This week's day-by-day picks.


Baby Boomers. Will they never go away and leave us alone? Not as long as curmudgeons like Wes “Scoop” Nisker are running around loose. The veteran San Francisco counterculture broadcast newsman and author (Crazy Wisdom) has a new book out, The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom, which traces the well-noted Boomer inclination to turn inward and seek enlightenment as they grow old. Nisker will bring us up to date on everything from Bodhidharma to (undoubtedly) the war in Iraq this evening when he heaves into view at Diesel: A Bookstore, to read from the book. The publication party begins at 7:30 p.m. at 5433 College Ave., Oakland. 510-653-9965 or www.dieselbookstore.comKelly Vance

THU 10

Jazz pianist Michael Wolff continues to forge ahead with his favorite music, a blend of fusion and world melodies dominated by strong, seductive rhythms. Working off his CD Intoxicate, Wolff and his band Impure Thoughts delight in revisiting R&B classics such as “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and “Sexual Healing” while exploring Indian and Middle Eastern styles. The latest edition of Impure Thoughts is a killer: John Ellis on sax, John B. Williams on bass, veteran fusion man Mike Clark on drums, and Wolff on keyboards, anchored by the Brazilian-Indian duo of percussionist Airto Moreira and tabla master Badal Roy. They’ll all be on hand at Yoshi’s tonight only, with shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Note to nite owls: the late show is only $8, half-price, a bargain for groove consumers. or 510-238-9200. — Kelly Vance

FRI 11

Del tha Funkee Homosapien has hit a lot of notes during his decade-plus career in hip-hop. From the socially conscious pranksterism of his debut, I Wish My Brother George Was Here (a reference to a Bugs Bunny cartoon), to the acid-jazzy sophistication of its Number One Billboard follow-up, and the video-game-obsessed gamut he ran on his last two full-lengths, Oakland-born Del has come a long way from writing rhymes for cousin Ice Cube. In 2000, he took part in the “virtual hip-hop” outfit Gorillaz alongside Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, Blur’s Damon Albarn, Cibo Matto’s Miho Hatori, and Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club. But he ain’t too big to throw it down for free, which he’ll do at 5 p.m. today on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza. What a way to start the weekend. — Stefanie Kalem

SAT 12

The seven members of San Francisco’s the Toids make music so lively, it dances out of your speakers like a sophisticated flea circus. And gets under your skin just as quickly. The Toids’ sound is unmistakably rooted in the folk music of the Balkans — Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Hungary, and that of the wandering Romany people — but around the blood and bones of those cultures the ensemble wraps its own modern skin, filtering its compositions through personal experience and expressing it in the language of violin, bass, accordion, tamboura, bouzouki, guitar, percussion, and vocals. The Toids will perform both originals and traditional folk numbers at Epic Arts Studio (1923 Ashby Ave., Berkeley) tonight between 8 and 11 p.m. Call 510-644-2204 for further details. — Stefanie Kalem

SUN 13

A young princess takes off on her Harley and embarks on a mission: to find a true friend amongst a trio of crazy suitors. This may sound like a standard plot line, but picture it performed by a cast of hand-sewn puppets with original music backing, for an audience of kids. That’s the setup for the revival of Princess Moxie, a feminist puppet show written and performed by Jennifer Levine, with music by keyboard player Gaby Alter. The show even features a “Silly-o-Meter,” something more stage plays should be equipped with. And the young audience is urged to participate. Princess Moxie plays one day only, today (11 a.m.) at the Grand Lake Neighborhood Center, 530 Lake Park Ave., Oakland. Tickets are $3 for kids, $5 adults at the door. 510-238-2301. — Kelly Vance

MON 14

The International Rescue Committee is a nonprofit volunteer agency, founded at the request of Albert Einstein to support opponents of Hitler. It has been providing help to refugees worldwide ever since, assisting folks fleeing racial, religious, and ethnic persecution, and those uprooted by war and violence. Tonight, the group hosts a West African Refugee Community Celebration to celebrate the rise of the Bay Area’s West African — largely Sierra Leonean and Liberian — immigrant community. There will be a preview of SodaSoap Production’s film, The Sembakounya Refugee All-Stars, and live music and food from West Africa. This event is free and open to everyone, doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the party begins at 7. It all happens at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. Call 510-525-5054 for complete details. — Stefanie Kalem

TUE 15

“Never thought of myself as a poet. That shit didn’t make no sense to me in school,” says Mark Lencl. And yet here he is, a spoken-word artist, appearing tonight at Poetry Diversified in Oakland, one of the East Bay’s most stalwart keepers of the spoken-word flame. Appropriately enough for Tax Day, Lencl is socially minded — a ‘Nam vet (and soccer coach) with a message of political awareness and humanitarianism — and he isn’t afraid to shout it out. As always, Alison Chokwadi Fletcher hosts the session, which also features an open mic. It happens the first and third Tuesday of every month at World Ground Café, 3726 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland. Open mic signup is 7:15 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30. Info: 510-261-6792 or www.worldgrounds.comKelly Vance

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