Usually I give a “show of the week” alert so you know which unmissable live performances you really shouldn’t miss. Well, let this serve as your “show of the year” warning. Gift of Gab, the MC from the legendary hip-hop duo Blackalicious, returns for another stop in Corvallis. I can’t for the life of me figure out why he loves playing here so much, or why he loves playing such a small venue, but I also don’t spend too much time asking why when I find money on the street either. Sometimes you just gotta thank your lucky stars and be on your way. Don’t give Gab a reason to not come back every year; let’s pack the house and show him why the Valley is so fresh to death.
Rough Jazz, Calapooia Brewing, 140 NE Hill St., Albany. 7 p.m. Free
Jazz is America’s art form, so you should take every opportunity to experience it played well. Here’s a great opportunity for something like that at “the poo,” which is what I would call this place if I weren’t trying to get them to advertise with us. Calling it “the ’ya” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But seriously, Rough Jazz; definitely worth the cover price.
Pearl District Quintet brings five of Oregon’s classical music heavyweights to the stage together for one night of piano-accompanied chamber string mayhem. I like to blast this type of stuff when I’m in relaxation mode, like sitting in the shower crying. This performance will include the likes of Bach and Dvorak among others, and is a great opportunity to see a show while eating a stinky cheese. Classical and stinky cheese are like peanut butter and… stinky cheese. Some things just work.
The Fire Weeds and Jesse Garrett Johnson, Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 9 p.m. $4
I know how sick you all are of rap and classical shows dominating the landscape, so I’ve got good news. These guys play a totally unique brand of music you’ve probably never heard in Corvallis. Just kidding, it’s a bluegrass/Americana band. It is a really talented one from Portland. And for the low, low price of $4 you can see them with bright-eyed, bushy-tailed optimist Jesse Garrett Johnson, who’s quickly becoming a favorite at Bombs.
Whether you’re a fan of Spaceballs or the form of music traditionally loved by skinheads, you’re probably going to enjoy Ludicrous Speed. This is a big energetic ska outfit that will have you skankin’, drankin’, and considering ill-advised hats in no time flat. For the righter than right price of $3, I will be at this show for sure, and my level of nakedness will be dictated only by my level of inebriation…
Corvallis Folklore Society Contra Dance, First Congregational United Church, 4515 SW West Hills Rd. 7:30 p.m. $7
Contra dance time is here again, which I would think is especially appealing to people who have served in the military. If you like dancing to the barked orders of a complete stranger (and who wouldn’t, really?), than this should be the Saturday night of your dreams. I frequently show up at this dance dressed as Col. Oliver North, and then I usually try to make illegal backroom deals with the people of the Folklore Society to launder money. And if you got that joke, I think you will enjoy this dance immensely.
Baseball is objectively the most boring sport in the universe. I’d rather watch paint dry… on a cricket player’s bat than watch baseball. However, I do love a winner, and the OSU baseball team is traditionally pretty damn good. So if you want to get on board with a winning squad on a slow Sunday, than I can’t recommend a slower, more appropriate sport for you to watch. If you need me during the game, I’ll probably be throwing rocks at passing trains, because I value my time.
Blues Jam!, Calapooia Brewing Company, 140 NE Hill St., Albany. 4 to 6 p.m. Free
It’s the exclamation point that really sells the event. I would never attend a “blues jam.” But a “Blues Jam!” That is something I would attend. The charisma, the buoyancy. The blues! This jam is going to be spectacular. And before you ask, no, I won’t be there again this week shouting obscenities into my cell phone and pacing up and down in front of the stage while the band tries to play. It was my biennial phone call to Mother. So sorry you all have perfect relationships with your parents…
Have I done a Bryson Skaar/Scar (from The Lion King) thing yet? No? Well there’s an embarrassing oversight. But rest assured, Bryson Skaar lays down the hot ivory jazz with the self-confidence and Jeremy Irons-voiced depth of an evil lion that terrorized my childhood. Okay, even I can admit that was thin, and I’ve already referenced Spaceballs and the Iran-Contra affair… Just go to Imagine and listen to this great jazz piano so I don’t hate you.
Traditional West African Dance Classes, Odd Fellows Hall, 223 SW 2nd St. 7:15 p.m.
Okay, I’ve been lying to you; I’m not the greatest West African style dancer in the world. I’m ranked #5. But I am #1 in the greater Linn-Benton County region, and that’s not too shabby. If you want moves like mine, you might want to start at ground level and check out this awesome class at the confusingly named Odd Fellows Hall. Fefafe provides the music, you just bring your dancing shoes and love of getting humiliated by me on the dance floor.
CMNYK has an amazing Spring Break Special planned for you, so be appreciative and show up. Since those foul-mouthed, weed-stinking college kids will be at home getting free food and laundry done by their parents (for a change…), why don’t we have a big ol’ family-friendly free movie that you can bring your non-weed stinking kids to? Darkside Cinema to the rescue. Curator Ygal Kaufman will be screening the 1939 Fleischer brothers animated classic Gulliver’s Travels, and you have two chances to see it, at 2 and 7 p.m. It’s free as usual, and the newsreels and shorts beforehand have been tailored to the possibility that you’ll bring kids. But this movie is just as good for adults—don’t miss it!
Celtic Jam, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7 p.m. Free
If you want to get real technical about it, a “Celtic jam” is when Dee Brown did that no-look dunk where he put his forearm over his eyes when he went toward the hoop in the 1991 Slam Dunk Competition. But since I’m the forgiving type, I’ll also recommend this musically more impressive (but basketball-wise completely worthless) Irish music jam that goes down every week at the ‘Gine. What, are we not calling it that yet? Prepare for “Greensleeves”; again, not a Dee Brown reference.
Sanderson is a British singer-songwriter who lives in Oregon and is producing some of the most exciting music coming out of Oregon right now. She’s touring in support of her recently released EP, Shadows and Sparks, which came out in February. This is a premium act for free in Corvallis. If you can’t make it out for this show, don’t complain when the next show is just me on a stage juggling oranges and humming the theme from Matlock. What? It’s a performance art piece…
Wednesday Acoustic Live with the Thormahlens, Les Caves, 308 SW 3rd St. 8 p.m. Free
Dave and Sharon Thormahlen are Corvallis treasures making a gorgeous product that is a genuine throwback to a forgotten age. Their harps are a vision to behold, and they sound great. Now I know, you normally don’t intend on hearing harps until your translucent spirit rises from your dead body and perches on a cloud… but Les Caves does make a mean cheese board, so why not hear some harp music a little earlier than planned?
Mango Django provides some of Corvallis’ most oft leaned-on live jazz music. They’re talented, eclectic, and they play out a bunch for free, so they’re pretty much the tippity-top of the Corvallis jazz scene. Well, buckle up because they’re going all Gang Starr with this hip-hop collaboration that sounds intriguing at the very least. Though I doubt these guys are going to get as gully as Guru used to (RIP) I tend to think this is gonna be one of the hottest live music nights of the week.
Wild Hog in the Woods, Calapooia Brewing, 140 NE Hill St., Albany. 7 p.m. Free
Go wild with this super authentic bunch of American strummers as they play what their website describes as “stringband music totapatoeto.” If you have any idea what that is, you’ll probably love this band. The rest of you will just like it a whole lot, because they’re great. It’s time to go hog wild, as they say. “They” being some people much, much older than me.