The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 10/13 Books: Overcooked UW professor Peter D. Ward is not a movie critic, but he curtly dismisses the eco-disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow as "terrible." Ward is an expert on climate change, and he lays out some dark future scenarios in The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps (Basic Books, $25.95). Each chapter begins with a little sci-fi vignette speculating how we might respond to global warming and higher sea levels. (For example, Greenland becomes green and the U.S. government abandons Florida.) On the scientific side, however, Ward is firm about data and causality. In a few short centuries, the industrial revolution has provided "a recipe for human extinction." It's all about the carbon, measured in parts per million. As that figure rises, so do the seas, while the lands become ever more infertile. (Ward also blames overpopulation for our excess carbon output.) The effect is like reading The World Without Us—only, unfortunately, we're still there to suffer. Yet amid the bleakness, Ward also takes us on a research trip to Antarctica and pauses for a few practical digressions. (Drinking wine with Robert Mondavi, they speculate where the vineyards will have to relocate.) Is there a remedy? Consume less, drive less, emit less carbon, plant more trees—you've heard that before. Plus maybe a "reflective space mesh" and other untried new technologies. Otherwise, in a few more millennia, Ward foresees Seattle as "seven islands and a peninsula." Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. Free. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Music: Zef Manifesto This summer, the South African trio Die Antwoord—frontman Ninja, vocalist Yo-Landi Vi$$er, and DJ Hi-Tek—released a video for the bizarre rap-rave track, "Enter the Ninja." The clip features a shirtless, tattooed Ninja ferociously spitting out his rhymes, the progeria-stricken Cape Town painter Leon Botha bopping around, an actual black-clad ninja wielding a sword, and the pixie-ish Yo-Landi mewling her vocals while undressing in a bedroom wallpapered with pictures of Ninja. At the end of the song, Ninja mutters, "This is like the coolest song I heard in my whole life." Die Antwoord—Afrikaans for "The Answer"—has had bloggers speculating for months whether they're a joke group or performance artists. Regardless, "Enter the Ninja" went viral on YouTube and, after millions of views, crashed the group's own website. Serious or not, Die Antwoord claims to represent South Africa's zef sector of society; our closest translation of zef would be "white trash." Accordingly, Die Antwoord's music is wild, vulgar, tough, and full of braggadocio. (Their debut album, $0$, drops this week.) And as further proof of their appeal, I recently saw a bottle-blonde hipster chick at Capitol Hill's Redwood with her hair cut in Yo-Landi's signature shaved bangs/half-mullet hairstyle. Music videos aren't the only things that go viral. This evening, before opening for Deadmau5 at the Paramount (see Short List), the trio will perform an exclusive in-store and sign records. Sonic Boom Records, 2209 N.W. Market St., 297-2666, sonicboomrecords.com. Free. 5:30 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON THURSDAY 10/14 Visual Arts: Shoot and Point Though it certainly contains many photos, by a dozen emerging artists, Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture isn't strictly a photography show. Scanners and Google image search are as important as cameras; and there are clacking old film projectors and slide carousels, too. The apparatus is emphasized: How images are reproduced and displayed (e.g., mounted on a sheet of plywood, then defaced; or half-hidden under a giant rock on the gallery floor). The images themselves are seldom lovely or quote-unquote memorable. Randomness is at work, as with a table full of stock photos you can arrange in any pattern you like. That aleatory method of image selection is most evident, and most engrossing, in Siebren Versteeg's room-sized slide show Untitled Film IV, which pulls random pictures from Flickr.com in a never-ending flow. You could spend all day in the room and never see the same image twice. The stills are set to the soundtrack of Chris Marker's 1962 avant-garde short La Jetée, with the same editing rhythms. It's possible to sit through each 28-minute unit and let the music and sound effects shape the chance procession of images into a story. Come back the next day, and the narrative could be different. Or the same. John Cage would approve. (Through Jan. 23.) Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E. (UW Campus), 543-2280, henryart.org. $6-$10. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Photography: F-stops and Feedback The vivid black-and-white photos of Charles Peterson are now synonymous with grunge, since he documented every important local band (Nirvana, etc.) from the very beginning of that movement in the mid-'80s. Shooting with a bright flash, he often positioned himself at the center of a swirling mosh pit, or on the stage just as a performer leaped into the fray. As a friend and confidante of many artists, he also gained access to their quiet, unguarded moments offstage. The results have been seen at SAM and EMP, collected in several books, and used as album covers. Peterson will attend tonight's reception for a permanent new installation of more than a dozen classic images—including late icons Kurt Cobain, Andrew Wood, Mia Zapata, and Layne Staley. On the lighter, living side of the musical spectrum, it's good to see the (then) youngsters of Mudhoney and Tad when they were cheerful, cynical, and poor. Nobody had any money, and getting a deal with a national label seemed like a joke. The show's title, Come Out, Come Out Tonight, is from the late poet Steven Jesse Bernstein, whose portrait is also included here. If Seattle's rock history is to be institutionalized, the Croc is a more appropriate venue than the Hard Rock. And the drinks are stronger, too. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416, thecrocodile.com. Free (21 and over). Reception: 6-9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER Dance: Built to Dance Most of what we know about the Bauhaus are the streamlined consumer designs and austerely functional architecture, but the same school produced some radically abstracted dance as well. Choreographer Oskar Schlemmer thought about the body the same way Gropius thought about concrete—that you could shape it into something that was both expressive and practical. The dances he created are almost mathematical, using the body to illustrate the drama of the right angle and the languor of the curved line. The performers, in costumes that resemble geometric solids, manipulate sticks and balls, but the rituals they perform are far from child's play. On a program by the UW's Chamber Dance Company honoring Alwin Nikolais, whose choreography was often a lighthearted play on these same abstractions, Schlemmer's work is both fascinating and slightly menacing. (Through Sun.) Meany Hall (UW campus), 543-4880, meany.org. $10-$18. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ FRIDAY 10/15 Stage: Laugh and Bleed The Lieutenant of Inishmore revels in a kind of gleeful pop mayhem that results in relentless—some might say dubiously contagious—gore: Advance reports from other cities where audience members in front-row seats got caught in the comic crossfire and splattered with fake stage blood have not been exaggerated. But don't be too quick to label playwright Martin McDonagh (Oscar-nominated for his In Bruges screenplay) the theater's equivalent of Quentin Tarantino. Where Tarantino asks us to enjoy over-the-top bedlam as merry postmodern buffoonery, McDonagh seems at least a little bit curious about why we enjoy it. His dark humor and even bleaker concerns—which have already had success at ACT in stagings of A Skull in Connemara and The Pillowman—reach fever pitch in Inishmore, an award-winning farce that finds several Irish terrorist types at a country cottage launched into absurdly violent machinations by the death of a beloved cat. You should be laughing while wondering how in the world eye-shootings, nipple-extractings, toenail-slicings, and limb-hackings became the stuff of such easy ha-ha-ha's. Kurt Beattie directs. (Through Nov. 14.) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676, acttheatre.org. $37.50. 8 p.m. STEVE WIECKING Readings: Uncorked This year's Hugo Literary Series launches with the theme "Under the Influence," which immediately puts you in mind of booze—the writer's greatest friend, and worst enemy, since long before Hemingway emptied his first bottle. Tonight, however, journalist-turned-novelist Jess Walter (The Financial Lives of the Poets) travels over from Spokane to consider the non-alcoholic beliefs, passions, misunderstandings, and delusions that inspire our actions—for better and worse. He'll read new work on the assigned topic, joined by poet Ed Skoog and novelist Nancy Rawles, locals well familiar with the Hugo House stage. The Board of Education, an offshoot of Central Services, supplies tonight's music. (Through March 18.) Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 322-7030, hugohouse.org. $50-$80 (series), $15-$25 (individual). 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER SATURDAY 10/16 Arts: Fresh Start The government auctioned off the old federal INS Building just in time for the recession. Then the new owners, a real-estate partnership, had a brilliant idea: Bring in artists! Since July, the huge 1931 brick building has been colonized by painters, glass blowers, metalsmiths, and even a dance company or two. And there's room for dozens more in the old brick pile, which is being rechristened this weekend as INSCAPE, with studio tours, performances, music, booze, and more. The event is called Passages, and it's being curated by Ladan Yalzadeh, who's also creating an oral history project with guides to share their immigration stories from the building—including her own. "I was one of those people," she recalls. "In 1995, I was granted my citizenship in Room 121. I got my American passport and was free to move about the world, which was not the case with my native Iranian passport." After this weekend's festivities, featuring some two dozen artists, Yalzadeh hopes that "We could have not just little artists' studios, but an entire arts center." On the bill are dance performances from Manifold Motion and Danse Perdue, art installations from Sol Hashemi and Helen Gamble, then live music from Gargle Blasters, Ashcomb, Phase 3, and Prints of China (8 p.m., 21 and over). And be sure to venture up to the third floor, where those madmen from Hazard Factory are running the final weekend of Smash Putt, a mini-golf/cocktail extravaganza ($11-$15, drinks extra, 21 and over). INSCAPE, 815 Airport Way S., inscapearts.org and smashputt.com. Free. Noon-midnight. (Sun.: Noon-6 p.m.) BRIAN MILLER MONDAY 10/17 Books: Parallel Journey How to Read the Air (Riverhead, $25.95) comprises two road trips 30 years apart. The first is that undertaken by a newly reunited young Ethiopian couple traveling across the Midwest, possibly headed toward a happy married life together, possibly not. The second is that of their grown son, newly separated from his wife, who's retracing their route and reconstructing their marriage. Jonas, our narrator, soon divulges that he's an embellisher—fond of adding details and drama to accounts he finds lacking. This is Dinaw Mengestu's second novel, and like The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, it has a certain lonely, melancholy, exile's voice to it. Even though Jonas is American-born, he seems estranged from everyone, aloof, lost in history and memory (and in literature, which he teaches at a prep school). As the miles add up on his odometer, we have growing reason to distrust Jonas' "inevitable role as both advocate and judge over what happened between my parents during that trip." His role is also that of author to the story of his parents' unraveling. Rewriting one journey gives Jonas the control he lacks in his own. Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., 386-4636, spl.org. Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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