Arts & Entertainment in Berkeley


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Just like the organism from which it takes its name, Amoeba Music?s stock of tunes has no definite form. At each location, expert music gurus?many of them musicians themselves, all of them record-store veterans and dedicated sonic obsessives?amass thousands of new and used CDs and LPs from the most mainstream artists to the most obscure underground bands around. LPs, posters, and memorabilia surround the musical inventory, which, like Ringo Starr?s pants, changes every day. Amoeba buys goods from customers, meaning that on any given day the store might usher in a rare vinyl LP, DVD, VHS, or even LaserDisc. Visitors can sign up for any number of contests while admiring Amoeba?s enduring dedication to its green practices and community outreach. Amoeba couples its huge selection of entertainment with visits from the artists themselves, welcoming past guests such as Paul McCartney, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, and Elvis Costello to play in-store.
2455 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley,
CA
US
The staff at Good Vibrations aren't salespeople—they're SESAs, or Sex Educator-Sales Associates. The title was invented by the store to reflect not only the rigorous training that the employees go through, but also the open and empowering attitude that they project. They encourage questions about the stock of romantic accouterments, and dispense safe, respectful advice on enhancing erotic play. For the SESAs, knowledge is a stepping stone to pleasure. They've even employed the same sexologist and historian—Dr. Carol Queen—for more than 20 years to host a regular "Ask the Doctors" class. Above all, the staff keeps a warm and welcoming shop—a characteristic that automatically distinguished Good Vibrations from its counterparts when it opened in 1977. Its philosophies have garnered the company plenty of press accolades since opening. Extending the positive, forward-thinking ethos beyond the shop's walls, the company has committed to environmentally friendly wares with its Ecorotic collection of natural lubricants—as well as eco-friendly packaging. The shop is also stocked with candles, costumes, and lingerie with the Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco locations carrying their largest supply of nightwear.
2504 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley,
CA
US
The affable and capable instructors at Baubles and Beads expertly guide students along the path of successful stringmanship in three-hour classes. Students in the Basic Stringing class acquire the introductory skills of bead stringing, learning material selection, design basics, and finishing techniques, and leaving the course with a newly-fashioned bracelet and a firmer understanding of string theory. The Basic Wire Work class imparts the fundamentals of wire wielding with lessons in loop-making techniques such as earring construction, simple loops, and wire-wrapped loops. All necessary materials, including beads, wires, strings, and ornament-ready floss, are included in both classes.
1676 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley,
CA
US
Circulating the best used offerings of world literature, the shelves of Black Oak Books keep readers armed to the teeth with an omnibus of genre-spanning tomes. Black Oak's attentive booksellers steer bibliomaniacs through a labyrinth of lexicons, including mass-market paperbacks at half their cover price (around $2.50–$4.50), fiction and sci-fi books (around $6–$11, excluding special or first editions), and math reads to remind voracious bookworms what numbers look like. New York Times bestsellers and Newbery Medal & Honor winners frequent the book shelves, and children’s books ($2.50–$7) round out an expansive in-store collection with the vast majority of items costing under $30.
2618 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley,
CA
US
A magazine about canine culture, The Bark melds readable articles about animal behavior and health with the pooch-related ponderings of writers including Augusten Burroughs, Ann Patchett, and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Mary Oliver. Subscribers who read the current issue out loud to their bibliophilic bichon frise can absorb an article by Camille Ward and Barbara Smuts, which focuses on how dogs resolve conflicts, or snicker at Rex and the City author Lee Harrington's sly skewering of a dog lover's foibles in "The Chloe Chronicles."
2810 8th St
Berkeley,
CA
US
Since the shop opened in 1974, Frame-O-Rama's team has mastered all sorts of techniques to preserve family photos, works of art, and other frame-able objects. "We've framed ceremonial objects such as christening gowns and shoes, and African walking sticks. My personal favorite was a signed Willie Mays baseball with a signed and mounted print of him playing stickball back in Brooklyn," Frame-O-Rama manager Matt Miller said in an interview with SFGate. See below for more details on their various techniques. Closed-Corner Handcrafted Frames: Closed-corner frames are Frame-O-Rama's specialty, as the staff makes the frame moulding out of hardwood or gold and silver. They do everything by hand, including carving wood or leafing metal. Leather-Wrapped Moulding: These frames arrive from Peru?Frame-O-Rama's team adds custom touches, such as stitches or cowboy buckles. Shadow Boxes: Pretty much anything that doesn't require refrigeration or frequent human contact can go in one of Frame-O-Rama's shadow boxes. Framing bugs, sports jerseys, and wedding bouquets are just a few possibilities Matting and glass: Frame-O-Rama uses museum-quality materials, including UV-blocking glass and matting wrapped in all sorts of materials, such as linen or velvet.
2999 College Ave
Berkeley,
CA
US
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