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.
■ Jon Langford with Mark Pickerel
Jon Langford, a founding member of the long-running British punk-politics-art-country-whatever band The Mekons, has had a huge influence on the past 40 years of pop music. That you’ve never heard of him doesn’t change that; the people in the bands you like have heard of him. (Or, barring that, the people in the bands THEY like have heard of him.) The point is: The work Langford has done during his career has directly or indirectly shaped what we think of as rock, country, folk and punk. And, whether that’s important to you or not, he’s going to put on a great show tonight with his band up in Ellensburg. And Mark Pickerel’s going to play, too. And it’s just $10. So go see it.
■ Hop Nation Carnivale
3 p.m. Friday-2 a.m. Saturday; Hop Nation Brewing Co., 31 N. First Ave.; $15 advance, $20 door; www.facebook.com/HopNationBrewing, 509-367-6552
This event, now in its fifth year (though its first, I believe, with an “e” at the end of “carnivale”), has become one of the most-anticipated annual parties in Yakima. It’s not difficult to see why. There’s beer, of course. And food. But, big deal, a lot of Yakima events have those things. Very few, however, combine them with a freak show, live music, lucha libre wrestling, fire-eating and a late-night EDM DJ to keep the party going all the way to last-call.
■ Randy Porter Trio
The past 50 years of jazz is full of bombast, wild experimentation and edge-of-the-known-universe avant-garde free-jazz skronk. And I love that. But that’s not the only way jazz can blow your mind. Sometimes it’s in the subtlety. Randy Porter, who brings his trio to The Seasons this week, is the latter sort of player, the subtle sort. That does not mean he’s boring or unadventurous. It just means you have to pay closer, quieter attention to catch some of what makes his music so good. I don’t have the technical knowledge of jazz to explain it better than that, but The Oregonian said it pretty well in 2008: “Porter’s superb technical facility allows him to weave tricky meters and clever cross-rhythms into a spirited, organic whole that emerges simply as beautiful music.” Yeah. That’s what I meant.
■ Rebecca Rush
Stand-up comic Rebecca Rush does this thing where she casually drops outrageous tidbits from her life, frequently including a cutting and-or hilarious insight, without seeming to acknowledge the outrageousness of them. It’s a winning style, not just because Rush is insane — though, uh, maybe she is — but because everything about her stories is comedically potent. Every word, every gesture, every pause serves the comedy. Someone else could have lived her crazy life and told her crazy stories, but I can’t imagine anyone else doing it with Rush’s level of humor. Local comic Stephanie Flynn will open. Local comic B.J. Johnson will host.
■ Los Horoscopos de Durango, Los Plebes de Tierra Caliente, Los Principes
Vicky and Marisol Terrazas aren’t your typical regional Durango-style Mexican singers. They’re women in a formerly male-dominated field, and they’re relatively new in the life of the band, which formed in the mid-1970s. In other words, they represent the new face of not just Lost Horoscopos but of Durango music. And they’re a huge hit. Since the Terraza sisters took over out front more than a decade ago, the band has only gotten more popular. Their YouTube videos regularly number in the millions of views, and they’ve won all kinds of awards including Latin Grammys and Billboard Music Awards.
— Pat Muir
This story has been updated to correct the name of comedian B.J. Johnson.