.Social Eyes: Week of May 23-29




A unique event celebrating the power and importance of storytelling has found an appropriately cozy home at Sláinte Irish Pub. Holly Shaw of The Comedy Edge has created The Story Edge, a new program featuring speakers who revel in the craft of narrative. This month’s featured storyteller is Oakland’s own Don Reed, a performer and writer with tons of experience under his belt. In 2016, he won NPR/WNYC’s Performance of the Year award for his work on the locally produced podcast Snap Judgment. He is also the creator of several brilliant one-person shows, including DMV and East 14th. – ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: Thu, 7pm, Sláinte Irish Pub, 131 Broadway, Oakland. $10. 510.823.2644.  




For those old enough to remember, the third wave of punk was embodied by the almighty traveling summer festival, Warped Tour. While the lineup constantly changed, certain bands remained staples, like Petaluma’s Tsunami Bomb. Tsunami Bomb rode the wave of pop- and skate-punk cresting in 1998, giving them a fast-flowing momentum until the new-scene kids came in with their feathered hair and rawr faces. But punk rock never truly dies; it only changes, and so did Tsunami Bomb, which reformed with some fresh faces amid the familiar ones. It’ll be a great show for old punks to relive the glory days and for the new generation to see a pillar of Bay Area punk history. – MAT WEIR

INFO: Thu, 6pm, Gilman, 924 Gilman St., Berkeley. $25. 510.524.8180. 




Luis Lopez, New York Comedy Festival’s 2022 Comic to Watch, specializes in humor of the irreverent variety, with ample references to his Latino roots woven in. In one joke, for example, he states, “Racism is bad. But if you’re gonna be racist, I think it also helps if you’re being sexist.” He goes on to get the crowd rollicking over the admission that he would be mad to hear someone say, “Mexicans are crazy,” but keen to jump in with tales of his mom upon hearing them say, “Mexican women are crazy.” There’s a lot to unpack there, folks. – AM

INFO: Fri, 7pm, Alameda Comedy Club, 2431 Central Ave., Alameda. $25. 510.318.1538.




There’s no guarantee that a jukebox musical made up of top hits from America’s beloved all-female pop-rock band will succeed, but cherry-picking which of the Go-Go’s songs to perform helps. Apply the Go-Go’s lyrics to playwright Jeff Whitty’s original book about the 16th-century Renaissance royal family’s search for love and sexual identity, and now we’re getting somewhere. In fact, if that isn’t enough to make a person curious, they may as well go for the solid cast and the chance to revisit the ’80s with royalty instead of Ronald Reagan. – LOU FANCHER

INFO: Fri, 7pm, Berkeley Playhouse, 2640 College Ave., Berkeley. $30. 510.845.8542.




In a celebration of storytelling and blues music, artists Pamela Rose (vocals), Jennifer Jolly (piano), Ruth Davies (bass), Kristen Strom (saxophone), Daria Johnson (drums) and Pat Wilder (guitar) deliver the motherload, or “mother-lode”—as in, the richest stream of sound—through the music of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox and Memphis Minnie. That’s a lot of she/her/they name-dropping. But it’s all central to the show’s mix of music and storytelling about the too-long-forgotten and not-often-celebrated women who shaped the blues. – LF

INFO: Sat, 7pm, Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave., Alameda. $30-$50. 510.865.5060. 




Piratical punk band Gogol Bordello is known for decades of earth-shaking shows designed to jolt audiences out of boredom and complacency. The group has created a truly international punk-rock sound laced with funk, Romani and Ukrainian folk music. As they put it in a handwritten manifesto on their website: “With acts of music, theater, chaos, and sorcery, Gogol confronts the jaded and irony-diseased.” Their latest album, Solidaritine, is themed around support for Ukraine. – SONYA BENNETT-BRANDT

INFO: Sat, 8pm, UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. $42.50. 510.356.4000. 




In a quintessentially Gen Z origin story, beachy indie group Trestles is made up of a group of homies who met online during Covid lockdowns, playing Minecraft late into the night. In 2021, they became Santa Cruz mainstays, then rapidly revved up to a full album in 2022 and a tour in 2023. The group draws on all the best and bounciest parts of surf rock while abstracting away slightly from “hanging 10” and hot rods; instead, lyrics bemoan a rip curl sweatshirt left behind by a lover or glitter left on a steering wheel. – SBB

INFO: Sat, 8pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $16/adv, $18/door. 510.214.8600.




It’s been 365 whole days since the debut of Welcome to Paradise, the Green Day burlesque show presented by Tortured Angels Revue that celebrates one of the Bay’s most notorious bands with a long view over their five-decade career. Hosted by Billie “Hoe” Armstrong and with live music by Mary Jane Mafia, the event features a brain stew of Bay Area performers like Julie Darling, Fannie Sinclair, Maria Von Thirst Trap and many more at a bar known to host several Green Day side projects. But here’s a warning: Don’t be an American idiot by going alone; everyone knows that adding a few friends—or saviors—means having the time of your life and avoiding any 21st-century breakdowns. – MW

INFO: Sun, 7pm, Golden Bull, 412 14th St., Oakland. $10-15. 510.224.5522.




When Cuba’s already threadbare economy collapsed in the early ’90s with the fall of Soviet patronage, a slow-rolling exodus of musicians led to a far-flung network of artists seeking opportunities in other countries. A new book, Cuban Fusion: The Transnational Cuban Alternative Music Scene, by Oakland School for the Arts teacher Dr. Eva Silot Bravo, explores the many transnational collaborations among Cuban musicians that have taken root in the 21st century. Bravo is launching her book with a conversation with Dr. Umi Vaughan and surprise guest musicians for an afternoon of thoughtful discussion, food (from Los Cilantros) and Cuban grooves. – ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: Sun, 12:30pm, La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Free. 510.849.2568.




Straight outta Mexico City, Son Rompe Pera brings the ferocious energy of metal to the incantatory, interlocking rhythm of the marimba, striking the wooden keys with the muscular bravado of a taiko ensemble. Founded and led by brothers Kacho and Mongo Gama, the quintet plays relentless cumbia grooves inflected with their love of danzón, rock, ska and Mexican folk. The result is a thunderous sound that has taken them to festivals worldwide, including last month’s Coachella gathering. – AG

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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

East Bay Express E-edition East Bay Express E-edition