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.
■ “Oceans, Flamenco en Vivo” by Savannah Fuentes
7:30 p.m. Friday; Central Washington University dance studio, Nicholson Pavilion on the Ellensburg campus;
$22, $34 VIP, $14 student; www.cwu.edu/dance
If you saw Savannah Fuentes in Yakima last November, you know this is a special show. I can’t claim any specialized knowledge of flamenco — or even dance performance in general — but I’ve watched enough video of Fuentes (along with guitarist Pedro Cortes and singer-percussionist Jose Moreno) to say her work is undeniably moving. There’s a beauty to it that transcends boundaries, impressing even laypeople like me.
■ Jokers of Yakima comedy showcase with Parker Jones and Sam Mesman
5-7 p.m. Saturday; Off the Record, 1513 Summitview Ave.; free; www.facebook.com/OffTheRecordYakima
The standup scene in Yakima, as much as there is one, has been inconsistent over the years. But right now it’s got a lot of potential, and two big reasons for that are Parker Jones and Sam Mesman. The former, a veteran of the Portland comedy scene, is a heady, sneaky-funny comic with an endearingly goofy stage presence. The latter, who does standup via poetry and songs, is sort of creating her own genre of personal and social comedy. When it works, it’s great. Even when it doesn’t, it’s still impressively daring.
■ The Dusty 45s
It’s been nearly two decades since I first saw The Dusty 45s play live, and I’ve probably seen them a dozen times since. Know what? As long as they keep coming around, I’ll keep watching ‘em. They have the kind of energy I like. Frontman Billy Joe Huels still does his strutting, swaggering, lanky-rockabilly-dude thing. And the rest of the band remains tight as tight. For people who haven’t seen them, the live show is full of surprises and eye-catching flourishes. And for those of us who’ve seen them plenty, the draw is the band’s consistent quality.
■ Josiah Johnson and Lenore
I found former The Head and The Heart singer-songwriter Josiah Johnson’s intense earnestness off-putting at first. He’s not one for small talk. He’ll stare directly into your eyes the entire time, listen carefully and share generously. That took me a while to get used to. But eventually he won me over. And his music is the same way. He sings beautifully and with all of his heart. And at first you go, “Who does this guy think he is? Doesn’t he know you can’t do that? You need to insulate yourself with layers of post-modern cynicism.” Then you start to like it. This show, promoted by the house-show
outfit Undertow Music Collective, will be intimate enough that his Josiah-ness should serve him well. And Lenore, if you’ll recall from last year’s Yakima Folklife Festival, is a more-than-able complement.
■ One Love: Art Exhibit & Fashion Show
6-9 p.m. Wednesday; third floor, 121 E. Yakima Ave.; $30, $45, 21 and older only; www.facebook.com/shopwildjay, 509-902-1969
This celebration of creativity will feature more than a dozen local fashion designers and brands, the visual art of five local artists, local wine, local beer, local food and music from a local DJ. So if you’re one of those support-local people (as you should be), the local-boosting facet of One Love is pretty compelling reason to buy a ticket. But beyond civic boosterism, it’ll also just be a good show. There’s more fashion talent here than almost anyone outside of that scene realizes. And the group of local artists includes two of my favorites, Stevan Chase and Jamaica Zoglman, both of whom combine elements of fine art and graphic illustration in their work for results that function as either or both.
— Pat Muir