The Weekly Wire: This Week’s Recommended Events

Thursday 4/9Film: Forever Blue-EyedHow gay is Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? It depends which premiere of Tennessee Williams' 1955 play you first saw, in London or New York, since he rewrote the ambiguous third act. Then director Richard Brooks took a few more liberties with the text for his 1958 film adaptation, which kept the Broadway cast save for two new stars: Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. Having died last September, Newman is the subject of SAM's spring retrospective (Thursdays through June). His Brick is a boozy, self-loathing former football star unable to satisfy his wife sexually. In one reading of the play, he's fixated on the suicide of a teammate, whom he possibly loved. In another, he's fixated on lost youth: 30 years old, unhappily moved from playing field to broadcast booth, reluctant to start a family or join the unseemly fray for the Mississippi estate of his rich, dying father (the very impressive Burl Ives). Nominated for an Oscar, Newman was already battling against typecasting and belittling his blue-eyed good looks. He chips away at postwar masculinity on several fronts: resisting the obvious sexual allure of Taylor, being sensitive while his older brother is a fertile lout, and denying the whole money-grubbing ethos of the Pollitt clan. He rejects what ought to come easy for this Southern golden boy. As Newman, too, resisted the obvious Hollywood path laid out for him. Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, www.seattleartmuseum.org. $58–$65 (series), $7 individual. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLERFriday 4/10Visual Arts: Seven ScenesQuick, try to match an artist to each unidentified painting (or photo) arrayed around the gallery. One through seven, you can choose from Richard Billingham, Cameron Martin, Richard Misrach, Catherine Opie, Joe Park, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Hiroshi Sugito. And no cheating by Googling them on your iPhone. I recommend you start with the large snow scene and proceed clockwise through "Untitled (a Brink of Infinity)," which runs until August 1. What do the images have in common? The curatorial conceit appears to be a shared concern with vanishing horizons and the valance between earth and sky. In the snow scene—I think a digital photo—a ghostly yurt leads the eye to an indistinct line of farm sheds. They're so faint as to be unmoored in space. Fourth in the series, rising waters subsume abandoned trailers and cars as drowned telephone poles jut from the still surface. This photo hints at a new equilibrium to come: Traces of our civilization will sink beneath a mirror reflecting the clouds above, at which point you'll be able to flip the image 180 degrees—and it would look the same. Western Bridge, 3412 Fourth Ave. S., 838-7444, www.westernbridge.org. Free. Noon–6 p.m. BRIAN MILLERPublic Revelry: Cymbals of RebellionHow do you feel about marching bands? In their absolute uniformity of dress and step, do they strike you as a tad, well, militaristic—dare one say, fascist? The organizers of Honk! Fest West like the idea of walking around playing loud instruments, but have scrapped pretty much every other manifestation of conformity for their second annual "radical marching band festival" (through Sunday), gathering more than a dozen bands from up and down this coast to raucously terrorize Ballard (Friday) and Georgetown (Saturday). Under musical and sartorial influences from Carnival to klezmer—and playing Sousa only ironically, if at all—the bands include the Seattle Seahawks' Blue Thunder Drumline, the brand-new Seattle Sounders' Sound Wave, and local troupes Orkestar Zirkonium and the Yellow Hat Band. www.honkfestwest.com. Free. 7 p.m.–midnight. GAVIN BORCHERTSaturday 4/11Sports: Set PointsPlayed at home on the TV, Wii tennis is fun, but sometimes it can be a little too virtual. Which is why Wiimbledon is realing it up. In this very special Wii doubles tournament, the virtual action on the screen is complemented by real announcers, real umpires, real ball girls, and of course the very real mascot, Wiimby the Tennis Bear. All broadcast on a real big screen, natch. Only 32 teams can compete—there are prizes like massages and video games for the winners—so enter early if you want to play. Ticket proceeds and (for those over 21) drink prices will benefit the venue. 911 Media Arts Center, 402 Ninth Ave. N., 682-6552, www.wiimby.com. $8 (spectators), $20 (teams). 8 p.m. DAMON AGNOSMusic: Second ChancesSince 1991, songwriter Eef Barzelay's band Clem Snide (named for the infamous William S. Burroughs character) has been plagued by a revolving door of members, at least two breakups, and a litany of false starts. Their modest indie success possibly peaked with the use of "Moment in the Sun" as the theme song for the second season of the TV show Ed. But that was eight years ago. More recently, Clem Snide suffered its second collapse during the recording of its February release, Hungry Bird. It seemed that album would never see the light of day, but then the group made its second comeback to tour behind Hungry Bird, which doesn't stray from the pretty folk melodies and dry, quirky, lyrical style of Barzelay's prior "solo" work. The Heligoats open. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W. 789-3599. $12 (21 and over). 9:30 p.m. SARA BRICKNERMonday 4/13Books/Mixology: Thirstin' HowlTo call SW's managing editor Mike Seely a poet of the dive bar isn't quite right. Because unlike your more grandiloquent writers, who attempt to elevate mundane subjects—like, say, baseball—into a cerebral sphere, grasping for higher meaning with florid language, Seely meets the dive bar exactly where it is. He knows its vocabulary, its denizens, and, most especially, its drink menu. He doesn't try to fluff it up, because he doesn't have to. He loves dive bars and their regulars exactly for how homely, sketchy, frightening, funny, and comfortably unchanging they are—in a city that (until quite recently) has been piss-drunk on its own wealth. If you saw the excerpt we published two weeks ago, or follow his Bottomfeeder food column, you already know how brilliantly funny he is on paper. Tonight you can perhaps also witness the grunt-like, animalistic vocal delivery he adopts after he's had a few as he reads from his new book, Seattle's Best Dive Bars: Drinking & Diving in the Emerald City (Ig Publishing, $12.95). (He also threatens to scat; hopefully accompanying keyboardist Jason Rowe won't play anything too swinging.) It's all in celebration of perhaps the most famous and beloved dive bar in all of Seattle, the Blue Moon, whose sign adorns the cover of Seely's book, and whose barstools have been favored by gifted writers like Mike for 75 years. Blue Moon Tavern, 712 N.E. 45th St., 633-6267. Free (21 and over). 8 p.m. MARK D. FEFERBooks: Yah Way!A friend of mine once observed of comedian Jackie Mason that the goys love him, but he's just too Jewish for the Jews. I feel that way about Jonathan Goldstein, whose comic phone-conversation show, "Wiretap" (heard locally on KUOW on Thursday nights), presents such a surfeit of kvetching, bickering, and mannered disputative stuttering that I can hardly bear it. Still, every once in a while the guy executes a conceit so brilliantly (such as dueling answering-machine messages between a feuding Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, performed with David Rakoff) that I have to tune in again. Among Goldstein's most reliably excellent motifs are his "dramatized" Old Testament stories, which have been heard on NPR's This American Life (where he was a producer) as well as his own show. Consistently hilarious, touching, and even thought-provoking, they've now been collected into a book, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bible! (Penguin, $15). If ever there were a writer to go hear for the sake of his delivery, Goldstein is one. Kvetching on the printed page just isn't the same. University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, www.bookstore.washington.edu. Free. 7 p.m. MARK D. FEFERTuesday 4/14Music: Old Iron, No IronyRiding the Spinal Tap ticket into the spotlight, veteran Canadian heavy-metal group Anvil will perform along with a screening of the acclaimed, painfully real documentary about them—the tongue-in-cheek, redundantly titled Anvil! The Story of Anvil. (The SIFF-favorite doc, which our Aaron Hillis called "candid and heartbreaking," has won festival awards and opens for its regular run at the Varsity on April 17.) The flick chronicles why, after touring with no less than Bon Jovi in '84, the group was playing to five-person audiences in metal-friendly Europe two decades later. Of course the band keeps the faith (har, har) and still plays with unparalleled aplomb, appealing to fans of irony and Iron Maiden alike, no Stonehenge necessary. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094, www.elcorazonseattle.com. $15 (all ages). 8 p.m. KORY GROW

 
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