The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley, weekend of Aug. 9-11

Singer Ellen Jewell
Eilen Jewell, who will be playing at Freight & Salvage on Saturday night. Photo: courtesy of Freight & Salvage

EILEN JEWELL American Songwriter says Eilen Jewel is “one of America’s most intriguing, creative and idiosyncratic voices.” The Boise, Idaho singer songwriter has recently launched her new album, Gypsy, and will be performing at Freight & Salvage on Saturday night. Here’s the Freight’s description: “By turns personal and political, pissed off and blissed out, [her album] expands brief moments of joy into lifetimes, and distills epic sentiments and persistent doubts into succinct songs.” Saturday, Aug. 10, 8 p.m., Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St.

SALSA FESTIVAL The free annual Salsa Festival at the Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market will be on Saturday. Grammy Award-winning percussionist Christian Pepin y Su Orquesta Bembe heads the event, and you’ll also be able to enjoy live dance lessons and demonstrations by Fenix Dance, a kids zone, local arts and crafts vendors, food sampling and a performance for children by Dance A Vision. Saturday, Aug. 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Civic Center Park.

BLUES FEST The latest in the free summer Music in the Parks series is Saturday’s Blues Fest at the Ohlone Park baseball field. Among the local performers will be KP Project, featuring Willie G, Tamsen Donner Band, and a series of soloists who appear under the banner of Ladies Sing the Blues: Bex Grimes, Marina Crouse, Tia Carrol, Rhonda Benin and Terri Odabi. In addition to the music, there’s a kids’ zone with arts and crafts, free snow cones and popcorn, a bounce house, rainbow art and face painting. Saturday, Aug. 10, 12-5 p.m., Ohlone Park baseball field, corner of Sacramento and Delaware.

CHEMISTRY CELEBRATION Sing along with me: “There’s antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, and hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium.…” You probably don’t remember all of the lyrics to Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements,” but at some point in your education, you probably encountered the periodic table of chemical elements. People of a chemical bent are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s periodic system in 1869, and the Lawrence Hall of Science has a Sunday Funday where you and your family can join in. Among the activities: build a battery, observe molecules in motion, speak with a chemist and visit the My Favorite Element video booth to record a short video about your favorite element to share on social media (as a crossword fanatic I’d probably pick yttrium). And at 2 p.m., there are a series of presentations from leading chemists marking both the periodic table and Berkeley’s special role in the discovery of many of the transuranic elements starting in the 1940s. Sunday, Aug. 11, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Dr.


PERSEID METEOR SHOWER Since it’s summer, we’re extending the weekend just a bit. If you feel like staying up late on Monday night, head over to the Chabot Space & Science Center to ooh and aah at the Perseid meteor shower. The Perseids are generally the best meteor shower of the year, and Monday night will be the peak of the shower. We’ll guarantee that this is the latest event we’ve ever written about on The It List: the viewing party runs from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Simple lesson is that real astronomers stay up late. In addition to astronomers on hand to answer your questions, Chabot offers hot chocolate and other goodies. (You do need to buy a ticket.) Monday, Aug. 12, 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd, Oakland.

Don’t miss this other event covered on Berkeleyside:

One small story with Gretchen Peters