Dave Segal reviews an afternoon metal show, Christopher Frizzelle talks shit about Gotye, Timothy Rysdyke films part of THEESatisfaction's set, and I go on the search for Bumbershoot's cutest dog. Read, watch, and/or see it all right here!
The fourth annual report on Arts and Economic Prosperity—a national breakdown of how institutional arts economics fit in with the rest of the economy—was released this summer. You can check out its findings over here. It has a few nuggets worth noticing. The Seattle arts economy, for example, supports the equivalent of around 11,000 full-time jobs—roughly the same number as Dallas, even though Dallas's population is twice as large.
And as you head to—or avoid—Bumbershoot this weekend, you can think about the jobs it supports and this graph:
Strange that the US has more people working in arts and culture administration than police officers and firefighters put together. And strange that they don't have a more influential lobbying presence.
John Waters's films are sleazy and weird, with pileups of horrors and whimpering laughter, and lunatics everywhere, casually befouling things. The costuming is terrific. Characters appear so consistently marred and cheap, these looks represent the condition of their souls. In the early years, John writes in his book Shock Value, stylist Van Smith harvested "clothes found in trash bins outside the Salvation Army," dressed faces in dirt, and boiled wigs to encourage a dry, matted effect. Van's "only beauty hints are a lack of sleep, alcoholism, or drug addiction, and he stresses, 'Most importantly it helps if the actor has embraced misery as a lifestyle.'"
Van was also singly responsible for creating Divine's image, writes John. (Divine worked as a hairdresser before he got famous, and "his specialty was exaggerated, ridiculously complicated bouffant hairdos.") Costume highlights include Divine's ferociously pouffed wedding gown in Female Trouble—constructed of see-through lace, it reveals his pubic hair. And during the filming of Multiple Maniacs, Divine took a break to meet John's mother for the first time: "He was dressed in heels, wig, full makeup, and... a one-piece woman's bathing suit covered in blood."
The first thing you'll notice about the campy dance duo Cherdonna and Lou is their incredible heads. Cherdonna's announces itself first, with riotous blasts of blush and lipstick, and the theater of her eyes extending up, Divine-like, past her natural brows to make a glittery show of most of her forehead. Above the eyescape sits the classic Cherdonna Shinatra hairdo: a jet of dark hair-sprayed bangs rubbing up against a huge, swooping blond hairpiece. Compared to Cherdonna, Lou looks possibly sedate, even when wedged in an American-flag bodysuit, his pompadour bubbling upward, a thin line of facial hair lining his upper lip and running along his jaw, natural in all respects until you realize it's made of deep-blue glitter.
Cherdonna and Lou burst onto the Seattle dance scene in 2009, when dancers and friends Jody Kuehner and Ricki Mason came together to make a dance to Olivia Newton-John's "Xanadu" for a Velocity fund-raiser. After the piece's rapturous reception, Kuehner and Mason made things official with a name. "I knew I wanted to be Lou Henry Hoover, after the first lady," says Mason. "I told Jody, 'Pick a name that sounds good with Lou'...."
The book looks like this, but bigger (click to enlarge).
Yes, indeed, it's Dan Savage and Lindy West, plus a couple other people, doing a slide show to celebrate Our Great Nation and our book, How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself!
It's tomorrow, that is, Saturday, at 7 p.m. at the Leo K. Theater at Seattle Rep (aka the Words & Ideas stage) at good ol' Bumbershoot.
The slide show/discussion, entitled "The Stranger's Guide to America," is loosely based on chapter 4 of the book, written by Lindy West, which is extremely hilarious. To be discussed: moose wrangling, clogged arteries, Tom Hanks, earthquakes, glue-huffers, Oprah Winfrey's most recent movements, more, more more!
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM
Mark Arm, in the green shirt and intense eyes.
Seeing Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm pulling records from shelves in Sub Pop's warehouse is akin to finding Iggy Pop at the Jiffy Lube. Really? Arm—one of the catalysts of gr*ng*—has to work a day job? He can't live off the royalties from "Touch Me I'm Sick"? What kind of world is this?
On record and onstage, Arm sounds like one of the most dissatisfied, cantankerous characters ever to expectorate onto a microphone. But gliding around this warehouse and leaning against this table before a Flatron computer (wait, dude doesn't even have his own chair?!), processing orders from music retailers worldwide, he exudes a calm, comfortable acceptance of his role in the universe. Dressed in a forest-green T-shirt emblazoned with no band logos or any design whatsoever and wearing black jeans and sneakers, Sub Pop's warehouse manager looks at least 15 years younger than his actual 50. He has all of his hair, which still hangs lankly, longly, and blondly from his noggin.
If you get near Arm, you'll notice he has the most intense eyes; you feel like if you touched his brow, the radiation from his disdain could incinerate you. But he also possesses one of the broadest smiles I've ever seen and frequently laughs like a champ.
Arm is a guitar-thrashing, larynx-shredding icon of Seattle music, so people probably have grandiose ideas about what his life is like. Maybe this article is a demystification.
Well, except sunscreen, earplugs, plenty of fluid, and some Xanax. BUT! Everything ELSE you need—schedules, maps, words about EVERY GODDAMN THING HAPPENING AT BUMBERSHOOT—is at thestranger.com/bumbershoot.
by Jen Graves
on Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 4:30 PM
It is disappointing, and small (recall the old joke about the man who complains the food is bad at a restaurant, then adds, "And such small portions!"—but I felt it my duty to warn you anyway). A crammed tent, a scattered pavilion, and a handful of underwhelming constructions in the skate park.
by Lindy West
on Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 4:13 PM
Honestly, it's a totally solid if not thrilling comedy lineup at B-shoot this year. There's nothing on the list that I think would be anything less than ha-ha-larious were you to wander in off the street. But here are the things that you should definitely not fucking miss—in descending order from most-not-fucking-missable to least-most-not-fucking-missable. These are the shows that I will attend the fuck out of:
COMEDY BANG BANG PODCAST WITH SCOTT AUKERMAN AND PAUL F. TOMPKINS
(Sat—Mon, 6 pm, Bagley Wright) Paul F. Tompkins is my favorite comedian. Full stop. This show is mandatory. LW
HARI KONDABOLU, KYLE KINANE, ANTHONY JESELNIK
(Sat, 2:45 pm; Sun, 4:30 pm; Mon, 6:15; Intiman) This is a fucking GREAT lineup. It would be stupid to go to only one thing at Bumbershoot this year, but if you DO go to only one thing because you're a human freak of some kind, this is probably the one thing you should go to. LA-based Kyle Kinane is one of the smartest fuckups on the planet. He's also one of my favorite comics existing right now (and yours, too, even if you don't know yet, snail-face). He has a beard. Hari Kondabolu is a treasure, which I have explained in this paper approximately infinity-plus-one times. Anthony Jeselnik is a charming prick. LW
by Jen Graves
on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM
Ludovic Morlot: Sex, lies, videotape, and symphony, people!
This year, I'm actually excited to go to Bumbershoot. I have only a dim memory of this sensation, and I am loving it! Yesterday, I wrote about one of the shows I'm looking forward to, Bumber by Number. There is yet another: Symphony Untuxed.
This is the first time Seattle Symphony has ever played Bumbershoot. (Tickets.)
And this isn't the Seattle Symphony of the last 26 years—this is the Seattle Symphony of the future. It's led not by longtime music director Gerry Schwarz but rather by a 37-year-old Frenchman named Ludovic Morlot, who in certain pictures bears a resemblance to James Spader.
Morlot will take the stage at 9:45 pm Sunday as his first public concert since he accepted the job. But in addition to conducting, he'll sit down and play his violin. The program is music by Philip Glass, Anthony DiLorenzo, Vivaldi (the Double Violin Concerto, on which Morlot will play), Seth Krimsky (a new piece for electric bassoon), and Tom Johnson's lovable Failing: A Very Difficult Piece for Solo String Bass, to be performed by Joseph Kaufman.
Thank you in advance for not boring the hell out of those of us who love the art of music, regardless of what it's called, who plays it, what they wear, or the venue.
by Jen Graves
on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 10:25 AM
Huffman plus horses.
Bumber by Number looks like it's going to be a total blast. It's the visual art show at Bumbershoot this weekend (our complete guide) that features dozens of Seattle artists giving traditional paint-by-numbers canvases their own spin.
Stranger art director Aaron Huffman is one of these artists, and I love what he's done with his found scene of horses in a pasture. In this recession, perhaps you would rather be a horse?
Take a break from the rat race at Bumbershoot, by running this giant, electricity-producing hamster wheel.
I'm told there's live music and stuff at Bumbershoot, but the biggest attraction will surely be the Toyota Prius Playground, where you'll get a chance to generate electricity to power the festival by operating stationary bicycles and a gigantic hamster wheel.
Free snow cone! (Attractive woman licking your ear, not included.)
You can watch how much power you're generating by following a real time display of energy production and consumption within the playground, and best of all, after three minutes of pedaling/hamstering, you'll be rewarded with a free snow cone made by the power you generated. Cool. Literally.
The Prius Playground, a partnership with the not-for-profit Global Inheritance, is intended to inspire youth to think creatively about energy solutions, but all you really need to know is giant hamster wheel and free snow cones! So what's not to like?