Six Mile Station, Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 9 p.m. Free
SMS, as I imagine the members of this band abbreviate their name amongst themselves, is a good solid touring folk/Americana act. Bombs is offering up their nationally viable sound for free. You just can’t beat that. Also on a list of things you can’t beat: me at Connect Four. Seriously, I’m like a freaking demon from hell at that game.
Meet the Author: Anthony Alvarado, Grass Roots Books & Music, 227 SW 2nd St. 7 p.m. Free
The author of D.I.Y. Magic: A Strange and Whimsical Guide to Creativity will talk about whatever the hell that is and sign copies of the book. This sounds awesome, as does the life experience of the author who is a former firefighter, science teacher, truck driver, psychic, and mental health counselor (hopefully those last two were not overlapping job titles). The book explores the nature of creativity, inspiration, and the concept of “thinking outside the box” in its rawest form. This is an exhilarating type of thinker’s experience for live consumption, assuming it’s not all one big con job. Only one way to find out.
Grisman, Hargreaves, Leslie & Smith, First Presbyterian Church, 114 SW 8th St. 7:30 p.m. $23 ($15 for seniors and youth under 18)
Corvallis’ own violin dynamo Alex Hargreaves comes home with friends, including legendary mandolinist David Grisman’s son, Sam Grisman, playing bass. Alex is going to give us a taste of what he’s learned on the road playing with the likes of Bela Fleck, not to mention David Grisman as well as Hall & Oates. So, white people ages 28 to 64, your Friday night is booked, am I right? Seriously though, this show is probably going to be pretty amazing.
Drag Bingo Fundraiser, First United Methodist Church, 1165 NW Monroe Ave. 6 p.m. Suggested donation: $10
Bingo is not for me. With all due respect to your grandma Eileen, I’ve never really understood the draw of sitting in a room with a bunch of slowly-to-briskly dying strangers waiting to hear your number called, or rather your five numbers in a line called. Fortunately some awesome mind readers have added one of the few elements that could make this game more fun: drag. This is to raise money for a worthy cause, Valley Aids Information Network. This evening will be hosted by the lovely and talented Fabulanzaa L’Eville, who is just one of those lucky people whose parents gave them a name that happened to perfectly match their career calling. What’s that? A stage name? Are you sure?
The Fire Weeds & (symbiotic quintet), Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 9 p.m. $5
Portland’s favorite roots music re-production artists hit up Bombs again, and I know one corporation that isn’t happy about it: Gillette. Let’s just put it this way, Gillette could build a new factory in Guatemala and churn out millions of dollars in product, enslaving thousands of locals, on the revenue they’re not making from The Fire Weeds unshaved band members alone. These guys are almost as fond of unkempt facial hair as they are of banjo tunes. The cost of $5 is a steal for these out-of-town heavy hitters. Meanwhile (symbiotic quintet) is a pretty fascinating power-dub-jazz-fusion outfit that probably shouldn’t be playing on the same bill as an acoustic Americana band. Then again, I’m going to see Natalie Cole play with Mastodon and Yo-Yo Ma later this summer, so what do I know?
Mid-Valley Belly Dance Collective, Old World Deli, 341 SW 2nd St. 7 p.m. Suggested donation: $5
For once the belly showing at Old World Deli won’t be mine after eating too much pastrami. MVBDC, as you no doubt well know them, bring one of the sauciest and excellent of the traditional dances, the belly dance, to a quiet little deli near you. You should bring your parents, because nothing says sexy entertainment like eating pickles and rye bread with your parents. I’m just going to go ahead and make another appointment with my therapist…
Model Train Show, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 NW Monroe Ave. 1 p.m. Free
I would endorse this event, and not just because I’m such a huge fan of modeling glue. Model train shows are a piece of American heritage as vital as calling in sick to work when you’re really going to a beer tasting, or making airplane crash jokes about John Denver. Timeless stuff. Also, I like to crouch behind a garbage can near where the trains are being displayed, and mimic the sound of an engineer making announcements over the intercom. “Next stop, Anusville. Next stop, Anusville. Please have your tickets ready, because we’re going to Anusville…”
Blues Jam!, Calapooia Brewing Company, 140 NE Hill St., Albany. 4 to 6 p.m. Free
Martin Scorsese’s seven-part documentary series on the blues is a great thing to watch before showing up at this event, which is open to public participation. It’s sort of like watching the Cooking Channel before making ramen for lunch. You can sort of imagine the cup of noodles having truffles and chunks of pate floating in it. Blues Jam is the chunk of pate floating in my sodium-flavored broth of life, if that makes any sense…
Bryson Skaar, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7:30 p.m. Free
When Bryson hits the big time, which is only a matter of time, I hope he plays the Vegas nightclubs in variety lineups like the old great jazz pianists used to. I’d book him to headline a bill with the Sklar Brothers as an opening act and Jamie Farr as the MC. Because I’m creative, and I would find it funny to hear people say they have tickets to see Skaar, Sklar & Farr live. They’d sound like the aliens from Ghosts of Mars, if that reference means anything to you… So I think we’re in agreement: I should continue to write this column on opiates…
Pu’uwai O Ke Kuawa Heart of the Valley Hula, First Baptist Church, 125 NW 10th St. 8:15 p.m. $5
This sounds like a good time with good people, and I hate to throw cold water on it. That said, does it seem like hula dancing basically only has one move repeated over and over? Or am I just showing off my cultural ignorance? Because if other dance forms tried to get away with just being the same move over and over, I’m pretty sure people would make fun of them. I’m looking at you, tootsie roll.
Community Movie Night with Ygal Kaufman, Darkside Cinema, 215 SW 4th St. 7 p.m. Free
Ygal Kaufman, a guy who works almost as hard at bringing you classic films as he does on his chiseled good looks, is taking you for a hard ride with legendary bada*s Lee Van Cleef in Death Rides a Horse (1966). John Phillip Law plays a guy who watched his family get murdered as a kid and grows up seeking revenge. Lee Van Cleef plays the wise old loner gunman who can shoot a flea off a dog from 50 paces and bestows wisdom when needed, a role he would play roughly a trillion times in his career. This is spaghetti western excellence on the big screen with newsreels and other goodies to warm it up. Do not miss.
Timba Tuesday, Impulse Bar, 1425 Monroe Ave. 8 p.m. Free
Get your salsa on, in every way imaginable. Timba Tuesday is a great chance to shake your booty with the hot stepping salsa dancers of Rumbanana, as well as dumping salsa all over the delicious $1 tacos that Impulse serves on Tuesdays. I’m more partial to the cow tongue sandwiches they serve on “Womp Womp Wednesdays,” where it’s all Oom-pah music all night long. My great uncle Sal and I like to go and tell stories about the good ol’ days, when music had lyrics you could understand…
Chuck Holst & Gary Rowles, Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 8:30 p.m. Free
Get down to the ultra-smooth sounds of Chuck and Gary, a pair of gents who know how to get the most out of their guitars. These guys are the elder statesmen of Corvallis adult contempo. Move over, guy who guards the Grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there’s some new kids in town, and they’re playing heartfelt singer-songwritery love tunes in the key of classic rock. If you bring your old Love CDs expecting signatures, just bear in mind, Chuck is a cool guy and he’ll sign just to not make you feel awkward, but he wasn’t in that band, and it’ll sort of be weird.
Corvallis Knights vs. Bellingham Bells, Goss Stadium. 6:40 p.m. $6
The Bellingham Bells, huh? Don’t break your backs working on that team name concept, guys. Jeez, just because it’s minor league baseball, doesn’t mean we can’t carry ourselves with a sense of professional creativity and dignity. That’s why we changed the name from the Corvallis Art Galleries to the Corvallis Knights. It just seems a little more intimidating in the sports world…
Free Range Open Mic Night, Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 8 p.m. Free
I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I actually prefer factory-farmed open mic nights to free range. The meat is too stringy and muscle-y at the free range gigs. When I sink my teeth into the leg of an amateur rapper or a singer-songwriter, I don’t want to taste too much lactic acid. I like the plump fatty marbling you get from a guitarist who’s been raised in a cage, never moving their legs. I know, I know, there’s cruelty issues to consider, but I’m a real gourmand when it comes to open mic nights…
Wild Hog in the Woods, Calapooia Brewing Company, 140 NE Hill St., Albany. 7:30 p.m. Free
Wild Hog is a local treasure. They should apply for historic landmark protections or something, because they’ve been around forever and while we all skip their shows too often and forget them from time to time, we’d also all throw a fit if some land developer showed up at their house with a wrecking ball threatening to tear them down and build a mini-mall. They’re like a community center in an 80s romantic comedy. Only much hairier and acoustic. This is music “totapatoeto,” so don’t show up without feet, unless of course you don’t have feet, in which case I’ll get started on my letter of apology for offending you right away.