Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekend Countdown: Guitar, Dust Bowl, buttercups

Posted By on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 2:54 PM

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MIKE'S PICK: COMEDY | Jerry Seinfeld

SATURDAY | April 12, at 7:30 pm | $74.50 | All-ages | Beasley Coliseum | WSU Pullman

So what's the deal with Jerry Seinfeld these days? You still see him on TBS every night and yadda yadda, but what about the stand-up act that gave him that TV show in the first place? I mean, what's the deal with that? Seinfeld, somehow already almost two decades removed from his namesake sitcom, is back on stage, performing the sort of "did you ever notice… " jokes that made him one of the first names in comedy. He's appearing in Pullman for Washington State University's Mom's Weekend, because moms love them some Seinfeld.

5. MUSIC | 23rd Northwest Guitar Festival

FRI-SAT | April 11-13, event times vary | some events free; concerts $20 each | Events at EWU, SFCC and Holy Names Music Center

If you've ever wanted to gain a deeper appreciation of the guitar and its many melodies and techniques, now is the chance. The 23rd annual Northwest Guitar Festival features a guitar competition showcasing some of the best upcoming artists in the area, as well as classes and lectures. The festival also includes concerts by five acclaimed and accomplished guitarists from around the world, including James Reid, a former artist on NPR's Performance Today; David Feingold, music director at Western Washington University; young virtuoso Mak Grgic; Michael Partington, who mixes old and new styles; and the eclectic, experimental Giacomo Fiore.

4. VISUAL ART | ArtWalk

FRIDAY | April 11, from 5-8 pm | Free | Downtown Coeur d'Alene

The trees are unfurling their green buds and the daily temps are rising above 60 degrees with frequency now, which means we all want to spend a little more time outside. It's not entirely outdoors, but the downtown Coeur d'Alene Second Friday ArtWalk — the Lake City's version of Spokane's First Friday — offers enough strolling in the evening spring air to give attendees a taste of the glorious summer weather to come. The event has been on a winter hiatus since December, but galleries on and near Sherman Avenue are throwing open their doors this Friday, inviting everyone to see local artists' newest works.

3. FESTIVAL | Moscow Hemp Fest

SATURDAY | April 12, from 10 am-8 pm | Free | East City Park | 900 E. Third St., Moscow

This year, if you show up for the annual Moscow Hemp Fest on the traditional weekend — the one closest to April 20, of course — you'll instead find a bunch of kids hunting eggs in their Easter finest. The usual hemp-related festivities — art, reggae, food and other musicians and vendors — are all happening a week earlier than usual. The laid-back event has also been more political in recent years, and features some serious speakers, including Kristin Flor, an advocate whose father died in prison after his Montana medical marijuana dispensary was raided, and Serra Frank, founder of Moms for Marijuana.

2. OUTDOORS | 48th Annual Buttercup Hike

SATURDAY | April 12, from 1-4 pm | Free, registration requested | Dishman Hills Natural Area | Hike starts at Camp Caro, 625 S. Sargent Rd.

For more than a few Inland Northwesterners, it's a springtime tradition to be the first in the family to spot the earliest buttercup of spring. The tiny, waxy-petaled flowers that poke out of the crunchy, pine-needled ground can sometimes be found as early as late February, but are abundant in the ponderosa woods this time of year. Long celebrated as the first sign of spring, these early wildflowers are the namesake of the Dishman Hills Conservancy's annual Buttercup Hike, now in its 48th year. The guided hike is led by local naturalist and retired geologist Michael Hamilton.

1. WORDS | Timothy Egan: "Voices of the Dust Bowl"

SUNDAY | April 13, at 2 pm | Free | Whitworth University | 300 W. Hawthorne Rd.

On April 14, 1935, 79 years ago, the dust storm they called Black Sunday hit. The spring day began unlike any other during those unimaginably dry, windy and dust-filled years. From the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles to southwestern Colorado and the northwest corner of New Mexico, the prairie sky awoke sunny and blue; the air calm with barely a breeze. Birds sang in the flat, dead fields for the first time many southern Plains farmers could remember in years. And though countless dust storms, or "black dusters," had kicked up with little to no warning for the previous few years, no one expected the storm of all storms to hit later that afternoon.

In his 2006 book, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, award-winning author and journalist Timothy Egan, who grew up in Spokane, chronicles the decades-old memories of Dust Bowl survivors who vividly remembered the terror of Black Sunday and the hundreds of other dust storms that came before and after it during the 1930s.

As part of a new exhibit, "Hope in Hard Times: Washington During the Great Depression," opening April 12 at the North Spokane branch of the Spokane County Library District, Egan is giving a keynote lecture at Whitworth University based on the research and stories in his National Book Award winner. The traveling exhibit, curated by the Washington State Historical Society and cosponsored by Humanities Washington, is on display through June 30. Exhibit programming kicks off with Egan's talk, followed by oral history presentations, concerts, workshops and film screenings throughout its run.

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