The Weekly Wire: This Week’s Recommended Events

Thursday

Books

The Prince of Punk

Any good memoir strikes a balance between truthful remembrance, graceful writing, and settling old scores. Punk-rock musician Richard Hell (born Richard Meyers) mostly accomplishes all three in I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp (Ecco, $25.99), which stops when he quit music in 1984. (Since then he’s been a noted poet, novelist, and journalist.) Hell is revered as a church father of the early-’70s punk scene on New York’s Lower East Side, where Television—founded with his prep-school buddy Tom Verlaine—was the house band at CBGB. There, too, were Blondie, the Ramones, and Talking Heads. And in the audience was Malcolm McLaren, who—in Hell’s telling, at least—copied his safety-pinned style and took it back to England, where the Sex Pistols made punk a global phenomenon. Hell is not modest about his place in the world, and he’s entitled to some exaggeration and self-aggrandizement. Though he scored one hit, “Blank Generation,” with his band the Voidoids, he’s been fighting footnote status for 30 years. Everyone, famous or not, tends to mythologize their youth. Hell is no different. Yes, he’s still bitter about Verlaine kicking him out of Television, and he’s in denial about how his drug use probably made that inevitable. But he’s been clean for decades, and he’s got stories that few others have survived to tell from that era of frantic new Boomer invention. “What’s deepest down inside is boring,” Hell writes. “It’s actually the surface that’s interesting, even though it’s often deception.” The Rendezvous, 2232 Second Ave., 441-5823, jewelboxtheater.com. Free. 21 and over. 7 p.m.

Festivals

Constant Variety

In its 10th year, the annual variety circus known as the Moisture Festival offers something for everyone. At three venues, this year’s performers will include clowning doctor Patch Adams (yes, the real guy depicted in the Robin Williams movie), who lectures on humor and health; cowgirl Karen Quest, who lassos tricks with her dizzying lariat; and Scott Land Marionettes, the folks who supplied Team America: World Police with their wee wooden cast. Don’t pretend you’ve forgotten the puppet sex. But Land’s little minions aren’t always so smutty, and the Moisture Fest’s matinees are always aimed at families. At night, consenting adults can enjoy burlesque performances by familiar local acts like Waxie Moon, Tamara the Trapeze Lady, and The Swedish Housewife. From Montreal, Duo XY is two hunky dudes, Thomas and Justin, who met while working at Cirque du Soleil. You won’t believe how they hang, swing, gyrate, and bend from the trapeze. Ron W. Bailey and Simon Neale are your MCs, with live music from Doc Sprinsock and the SANCApators. (Through April 14; also at Broadway Performance Hall and SIFF Cinema Uptown.) Hale’s Palladium, 4301 Leary Way N.W., moisturefestival. org. $10–$22. 7:30 p.m.

Friday

Dance

Nine on the Field

It’s spring, and baseball fans are watching the Mariners welcome new players, curious to see whom they might like to root for during the new season. For local dance artists, the BOOST Dance Festival is a similar kind of tryout, a welcome chance to get their work in front of an audience. Many of them are at the beginning of their careers as dancers and choreographers—as new to us as we are to them. This is the kinetic equivalent of a really packed smorgasbord—nine different choreographers and a stageful of dancers; you probably won’t like them all, but you’ll find someone to love. (Through Sun.) Erickson Theatre off Broadway, 1524 Harvard Ave., 949-8643, boostdancefestival.com. $18. 8 p.m.

film

Cold Fate

Stalked by a shape-shifting, DNA-infiltrating alien on their Antarctic base, Kurt Russell and company dissolve into mutual suspicion and distrust. The beast could be inside any of them, so you have to shoot your pal—or incinerate him with a flamethrower—without hesitation to save your own skin. John Carpenter’s 1982 The Thing is a reverse guys-on-a-mission flick, where unit cohesion falters and leader turns against crew. It’s morning in America, and utter darkness at the South Pole. The 1951 original came during the Cold War, when sci-fi was younger and fresher. Carpenter’s take, like his hero, is entirely more cynical. Like the 1979 Alien, it pits an expendable blue-collar crew against an implacable, mutable foe. (When one victim’s decapitated head sprouts spider legs and scurries away, my favorite line is a crewman’s despondent “You gotta be fucking kidding.” Who can beat a thing like that?) A prequel, released in 2011, didn’t capture the hard-bitten spirit of the Carpenter/Russell version. These fatalists essentially expect the worst. And they get it. (R) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 781-5755, landmarktheatres.com. $8.25. Midnight. (Repeats Sat.)

Books

Two Is the Loneliest Number

They say when an identical twin’s twin dies, the surviving sibling is immediately at risk. In the case of Christa and Cara Parravani, the pair shared not only identical features, but a turbulent family history, a love of the arts, and similar career and relationship paths that deepened their bond. In Christa Parravani’s memoir Her (Henry Holt, $26), after Cara is brutally raped, she spirals into depression and drugs, ultimately overdosing on heroin. Christa’s response is equally self-destructive: She turns to drugs, becomes anorexic, and her marriage falls apart. Recounted through intimate details of the sisters’ relationship, Parravani doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable memories, the ugliness of sibling rivalry, or the candid nature of her grief. The author does use a flowery hand to speculate upon family details in the time before she was conceived. But then, when she and Cara were formed together, a tangled mass of chromosomes, she could not have predicted how she’d outlive her twin—as she does, barely—to honor the story of their shared memories. Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7 p.m.

Saturday

Comedy

High and Low

Always presenting a fresh show, comedian Brian Regan has a wacky-but-cerebral, clean-but-mature style that makes him a perfect fit for just about any audience. He’ll punctuate a cleverly written punchline with a goofy face, mix a sophisticated gag with a bit of slapstick. Regan will question the unique loyalty of sports fanatics one night; the next he’ll reminisce about his childhood follies at the science fair; and the next he’ll discuss the bizarre actions of his young kids and his fitness for fatherhood. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $42.50–$49.50. 7 p.m.

Sunday

Visual Arts

Feedback Aesthetic

Hammering Man is 21 years old, and the city-owned sculpture, so beloved by tourists, guards SAM’s old entrance at University and First. But the museum’s new, true entrance to its expanded home is a block north at Union. To help draw tourists and dawdle the Duck, a new LED installation is being inaugurated on SAM’s northwest corner today: MIRROR, designed by Doug Aitken. The horizontal array employs sensors that manipulate digital images recorded by Aitken during his prior visits to Seattle and Washington state. Weather, traffic, passersby, and other dynamic factors will drive the algorithms that govern MIRROR. The goal, says Aitken, is for the work to “move on its own and constantly create its own sequences, patterns, and compositions.” (The work was commissioned by the late Bagley Wright—another generous gift from this city’s most important arts patron.) As part of today’s festivities, SAM admission is free, Seattle Symphony members will perform (see Ear Supply, page 22), and First will be closed for a block party featuring food trucks and other fun. (And yes, Hammering Man will unfortunately be in attendance, doing his same old thing, oblivious to what’s around him.) Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, seattleartmuseum.org. Free. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Music and dedication ceremony at 6:30 p. m .

Tuesday

Books

Blood and Sand

Seattle journalist David Neiwert is intrigued by borders—not geographic ones, but the less-definite lines that delineate mainstream conservatism from the violent right. That his latest crime tale, And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border (Nation Books, $26.99), focuses on an immigrant family’s 2009 murder where Mexico meets Arizona provides Neiwert with some tidy metaphors. But the issues he seeks to understand here are pertinent to anywhere the Tea Party still marches: How much talk of border enforcement is just poorly veiled racism? Do groups that make millions baiting the fears of white America have the ability or desire to control the true believers who, to borrow a phrase from Sarah Palin, go rogue? Members of the vigilante movement figured out that Everett’s Shawna Forde, a former Seattle prostitute, could be trouble soon after she started making jaunts down to the desert to help patrol the border in 2006. It’s a sad, tawdry story that our Rick Anderson put on the cover of SW soon after the double murder. Now Neiwert drills down deeper into the forces that impelled Forde to kill a 9-year-old girl and her father. (Also: Elliott Bay Book Co., 7 p.m. Wed., March 27, and Secret Garden Books, 7 p.m. Fri., March 29.) University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, bookstore.washington.edu. Free. 7 p.m.

 
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