imaginarium’s standards) will still satisfy the director’s many rabid fans.

Opening at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood on Friday, Sept. 19, The Zero Theorem once again allows viewers to explore Gilliam’s decidedly twisted brain, a cavernous place resembling a slightly surreal dystopia of the near future, or, perhaps, a parallel universe of the now. It’s also a place not so very far from the one seen in the director’s 1985 classic Brazil. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s own return to town to perform jazz the LA way

UCLA Charles Mingus Ensemble
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You’ll rarely get an argument on the streets of Berkeley by disparaging Los Angeles. While oft-maligned as a cultural wasteland, LA actually boasts a vast, vibrant and well-entrenched cultural scene that continues to draw the East Bay’s sons and daughters, particularly standout players from Berkeley High’s vaunted jazz program. On Sunday, several recent BHS graduates return from the Southland to perform at Freight & Salvage with the UCLA Charles Mingus Ensemble under the direction of composer James Newton.

Originally created as part of a class that Newton teaches as a professor of ethnomusicology in UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music (he’s arguably the most celebrated jazz flutist of the past four decades and a longtime collaborator with Berkeley percussionist/bandleader Anthony Brown), the group took on an identity of its own during a tour of Macedonia and Kosovo earlier this year. … Continue reading »

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Be knocked out by people you don’t know at Uncharted

3 speakers:
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When Berkeleyside unveils the detailed program of Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014 next week, we know people will look for the names they recognize. Here’s a pro tip: the best speakers, the ones likely to knock you out, are almost invariably the ones you didn’t know.

Buy your tickets now to take advantage of the early bird price. Only two weeks before prices go up!

Take Mina Girgis (pictured top right) whose Nile Project will be performing at Cal Performances in February. Girgis has brought together more than a dozen instrumentalists and singers from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda to bridge cultures, traditions and politics. And their music highlights the environmental and societal challenges along the world’s longest river. … Continue reading »

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Photo gallery: A great day out for all at Solano Stroll 2014

Solano Stroll 2014 drummers. Photo: gina g10
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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Hummingbird. Photo: Steve Napoli
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LIVE OAK PARK’S 100TH BIRTHDAY North Berkeley’s first nature park, Live Oak Park, celebrates its 100th anniversary Saturday afternoon. The Live Oak Park Centennial Celebration and Ice Cream Social will include an old-time BYO community picnic and traditional games like croquet and three-legged races. Wavy Gravy and the Berkeley High Jazz Combo will be there. And, at 2:30 p.m., the 100 Dog March will see dogs and their companions ramble around the park’s perimeter. Everyone is encouraged to wear period costume, or at the very least a straw hat! The Berkeley Art Center is organizing outdoor art activities on the bridge that leads to the Art Center. The Live Oak Park Centennial Celebration is on Saturday Sept. 13, noon to 4 p.m., 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley.
Continue reading »

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Uncharted speakers just keep doing extraordinary things

Saru Jayaraman
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One of the thrills about putting together Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas 2014 is that our speakers keep doing extraordinary things. It’s hard to keep up. We have Nobelists, Pulitzer winners, and Grammy recipients. And more and more is happening in the run-up to Uncharted on Oct. 24-25!

We just wrote on Berkeleyside about astronomer Josh Bloom‘s $110 earthquake early warning alarm. It’s more than a clever bit of tinkering – it could herald a new era of safety devices for all of our homes.

Tanya Holland has just published her Brown Sugar Kitchen cookbook, with a forward by Berkeley’s Michael Chabon who wrote that Holland and her Oakland restaurant are a way to “ponder the historical spirit of the city or skip straight to the fried chicken.” … Continue reading »

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Getting old in Berkeley (Old-Time Music, that is)

The Bucking Mules: one of the many bands performing at the Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention which kicks off next Tuesday. Photo: BOTMC
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In Berkeley everyone gets to be old, at least for a few glorious days.

The 11th annual Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, which runs from Tuesday Sept. 16 to Sunday Sept. 21 at venues around the city, presents some of the countries finest folkies, including young players who are finding their own voices in American roots music. The festival opens on Tuesday at the Pacific Film Archive with a screening of the documentaries “Banjo Tails” and “Musical Holdouts,” with both followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

With jam sessions, workshops, panel discussions, square dances and the famous Berkeley Farmers’ Market String Band Concert (first place: one bag of rutabaga; second place: two bags of rutabaga), the BOTMC offers many opportunities to experience the music. … Continue reading »

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Politics and prose are all in a day’s work for Erik Tarloff

Erik Tarloff. Photo: Terry Lorant
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When the bestselling author Erik Tarloff turned up for an interview at Berkeley’s Elmwood Café in July, he had left an empty house. His wife, Laura D’Andrea Tyson, the former economic advisor to President Bill Clinton and a professor at the Haas School of Business, was in Aspen consulting with U.S. leaders. Tarloff had remained behind at their Berkeley home as he prepared to depart for Stockbridge, Mass., where the Berkshire Theater Group was gearing up to perform his new play, “Cedars.”

This interplay between writing and politics has been a constant in Tarloff’s life, and one that seems to inform his writing. He was born in Los Angeles to screenwriting parents who were blacklisted in 1953 because of their affiliation with Communism. The family had to move to England so his father could find work. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: ‘God Help the Girl’ and ‘Mobilize’

Child-with-Phone
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Since 1996, Scottish musician Stuart Murdoch has earned a decent crust writing songs for his musical projects Belle and Sebastian and God Help the Girl. Now, apparently eager to further stretch his creative muscles, Murdoch has directed his first feature film, and it’s a winner.

Taking its title from the second of Murdoch’s pop outfits, God Help the Girl (opening at San Francisco’s Roxie Theatre on Friday, Sept. 12t – sadly, no Berkeley play dates are currently scheduled) is cinematically analogous to Murdoch’s best songs: bittersweet, literate, and wryly humorous in equal measure, it’s bound and determined to win over even the most curmudgeonly of hearts. … Continue reading »

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‘Rapture, Blister, Burn’ fires up Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre

Rapture Blister Burn at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau … Betty Friedan … Phyllis Schlafly … Dr. Phil … feminists and anti-feminists are all fodder for amusing academic banter in Gina Gionfriddo’s engaging and entertaining Rapture, Blister, Burn now at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre Company through Oct. 5.

A finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, Rapture reunites a graduate school triangle after 12 years of separation — Catherine (Marilee Talkington), now a single, feminist scholar and author-cum TV talking-head in stiletto heels; Catherine’s former roommate, Gwen (Rebecca Schweitzer) a graduate school dropout, now a self-righteous, priggish wife and mother of two; and Gwen’s husband, who she snatched from Catherine while Catherine studied abroad, Don (Gabriel Marin), now a pothead, porn-watching, disciplinary college dean. … Continue reading »

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Events

40th Solano Stroll, one mile of free family fun, on Sunday

Solano Stroll-1 Nancy Rubin
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The East Bay’s largest street festival is back for its fortieth year on Sunday Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors to the Solano Stroll can look forward to a mile-long stretch of attractions, including food, music, rides and live entertainment.

The annual festival, which is hosted each year by the cities of Albany and Berkeley, will feature 500 street vendors, as well as all the businesses and organizations that line Solano Avenue’s 26 blocks, and also boasts 50 entertainers, 50 food booths, 150 government and non-profit agencies, 150 juried hand-crafters, a 75 entry parade, and state-of the-art mechanical rides.

As in previous years, the event is expected to draw 250,000 visitors,  including folks from across California and from neighboring states. … Continue reading »

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