Play Blog

Welcome to the Play Blog, an insider’s guide on everything from music to pop culture, local dining, drinking, art and nightlife. Alaska or Outside, it’s fair game. Who's hot, who's coming to town, who's doing something worth noticing. We're on it.

Reader input is a big part of this blog, so express yourself and post comments. And if you have gig announcements, press kits, news briefings, story ideas, MP3s, CDs and reviews please ship them our way

Pamyua premieres new video for 'Bubble Gum' - 10/23/2012 4:32 pm

Ghosts and ghouls haunting town - 10/19/2012 4:55 pm

More reality TV coming to Alaska - 10/19/2012 11:49 am

REVIEW: Richard Thompson is a master of fine dissonance - 10/17/2012 4:04 pm

Alaska Railroad offers trips on the Alyeska Halloween Train - 10/10/2012 2:32 pm

VIDEO: Flogging Molly's sold-out show at the Egan Center - 10/4/2012 12:12 pm

Call to filmmakers: Make a movie in 2 days - 9/28/2012 2:45 pm

Oktoberfest is coming to Anchorage - 9/27/2012 3:25 pm

New Delmag EP / Shows

Photo courtesy Delmag: Erik Braund works the skins during a recording session.Photo courtesy Delmag: Erik Braund works the skins during a recording session.

Delmag’s Erik Braund is in the studio mastering the group’s new EP and sent me this update via e-mail:

"Delmag is releasing a new EP, our second this year, this coming Halloween. The three-song disc is called the 'Small Town Something' EP and features all new songs. It is the follow-up to June's 'Hole in the Sky' EP - whose title track has been in regular rotation on KWHL.

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Wings 'n Things expanding

Photo by Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News: Original owner Joe Connelly started Wings 'n Things with his wife Teresa and children Molly and Joey in 1983.Photo by Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News: Original owner Joe Connelly started Wings 'n Things with his wife Teresa and children Molly and Joey in 1983.Popular Anchorage eatery Wings 'n Things is opening another location. The restaurant, originally downtown (Fifth and I), was open for 25 years before it abruptly closed in August 2007, only to reopen in January of this year with a new owner, a new location (36th and Arctic) and hungry crowds. The same recipes led to the same tasty eats, and the Arctic Boulevard location was soon featured in an ADN wing challenge.

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New Alaska BMX video

The local crew responsible for this video will be premiering it this Saturday at an event that runs from noon to 10 p.m. at the AT&T Pavillion, $5. More info at or by calling 223-6802.

no bikes 7 trailer from no bikes on Vimeo.

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Aziz talks Kanye to Letterman

If you missed "Parks and Recreation" funny man Aziz Ansari on Letterman last night, here's a clip.

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Wing woes: High prices shift sales

Photo by Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily NewsPhoto by Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily NewsYou should already know that we take hot wings seriously at Play Magazine. Anything involving pizza or French fries is also a big deal, but wings are especially sacred.

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Cool video to go along with the track produced by Duck Sauce (A-Trak and Armand Van Helden).

-- Spencer Shroyer

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"Thank-You Bar" a mystery tour

By Mike Dunham
Emily Johnson: Kenai Peninsula-born choreographer lost the fish for the live performance of "The Thank-You Bar." The eyepiece was spoken through during one of the stories.Emily Johnson: Kenai Peninsula-born choreographer lost the fish for the live performance of "The Thank-You Bar." The eyepiece was spoken through during one of the stories.
“Someone needs to explain to me the difference between the avant-garde and the ridiculous. I’m mystified,” went a letter to the editor in Thursday’s Daily News. The writer referred specifically to Emily Johnson’s performance art piece “The Thank-You Bar,” which debuted at Out North, also on Thursday.

Johnson’s odd little mystery play/dance/narrative may not be explicable (it does have moments of humor), but we can try to describe pieces of it as experienced on opening night.

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Smoke House is mighty mighty

Photo by Spencer ShroyerPhoto by Spencer Shroyer
A new barbecue shack recently appeared on the corner of Debarr Road and Boniface Parkway, in the parking lot of the Shell gas station. The aptly named Smoke House lures in hungry drivers with clouds of smoke from an outdoor grill and signs advertising a $5 special.

A co-worker and I hit the Smoke House’s drive-thru today (there’s no room for indoor seating – it’s just a trailer) for a late lunch. We pulled up without a wait and were handed a menu. An employee told us that the Boniface location had been open for four weeks and was operated by the same folks that run the Smoke House shack on the corner of Minnesota Drive and Northern Lights Boulevard. Here’s a Daily News review of the Minnesota location from March.

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Winner winner, fried chicken dinner

Evan Sung for The New York Times: Mr. Okamoto's karaage, ginger-and-garlic-marinated thighs in a light, puffy crust of sweet-potato starch.Evan Sung for The New York Times: Mr. Okamoto's karaage, ginger-and-garlic-marinated thighs in a light, puffy crust of sweet-potato starch.Two recent articles in Outside newspapers have me thinking about all things fried and crispy.

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New mix from Curtis Vodka

Hard at work in his East Anchorage hideout, producer/DJ Curtis Vodka has put together another mix for the White Light blog. In addition to two from Curtis, the 13-mix series also features volumes from heavy hitters such as DJ Fashen, Them Jeans and (thee) Mike B.

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Levi's new commercial

Levi appears to still be working on his goal of doing more acting. Yes, that is his actual bodyguard - Anchorage's Tank Jones.

-- Spencer Shroyer

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Diners, Drive-ins, Dives and Denali

Guy Fieri and his son HunterGuy Fieri and his son HunterEarlier this week, Guy Fieri, host of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, posted a note on his Twitter account about making the trip up to Alaska. If you haven’t seen the show, here’s the gist: Guy cruises around the states in his red convertible, stopping at restaurants to sample their fares. Normally the eateries are mom-n-pop restaurants with rabid followings and storied histories.

Here’s video of his trip to San Antonio, Texas.

Where do you think he should stop in Alaska? Why?

-- Spencer Shroyer

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Man V. Food - The Alaska edition

Adam RichmanAdam RichmanYesterday evening, rumors were buzzing around that Adam Richman from The Travel Channel’s “Man Vs. Food” program was in town. It wasn’t a total surprise - Play food reviewer Rachael Fisher had already started working on a story about his trip up here.

When we heard that Richman would be at Humpy’s Rachael made some calls and talked to the event manager who said she hadn’t heard of it but would talk to the general manager. She called right back and said it was not true. Still, reports kept coming on Twitter, so Rachael decided to check it out.

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New Akream track feat. Mac Lethal

Akream: Photo by E.G. MediaAkream: Photo by E.G. Media
Alaska rapper Akream just sent over a new track featuring Black Clover's Mac Lethal.

Akream said the song, "Beautiful Skin," is representative of his new musical focus.

"I am going in a different direction for this album. Positive, uplifting, non-vulgar music that makes people smile. That's my goal."

You can stream the song in the player below or download it here.

Akream feat. Mac Lethal

Beautiful Skin

--Spencer Shroyer

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Pizza fit for Spartans

A Dimond Boulevard pizza spot that’s changed names and management several times is now back in the hands of a former owner.

Pete Foudeas ran the restaurant at 1011 E Dimond Blvd. when it was Sorrento’s, then sold it to a former delivery driver in 2005 who changed the name to Pete’s Pizza.

The newest incarnation is called Sparta Pizza. The menu of pizzas, calzones and Philly cheesesteaks will look strikingly familiar to regulars of Milano’s, which is also owned by Foudeas. The difference is the addition of several traditional Greek dishes such as moussaka, lamb and chicken souvlaki and spanakopita. Foudeas, who is Greek, said all of the new dishes are made in-house from scratch.

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Larry the Cable Guy coming

Comedy heavyweight Larry the Cable Guy will perform at Sullivan Arena at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Sullivan Arena. Reserved tickets, $49.75, will go on sale Friday, Oct. 2, at 10 a.m., at, Fred Meyer Ticketmaster Outlets, the Sullivan Arena and by calling1-800-745-3000 and Sullivan Arena Box Office.

Larry - real name Dan Whitney - previously performed in Anchorage in 2006.

The performance is billed as an "All Ages Show."

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Famous men on Kimmel

Alaska-grown band,The Lives of Famous Men, won a gig playing on Jimmy Kimmel last week. Here's video of them doing "You're Everyone I Know Right Now."

--Spencer Shroyer

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Eating Alaska

What happens to a vegetarian who moves to Alaska?

Director Ellen Frankenstein grew up eating a meat-free diet in the Lower 48, then moved to Sitka and married a hunter and fisherman. In a new film, "Eating Alaska," she focuses on the challenges of trying to eat locally and sustainably in Alaska.

I've posted a trailer below. The pacing is a bit slow, but it looks interesting. The footage of her using a book to work on a chunk of deer is classic.

The film is tentatively scheduled to play at the Bear Tooth Oct. 4.

--Spencer Shroyer

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Forever video

This is the new Drake-Kanye-Lil Wayne-Eminem track from the upcoming Lebron biopic "More Than a Game." Post your thoughts and comments below.

-- Spencer Shroyer

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New Portugal The Man video out

Alaska band making it big in the outside world, Portugal.The Man, has just released a new video with their song, "Do You." It's a spacey-looking thing. Check it out:

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