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The Do List: Listen to Our Weekend Picks for Aug. 15–22

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The Jacka onstage at the New Parish in Oakland. (Pendarvis Harshaw/KQED)

It’s time for the weekend!

Looking for things to do in the Bay Area? Listen to KQED Arts’ Gabe Meline and Nastia Voynovskaya discuss their critic’s picks for this weekend at the audio link above, and read about each event below.

Godspeed You Black Emperor: Before a legion of mainstream copycats came along, this large collective pioneered the sprawling instrumental indie music you now hear in Hollywood movies and Nike commercials, recording cassettes on tiny labels and selling anarchist literature at their shows. Their shows are always at beautiful venues when they’re in the Bay Area, and this show is no exception: it’s at the 98-year-old Castro Theater in San Francisco on Sunday, Aug. 18. Details here.

The Jacka ‘Tear Gas’ Tribute Show: For the ten-year anniversary of The Jacka’s classic Tear Gas album, a wild lineup of former collaborators pay tribute, including Andre Nickatina, Freeway, J. Stalin, Paul Wall and pretty much the rest of his old group Mob Figaz. The Jacka was killed in Oakland in 2015, and really, the memorials haven’t stopped since. This one’s special, on Thursday, Aug. 15, at the (soon-to-be-office-space) Mezzanine in San Francisco. Details here.

‘The 39 Steps’: For this masterful adaptation of the Alfred Hitchcock film, the cast is just four people, playing multiple parts in a frenzied, madcap fashion. It’s not at all like the suspense-filled movie, and that’s the point; it’s played in London for years to rave reviews. Here, it’s presented in the Bay Area by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, who earlier this year won the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater Company. It opens Wednesday, Aug. 21, and runs through Sept. 22, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Details here.


Festival of Infinite Imagination: Pro Arts, the gallery in downtown Oakland, has become a really vital venue for experimental music lately, and it hosts this three-day festival presented by the Topsy Turvy Queer Circus, led by India Sky Davis. It features the work of six black queer and transgender artists, including the singer Spellling, who’s premiering a brand new performance-slash-installation piece called “The Spider Heart.” It runs runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15–17, both inside Pro Arts gallery and outdoors in Frank Ogawa Plaza. Details here.

Wayne Hancock: Country music is in the air: We have “Old Town Road” topping the charts for 19 weeks in a row, pop stars are wearing cowboy hats left & right. But if you want the real deal? You’ll want to check out Wayne Hancock, who’s more Hank Williams than Hank Williams Jr., and who’s been on a tour of juke joints and old saloons since the 1990s. He’s in Santa Rosa this week, playing a free show in the scenic backyard of the radio station KRSH on Thursday, Aug. 22. Details here.

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