It’s a chilly weekend: A perfect time to pack into a church basement to hear some bluegrass or seek out some soul-warming Oakland art.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 8
Every Friday night, comedians from all across the Bay Area descend on Washington Inn to entertain. They’ve been on Comedy Central, they all seem to have performed at Punchline comedy club as well as various other Bay Area venues. They are Joe Klocek, Mike Moto, Samson Koletkar, Joe Gleckler, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan and others. They may not all be Oakland residents, but together, they’re as diverse as Oakland — not just in how they look, but what they present.
Friday, January 8, 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., doors open at 8:30 p.m.
The Washington Inn, 495 10th Street @ Washington Street
$10/$8 w/ student ID
Ages 18 & up
The Names Project
This project sounds more like a test of artist Renetta Sitoy’s memory than the pleasurable work of art it no doubt is. The artist has created a mixed media installation by collecting, from memory, more than 500 names of people from her past. Her intention is to re-create histories, as well as to explore the extent to which the Internet can aid and extend one’s memory.
Friday, January 8, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Royal NoneSuch Gallery, 4231 Telegraph Ave
Love of Fate
Check out Amor Fati, a thought-provoking exhibit at Joyce Gordon Gallery, which highlights the work of fêted local artists like Favianna Rodriguez, Carlos Villa, Miju, Kwantro-Kantos, and Malaquias Montoya. “The work has a lot to do with the parallel side of history and progress, says Lian Ladia, the show’s co-curator.” This may include politics, chaos; it may include passion.”
Opening reception: Friday, January 8, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The show continues through February 8.
Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street, joycegordongallery.com/
Cool Meets Comfy Bluegrass
The always-excellent Utunes Coffeehouse hosts the Circle R Boys Friday night at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. Imagine the melding of Greenwich Village folk club circa 1960 with a Lake Woebegon church basement social and you’ll have a sense of the friendly, fun vibe at the Utunes Coffeehouse. The Circle R Boys are 10 year-old Bay Area Bluegrass group. “They are known for their vocal harmonies and solid instrumentation, with not a lot of fancy stuff – ust good, clean pickin’.”
Friday, January 8, 8 p.m.
First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th Street
Marx in Soho
The Flux 53 Theater out in East O is putting on Howard Zinn’s Marx in Soho this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. “Historian and activist Howard Zinn (best known for his People’s History of the United States) has created a one-man play resurrecting the iconic and controversial historical figure, who returns to clear his name and reject the ideological rigidity of many of his followers with the declaration “I am not a Marxist!” Zinn paints a poignant, funny, and intimate portrait of the man as he was – an impoverished immigrant struggling to survive in London amid family, friends, and enemies – while demonstrating that Marx’s critique of capitalism is more relevant than ever.”
Saturday, Sunday, Monday January 8-10, 8 p.m.
5306 Foothill Boulevard
$15 suggested, $20 on opening night with wine and cheese reception
SATURDAY, JANUARY 9
East Bay Vegan Bakesale
Calling all East Bay vegans! Get over to Issues this Saturday for an all-vegan bakesale. This one’s in front of Issues, the popular Piedmont bookstore. The organizers, Ashley Rowe, Chelsea, and Carolynn Webb, will be putting this together every other month and are looking for bakers and volunteers. The money raised from the sale will go to groups and causes they want to support. This month, the proceeds go to the Bad Rap Pit Bull Rescue and to the Laurel Elementary School to construct and maintain a school garden.
Saturday, January 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Issues, 20 Glen Avenue
Zodiac Death Valley
Zodiac Death Valley, the weird and enigmatic San Francisco band, headlines at Uptown nightclub Saturday night. Also on the bill: Bare Wires, Hot Daxx, Hanna Moriah.
Saturday, January 9, 9 p.m.
Uptown nightclub, 1928 Telegraph Avenue
SUNDAY, JANUARY 10
Memories of Oakland
For this show, local artists have collaborated with Oakland musician and artist Winston Goertz-Giffen’s on his concept: Memories of Oakland. The gallery will showcase original artwork that has gone into the making of an art book devoted to memories of Oakland. The book and the accompanying CD, a compilation of the work of musicians that Winston has worked with while he has lived in Oakland, will be celebrated.
The following artists contributed work for this show: Vanessa Maida, Conor Ottenweller, Sarah Haba, Willey Frick, Ian Huebert, PJ Calihan, Jaden Alexander, Naaman Rosen, Eric Philpott, Priya Ray, Fatimah Guienze, Kristi Holohan, Lexi Babayan, Niki Banffy-Nesbitt, Michael Steffan, Aubrey Ferreira, Rosie Steefy, Cansafis Foote, Dirk Schmidt, Winston Goertz-Giffen, Roberto Miguel, Amanda Stahl, Zach Houston, Luke Judd, Andrew Macy, Aaron Handler, Jon Latimer, Annie Alonzi and Boguslaw Moravec.
The opening reception will feature music by Saything, Trainwreck Riders, The Aimless Never Miss, Anteater Eats Ant, Roberto Miguel, Tyler Wagner, and Tall Grass
Memories of Oakland will be installed at WE Artspace from Jan 10-Jan 31.
Opening reception: Sunday, January 10, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
768 40th Street (on the corner of West Street, two blocks from the MacArthur Bart Station)