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Friday, August 29, 2014

What Are You Doing This Weekend? Stranger Critics Answer the Question

Posted by on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Dave Segal: "Spending Saturday through Monday at a little festival known as Bumbershoot. Saturday, while you’re practicing your Wu-Tang Clan 'W's, I’ll be trying to finagle my way backstage to hang with legendary soul/gospel singer Mavis Staples, who’s still a dynamo at 75. Sunday is crammed with greatness (the Dream Syndicate, Luscious Jackson, Negativland, Mission of Burma, Big Star’s Third, Bootsy Collins), so if you can only go one day, make it that one. Monday I’m looking forward to Jonathan Richman and Dutch psych-pop magus Jacco Gardner."

Christopher Frizzelle: "I got tickets to go to Wild Waves, because I've never been to Wild Waves, but now it's supposed to rain. So I'll probably go see George Meyer at Bumbershoot."

Dan Savage: "Nothing."

David Schmader: "Tomorrow I'm a judge at the Literary Death Match at Bumbershoot, on Sunday I'm telling a story in Jennifer Jasper's Family Affair at Bumbershoot, and on Monday I'm doing whatever I want."

Kelly O: "I will probably not do much of anything else except take a million photos at this Seattle thing whose name rhymes with 'Lumber-Flute'."

Anna Minard: "Staying home and sleeping, until I emerge on Monday evening to interview nine writers and editors from the Onion onstage at Bumbershoot. I have taken some advice and decided not to use any onion puns in my introduction, so you should definitely come. Also: Please, if I have something in my teeth, let me know."

Katie Allison: "I'm going to spend the weekend carefully avoiding Bumbershoot and the whole Seattle Center area, because huge crowds of people are invariably the worst."

Paul Constant: "It's been a shitty summer and I'm happy to bury it in the backyard. I think I might celebrate by seeing Boyhood again—it was a movie that helped make my summer a little better. I'm also going to Bellingham for a day, and I'll be listening to Cassorla a whole lot all weekend long, because I'm currently in love with Cassorla."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In Culture News: Your One-Stop Shop for Last-Minute Bumbershoot Schedule Changes

Posted by and on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Bumbershoot Announces a Few Music-Lineup Alterations: Here are some last-minute changes to the Bumbershoot musical lineup. First, guitarist Chris Brokaw (Come, Codeine) will replace Jessica Pratt Monday at the Pavilion Stage at 4:15 pm. Second, the ensemble that will interpret Big Star’s Third is expanding to include Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli, Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws, and Young Fresh Fellows/Minus 5/Baseball Project’s Scott McCaughey. They join original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Mike Mills, Mitch Easter, Chris Stamey, and Mike McCready. Finally, James Brown/Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins has canceled his Bumbershoot Music Lounge set, but will still perform Sunday at 10 pm at the Fisher Green Stage.

The Stranger’s Bumbershoot coverage is here.

Wonkette Is Coming to Town! Everybody's favorite political blog is hosting a Seattle happy hour on Saturday, September 27th. They're trying to figure out where to have the happy hour; you can chime in on your favorite bar in the comments.

Your Staggering Fact of the Day: "More than 5 percent of the messages a woman receives online will be abusive or derogatory in nature, on average," Lyz Lenz writes at the Rumpus.

That Looks Like a Movie, All Right: Here's the trailer for Rosewater, the film that Jon Stewart took last summer off from the Daily Show to direct:

Shakespeare, with Drunks: Slog tipper Ryan says "this needs to happen here," and we tend to agree: ShakesBEER is a cross between a pub crawl and a Shakespeare festival, Drunk Shakespeare is a cross between Shakespeare and improv, and Shotspeare is a drinking game disguised as a Shakespeare production. Why not?

Who Can Write with All This Typing Going On? Slog tipper Greg sent along this NPR story: Seems that the Times of London is now broadcasting the sounds of clacking typewriters in the newsroom in an effort to increase productivity.

Boss Your Kids Around: Bruce Springsteen has apparently written a children's book.

Click the image to be transported to the page where you can buy Finger Hands, via internet magic.
  • Click the image to be transported to the page where you can buy Finger Hands, via internet magic.
Finally! Infinite Jest as David Foster Wallace Intended It! Brick Jest is a series of Lego retellings of important scenes from Infinite Jest. That's all we have to say about that.

Hands on the Tips of Your Fingers: Beloved local novelty institution Archie McPhee announced their newest product today. Finger hands are hands you put on the tips of your fingers, and they're really quite creepy. Hopefully, Archie McPhee will one day soon start selling finger hands to put on the fingers of your finger hands, so we can keep this party going.


Here's What You Missed if You Weren't at the 2014 Literature Genius Showcase

Posted by on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 12:09 PM

  • Kelly O
  • AND THE NOMINEES ARE... Left to right: Shin Yu Pai, G. Willow Wilson, and Gary Groth.
It is always nice to drink at a museum—or an aquarium, or a house of religion, or really any large space intended for a specific purpose and where you are usually instructed not to carry a beer around willy nilly. Wandering a nice museum carrying a beer and some cookies feels like a minor subversive act, and since the Frye has shown a particular fondness for subversive acts (both major and minor), it makes a fitting spot for these slightly tipsy parties thrown to celebrate artists across genres.

Last night was the literature showcase, and if you have not yet familiarized yourself with the literature genius nominees, I will say: I know of at least two people who left the party to go directly to Elliott Bay Book Company and purchase the work of these shortlisters. To catch up, you can also read short profiles of poet Shin Yu Pai, comics critic and publisher Gary Groth, and author G. Willow Wilson in the summer issue of A&P.

In the Frye's cool gray auditorium, the three sat down to chat with the audience, each other, and books editor Paul Constant, who called books "the greatest engines of empathy humanity has ever devised" and said Seattle is "in the process of becoming the literary capital of the United States," because he is basically a 'roided-out WWE announcer for literature.

  • Kelly O
  • Ralph Steadman drew for Hunter S. Thompson and once wrote an autobiography of god.
Gary Groth, who founded and still runs venerable local comics publisher Fantagraphics, read a piece of criticism on Ralph Steadman, the longtime visual collaborator of Hunter S. Thompson. His piece was so dense with history and analysis that if you were in that room and didn't learn something new about Steadman, Thompson, or comics and illustration, it could only be because your name is Gary Groth. Next, Shin Yu Pai read poems from vastly different series; her work shifts in tone and shape and style from one project to the next. Topics that were covered in her poems: Sheep. Art. Kielbasa. Farting. Prisoners. Walmart. Then G. Willow Wilson told us that the novel she read an excerpt from, Alif the Unseen, was her most autobiographical work—even though she's actually written a memoir—because she finally stopped "worrying about my target audience" and just "wrote what I wanted to write," hoping that an audience might be out there.

  • Kelly O
  • The audience was out there.
There was a great gauntlet throwdown from Wilson, who told the room that "writers of comic books have to work harder than writers of novels do."

Continue reading »

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In Culture News: Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter Share "A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment"

Posted by , and on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

  • Olivier D’hose
Local Writer Goes Head-First Into Rubble: Ansel Herz told you yesterday that Gazans have launched the "Rubble Bucket Challenge," a riff on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in which people dump rubble on their heads to raise awareness of the situation in Gaza. (Rubble is used because water is in short supply in Gaza, and refrigeration is impossible due to infrequent access to electricity.) Yesterday afternoon, Stranger Genius of Literature Lesley Hazleton took part in the Rubble Bucket Challenge and blogged about her experience. You can see photos of her challenge along the side of this post. Hazleton writes, "The rubble I used came, either ironically or appropriately, from a building site."

Send Lance Mercer Good Thoughts: Back in June, the photographer and musician Lance Mercer went public with the news that he has cancer, his daughter calling for fundraising help. An exhibition of his photographs of the pre-grunge period was to be shown at Bumbershoot this weekend, but it just turned out to be too much to do to juggle a big show and illness. So there’s a change to the lineup: Mercer’s photo show will not appear at Bumbershoot, and in its place will be rock-and-roll photographs by another Seattle classic, the wonderful Jini Dellaccio, who died July 3. The show, curated by Chuck Pennington and assisted by Larry Reid of Fantagraphics, celebrates the entire life and career of Dellaccio, best known for 1960s images of acts like The Sonics, The Wailers, Merrilee Rush, The Daily Flash, and many others.

Your New Favorite Podcast (Except for the Savage Lovecast, Of Course): Stranger Genius Sherman Alexie and very-intelligent Spokane novelist Jess Walter announced today that they've started a new podcast titled "A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment." Alexie and Walter, who both play basketball a whole lot, refer to the podcast as "the middle-aged writer fading jock show," and it will include interviews (about writing and pornography and politics) and readings and probably sports talk. We got in touch with Alexie, who told us new episodes of the podcast will go live every other Wednesday. The first two episodes are available for your listening pleasure right now.

Actor Vincent Kartheiser to Play Filmmaker Billy Wilder: In Billy & Ray at the Vineyard Theater in NYC. As the New York Times reports:

Written by Mike Bencivenga and directed by Garry Marshall (“Pretty Woman”), “Billy & Ray” captures the antagonistic relationship between Wilder and Chandler during the creation of the 1944 film “Double Indemnity.” The two locked horns early and often while facing strict censorship laws that constrained a plot rife with murder and adultery. Despite the challenges, the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, with Wilder and Chandler sharing a nomination for their screenplay.

As for the rest of the cast: Raymond Chandler will be played by top-tier Law & Order-er Larry Pine and a supporting role will be played Bette Midler's daughter Sophie von Haselberg.

How Many Fire Phones Has Amazon Sold? Wow, that's a terrible number. Could that be true?

Do You Need a Smart Watch? Apple is reportedly announcing their smartwatch on September 9th. One commenter at Apple Insider writes, "I, for one, will be one of the FIRST to order my iWatch, no matter what it looks like or what it does."

Superheroes Are Serious Business, Guys: Does DC Comics have a "no jokes" policy in their superhero movies?

Poster of the Week

Posted by on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM


In case you aren't aware, the fact that Slint are playing in Seattle is a pretty huge deal. Mike Klay has done this occasion justice with this impressive 25-by-9.5-inch two-color screen print (with metallic silver, no less!). See more of Mike's work at


Why Is Bumbershoot Better This Year Than Previous Years?

Posted by on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 3:23 PM


Something feels different about Bumbershoot this year. In the weeks after One Reel announced the lineup for this summer's festival, artists, musicians, critics, and friends began saying something I hadn't heard in years: "Wow, this year's Bumbershoot looks amazing."

People aren't talking so much about this year's classic marquee names (including The Replacements, Wu-Tang Clan, and Jonathan Richman, though even they seem like an improvement over the creakier nostalgia acts and radio superstars One Reel was programming just a few years ago) as they are about the smaller, mid-range, and quasi-underground acts: Gregory Porter, Mexican Institute of Sound, Negativland, Black Weirdo, Mission of Burma, Evan Flory-Barnes, ILLFIGHTYOU, and the Both.

Anecdotally, it feels like a better spread and a break from Bumbershoots past that seemed to spend a huge amount of money on superstars like Bob Dylan and leave the rest of the acts in relative neglect…

Keep Reading>>>

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In Culture News: Charles Mudede and Larry Mizell Jr Talk About Ferguson Tonight

Posted by and on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Click to enlarge.
  • Click to enlarge.
Talking About Ferguson at NAAM: Tonight, Stranger writers Charles Mudede and Larry Mizell Jr are joining other writers, critics, activists at the Northwest African American Museum for an event organized by Pecha Kucha Seattle and Seattle People of Color Salon. It's called PKN SEA vol. 56 #Ferguson and it concerns the state of things in America in the light of the young and unarmed black man, Michael Brown, who was shot six times by a white police officer on August 9. Ferguson is the LA riots of the 21st century.

Uber Assholes: In a bombshell post, The Verge accuses Uber of masterminding a "sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors." The internal name of the program? "Operation SLOG." (I guess we should feel flattered?) In response to The Verge story, Uber is trying to explain away its creepy libertarian tactics as good old free-market capitalism at its finest.

Why Bother Leaving the House This Weekend? There's still time to register for the 3-Day Novel Contest! All you have to do is pay $50 dollars, enter online, write an entire novel over Labor Day weekend, and then submit your book for a chance to be selected as this year's winner. If you've ever wanted to write a book, this is a great way to jump-start the writing process; sure, what you come up with isn't going to be a polished piece of writing, but it will indisputably be a novel-shaped thing. As every published writer can tell you, actually finishing a first draft is more than half the battle. Do it.

Library Misses the Point of Libraries: The new Florida Polytechnic University library is a bookless library. Yeah, a library with no books in it.

John Stamos is one of the producers of the prospective Full House reboot.
  • s_bukley//Shutterstock
  • John Stamos is one of the producers of the prospective Full House reboot.
Is This Peak 90s Nostalgia? Apparently, producers are trying to reboot Full House.

This Idea Won't Be Controversial at All: Is it time to take the prices off books?

“I have felt for some time that taking the price off books would put bookselling in the same place as almost all other retail,” said American Booksellers Association president Steve Bercu, the owner of BookPeople in Austin, Tex., and an advocate for net pricing. “Allowing flexibility in pricing gives the retailer the possibility of sharing changes in wages, theft, and occupancy costs with the consumer. Almost all forms of retail have this possibility, but booksellers do not.” Bercu also cited an additional advantage of net pricing: it would make discounting difficult and would allow market conditions to dictate the price locally.

It's hard to imagine the publishing industry agreeing to do this in tandem; such a move would certainly make Amazon look like the good guys.

Free Physics: The Feynman Lectures on Physics are now available to read for free online. In addition to possibly being the smartest physicist in the world in his lifetime, Feynman was almost definitely the greatest physics teacher in the world, too. This is a great chance to learn at the feet of the master.

Monday, August 25, 2014

What Are You Doing This Week? Stranger Critics Answer the Question

Posted by on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 4:50 PM

  • Kelly O

Kelly O: "Tomorrow, I'm part of a gallery show (that features a limited edition art publication that includes over 40 Seattle artists) called BLOOD MOON at Hard L Art Gallery. Come see some a whole mess of art! Look at all these artists!"

David Schmader: "Tonight I'm watching and live-Slogging the Emmys (God and streaming capabilities willing). And on Wednesday I'm going to the Frye for the Stranger Genius in Literature showcase."

Dan Savage: "I'll be sitting at home alone on tonight and tomorrow, a Jack White widow, as Terry is going to both of White's shows at the Paramount. Terry says he'll make it up to me by taking me to see Calvary some time later in the week."

Charles Mudede: "This week doing two things: For one, tomorrow I'm joining twenty other speakers at the Northwest African American Museum for an event organized by Pecha Kucha Seattle and Seattle People of Color Salon. It's called PKN SEA vol. 56 #Ferguson and concerns racism in our age. I will also begin reading the stories of G. K. Chesterton for a class I'm going to teach at Hugo House called Writing the City. Chesterton is the true poet of London. A London before cars. A London of the feet."

Dave Segal: "With Bumbershoot looming on the horizon, I’m going to take it a bit easy this week. Wednesday I’m joining all the other aging post rockers at the Showbox to watch Slint not tarnish their legend. Thursday I’m hitting Neumos, where Dave Portner of Animal Collective is leading his latest side project, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks—whose music actually doesn’t sound gory at all. I’m mainly going to see my DJ partner Explorateur, who’s opening the show, but don’t tell Portner that."


In Culture News: If You've Been Rained Out of Burning Man, Visit Meat Mountain Instead

Posted by and on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 4:01 PM

"Hire People You Trust, Then Trust Them": Just one item on Seattle filmmaker and Stranger Film Genius Megan Griffiths's great list of 17 Things I Learned From Working on Other People’s Films.

Amazon Twitches: Amazon paid almost a billion dollars for Twitch, a company that "allows gamers to share a live feed of their gameplay." If you've ever sat on a couch next to someone playing a video game, you know how thrilling that can be.

More Like Soaking Man: The first day of Burning Man has been canceled due to rain. Many Burning Man attendees headed to Reno, instead.

Comics! They're Not Just for Poor People Anymore! A copy of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, sold for $3.2 million, making it the most valuable comic book ever.

Sympathy for the Devil: Over at HiLobrow, Jessamyn West plays devil's advocate for that roundly hated font, Comic Sans. West writes:


Downworthy: Facebook is reportedly going to crack down on clickbait headlines that force you to click through to find out what the headlines are actually about.

September 29th Will Be the Best Day of the Year: That's the day when Prince will release two new albums.

No BBQ for You: King Khan & BBQ Show has changed their name to Bad News Boys, because they were sued by a Berlin restaurant named "KING KHAN UND BBQ."

How Many Will Die on Meat Mountain? Arby's is now selling an off-menu sandwich called "Meat Mountain" for $10. According to Consumerist, it contains "2 chicken tenders; 1.5 oz. of roast turkey; 1.5 oz. of ham; 1 slice of Swiss cheese; 1.5 oz. of corned beef; 1.5 oz. brisket; 1.5 oz. of Angus steak; 1 slice of cheddar cheese; 1.5 oz. roast beef and 3 half-strips of bacon." Here's what it looks like:

Friday, August 22, 2014

What Are You Doing This Weekend? Stranger Critics Answer the Question

Posted by on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 4:59 PM

OUR SIX WEEKS OF FUN ARE NOW OVER for these leaves are the death knell of summer.
  • OUR SIX WEEKS OF FUN ARE NOW OVER The orangening of these leaves sounds the death knell of summer.

Bethany Jean Clement: "Tonight: Angels in America, and everyone—whether you’re going or not—should read Rebecca Brown’s excellent piece about it. Tomorrow: swim in Lake Washington, drink a peach, ride bides, play badminton, do everything outside while still possible because THE LEAVES ARE CHANGING. Sunday, hopefully: Celebrate Little Saigon (with pho-eating contest at 2:30!)."

Christopher Frizzelle: "I'm seeing Angels in America a second time. Because I'm obsessed."

Dan Savage: "Seeing a movie with husband, going on a hike with friends, and—with any luck—causing God to recoil."

David Schmader: "I am deep in a Prince hole and am prepping for the forthcoming avalanche of deluxe reissues by diving into the few Prince albums I don't already know inside out. This weekend, that means listening to all three hours of 1996's Emancipation on permarepeat while doing the combination disco dancing/house cleaning that is my truest talent. And tonight I'm going to see Angels in America: Millennium Approaches at Intiman and I CANNOT WAIT."

Dave Segal: "Tonight I’m hitting up Black Lodge (Blood Box, Telluris) and Vermillion (TJ Max, Contact Cult, Bankie Phones, DJ Mr. Snatches) for a double dose of dark and/or strange electronic music. On Saturday, London acid-techno producer Daniel Avery is playing both Re-bar and a sold-out afterhours loft party. Please feed me trucker speed. Sunday at Chop Suey’s Dragon Lounge, DJs Slug Bait and Goo Goo are hosting Dark Star, a night dedicated to ’70s and ’80s sci-fi and horror-film soundtracks. I’m going because I like to chill to chilling music."

Kelly O: "I really SHOULD go see the Blood Brothers reunion at the Showbox tonight, then Linda's Fest tomorrow at Linda's Tavern but as Bethany Jean Clement just pointed out, the leaves on the trees outside the office are starting to turn colors. Summer is fleeting, so I'm going camping in Eastern Washington where I will refuse to change out of my bathing suit until Monday."

Katie Allison: "For tomorrow, I am massively conflicted about whether to go to Linda's Fest (rad music, lots of beer, good people) or to a maybe equally awesome kung fu party (lots of beer, good people, KUNG FU SHENANIGANS). They are happening simultaneously, which somebody really should have noticed and changed! Sunday will be spent prowling around the Mercer Slough in this amazing weather, checking out wildlife and picking blackberries."

Kathleen Richards: "Tonight I’m planning to check out Angels in America at the Cornish Playhouse. My plan for the rest of the weekend is to do a lot of walking: First an urban hike through Volunteer Park, Louisa Boren Park, Montlake Park, Foster Island, and the Arboretum, where I’ve been told you can take epic photos of trees (one of my favorite pastimes). On Sunday I’m going to try and hike Rattlesnake Ridge again. Last time I went a couple weeks ago I got caught in a hailstorm and had to turn back. At some point I will hole up in a dark practice space and make a lot of noise."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In Culture News: High School Production of Spamalot Canceled Due to Gay Content

Posted by on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 4:01 PM

High School Production of Spamalot Canceled Over Gay Content: Howard Sherman clues us into a controversy in Pennsylvania:

Olga Popova/Shutterstock
It was first reported by the local television station WNEP on July 1 that the [South Williamsport’s Junior Senior High School] principal had canceled plans for a production of the musical Spamalot, slated for the 2014-15 school year. The reason cited, according to drama director Dawn Burch, was the musical’s gay content, which includes a same sex wedding.

The school then denied that the Spamalot cancelation had anything to do with the play's gay content. But Sherman explains that internal documents obtained under Pennsylvania’s Right To Know Law suggest otherwise, including an e-mail that says, outright, "I am not comfortable with Spamalot and its homosexual themes." The school district has yet to respond. (Thanks to Slog tipper DQ for alerting us to this story.)

Ten Bucks Will Get You an Armload of Books: This Saturday, August 23rd, former Capitol Hill brick-and-mortar bookseller Pistil Books, which still exists as an online storefront, will be having an outdoor book sale from 10am to 4 pm. The sale will be located in an alley at 1415 E Union, and there will be around a thousand books selling for one or two dollars.

Ferguson and the Arts: First, you should read this interview about how St. Louis bookstore Left Bank Books (no relation to Seattle's wonderful Left Bank Books) has tried to serve the community of Ferguson. Then you should read this story about art and Ferguson.

Good night, sweet prince.
  • Good night, sweet prince.

Here's a Sentence People In the Future Won't Understand: A once-popular book about movies available on DVD is going out of print. After Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide, the annually updated series of comprehensive short movie reviews will be no more. Deadline's Pete Hammond says the final edition of the book will run "1,611 pages [featuring] nearly 16,000 capsule movie reviews." The series ran for 45 years, but Maltin says sales on the book have "sharply declined in recent years."

Seattle Is On Team Edward: Tickets to the December 4th Edward O. Wilson reading at Town Hall went on sale this morning. They're almost sold out. If you want to see Wilson speak, you had better act now.

Tonight's Must-Read: "Why the MPAA thinks all gay people should be rated 'R'."


Poster of the Week

Posted by on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 3:45 PM


Here's another example of why Shogo Ota is one of the best poster designers in town. The five artists in Tag 2.0 must make their stylistically dissimilar sets segue from one to the next, so Shogo has drawn them with one continuous line. See more at

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In Culture News: Anyone Want to Buy an Episcopal Book Store?

Posted by and on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Go See a Blockbuster Tonight: Looking for something to do this evening? The APRIL Festival is pairing a reading from local authors Stacey Levine and Bill Carty with a screening of Jurassic Park at Northwest Film Forum, along with other surprises, tonight. For ten bucks, this is a steal.

Apply for Jack Straw Residencies Now: Jack Straw is a lovely program that teaches artists how to incorporate sound into their work. You have between now and October 31st to apply for the 2015 Jack Straw residencies, including the Artist Support Program, New Media Gallery Program, and the Writers Program. And if that last one interests you, you should know that the person who'll be choosing from the applicants is the newly announced 2015 Jack Straw writers program curator, Poetry Northwest editor Kevin Craft.

Finally, a Chance to Own an Episcopal Book Store! Seattle's Episcopal Bookstore is for sale. Shelf Awareness reports that Nancy and John Marshall have owned the bookstore for 22 years. Here's why the Marshalls say you should buy the bookstore:

The key ingredients that will contribute to the success of a new owner are all in place: a loyal customer base, a dedicated, hard-working staff, the technology tools to remain current and relevant, and a stellar reputation that attracts customers from near and far.

It Was Made for A High School Farm Shop: The mystery mural, of course—here, finally, is the full story. (What exactly is a farm shop?)

Best Tweet of the Day: Comes from poet Dorothea Lasky.

The Fineness of Fine Art and Fine Dining=Today in San Francisco Art: Not only is there much fancy-feasting, there is also much whiteness.

Want to Buy J.D. Salinger's Old House? It's on sale now for a little less than $700,000.

Frank Millers Sin City cover depicts what every man in the world would look like if Rod Stewart hadnt ruined it for everyone.
  • Frank Miller's Sin City cover depicts what every man in the world would look like if Rod Stewart hadn't ruined it for everyone.
Rod Stewart Depletes Global Testosterone Levels: Cartoonist Frank Miller created some of the most influential comics of the last forty years: The Dark Knight Returns, 300, and Sin City. He's also co-directed the new Sin City movie opening this Friday. Miller recently did an interview with Playboy where he pin-pointed the problem with modern masculinity. Turns out, it's all Rod Stewart's fault that there are no real men anymore.

I believe there has been a crisis of masculinity in modern times, and the 1940s-style gentleman needs to make a comeback—the sort of man who opens the door for women and compliments them and does things for them. I believe it’s a biological function of men, because we tend to be larger than women, to be protective of them. If I were to try to zero in, comic-book-like, on when masculinity went awry, I’d say it was when Rod Stewart sang, ‘You are my lover, you’re my best friend,’ rather than allowing there to be two people in his life who served two very important functions.

OK, Frank.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In Culture News: Update on the Long-Jump Mat/Mural, Submit to SIFF, and Black Coffee Bids Good-Bye to "Capitol Hell"

Posted by on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 4:01 PM

How far could the art dealer jump? As far as the farmers kids did?
  • How far could the art dealer jump? As far as the farmer's kids did?

So How Does a Painting Used as a Long-Jump Mat Hold Up?: Surprisingly well, Seattle dealer John Braseth said. He drove up to Skagit Valley yesterday to see the discovered William Cumming mural we wrote about yesterday, and said he was dreading seeing its condition. But "The mural is magnificent and is not in terrible shape," he emailed. "The colors are as bright as when it was finished in 1941... Bill was only 27 when he created the mural and he was under the influence of Callahan."

SIFF Calls for 2015 Entries: Do you think your film is worthy of a spot in the Seattle International Film Festival? The early bird deadline for next year's festival is October 6th. Find more information here.

"We will miss flying our Black Flags in the shadows of your sterile condos" Black Coffee Co-op is saying good-bye to "Capitol Hell." The collective is staying together, but they've got to move out of their current space on Pine Street by midnight of Halloween this year.

NFL Asks Superbowl Halftime Performers to Pay to Play the Superbowl: News that the NFL is asking musical acts to pay for the privilege of playing the Superbowl is not being warmly received.

Reggie Watts Asks You to Click Clean: Here's a video made by Reggie Watts and Greenpeace for Click Clean, an initiative to try to get internet giants like Twitter and Amazon to host the internet in a more environmentally responsible way.

Continue reading »

Monday, August 18, 2014

What Are You Doing This Week? Stranger Critics Answer the Question

Posted by on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 4:44 PM

  • Tim Summers

David Schmader: "Doing a show on Tuesday, co-hosting the Stranger Film Genius showcase on Wednesday, and going to see Angels in America on Friday."

Bethany Jean Clement: "Tonight, I’m going to this, and maybe you should too":

Art, race and cultural representation forum: Artistic Freedom & Artistic Responsibility
Nearly 400 RSVP’d to date
Tonight, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 6:30 pm

WHAT: In the wake of controversy surrounding the production of The Mikado by the Gilbert and Sullivan Society last month, the Office of Arts & Culture and the Seattle Rep have come together to present Artistic Freedom & Artistic Responsibility, a curated forum featuring a diverse group of facilitators and respondents who will respond to attendees’ questions, while fostering respectful dialogue about art, race and cultural representation. Respondents will include Braden Abraham, Interim Artistic Director – Seattle Repertory Theatre; Royal Alley-Barnes, Executive Director – Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute; Valerie Curtis-Newton, Artistic Director – The Hansberry Project…

For tomorrow, there are still tickets available to the specially added 9 p.m. show of David Schmader’s A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem. You need to go to this—I saw it at Hugo House, and it is great. Wednesday, it’s the film showcase for Five Nights of Genius at the Frye! What is that, you ask? Well, the next five Wednesdays feature Stranger arts editors interviewing and sharing the work of this year’s Genius Award nominees. Wednesday is sold out—sorry!—but you can still get tickets to the literature showcase next week. If you hurry. Thursday, I’m going to the dentist. I may also be tasting some wines of Turkey, if the PR person ever gets back to me. This does not sound like a great combination, but there you go. And Friday, I’m seeing Angels in America at Intiman. I hope it will be very, very good."

Dan Savage: "I'm seeing David Schmader's play tomorrow night, and on Wednesday I'm recording a "Savage Lovecast" with Mary Martone, who co-hosted "Savage Love Live" a million years ago on KCMU."

Brendan Kiley: "I'm also going to tonight's (free) forum at the Seattle Rep about that production of The Mikado in yellowface that got lots of people real riled up. There have been over 400 RSVPs to the event so far (folks can RSVP here). It'll be interesting to see how deep and/or intense the conversation gets."

Paul Constant: "I'm excited to attend the Film Genius Showcase at the Frye Art Museum this Wednesday. It's always fun watching clips of Genius-worthy movies with the people who made them. (If I weren't going to the Showcase, I'd for sure be going to the APRIL Summer Blockbuster at Northwest Film Forum, which pairs a screening of Jurassic Park with a reading from Stacey Levine and Bill Carty.) I'm also going to be seeing Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which opens this Friday. I have no idea how that's going to be. I remember not hating the original Sin City movie, I guess."

Charles Mudede: "This Thursday, I'm going to participate in a discussion at Northwest Film Forum called 'Capturing Violence.' It's about the horrible macing of a black youth, Raymond Wilford, at Westlake. The discussion begins at 7 p.m. and includes Christa Bell, Ijeoma Oluo, and Reverend Harriet G. Walden."

In Culture News: Gob Squad Is Ready to Transform You, the Mural That Was Used as a Long-Jump Mat, and XKCD Wins a Hugo Award

Posted by on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Mural by William Cumming, 1941 (click to enlarge).
  • Mural by William Cumming, 1941 (click to enlarge).

Don't Throw That Mural Away!: The Skagit Valley Herald last week reported an amazing art find—and a Seattle dealer has identified it. The story is wild, according to dealer John Braseth, who today drove north to check on the painting's condition. The farmer who inherited it from his father but thought it was just a useless tarp used to let his daughters use it as a long-jump mat, Braseth said. The girls would gauge how far they'd gotten by the figures in the painting—to the berry patch, or to the dairy cows, or only just past the lumberjack. Yikes! Braseth identified the painting as a 1941 mural by William Cumming, but he doesn't know much more about it. He's hoping he will be able to raise money to restore it, and that it will land someplace where it can be widely viewed by the public; it's a WPA-era piece, perhaps created to be public? From the pictures Braseth sent, it looks like a beaut, the workers toiling away under a Pacific Northwestern sky that may as well be an ocean for all its waves. Stay tuned.

How's the Scarecrow Kickstarter Doing? With 28 days to go, The Scarecrow Project has nearly met its $100,000 goal. Just a couple thousand to go, more or less! But they could surely use whatever extra cash they earn; if you haven't donated to Scarecrow yet, you totally should. This is an interesting experiment to reimagine the video store in an era of video-on-demand, and anyone who wants to enjoy a larger diversity of movies than are currently available for rent on iTunes or in a Redbox should contribute to this.

In Gob Squads Super Night Shot, passersby become heroes, villiains, and extras—but in a totally non-obnoxious way.
  • Courtesy of OtB
  • In Gob Squad's Super Night Shot, passersby become heroes, villiains, and extras—but in a totally non-obnoxious way.

Tickets On Sale Soon for Gob Squad's Super Night Shot at On the Boards: That's not the world's most exciting headline, but let us explain—Gob Squad is a playful, international seven-piece performance group and the undisputed world champions of audience participation. Unlike other performers, who jab violently at the fourth wall, the Squad sweetly and seductively coaxes it down. When they're done, the entire audience is transformed. (At the end of their Kitchen, a riff on the Andy Warhol Factory days that Gob Squad brought to OtB in 2012, all the performers had exited the stage, leaving only audience members behind, comfortably performing the piece.) On Sept 6, the Squad will bring their Super Night Shot, a one-night-only event in which Gob Squad runs around the streets of a city, creating a Hollywood-style blockbuster from banal, everyday street life, then runs back to the theater, where the audience is having a "film premiere" party. (Pulling passersby into an art-film project sounds like it could be obnoxious, but remember—Gob Squad has built its career on developing techniques for non-obnoxious audience participation.) Tickets have been on sale to OtB subscribers and go on sale to the general public on Thurs, Aug 21. Word at OtB has it that there will be some left. Get them here.

Nerd Games: Usually the Nerd Nite reading series at the Lucid Lounge features lectures from nerds. To celebrate the lazy days of summer, though, they're hosting a bring-your-own-game night. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and it's totally free. Go and have fun.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Poster of the Week

Posted by on Sun, Aug 17, 2014 at 1:48 PM


The first thing I’m reminded of when I look at this poster by Jon Suhr (of the District Flag) is that human civilization would collapse in like five seconds without our friends the bees. Now I’m too scared to go to a rock show. You go and tell me how it was.

Friday, August 15, 2014

What Are You Doing This Weekend? Stranger Critics Answer the Question

Posted by on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 5:30 PM

AN ANGEL HOVERS AND ADVISES in Intimans Latest production
  • AN ANGEL HOVERS AND ADVISES in Intiman's Latest production

Christopher Frizzelle: "A little Hempfest and a little camping up at Triangle Recreation Camp in Granite Falls. But if someone's never seen Angels in America onstage before, that's what they need to do this weekend."

David Schmader: "I plead the fifth. Actually, tonight I am going to see Tacocat and Haim at the Paramount. I am very excited."

Jen Graves: "After previewing the documentary Alive Inside for review next week, when it opens in Seattle, I'll just be listening to as much music as I possibly can, by every which avenue. Watch the trailer if you want an infusion of good."

Dave Segal: "Tonight I hope to see Get on Up, the James Brown biopic, because I love funk and (major understatement ahead) JB is a fascinating character. Saturday I’m going to the Crocodile to worsen my tinnitus in the presence of Japanese heavy-rock unit Boris and Master Musicians of Bukkake. Sunday I’ll probably be shaking my head to the constant EEEEEEE sound in my brain as a result of my poor life choice."

Paul Constant: "I'm looking forward to B-Movie Bingo tomorrow night at SIFF Cinema. A Portland comedy team called Wolf Choir is hosting a 1980s action movie called Samurai Cop, and before the film the audience will be given bingo cards with action movie cliches printed on them. In addition, the actor who played Samurai Cop, Matt Hannon, will answer questions after the film. Also, I got a copy of John Dean's new book The Nixon Defense in the mail this week, and I plan on giving that a hate-read this weekend. Nixon fascinates me, but I can't imagine how anyone could try to justify his actions. Yes, that's my idea of fun. Shut up."

Dan Savage: "I'm going to see Angels in America on Saturday night."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

In Culture News: #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, Gold-Spackled Sidewalks, and the Orwell Estate Accuses Amazon of "Doublespeak"

Posted by and on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Ten Artists Intervene on First Hill: Think of it like an exhibition of temporary installations, called Art Interruptions. The pieces are by 10 local artists, and they're all accessible for free and outdoors, and they range wildly. There's a performance involving leading crows around. There are golden-filled cracks in sidewalks. There are photographs from National Geographic reoriented in local landscapes, and advertisements of advice from elderly First Hill residents on exercise, diet, and love (that last project has its own web site). Art Interruptions is public art not plopped down as a spectacle but encountered mysteriously, surprisingly, and maybe inspiring some wonder, inspiration, or curiosity. The series is produced by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture; it began in 2012. Read about each piece and find a map here.

Monday's Conversation on Art, Race, Responsibility, and Freedom Moved to a Bigger Venue: This coming Monday, August 18 at 6:30 pm in the Bagley Wright Theatre at Seattle Rep, it seems there's going to be one hell of a community conversation. So many people expressed interest that it's been moved from the Rep's smaller forum space to its big main hall. People are encouraged to send questions in advance by email, phone (206-733-9926), or Tweet (using the hashtag #SeattleAFAR). Reservations are requested through, and the event will be livestreamed on Speakers, who'll respond to the questions, include Stranger Genius nominee Valerie Curtis-Newton, artist John Feodorov, Arts for Change author Beverly Naidus, Royal Alley-Barnes of Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, and more.

Young Black Men Tweeting Diptychs of Themselves: The two contrasting photos, appearing with the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, are accompanied by the question, "Which picture would they use?" One picture is super-innocent, the other is super-gangster.

Orwell Estate Accuses Amazon of Orwellian Manipulation: Well, that's a black eye for Amazon:

Representatives of George Orwell have described Amazon's selective quoting of the Nineteen Eighty-Four author as "dystopian and shameless" and "as close as one can get to the Ministry of Truth and its doublespeak".

No Joke— It's Called Hanx Writer: For no good reason at all, Tom Hanks has produced an iPad app that simulates typing on a typewriter.

"One You Love, One You Can Live with, One You Can Be Paid for": Evan Johnston's cartoon about book design is simply wonderful.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In Culture News: How to Paint with a Credit Card, Two Days Left to See War Story, and Why Art Critics Should Write Like They're Yelping

Posted by , , and on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 4:01 PM

This is What a Plein Air Painting Made Using a Credit Card Looks Like: Press releases for individual artists are all the same. Until today. Apparently there is an artist, Sandy Byers, who lives in Oak Harbor—a retired software developer who now paints. One day, she forgot her brushes out on a site and turned to...her credit card. You'll be able to see her in action at the juried plein air competition Paint the Peninsula from September 8 to 14. Everybody else will, presumably, not be using their credit cards to move paint around. (Is it Visa or Mastercard? Does it get too much paint on it to be used in stores after a while?)

Landscaped by credit card.
  • Sandy Byers
  • Landscaped by credit card.

You Must See This Film: There are only two days left to watch War Story, a gorgeously photographed movie that stars one of the greatest actors of our generation, Catherine Keener. Directed by Mark Jackson, who is originally from Seattle, and also the director of Without, a film set on Whidbey Island, War Story is set in Sicily, and is about a war photographer (Keener) who is emotionally and physically caught between a horrific experience that happened in war-torn Libya and the insanity of returning to a normal life in the US. Her former boyfriend is played by Ben Kingsley.

This is a statement that Jackson sent to The Stranger about his film...

War Story is my second film. I am two-thirds of the way finished with a trilogy set on islands. I shot my first film, Without, on Whidbey Island at my sister's house with a handful of people and a credit card. The critical success of that little movie put me in a position to make War Story. I had a few more people, a few more dollars and some recognizable faces, but it was still a family affair. I shot it in small town in Sicily in my family’s hotel. I studied cinematography in Rome, but my real film school was the hours and hours of tape I watched from Scarecrow Video. It's such an honor to bring this movie home to the Northwest. Thank you!

Scarecrow Video must never die...

Catherine Keener In War Story
  • Catherine Keener In War Story

Keeping An Eye on the Opera: Last weekend was the final hurrah for departing Seattle Opera leader Speight Jenkins, who's really ushered in the modern era at this company over three long and distinguished decades. Artists and fancy people from all over converged on McCaw Hall for a performance Saturday night, and the 2,500-person event raised a million bucks on Saturday night. What we really want to know is: what, or who, is next? Next season: Don Giovanni, Tosca, Semele and the Wrath of Juno, and Ariadne auf Naxos.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Culture News: A NIMBY-Free Artist Experience, an Opportunity to Curate the Frye, and Scarecrow Video's Alamo Connection

Posted by , and on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 5:28 PM

24-Hour Art and Music Co-op OHM Preparing to Open in the Central District: OHM (Office Home Musicspace) is getting ready to open its studio on 23rd Ave and Olive. Its goal is to provide a place where painters, musicians, photographers, glass blowers, DJs, writers, and other creative individuals can do their things unhindered by touchy neighbors. The nine-member team running OHM says it’s a “24/7 collaborative arts studio,… safe and cozy like home, where you can play your music loud.” The OHM collective plans to expand to allow new members into its group to share OHM’s 600 square foot multipurpose room. OHM’s Kickstarter is striving to raise $16,000 by Sept. 9. Read more about this endeavor here.

Hugo House Announces New Writer-in-Residence, Hugo Fellows: We got this in our inbox today:

Hugo House announced today the writers selected for its two residency programs: fiction writer and memoirist Joan Leegant, a Seattle newcomer, will serve as the prose writer-in-residence; the Made at Hugo House fellows are nonfiction writer Steven Barker, poets Alex Bleecker and Laura Da’, and fiction writers Jean Burnet and Deirdre Lockwood.

You can read more about the Made at Hugo program here. As a new Seattleite, Leegant on the surface seems like a weird choice—is she so good that she leapfrogs all the other worthy local authors?—but Barker (who runs the podcast Ordinary Madness), Laura Da', and Alex Bleecker are all exciting choices. We'll look forward to learning more about the other fellows in the months to come.

A New Art Power Team: LxWxH is the small Georgetown gallery that's been a gem for the past year and a half, run by artist Sharon Arnold. It's consistently shown interesting art by living locals, most recently Ellen Ziegler's delicate red battlefields. Arnold has regularly teamed with others to make LxWxH a gathering place—and a little-known fact is that her silent partner from the start was Kirsten Anderson, the star Pop Surrealism dealer who owns Roq La Rue Gallery in Pioneer Square. At the end of the year, Arnold is going to close LxWxH and become co-owner and director along with Anderson at Roq, which will in turn expand its scope to include non-Pop Surrealism artists brought on by Arnold. (Arnold will start at Roq in September, but keep running both for a few months.) No announcement of the full expanded roster yet, but Anderson said over email that Mark Mitchell will be showing there in January to start. Congratulations all around, and we're rooting for this new team.

You Pick the Art on the Frye Museum's Walls: One of the Frye's two fall exhibitions will be #SocialMedium, a show created not by museum staff but by that nifty thing the kids call crowdsourcing. On various platforms (Facebook, Instagram, et cetera), you can "like" or heart or whatever paintings from the Frye's permanent collection. Those with the "Top Likes across all platforms" will make up the show, according to Frye spokesman Jeffrey Hirsch. All who vote will have their names listed on the wall as curators, and comments left online are eligible to appear in wall labels. Voting is open now through August 22. Yes, yes, everybody is already voting for the ducks. For those who aren't on social media, there's a ballot on the Frye website as well as a large printed ballot at the museum itself.

It's a Trap! Local author Steven Arntson announced that his upcoming young adult novel, The Trap, has a cover and an official description:

It’s the summer of 1963, and something strange is afoot in the quiet town of Farro, Iowa. The school district’s most notorious bully has gone missing without a trace, and furthermore, seventh grader Henry Nilsson and his friends have just found an odd book stashed in the woods by Longbelly Gulch—a moldy instruction guide written to teach the art of “subtle travel,” a kind of out-of-body experience. The foursome will soon discover that out-of-body life isn’t so subtle after all—there are some very real, very dangerous things happening out there in the woods.

The Trap will be released probably in the spring of next year from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It's got a really nice cover.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

In Culture News: Three Cheers for Jennifer Jasper, New Video with Macklemore In It, and Judging a Cover By Its Book

Posted by and on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Jennifer Jasper Wins!: In January, local writer and performer Jennifer Jasper wrote a lovely ten-minute play called Etymology for 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival. This past weekend, the play was performed as part of Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival in NYC, where it was one of six winning works that will be published in a Samuel French anthology of short plays. Congratulations, Jennifer and 14/48!

A Colorless Party: Have you read Patti Smith's review of the new Murakami novel? (Yes, that Patti Smith.) It should whet your appetite for tonight's midnight Murakami sale at Elliott Bay Book Company, which features a Murakami trivia contest. There will also be a prize for best black-and-white costume, and a few lucky buyers of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage will get copies signed by Murakami himself.

Book Cover Enrages Twitter Users: Guess which modern classic this book cover is supposed to be for:

The answer will likely enrage you! Book Riot offers several options for what would be an appropriate cover.

Macklemore Murdered by Arrows in Pool Full of Rolling Stones: Here's the new video for the Fences song "Arrows" featuring Macklemore, directed by Jason Koenig and John Keatley. You can argue with the content of the video—seems a bit early in Macklemore's career for him to be whining about fame, doesn't it?—but you gotta love the closing title card that reads "MADE IN SEATTLE."

Crisis On Infinite Mixtapes: Good news! The Hood Internet has released their eighth Mixtape. If you haven't listened to The Hood Internet before, their mixtapes are works of wonder in which two or three summer jams are smashed together into one off-the-hook pop song from another dimension. The whole tape is gold, but highlights include mashups of Bell Biv Devoe and Disclosure, Chvrches and Alex Metric and Oliver, and the wonder that is Digital Underground and St. Vincent's "Digital Humpty." The Hood Internet will be playing at Nectar on Friday September 19th.

What Are You Doing This Week? Stranger Critics Answer the Question

Posted by on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Kelly O: "Duuuuude. This week is all about The Dog. I may have seen a pre-screener, and I may have to say it's one of the best documentaries of the year. Screens at Grand Illusion."

David Schmader: "Rehearsing, rehearsing, doing laundry, rehearsing."

Dave Segal: "Only a fool would miss Mike Nipper’s Name of the Game DJ night, this Tuesday at Speckled & Drake. It’s like Emerald City Soul Club, but with just Nipper and the intimate upstairs space of a Capitol Hill bar. The record-nerd banter’s almost as great as the soul 45s he spins. Wednesday the highly skilled musicians of the Table and Chairs crew invade Vermillion for a new monthly devoted to live music that’s avanting the garde with zeal. Some of the city’s top jazz and prog-rock players will be moving the air around in the gallery/bar like champs. Thursday DJ Chrispo, the man responsible for booking Bumbershoot and organizing the quarterly spectacle known as Studio 66 at Lo-Fi, will launch DIG IT!, a night of 'new and vintage garage rock, psychedelic, soul, and mod sounds' at Revolver Bar. From there I’ll probably head to Barboza to check out Zoolab’s release party for this Trestles EP on Jimi Jaxon’s 7 Deadly label."

Paul Constant: "It's a big week for books! Tonight, I'm helping Elliott Bay Book Company celebrate their Murakami Midnight Madness sale from ten pm to midnight. There will be Murakami-themed events and a chance for some late-night browsing. Tomorrow night, Sherman Alexie is appearing in conversation with Edan Lepucki about her novel California at the library downtown. I liked California, and I'm eager to hear what the pair have to say about life in the post-Colbert bump. And Thursday is the launch party for local author Elissa Washuta's first book, a memoir titled My Body Is a Book of Rules. Few book events are as fun as a first-time author's debut party, and Washuta is a prominent member of the local literary community, so this should be a great chance to hang out with all the local book people."

Dan Savage: "I'm going to LA this week. Against my will, under duress, and after lodging a protest. Also, too, DICKSLAP this Friday at The Eagle."

SOON, THIS THING WILL NO LONGER EXIST except as dust and rubble.
  • Courtesy of Suyama Space
  • SOON, THIS THING WILL NO LONGER EXIST except as dust and rubble.

Jen Graves: "I'll look (and listen) into 'electro-dynamic drawing' at the Henry. I'd also like to figure out whether it was worth it for Curtis Erlinger to 'borrow' objects from the Seattle Art Museum in order to replicate them for his show at PUNCH. And I'll cap it all off by trying to steer clear of the dust at the demolition of Cascade at Suyama Space on Sunday."

Christopher Frizzelle: "I can't wait to see opening night of Angels in America at Intiman. I've never seen or read the play. But the cast is amazing. Charles Leggett? Quinn Franzen? Marya Sea Kaminski? Those are three of the best actors in the city."

Emily Nokes: "Anything could happen tonight or tomorrow. On Wednesday, Chop Suey's Dragon Lounge is doing a new BYOV (bring your own vinyl) night, which sounds pretty fun! (If YV doesn't suck.) Ummm. UMMM. Then my band is playing the Paramount on Friday with HAIM, and then on Saturday at Pizza Fest at the Highline, and then on Sunday at a Music Fest NW thing in Portland. These are just the facts about what I'm doing. I hope this doesn't upset you. How about this: If I wasn't playing these shows, my alternate universe might include seeing the Murder City Devils on Friday at the Showbox, Fucked Up on Saturday at Neumos, and then nothing on Sunday."

Charles Mudede: "I'm going to cook game hens and drink lots of white wine."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Poster of the Week

Posted by on Sat, Aug 9, 2014 at 3:13 PM


Barry Blankenship has done a great series of posters for Laugh Riot, highlighting his excellent illustrations and effective use of very few colors. See more of his work at

Friday, August 8, 2014

What Are You Doing This Weekend? Stranger Critics Answer the Question

Posted by on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Emily Nokes: "I'm going to the Summit Block Party tomorrow, then DJ-ing at Speckled and Drake around 10! Come dance and buy me a shot of something obnoxious!"

Kelly O: "On Saturday I'd like to NOT look at a single computer and also to go to the Summit Block Party while catching some sunny summer sunshine. Looks like it's gonna be a perfect 80 degrees."

Kyle Fleck: "Headed down to Portland on Sunday for a Dropping Gems showcase. For those not in the know, Dropping Gems is a forward-thinking electronic label featuring such talents as Natasha Kmeto, Rap Class, DJAO and Philip Grass. This is apparently happening at a place called the 'White Owl Social Club.' Also very recommended: Run the Jewels' brilliantly abrasive hiphop at the Showbox on Saturday."

Dave Segal: "Tonight I’m hitting up Black Lodge to experience Stickers’ album release show and to catch a rare Seattle set by Austin’s Spray Paint, whose exhilarating, clangorous new album Clean Blood, Regular Acid recalls Sonic Youth circa Sister (their peak)—plus, garage-rock subversives Dreamsalon. Saturday I’m DJing at the Comet Tavern for the monthly Hypnotikon night at which Explorateur and I play psych-rock records and hype the psych-rock festival that’s happening at Triple Door Nov. 14-15. Sunday I’m DJing yet again with Explorateur at a friend’s new age BBQ birthday party in South Seattle. And then, if all goes well, I’ll catch minimal-synth duo Xeno & Oaklander at Kremwerk."

Katie Allison: "Tomorrow I leave on my annual vacation to the beautiful Sandy Beach Lodge in Naramata, BC, on Lake Okanogan, which is the best lake in the world."

David Schmader: "I've got a ton of boring work to do, but I'm really hoping to make it to Sunday night's Wine Shots."

Dan Savage: "Fighting jet lag—and dropping off a bag of travel-sized toiletries at SWOP-Seattle's event at Bedlam Cafe on Saturday."

Charles Mudede: "I know what I'm doing tonight. I'm interviewing Mark Jackson after the 7:20 pm screening of his new film War Story, which stars one of the most intelligent actors in all of cinema, Catherine Keener. Jackson, who is originally from Seattle, also directed Without, a film set in Whidbey Island. His new film is set in Sicily, and is about a war photographer who is emotionally and physically caught between a horrific experience that happened in war-torn Libya and the insanity of returning to a normal life in the US. Her former boyfriend is played by Ben Kingsley. Like Without, the film is beautifully photographed."


Thursday, August 7, 2014

In Culture News: Scrimshaw for the NRA, Kathy Liao to Leave Town, and Paintings By an Orangutan

Posted by , and on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 5:21 PM

New Gallery at the Mount Baker Artist Lofts: One of the street-level orgs going into the new Mount Baker Artist Lofts—located on Rainier Avenue right next to Mount Baker's light rail stop—is this mouthful: the Mount Baker Neighborhood Center for the Arts and Casa de Esperanza Gallery. Jointly (from what we can gather), they form "a unique art gallery focusing on artists with disabilities," which is festively opening the weekend of August 22 with a free reception and exhibition and workshops, and a $40 fundraising dinner. Find out everything here. Note!: The featured artist that weekend is Jim Stevens, a man who specializes in the wild art of scrimshaw while also being essentially blind due to having been shot in the head while serving in Vietnam. Whoa. He'll be on hand, and his art will be on display. Plus, his artist bio contains this: "He also teaches the art of scrimshaw for the National Rifle Association’s Gunsmithing School." We have never before seen an artist bio like this one.

Congratulations to Kathy Liao, Condolences to Seattle: The rising painter Kathy Liao is moving away for a steady teaching gig at Missouri Western State University. You do not feel that is a prestigious place? You do not know how hard it is to land steady teaching gigs in the arts. Thankfully, she'll still be represented in Seattle at Prographica.

Omigodomigodomigod: Conan O'Brien will join the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus to perform The Simpson's "Monorail Song" live at the Hollywood Bowl.

I See Your Monkey Selfie: And raise you several paintings by an orangutan. (The paintings are the work of a 46-year-old male orangutan named Towan, and "will be raffled off during Woodland Park Zoo's annual Asian Wildlife Conservation Day on Aug. 9, 2014," reports

Well, This Won't Work: Google and Barnes & Noble are teaming up to compete against Amazon with same-day shipping in certain cities.

GEEK LADY CAMARADERIE: Lucy Knisley's San Diego Comicon sketchbook is goddamned delightful and features several cameos from local comics publisher Fantagraphics, which is publishing an upcoming book by Knisley.

Small-Press Books Are Safe...for Now: We were not fans of Hachette's announced plan to buy small-press distributor Perseus and spin it out to gigantic book distributor Ingram. So today's news is very welcome:

On Thursday afternoon, Perseus Books Group ceo David Steinberger told employees that the deal struck in late June to sell Perseus to HBG, with the Perseus Distribution lines to be immediately sold to Ingram, has fallen apart and been cancelled. "The planned transaction involving our company, Hachette and Ingram is not moving forward," Steinberger wrote. "Despite much effort from all three parties, we could not reach agreement on everything necessary to close the transaction."

We've talked to a lot of small publishers in the last few months who were feeling doomed at the news of Perseus's sale. Hopefully this cancellation isn't just a brief stay of execution for small presses.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In Culture News: The Return of the Egyptian, the (Sorta) End of 12 Minutes Max, and Your Next Four Years' Worth of Superhero Movies

Posted by on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 5:28 PM

The Return of the Best Cinema House in Seattle: And it's not the Cinerama, which closed for some mysterious "renovations," but the Egyptian, which closed in 2013 and left a massive black hole in the heart of cultural Capitol Hill. Earlier this year, it was announced that SIFF was going to reopen the theater. It was also announced that SIFF was going to raise money for the renovations and operation costs through crowdfunding and two anonymous philanthropists. Today, it was announced that SIFF had reached its $300,000 goal, which is a lot of money. This success guarantees the end of that massive and swirling black hole. The theater—now called SIFF Cinema Egyptian—will reopen by October 1.

After 36 Years, On the Boards Puts 12 Minutes Max on Hiatus (Sorta): For almost four decades, 12 Minutes Max has been a monthly showcase and entry point for artists hosted by On the Boards—guest curators would sit through auditions (or invite people to audition) and put together a performance-art variety show with no act lasting longer than 12 minutes. For this season, OtB is swapping that with its new Open Studio program, which is largely being driven by its new "ambassadors" (artists and community members who are invited to participate in some of OtB's programming beyond the usual main-stage shows). As it stands, anybody can apply for an Open Studio project, which, Erin Jorgensen of OtB explains, "could be practically anything": an evening of dance or new music or one long piece of performance art, whatever. "Our main focus is providing space for new interesting ideas," Jorgensen says, "expanding the meaning of 12-minute art snippets in a black box." Depending on how it goes, 12 MM could return or could be replaced by the Open Studio program. OtB is in R&D mode.

"You Farted During Boyhood": A Craigslist "Missed Connection" post for the ages.

There Is Nothing Carrie Brownstein Cannot Do: The former Sleater-Kinney guitarist/singer and current Portlandia star will take over writing Nora Ephron's unfinished script for the film adaptation of Lost in Austen.

Superhero Movies Booked Through 2020: Today, Warner Bros announced a full slate of superhero movies made up of two new DC Comics movies a year from 2016 through 2020. The actual titles of the films weren't announced, but here's a schedule:

Untitled DC Film - 08/05/16
Untitled DC Film - 06/23/17
Untitled DC Film - 11/17/17
Untitled DC Film - 03/23/18
Untitled DC Film - 07/27/18
Untitled DC Film - 04/05/19
Untitled DC Film - 06/14/19
Untitled DC Film - 04/03/20
Untitled DC Film - 06/19/20

Over at BadAss Digest, Devin Faraci has compiled a list of the next four years' worth of superhero movies. There are 29 of them. Hope you don't get sick of superhero movies between now and the presidential election after next!

Five Nights of Genius at the Frye—Get Your Tickets Quick!

Posted by on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 1:20 PM


Now is the time to get familiar with genius. Starting with the August 20 film showcase and continuing through to the September 17 performance showcase, the Frye will host five Wednesdays featuring Stranger arts editors interviewing and sharing the work of this year’s Genius Award nominees. Things kick off on August 20, when Charles Mudede and I take the stage at the Frye auditorium with actor Paul Eenhoorn, screenwriter Bob Nelson, and filmmaker Drew Christie.

Last year’s showcases were revelatory, and these will be too. Bonus: Admission includes one genius cocktail. Go here for tickets and full info on the Frye's Five Nights of Genius—and hurry, they all sold out fast last year!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In Culture News: Gregory Award Nominees Announced, a Proposal to Let a Mime Direct Traffic, and Two Bad Ideas for Movies

Posted by , , , and on Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 5:27 PM


The First Batch of 2014 Gregory Award Nominations Have Dropped: Including nominees for Theater of the Year, Outstanding Sound, Light, and Costume Design, and Outstanding New Play (see above). The remaining nominees will be rolled out over the next few days, and you can purchase your tickets to the Oct. 20 awards show right here.

Cafe Nordo Takes Over Old Elliott Bay Cafe Space in Pioneer Square: This is old-ish news, but fans of Cafe Nordo (the high-concept dinner plus theater that does not especially like to be called "dinner theater") should know that the peripatetic company is moving into the old Elliott Bay Cafe space in Pioneer Square. Nordo says its new "Culinariaum" will provide a space for long-run Nordo shows and also "act as a crossroads between the culinary and performing arts. We'll throw in literary and visual arts and a complete disregard for temperance, creating an unparalleled arts venue in Seattle." They're in the middle of raising funds for the project. (Full disclosure: Nordo affiliate Devin Bannon works at The Stranger.)

Traffic Mime! Buster Simpson wants a performing artist to conduct traffic at a dysfunctional spot at Pike Place Market, and he's got a full proposal, including science and precedent in other cities, for the mayor and the police chief to look at. Yes! As long as it's not actually a mime. Does anyone love a mime? We're sorry, mimes.

Four Hours of Continuous Black Constellation at the Frye: On September 5 from 6 to 10 pm, there will be a continuous milling-about at the Frye, in honor of featured artist Curtis R. Barnes's technique of drawing without lifting his pen. The performance will feature "musical interventions" in the galleries by members of the Black Constellation and special guests including Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire of Shabazz Palaces, Erik Blood, and OCNotes. The musicians will perform for more than four hours, "provid[ing] alternative enrichment and interpretation by harmonizing with the artworks, ambienc, and visitors," says the Frye. Tickets are free but reservations are required, and only 1,000 people will be allowed on the list. The list opens at noon August 8; check for details.

Feminist Mural in Amazonland: Seattle artists Yoona Lee and Dionne Gonzales have painted and put up a feminist mural for the "guerrilla garden" at Harrison and Minor, at the northwest corner of Cascade Playground. The piece, Yoona explains, "was designed as a tribute to the Cascade neighborhood—that gritty seat of industry in the early 20th century—and particularly to the female workforce, including its plucky laundresses (originally called 'waste girls,' a cringeworthy name). We wanted to represent the various industries that had been prevalent in the neighborhood and anchor the piece with a strong-willed, racially ambiguous laundress. The feminist slant came from us both working with the 3% movement in Seattle at our agency, Y&R Group Seattle." The mural will be up "as long as it lasts," located in a zone where public housing and Amazonian condos intersect. It was commissioned by longtime Cascade activists Candi Wilvang and Kim Johnson, who created the "Anarchy Garden" on a little patch of unclaimed dirt.

Less Testosterone, More Art?: Hyperallergic reports that the August edition of Current Anthropology contains research results on "the link between reduced aggression and cranio-facial feminization." Less fightin', more abstract thought. How feminized is your brow ridge?

Gannett Wants Newspapers to Fail on Their Own: Gannett, which owns a number of media properties including KING 5 and USA Today, has announced that it's going to "separate its broadcasting and digital businesses from its publishing division." This is obviously just an attempt to quarantine Gannett's money-losing newspapers from its money-making businesses. The death of newspapers ain't over yet!

Today in Twitter: Twitter is trying to make hashtags easier. And John Herrman says Twitter users should publicly show off their lists of blocked users.

Today in Bad Ideas for Movies: The Frozen people are going to adapt A Wrinkle in Time into a movie. Anna Minard, who does not like Frozen, is disconsolate over this news. Also, Ricky Gervais is reviving his David Brent character from The Office for a movie. You remember David Brent, right? From back when Gervais was funny?





Monday, August 4, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014



Sunday, July 27, 2014



Poster of the Week

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Sunday Comic

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Friday, July 25, 2014





Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


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