.Calendar Picks: Week of Nov. 23-29




The comedian Shang Forbes has the kind of in-your-face style reminiscent of pro wrestlers, loud politicians and aggressive New Yorkers—which makes sense because he’s a New Yorker. Cutting his teeth on the NYC scene, Forbes rose to prominence as the 2011 Famecast Comedy Winner and went on to perform on CBS, BET, STARZ and more. In his 2020 live special, “Shang Is SHANGRY,” he won over yet more fans with his vehement and hilarious positions on race, religion, drugs and all the other politically charged sources of his “Shanger.” Shang performs on Friday and Saturday. – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 7pm and 9:15pm, Alameda Comedy Club, 2431 Central Ave., Alameda. $25. 510.318.1538.



Talib Kweli rose to prominence when he teamed up with fellow Brooklynite Yaslin Bey (formerly Mos Def) in 1996 to form Black Star, a group named after Marcus Garvey’s shipping company, the Black Star Line. As part of the storied Native Tongues Posse—along with De La Soul, Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest—Black Star played a major role in bringing Afrocentric lyricism to the mainstream. Since the ’90s, Kweli has kept up a steady stream of solo work alongside collaborations with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and others. He’s also giving others exposure through his label, Javotti Media, a platform for “independent thinkers and doers.” – AM

INFO: 8pm and 10pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $69-$110. 510.238.9200.




Not too long ago, it was almost unthinkable that a city would name Nov. 25 “Green Saturday” in honor of the Garden of Trees—a green marketplace and bloc party going down at Jack London Square. It’s a celebration of the culture and community of Oakland, highlighting the city’s artists, movers and shakers. Local DJs and artists, like on-the-rise Kamaiyah, will get the party lit while partiers enjoy the food, locally made artisan goods and—as advertised—“dope activities.” Because of that, this is a 21+ event, so don’t leave home without a valid ID. – MAT WEIR

INFO: Noon, Bloc 15, 252 2nd St., Oakland. $20.50/adv, $30.75/door. 510.844.4880.



An alien ship lands on Earth, desperately searching for the funk that will save their dying world from funklessness. Such is the plot of Parliament/Funkadelic’s unforgettable 1975 album, Mothership Connection, an early pioneer of Afrofuturism. The album gave us the dance floor anthem “Give Up The Funk,” with lyrics that hit a little differently when heard as a challenge from a funk-hungry extraterrestrial. The group, headed by George Clinton, is one of the most sampled artists of all time. As he puts it, “Funk is the DNA of hip-hop and rap.” Clinton, turning 80 this year, leads the show with verve and extreme funkfulness. – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: 7pm, Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. $59.50-$89.50. 510.302.2250.




Justin Brown was once a Berkeley High graduate who walked away from a full scholarship at Juilliard to plunge into the New York jazz scene. Now, he’s a masterly drummer treasured by fellow musicians for his musicality and adaptability. In recent years, he’s played on Bay Area stages with pianist Gerald Clayton and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, a fellow Berkeley High alum. Brown, a formidable composer and sound designer in his own right, has gathered a cast of close compatriots to present a night of original music. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 7pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $30-$59. 510.238.9200.



Get ready to pirouette in a snowstorm with Oakland Fairyland’s charming Puppet Company in a family-friendly performance of the beloved holiday classic. They’ll be accompanied by members of the SF Chamber Orchestra and an eclectic cast of handmade puppets, including a miniature skating bear, an Arabian green serpent, a Russian folk dancer, clown-like Chinese performers, a young Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and, of course, the requisite Nutcracker and Head Mouse with swords. The chamber ensemble’s rendering of excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic score is impeccable. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: 11am, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley, Free. 510.644.2020.




Katatonia is a band that isn’t afraid to evolve. Originally founded in 1991 as a death metal duo, the aughts saw them transform into a prog metal quintet with melodic—and often operatic—vocals. They’ve embraced change over the years while the original duo, Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström, maintain the band’s core identity over a dozen studio albums and countless world tours. This last year saw their 12th album, Sky Void of Stars, hit the ears of metalheads and received critical acclaim from metal publications Metal Hammer, Metal Injection and Blabbermouth. – MW

INFO: 7:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $35/adv, $40/door. 510.214.8600.




No need to stress the limited seating when Kes brings their Caribbean party to the stage, as you’ll be busy dancing, or at least swaying, to the band’s sonic sweep. It’s a natural response to the cool “soca” vibe and upbeat energy emanating from these high-caliber musicians, including band leader and vocalist Kees Dieffenthaller, known individually as Kes; his brothers Jon (guitar) and Hans (drums); and their lifelong friend, bassist Riad Boochoon. Kes has collaborated with Snoop Dogg, Wizkid, Major Lazer and many others since forming in 2005. In 2020, the band brought their stage show to the “live-in-studio” album, We Home. Livestream broadcasts throughout the world catapulted Kes into global awareness. – LF

INFO: 8pm, UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. $35. 510.356.4000.



Snow Strippers is an EDM duo formed by producer Graham Perez and vocalist Tatiana Schwaninger based in Detroit. After a hot SXSW appearance, they’ve emerged as the latest cool, fresh act in the underground music scene. Their early aughts sound is irresistibly catchy, blending influences from electroclash and hyperpop into a dreamy yet propulsive mix. Likable and joyfully sleazy, Snow Strippers make music for blasting with friends, vibing in your car and unbridled dancing. – SB

INFO: 8pm, New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. $25. 510.227.8177.


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