Weekend Best Bets

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2001

An incredible assortment of music and entertainment is in store in the next week.

The 27th Alaska Folk Festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Monday for a week of concerts and three nights of dancing. More than 150 groups will perform. A complete schedule will appear in the Sunday Juneau Empire.

This is Eaglecrest's last weekend, and there's a Spring Carnival Saturday and Sunday from about 10:30 to 2, with games, contests, fun races, Easter egg hunts and other activities.

Slick Shoes and Five Iron Frenzy perform tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Centennial Hall. The shows are geared for middle-school to college age folks, and admission is free. There won't be chairs, it's a standup show.

Slick Shoes was described by one fan as "straight punk." Five Iron Frenzy is an eight-piece punk band with a horn section, and plays rock-driven ska. Both have toured nationally and have three CDs out.

David Johnson, 19, has produced these shows as a labor of love. He's a fan of the bands and a community-minded guy who grew up in Juneau. He's also active in the Auke Bay Bible Church and wanted the event to have a wholesome Christian aspect. The lyrics to some of the songs have Christian themes, but this is not an Amy Grant concert by any means.

I read some great interviews online with the bands - you can easily find their Web sites if you search by the band names. If you want to learn even more, you can watch the shows live on community access Channel 12.

Q Lounge is another event that's a labor of love by a few folks who just want to see some alternative entertainment and social opportunities in Juneau. Q Lounge has been every other Friday at the Back Room at the Silverbow for the past month. Tonight it starts with an open mike from 9 to 10, followed by a dance with DJ Queenie from 10 to 2 a.m. It's gay friendly, but not exclusive. There's techno music, snacks and beer and wine.

Ken DeRoux and Mark Daughhetee have put together an excellent photography show at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council gallery. Called Flashback: Photographs from the Sixties, Images from San Francisco and Los Angeles, it offers a real slice of life from the era. They have images from concerts, rallies and events, and music lovers should appreciate some of the concert shots. If you were in those aforementioned cities between 1967 and 1971, you may well have been at some of the events they photographed. The show is well worth a look. It will be on display through April 28.

Moxie, a new Juneau group billing itself as Cajun funk, played well last week. Moxie is on from 9 p.m. to about 1 a.m. tonight and Saturday at the Hangar on the Wharf, and there's no cover.

Spring is here - skunk cabbages are sprouting, mountain goats are out on the hillsides and the Alaska Folk Festival is upon us. I'm a volunteer organizer of the event, but I'd recommended it even if I wasn't involved.

You can head down to Centennial Hall any evening next week for the free concerts. Every 15 minutes a different act will take the stage, and just about every kind of music imaginable will be offered. Garage rock bands, Celtic groups, singer-songwriters, barbershop quartets, bluegrass, old-time and blues musicians will all take a turn. The concerts run from 7 to 10:30 p.m. each night, a little longer on the weekends.

Next weekend there will also be dances. Thursday night there are three contra dances with guest bands and callers. Friday night is more electric, with salsa, rock, blues, swing, county and Afro-Cuban rhythm styles featured. Saturday will be contras and squares, with the guest artists performing. All the dances are at the National Guard Armory across from Centennial Hall.

The festival also offers workshops, with a variety of free dance and music lessons available. You can get a beginning guitar, voice, fiddle and banjo lessons, and more advanced lessons in esoteric topics like Indian fiddle styles or singing while you play fiddle. The program, available free at the festival, will give a complete list of activities.

Riley Woodford can be reached at rileyw@juneauempire.com.

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