The weekend is almost here. Hooray!
Looking for things to do? Listen to KQED Arts’ Gabe Meline and Nastia Voynovskaya discuss their event picks at the audio link above, or read about each event below.
Les Blank Documentaries: We're coming off of a mini heat wave here in the Bay Area, so our first pick is to get inside a cool movie theater for some brilliant documentaries. Specifically, Les Blank’s film Del Mero Corazón, which traces the history of Tex-Mex and norteño music along the Mexico-U.S. border. Les Blank, of course, was a master documentarian; most people know his film Burden of Dreams, about the making of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, but his music documentaries are essential. Along with its sister film, Chulas Fronteras, the films are screening around the Bay Area with in-person intros from Blank’s son, Harrod, and Chris Strachwicz from Arhoolie Records. They’re at the three Rialto locations, the Roxie, and the Rafael Film Center, and they run from Sept. 25–28. Details here.
Rolling Loud: This is the biggest rap festival in the country, and it’s returning to Oakland this weekend. Oakland’s own G-Eazy is one of the headliners alongside Migos, Future and Lil Uzi Vert. What we love about Rolling Loud is how their lineup juxtaposes mainstream stars with local artists and underground stars from across the country. Saweetie is definitely on the list of people to see, as well as Vallejo’s Nef the Pharaoh and Berkeley’s Rexx Life Raj. That’s in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, and runs Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29. Details here.
'Triptych: Eyes of One on Another': Robert Mapplethorpe was not a photographer you come across everyday. Before his death from complications related to AIDS, Mapplethorpe was in the middle of the Reagan-era culture wars with his explicit photos of naked gay men. The musician Bryce Dessner grew up during the controversy, which obviously had a big effect on him; he’s created a multi-sensory show of music, words, and visuals called Triptych: Eyes of One on Another in homage to Mapplethorpe, with collaborations including Essex Hemphill and Mapplethorpe's old partner Patti Smith. It runs at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley on Sept. 28, and also at Stanford’s Memorial Auditorium on Oct. 3. Details here and here.