The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 12/30Visual Arts: Seasons in a BagOne of two exhibits highlighting recent acquisitions at SAAM, "The New New" is the more accessible gallery, featuring works from the '50s to the present decade. Local artist Akio Takamori's ceramic Sleeper dozes in the middle of the floor, oblivious to changing times. Chinese painter Xue Song frames a traditional scroll landscape in the outline of a purple Coke bottle—the ancient East in a new Western vessel. From Japan, Miwa Yanagi's staged photo of a red-haired, motorcycle-riding grandmother on the Golden Gate Bridge dominates the room; it's like a still from some road-trip movie. But a humble brown-paper shopping bag, intricately snipped by Yuken Teruya, speaks with more quiet authority. He's cut foliage and branches from one panel, then reassembled them, origami-style, into a tree within the bag. Lying on its side, the untitled work is like a tiny stage set, with shadows cast through the stencils cut above. Wave your hand over the enclosure, blocking the gallery spotlights, and you see the changing seasons—the tree is bare on one side, leafy on the other. It's a traditional Japanese theme, the cycles of life, reiterated in Teruya's materials and method. Nothing is added to the bag, itself made of recycled wood products, and nothing is taken away. (Through Nov. 28, paired with "The New Old.") Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E. Prospect St. (Volunteer Park), 654-3100, seattleartmuseum.org. $7. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. BRIAN MILLERTHURSDAY 12/31New Year's Eve: Free LoveThe rampant, virtually unchecked spread of tribal casinos is apt to polarize moralists and economists alike. On the one hand, it's no doubt been a boon to tribal coffers—and lord knows the pilgrims owe the natives a few gazillion dollars in blood money from way back when. On the other hand, it's gambling, an addictive endeavor in which the house never loses. But one bit of undeniable good that's come out of the tribal casino explosion is that their showrooms have kept entertainers like Gordon Lightfoot, Eddie Money, Smokey Robinson, Ronnie Milsap, 38 Special, and the Little River Band out on the road during the cold-weather months when county fairs aren't an option. Everybody wins when these guys work: Boomers feel young again, and aging musicians are able to pay for their health care and fix their tour buses. And now Loverboy joins the oldies parade. Here's your chance to hear "Turn Me Loose" and "Working for the Weekend" once again, as sung by Mike Reno, who we hope will wear his leather pants and ubiquitous bandanna. It'll be like a farewell to the '80s and '00s at the same time. (Raeann's Groove opens.) Emerald Queen Showroom & Casino, 2102 Alexander Ave. (Exit 135), Tacoma, 253-594-7777, emeraldqueen.com. Free. 8 p.m. MIKE SEELYNew Year's Eve: Decade's Last RepastTo ring in the new decade, sit yourself down for a locally inspired three-course dinner smack dab in the center of downtown. The Pre-Party Prix Fixe menu at TASTE begins with an amuse-bouche, a Quillisascut chevre tart with pears and grilled treviso (a variety of radicchio). For the entrée, you'll sup on Cape Cleare Coho salmon, accompanied by semolina dumplings, yuzu butter, chanterelles, and mustard greens. Dessert is more tongue-in-cheek: a peanut-butter-and-jelly ice-cream sandwich, with Concord grapes, candied bacon, and hot cocoa. Other multicourse prix-fixe New Year's Eve options include dishes like lobster at Canlis, venison at Tilth, vegan fare at Plum, and foie gras at Matt's in the Market. Make your reservations early. TASTE, 1300 First Ave., 903-5291, tastesam.com. $49 per person (plus tax & tip). 5–10 p.m. ADRIANA GRANTNew Year's Eve: Joy, Beautiful SparkSome years back, Gerard Schwarz changed his Seattle Symphony New Year's programming from pops faves to Beethoven's Ninth—perhaps inspired by Japanese custom, where concert halls, we hear, are packed at year's end for the composer's resounding 1824 setting of Schiller's "Ode to Joy." (One positive legacy, perhaps, of their alliance with Germany.) But if you miss the Viennese champagne music of the Strauss family and their colleagues, selections from Brahms' lilac-scented homage, his Liebeslieder Waltzes, open the evening. Tickets, including dancing to Orchestra Zarabanda afterward and a midnight countdown, start at $50; add a 6:30 p.m. dinner for $69. (Also 7:30 p.m. Wed., 8 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., $23–$106.) Benaroya Hall, Third Ave. and Union St., 215-4747, seattlesymphony.org. Concert at 9 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERTNew Year's Eve: Champagne and TechnoBerlin techno magician Sascha Ring, aka Apparat, is perhaps best known for his music with Modeselektor's Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary. Under the name Moderat, the trio has traipsed around the world bringing sci-fi effects and blissed-out vocals to dance-floor crazies. Tonight, however, Apparat rolls solo—another major coup for Decibel Fest founder Sean Horton. Still flying high above the troposphere after this year's successful, dubstep-heavy edition of the electronic-music soirée, Horton (aka Nordic Soul) and his cohorts aren't content with one victory. Indeed, local group Lusine and L.A.'s Nosaj Thing will also drop by for Horton's fifth annual New Year's Eve celebration. In addition to feet-moving music, the party will feature the visual antics of KillingFrenzy and all sorts of other custom-built stimulation. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467, neumos.com. $20 (21 and over). 9 p.m. KEVIN CAPPFRIDAY 1/1Sports: 3.1 Miles of PenanceYou are fat. You are hungover. You might've kissed someone other than your spouse last night. You don't remember where you parked the car. There is only one solution. The annual Resolution Run offers a clean, cathartic start to the New Year. First you run the 5K foot race (or call it a fun run, if you prefer). Then you plunge into the waters of Lake Washington, polar bear–style, as an act of cleansing and contrition. Then you wrap yourself in blankets, head to the beer garden, and fortify yourself for 2010 with hot chili and cold suds from New Belgium Brewing. Aren't you glad 2009 is over? Now where did you leave that car...? Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., clubnorthwest.org. $15–$30. 10:30 a.m. T. BONDFilm: Listen Up, ScrewheadsBefore Sam Raimi started the Spider-Man franchise, before Peter Jackson's LOTR trilogy, the marching skeletons and new-risen dead threatened humanity in Army of Darkness. The 1993 picture capped Raimi's Evil Dead series with its signature mixture of humor and horror, gymnastic witches, flagrant historical inaccuracies, and a very irreverent Bruce Campbell. Handy with a shotgun or one-liner, sporting a chainsaw where his right hand should be, Campbell's S-Mart clerk manages to offend nearly everyone—alive or dead—in a medieval England that looks suspiciously like Pasadena. Raimi barely touches the brakes to explain how Campbell and his 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 have been transported back in time. Story logic matters less than action and Three Stooges–style slapstick. Seeking to recapture a spell book that will somehow return the dead to their proper place, Campbell exudes a goofy gusto and iron-jawed charisma. He's a B-list Indiana Jones cheerfully winging it with fake, expansive bravado. He and Raimi rewrite medieval history as every bored 12-year-old schoolboy wished it could have been. (Rated R, 81 minutes, repeats Sat.) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 781-5755, landmarktheatres.com. $7–$9.50. Midnight. BRIAN MILLERMONDAY 1/4Books/Religion: Tests of ToleranceMilitant Islam. Can those terms be separated? The "no" camp is led by Bernard Lewis and other conservative scholars who argue that the religion is fundamentally opposed to our notions of Western liberalism and human rights (for women, especially). The "yes" camp gets a sympathetic hearing from Georgetown University professor John L. Esposito, who uses polling to assess the quieter Islamic voices being outshouted by YouTube imams. (This year's TV special Who Speaks for Islam? was based on his work.) Now he posits what might be called a silent Islamic majority in The Future of Islam (Oxford University Press, $24.95). Instead of Lewis' clash of civilizations, he sees a gentler washing back and forth between two waves—there may be violence at the frothy edge, but a well of tolerance behind it. His polling data tells him that the vast majority of Muslims deplore the 9/11 attacks. But whether on Fox News or Al Jazeera, those moderate voices tend not to be heard. Still, some of Esposito's positions give pause. In an op-ed for the United Arab Emirates' Gulf News this summer, he wrote, "Western societies should respect the rights of Muslim women who choose to wear the veil." In his estimation, tolerance must extend both ways. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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