Less than 10 hours til the election day deadline! Countdown clock, ballot drop box locations https://t.co/VS2qhKcJou pic.twitter.com/m53ueDzMdp
— King Co Elections (@kcelections) August 5, 2014
Bethany Jean Clement: "Voting! I just voted, and I feel full of civic goodness (though I still miss voting in person, at a school with shiny wood floors, seeing neighbors, getting a sticker). For you, here are The Stranger’s endorsements, and this, and I want to warn you: DO NOT LICK YOUR ENVELOPE, for it is truly one of the worst things my mouth has ever experienced—it tastes like it has extra horses in it. Tomorrow, some very high-quality jazz piano—possibly with a jazz cigarette beforehand, and definitely with a pisco sour or two during—at dim, cool Vito’s sounds exactly right. And sometime this hot week, I am going to visit Bluebird in Fremont to look at/take full advantage of their new/old/AWESOME-LOOKING 1920s soda fountain, originally from a pharmacy in Pioneer Square."
David Schmader: "I am re-familiarizing myself with the 10,000 words that make up A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem, my solo play that I'll be performing on August 19 as part of Intiman Theatre's Angels Project. I'm also hoping to go see Guardians of the Galaxy at Ark Lodge Cinemas, because Chris Pratt makes my pants throb."
Katie Allison: "I will definitely be setting aside time to make this rad DIY cat tent, so that my cats can relax in an Iron Maiden–themed cave of badassitude. I'm also going to go to Central Cinema to watch Deep Blue Sea in Hecklevision, OBVIOUSLY, because that movie is a timeless cinematic treasure. I really identify with the parrot."
Kelly O: "I am going to local band Stickers' album release party, for new LP Swollen, on
Thursday Friday at Victory Lounge/Black Lodge. Are you listening to Stickers yet? C'mon! TWO WORDS: SHEXY SHAXOPHONE."
Meet Moss: Moss is a brand-spanking new online-only local literary magazine. The first issue is available online now. It's free, and you can download it as a PDF if you want to print it out yourself. The issue opens with an interview with Ryan Boudinot about Amazon, the UNESCO City of Literature bid, and why Seattle authors shouldn't feel beholden to New York City anymore. There's also fiction about D.B. Cooper and a couple other stories. Go give it a try.
Best Buy CEO: Tablet Sales "Boomed and Now Are Crashing" Is it time for the many creative industries tied to tablets to panic? Well, probably not. But still, it's interesting.
The End of the Reader: The Sony Reader, which was a good all-purpose e-reader that didn't force you to use DRM like certain e-readers we could mention, is dead.
"It’s been really great to be able to evolve in public in that way." The Rumpus published an interview with beloved YA novelist Francesca Lia Block that many of you would probably like to read.
Beginning Monday, August 4, Seattle’s Cinerama will close for renovation as it undergoes some exciting changes. Paul Allen’s vision for Cinerama is to create a premier movie-going experience unlike any other, and to preserve a piece of Seattle’s history while providing a unique asset to the community for generations to come.
The Cinerama already feels like a premier movie-going experience unlike any other, so God knows what's coming next. Let us recklessly speculate!
Cinerama to Renovate, Again? The investment company, Vulcan, owned by our city's prince, Paul Allen, announced today that its palace to the art of moving pictures, Cinerama, will be closed starting on August 4th "for some exciting renovations." Their plan, we are told, is to reopen "later this year." However, the details of this curious project have yet to be communicated to the public.
Hugo House Announces Lit Series Lineup: Mona Simpson, Dorothea Lasky, Dean Young, Sheila Heti, and Jess Walter will be taking part in the Hugo House's 2014-15 literary series. The lit series, if you don't know, brings three authors and a musical act together to produce new work on a theme. This year's musical acts include the Drop Shadows and poet Ed Skoog, and themes include "The Parent Trap" and "Rough Day." This series represents the debut of novelist Peter Mountford as Hugo House's new event curator; looks like he's off to a great start.
Israeli Hip Hop Opera Cancelled at Edinburgh Fringe Festival Due to Gaza Protests: Because the Incubator Theatre receives money from the Israeli government, Scottish demonstrators targeted its production The City, which was scheduled to run at the Edinburgh festival. "The logistics of policing and stewarding the protest around The Reid Hall—and the effect of the disturbance on Underbelly and other venues' other shows—make it untenable for the show to continue," said a theater spokesperson. On one hand, it's too bad—the Incubator Theatre is just trying to do a show. On the other hand, blood is blood and death is more urgent than a curtain call.
Phonies: The recent publication of three uncollected J.D. Salinger stories is "unfortunate."
Hijuelos Rides Again: A new Oscar Hijuelos novel will be published posthumously. It sounds interesting:
The book, an intensively researched 859-page historical novel about the friendship between Mark Twain and the Welsh explorer Henry Morton Stanley, was a departure for Mr. Hijuelos, who is best known for chronicling the lives of immigrants.
The Slow Demise of Movies Filmed on Film: How Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and JJ Abrams teamed up to save film from extinction...for now.
Bad News for John Spider-Man Smith: A woman's passport renewal was refused because her newly adopted middle name, "Skywalker," amounts to copyright infringement, the BBC reports.
Speaking of Copyrights... A new lawsuit is trying to free the song "Happy Birthday" from the clutches of Warner/Chappell Music, which collects royalties every time "Happy Birthday" is used in media.
Very Important Pot Poll: Now that pot is legal in Seattle, we’re finding it strewn around the sidewalk on our way to work.
A&P: It stands for Art & Performance, it's Seattle's Only Arts Magazine™, and the next issue comes out on September 10.
If you're an artist or performer or arts organization or bookstore or whatever that would like your summer event(s) listed in the next A&P, info for events from September 10 to November 25 is due to us by end of day Friday, August 1—that's tomorrow!—at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send it on over!
If you didn't save a copy of the summer A&P, they're still out in special boxes on the street and in galleries and all sorts of other places. And look: A&P is all here online, including calendars of what you should NOT be missing in Seattle arts RIGHT NOW. If you want to page through a PDF of the whole issue as it appears in print, you can do that too.
The Stranger's sister publication down in Portland, The Portland Mercury, is looking for an arts editor. "FINALLY, A JOB FOR YOUR USELESS ARTS DEGREE," as the Merc's editor puts it. If you're interested, here is everything you need to know about how to apply.
Amazon Speaks: Unless they've got a new product to sell, Amazon only speaks directly to the public when it absolutely has to. Which means the Hachette/Amazon dispute has gotten really ugly. After months of not talking about specifics, Amazon posted a long letter explaining exactly what they want out of Hachette: The right to price e-books at $9.99. They argue that they sell more units if they price the e-books lower. "We hope this information on our objectives is helpful," the post concludes. It's a lot more sympathetic than Amazon's last post on the matter. Hachette, at the time of this writing, has not responded.
Like Waves of Nausea, the Traveling Impressionism Exhibitions Keep Coming to SAM: Okay, that's not nice. But. In October 2015, Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art opens at SAM. It's being packaged as "71 intimately scaled paintings." The traveling impresionism show at SAM in 2008 was good not for its impressionist works but for the pieces that inspired those artists, by Goya, Velázquez, Titian, El Greco, Hals, and the like. Hmm.
Linda’s Fest Rocks Linda’s Tavern Aug. 23: If the Capitol Hill Block Party was too much of a clusterfuck of suburban teens and tweens for you, perhaps Linda’s Fest will be more to your liking. (It’s billed as a “Nice Place for Nice People,” which is an awfully bold assertion.) The annual bash happens Sat. Aug. 23 (5 pm-10 pm, free, 21+) and takes place in the parking lot behind Linda's Tavern. Bothering the Boylston Ave. neighbors with their youthful punk-, heavy-, and pop-rock noises will be Chastity Belt, Thunderpussy, the Young Evils, Kithkin, and Tacocat (fronted by Stranger music editor Emily Nokes).
Football, Not Art: Mark your calendars, because September's First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square is going to be a First Friday Art Walk instead, held on September 5th rather than the 4th, gallery owners say. Evidently, every year the NFL throws a huge hometown party for the Superbowl winners on the night their regular season begins, and this year that means the NFL is taking over Pioneer Square to celebrate the Seahawks on Thursday, September 4.
The star of Entourage Stands Up for Socialism?: Art critic Ben Davis wrote this great piece about how "the most-typical and most-maligned genres of Instagram imagery happen to correspond to the primary genres of Western secular art," using Kim Kardashian's selfie as a demonstration. Adrian Grenier wants people to read it. He's right, you should. But...weird.
Can the New York Art World Talk about Palestine?: A pro-Palestine exhibition was canceled at the end of last week, and here's the bizarre story of what happened when events were tabled to a nearby bar.
All Aboard! A lot of people are taking Snowpiercer very seriously, and we love reading all the resulting think-pieces.
Ulysses Meets the Lawnmower Man: Soon, you will be able to enjoy James Joyce's masterpiece via Oculus Rift.
Read of the Week: David Berman's "The Diary of a New York Art Museum Security Guard" is incredible. It was published in 1994 in The Baffler, which has made its archive available online! (As we mentioned last week, this summer is the summer of available online archives. See also: The New Yorker's love stories collection.)
Jen Graves: "Tomorrow I get the pleasure of sitting down to talk with (and listen to) veteran Seattle artist Curtis R. Barnes, of The Unicorn Incorporated. I'll swing by the new Mad Art space in South Lake Union to see this crazy tree-like thing John Grade is building in there, and I'm definitely not going to miss the TK Street Fair on Saturday."
Christopher Frizzelle: "I'm going to see Boyhood a second time. It's kind of boring and very brilliant. It made me cry—a seemingly throwaway moment involving a very minor character filled my face with tears. I need to watch it again so I can figure out how that happened. It's playing on both screens at Harvard Exit right now, at staggered times."
Eli Sanders: "Sitting down with my boyfriend and VOTING, definitely while reading the Stranger Election Control Board's August 5 primary endorsements, and possibly—who knows for sure, secret ballot!—while casting votes that cancel each other out."
Brendan Kiley: "Dancer Molly Sides is doing something for the Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Art Festival at the Hedreen Gallery this Friday. I might pack a snack and hang out there for a while."
Charles Mudede: "This week I'm going to read a new book called The Myth of Mirror Neurons: The Real Neuroscience of Communication and Cognition. Why? Because it is dead wrong. Mirror neurons are real, and I have no idea why this book was written in the first place. Mirror neurons are foundational to our sociality. This is a fact. This book is a stunt. My guess is the writer's 'research' was paid for by the car industry and other sectors of the economy that make serious bank on the notion that human individuality is biologically central to human happiness. This is my guess. Reading the book proves this guess is correct."
Paul Constant: "I'm doing battle with a summer cold, so attendance at any of these events is dependent on my ability to leave my house. Tuesday's event with sci-fi/fantasy author John Crowley looks like it'll be a blast. I've been a fan of the Ring of Fire zine since my days of browsing the old Pistil Books zine shelves, so this party at Black Coffee on Wednesday looks like it could bring about a flood of welcome nostalgia. And poetry collective Margin Shift always puts on a good show, so if I don't die of this cold, I'll try to make it out to the Hedreen Gallery on Thursday."
Dave Segal: "Monday and Tuesday, I’m recovering from Block Party and detoxing from all the goddamn cigarette smoke that blew into my nostrils. Wednesday, I’m appearing on that little radio station known as KEXP as a guest of DJ El Toro to spin an odd mix of records from 10 to 11 pm. Thursday I hope to see Seattle mystical rock adventurers Midday Veil perform at the Summer at SAM event at Olympic Sculpture Park."
Pitchfork Bestows an 8.2 Rating on Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty: Today on Pitchfork, critic Craig Jenkins lavished praise on Seattle hiphop innovators Shabazz Palaces’ new album, Lese Majesty. “Similar to recent albums by the Roots and Common, Lese Majesty is an Armageddon-esque suicide mission to crash into rap's consciousness in hopes of tipping it away from a dangerous path…. The soul of Shabazz Palaces is pairing next-gen sounds with classic brass-tacks show-and-prove emceeing, and Lese Majesty tugs those extremes as far as they've ever been pulled,” he sagely observed. However, the worthy review was marred by the omission of Stranger Genius candidate Erik Blood’s role in the record’s spaced-out, psychedelic production (not to diminish Tendai Maraire’s contributions, which Jenkins acknowledges). Sub Pop releases Lese Majesty tomorrow. Get it.
How Embarrassing for Seattle's Museums: Thanks to a new donation of art to Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center, Stanford now holds the largest collection of works on the West Coast by the late, great Jacob Lawrence—even though he lived in Seattle for 30 years, and died here. It's not even that big a collection!: The Cantor is getting 5 paintings, 11 drawings, 9 prints, and one illustrated book by Lawrence. SAM spokeswoman Wendy Malloy confirmed that SAM has only 2 paintings, 4 drawings/watercolors, and 15 prints by Lawrence; while the Henry Art Gallery, according to spokeswoman Dana Van Nest, owns just 1 of his paintings and 9 of his prints. (The Frye Art Museum does not own any works by Lawrence.) Drowning in our tears, we also can't forget SAM's failure to buy Lawrence's stellar 1946 painting The Lovers, which was on loan for years to SAM from Mrs. Harpo Marx (Susan Fleming Marx).
The Christly Way to Fake Best-Seller Status: Remember when the news broke that Mars Hill paid an advertising firm to land Pastor Mark Driscoll's book Real Marriage on the New York Times best-seller chart? Remember how everyone at Mars Hill was feigning humility when they got caught? Warren Throckmorton at Patheos noticed a Mars Hill spokesperson named Justin Dean crowing about the best-seller placement in his bio at a scary site called Innovate4Jesus. Sounds like humility only goes so far.
Getting into the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations!: Okay, so it's not the front page of the New York Times that has a new essay about the photography of Seattle artist Eirik Johnson, it's the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations. But if you ask us, that's kind of cooler, and the essay, on Johnson's series of images of the changing Pacific Northwest, is terrific in its glorious nerdiness. This is Johnson's knockout photograph of a defunct drive-in called the Starlite in Roseburg, Oregon:
In real life, the band Sisters do not want to sell you real estate and/or have you join a cult, as the mesmerizing portrait on this poster might lead you to believe. If they did, though, it might be worth looking into.
The 3 day forecast is looking great, looking forward to opening the gates later today! Going to be an awesome day. pic.twitter.com/zlQDXqfCvi
— CH Block Party (@CHBlockParty) July 25, 2014
Dave Segal: "Entering the moronic inferno (I mean, three-day musical funfest) known as Capitol Hill Block Party and blogging about some of the acts playing it, while eating my weight in energy bars. See you on the other side... maybe."
Emily Nokes: "Today: Block Party. Tomorrow: Block Party. Sunday: If I am not dead yet, perhaps I will DJ for a bit with my bandmate during Saint John's brunch (long enough to inhale French toast and play this M.I.A. song), and then more Block Party!"
Krishanu Ray: "Going to a Mariners' game instead of Block Party #normCore"
Jen Graves: "The Lady and the Beard! That's one of the movies screening outside tonight at the Asian Art Museum's Deco Night. What I'm doing tonight is The Lady and the Beard. Tomorrow I'm swimming in the ship canal."
Paul Constant: "I'm going to spend most of the weekend going on long walks, hanging out in backyards, and attending birthday parties. But I might want to go to a movie, too. I've seen almost everything that's in theaters right now, but I'm thinking about re-watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or, especially, Boyhood."
Bethany Jean Clement: "I am going to the Symposium at Smoke Farm to get ensmartened. And go swimming."
Charles Mudede: "On Saturday, I'm delivering a little and hopefully meaningful talk called 'Adventures with Thomas Piketty' at the Smoke Farm Symposium. In case you do not know: Thomas Piketty is the biggest thing to happen to economics since the invention of money."
Playwright Wayne Rawley is at his best when he's skating a loose line between real tragedy and bizarre fantasy, propelling his characters and story lines forward with a rushing avalanche of smart but trashy gallows-humor wit. In his 2011 play Live! From the Last Night of My Life, he gave us a window into the mind of Doug Sample, a former Amazon.com employee who's wound up working the graveyard shift at a rural gas station. He's planning to kill himself once he's done for the night, and the play is a parade of freaks who float across Doug's consciousness. The result was a magnificent study of depression and work, somewhere between Chekhov and Clerks.
For Attack of the Killer Murder... of Death!, Rawley air-drops us into a creepy mansion on a remote island in the late 1950s where a bunch of Los Angeles weirdos are trying to film a B-grade (maybe even C-grade) horror movie. All the archetypes are there: the aging and demanding diva, the impatient director, the Commie writer who's trying to slip social commentary into his schlocky scripts, the rich producer, and so on. They've also got a terse detective in tow to work as their consultant. When the diva keels over, they're torn between finishing the film and trying to find out what killed her. When they find the island's only phone smashed, they realize they're in the middle of a murder scene—and they're all suspects.
Teen Tix Wins Mayor's Arts Award, Gets Coverage in American Theatre: We've been loving Teen Tix, which facilitates teens getting $5 tickets to all kinds of cultural institutions from smaller theaters to Pacific Northwest Ballet, since 2009 when they made our Stranger Genius short list. Now they're getting national recognition. As Eliza Bent writes in American Theatre, "TeenTix in Seattle has been challenging assumptions about teenage art enthusiasts for the past 10 years in a program that allows any 13-to-19-year-old to sign up online for a free pass that entitles them to $5 day-of-performance tickets at partnering venues around the city." Congratulations, Teen Tix.
This Is What Zimbabwe's Future Sounds Like: If you are in Tacoma tonight, try to catch what can only be described as the future of Zimbabwe, Mokoomba. The Guardian:
Mokoomba are being feted as Africa's most internationally successful young band after a rise that is as deserved as it has been remarkable. After all, they come from a country with an international musical profile that has sadly declined since the glory days of the 80s, largely because of Aids. Even in Zimbabwe they were initially considered outsiders. They sing in Tonga, a language that most Shona and Ndebele speakers can't understand, and come from a tourist border town that's a 12-hour drive from the capital, Harare.
The group are signed to a small Belgian label and were unknown in Britain until their second album, Rising Tide, was released here last August.
The future of Zimbabwe performs at Schneebeck Hall in the University of Puget Sound Music Building at 8:30 pm.
Glassholes Are Too Nerdy for Comic-Con: San Diego Comic-Con has banned Google Glass at panels showing footage of upcoming films. This is not a surprise, but it's still kind of funny.
The Black Keys to Get Into Publishing Next Week: Jack White has launched a publishing company.
Amazon Gets Dick: We've been unimpressed by Amazon's slate of TV shows, but news that they're making a TV show out of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle has definitely piqued our interest.
Good Morning, Writer: Excellent writer of short stories and novels Aimee Bender explains the writing lessons to be learned from Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon.
Bad Day for Amazon: Amazon's Fire Phone debuted to fairly horrible reviews from the tech blogs. Also, today's Shelf Awareness reported that a survey indicates Amazon's battle with Hachette has hurt Amazon's image: "Of 5,286 book buyers polled by Codex between July 11 and July 19, 39.4% were aware of the dispute, and 19.2% of those aware of the dispute were buying fewer books from Amazon." In addition, Publishers Weekly actually talked to a real live Amazon spokesperson who did a terrible job of making a case for the online retailer, claiming that Hachette "should stop using their authors as human shields." They're asking authors to keep out of the conflict. (For the record: Most of the Hachette authors we've talked to don't feel like human shields; they feel like Amazon is using them as a doormat.)
Seattle Opera, the Book!: Bette Midler in the world premiere of The Who's Tommy in 1971? Power struggles at the company's beginning? The unbelievers who challenged the idea that a podunk town like Seattle could stage Wagner's four-opera Ring cycle, and the underdog company that proved them stark ravingly wrong, right up to the point of international acclaim? Seattle Opera, 50 years old this year, has written its first-ever autobiography—actually, it's commissioned longtime Seattle Times critic Melinda Bargreen to write it—and the book is available at the company's gift shop at McCaw Hall or online. It's $65 unless you're a subscriber, in which case it's $55. Designed by Marquand Books, it's bound to be a handsome object. (See what we did there?)
Work's Started on Three Big Murals Downtown, Each the Length of a City Block: Murals are going up on the fence that surrounds the huge future construction site of what's being called Civic Square, between Third and Fourth avenues and Cherry and James streets. (This will be the city's Civic Center campus, including City Hall, Seattle Justice Center, and Seattle Municipal Tower.) Out there working at the site this week is Chicago artist Hebru Brantley, whose Tuskegee Airmen-inspired sculptures in his hometown were just vandalized (boo). Next week the Denver wife-and-husband artist team Hollis + Lana start painting their mural, scheduled to be finished August 24; and tomorrow through September 12, terrific Seattle artists Claude Zervas and Joe Park will paint their work. The murals, funded by Triad Development, may remain in place for several years until construction begins.
We Really Like the Artist Ellen Lesperance: The Seattle native who makes paintings, drawings, and sweaters representing events of political resistance around the world last showed here in 2011; we just found out she's got an exhibition in Portland in September, so mark your calendar.
Here's a picture of one of Lesperance's works. It's called No More Nightmares.
"Our goal was to create the deepest digital archive of any show ever." : Through a new deal with FXX, every episode of The Simpsons will soon be available online and accessible via the Simpsons World app. ("[The] experience is not for everyone," writes the Hollywood Reporter. "Simpsons World, like FXNow, requires cable subscription authentication.")
Man Booker Prize Finalists Announced: Read the list of 13 finalists at USA Today.
Headline of the Day: "Giant Yellow Toad Shrinks Online After Resemblance to Leader Is Noted."
Micro-Indie Blues: Eclectic Seattle Label Fin Records Goes on Indefinite Hiatus: Christian Fulghum, owner of the Ballard-based record label Fin, announced that his four-year-old company will go on indefinite hiatus due to financial difficulties. Fin’s eclectic roster includes Pigeonhed, J. Pinder, Jack Endino, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Low Hums, Long Distance Poison, STAG, and KAIROS. Explaining the decision in a press release, Fulghum said, “It has never been easier to record, release, and distribute a record, but it has also never been more difficult to make money doing so…. The music wasn’t the problem. The economic models of the past have been thoroughly disrupted, and all of us, from the majors to the smallest independent labels, are struggling to create a viable new model.”
Downbeat Brings Upbeat News for Eyvind Kang: Rosemary Jones, the interim director of communications at Cornish College of the Arts, confirmed that Eyvind Kang, a local musician and composer who with Jessika Kenney won the Genius Award for music in 2013, did win an award from the prestigious jazz mag DownBeat....
Kent Deveraux, head of the Cornish Music department, let us know that current Cornish adjunct faculty member and Cornish alum (MU '93) Eyvind Kang was named best "Rising Star Jazz Violin" in the DownBeat magazine's 62nd annual critics poll. I believe this just appeared in the August issue of DownBeat.
Here is something jazzy by Kang...
Who Flew a White Flag of Surrender Over the Brooklyn Bridge? Whoever it was, they're gonna be in a lot of trouble.
I Thought We Weren't Talking About That: In advance of San Diego Comic-Con, Chuck Palahniuk's comic book sequel to Fight Club is getting a lot of media attention.
Render Unto Kickstarter the Things That Are Kickstarter's: Someone is trying to crowd-fund a more modern translation of the Bible.
Next EMP Pop Conference Set for April 16-19, 2015 in Seattle: Organizer Eric Weisbard recently announced on Twitter that next year’s EMP Pop Conference will happen in Seattle's EMP museum April 16-19. Inquiries about this academic gathering at which music critics, authors, thinkers, and enthusiasts deliver presentations about an overarching music-world concept should be directed to PopConference@EMPmuseum.org.
Kang Gets Downbeat? We just heard a rumor that Eyvind Kang, a local musician and composer, who with Jessika Kenney won the Genius Award for music in 2013, has won an award from the prestigious jazz journal Downbeat. Though Kang has some roots in jazz, he has a reputation for making some of the most otherworldly and eclectic music in the Pacific Northwest.
Office of Arts & Culture Wins NEA Grant: This e-mail arrived in our press-release hole today:
The City of Seattle is pleased to announce that the National Endowment for the Arts has selected the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture for an Our Town grant to support cultural space work in 2015 and 2016. The $50,000 grant will be applied to creating a Cultural Space Toolkit, which will be available to neighborhoods across the city by end of 2014. The grant was one of only 66 the NEA awarded this year.
Congratulations to the Office of Arts & Culture. Let's get some more cultural spaces in town, stat.
RIP Thomas Berger: News broke today that the prolific novelist died earlier this month at the age of 89. Stranger books editor Paul Constant suggests the following Berger books for people who'd like to give him a try: Little Big Man, Neighbors, The House Guest, and Adventures of the Artificial Woman.
Good News, Magazine Fans: As part of their brand-new redesign, the New Yorker has made their archives back to 2007 free for everyone. And wonderful magazine The Baffler just released 25 years' worth of archives available to the reading public for free, too. That oughta keep you busy for a while.
San Diego Comic-Con Is This Week: The Nerd High Holy Days are upon us, which is probably why Marvel Studios announced their next five years' worth of superhero movie release dates. Here's a queer guide to Comic-Con.
Get Your Cumberbatch On: After the jump, find a trailer for The Imitation Game, a movie coming out this fall starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing.
Kelly O: "I wanna smoke some purple kush (that I bought legally last week, at a real legal weed store!) and then go see 'This is Your VCR on Drugs' at the Grand Illusion on Thursday."
Christopher Frizzelle: "I can't wait to see Richard Linklater's Boyhood, opening on Friday at the Harvard Exit."
Dave Segal: "Tuesday, I’m going to bask in the special glow of young, great American folk guitarist/singer Ryley Walker at Barboza and then head to Chop Suey to see how much East Coast noise rockers Magik Markers have mellowed out and if that is a good or a bad thing. Thursday, Revolver Bar’s hosting my old crew of PROG DJs, so I’m going to make the two-minute walk and enjoy their deep selections of prog-rock gems and fill the room with banter about obscure musicians 99.8 percent of the world has never cared about, nor ever will."
Charles Mudede: "Tomorrow, I'm giving a talk at Vermillion about urban growth without economic growth. As for the rest of the week, I'm preparing a talk called 'Adventures with Thomas Piketty' for the Smoke Farm Symposium, which happens this Saturday."
David Schmader: "This week, I'm determined not to be a drag and to participate. I will enjoy clams on the half shell and roller skates, roller skates."
For those of you who like to look at, talk about, and/or buy posters, Ghost Gallery and yours truly have chosen 27 Poster of the Week veterans to show new and classic work from July 19 through August 10 at Saint John's. Don't miss the opening artist reception on July 19!
Brendan Kiley: "I'm going to see the new Wayne Rawley play Attack of the Killer Murder... of Death!, which will be the first show in Theater Schmeater's new Belltown spot. Then I'm headed up to Smoke Farm—along with 600 other people—for the sold-out Burning Beast fundraiser/bacchanalia, where I'll take more pictures like these."
Emily Nokes: "Going to the #Rare Sandlot Dugout Party to see ILLFIGHTYOU tonight, followed by a bug-themed birthday rave. Rave while you can. Tomorrow, Tacocat is playing at Town Hall with Paul Constant and Bryan Lee O'Malley for Verse Chapter Verse! I am so excited. I want to subtly dress like one of O'Malley's comics characters, but also don't want to freak him out…"
Paul Constant: "I'm hosting Verse Chapter Verse with Bryan Lee O'Malley and Tacocat on Saturday night at Town Hall. I can't even make any other weekend plans because I'm so excited about this."
Anna Minard: "It’s practically mandatory to hit up Verse Chapter Verse on Saturday night at Town Hall, where there will be both an intelligent and funny conversation about books and a Tacocat show. Books with pictures + party cat taco music + Paul Constant = a good time. Not missable, party people."
Bethany Jean Clement: "Tonight, I am going to the screening of Chat at Northwest Film Forum—I don’t know much about it, other than that it's 'a dark comedy by Greg Lundgren. Rosalie Edholm plays a webcam chat girl. Featuring Curtis Taylor, Timothy Rysdyke and Doug Nufer.’ Tomorrow, I’m FINALLY going to see Lead Pencil Studio’s by-all-accounts-incredible show transit in half-light at Wing Luke before it ends on Sunday. And on Sunday, there will be meat."
Dave Segal: "The second night of Substrata happens Friday at Chapel Performance Space, and I’ll be there with all the other heads who dig pastoral drones (Koen Holtkamp), meditational guitar (Carl Hultgren), and otherworldly electro folk (Sanso-Xtro). Saturday I’m experiencing the final night of Substrata (Mika Vainio, Evan Caminiti, Mamiffer) and then heading to Chop Suey to watch California psych rocker Morgan Delt melt July 2014 into a sonic summer of love… maaaan."
Charles Mudede: "My weekend will be all about Vermillion Gallery for two very good reasons. One, I'm preparing for a talk I'm giving there this Tuesday on the idea of urban growth without economic/capitalist growth. And two, tomorrow the gallery is holding a free Pad Pushers show that features one of my favorite pad pushers/hiphop producers in the city Wizdumb. Now you know. Bell Biv DeVoe."
Now You Can Subscribe to the Death of Publishing: Amazon launched their Netflix-like book subscription program, Kindle Unlimited, today. Paul Constant informed us this was coming earlier this week. He also urged publishers to not take part in the program. Sounds like the publishers of 600,000 books didn't listen to him. Typical.
What's Up With the Chihuly Playground at Seattle Center?: A reader sent us that question last week, so we checked in with Seattle Center spokesperson Deborah Daoust. She told us things are on track, that the design team held two design open houses this spring and several workshops with kids (what do kids want?), and that the plan is to break ground just after Bumbershoot for anticipated completion by next winter/spring. You can learn more here.
Have You Noticed a Piano in a Park Lately? A pedestrian in the International District spotted a piano in Hing Hay Park last night and thought it was a little odd. Park-goers had gathered around the piano were banging out a few of the elementary-school-piano-class standards on it. Then reports on social media started barreling in: Curiously decorated pianos were seemingly abandoned in parks all around Seattle. Turns out, it's part of a program called Pianos in the Parks, which is co-sponsored by the Seattle Symphony. The Symphony will also host a series of "Playdates in the Park" at Westlake. Here's the schedule for that:
Thursday, July 24
10:30AM – 12PM
Friday, August 1
10:30AM – 12PM
Thursday, August 7
10:30AM – 12PM
Thursday, August 14
10:30AM – 12PM
Find the piano nearest to you on the program's website.
Dept. of Press Releases Dept.: According to press releases received by The Stranger, PETA has declared SafeCo Field to be number 7 on their list of Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks and the popular singer Shakira has finally earned one hundred million "likes" on Facebook, which supposedly earned her the title of "Most Likable Woman in the World." Congratulations to both Safeco Field and Shakira.
Seattle experimental composer/keyboardist/visual artist Garek Druss (A Story of Rats, Dull Knife, Saint Genet) performs today at the outdoor Sylvan Grove Theater at 7 pm. His set will be an extrapolation of the auditory tours—known as Summer Field Studies—that he recorded to be heard while perusing artworks on University of Washington's campus, from Henry Art Gallery to the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering.
For another facet of Druss' music, check out an excerpt of the performance by his very sporadic side project, Stenskogen (with Midday Veil's David Golightly and Ecstatic Cosmic Union's Aubrey Nehring), who played a certain Stranger writer's birthday party at the old Comet Tavern a couple years ago.
Blindfold Gallery to Close at the End of This Year: One of the bright spots of Capitol Hill's fragile art scene is closing in December after a 2 1/2-year run. Blindfold Gallery first opened on the ground floor of the painting studio shared by Laura Hamje and Sara Long. Attorney Scott Burk, who'd had an earlier small gallery on Capitol Hill and is an ardent art supporter, spent time running it along with the two artists. Painting was the gallery's specialty, starting with a grand opening exhibition April 12, 2012, of the work of Kimberly Trowbridge, and the gallery has shown strong painters including Kathy Liao, Leanne Grimes, and Justin Duffus as well as non-painters like Rodrigo Valenzuela, Max Kraushaar, and Graham Downing. Part of the reason for closing is that the gallery didn't break even, though it was edging closer each year, Hamje wrote in an email in which she explained the larger reason:
I love representing and showing other artists work but I realize that I can't be a serious painter and a serious gallery owner at the same time. ... I also had no concept of why galleries took 50% commission on sales. Now I have complete respect for the number. It was also a goal of mine to understand more about why people buy art, who is buying art and what excites people enough to buy. I'm convinced overall that people really are drawn to good, successful work (the definition of that of course is tricky, but I really think it can be often be sensed by a majority).
Long, Trowbridge, Grimes, Peter Scherrer, and Stranger Genius nominee Emily Gherard will all be showing at Blindfold before it closes. Ryan Weatherly's work is up now.
Local Filmmakers Receive List-Based Praise: Congratulations must go to local filmmakers Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell for being included in Filmmaker's 25 New Faces of Independent Film for 2014. The films by Earl and Cadwell, two of which were featured on the Slog's Short Film Friday series, are definitely on the sci-fi tip, but also with a heavy dose of Northwest noir (or, closer yet, "green gothic," as the local artist Matthew Offenbacher has theorised it).
“We live in the Pacific Northwest,” Caldwell says, “and we love to be outside. The environment here is a big inspiration to us, and that carries through into the work.”The film that got Filmmaker thinking about these young men is "Prospect," which takes place on another planet that looks a lot like the wildest parts of the Pacific Northwest....
To Piss Off a Beloved Author: Harper Lee says that a new biography of her is mostly bullshit.
Big-Deal American Art Show at the Walmart Museum to Include Susie Lee and Dan Webb: Today, Randy Kennedy of the New York Times reported about the lineup of artists for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's much-talked-about upcoming State of the Art exhibition—which opens in September and is the product of two curators visiting a thousand artists and picking 102 from across the country, to represent the station of American art. Most of the artists are not well-known outside their regions. Kennedy writes:
The artists chosen for the fall show range in age from 24 to 87; 54 are men and 48 are women. The geographic spread seems unlikely to provoke regional protests: 26 are from the West and Southwest; 27 from the Midwest; 25 from Texas and the South; and 24 from the East Coast.
It's supposed to be a non-New-York-as-usual show. We haven't gotten a full list from the museum yet, but Stranger Genius winner Susie Lee said she is in the show, as is Stranger Genius nominee Dan Webb, two very different Seattle artists (she's a technologist, he's a wood carver; both are contemporary in their own ways). Lee (and we're not sure about Webb) will also travel to the Walmart-money-backed Arkansas museum October 6-7 to present at the Crystal Bridges Summit titled "Insights from a Changing America." Who'll join her? Oh, you know: Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart, Arianna Huffington, Maya Lin, Cheech Marin, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Judge Reinhold, and other people who are the CEOs and presidents of fancy things. Will Crystal Bridges re-form American art from the heartland? If it does, will that be a good thing? Or ...wait. Martha Stewart??
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Tickets just went on sale for the annual David Sedaris reading at Benaroya Hall. Stranger books editor Paul Constant says Sedaris consistently gives the best live readings he's ever seen. This year's appearance is on November 17th. While you're in a ticket-buying mood, you can also buy tickets for Radiolab's Jad Abumrad and musician Zoe Keating, who will be performing at Benaroya on September 30th.
Live by the Libretto, Die by the Libretto: Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Broadway musical inspired by the music and lyrics of Tupac Shakur, will close this Sunday after six weeks of performances. ("The production never brought in more than $175,000 a week in gross revenues, becoming one of the worst-selling musicals of recent years," reports the NYT.)
SPL Puts Out a Call for Unedited Crap: The Seattle Public Library just announced a contest for self-published authors. Please send your self-published books to SPL, and not The Stranger.
Manuel Noriega Sues Video Game Company for His Depiction in Black Ops II: Noriega's story is one of those tragic tales with no good guys. The CIA, himself, the drug trade, his army, our army, the prison system, now video-game companies profiteering off how fucked up that whole situation was. So if you ever think your life is a mess, consider old Manuel.
Buying Their Way In: Is Amazon preparing to buy Simon & Schuster? That would change the structure of bookselling for sure; bookstores couldn't just stop carrying Simon & Schuster titles, the way some of them boycott Amazon-published titles. It would put Amazon at the table as a major publisher, which would change the entire dynamic of the publishing industry. Of course, this is all speculation at this point; if it does actually happen, we'll let you booksellers know when you should start drinking yourselves to death.
Sekuler Leaving NWFF: The Stranger has just learned that Adam Sekuler, a local experimental filmmaker and the former program director for Northwest Film Forum, is leaving Seattle in early August for Boulder, Colorado. Sekuler's plan is to obtain a masters from the university in that town. Sekuler's final film project in Seattle will be editing Rob Devor's documentary Pow Wow. The Northwest Film Forum is having a send-off party for, and a screening of a film by, Sekuler on August 4.
Artist's Work Stolen: It looks like this poor woman who had her entire performance encased in a single bag had it stolen from her downtown place while she wasn't even in town. Sheesh. Help her get her stuff back, please.
You Can Open for Lena Dunham in Seattle: This is a great fucking idea: For her book tour this fall, Lena Dunham is asking local talented people to be her opening act. She requests that you live within 75 miles of the city, but besides that, it's pretty much wide open. You just have to submit a link to video of you performing your talent—music, comedy, whatever—to this form on her website. Dunham will be reading at University Methodist Church as part of University Book Store's reading series on Saturday, October 18th. Tickets, including a signed copy of the book, are $28 and available through UBS.
Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads Concert Film Stop Making Sense Receives First Digital Release: To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Palm Pictures has released Jonathan Demme’s phenomenal concert film Stop Making Sense digitally for the first time. There’ll also be a limited engagement in theaters, including a run at SIFF Aug. 1-3. Stop Making Sense featured Talking Heads in their newly expanded, ultra-funky lineup, and the performances therein capture the group at a peak, reinventing old songs with new vigor and showing that a jam band can be an exciting proposition.
This poster by Matt Harvey has been on the streets for a while now, and I love it more each time I see it. Its simplicity draws you in and makes you ask the questions that any great poster should: What is happening here? And why? See more of Matt's work at mharvey.net.
Suddenly, Israel Bars the Palestinian Artist Khaled Jarrar from Traveling: Jarrar's work is included in the big summer exhibition at New York's New Museum of art about and from the Arab World. He last traveled two weeks ago, but now he's barred, and nobody's explaining why. His work is about exactly this, incredibly. Watch a trailer on this link to the story. (Thanks for the tip, Accidental Theologist.)
If You're Gonna Steal, Steal from the Worst: Slavoj Žižek, arguably the most famous philosopher in the world, has been accused of plagiarizing something written by, of all people, a white nationalist. Anyone who is familiar with Žižek will not be surprised by this revelation. His productivity as a writer is just off the chart. A book every few months, essays all of the time, posts, lectures, movies, and "so on and so on." Where did he find the time to write and read and prepare and learn? Žižek's response to the charge of plagiarism:
"With regard to the recent accusations about my plagiarism, here is what happened: when I was writing the text on Derrida which contains the problematic passages, a friend told me about Kevin Macdonald’s theories, and I asked him to send me a brief resume,” he wrote. “The friend [sent] it to me, assuring me that I can use it freely since it merely resumes another’s line of thought.”
It's highly unlikely that this was an isolated incident.
Fun with the Enslaved Mammy!: Another perspective on Kara Walker's giant sugar mammy/sphinx in Brooklyn is that it doesn't work at all—not because of the artist; because of the audience.
This Sucks: The government of Singapore banned children's books featuring gay characters.
Happy Con Air Day! If you follow the Twitter account @ConAirDay, you already know that today is the 17th anniversary of the day in which the greatest American film of all time—Con Air—takes place.
Paul Constant: "Tomorrow, I'll be stopping by Drinking Liberally at the Roanoke Tavern at 8 pm. Thursday, I'm looking forward to the API Flying Bookshelf launch party at the Eastern Cafe. The Bookshelf is a moving library intended to celebrate 'Asian and Pacific Islander authors, scholars, activists, and revolutionaries,' and it will move from location to location. All week long, I'm going to be preparing for my Verse Chapter Verse event with Bryan Lee O'Malley and Tacocat at Town Hall on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to this event and I want it to be extra-special, so I'll be trying to think up some great questions. (Shameless plug: We've already sold a whole lot of tickets to this event, so if you're thinking about joining us, you might want to buy tickets now.)"
Eli Sanders: "Celebrating the arrival of the Stranger Election Control Board's endorsements for the August 5th primary! (Out Wednesday! With a handy CHEAT SHEET for your voting pleasure! Guaranteed to reveal which candidate lied to us, and who claimed who was bald!) And what? You haven't received your ballot yet? Do not fear: That's because ballots are being mailed as we speak."
David Schmader: "Listening to Donna Summer's mid-'70s concept albums and placing myself near picturesque water. Also, did I miss Free Slurpee Day?"
Dave Segal: "Tuesday I’m checking out DJ Slugbait’s new night at Revolver that’s devoted to the soundtrack music from Kenneth Anger and John Carpenter's ’70s and ’80s films, as well as to other dark electronic-music manifestations from those decades. Wednesday I may see DJ Krush at Neumos, mainly because I want to hear 'Kemuri' done live one more time. Thursday through Saturday will be consumed by the experimental/drone/ambient extravaganza known as Substrata 1.4 at Chapel Performance Space."
Bethany Jean Clement: "Today is Bastille Day, so I’m going to do some storming of something shortly. Do you love pinball? I just started to understand how great it is, and this here Pinball Rally looks a little varsity league, but maybe some pointers could be gleaned. And OMG I really, REALLY wish I was going to see the Go-Go’s, even more after reading Megan’s awesome article about how they’re more awesome than you ever even thought, which was pretty goddamn awesome."
Kelly O: "On Wednesday, I am going to something at Pony called "A Night of a 1000 Gloryholes! A Costume Party." Uh, and I'm taking my camera."
Anna Minard: "I plan to spend the week attempting to survive Hotpocalypse 2014, mainly via cocktails. I forgot for a sec how stupid-great Bimbo’s happy hour is but then I just remembered, and I’m sure my ass will end up in St. John’s cool back patio chairs at some point. Oh yeah, and Ballard’s La Isla has a sweet late-night happy hour with great, cheap mojitos, too. Yum."
Krishanu Ray: "It's free Slurpee day, and this year free Slurpee Day is followed by a whole week of free gas station-caliber snacks."
Christopher Frizzelle: "I'm going to go to Fogon and have their 'ceviche y corona' lunch. It's a large mound of ceviche and an ice-cold Corona, for like $8. It's gonna be so hot, I'll probably eat this three days in a row."
David Schmader: "Going to see Snowpiercer at Ark Lodge Cinema!"
Kelly O: "Because I'm a glutton for heat punishment, I'm going over to Ellensburg, where it will be 102 degrees, to float the Yakima River with some friends."
Anna Minard: "I will be going to the Light in the Attic party tomorrow, because I am not an idiot and that sounds rad. There are hella breweries around there, too, so there’ll surely be a pre-funk/post-funk situation. Otherwise, I plan to be building an ice cave in a cool basement somewhere and buying lots of those little fans that spray water at you.
Dave Segal: "Tonight I’m heading to Kremwerk to experience Detroit techno deity Claude Young lubricate the room with a grip of high-IQ bangers, like the master he is. Saturday is all about Light in the Attic’s Summer Spectacular party, even though soulful farmer boys from Fruitland, Washington, Donnie & Joe Emerson, just dropped off the bill today. Still, there’ll be enough live and DJ'd music and record-buying opportunities to make this worth the trip to Ballard. Sunday afternoon I’ll hit the Comet’s Hangover Flea Market, with the always on-point DJ Explorateur spinning world-class records."
Charles Mudede: "After work ('Friday night, just got paid'), I'm going to check out the new happy hour menu at Saint John's (food: 'Coca Cola Braised Pork Tacos,' which are going for $6; drink: house white wine, $4 a glass). I'm also rereading parts of Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval's excellent book New Way of the World for a review that will be written next week and appear in this paper the week after that."
Bethany Jean Clement: "ONLY SWIM."
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