Hempfest, Karrin Allyson, and More

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

FAMILY FUN

HEMPFEST

Let's start with the obvious: Hempfest is not a mass invitation to sit in the park all weekend and get stoned. It is, in essence, an invitation to get stoned first and then go sit in the park all weekend. Still, fest organizers have taken pains in recent years to ensure that it's a family-friendly event: You'll find a collection of retail and food booths and music stages that differs little from the other summer street fairs in Seattle. But all the good vibes and mellow police presence in the world cannot disguise or water down two essential facts: Hempfest's central purpose is to celebrate (and push for legalization of) an illegal substance; and it has become the largest annual gathering of hippies north of the Oregon Country Fair. If you want to find out how remarkably useful and versatile a plant hemp really is, enjoy a variety of mostly folk- and rock-oriented music acts, tune in and drop out (for a weekend! for a lifetime!), or see what the counterculture looks like after 35 years of (sometimes) evolution, Hempfest is for you. Sat., Aug. 16-Sun., Aug. 17. Myrtle Edwards Park. 206-781-5734, hempfest.org. GEOV PARRISH

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY

JAZZ

KARRIN ALLYSON

I tried to resist her; I tried. But Karrin Allyson has a style so genuine, affectless, beautifully versatile and sexy that she overcame even my jazz chanteuse prejudices. Her latest "concept" record (following the 2001 disc of Coltrane ballads and 1999's bossas and chansons) is a collection of 13 tunes called In Blue, and while a few of her efforts at bluesin' it up produce cringe-worthy clich鳬 she, for the most part, expertly draws out a stirring range of moodsa lustful shout on "Love Me Like a Man," a sober purr on "The Meaning of the Blues," a great touch of Joni Mitchell on "Blue Motel Room." If you like jazz, there's no way not to like her. Trust me, I've tried. 8 p.m. Wed., Aug. 13; 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 14-Sat., Aug. 16; 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sun., Aug. 17. $18.50-$22.50. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 206- 441-9729. MARK D. FEFER

FRIDAY

READINGS

FIROOZEH DUMAS

Each chapter of her new memoir, Funny in Farsi (Villard, $21.95), is an anecdote: amusing, hilarious, sometimes sidesplitting. Woven together, they create a picture of an immigrant Iranian girl and her family all struggling to find their way and place in Southern California. Dumas pokes fun at her mother's verb-less English, her uncle's fascination with infomercial weight-loss gadgets, and her father's love for free samples. Her kind words for America are reassuring at a time when few foreigners have anything good to say about this country, but are interspersed with accounts of racism and prejudice that will make you hang your head, despiteor because of?her light, forgiving tone. Dumas has you both laughing and examining your conscience. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Aug. 15. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 206- 624-6600. KENNEDY LEAVENS

SATURDAY

OUTDOOR CINEMA

ALIENS

"Game over, man! Game over!" With panicky Bill Paxton and the rest of his military squad quaking in fear around her, leave it to Sigourney Weaver (pictured with Carrie Henn) to again save the day in James Cameron's flat-out brilliant 1986 sci-fi/feminist/monster movie. It's a showdown between mothers: Weaver's Ripley, returning to the now-colonized planet where she battled the lone alien in '79, versus the alien queen and her burgeoning brood of acid-fanged, rip-ya-apart, double-jawed spawn. I don't care how big a jerk Cameron may be post-Titanic; he shows top-of-the-world form here, impeccably constructing action sequences that are by turns terrifying, funny, and terrifying again. Sunset, Sat., Aug. 16. $5. Fremont Outdoor Movies, North 35th Street and North Phinney Avenue, 206-781-4230. BRIAN MILLER

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

VISUAL ARTS

VERGE

SPACE, the Magnuson Park arts advocacy group headed by Katie Kurtz, hopes to turn Sand Point's Building 18 into artist studios and a gallery, and this two-day indoor/outdoor exhibit will ring the structure like a halo of its future glory. Postmod architects Daniel Mihalyo and Annie Han have affixed a discontinuous stairwell onto the side of the building's hose tower like a rest stop on the way into the unknown (see photo); Lauren Woodward and Janice Nyman have woven rebar, invasive English Ivy, and other onsite materials into an ephemeral structure that will then be mulched or burned back into the earth; and UW ceramics program grad Charles McHale has suspended a sphere of pigeon feathers and lead weights from the building's west bay. Sat., Aug. 16-Sun., Aug. 17 during regular park hours. Reception: Sat., Aug. 16, 7 p.m.-midnight. Building 18, Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., 206-522-9529. DAVID STOESZ

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