The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Notable Events

THURSDAY 7/2Cartoons: Nearly ErasedIn an industry substantially built on Hearst's The Yellow Kid and Little Orphan Annie, it's a cruel irony that struggling newspapers are dropping cartoon strips left and right to cut their costs. Also being axed are the children of Thomas Nast—editorial cartoonists like the P-I.com's Pulitzer-winning David Horsey. He and his brethren, including Ted Rall (of The Village Voice) and Mark Fiore, appear tonight at Cartoonapalooza, a public sidebar to the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention being held in Seattle this week. They'll show slides of their work, discuss their satiric inspirations, and perhaps analyze why Bush's ears were fair game for exaggeration, while Obama's are more problematic. A benefit auction and reception are also part of the evening, where you can purchase and have signed the cartoonists' latest collections. And that's the format—books, not newsprint—in which their work may increasingly be found. Unless of course you're willing to pay by the download for your iPhone or Kindle. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. $25–$30. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLERVisual Arts: Pennsylvania Is for LoversAndrew Wyeth (1917–2009) was once considered such an important American painter that his work was featured on the cover of Time ("Wyeth's Stunning Secret"). But today, who reads Time magazine? And who cares for traditional figurative art? Back in 1986, Wyeth was already old and out of favor with the postwar, post-Pollock, post-Warhol critical establishment. But it was the scandal of sex—private nude modeling sessions with Helga Testorf (the German-born nurse of an ailing Pennsylvania neighbor)—that brought Wyeth into the modern era. Not modern technique or conceptual art: In five selected Helga paintings (on view through Oct. 18 with two prior works), Wyeth is an organic literalist. Braided hair, yellowed grass, frosted tree branches, flesh no longer firm—he renders these details in a continuum of nature. Even when laid out half-nude, as in Overflow, Helga is less a personality than a fact, a part, a specimen of the same interconnected earthly organism that produced Christina's World (Wyeth's iconic 1948 image). Instead, Wyeth became modern by concealing the secret Helga trove for 15 years (beginning in 1970), then revealing them like a showman—hence the Time coup. (Take that, Andy Warhol!) It didn't matter if he and Helga were lovers or not. Just the suggestion, the "penetrating and throbbing sexual feeling in all the Helga pictures" (as he told curator/author Thomas Hoving), made Wyeth less square, more worthy of reappraisal. It separated him from mere illustrators like Norman Rockwell and moved him closer to Edward Hopper. Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 644-3100, seattleartmuseum.org. $9–$15. 5–9 p.m. BRIAN MILLERFRIDAY 7/3Zombies: 5,000 of the Living DeadDo you have a contingency plan prepared for an apocalyptic zombie invasion? Can you recite the script of Night of the Living Dead from memory? Want to make the Guinness Book of World Records? Then don your best zombie makeup and join your fellow brain-eating aficionados for the Red, White, and Dead zombie walk—and show the world that Seattle's got enough zombie love to break the current world record (4,000) for the largest zombie walk in history. (5,000 is the hoped-for number.) The opportunity to lurch through Fremont, a Thriller dance, a zombie survival workshop, a book signing (by S.G. Browne of Breathers: A Zombie's Lament), and a zombie fashion show await you as a reward for your undead efforts. (Shaun of the Dead screens outdoors at 7 p.m. as part of the regular Fremont Outdoor Movies schedule.) And don't forget to bring a can of food for local nonprofit Solid Ground—because while zombies may be able to survive on brains alone, humanity cannot. Fremont Outdoor Cinema, 3501 Phinney Ave. N., fremontoutdoormovies.com and july-3rd.com. Free. 5 p.m. SARA BRICKNERBeer: Very Happy HoursIt is the official Drink of Summer.©® (Or so SW now decrees.) Meaning, of course, beer, the subject of this weekend's Seattle International Beerfest. Do you need more reason to celebrate it? Do you need more reason to drink it? Of course not—though the three-day fest features more than 100 reasons (i.e., specialty beer labels) for your sudsy consumption. Oenophiles may scoff at such unfettered, open-air quaffing (that, plus no spitting), but beer geeks surely know how to concoct more amusing brand names than wine snobs: Double Bastard, Chocolate Oak-Aged Yeti, Double Dead Guy, Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale...we have no idea what they taste like, but what fun to try. Between rounds, you can enjoy chess, backgammon, and darts. (Warning: After downing more than six consecutive pints, maybe you should avoid the darts.) Music acts include the Haggis Brothers (8:30 p.m.), though haggis will not be served, thank God. (Instead, Hot Dog Joe will offer various barbecue items.) No kids. Dogs welcome. A cab ride, or staggering home under your own power, is strongly encouraged afterward. Mural Amphitheater, Seattle Center, seattlebeerfest.com. $20 (21 and over). Noon–10 p.m. BRIAN MILLERFilm: Capitalist Crime"You can fool the movie audience, but not me," says Anna Karina in Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 political noir Made in U.S.A. The film is self-reflexive as well as self-conscious: When characters—more than a few named for Godard's pet movie personalities—speak, it's often to speculate on the nature of language or note the time passing. The movie's also a portrait of Godard's soon-to-be ex-wife—here cast as a private investigator, wrapped in a trench coat and packing a gat. Forget plot. Key sequences are regularly pulverized just at the point of resolution and crucial passages of dialogue are purposefully obscured by street noise as, alternately seductive and indifferent, Karina's detective goes in search of a lover who is apparently lost, perhaps to assassination, in a labyrinthine, never-fully-explained international political intrigue. Made in U.S.A. is anti-capitalist and anti-consumerist, decrying miniskirts and rock 'n' roll as mind control, but it's also more devoted to the vulgar modernism of mid-20th-century pop culture than any movie Godard had made before or would make after. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, nwfilmforum.org. $6–$9. 7 and 9 p.m. J. HOBERMANSATURDAY 7/4Fireworks: Crowded GloryAlthough WaMu has collapsed in subprime shame, JPMorgan Chase has stepped in to sponsor what's now being called the Chase Family 4th. This year's daylong festival is not only free, but features all the essentials for a Fourth of July party: hotdogs, hamburgers, a beer garden, and inflatable slides. The latter will be found in a special enclosed children's playfield area, along with kite-making and -flying and face-painting. A "Street Scramble" scavenger hunt around Fremont also promises family fun. Adults free of parental responsibilities can meander over to the food booths for a delicious elephant ear, or to the lakeside beer garden for a pint (noon–9:30 p.m.). There will also be music from Sound Wave (the official band of the Seattle Sounders) and youngsters from the School of Rock: Northwest All-Stars. The hardest part of the day will be getting a good seat for the 10 p.m. fireworks show—either at Gas Works Park or anywhere else ringing Lake Union. Walking and biking are strongly encouraged, and Chase will provide an express bicycle parking corral in the park's northwest corner. Arrive early, and you're sure to have a patriotically good time. Gas Works Park, 2101 N. Northlake Way, chasefamily4th.org. Free. Noon–11 p.m. BRITT THORSONMaritime Festivals: Natural BuoyancySince Saturday Night Live's "I'm on a boat" skit aired in February, I've wanted to get on a boat. But for those of us who lack the resources to spend the Fourth of July holiday floating idly amid the posh yachts in the San Juans or on the Côte d'Azur, there's this weekend's 33rd annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival. What could be more nautical than cruising on a 100-year-old steamship called the Puffin? Puffin—doesn't the name just sound relaxing? Other vessels open to inspection and rides are the old lightship Swiftsure and the vintage tug Arthur Foss. Food, refreshments, and various children's activities are also included. For thrill-seekers, the Lake Union Challenge Cup races will feature craft constructed in a mere 24-hour period, built on-site over the weekend while you watch. Then they race at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Last year's winner was made out of bamboo, grass, glue, and a bedsheet. These contraptions are powered by sail and paddle, and you better believe that contestants know how to swim—because sinking is a routine hazard. Center for Wooden Boats, 1010 Valley St., 382-2628, cwb.org. $5 (individual), $10 (family). 10 a.m.–6 p.m. CHANTAL ANDERSONMONDAY 7/6Classical: Evening SerenadesBesting all comers—UW tried a summer contemporary-arts festival for a few years, Tacoma made a one-season attempt at a summer concert series in 2001, and remember the International Music Festival of Seattle (sniff)?—the Seattle Chamber Music Society has provided crowd-pleasing performances of (mostly) Romantic favorites for 28 years. Highlights this summer include the premiere of a violin/cello duo by Christopher Theofanidis (July 13); Ligeti's Etudes, book one, for piano, played by Jeremy Denk (July 22); and Mendelssohn's stunningly prodigious Octet (Aug. 5). As usual, the main 8 p.m. concerts are preceded by informal 7 p.m. solo recitals (your ticket's good for both). And if you'd rather, you can sit on the lawn and enjoy the music, broadcast from indoors, for free. The festival opens tonight, with SCMS favorites Jeremy Denk, James Ehnes, Adam Neiman, Bion Tsang, and others playing Debussy, Schumann, and Brahms. The series runs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at Lakeside through July 31; then at Redmond's Overlake School, Aug. 5–14. Lakeside School, 14050 First Ave. N.E., 283-8808, seattlechambermusic.org. $16–$42. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

 
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