The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Notable Events

WEDNESDAY 7/15Karaoke: Greenwood IdolsThe Rickshaw Restaurant & Lounge serves greasy Chinese food and American fare, but nobody ever goes there to eat. The establishment is much better known for satisfying folks who've got an insatiable appetite for karaoke. It's packed with singers until closing every night of the week—"singers" being a generous label for drunken, off-key Phil Collins crooners and Beach Boys wailers. The Greenwood joint is endearingly tacky and schizo, decorated with both Asian-style paper lanterns and silver disco balls. And all walks of life step up to its worn mike to sing. (This reporter's choice cut: Ace of Base's "The Sign.) And if you require several glasses of liquid courage before you can even think about selecting something from the song catalogue, don't fret. The Rickshaw's got your kind covered, too. Happy hour starts at 10 a.m. 322 N. 105th St., 789-0120, Free (21 and over). 9 p.m.–2 a.m. ERIKA HOBARTPhotography: Looking BackAlice Wheeler is perhaps best known for her iconic shots of Kurt Cobain and other local musicians. But the Seattle photographer—whose music photos have appeared in Time, Rolling Stone, and Seattle Weekly—isn't just another groupie clutching a Nikon at the edge of the stage. Her new show, "Women Are Beautiful" (through August 15), examines the way women create and control their public images. We see a pregnant woman celebrating Evel Knievel Days and a young girl showing off her David Bowie T-shirt and hot-pink-miniskirt combo. A topless anti-fur protestor with the words "Go Vegan" scrawled across her stomach in marker dangles a cigarette from one hand, information pamphlets in the other. She stares saucily at the camera. She—like all those captured by Wheeler's lens—knows you're looking at her. Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave. S., 624-0770, Free. 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. ERIKA HOBARTTHURSDAY 7/16Photography: Facing the ElementsResource management, or mismanagement, is an act of violence—one that works both ways. We take for granted in the Northwest our abundance of snow and water until they're gone. All it requires is one long, hot dry spell, and our brown lawns and short showers remind us how we're not so different than Arizona: at war with the hostile elements. Olympia photographer Steve Davis went on a series of Western-states road trips, beginning two years ago, and his show "The Western Lands" documents terrain both damply familiar and dryly alien, from our Pacific Coast to the Salton Sea. These are landscapes not so obviously blighted by industry, but shaped by settlement and consumption: frost-coated highways to nowhere, chemical storage tanks arrayed like rolls of hay, the lunar mounds of a gravel pit, flooded Christmas-tree farms, high-tech windmills churning far from the suburban cul-de-sacs they cool and illuminate. A faculty member at Evergreen State College, Davis has previously been known for portraiture among the developmentally disabled and youth locked up in jail. You could say his new show marks a passage from Diane Arbus to Edward Burtynsky, from the petty criminals, freaks, losers, and outcasts to the harsh environments that formed them. Through August 22. James Harris Gallery, 312 Second Ave. S., 903-6220, Free. Reception: 6 p.m. BRIAN MILLEREnvironmental Art: Stationary StreamSeattle artist Mandy Greer spent three months creating a 200-foot fiber river of brilliant blue yarn and recycled fabric for her public art installation Mater Matrix Mother and Medium (on view through July 31). The city-commissioned piece is supposed to get Seattleites thinking about environmental stewardship and our urban watersheds. Greer has been holding crochet-a-thons in coffee shops, festivals, parks, and libraries throughout Seattle since May. The results are now woven through the woods. Her prodigious blue textile spiderwebs climb and slink around the trees, creating a calming and somewhat spooky atmosphere. Tonight, Greer collaborates with local modern-dance choreographer Zoe Scofield in a performance that will celebrate the mythical power of water. Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave. S.W., 684-7434, Free. 6:30 p.m. CHANTAL ANDERSONFRIDAY 7/17Food: Thrift on Your ForkThis weekend's Bite of Seattle introduces a new, recession-friendly attraction, Just a Bite!, offering smaller (two- to three-ounce) servings for $3.75. Discount vendors near the International Fountain will include Kaosamai Thai, Thrive, and Mobatta Crepes to Go. The Bite claims that a diet-conscious public demanded the svelter portions, but we suspect the economy is more of a factor. Those with fatter wallets and fuller purses can wander elsewhere to sample dishes from over 50 local restaurants (Biringer Farms, Bombay Grill, etc.), which—based on past experience—approach $10 per diner when you add a drink. ($7 is this year's stated top price.) Beer gardens and wine tastings are part of the fun, and 150 music and comedy acts are promised on six different stages scattered around Seattle Center. Parents will be relieved to know there's a play area with special karaoke zone. As usual, there will be a special Tom Douglas–branded area that costs a flat $10 to come in and graze from upscale eateries including Volterra and Dahlia Lounge. But $3.75 is the number for me. Free. Seattle Center, Free. 11 a.m.–9 p.m. BRITT THORSONWine: Party in the 425If the Bite of Seattle is a food free-for-all for the masses, akin to a fire-hydrant party in the street, then Kirkland Uncorked is the block party across town in the super-nice subdivision that doesn't exactly have a gate—but let's just say not many buses go there. Location, location, location. Your ticket into the "Tasting and Lifestyle Garden" (I didn't name it) buys you 10 tokens for glasses from wineries including Airfield Estates, Four Lakes Chelan Winery, and NW Totem Cellars. (Each glass costs one to three tokens, and you can buy more at a buck each.) There's also a Henry Weinhard beer tent and food from establishments like Brix Wine Café, Blu Water Kirkland, and Uli's Sausages. But not everything costs money on the Eastside. Free events (also through Sunday) include music, 60 booths of arts and crafts, plus festival food (read: dogs, snow cones, corn on the cob). In addition, the Kirkland Classic Car Show takes place on Sunday, when hot rods and rare rides will line the streets of downtown. Marina Park, 25 Lakeshore Plaza, $15–$25. 5-10 p.m. MAGGIE SAVARINOMONDAY 7/20Abiding: Lanes in the SkyDeviating from its usual Saturday-night schedule, Fremont Outdoor Cinema is presenting a special weeknight Lebowski Fest–affiliated screening of The Big Lebowski. Tonight, cult favorite Har Mar Superstar helps warm up the crowd—likely to dress in character—before the dusk presentation of the Coen brothers' 1998 stoner noir classic. And the inspiration for Jeff Bridges' unlikely detective—Jeff "The Dude" Dowd—is expected to attend and receive the keys to Fremont. (Which he'll, like, totally lose in his car seat after the show.) Once a local resident and member of the jokey radical group the Seattle Liberation Front, he was subsequently a defendant in the 1970 federal "Seattle Seven" trial. After being acquitted, he went to work for SIFF and has since become an L.A. film producer of note. He also famously got into a fistfight with a critic at Sundance this year. (Stupid critics!) Such an eventful life—could the secret to the Dude be that he's actually an achiever after all? An after-party ensues at nearby Red Door Ale House, and the script recitations, costumes, and White Russians will continue at 7 p.m. Tuesday at ACME Bowl, near Southcenter Mall, with Dowd again expected to bring his lambent aura of drollery (tickets $25–$30). Fremont Outdoor Cinema, 3501 Phinney Ave. N., and $5. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLERTUESDAY 7/21Tour de France: Swiss TripPassports are optional for this outdoor Tour de France viewing party, as Lance Armstrong and rivals will pedal out of Switzerland, through a corner of Italy, and into France, crossing two huge passes en route. But Cyclefest offers more than just the big-screen TV broadcast (beginning at a time-delayed 9:15 p.m.). There's a kiddie bike parade, stunt-riding demo, sprint racing, children's scavenger hunt, raffle, beer garden, sausages, and gyros for the whole cycling family. (Bring your kids in one of those tow-along bicycle carts if you can.) Still, all eyes will be on seven-time Tour winner Armstrong as he rides Stage 16 from Martigny to Bourg-Saint-Maurice; that's 98 miles and over 12,000 feet of climbing. Will Lance's younger Spanish teammate Alberto Contador—who won the 2007 Tour—already be the overall leader this morning? And what about their American teammate Levi Leipheimer? (Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, that poor guy.) And did we mention their Astana team is funded by hopelessly corrupt Kazakhstan, the land of Borat? So many storylines! Besides being one of the world's great sporting spectacles, the Tour is a three-week soap opera that dudes can love. Tune in tonight, and keep quiet if you already checked the results online. Magnuson Park (Building 47 lawn), 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., 522-3222, Free. 6–10:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

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