The Weekly Wire: This Week's Notable Events

THURSDAY 4/2Books/True Crime: Drift WisdomHere's the guy to find your severed feet. As featured in our recent cover story ("Where the Feet Have No Name," Dec. 9), retired former UW oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer is the go-to man for tracking body parts and other flotsam. And now, with former SW stalwart Eric Scigliano, he's written a guide to drifting debris, Flotsametrics and the Floating World (Collins, $26.99). In addition to the mysterious floating feet found off Vancouver Island, Ebbesmeyer is immersed in the sea, specializing in its movements. He tracks surface currents and such watery curiosities as floating garbage patches and container spills to determine flow patterns. His unique research has helped such institutions as oil companies and the City of Seattle's sewage-treatment division chart the fateful drift of their products. He's an environmentalist who says of the ocean's floating clumps of plastic, "The patches are twice the size of Texas. We dump this garbage, and it ends up in the sea. Basically, we're poisoning ourselves." But go ahead and ask him about the feet. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, www.townhallseattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m. RICK ANDERSONDance: Final StepsIn the best of worlds, Australian choreographer Tanja Liedtke would be onstage with her colleagues for the Seattle premiere of construct, her multiple-exposure view of building "a home, a relationship, a life." But in the world we inhabit, Liedtke has now been dead two years, killed in a Sydney traffic accident at the age of 29. She left behind a small, intriguing body of work. In her choreography, construct included, you can see traces of her dance experience with the theatrically dynamic group DV8 and the big physicality of the Australian Dance Theatre. Tonight's performance (through Saturday) features three dancers in a love triangle, with DJ TR!P supplying the sound and music. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9888, www.ontheboards.org. $24. 8 p.m. SANDRA KURTZClassical: Brass MenagerieOne of the warmest ovations I've ever heard for a piece of new music in Benaroya Hall greeted Samuel Jones' 2006 Tuba Concerto, a sweeping, colorful showcase for a neglected, unfairly stereotyped instrument. (A CD of the work, with soloist Chris Olka, has just been released by Naxos.) A horn concerto for John Cerminaro followed last season, and third in the series, to be premiered this weekend by the Seattle Symphony, is Jones' Trombone Concerto. Commissioned by Charles and Benita Staadecker and subtitled Vita accademica, the work evokes Charles' years at Cornell with musical allusions to a college alma mater and marching-band football weekends, and fully exploits the mastery of SSO principal trombonist Ko-ichiro Yamamoto. Jones says, "He has this magnificent, heraldic sound... then in addition, he has the most incredible, beautiful legato trombone tone I've ever heard. I wanted to particularly capitalize on that in the slow movement; he's accompanied entirely by muted strings, and he sounds like one of them! On top of that, he has technique to burn." Brahms' Violin Concerto, with soloist Vadim Repin, and David Diamond's whizbang Rounds for strings fill out the program (through Sunday); Gerard Schwarz conducts. Benaroya Hall, Third Ave. and Union St., 215-4747, www.seattlesymphony.org. $17–$102. 7:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERTFRIDAY 4/3Music: Don't Fence Them InHas "freedom" ever fallen out of fashion in America? Short answer: No. But during the past height of Bushmania, there's no question it came dangerously close. That's what makes this pairing of Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson so potent. Having served time for armed robbery in San Quentin during the late '50s, Haggard learned to appreciate freedom—meaning its absence—from an early age. Prison is bound to change your perspective, as it surely did Haggard's music. He's a no-bullshit artist whose songbook is quintessentially American: sometimes liberal, sometimes conservative, always confusing. Kristofferson, on the other hand, has never been in prison (instead, he was a Rhodes Scholar). But he's spent his entire musical career exploring what it means to be free in America. His 1969 debut gave us one of the finer lyrics on the matter ("Freedom ain't worth nothin', but it's free," from "Me and Bobby McGee"), and his latest album, This Old Road, maintains that blunt, clear-headed outlook. Most would agree that both men are living legends, but only Haggard is considered a giant of American music. This tour should prove that Kristofferson is at least on his way to being one too. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 467-5510, www.theparamount.com. $45–$65. 8 p.m. BRIAN J. BARRBooks: Give Her ShelterWhat is it about Portland? For the first half of Peter Rock's fifth novel, My Abandonment (Houghton Mifflin, $22), I felt like I was reading a prologue to Kelly Reichardt's acclaimed film Wendy and Lucy. That 2008 movie, like Rock's new book, is set among the homeless down-and-outs you might find sleeping in their cars or in a city park. They're both tales from the New Recession, whose heroines lack proper ID or a fixed address. Both shun the law, but for different reasons. But while Michelle Williams played an older, somewhat savvier woman on screen, My Abandonment—already optioned as a movie—is narrated mostly by a girl of 13. Rock bases her account partly on a real family, father and daughter, discovered five years ago in Portland's Forest Park. (Later in the book, there are traces of other news headlines.) Bookish and curious, Caroline at first appears to be living in a kind of natural idyll—like a wood sprite who wanders barefoot, climbs trees, and grows her own vegetables. She only ventures into downtown Portland with care and deception, disguising herself and her identity, at the behest of her strict guardian. Yet as the novel loops back in time, this seemingly resourceful girl is shown to be just as vulnerable as Wendy. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 624-6600, www.elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLERFilm: Shock ValuesBehind Pier Paolo Pasolini's ribald trifecta—through April 23—of ripe teenage backsides, golden-skinned ephebes, and naughty nuns lies a melancholy philosophy, in which the ephemeral joys of sex and love are inextricable from social power-brokering and street-level flimflam. This three-week retrospective begins with 1974's Arabian Nights, which presents an Orientalist epic shot in locales of exotic architecture in Yemen, India, Nepal, Ethiopia, and Iran. The late Italian director (1922–75) retains the nested matryoshka-doll narrative of the original tales, each sub-story becoming increasingly fantastic. Though the film remains wary of beauty's lure, its framing romance allows for an ideal of true love (albeit between a man and his female slave) set within a sandy porntopia worthy of Bowles and Burroughs. It's followed by Salo (12 Days of Sodom) and The Canterbury Tales, two more works of literature adapted to the newfound erotic freedoms of early-'70s cinema (also X-rated at the time). Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, www.grandillusioncinema.org. $5–$8. 6 and 8:30 p.m. ED HALTERSATURDAY 4/4Comics: Meet Maggie's DadIf you're looking for a break from the annual excitement that is the Emerald City ComiCon (today and Sunday at the Convention Center), venture south to Georgetown, where a slightly, ahem, older demo will gather for a reception featuring Jaime Hernandez. The famed co-creator of the Love and Rockets series (with brother Gilbert), Hernandez also inks solo strips. But working alone or in tandem, he'll always be associated with the '80s-originated breakout success of L&R. That ongoing franchise has featured heroines Maggie and Hopey from their young punk days to their mature wisdom and current adventures in a slightly skewed L.A. At the same time, L&R has incorporated sci-fi tales, superheroes at the strip mall, and an entire alternate-reality Latin-American mythology set in the enchanted village of Palomar (where women are forever strong and sexy, and men forever meek pipsqueaks). It's a mutable universe that skips between characters at older and younger stages of life, where buxom pro-wrestling queens, spaceship mechanics, and touring hardcore bands buoyantly intersect. No one stays lost for long; no grievance goes unforgotten; and deep-fried jungle slugs forever remain a delicacy. Hernandez is joined by Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo) and Paul Hornschemeier (Mother, Come Home). Work from the first two artists remains on view through May 6. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 1201 S. Vale St., 658-0110, www.fantagraphics.com. Free. 6–9 p.m. BRIAN MILLERMONDAY 4/6Tavern Sports: Operating TablesJillian's, the Sunset Tavern, ping-pong, Doctors Without Borders, and hairstylists are not often ingredients found in the same event-planning stew. But allow us to explain: Nasrin Shir is a hairstylist at Soci Hair Studio, where she cuts Sunset Tavern owner Max Genereaux's gorgeous blonde locks on a regular basis. When last he visited Shir, she told him of her desire to put on a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders, and Genereaux volunteered to help. Enter Jillian's, the South Lake Union billiards hall known as a favorite hangout of former Sonic Gary Payton, whose yacht, The Glove, was once moored nearby. While it's best recognized for pool, Jillian's has a pair of ping-pong tables tucked away on its upper level. Tonight and Tuesday, all of the above forces will collide as Jillian's hosts a pool and ping-pong tournament to benefit Doctors Without Borders. (When you make your donation, think of the injured kids they treat in Iraq and Afghanistan.) Thanks to Genereaux, there will be live music. Karmic bandwagons like this don't come by too often. Hop on. Jillian's Billiards Club, 731 Westlake Ave. N., 223-0300. 4–9 p.m. MIKE SEELY

 
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