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Posted: Friday, February 04, 2000

The Millennium Prophets, a local funk-blues-rock quartet, will play dance music at the Alaskan this weekend. This is just the second performance by this group, but the members are familiar faces on the Juneau music scene.

The band includes drummer Vern Fowler, keyboardist Robert Cohen, bassist Ford James and guitarist Jay Caputo. All four sing. They played well at their debut last month. They are attentive to the audience and to one another, engaging, and incredibly strong instrumentalists with talent for improvisation. They play 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight and Saturday, and there's no cover.

More good funky music comes to the Silverbow next week. There's an open mike Monday night, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Shaft.

``Shaft,'' plays at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, one of four films the Backroom Cinema is showing in honor of Black History Month. Isaac Hayes' music is as big a part of the film as private eye John Shaft.

Sunday at 3 p.m. ``A Raisin in the Sun'' will be screened. The Backroom will also show ``Do the Right Thing'' and ``Eve's Bayou'' later this month.

A new film downtown also worth seeing is ``Magnolia,'' the latest from ``Boogie Nights'' writer and director P.T. Anderson. It's quirky, original and well-done, although it's not without its problems. It's more than three hours and a little cutting wouldn't have hurt.

``Magnolia'' is set in one day and night in modern day Los Angeles. Anderson spins out a half-dozen tales about the lives of a dozen characters. They're good characters with cool stories. Some folks thought it was a little too manic - there's lots of music and yelling and hysteria, but it's balanced with comedy and action and romance. If you liked Robert Altman's ``Short Cuts,'' you'll probably like this film.

The quilt show at the Alaska State Museum is impressive. Almost 100 quilts are hanging in the gallery, representing the work of scores of people.

The quilts are part of a humanitarian project organized by artist Ann Miletich. They feature children's artwork in the quilt squares, and skillful piecing and quilting in the assemblage. It's worth checking out.

The Juneau Douglas City Museum has some special events happening this weekend. There's a Juneau-Douglas High School student art show from 4:30 to 6:30 tonight and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. There will be a range of media: ceramics, sculpture, drawings and paintings, artwork by students of JDHS art teachers Tom Manning and Jan Niemeyer. Students will also demonstrate throwing pots on a pottery wheel.

In addition to the exhibit and demonstrations, the museum is teaming up with the Gastineau Channel Historical Society for a special event Saturday called Alaska Gold Rush Women. Fairbanks author Jane Haigh will do a performance on gold rush women. She'll be in costume and in the character of Crystal Snow, a turn-of-the-century Juneau entertainer. Haigh co-wrote a book of the same name two years ago, and knows the subject well. Her presentation is from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the city museum.

The Juneau Jazz and Classics string workshop is this weekend, and features the return Kathleen Butler-Hopkins. She was well-received last year. A professor of violin-viola and chamber music at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she also serves as concertmaster of the Fairbanks Symphony.

The workshop is open to all musicians who play string instruments. The string technique workshop meets from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Hendrickson Building 113 at the University of Alaska Southeast and the cost is $20.



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