Best bets

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2000

Peabody's Monster is the only performing rock band in Juneau writing half of its songs. It's great to hear original songs by local musicians. They tend to sound fresh and sincere since the band arranged them and the author is usually singing them.

That's not to say there isn't plenty of bad original music, or there's anything wrong with cover tunes. It's fun to dance to a good song. It's just that tonight, all across America, 15,000 bar bands are all playing ``Jumping Jack Flash.'' I just can't bear to hear one more bar band play another tired version of ``Proud Mary,'' or a generic 12-bar blues shuffle. I'd rather recommend a band where people are trying to do something original, and covering songs that are a little off the wall.

Peabody's Monster plays 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight and Saturday at The Alaskan Bar. There's no cover.

Patrick Murphy is a fine Juneau songwriter performing his original music tonight. They're in a folk-country vein, and he's got nice chord changes and strong, well-written lyrics. Jane Roodenburg plays first, at 7 p.m., with Murphy and friends following. The show is at the Myriad Cafe, and there's a $5 cover.

I went to see Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre's ``archy and mehitabel'' last night. The poster indicated there would be a show, but a sign in the window of the Palace Theatre said No Show Tonight. They were rehearsing instead. I went in and caught 45 minutes of rehearsal as a consolation, and I was entertained. I look forward to being able to watch the whole show in costume with an audience. It runs three more weekends, counting this one.

Gross Alaska Theaters is once again sponsoring a special run of limited release films that have been nominated for Academy Awards. The five films will show only one week each at the Glacier Cinema.

``Angela's Ashes,'' opens Friday. Starting the first week in March will be ``Mansfield Park,'' then ``Cider House Rules.''

The final two actually look the best. ``The End of the Affair,'' based on the book by Graham Greene, and ``Sweet and Lowdown,'' Woody Allen's latest. ``Sweet,'' opening March 24, has Sean Penn as a talented but irresponsible 1930s jazz guitarist.

I've never seen comedian Derrick Cameron on stage, but I was impressed when I interviewed him this week. He was funny and I think he'll do a good show. He's on at 8 tonight at Marlintini's Lounge. Tickets are $10.

``Archaeology: The Not-So-Obvious in Alaska's History,'' is the first in the Alaska State Museum's spring lecture series. This annual series is designed ostensibly to train volunteers and docents, folks who will be working at the museum during the tourist season.

The presentations are free and open to the public, though, and often address interesting timely topics. A variety of regional experts and museum specialists offer their expertise. The series runs through mid-May.

Some of the presentations really target the docents-in-training, like the overview of Alaska Native cultures, offered by Wally Olsen on March 25, or Renee Guerin's workshop March 18 on using and caring for your voice.

Some that look particularly interesting to me are geologist Cathy Conner's presentation March 11, Dinosaurs in Alaska, and a related talk the same morning about the Bering land bridge and prehistoric Alaska; and Candace Savage's presentation April 29 on the intelligence of ravens.

The archaeology talk Saturday begins at 7 p.m., and will feature a panel of regional archaeologists talking about their current work. Most of the presentations will be at 9 a.m.

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