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Arts and Entertainment

What's going on this weekend in Alaska?

Ben: Well, it's been almost two years since we last did an installment of This Weekend. How young we all were then, so full of hope and dreams. On this week in 2011, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2" was the No.1 movie in America and Lady Gaga topped the music charts. Now, an entirely different kind of artist has been topping the charts, and they just so happen to be coming to Anchorage this Friday. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis may be the most currently-hip act to play Alaska in...possibly forever. For a state accustomed to 90s alternative rock acts and classic rock groups that are now so old that they resemble nothing so much as the animatronic honky-tonk band you'd see at Chuck E. Cheese, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are downright revolutionary. Best known lately for the tongue-in-cheek (but with a message!) hit "Thrift Shop," they're only a few weeks removed from No. 1 on iTunes and an appearance on Saturday Night Live. I'll be there -- I'll be the one asking "what's with the kids these days?" while trying not to get bumped into and possibly find a place to sit down. If you didn't get tickets, though, you're out of luck, because the show sold out quickly. It goes down in Anchorage at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Egan Center.

Katie: You know, Ben, Snoop Dog did come to Anchorage and some might argue that he's much more "currently-hip" than Macklemore ... I said some, I didn't say me. Don't shoot the messenger. Anyway, I didn't get tickets in time, go figure. I'm sad, but it's going to be okay. There are totally other things to do on a Friday night in Anchorage, like, I dunno, say ASO's "Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles," which will surely be a wild, wild time. Think of all the George fans! Sigh. I know: Ben- 1, Katie-0.

Let's forget Friday, the thought of it is makes me feel anxious and hungover. Let's talk Saturday, the real day for fun ... and learning? So, remember TEDxAnchorage? Of course you do, you wrote about it back in 2012. Well it's time to do it again. The local offshoot of the popular nationwide TED talks is going on its fourth consecutive year here in Anchorage and on Saturday, March 30, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Z.J. Loussac Public Library you can see a handful of selected contributors lecture and dialog on issues important to Alaska.

I'll be there, because it's free and doesn't require tickets or getting "dressed up."

Ben: Well, if you're looking to forgo the cerebral for a more "active" activity, there's also the Great Alaska Sportsman Show, running all weekend at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. It's more than just vaguely creepy taxidermied animals and full-body camouflage (though there's that too). It's a veritable smorgasbord of fish, game, guns, gardening and gear that bills itself as one of the "most unusual" gatherings of outdoor enthusiasts and vendors in America. I mean, how do you pass that up?

Or you could get down to Girdwood to check out (or maybe participate in) the Chugach Open at Alyeska, a multi-discipline downhill competition. And later that night, it's Electronic Dance Music (or EDM, to the cool kids) time at the Sitzmark, where you can wave glowsticks to your heart's content. The featured artist, Michal Menert, grew up with the man behind Pretty Lights, which for the unfamiliar is music pretty much custom-made for shredding -- meaning a skiers' hangout like the Sitz is a pretty decent fit for Menert.

Katie: Mmm I do love taxidermy, speed sports and glow sticks. So, to me, all three of those happenings sound pretty fun. However, I believe I hold in my head the weirdest weekend "active" activity, drum roll please! No? O.K. The annual "End of the Road Broomball Tournament" and Harlem Shake in Homer, which begins Friday night and continues all day Saturday, is sure to be the best and weirdest of them all. Just imagine Ben, two whole days of competitive broomball and, AND, a community-driven all-inclusive Homer Harlem Shake, which is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.

Let's move north of Homer for a sec, because I really want to talk about Fairbanks, where an interesting music show is going down on Saturday night. This month, the Portland-based band Strangled Darlings are on a tour of Alaska and they're scheduled to play at the Marlin with Fairbanks darlings Feeding Frenzy Saturday night at 10 p.m. You'll only have to drop $5 to catch a Portland band play with one of Alaska's most hip, that should be worth something, right?

Then there's Talkeetna where Anchorage singer-songwriter Emma Hill-- who is also on a tour of the state-- and her wing-man Even Phillips will play at the Don Sheldon Hanger Saturday night beginning at 7:30 p.m.

But, Ben, let's not forget, Sunday, March 31 is Easter Sunday.

Ben: Indeed it is, which means many folks will be spending time with their families, doing Easter egg hunts and going to brunch. But if you're in a post-Easter candy coma Sunday night, we'd be remiss if we didn't also mention that March 31 is the absolute, no kidding, one-and-only statewide deadline to file online for your 2013 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend check. So if you like free money (who doesn't?), log on to and share what you've been up to. Unless you're Kikkan Randall or Holly Brooks, that is, who unfortunately don't qualify despite their status as de facto ambassadors for Alaska.

Hey, do you have an event worth featuring? Submit it to calendar and you may just see it in "This Weekend." If you'd like, you can email us at calendar(at) for more information.

Contact Ben Anderson at ben(at) and Katie Medred at katie(at)

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