■ “Facing the Inferno: The Wildfire Photography of Kari Greer” opening reception
Kari Greer is more photojournalist than fine-art photographer, and her work shooting heightened fire activity in the American West indeed focuses on the intersection of humanity and nature and the potential impacts of that. But it’s also gorgeous. Wildfire is dangerous and destructive, and its increasing prevalence is a concern for anyone who cares about the future of this region; still, it is visually mesmerizing. That gives these photos, already so full of narrative power, aesthetic power as well. They’re really something.
■ Sway Wild
With apologies to guitarist-drummer-singer Dave McGraw, whose contributions to the San Juan Islands band Sway Wild are numerous and important (and with further apologies to bassist Thom Lord, whose contribution to the band is, uh, bass), the main draw here is guitarist-singer Mandy Fer. The songs McGraw sings lead on are good. And his guitar work is good. But every time I click on a Sway Wild video I’m hoping it’s one with Fer out front. The band works better with her belting it out and him harmonizing. And her electric guitar tone is first-rate. She needs those other guys, sure. But not like they need her.
■ “The Matrix”
6:30 p.m. Friday; Tieton Cider Works, 619 W. J St.; free; www.facebook.com/tietonciderworks, 509-571-1430
This is one of those “dress-up encouraged” entries in Tieton Cider Works’ free movie series. So get your Eurotrash sunglasses and full-length leather trench coats out, people. Or don’t. That’s fine, too. Because even without the cosplay, “The Matrix” is worth your time. It was released in 1999, which given the pace of technological innovation since, was a completely different era. But, with its themes of personal loss at the hands of machines and our willingness to exchange freedom for convenience, it predicted the intervening 20 years pretty well. It’s also still a visual thrill ride.
■ Shooter Jennings
Would Shooter Jennings be a star if he wasn’t Waylon’s boy? I’m not sure. But it doesn’t matter. His family name gave him entry into country music, and he’s done more with that than a whole bunch of other people could have. His career output has been a little uneven, but the good stuff is really good. And the bad stuff, mostly the stuff that strays furthest from his roots, can be read as an ambitious attempt to carve his own niche. That’s respectable, at least. And I’ve never heard anyone complain about the man’s live show.
■ Black History 101 Mobile Museum’s 5th Element Hip Hop exhibit
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday; Hopf Union Building on the campus of Yakima Valley College; free; www.blackhistorymobilemuseum.com
The Black History 101 Mobile Museum, founded by Khalid el-Hakim, came through Yakima a year ago. But this time it’s a little more focused. Rather than attempting a broad black-history survey, it uses hip-hop culture to tell the story of the past 40 years of black American experience. That doesn’t mean it’s just Billboard chart listings, though. It’s an exploration of how the transatlantic slave trade, Jim Crow and the civil rights movement created a context for hip-hop. Further, it’s an exploration of how hip-hop in turn became a musical and cultural force with global reach.
— Pat Muir