Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar

11/29/2018

Free Live Jazz

Nov 29, 4:30pm to 6:30pm, The Musical Offering, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Science Cafe | Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods with Danna Staaf

Before there were mammals on land, there were dinosaurs. And before there were fish in the sea, there were cephalopods-the ancestors of modern squid and Earth's first truly substantial animals. Cephalopods became the first creatures to rise from the seafloor, essentially inventing the act of swimming. With dozens of tentacles and formidable shells, they presided over an undersea empire for millions of years. But when fish evolved jaws, the ocean's former top predator became its most delicious snack. Cephalopods had to step up their game.

Many species streamlined their shells and added defensive spines, but these enhancements only provided a brief advantage. Some cephalopods then abandoned the shell entirely, which opened the gates to a flood of evolutionary innovations: masterful camouflage, fin-supplemented jet propulsion, perhaps even dolphin-like intelligence.

Squid Empire is an epic adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years, from the marine life of the primordial ocean to the calamari on tonight's menu. Anyone who enjoys the undersea world-along with all those obsessed with things prehistoric-will be interested in the sometimes enormous, often bizarre creatures that ruled the seas long before the first dinosaurs.

Danna Staff earned a PhD in invertebrate biology from Stanford University. She lives in Northern California and has contributed to KQED, San Francisco, and wrote "Squid a Day" for the blog Science 2.0.

Nov 29, 5:30pm to 7pm, University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Ian Acredolo

Nov 29, 7pm to 9pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Poetry Flash Presents: Persis Karim and Sholeh Wolpé

Persis Karim is a poet, editor, and Professor of Comparative Literature at San Francisco State, where she also directs The Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies. She has edited or co-edited three important anthologies, Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers, co-edited by Anita Amirrezvani; Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora; and A World Between: Poems, Short Stories, and Essays by Iranian-Americans, co-edited with Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami. Her own book of poetry, Accidental Architecture, is forthcoming.

Sholeh Wolpé's new book is The Conference of Birds, her translation of Farid Ud-Din Attar's twelfth century epic poem, a classic of Persian literature. Reza Aslan says, "...never before has it been rendered into English with such beauty, elegance, and precision. [Her] translation of this epic is sure to be as timeless as the masterpiece itself." She has also adapted Attar's Sufi mystical allegory of the soul's search for meaning as a play, Conference of Birds, which will be produced at The Ubuntu Theatre Project in Oakland, November 30-December 16, directed by Giulio Perrone. Born in Iran, she is also the author of four books of poems, most recently Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths, two plays, three books of translation, and three anthologies.

Nov 29, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, The basement at Moe's 2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley

Grateful Dead Open Mic

Doors at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Tickets are $10

Buy Tickets Here
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Come dance to a great night of the good old Grateful Dead music! Sit in with the band - vocals, keys, bass, guitar, horns, then dance to an awesome house band set!

Nov 29, 8pm to 11pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

The Travelin' McCourys

The Travelin' McCourys
The sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father's work-a lifelong dedication to the power of music to bring joy into people's lives. With fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble combines their deeply-rooted bluegrass sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenating.

Nov 29, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Peter Case with special guests Heart Hunters

Peter Case returns to Berkeley for one of his rare Bay Area shows, with new songs, tales and surprises, along with his friends from Georgia, Heart Hunters, opening the show.

Heart Hunters were named the number one Folk Music band in Atlanta in Creative Loafing's year-end poll. Peter produced their current album, American Eclipse.

Peter Case's work sets the bar for authenticity, passion and imagination and spans a number of genres, including folk, blues, and rock. Raised in Buffalo, NY, Case came to the Bay Area in 1973 and worked as a street musician and played in the seminal power pop group The Nerves, before moving to Los Angeles to form the Plimsouls, landing a deal with Geffen Records.

The Plimsouls achieved success with the single, "A Million Miles Away," but broke up shortly after. Case's 1986 solo Geffen record revealed deep roots in folk and blues, and earned him his first Grammy nomination for the song "Old Blue Car," as well as the Number 1 spot on the New York Times' 1986 Best CDs list. Six CDs later, Case earned another nomination for Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, a remarkable collection of songs that features Case's voice and a single guitar.

With or without a backing band, Case delivers his songs with both intense passion and introspective nuance. It's clear that Case is a major talent on the Americana troubadour landscape.

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Heart Hunters' Drew de Man founded his first band, No River City, in 2001 and spent the next several years making records, touring the country and sharing bills with artists such as Iron & Wine, Calexico, and Alejandro Escovedo.

After a decade away from the spotlight, his new project Heart Hunters-a duo with his wife, singer/songwriter Brianna Blackbird-builds on the moody indie/alt-country sound de Man explored with No River City, updating them for a new era with debut LP American Eclipse. The record's alternately haunting and wistful folk songs find De Man and Blackbird engaging in potent social and spiritual commentary, clinging to silver linings while wrestling with an increasingly turbulent country. But while the subject matter is often heavy, the duo's hook-laden melodious songs offer all the balance the record needs.

Produced by Peter Case (T Bone Burnett, John Hiatt, Mike Campbell), American Eclipse puts Heart Hunters' gorgeously wounded harmonies front-and-center. Sonically, the record ranges from sparse acoustic ruminations to lush, complex Americana anthems, some tracks-"The Good Fight" and "Cristo" come to mind-drawing not just from the country-music tradition, but also Celtic and Eastern influences, taking cues from songs like The Beatles' "Within You Without You" and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir."

"Heart Hunters' music might sound delicate on first listen, but it packs a heavy punch. American Eclipse is simultaneously a deeply personal and overtly political album." - No Depression

"Best Folk Act." - Creative Loafing Atlanta, Best of 2018

Listen to their new album here.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Nov 29, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley