Weekender: Top Things to Do Over the Next Three Days in the East Bay

Hi guys. Hopefully your food hangovers (slash alcohol hangovers let’s be honest) have worn off because there’s actually a bunch of stuff to do if you’re in town this weekend. Funtimez, ahoy!

Plaid Friday
While tartan attire is making something of a comeback (you may have noticed the resurgence of flannel in recent years), donning plaid the day after Thanksgiving is beginning to represent more than just a fashion statement. It’s also the official garb of followers of Plaid Friday — a sort of Black Friday antithesis by which independent businesses hold sales, parties, and other incentives for people to casually peruse their shops in lieu of cramming into notoriously crowded chain stores. As Plaid Friday founder Kerri Johnson summarized it, “Instead of waking up at 4 a.m. to go and stand in a line, you can wake up at noon, get some coffee, wander around and find out who your local business people are.” She said the plaid element is a nod to the colorful mishmash that results when the diverse types of existing small businesses join forces. this year at least fifty businesses, from bars to book stores, are holding formal Plaid Friday sales and celebrations on Friday, November 25; Visit PlaidFriday.com for a list of participating businesses and their offerings. — Cassie Harwood

Los Rakas
That suggestive bilingual remix of Goapele’s “Play” is only a small hint at what Panamanian hip-hop duo Los Rakas can do. Emcees Rico and Dun Dun hail from Veranillo and Panama Viejo, respectively — cities that they compare to North Richmond and East Oakland (where they eventually wound up after immigrating to the US). In other words, they both came up in the barrio, listened to a ton of Caribbean dancehall, studied folkloric music at the behest of their aunties, and ultimately kept it gully. Their group, which also includes Cuban DJ Leydis, is one of several vibrant, polyglot hip-hop acts to emerge in the Bay Area. They incorporate dancehall tracks and son clave rhythms with lyrics that veer from Spanish to English. Even if you aren’t bilingual, the libretti usually aren’t hard to understand. Eres como mi droga: Cocaina! Rico chants in the song “Abrazame,” which filches its beat from reggae-pop artist Gyptian. English speakers, take note: That’s a great pickup line. Los Rakas perform at The New Parish (579 18th St., Oakland) on Friday, Nov. 25. 9 p.m., $10-$15. TheNewParish.com — Rachel Swan


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