Arts

Sacred Sound as medicine

Play a familiar childhood song for Alzheimers patients who can’t remember their own daughters’ names, and they’ll light up and sing along to every word — music is that powerful. Numerous studies indicate that music lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and boosts natural opiates.

First Friday events

As Homer art lovers know, April always brings a special treat: student art shows from kindergarten to high school at Paul Banks Elementary School and Homer Flex School. Paul Banks holds it annual Arts Extravaganza, with not only displays of student art, but a hands-on art table and performances by the Homer Youth String Orchestra and Preludes, the Paul Banks string instrument ensemble. Homer Flex demonstrates that art continues as students mature and prepare to embark on adult life. For its show, the school features photography done in an Artist in the Schools residency by Taz Tally.

Wildlife photographers close life chapter

Just like a hobbit can take a second breakfast, some people get a second retirement — a closing of a career after previous work. After moving from the Lower 48 and settling in Homer, artists Mary Frische and Tom Collopy this month ended their environmental photography business, Wild North Photography, with a final gallery show at Fireweed Gallery.

History abounds in rooms of the Pratt

Savanna Bradley is the collections manager at the Pratt Museum in Homer, but she’s been a personal fan and lover of the building and all its artifacts since childhood. To watch her slide out drawers of fragile bones and handle handcrafted fishhooks is to watch a professional care for her many charges, but to hear her talk about the Pratt and all it has to offer is to listen to the perspective of a lifelong lover of history.

For longtime Irish rock band, Homer is one of a few constants over the years

When musicians or bands who have enjoyed as long and varied a career as the Irish rock group Young Dubliners say they “just love” playing in (insert name of ridiculously small town you’ve never heard of in middle-of-nowhere America) you can usually bet they’re just being nice. When Dubliners frontrunner Keith Roberts says he loves Homer and the state of Alaska, he’s not only telling the truth — he’s speaking to a bit of a personal obsession.

Squirrel Nut Zippers aim to make America weird again

In modern American music, running counterpoint to overproduced pop there often has been something raw and original to upstage the musical centers of New York, Nashville and Los Angeles. In 1993 a band named after an obscure early 20th century candy took its quirky mix of jazz, blues, klezmer and punk music and not only shattered the conventions of the time, but achieved commercial success.

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