YAKIMA, Wash. -- Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered; here are this week’s top picks for entertainment in the Yakima Valley.
■ The Purrs
The best rock show in Central Washington this weekend — and it’s not even close — will be played by The Purrs up in Roslyn. The Purrs are one of those Northwest bands that hasn’t really broken big beyond the region, but that’s the rest of the country’s loss. The long-running Seattle outfit plays a brand of psych rock that draws on stuff from 40 years ago, 20 years ago and today, making for a sound that’s slightly sinister. It’s atmospheric and trippy but in a minor key with dark, sometimes cryptic lyrics. It straight-up rocks, in other words.
■ “Side by Side: Carol Hassen:Bob Fisher”
1-4 p.m. Sunday opening, exhibit through Dec. 14; KL Brewer Gallery, 10 N. First St. in Selah; free; www.facebook.com/KimLBrewer88, 509-307-5008
You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger Central Washington arts-scene power couple than the wife-and-husband team of Carol Hassen and Bob Fisher. She has served as director of the Larson Gallery in Yakima and Gallery One in Ellensburg. He was a Yakima Valley College art instructor from 1983 to 2014, including a stint as department chairman. So they’ve got the credentials. But that’s not why you should go see this show; you should see it because Hassen and Fisher do remarkable work. His landscapes are somehow both realistic and impressionistic. Her colorful paintings are evocative and multi-textured.
7 p.m. Monday; Old Skool’s, 308 N. Main St. in Ellensburg; free, donations encouraged; www.facebook.com/coasterclique
The Yakima Valley’s favorite rapper, Coaster, hasn’t performed in the Yakima Valley much this year. With the exception of a Chinook Fest set in Naches in September, he’s been on the road, playing gigs all over the Northwest. On Monday, following October shows in Seattle and Portland, Coaster returns to Central Washington with a show at one of my favorite spots in Ellensburg. Old Skool’s has done a great job supporting local talent and has a pretty decent selection of used records and vintage clothing (vintage everything, really). So think about swinging by this one, checking out Coaster’s ever-evolving musical repertoire and maybe picking up some classic vinyl while you’re there.
■ Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker”
I don’t know much about ballet on a technical level. I can’t tell you why one company is better than another. But even I know the Moscow Ballet is something special. The company’s touring “Great Russian Nutcracker” has earned raves from the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, and just watching clips of its performances online is enough to captivate even know-nothings like me. It’s whimsical and magical but also impressively athletic and acrobatic. If you’re looking to jump-start your Christmas spirit, this show will do it.
■ The Easy Leaves with Navid Eliot
There are eleventy-billion retro country bands these days, which on balance is a very good thing. The problem is that not many of them are really that good. It’s a trend to a lot of them, the “cool” thing in music these days. That’s why it’s so refreshing to watch an Easy Leaves show. These old boys are for real. They don’t make a big deal of showing off their country bona fides; they just play great classic-style songs with smart lyrics. They’ll be joined for this show by a familiar opener, Navid Eliot of local folk group Planes on Paper, who will do a set of country covers.