FEB 22, 2013


Karen Finneyfrock

Why: Local poet Karen Finneyfrock’s first novel, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, is about a precocious 14-year-old girl with a dark secret who writes startlingly good poetry. This seems like appropriate subject matter for Finneyfrock, who writes startlingly good poetry about very dark things. People who’ve read advance copies of Door—including Stranger Genius Sherman Alexie—can’t stop raving about it, which should be reason enough for you to come to this launch party and hear what Finneyfrock, a brilliant performer of her own work, has to say. (Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave,, 7:30 pm, free)


Camper Van Beethoven

Why: Late last fall, driven by some combination of audio nostalgia and God trying to tell me something, I revisited (and in some cases visited for the first time) the entire oeuvre of Camper Van Beethoven. From the gloriously scrappy early records (II & III!) to the high-drama peak of 1989’s Key Lime Pie, it was a total blast—a journey in a unique indie-rock world seemingly without borders, limited only by these protoslackers’ moods and tastes and skill sets. Tonight, the great CVB take the stage at the Tractor. Until then, I command you to listen to Key Lime Pie’s “June” on repeat. (Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW,, 9:30 pm, $15 adv/$18 DOS, 21+)

FEB 23, 2013


‘Side Effects’

Why: For its first half hour, Steven Soderbergh’s latest comes on like some artisanal spin on a Lifetime Movie, in which a young woman (Rooney Mara) awaits the prison release of her insider-trading husband (Channing Tatum) by experimenting with a variety of antidepressants. But as Side Effects continues, another film reveals itself—the real film, the one I encourage you to see, in a big theater crowded with other people. It’s impossible to discuss further specifics without spoiling the movie, so let me just say that it all adds up to a twisty, chilling, sometimes goofy (in a good way) Hollywood thrill ride. Consider it pharmacological noir. (See Movie Times:

FEB 24, 2013


Caffe Torino

Why: It’s just barely still cold enough to take advantage of one of winter’s greatest food experiences—a big mug of creamy hot chocolate and a plate of cookies. And for that, you should head straight to Caffe Torino. The cookie selection is a dream. There is a Nutella cookie, a delicate smear of the chocolate hazelnut spread sandwiched between two of the most buttery, flaky cookies you’ve ever had. There’s a polenta cookie, which is golden and crispy and just slightly sweet. Whatever you choose, be sure to pair it with a bicerin, a traditional Italian drink composed of layers of espresso, hot chocolate, and cream. (Caffe Torino, 422 Yale Ave N,, 9 am–4 pm)

FEB 25, 2013



Why: There are really just two types of rappers: those who came before Rakim, and those who came after him. Before Rakim, whose moment was between 1986 and 1990, there was only good wack and bad wack (all rappers were essentially wack). After Rakim, there was wack and not wack. What Rakim did on Eric B.–produced tracks like “Eric B. Is President,” “I Know You Got Soul,” “Move the Crowd,” and, later, “Follow the Leader” was not only explode the traditional nursery rhyme–like confines of rap but also compress, in lines, dizzying amounts of words, images, and information. Rakim is the greatest rapper to ever walk this earth. (Neumos, 925 E Pike St,, 8 pm, $20, 21+)

FEB 26, 2013


‘Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows’

Why: This bit alone made me want to go: “Starting in the late 1940s, she shot an average of a roll of film a day. She moved to Chicago in the mid-1950s, and spent the next 40 years working as a nanny to support her passion for photography. Maier died at the age of 83 before her work was ever publicly recognized or exhibited.” It was discovered in 2007. It’s a world never to be spoken about by the woman who crafted it, gathering up images on her silent, anonymous glides through the city where she, and hundreds of thousands of regular, fascinating people, lived before they disappeared. (Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave,, 11 am–10 pm, free)

FEB 27, 2013


Patti Smith

Why: Having created some of the most powerful and poetic rock and roll ever made, Patti Smith could’ve spent the rest of her days basking in the glow of her groundbreaking genius of yore. Instead, she keeps pushing forward, regularly releasing good new music and blowing the minds of even die-hard fans with her National Book Award–winning memoir Just Kids. Tonight, Smith returns to live performance, gracing the stage of the Neptune with guitarist Lenny Kaye—Smith’s collaborator for the past 35 years—by her side. (Neptune Theater, 1303 NE 45th St,, 8 pm, $36 adv/$38.50 DOS, all ages)

FEB 28, 2013


Long Walk Short Film Fest

Why: What does it mean to be “on the road” today, as opposed to in 1969? Prior to a screening of filmmaker James Benning’s 2012 remake of Dennis Hopper’s classic Easy Rider—shot in the same locations, with different music—come three short films from the annual Seattle-to-Snoqualmie art trek The Long Walk. The local shorts include pieces by Rodrigo Valenzuela (Are You Doin’ Some Stuff? A Journey into the Slow Movement Movement) and Gabriel Miller (A Kind of Experiential Geography), as well as The Long Walk (edited by Britta Johnson). A Q&A about The Long Walk follows. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave,, 8 pm, $10)

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