Picks of the Week: Local concerts and genre-bending tracks for the start of spring


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Happy Monday, Berkeley!

Spend this Monday appreciating a little of what the Berkeley community has to offer with the “People’s Park — Fifty Years” exhibition at the Berkeley Historical Society, which opened Sunday. 2019 marks 50 years since the opening of People’s Park in 1969, and the park continues to be an important part of the changing Berkeley landscape, with recent plans announced to develop housing on the land.

On Tuesday, take some time to go to a concert. UC’s Spring Jazz Concert will be happening Tuesday at Freight and Salvage, featuring the three top trios from the UC’s jazz program. If jazz isn’t your thing, Australian dream pop artist Hatchie will be playing Tuesday at The Independent in San Francisco. Tracks off her debut EP Sugar & Spice are all reminiscent of the ’90s tracks that scored the great cinematic classics of the period such as “She’s All That” and “A Walk to Remember.”

In a characteristic “late-to-the-party” recommendation, “Free Solo” is still playing all of this week at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas. As someone who is generally hostile toward nature documentaries, I resisted viewing the movie for a long time, but the Oscar-winning documentary is really one that demands to be watched on the big screen before it leaves theaters for good. If you are looking for something from the other side of the world, just a few blocks away at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, “The Third Murder” will be playing Wednesday. This Japanese courtroom drama from 2017 is part of BAMPFA’s ongoing Hirokazu Kore-eda film series.

Spend Thursday catching up on all the new music released this week. Vampire Weekend released two new songs from its upcoming album. As a new Vampire Weekend fan (yes, I know, it took me a minute), I’ve been loving the newest singles “Unbearably White” and “This Life.” While reading about their new songs, I discovered I’d missed a release of two other singles from a few weeks ago, “Big Blue” and “Sunflower,” which are both excellent as well. The Jonas Brothers also released a new song, “Cool,” with an accompanying video. Ariana Grande released a new song with Victoria Monét, “Monopoly,” with a music video to match. That girl can truly not stop producing new music.

I would be truly remiss if I didn’t give attention to the new Billy Ray Cyrus remix of Lil Nas X’s country-rap song “Old Town Road.” This remix comes on the heels of the track being removed by Billboard from the country charts for not being country enough. Despite slapping as a song, it has also been aggressively memed on the internet and started widespread conversations about everything from the history of Black cowboys to the appropriation of country music.

This week saw the final episode of one of my favorite shows, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” a musical comedy starring and created by Rachel Bloom. Some of my favorite songs from the four-season run are “Settle for Me,” “Let’s Generalize About Men,” “Face Your Fears,” and “You Stupid Bitch.” The first two seasons are some fantastic works of television. Take some time Friday to check them out! Another female-driven comedy, “Jane the Virgin,” returned late last month with the first episode of its new season. I recommend everyone check it out because I need more people to talk about it with! If you are trying to watch something that doesn’t require watching several previous seasons for context, check out “The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann,” which is about a cold case kidnapping from 2007. The documentary series is streaming on Netflix now.

As always, take some time Saturday to check out some of the latest and greatest from The Daily Californian. If you’ve been avoiding Sproul as much as the rest of us over the past few weeks, the Daily Cal’s editorial board has published its list of 20 ASUC Senate candidates who deserve your vote, which you can read safely at home by yourself. Jackson Kim Murphy reviewed the new Zachary Levi superhero movie, “Shazam.” Camryn Bell wins the award for “writer I’m most jealous of” this week, publishing a piece on Ira Glass’ “Seven Things I’ve Learned” talk at Zellerbach Hall. Finally, our arts columnist Areyon Jolivette continues to shock and delight with her weekly column, this time focusing on writing music as a queer woman.

Until next time,


Kate Tinney writes the picks of the week newsletter. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @katetinney.