$15 or Less: Dolly Parton birthday revels, 80s-90s mashup dancing

"Vampires" author Karen Russell comes to Town Hall. Credit: npr.org

There's a lot of great stuff happening this month but nothing is as exciting to me as the new SIFF DocBrunch series on Sundays. And Town Hall events (seemingly better than ever!) make the world of literature and civics look sparkly.

Karen Russell
Town Hall, Friday 1/17 at 7:30 p.m., $5
Writer Karen Russell will be in town to read from her newest book, a collection of short stories called Vampires in the Lemon Grove (which I'm halfway through). A thread of magic winds through each story, which paint worlds that are at once dark and precious. Russell is an all-star,  a MacArthur Genius Grantee, one of the National Book Foundation's five best authors under 35 and author of Swamplandia!, which was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. How can you stay away?

Bootie Mashup: 80s vs 90s Mashup Night
Chop Suey, Friday 1/17, $5 before 10 p.m, $10 after
New month, new bootie mashups! This night will feature Seattle and San Francisco Djs along with the catchiest, most danceable, cringeworthy tunes that the '80s and '90s have to offer.

Match Game: Dolly Parton Edition
Re-bar, Sunday 1/19 at 7 p.m.
No doubt Dolly Parton birthday celebrations will be dominating your Sunday, but make room for this! A raucous, hilarious rendition of Match Game featuring local comedians and drag queens and, in some way, paying homage to the great Dolly Rebecca Parton (REAL NAME!)

DocBrunch: Eating Alabama
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Sunday 1/19 at 1 p.m., $5
Just as you suspected, this new SIFF series will pair two of the world's greatest things: documentaries and brunch. Chipotle will provide food, SIFF will bring the documentary Eating Alabama, and local farmer Jeremy Sanford (of Sanford Farms) will be on hand to talk local agriculture.

Destroying the Middle Class One Word at A Time
Town Hall, Monday 1/20 at 7:30 p.m., $5
We've been hearing a lot about class in the last few elections, and the topic keeps coming up as pressing issues like health care and education take centerstage in national politics. All the while, phrases like “welfare queen” get tossed around, a habit, argues Berkeley law professor, Ian Haney Lopez, that has a damaging effect on the middle class. Lopez will read from his recent book Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. 

What are you doing this weekend? Let us know in the comments area below. And if you hear of any interesting – under $15 – events in or around our grand city, please email editor@crosscut.com.

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