- Strap on your mukluks, you've got two chances to see Built Like Alaska this week.
Neil Jackson is always asked why he named his band Built Like Alaska. "Alaska is still a state we're in," he explains. "It's a place of loving without reciprocation. This isn't our band name. It is what we are or have become." We have no idea what he's talking about. We do know, however, that the Northern California quintet is touring in support of its second album, Autumnland. With tracks like "Does Your Mother Feel Sick?" and "Wet Hay in a Barn," it's all about the isolation of country life (think the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset," stretched to album length). "It's like smelling the air full of chimney smoke from the first fire of the year, or making a homemade Halloween costume when you were a kid," says Jackson. "They're comforting feelings a person hopes they never lose." Built Like Alaska plays at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Lime Spider (207 South Main Street in Akron; 330-762-2350) and Wednesday at Wilbert's Food & Music (812 Huron Road; 216-902-4663). Tickets to both shows are $5. -- Cris Glaser
Equal Opportunity Killers
This weekend's Cinema Wasteland gathering of sci-fi, horror, and B-movie memorabilia boasts a guest list that includes Friday the 13th movie-series vet Kane Hodder, scream queen Sybil Danning, and director Terry Lofton, who will sign copies of the uncut version of his 1985 splatter flick, Nail Gun Massacre. "It's always women being killed and mistreated [on film]," says Lofton. "I thought it'd be only fair to exact some revenge and reverse the tables a little." Lofton will also introduce a screening and field questions about his pro-woman, pro-nail-gun-to-the-noggin opus. "The mentality of brutalizing women in movies has gone too far," he says. "A lot of men might wake up if they knew their girlfriend was Freddy Krueger's sister." Cinema Wasteland takes place at the Strongsville Holiday Inn (15471 Royalton Road) 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15; call 440-891-1920. -- Lucy McKernan
Eat This Book
Saturday's Edible Books Festival is exactly what it sounds like: an event where folks eat works of fiction, biographies, and picture books. Contestants create tomes out of chocolate, cheese, or any other food item they can get their hands on, the public votes for the most creative, and then everybody digs in with forks and knives. And Gail Ghetia Bellamy will sign copies of Cleveland Food Memories, which we hear goes great with a glass of Pinot Noir. It starts at 1 p.m. at Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchmere Boulevard in Shaker Heights. It's free to view, $2 to vote and eat. Call 216-795-9800 for more info. -- Michael Gallucci