The Do List: Rebirth Brass Band, Holiday Train Ride and More for Nov. 14–21

4 min
Rebirth Brass Band. (Basin Street Records)

Looking for things to do in the Bay Area this weekend? The Do List has you covered with concerts, festivals, exhibitions, plays, performances and more.

You can listen to this week's episode with KQED's Gabe Meline, Grace Cheung and Nastia Voynovskaya above, or read about our picks below.

The Rebirth Brass Band: You might have seen the Rebirth Brass Band in the TV show Tremé—they're one of the best brass bands in New Orleans, and definitely one of the longest-running. But its not like they're a dusty, old-fashioned ensemble upholding a bygone tradition. Some of their younger family members have been well-known rappers in New Orleans, so they incorporate hip-hop into their music, and their club appearances are full-on sweaty dance parties. The Rebirth Brass Band play Thursday and Friday, Nov. 14 and 15, at the Starline Social Club in Oakland (details here) and on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Mezzanine in San Francisco (details here).

Rexx Life Raj: There’s something about Rexx Life Raj’s new album, Father Figure 3: Somewhere Out There, that makes you want to break out your journal and reflect on where you’ve been and where you're going. He’s a truly gifted lyricist who writes with such a relatable openness and vulnerability. Rexx Life Raj is from Berkeley, and he’s been on the come-up in recent years, building up his cult following through lyrical honesty rather than going viral through some gimmick. He plays Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Independent in San Francisco. Details here.

Holiday Train Ride: It's one of the best times of the year: repeat Polar Express viewing season! And if you’re already feeling the holiday spirit creep up on you, the Napa Valley Wine Train is doing a special holiday-themed ride that sounds like a real-life Polar Express experience. Under their new ownership, the wine train has been doing a bunch of these themed rides, like murder mystery dinners and beer tasting trips. This Christmas-themed one includes hot chocolate, cookies, and a Santa on board. It runs from Nov. 19 through the end of the year. Details here.

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50th Anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz: It’s the anniversary of an important event in Bay Area history this month: the Native American occupation of Alcatraz in 1969. For 19 months, 89 American Indians and supporters took up residence on Alcatraz to protest the treatment of indigenous peoples by the U.S. government. Many of the original occupants are still alive, and next week, some of them will get together to tell their stories of organizing and living on the island. That includes adults from three different tribes, as well as two participants who were children on the island in 1969. That’s on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the main branch of the public library in San Francisco. Details here.

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