This Week’s Day-by-Day Picks

WED 4/30

In an unusual show of implemental cannibalism, Berkeley artist Jim Rosenau gives old books a second, slightly less literary life with his Second Editions — bookshelves made out of books. A construction worker, teacher, comedy writer, software designer, and parade-float architect (his creations are consistent crowd-wowers at the How Berkeley Can You Be fest), Rosenau is fervent about the care and upkeep of the books themselves, not just their wordy contents. His Second Editions are sturdy enough to support normal shelf-loads. “Though they can easily support a full shelf of books,” he writes on his Web site (, they deserve greater exposure. Don’t bury them under their own kind.” Rosenau’s work, including his Second Editions, can be seen through June 10 in a show titled No, But I Sawed the Book, on view at Ozzie’s Soda Fountain (College and Russell, Berkeley). — Stefanie Kalem

THU 5/1

Traveling can be a frightening thing, and not just in these troubled times. There’s a lot to think about — where to go, who to go with, how much to spend, and what to pack. That last thing is often the most irritating, the last thing most travelers do, and the last one that many think about. Is it any wonder that we all bring too many or too few pairs of shoes on our treks? Well, REI (1338 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley) has just the cure for both hyper- and hypopacking syndromes. At 7 p.m., Ruth Tretbar offers a Free Packing Class, offering tips on what to pack, how to pack it, and what to pack it in. The expert rambler will also make suggestions on choosing a destination and researching the details. Call 510-527-4140 for further details. — Stefanie Kalem

FRI 5/2

Taken out of its hairdresser context, the word “salon” conjures up images of intellectuals and sophisticates enjoying art and conversation in an atmosphere of camaraderie and relaxed reflection. With Adrian’s Music Salon, violinist, singer, and songwriter Adrian West is trying to take the word back from the colorists and aestheticians who have spirited it away. Tonight at 8 p.m., he presents the Alexis Harte band, an upbeat, folky foursome that West happens to be a part of, and Kenni, a Berklee College of Music graduate backed by singer Anne Schrager and stand-up bassist and singer Joshua Zucker. The monthly event takes place at the Jazz House (né TUVA Space), 3192 Adeline St., Berkeley. Admission is $8, snacks and refreshments are available, and the salons are all-ages. Call Adrian at 510-531-6560 for more information. — Stefanie Kalem

SAT 5/3

Ever since the release of the movie and soundtrack Buena Vista Social Club back in 1996, Afro-Cuban jazz has surfed a still-cresting wave of popularity in this country. It seems that people have finally begun to discover that not only is the combination of Latin and African grooves muy bueno!, but the genre has also produced a boatload or two of stellar musicians. Case in point: the Afro-Cuban All-Stars, led by tres player Juan de Marcos Gonzalez (a core member of Buena Vista Social Club). Joining him tonight and Sunday at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall (510-642-0212) will be a seventeen-piece, multigenerational big-band ensemble, representing the cream of the Cuban musician crop. The All-Stars play it big, and they play it thorough, with a range of styles including son montuno, timba, bolero, danzón, and guajira. — Eric K. Arnold

SUN 5/4

You don’t really need an excuse to have a fiesta — but it doesn’t hurt either. Cinco de Mayo is the historic date of Mexico’s independence from Spain, which makes for a pretty damn good reason to party down to salsa music for five-and-a-half hours straight. The Shattuck DownLow Lounge, which has been hosting monthly salsa events, is the place to be on cuatro de mayo (Monday, the 5th, is a work day), starting at 4 p.m. In addition to live music from Tito Garcia y su Orquesta la Internacional, there will be dance exhibitions from several local salsa companies, food, and of course a full bar for all your beverage needs. You might be a little hungover by the time the actual Cinco de Mayo rolls around, but the pounding in your head (not to mention your sore feet) will all be worth it. — Eric K. Arnold

MON 5/5

Always a sure bet for the best in metromania, tonight’s installment of the Last Word poetry series should be no exception. In Red Clay Is Talking, a collection by featured reader Naomi Lowinsky, the poet searches for the feminine in all its shapes and forms, in language that Diane Di Prima calls “the colors of bright detail softened under moonglow.” The evening’s other special guest is Patrick Hunt, and there will be, as always, an open mic. Last Word takes place between 7 and 9 p.m. at Pegasus Books Downtown (2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley). Admission is free. Info: 510-649-1320. — Stefanie Kalem

TUE 5/6

Fans of silent film icons, psychology, eccentricity, and just plain fabulous writing, take note: Stories of Love and Neuroses is for you. Originally conceived by the recently deceased — and sorely missed — local author Amanda Davis, the chapbook is a celebration of both Rudolph Valentino and Sigmund Freud, who happen to share a birthday: today. Contributors Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys), his wife, Ayelet Waldman (The Big Nap, Playdate with Death), and Daniel Handler (The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth) will all be on hand to read from new work. It all goes down at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Ave., Oakland, and all proceeds from the sale of the book will go to 826 Valencia, San Francisco’s McSweeney’s-affiliated writing and tutoring center for kids. 510-653-9965. — Stefanie Kalem


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