Friday 2/16

Festival

Fremont Mardi Gras

Kick off the Mardi Gras weekend in a neighborhood well known for its year-long revelers, though this time they're out and about in the streets as well as in 36th Street's music hot spots. The sixth annual Masquerade Ball, which benefits the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, pays tribute to that city's party style with the Tips'n'dales Brass Band leading a conga line through the venues before the bands play. New Orleans–bred event organizer Brent McCrossen has commissioned giant theater masks and life-size voodoo dolls to give the spaces more flair. Musical highlights include the Bad Things (whose highlyentertaining, "traditional postapocalyptic" music can be seen regularly at Jules Maes and the Can Can) and legendary local singer/steel guitar player Baby Gramps, who The New York Times wrote sounds like "Popeye after smoking an entire tin of Prince Albert." The Living Daylights, Left Hand Smoke, and Troll's Cottage round out the weekend's entertainment. High Dive, 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212, www.highdiveseattle.com. Nectar, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020, www.nectarlounge.com. $10–$12 with mask, costume, or beads; $15 otherwise. 8:30 p.m. (Also Sat., Feb. 17.) RACHEL SHIMP

visual art

Artifakt Art Show

In the basement of Pioneer Square's Howard Building is a cluster of new photography studios called the F-Stop, as well as a gallery and lounge where tonight's art party—including DJs, live painting, and a video screening—takes place. There's surprising variety among the eight featured artists, including painter Chris Sheridan, who participated in the last Artifakt (in December). If his "crow-string-death" series of oils (Of the Baptist is pictured here) was a glass of wine, you might say it was bursting with ripe, jammy flavors and a hint of tobacco—meaning the pieces are incredibly vibrant, and slightly dangerous. The imagery (skulls, crows,human hands clenched or reaching) is simple, but Sheridan's arrangements and perspective are unique. Kate Protage's oils are like viewing a nighttime cityscape without your glasses, which gives a pleasing sense of disorientation. Illustrator Andrea Wicklund, who has both Rolling Stone and the Wall Street Journal on her résumé, contributes fantastic portraits; and photographers Rob Ripley and Scott Fleig show off quality work. Where have these interesting artists been hiding? For tonight, anyway, find them underground. F-Stop Studios, 614 First Ave., 442-4444. $7. 21 and over. 9 p.m. RACHEL SHIMP

 
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