The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of Feb. 1-3

Taiko ensemble Kodo performs ‘Evolution’ on Saturday and Sunday in Zellerbach Hall. Photo: Courtesy of Kodo

KODO Kodo, one of the most influential taiko ensembles in the world, returns to Cal Performances this weekend with Evolution, a retrospective that traces the group’s history by presenting works created from the 1970s to the present. Here’s what The New York Times had to say: “Its music is a matter of flesh and blood, wood and stretched skin. Kodo can raise the roof, but the group can also show extraordinary finesse.” Look out for the gigantic o-daiko drum, which weighs 660 pounds. Saturday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 3, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall.

SARAH DAVACHI Mellotron is the kind of word you want to roll around your mouth (and that I like to type). You probably didn’t know that a Mellotron is an “electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard,” developed in England in the 1960s (although you’ve heard it in “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Space Oddity”). Why this diversion into ’60s musical arcana? Because Sarah Davachi is bringing her Mellotron – as well as an electric organ – to BAMPFA on Friday evening. “Inspired by a solitary summer in Europe, Davachi’s latest album, Gave in Rest, breathes new interpretations into secular music and its tonal and spatial components.” There’s an opening performance by composer and sound artist Sean McCann. Friday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m., BAMPFA, 2155 Center St.

BOOKER T JONES “Green Onions.” “Hang ‘Em High.” “Time is Tight.” Any one of those would suffice to make a mark in music, but Booker T. Jones, Grammy Lifetime Achivement Award winner, created those and more. He’s at the Freight & Salvage for two concerts this weekend, performing songs from his new album, Sound the Alarm. Here’s what the Freight has to say, without much hyperbole: “It can be argued that it was Booker T. Jones who set the cast for modern soul music and is largely responsible for its rise and enduring popularity.” Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St.

THE SHOOTING GALLERY Shotgun Players’ Ashby Stage is going through a brief period of hosting some short-run, independent productions before the late March opening of the lengthily named Kill the Debbie Downers! Kill Them! Kill Them! Kill Them Off! (usually abbreviated to KTDDKTKTKTO). This weekend brings The Shooting Gallery, a new play by Aaron Davidman, directed by Michael John Garcés. Here’s the setup: “A cop in Texas. A gang member in Chicago. A carnival barker at the state fair… The creator of Wrestling Jerusalem has traveled the country to chronicle our nation’s love affair with guns and the brutal consequences that lay in its wake.” Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 3, 5 p.m., Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave.


CHATS AT SPATS The hard work is after elections, or that should be the case. You’ll have a chance to hold recently elected officials to their campaign promises – and enjoy a beer with them – on Saturday at Spats. The Berkeley Democratic Club has invited City Council members Lori Droste, Rashi Kesarwani and Rigel Robinson; City Auditor Jenny Wong; Rent Board Commissioner James Chang; and School Board members Ty Alper, Ka’Dijah Brown and Julie Sinai. Saturday, Feb. 2, 4-6 p.m., Spats, 1974 Shattuck Ave.

Don’t miss these other events covered on Berkeleyside:

Big Screen Berkeley: SF Indiefest
‘If you’re from here, you get it’: Two Berkeley-bred actresses come home for new shows
Straight outta Andalusia with the Bay Area Flamenco Festival
Where to drink during Beer Week in the East Bay