KATIE: So Suzanna, I heard you were in Fairbanks over the weekend. I also heard that the mosquitoes up there are really, really bad right now. I expect to hear more about that, but first I'd like to jump right into things. No banter, no wit or sarcasm, just straight "This Weekend" talk.
There are a lot of statewide music events going down this weekend, and I've taken the liberty of rounding a few up for your ease and enjoyment. Check out my short list:
- Colorado fusion hip-hop group Wasteland Hop will be in Talkeetna at the Fairview Inn on Friday and in Denali at The Salmon Bake and 49th State Brewery Saturday and Sunday. In the past, Wasteland Hop has opened for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Talib Kweli and others, so, you know, they're kind of a big deal.
- In Fairbanks, Gypsy Cabaret duo Jass Pharm will play a free show Friday as part of the city's "Gazebo Nights" series. The show starts at 7 p.m. in the Pioneer Park gazebo. Bring a blanket, chairs, a picnic and your significant other and -- voilà! -- you have the perfect date night.
- Anchorage originals Super Saturated Sugar Strings will play at the Anchorage Museum Friday with Austin, Texas Americana duo Steven & Kendra. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.
- Local indie band Historian will play Friday with Dabarko and Animal Eyes of Portland, Ore., at the S Lounge in Anchorage.
- The Brown Bear Music Festival at the Brown Bear Saloon in Indian (between Anchorage and Girdwood) begins 4 p.m. Saturday. The festival will feature a great line-up of "Alaskana" acts, including Melissa Mitchell, Constant Mountain High, Nellie Clay & the Lucky Dogs, Cold Country, Tyson James & the Hot Strings and Hawkins Wright. Tickets are $15.
- Michelle McAfee and Frankie Hernandez are set to play a CD release show Friday at Silvertip Grill in Girdwood.
- Portland, Ore., indie band Alameda is on tour in Alaska this month. The five-piece group will play at the Yukon Bar in Seward on Friday and Saturday nights.
- The Sitka Summer Music Festival only has another few weeks before the fun is over. Don't miss out; join the festival for an evening concert on Friday and "Brunch with Brahms" on Sunday.
- The Juneau Symphony Chamber Concert IV will take place Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. This final performance of the year will feature acclaimed pianist Alexander Tutunov.
- Finally, the Midnight Sun Island Music Festival will be held in downtown Anchorage 4 p.m. Saturday. The line-up includes H3, Ire Love, Saula Ofiu, Common Kings, Starsha and others. Tickets are $35.
Alright, let's hear the buzz about those annoying little Culicidae, Suzanna.
SUZANNA: Oh man, Katie. While I might have killed it on the beer drinking front in Fairbanks (thanks, Midnight Sun Game!) I in turn managed to pretty much get killed by mosquitoes up there. Do you know the whole town is more or less out of bug spray? It might be warm and sunny, but unless you know a guy who can get you some bug dope on the side, maybe not the best place to be right now.
Lucky for me, I'm all stocked up and ready to get outside this weekend.
First up, the Mountain View Street Fair. I love a good block party, and apparently this one is going to have musicians, face painting, and a magician with a BRAIN INFLATOR. I don't know what that means exactly, but I can get behind it.
The shenanigans start at noon Saturday and go until 4 p.m. in the area between the Mountain View Library and Clark Middle School in Anchorage.
KATIE: Lucky for you Suz, I can personally inflate your brain right now with this next event: The 32nd annual Alaska Scottish Highland Games. Boom! Inflated!
The games take place all-day Saturday in Eagle River and offer events that require both brains and brawn -- but mostly just brawn -- and maybe some booze.
The annual games will feature cultured events like a sophisticated scotch tasting and a tasteful recital with Celtic rock band Celtica. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children. The event will be at the Eagle River Lions Park. Gates open 8 a.m. and the "games" begin 30 minutes later.
Back to you, Suz.
SUZANNA: That all sounds like the perfect mix of classy and sassy. Also very classy? The Homer Yacht Club's 17th Annual Land's End Regatta -- a three-day sailboat extravaganza, complete with seminars, safety demonstrations and a sailboat race.
That's right. A multi-day sailboat race in Kachemak Bay. Not only will that be crazy beautiful, but it's the only sailboat race of its kind in the state.
The best part? All money raised by the non-profit goes toward raising money for the group's marine-safety education program. Seminars start 7 p.m. Friday, but sailboat racers say "ahoy!" at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. All races can be watched from the Homer Spit's Land's End Resort.