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

Roundup: Mascis, Burgers and Bearfoot

J MascisJ Mascis

There’s a lot to keep you busy around Anchorage this weekend. J Mascis graces the cover of the latest issue of Play, and you can read the Q&A for that feature story over here. Mascis plays 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Alyeska Daylodge. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, available at

If you’re on Spotify, I’ve put together a little primer of J Mascis’ catalog, with tracks by Dinosaur Jr., Deep Wound, Sweet Apple, Witch and Mascis’ new solo album. Click here to launch the player.

The second annual Rock A&R Showcase also takes place Friday at Koot's, with The Rocket Surgeons, Lavoy, The Sweeteners, Pros and Cons, 3 Kisses, The Young Guns, Evil Ted and the Thick Pink Antiseptic, The Young Fangs, Pretty Birds That Kill and Turquoise Boy performing to an audience that includes music industry representatives visiting from the Lower 48. Read more about the show over here.

The local production of “Rent” opens Friday as well. Mike Dunham has the details about the Alaska Theatre of Youth’s partnership with Theatre Artist United to bring the story to life. The show is 7:30 p.m. Friday--Sunday and Wednesday-Saturday, April 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, April 7. Tickets are $25-$35, available at

There’s also a special March Madness spin on the dining pages this week. With NCAA basketball coming to a close, we’ve organized our own tourney. This one is to determine the best hamburger in town. You can get in on the action, too – vote for your favorite burger joint in our reader poll.

Below are this week’s Hot Picks.

Coming home
The past year for Bearfoot saw band members come and go. Having since relocated from Alaska to Nashville, Tenn., original members Angela Oudean and Jason Norris recruited fellow Alaskan Todd Grebe along with singer-songwriter Nora Jane Struthers and P.J. George to solidify a lineup that’s been gaining notoriety. The video for “Tell Me a Story” is streamable on, while the band recently performed its laid back brand of bluegrass on National Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage.” Catch the band’s homecoming show 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Wendy Williamson Auditorium, $22. Visit for info.

Sweet licks
Hailing from North Carolina, the old-time string band Carolina Chocolate Drops plays traditional Appalachian country and bluegrass with a few modern twists. The Grammy-winning pickers and pluckers take the stage 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wendy Williamson Auditorium, $32 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Vagabond Blues, Palmer (sold out). Visit for info.

Birthday play
Cyrano’s Theater Company will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a new rendition of the first play it independently produced, “Eleemosynary,” about the relationships between a brilliant woman, her strong-willed mother and her sensitive, intellectual daughter. Opening night, 7 p.m. Friday at Cyrano’s Off Center Playhouse, benefits Friends of the Library, $16.50-$18.50. The play runs through April 22. Visit for info.

Funny pages
Popular “Tundra” cartoonist Chad Carpenter will be appearing as the keynote speaker at the Mat-Su College honor society banquet to share the childhood experiences that inspired many of his comic strips and will present a slide show of the strip. 7 p.m. Friday, Mat-Su Career and Technical High School, $25 or $15 with a valid student ID. Visit for info.

With more chops than your average indie-pop band, New Orleans’ Mutemath flirt with prog-rock without fully abandoning the group’s mainstream pop sensibilities. The band plays this month’s First Tap Concert, 9 p.m. Thursday, Bear Tooth Theatrepub, $35 (21 and older). Visit for info.

Also check Dunham’s Art Scene picks for info on “The Sound of Music” and the Daily News’ own Marc Lester, whose Iditarod photos will be the subject of a presentation at the Anchorage Museum.

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