Arts Picks




East Africans have become one of the most visible ethnic groups in this city over the last decade, but how much do you know about Somali customs, Eritrean ideas? Is your contact with this group limited to paying one of their members at a downtown parking lot? Very possibly, so make it a point to get to know your neighbors a little better at this year's Northwest Folklife, which will put the spotlight on the Horn of Africa. Check out an Eritrean coffee ceremony, Somali pop, a concert of Ethiopian maseqo (or one-string fiddle), and a half-dozen documentary films about life, art, and politics in the Horn, including stories from the "Lost Boys of Sudan." Eritrean singer Aklilu Foto Tefono, above, will perform on Monday afternoon on the Fountain Lawn Stage. 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri., May 28–Mon., May 31. $5 suggested donation. Seattle Center, MARK D. FEFER




To call Frey's best-selling 2003 rehab saga A Million Little Pieces "punishing" would be a gross understatement. This is, after all, a memoir that spends 15 agonizing pages documenting a root canal sans anesthetic. What makes the book an exhilarating journey rather than a painful slog is Frey himself: Pigheaded and pugnacious every step toward sobriety, the multiply addicted author spat proudly and repeatedly in the face of AA–style recovery. Instead of Letting Go and Letting God, Frey chose difficult, haunted love as his lifeline. Though structurally similar to Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted, Pieces travels far deeper down the rabbit hole of self-destruction, making Frey's eventual self-renewal that much more astonishing. 7 p.m. Thurs., May 27. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way N.E., 206-634-3400. NEAL SCHINDLER




Bellingham native Enid Zentelis returns from New York for two triumphant screenings of her film Evergreen—only the second local feature in history to make Sundance. Like Gus Van Sant's debut, Mala Noche, set in Portland, Evergreen brings us urgent news from a hitherto obscure white-trash milieu—this time, Everett—but the story is the reverse of Van Sant's: Instead of a rich kid slumming, we meet an impoverished teen (newborn Seattle movie star Addie Land) who falls for a rich bastard of a classmate (Noah Fliess) and swoons over his castle on a cliff. 7 p.m. Thurs., May 27, and 11 a.m. Sat., May 29. $9. The Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-324-9996. TIM APPELO




The only black woman with a Harvard degree to write a No. 1 country song, Randall got famous by rewriting Gone With the Wind from the point of view of Scarlett's half-black slave sister, Cindy (The Wind Done Gone). Despite a lawsuit by the estate of Margaret Mitchell (who once hired Martin Luther King to play a slave in a play), Randall's parody prevailed in court and on the best-seller list. Her new novel, Pushkin and the Ace of Spades, is a rant by a black Harvard mom appalled by her NFL–star son's passion for a white Russian lap dancer. Though obesely verbose, her wild riffs on rap, interracial romance, and Pushkin, the octoroon father of Russian lit, are sure to punch some hot buttons. 7:30 p.m. Fri., May 28. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 206-624-6600. TIM APPELO




Mired as we are in an unjust, unwinnable occupation, why not spend some time this weekend recalling the days when American military might truly helped save the world? At this salute to D-Day, veterans who launched the Allied invasion of Europe from the air will talk, as will famed "air-to-air" photographer John Dibbs, whose amazing shots of restored World War II–era aircraft, on view now at the museum, have made him the Art Wolfe of vintage aviation. (A 1998 P40 Kittyhawk is below; the original image is in color.) 1 p.m. Sat., May 29. Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., 206-764-5720. MARK D. FEFER

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