.EBX Social Eyes: Week of May 2-8

THURSDAY

AMERICANA

MISNER & SMITH

Sam Misner and Megan Smith comprise a folk duo made for the stage, with searching songs made for contemplative drives on an open road. On Thursday, the Northern California-based pair celebrates the release of their sixth studio album, All is Song. After six years and one global pandemic, the record reflects the focus and depth of thought the lockdown days afforded the musicians. They devoted special attention to the storytelling power of nuanced harmonies. “Serving the song became the credo, so we never included a certain line, part or harmony for its own sake,” Misner says. — ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: Thu, 8pm, Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley. $25/adv, $30/door. 510.644.2020.

FRIDAY

AFRO-LATIN JAZZ

THE JOHN SANTOS SEXTET

Afro-Caribbean percussionist John Santos has been playing congas, cajón, timbales and dozens of other percussion instruments for most of his life. Oakland’s musical and political history often influences his music. “Oakland’s blues and funk, with bands like Tower of Power, have stood the test of time,” Santos said. “The idea of resistance and revolution is a major part of my music. Oakland is a Black and brown town, at least traditionally, with the Black Panthers and Angela Davis. She’s an icon and an amazing inspiration to us. So are the Panthers and what they stood for and all the things they did. That’s the kind of political awareness we try to keep present in our music.” – J. POET

INFO: Fri, 8pm and 10pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. 510.238.9200.

FRIDAY

CUBAN FUSION

LA DAME BLANCHE

Cuban singer La Dame Blanche has no problem proclaiming her Afro-Cuban religion. Just as Santeria is a fusion of different religions, La Dame Blanche fuses hip-hop, cumbia, Afrobeat, traditional Cuban and reggae for a sound that is new, fresh and powerfully unique. While she sings and raps in Spanish, a grasp of the language isn’t necessary to feel the potency and conviction in her music. Hosted by Guadalajara hip-hop artist Gina Madrid, this night of strong international artists also features Cuban DJ Leydis, who made Cuba’s first all-woman mixtape, and Krudxs Cubensi, the Oakland-based queer trans nonbinary artivists. Be prepared for a night of empowering inclusivity and enlightening activism, all set to the sound of some sickass beats. — MAT WEIR

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

FRIDAY 

FOLK ROCK

THE MARY WALLOPERS

The Mary Wallopers come by their Irish folk repertoire honestly: brothers Charles and Andrew Hendy and their friend Seán McKenna traveled through the cities and towns of Ireland, going to pubs and collecting songs. Now, joined by the rest of their seven-piece band, they inject that folk tradition with contemporary fervor and rockstar chaos. The radical energy of Irish folk isn’t hard to update for the 21st century—the wry, punchy lyrics about poverty, fascism and corrupt landlords are all too timely—and the Wallopers’ original songs weave right into the warm and wild antiauthoritarian mayhem. — SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: Fri, 9pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $21/adv, $26/door. 510.214.8600.

SATURDAY

METAL

OMEGA FEST

Headbangers, hellraisers and heshers prepare to raise those horns in the air because Omega Fest is coming! Some of the underground scene’s biggest names will descend upon the Bay for a night of battle vests, circle pits—and plenty of hair. Featuring Bay Area godfathers Forbidden and New York crossover daddies Biohazard, Omega Fest also brings Canadian thrashers Exciter to the stage. But that’s just the bloody icing on the slaughter cake as Hellbender, Frolic, Deathgrave, Bewitcher, Hatriot and Warbringer will all have their time to rain tasty riffs and blast heavy beats upon the ears of deranged fans. This inaugural sacrifice will become a legendary show that bald and wrinkly metalheads will discuss for years. — MW

INFO: Sat, 3:30pm, UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. $59. 510.356.4000. 

SATURDAY

FESTIVAL

RAFAEL MANRÍQUEZ FESTIVAL

Rafael Manríquez was a guitarist, songwriter, producer, song curator, singer and poet deeply inspired by the nueva canción movement. A mainstay at La Peña for decades, he often performed with the well-traveled Grupo Raíz, which he co-founded. As a solo artist he focused on his expansive book of original songs, which included the poetry of fellow Chileans Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda. The 10th Annual Rafael Manríquez Festival features various members of the musical clan, including Rafael’s son Manuel Manríquez; daughter Marci Manríquez, the vocalist for the ambient project Duamuxa; and Marci’s children Camila, Morgan and Danielle. — ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: Sat, 7pm, La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $20-$30. 510.849.2568.

SATURDAY

THEATER

JOYFUL RAVEN: BREED OR BUST

Tick, tock, BOOM is the rhythmic soundtrack of biological reproduction when delivered by the Oakland-based award-winning actor, director and “story midwife” performer, Joyful Raven. Bringing her critically acclaimed solo show Breed or Bust from a wild run at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe to the Marsh, Joyful Raven dares to tread the war zone women’s bodies have become. Battles over reproductive choices are fertile ground, pun intended, for her dark and often hilarious investigations of personal and universal topics. No matter how babies are made, it’s sex education, motherhood, women’s bodies and breeding like they never taught you in sixth-grade health class. — LOU FANCHER

INFO: Sat, 8pm, Marsh, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley. $20-100. 510.282.3055.

SUNDAY

AUTHOR EVENT

DAVID SEDARIS

For anyone unfamiliar with the humor writer’s legendary, post-appearance book signings, pack rations as if anticipating a marathon. Sedaris is known and adored for taking time to gaze at—and sometimes remark upon—each person forking out the cash for one of his best-selling books, so bring snacks. Sedaris has mentioned that what he missed most during the pandemic was listening in on people talking during public events. And listen, he does, causing his signature acerbic wit to arrive stitched into a deeply human fabric: funny, warm, tragic, loving, tender, vicious—and everything else people pretend to be or not be. — LF

INFO: Sun, 3pm, Zellerbach Hall, 101 Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley. $38+. 510.642.9988.

SUNDAY

FOLK

MARIEE SIOU

In the realms of psychedelic folk and neofolk, songwriter Mariee Siou has pushed the boundaries of what music can do since her 2007 debut album, Faces in the Rocks. While her ethereal voice and fingerstyle guitar work are delicate, her themes are anything but timid. Siou sings to honor her Indigenous heritage, often incorporating anti-colonialist thought and nuanced meditations on the power of the natural world. Her recent work, 2019’s Grief in Exile and 2023’s Circle of Signs, has found her exploring her place in the ancient tradition of healer-singers for whom music was not entertainment but medicine. — AM

INFO: Sun, 7pm, Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany. $18/adv, $22/door. 510.526.5888. 

SUNDAY

THEATER

GALILEO

If Galileo Galilei had a guitar, would he smash it on stage? According to Michael Weiner and Zoe Sarnak, the answer is “yes,” and it was that punk spirit that guided them as they wrote their original rock score and lyrics for Galileo. This new musical follows the iconoclastic scientist as he makes discoveries that change humanity’s understanding of their place in the universe and defends his findings by speaking truth to power. Four-time Tony Award-nominee Raúl Esparza will bring the rockstar version of Galileo to life in the world-premiere musical at Berkeley Rep, directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer. — SBB

INFO: Sun, 7pm, Roda Theater, 2015 Addison St., Berkeley. $25-$86. 510.647.2949.

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