Through March 25 - Steuart Pittman: The Twist at Traywick Contemporary. Pittman's gorgeous abstracted forms are inspired by the architecture of Oakland, and in his color choices you can imagine the faded paint of the warehouses on Mandela Parkway. Don't miss the titles of his artworks either; one in particular made me laugh out loud in the gallery.
Through March 19 - Eclipsed at the Curran. Written by Danai Gurira, who when she's not being a badass on The Walking Dead is also a seriously amazing playwright, Eclipsed takes you deep inside the lives of five women during the recent Liberian civil war. Unforgettable performances from an all-woman cast, extraordinary production design, and history that needs to be better-known outside of Africa -- I cannot recommend this play highly enough.
Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's classic manga comes to splatterrific life in the six Lone Wolf and Cub films, recently released by Criterion and watched in quick succession by me. Tomisaburo Wakayama is perfectly stoic as samurai-for-hire Itto Ogami, while Akihiro Tomikawa as his young son Daigoro glares down any and all opponents -- or stabs them in the stomach with a random weapon from his perambulator. Originally released between 1972 and 1974, the movies have some aspects (ahem gender roles) that have not aged so well, but their over-the-top attitude is hard to deny.
My favorite resistance tool Daily Action just started a book club, and I was beyond psyched they chose David France's How to Survive a Plague as their inaugural selection. Living in the Bay Area the AIDS crisis still feels very close, and this is a true survivor's tale, rich with historical insight, from someone who was on the front lines. Read the book, watch this interview with France. And next up for the Daily Action book club: Matthew Desmond's Evicted!
Last week I was shocked to find out my dead friend Glenn had passed away suddenly, and my entire community has been rocked by the news. I can still barely type it out; it doesn't seem real. Besides being the kindest soul, a sharp wit, and a bon vivant, Glenn was a talented and passionate musician, always popping by my Facebook page to banter with me about music or to make some obscure Blur reference that made me laugh. Many many years ago he organized a group of two dozen geeks into making a 24-hour playlist, and the results are posted for posterity here. He's pogo, I'm nightfall.