Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Events - April

Weekend Events
April showers may bring May flowers, but we’re already harvesting a bouquet of this month’s outpouring of activities. Get your goat at a festival in San Francisco. Munch on cupcakes so beautiful they resemble couture clothing in Seattle. Pick up tickets to see the Purple One in L.A., or finagle your way into the sold-out Coachella festival. Celebrate Record Store Day by popping into a shop in your city. Or kick back and watch the NBA playoffs.

Record Store Day
Across the country, people will be dropping the needle on the record to spin songs this Saturday in celebration of the wonderful, independently owned merchants of music in their cities. Begun in 2007 as a response to the uptick in online record retailers, Record Store Day returns the customer to the exchange of tastes, tips and talk surrounding the selection of music that are part of the in-store experience.

Many vinyl and CD special releases will be issued for this one day. And plenty of artists show their support with special in-store performances. With outspoken spokespeople from Regina Spektor to Ozzy Osbourne, Record Store Day shows that indie shops have yet to play their swan song.
"Nue York"
It’s often been said that New Yorkers are a jaded bunch -- nothing fazes them because they’ve seen it all. Artist Erica Simone may change that. This Parisian in New York photographs herself in the nude around the city, from riding the subway or shoveling a sidewalk to munching on a Gray’s Papaya hotdog.

Her new exhibit of self-portraits, “Nue York: Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen,” is on view this weekend at The Dash Gallery in Tribeca. The full-color photos are unflinching and challenging but also playful. Simone has managed to do something extraordinary: capture the most photographed city in the world in a wholly new way. Judging from the buzz, perhaps New Yorkers aren’t so jaded after all.
Atlanta Steeplechase
Head to the 46th annual Atlanta Steeplechase on Saturday, April 16 for what’s considered the best lawn party in the state. Steeplechase is its own version of the Kentucky Derby with horse racing, barbecue, hat contests and cocktails (lots of cocktails) plus a portion of the proceeds benefit Camp Southern Ground.
Cupcake Camp
Last year's inaugural Cupcake Camp Seattle event was a scene of mayhem -- long lines and greedy gobblers left little but frosting smudges and crumbs by the time the final visitors walked through the door. But this year's event promises to be better (and better organized). Amateur and professional bakers will present their pretty sweet treats at The Canal in Ballard on Sunday between noon and 4 p.m. Funds from the $10 tickets, which entitle you to six different mini cupcakes, go to the Hope Heart Institute.
NBA Playoffs
The National Basketball Association wrapped up its regular season this week, bringing down the curtain on the second of the NBA’s three-act seasons. For many fans, the “real” season begins April 16 with the start of the league’s two-month-long postseason.

Though defending champs Los Angeles Lakers are among the favorites to win the title, by no means are they a clear-cut favorite. This season’s field is among the most wide-open in recent memory, with several teams harboring legitimate hopes of winning a championship. If anything, all that parity should make for an exciting stretch of basketball.
Angola Prison Rodeo
The Angola Prison Rodeo, billing itself as the longest-running prison rodeo in the country, happens April 16 and 17 this year at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Begun in 1965 as a strictly internal affair, the rodeo opened to the public in 1967 after word and interest spread; it now draws about 10,000 visitors a year and raises money for a wide range of inmate programs.
There’s an inmate art show and sale too, but most visitors are there to see events like Bust Out (“All six chutes open simultaneously, releasing six angry bulls, with temporarily attached inmate cowboys.”) and Convict Poker (“It's the ultimate poker game, and even winning has a price. Four inmate cowboys sit at a table in the middle of the arena playing a friendly game of poker. Suddenly, a wild bull is released with the sole purpose of unseating the poker players.”) The inmate cowboys are amateur; the bulls and horses are decidedly all pro.
Coachella Music and Arts Festival
Sunscreen? Check. Sleeping bags? Check. Ability to forgo personal space? Check.

It's that time again. The Coachella Music and Arts Festival kickoffs the summer music festival season in America. The three-day affair, in a small town called Indio, in the middle of the Inland Empire, attracts artists from around the globe every April.

This year, Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire and Kanye West will be providing the headlining sounds, with support acts ranging from the Strokes to Duran Duran to Caifanes. Alf Alpha, a DJ from nearby Palm Desert, will kick off the festivities on Friday at 11:30 a.m., and the rock will rarely stop between then and early Monday morning.
Prince Tickets
Prince is not an artist who cares much for planning.

The Purple One announced last week that he and the New Power Generation were gearing up for a run of 21 shows in the Los Angeles area as a part of the “Welcome 2 America” quasi-tour that began last December in New York. The start date? April 14 -- six days from the announcement.

Three shows are now on sale -- April 14, 21 and 22 -- and fans are waiting on announcements about the other 18, as well as supporting acts
Dallas Cycle Chic
A week of bicycle-themed events organized by Dallas Cycle Chic, a months-old website with the mission to foster community among cyclists, culminates this weekend with a bunch of good sports.

Bike polo, a burgeoning sport, in which horses are replaced with bikes, bridles are replaced with handlebars, is the sport to watch. A lesson for novices interested in trying their spokes at some chukkas will precede the actual match but, generally speaking, the way bike polo works is that teams of four wallop a ball with mallets during four 10-minute periods called chukkas. This Sunday, bike polo will run for six hours.
Goat Festival
Now's your chance to test empirically the theory that goats will eat tin cans -- for the record, they won't -- this Saturday, April 16 at 10 a.m. for the third annual Goat Festival at the Ferry Building. Producers of goat milk comestibles and CUESA return with cooking demos and free samples of ice cream, cheeses and fudge derived from goat milk. Of course, there will be baby goats to pet -- it’s as “kid”-friendly as it gets.