John McEuen is one of the founding members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, NGDB. Now 50-years strong, the band is best known for its evergreen bestselling album Will the Circle Be Unbroken and for its gorgeous version of the song "Mr. Bojangles." McEuen is one of the seminal figures who conceived and originated the fusion of folk, rock and country, a unique sound still hugely popular today. In addition to performing on tour with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and on dozens of bestselling NGDB albums (many of which went platinum and gold), McEuen also has a successful solo performing and recording career. And as a music producer, he won the Grammy Award in 2010 for producing The Crow, a music album by Steve Martin, John's lifelong friend.
McEuen writes candidly and movingly about the ups and downs in his life. Among the highs was NGDB's tour of the Soviet Union in 1977; they were the first American group to perform there. Among the downs was the breakup of his family in the 1980s. McEuen is a born storyteller, and his tales of working with everyone from Linda Ronstadt to Willie Nelson to Johnny Cash to the Allman Brothers to Bob Dylan to Dolly Parton to, of course, Steve Martin will thrill every fan of folk, rock, and country music alike.
Mar 20, 6:30pm to 7:30pm, Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University Ave, Berkeley
Michael David Lukas reads from The Last Watchman of Old Cairo -- the new novel from the author of the internationally bestselling, The Oracle of Stamboul.
In this spellbinding novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.
Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary-perhaps magical-Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph's family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.
The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces-potent magic, forbidden love-that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.
Mar 20, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books,1855 Solano Ave, Berkeley
Mar 20, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, 3111 Deakin Street, Berkeley CA
BOYCOTT ! The Academy and Justice for Palestine
Hosted by Vylma V
"Sunaina Maira offers a definitive account of the growing social justice movement called BDS in
the United States. With erudition and inspiration, she shows what can be achieved when we confront entrenched norms and imperial formations."
- Alex Lubin, author of Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary
The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) has expanded rapidly though controversially in the United States in the past five years. The academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions is a key compnonent of that movement. What is this boycott? Why does it make sense? Why is this an American Studies issue? These key questions and many others are answered in this short essential book. Boycott! situates the academic boycott in the broader history of boycotts in the United States as well as Palestine and shows how it has evolved into a transnational social movement that has spurred profound intellectual and political shifts. It explores the movement's implications for antiracist, feminist, queer, and academic labor organizing, and examines the boycott in the context of debates about Palestine, Zionism, race, rights-based politics, academic freedom, decolonization, and neoliberal capitalism.
Sunaina Maira is Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis.
Vylma V is a Puerto Rican activist, human rights attorney, and former deputy public defender in Santa Clara County. On KPFA Radio, she is the DJ for the Music Show, Ritmo (2nd Saturdays), a frequent sub for The Talkies, and a La Raza Chronicles' producer. She is also the executive producer of Goddess on the Radio, a feminist spirituality program which airs on KPFB 89.3 every Saturday at 2pm
Mar 20, 7:30pm to 9pm, Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St, Berkeley
Freight Open Mic
The longest running open stage in the Bay Area now has free admission. Also, for this evening's open mic, performance spots will be assigned via a lottery system, not "first-come, first-served."
Our Open Mic has brought in some of our brightest performers, including Shawn Colvin, Dana Carvey, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Patrick Landeza. The audience is friendly - and people actually listen! So come on down and join the fun. All performers welcome.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
A lottery will be held shortly after doors at 7:00 p.m. The show starts promptly at 7:30.
Admission is free for all.
Solo performers get to play one song; groups get to play two songs. Management reserves the right to award a performer an extra song now and then, for any reason management deems appropriate.
Please be ready to perform when your turn comes up. Please limit your introduction to 30 seconds.
BONUS: Anyone - performers and audience alike - who stays until the end of the night is entitled to a FREE TICKET to an upcoming Freight show of their choice. Shows that are sold out or close to being sold out are excluded from this offer.
Tune up, drop in, go on!
Mar 20, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley
Winner of everyone's vote as one of the Bay's hottest dance bands, MotorDude Zydeco purveys a high-energy hybrid of Cajun and zydeco styles. The group is powered by the hardest-working man in the local Cajun/zydeco scene, multi-instrumentalist Billy Wilson - who plays accordion for MDZ - along with singer/rubboard player Lloyd Meadows, guitarist Ian Lamson, drummer and singer Willy Jordan, and bassist Dennis Calloway. Launched in 1989 by veterans of other zydeco and dance bands, MDZ takes its name from Motor Dude, a horse owned by the late, great accordion player and zydeco pioneer Boozoo Chavis.
Tickets are $12 Advance / $15 at the Door
Mar 20, 8pm to 11pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
Mar 20, 9pm to 10pm, Caffé on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo Ave. Berkeley