The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY /6/1 Music: Musical Chairs Last month, Seattle's best dive bar, the Rimrock Steakhouse, suddenly went dark—a tragedy on Lake City Way. But there's hope down the street at nearby El Norte, where Rimrock regulars The Davanos have taken up a new Wednesday night residency. The cover band is usually anchored by guitarist Jerry Battista, though the nightly lineup varies when Battista is touring with his other band, the Dusty 45s. Housed in the space formerly occupied by the infamous Rose Garden, El Norte is like a taco-truck version of Mr. Villa (same owners), only with a roof and a vast, expertly-curated tequila selection. Now they've got a house band whose repertoire is just as comprehensive and sharp, making patrons wish 2 a.m. could wait an extra hour. Or day. El Norte, 13717 Lake City Way N.E, 954-1349, 9 p.m. MIKE SEELY THURSDAY 6/2 Happy Hours: From NBA to LQA If one were to guess which of the bars in Lower Queen Anne belonged to former Sonic superstar and notorious partier Shawn Kemp, the reasonable presumption would be Peso's, or perhaps Ozzie's. Surprisingly, it's actually Oskar's Kitchen, a charming Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and bar that Kemp named after his pet fish. Oskar's provides refuge for patrons who prefer a quieter, more intimate night on the block than the noisy neighboring establishments offer. Its Monday-Friday happy hour features steals like complimentary pesto pita bread, $4 wells and wine, and $4-and-under appetizers like garlic fries and angus beef sliders. But the biggest draw for basketball fans is Kemp himself, who often drops in to chat and drink with patrons. Admittedly, his 6-foot-10 stature is intimidating, but a couple drinks in, you're sure to work up the courage to approach him. And, as this reporter has observed on several visits, he's used to it and always happy to pose for a photo. Oskar's Kitchen, 621 1/2 Queen Anne Ave. N., 402-3375, Free. 21 and over. 3-6 p.m. & 10 p.m.-midnight. ERIKA HOBART Music: Authentically Ozark If you saw last year's Oscar-nominated Southern saga of meth and poverty, Winter's Bone, you'll remember it being difficult to focus on anything outside of Jennifer Lawrence's brilliant lead performance. But the film's soundtrack—released by local label Light in the Attic—was also a standout element. Composed of pure and traditional Ozark bluegrass, it's a more sober companion to the whooping soundtrack to 2000's O Brother, Where Art Thou?. The stately tunes match the movie's bleak drama just perfectly. Now, the original musicians who recorded the Winter's Bone songs (and also appeared in the film) are touring the country together. The lineup includes the Missouri folk songbird Marideth Sisco and her band of guitar, bass, and banjo pickers and fiddle masters, Blackberry Winter. Ozark mountain music might not quite be a popular genre here in Seattle, but the Americana music is sure to please No Depression die-hards and those seeking something more authentic than the current faux-folk trend. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, $17-$20. 7:30 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON FRIDAY 6/3 Dance: Fresh Ghouls Giselle is one of the major works in the ballet canon, a milestone in the development of the art form—and the part of a lifetime for the ballerina dancing the title role. (Carla Körbes takes her first shot in PNB's world premiere of a new staging, directed by Peter Boal). But Giselle is also a fabulous piece of macabre theater. The romantic era in ballet was full of ghouls and demons who sought revenge on the human world. Accordingly, the 1841 Giselle, a story of thwarted love, death, and redemption, has its own ghostly cadre. The Wilis are the spirits of young women who died before their wedding—virgins all—and are condemned to dance hapless men to death. When the Wilis arrive in Act II, massed in an inexorable phalanx, it's every bit as spooky as a classic horror film. (Through June 12.) McCaw Hall, 301 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 441-2424, $27-$165. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ Film: Indier Than Thou Burned out by the sprawl of SIFF? The upstart Seattle True Independent Film Festival (aka STIFF) returns for a seventh run, beginning tonight with screenings at the Central Cinema and JewelBox/Rendezvous, plus an opening-night bash at NWFF. There are 52 features and more than 100 shorts—most of them American, many of them local, spread over 10 days. If you think SIFF is a crapshoot, STIFF can be even more random. Still, its indie-sized budget makes for some interesting possibilities. The Sandman is a Swiss comedy about a gourmet chef shedding sand at an alarming rate (I suppose shedding any sand spontaneously would be cause for alarm). Running Mates, a comedy about small-town politics, looks more like the kind of indie that SIFF tends to program. From Slamdance come Silver Tongues and the documentaries Bhopali (about the devastating 1984 industrial disaster) and Scrapper (about the destitute on the U.S./Mexico border scavenging bomb fragments from military exercises). Note that all three venues serve alcohol—not a coincidence. See STIFF website for full schedule and details. (Through June 12.) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave.,$8-$9.50 (or $50 festival pass). 8 p.m. SEAN AXMAKER Stage: Double Dealing You can proclaim Jayne Muirhead a great Seattle character actress, but you might just as well call her a great Seattle character. Thirty years in the business means she's outlasted many of the local theaters that played home to some of her musical turns—The Group Theatre had her fine performance in Falsettos; Pioneer Square Theatre housed her in the long-running Angry Housewives—while continuing to do a bang-up job of being herself in cabaret collaborations with composer husband John Engerman. (They began in 1990 with Jayne a la Carte.) Muirhead is usually front-and-center, yet now she and the hubby she calls "that groovy long-haired guy on the piano" have created It's in the Cards, their first duet show. A "throw" of the Tarot cards on stage each night is, the lady says, "a way for us to talk about what we believe in life and just a way to string songs together without saying, 'In 1927, Richard Rodgers wrote . . . ' " Engerman provides original ditties, and they've tweaked some familiar tunes as well. "We don't do parody lyrics," Muirhead explains. "But we do parody arrangements." So the whimsical pair will, for instance, paint an extended pop portrait of a female stalker using hits from, among others, the Supremes, Jackie DeShannon, and Vikki Carr. This is, we presume, where the Death card comes in. (Fri.-Sat. only, through June 11.) ACT Theatre (Bullitt Cabaret), 700 Union St., 292-7676, $15-$20. 8 p.m. STEVE WIECKING SATURDAY 6/4 Arts & Crafts: The Confectioner Like the sweet ending to a much-enjoyed meal, Deborah Schwartzkopf is celebrating the conclusion to her residency at Pottery Northwest with an exhibit of dessert dishes called, appropriately, Just Dessert. Schwartzkopf found her way back to Seattle, her childhood home, in the summer of 2009 after a decade spent traveling and studying around the U.S. and China. Before moving into her own Ballard studio, the PNW show will feature cake stands, ice-cream bowls, coffeepots, and other ceramics that are functional, decorative, and personal to the artist. "I truly enjoy baking and making dishes," she says. "This theme combined both perfectly. I was thinking about how indulgent dessert is and made dishes that add to this feeling." Her pieces have a certain askew, Alice-in-Wonderland aesthetic to them; they're geometric and playful without too saccharine or candy-sweet. (Through June 30.) Pottery Northwest, 226 First Ave. N., 285-4421, Free. Reception 6-8 p.m. CHELSEA LIN

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