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Friday, June 27, 2008

More Time-Based Goodness: Free Sheep Foundation

posted by on June 27 at 11:24 AM

The news this morning from D.K. Pan, who brought you the marvelous and smelly Bridge Motel Project, and The Belmont sendoff featuring Implied Violence, is that he's working on this great thing:


The Free Sheep Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster site-specific projects through artistic interventions in architectural spaces. The foundation seeks partnerships with developers, architects, government agencies, and other arts organizations to identify and occupy buildings void of activity, opening these spaces to artists as facilities for cultural production; artist studios, exhibition and performance space. In transforming disused spaces, the foundation serves to integrate artists within the process of development. Through investigation and research, each project will contribute to the continuum of the past and future memories of a site; commemorating the growth of the city.

2400 Third Avenue Project The foundation has leased part of a 10,000 square foot, single story building in the Belltown area of downtown Seattle. This project includes 5 artist studios, a gallery / performance space, and 4 storefront window exhibition spaces. Our lease agreement with Martin Selig Real Estate expires December 31, 2008 (with the possibility of a 3-month extension).

The curatorial vision of this project centers around 4 programs; installations for storefront windows, collaborative projects for interior gallery, nightly display of projected video, and live performances.

Installation — A roster of 6 artists will be chosen for 3-month occupancy cycles in each bay of storefront windows. The emphasis will be on projects which utilize a time-based, site-specific process in exhibition. Gallery — A series of group shows based on an interactive game between artists. The artifacts of the game will be exhibited in a monthly opening (in coordination with the Belltown Art Walk). These games will engender dialogue between artists in the pursuit of play, while simultaneously creating a record of the interactions of those involved. Video — A program of video shorts focusing on works with non-linear narrative with an emphasis on visual poetry as related to explorations of place. FSF will exhibit 3-5 filmmakers each month in a nightly display on an exterior screen. Performance — In conjunction with the gallery opening, there will be a monthly event featuring local and national performers, as well as special programs of music, dance, theater events throughout the month.

The reason it's important is that it's not some abstract exercise; it's a series of ephemeral monuments to the ephemeral monument we all live in, the city. Up with project-based nonprofits!

Here's the site for the first installment:


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"I've often thought that there should be beauty contests for the insides of bodies..."

posted by on June 24 at 1:09 PM

The Spring '08 men's fashion shows are happening right now in Milan.

Prada is the line that always goes its own way, for better or worse, last season's odd and fetishy tutus definitely being on the side of worse. Provocative and much more believable are these rubber garments shown this week.
They're quite spare and beautiful. I think the feel of that thick rubber would would be lovely and they would look just right in Seattle's pearlescent light, if you happen to be a wealthy, good-looking gay millionaire with an interest in fashion.

But more than anything else, they remind me of this..

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bad Girls

posted by on June 20 at 1:04 PM

I'm thinking there was plenty of toot-toot on board to fuel this 1980 exercise in showmanship, pizazz, and talent with a capital T. It's from Goldie and Liza Together, what used to be called a television "spectacular" and today is pretty much nonexistent. The choreography may be weak, the narrative sketchy, but enjoy a legend in her prime, doing what she was born to do... (make sure you hold out for 2:45. It's dreamy!).

Now just to compare and contrast, here's a slightly more downtown version, with fabulous celebrity background hookers (Pat Ast!!) Donna Summer looks suspiciously like local falsettist diva Adé. This is the party I would have wanted to be at...

It was nowhere near that glamorous when I was arrested for soliciting...

The sun is out and so am I. It's my birthday today, so have a great Slog without me until Monday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ahpra Noozzzzz

posted by on June 18 at 11:35 AM

(*Absurd spelling in honourr of Nick Scholl, sometime Stranger web genius, sometime Stranger opera writer, all-time opera blogger, and, as Dave Segal once said, "original aesthete.")

Not long ago, an American lutenist who's as successful as an American lutenist can get returned to the city where he grew up: Seattle. His name is Stephen Stubbs, and he came here to found the Seattle Academy of Baroque Opera.

A private academy entirely devoted to baroque opera run by a master lutenist is pretty much the bomb all on its own, but Stubbs's return also means there will be public performances of baroque opera, too.

I emailed Stubbs yesterday and got this response today:

There's lot's to tell. We have founded a new chamber opera company called Pacific Operaworks which will have its debut production next March with a production of Monteverdi's Ulisse in the production of the South African artist William Kentridge who will come to town with the South African Handspring Puppet Company to direct the production. I will musically direct the singers and orchestra from Seattle and around the US. After that I have productions in the pipeline with a series of terrific stage directors including Stephen Wadsworth, Peter Kazaras and Mark Morris.

Could this be Seattle's version of a great alternative to the big guy, like (the admittedly more general) New York City Opera?

Speaking of NYCO, it's staging a Brokeback Mountain opera, to be composed by twelve-tonalist Charles Wuorinen. (Add that to recent news of an opera version of An Inconvenient Truth.)

Even better, here's an NPR interview that just went up this morning with the aforementioned, crazy-spelling Nick Scholl about Brokeback and the subject of current-events operas (from Nixon in China to Marriage of Figaro). It's a great listen. (From the host: "I'm just worried that the 'Brokeback Mountain' opera will lose to the 'Crash' opera." Wah, wah.)

And here's Nick's blog, Trrill.

"La Pequeña Hillary Clinton"

posted by on June 18 at 10:36 AM

The search for Obama's running mate is over.

Thank you, Radar.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An Inconvenient Opera

posted by on June 17 at 11:28 AM

Following the news last month that "An Inconvenient Truth" is being adapted into an opera, The New York Times responds with a (fictional) letter from the composer, Giorgio Battistelli, to Gore.

This is my favorite section. Poor Gore. The idea that he would create a theoretical formula to generate a melody—and that the melody would then actually be unlistenable—is somehow perfect.

Dear Mr. Gore:

... During Algorino’s instruction in the Weather Seer’s castle, you again accuse me of “caving” to the critics by omitting your famous chart correlating rising temperatures and rising carbon dioxide over the past 600,000 years. But it is of no consequence to me which came first, the carbon dioxide or the temperature. As an artist, I simply felt it would be jarring to interrupt the Seer’s aria with a PowerPoint presentation.

I did plan to use a simpler chart etched on the castle wall for the duet we originally planned for Algorino and the Seer. I loved your idea of matching the musical notes with the graphs of temperatures and CO2 concentrations, but the resulting melodies were unfortunate. I was unable to find any tenor or baritone able to sing either of the graphs. A pity—as you said, the High C0 Duet would have been “an opera first.”

I don’t share your fear that audiences will expect Prince Algorino to “offset his travel footprint,” so I don’t see the need for the tree-planting scene you suggest. Once the Weather Seer has explained Poseidon’s passion and shown him the rising seas, Algorino should immediately rush back to save Gaia. And why, with his lover in peril, would he pause en route to rescue a drowning polar bear?

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Civil War, According to Fifth Graders

posted by on June 16 at 10:28 AM


From Mr. Roemer's Fifth-Grade Class in Tampa comes a short play about the Civil War. Says Mr. Roemer:

This play was written by the students in groups. Each group took one act. A committee of eight students then compiled the acts, provided continuity, and entered the work into a computer (including HTML) or edited first drafts. About the only advice I gave was: "Keep Working, it isn't good enough!"

Read the play here. (And thanks for the heads-up, MetaFilter.)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Now Hanging, Pre-Pubescent Edition!

posted by on June 6 at 2:22 PM

You can keep your “Art Walks”, and your “First Thursdays” big and small. I’ve walked them all, baby, and so have you: Each of us in search of the answer to that ever-elusive question, who is this “Art”, and why does he walk on Thursday? But as everyone who knows anything knows damn good and well, the grandest of them all is the occasional and terribly exclusive Lafayette Elementary School Thursday Night Art Walk in West Seattle. And I was there.

Mrs. Miller's First Graders startled and enchanted art lovers and the PTA in general at this season’s event, with a moody and reflective Self Portraits in Water Color and Pencil series, the highlights of which follow:



And the thrill of the exhibition, this raw and brooding piece from 7-and-a-half-year-old Simon Dawson:


And my personal Pick of the Walk, this mythic, stark, and engaging offering in acrylic on canvas from the reclusive and eccentric 7-year-old painter, Bianca:


The exhibit will be hanging for a few more days, and then will begin its indefinite tour of refrigerators everywhere---but if you try to see it, you’ll be detained by security and considered something of a pervert.

And of course, it’s totally worth it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Poor Folks and the Arts

posted by on May 21 at 12:08 PM

As everyone has gotten angrier and angrier about West Virginia and Kentucky, I've been thinking more and more about Joe Baegeant's excellent book, Deer Hunting with Jesus, which I reviewed a few months back. Bageant lives in small-town red state America, and he writes compassionate pieces about what it's like. He's a liberal, but he really loves where he's from, and he's a compelling voice for the poor and why they continually vote against their own best interests. It's not at all condescending or stupid, like so many of the liberal blogs and books have been when talking about poor conservatives. I found a lot of people I knew growing up in Bageant's book.

Over on his blog, Bageant runs letters he gets from conservatives and liberals alike, and he got a good one today, about working class art:

I guess my fear is that the age of working class art is over. That there won't be another Woody Guthrie comin' down the pipe. Or Roger Miller, or Lee Hazelwood. All small town midwestern boys who went on to make some legendary American music. It's been this way for awhile in the world of visual art. Even "folk art" is made by the well-heeled at this point. Music held out a little bit longer but it is going the same direction. If things continue at this rate, the only people making music are going to be the sons and daughters of the idle rich, squandering the family fortune. Soon enough finding a redneck who can strum a guitar will be as likely as finding one who does charcoal sketches in his spare time.

It's something that has concerned me for a while--most of my favorite art comes from blue-collar roots--and the letter, while a little too long, is very much worth a read.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Advice for Young Artists/Writers/Performers

posted by on May 20 at 12:59 PM

Local hotshot Craig Lucas (playwright, associate artistic director at Intiman) gave the commencement speech at Boston University College of Fine Arts this past weekend, and it wasn't the standard commencement speech about, you know, how you're walking across a bridge toward a path and that path has a fork in it, etc., etc. Lucas gave advice about how to handle success, criticism, and fame in a country whose current government is pretty hostile toward art.

One of his lessons of his speech: "Just remember: your success is only news once. After that, the only possible news flash is that you're not what you're cracked up to be or your new work isn't as good as the old." Another:

Clearly, many great and deserving writers have received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Nonetheless, here are some who never won, all of whom died after the Prize was instituted:

Virginia Woolf

James Joyce

Marcel Proust




Mark Twain

Wallace Stevens










D.H. Lawrence




F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ralph Ellison

Who are some of the greats who took their place?

Jaroslav Seifert

Carl Spitteler

Ivo Andric

Selma Lagerlof

Paul Heyse

Pearl S. Buck.

The Moral: only time will decide. Since you may already be dead then, make the art you want to make.

The whole text (riddled with grammatical weirdness, but still) is here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Is This Painting Racist?"

posted by on May 15 at 11:22 AM

This just in from Slog tipper Doug:

I'm cleaning out my closet this morning and came across this painting I made five years ago. It used to hang on a wall in my house until a friend of mine (a white male like myself) said, "Wow, that's really racist." Embarrassed, I took it down and stuck it in the back of a closet. But coming across it now, I'm still not sure: Is it really racist? I'm hoping the open-minded Slog community could help me out on this. Thanks.

Here are American Heritage Dictionary's definitions of racism:

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. 2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

And here is the painting. (Safe for work.)

(My two cents: No, the painting isn't racist, though the exaggerated cartoon features give off a vaguely racist stink.)

Jay Gong

posted by on May 15 at 11:20 AM

Just look at this image:
Jay-Z and Gong Li. Amazing. The woman who brought life to Chinese cinema in the arms of the man who brought death to hiphop.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Goodbye CHAC. Hello Velocity?

posted by on May 12 at 11:40 AM

Looks like the great experiment in for-profit theater might be moving—perhaps against its will.

People have been trading all kinds of rumors about Capitol Hill Arts Center: that they're moving (or being kicked) out, that they're trying to buy their lovely brick building on 12th, that building owner Elizabeth Linke (who also owns the building that houses Northwest Film Forum) has been dissatisfied with CHAC's slow slide from arts center to nightclub, etc.

Matthew Kwatinetz, CHAC's founder and executive director, wrote in an email last Thursday: "The lease options are ours (meaning that the owner can't decide not to renew our lease, that is our option, not hers), and yes we are definitely trying to purchase the building, as we have been for several years. Much of this buzz could be from all the advocacy work that I have been doing in the last several months trying to get the 'crisis' in real estate out there."

But I just got off the phone with Elizabeth Linke (a politic and articulate lady from Ireland, now living in Ballard): "Matthew did not exercise his option to renew in January—as far as I know, he'll be moving out June 30." As for selling the building to Kwatinetz, "he proposed buying it, but that's not up for discussion—I'm not interested in selling, period."

So: CHAC is out, according to the building owner, but not CHAC itself. (It'll be interesting to see how that plays out...)

Crave will stay and, according to owner and chef Robin Leventhal, maybe even expand.


Linke prefers to rent to arts organizations—she's been "very satisfied" with the Film Forum as a tenant, but tactfully declined to comment on her satisfaction level with CHAC. "I have no axe to grind with Matthew," she said. "He'll be gone soon, to go do whatever it is he wants to do."

Linke is having early-stage discussions with Velocity Dance Center about the possibility of renting to them. Velocity has to move out of its home in the Oddfellows Hall, whose new owner Ted Schroth has tripled their rent.

Velocity (which won the first Stranger Genius Award for organization five years ago) would be a perfect fit for the Building Formerly Known As CHAC.

Its main room is a brick cavern, not unlike Velocity's current home, with high ceilings and wood floors—but, sadly, no friezes of yawning lions on the walls.

You can't have everything.

(Unless, of course, somebody at Velocity wants to "accidentally" leave the doors open and some extraction tools lying around sometime... )

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Photos by Brayden Olson

posted by on May 8 at 11:22 AM

Photographer Brayden Olson, who posts the Monday morning Character Study Slog column, has a show opening this Saturday in Ballard. You'll also find free beer there.

Child is Father to the Man

posted by on May 8 at 10:27 AM


ManBabies is the website devoted to photos of fathers and infants with the heads swapped.

Sometimes moms are involved. It's real weird.

(Thanks for the heads-up, World of Wonder.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Building

posted by on May 5 at 2:22 PM

A wonderful image of the Central Library...
library_02-1.jpg...from the bottom of this site.
It truly is the city's best building.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Want a Good Taco?

posted by on May 3 at 9:59 AM

Have dinner with the Latinos at El Centro's Cinco de Mayo Celebration this afternoon at the Jefferson Community Center (3801 Beacon Ave S, in Jefferson Park) from 4-9 pm. It's free.

Traditional foods—tacos, horchata, limonada—artisan crafts, multilingual books, an Oaxacan band, an Aztec dance circle, Skin Deep Tribal Bellydance, and lots of local Latino and Latina flavor. Proceeds benefit El Centro de la Raza, a Seattle nonprofit that serves as the voice and hub of the Latino community in Seattle.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Candy-Colored Whimsy Downtown

posted by on May 1 at 9:33 AM

It's May Day (daffodils for everyone at Pike Place Market, free gelato, three protest marches) and First Thursday; add to that this performance parade and First Avenue looks like the place to be this afternoon.
I'm hearing whispers about dancing cakes, a concrete-bound ocean liner, a full orchestra, twisted French humor, and a huge cast of performers. The spectacle starts at 5:30 pm at Occidental Park and proceeds to the Harbor Steps (across from SAM) where the main event begins at 6 pm.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Today in Press Releases: They Are Women, Hear Them Roar

posted by on April 14 at 9:26 AM


Press release #1: a message from Seattle's own Dina Martina:

Dear Peeps, If you know anyone in London (England, not Texas), please alert them to Dina Martina's impending presence and subsequent aftermath in their area. Thank you!

Given the current European antipathy toward all things American, I predict the America-incriminating monstrosity of Dina Martina (fat, deluded, clueless, and in love with herself) will be met by large and appreciative audiences in London. All hail the new economy, where America's most valuable export is mind-bendingly brilliant drag-based performance art.

Meanwhile, press release #2 concerns empowered divorcees and came in an email bearing the irresistible subject line, Special invitation to see leading lady Bernadette Peters bring a fictional blog to life.

First Wives World is inviting the creative, corporate and financial community to a special reading of "Hot Flashes," its fictional blog which redefines the approximately 30 million women who suddenly find themselves leaving one life and entering another. Conceived and created by Mimi Schmir, a TV writer for Party of Five, Felicity and most recently Grey's Anatomy, "Hot Flashes" features Esme, the main character, who freely discusses highly sensitive and censored topics. The Internet property is being primed for a TV series. Be apart of this exciting new development in digital convergence. Meet Paul Lambert and Jonas Neilson, the lead producers of First Wives Club, the upcoming Broadway Show, who had the vision to extend the First Wives brand from a book and a movie, to a Broadway Show, to an Internet site and now to a television series. Bernadette is joined by Amy Brenneman, Jessica Hecht and Daphne Rubin-Vega. This is a powerful night for women everywhere.

I have nothing to say about this impending project--which is being developed in NYC--except that I will always admire Bernadette Peters for her trumpet-playing in The Jerk.

(Dina photo by David Belisle.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Orphan Cyberspace

posted by on April 7 at 8:28 AM

This image...
...which I posted over here, has been reunited with its producer, Tina Roth Eisenberg. The creator of the image in Tina's image can be found here.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Changes at PNB

posted by on April 4 at 4:45 PM

Noelani Pantastico, the Hawaiian-born PNB principal with perhaps the best name in the entire company (Lucien Postlewaite being the other contender), is leaving for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in June. Pantastico was pretty great in Roméo et Juliette this winter (my Slog review is here); you can see her as Hermia in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream (to Felix Mendelssohn's famous score) next Friday and Saturday.


Here's the complete listing.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Hello Superstars! Sign Up for the Second-Annual Stranger Gong Show!

posted by on March 31 at 12:15 PM


Last spring at the Crocodile, a whole bunch of people came together to make the first-ever Stranger Gong Show a mind-blowing success.

This spring at Chop Suey, we’re doing it again.

The date: Saturday, April 26.
The cost: Free.
The line-up: God only knows. We’re looking for any and all human-based entertainments, including but not limited to jugglers, magicians, jug bands, tap dancers, strongmen, yodelers, stand-up comics, sword swallowers, contortionists, slam poets, marching bands, mimes, guys who shove quarters up their noses, bird callers, puppeteers, tuba players, hula hoopers, comedy skits, chanteuses, ventriloquists, clog dancers, celebrity impersonators, butoh dancers, vaudeville acts, accordianists, and air bands.

The rules: All acts must run between 45 seconds and four minutes, and require a minimum of set-up. (We’ll provide a mic and amp.) Due to “laws,” no acts can feature fire or kids (it’s a bar).

Acts can get on the bill just by showing up at Chop Suey the night of the show, or by signing up in advance online sign-up form online.

In the meantime, here's another taste of the late, great, original Gong Show:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lindsay Lohan says Death to the Pigs

posted by on March 28 at 2:28 PM

I must admit, I'm pretty psyched about this.

The Manson Girls were h.o.t.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We Must Pass Over in Silence

posted by on March 19 at 11:56 AM


We Must Pass Over in Silence

posted by on March 19 at 11:49 AM


Friday, March 14, 2008

Two TV Shows

posted by on March 14 at 2:44 PM

1) Machine learning via watching COPS:

I like to watch / CopVision is a program that watches television. Specifically, it watches COPS on Fox. It is not a video, it is a software process that tries to make sense of a live video feed. COPS is all it has ever known, and it probably thinks it is COPS ...

CopVision learns its language from closed captioning subtitles transmitted in the television signal. Everything that is said on COPS is tucked away in its memory to help it understand what it's seeing.

2) Mild discomfort via watching Full House:

You're Not My Father, by Paul Slocum, is composed of a sequence of recreations of a 10 second scene from the television show Full House, overlaid with sound loops from the scene's original music.

And now, just because I can, an image of Vanilla Ice being attacked by a swarm of bees.


Zombie Supermodels

posted by on March 14 at 2:40 PM

She looks like a corpse.

Posted by Greg | March 14, 2008 1:02 PM

I agree with Greg. I also believe that looking like a corpse while wearing Haute Couture is part of the fucking deal.


This girl looks a little steadier on her feet, and is slightly more animated than a corpse. She is a glamor zombie. I think she has great forward thrust in the upper body, which shows some capacity for locomotion. The photograph reveals nothing about her capacity for eating human brains.

Le costume is again Galliano for Dior, from the Spring couture, '07. The workmanship in this particular collection is especially beautiful, with silk origami decorating many of the clothes. These ensembles are made by hand by teams of people with rare and specialized skills. It is the ultimate in the dressmaker's art. It is magnificent, and vain, and we deserve a world where it thrives for its own sake.

Now, how to eat a puppy like a zombie. For Jake and David.

Good Night Nurse

posted by on March 14 at 1:16 PM

Warner Home Video released on DVD this week a second volume of the "Forbidden Hollywood Collection". These are all films made in the early 1930's before the Production Code of 1934 was foisted on Hollywood by censorious religious pigs.

I recommend "Night Nurse", starring Barbara Stanwcyk and directed by William Wellman ("The Public Enemy"). It's a weird and grimy little film with a somewhat bizarre plot, but with great performances by Stanwyck, Joan Blondell, and Clark Gable (who's tricked out in a very fetishey, very hot Chauffeur's uniform). Stanwyck gets clocked in the jaw at one point and hits the floor! Ka-bang! Worth seeing!


In "Divorcee" from 1930, it's all urban ennui and upper middle-class fucking. After divorcing a very studly, square-jawed Chester Morris, Norma Shearer swanks around Manhattan in a variety of freakishly gorgeous Art Deco costumes, sleeping with everything that moves, drinking too much, and trying not to look cross-eyed.


I feel her pain.

I caught "Divorcee" on TCM not long ago, and it truly blew my mind (the weed helped). High contrast, jazzy black and white settings, and splendid, sophisticated costumes make this a design fag's dream. I always find Norma Shearer a bit too uppish and self-satisfied, but when she gazes off midrange looking troubled and brave you can always study her jewelry.

Three other films are included in the set-- "Three on a Match" 1932 directed by Mervyn Leroy, Clarence Brown's"Free Soul" from 1931, and Michael Curtiz' "Female" from 1933.

On the Woefully Miniscule Number of Slog Posts Dedicated to Films About Popping Zits

posted by on March 14 at 9:12 AM

I will take this unique opportunity to increase it by one.

You're welcome.

Via BoingBoing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Old Number 6638: Finally Passed Still Trying to Pass, Like a Kidney Stone

posted by on March 13 at 1:02 PM

That arts funding bill in Olympia I keep hollering about? It finally passed the House. And our much-maligned Representative Chopp even voted yea.

(Quick history: The bill, Old Number 6638, will shunt some money, originally meant to pay off the soon-to-be-paid-off Kingdome, to arts funding, especially 4Culture. It glided across the Senate floor [44 yea to 5 nay] glissaded through the House Finance Committee [7 yea to 2 nay], then got stuck in the House Rules Committee, run by our much-maligned Representative Frank Chopp. Somehow, it was wrested from Rules and onto the floor, where it passed by a less-resounding 67 to 30.)

Read the whole bill history, in romantic legislative shorthand, here.

So who voted nay? Who hates art?

Mr. Alexander, a Republican from the Centralia territory:


Mr. Sump, a Republican from Kettle Falls/Omak territory:


Mr. Hinkle, a Republican from Thorp/Yakima territory:


And a few other Republicans and two Democrats: Tami Green, from the Fort Lewis territory:


And Kelli Linville, from Bellingham territory:


I've got a call out to Linville to ask why she—the representative from Bellingham? Home of bluegrass bands, potheads, a liberal university, the Marrowstone Music Festival, and the comic geniuses of the Cody Rivers Show?—hates art.

UPDATE: Re-cork the champagne. Old Number 6638 has not passed. Its amended version (which makes 6638 law only until June 2009—that is, only for a year) is on the Senate floor for vote now. Why it has been amended to only be law for a year (that is, effectively neutralized) is a secret.

It's a Hideous Drizzly Day In Seattle

posted by on March 13 at 10:33 AM

Which means it's a perfect day for show choirs.

Today's offerings: a pair of magical medleys.

First up: Straight outta Iowa, here's Linn Marr High School's ass-kicking Metal Medley:

And then Twinsburg, Ohio's Great Expectations retaliate with the stunningly weird "Na Na Na Medley," a collection of songs featuring nonsense syllables, from "Hey Ya!" to "Hey Jude."

Thank you, Auschglitz!

Friday, March 7, 2008

More on Arts Funding in Olympia (or, Hey Frank Chopp—Quit Bogarting My Bill!)

posted by on March 7 at 2:23 PM

Remember Old Number 6638, the arts-tax bill that funds 4Culture and, according to its lead sponsor, Sen. Ed Murray, "seventy-five percent of the small arts and heritage funds in King County"?

Well, lobbyists have been working on it for three years and, this year, it finally looked like it was going to achieve its apotheosis.

It sailed through the Senate floor, 44 to 5.

It sailed through the House Finance Committee, 7 to 2.

But Old Number 6638 has been stalled for days in the House Rules Committee—the committee run by Democrat and Speaker of the (Supermajority) Democratic House, Frank Chopp. I hate to pile on to our Dear Speaker (who's getting it from all sides) but, you know, he's bogarting our arts bill.

(You can also read Josh Feit's feature, on how Chopp has been "blocking the democratic agenda," here.)

So what gives? Why won't Chopp let Old Number 6638 go to the floor to pass by the big, fat majority it's had everywhere else?

Nobody wants to come out and say it—not senators, not, lobbyists, not people at 4Culture—because, as House Speaker and Rules chairman, Chopp holds the biggest weapons.

The dominant theory says Chopp wants to divert some of the tax revenue from arts to housing for the homelessness (his liberal-street-cred issue) and is willing to let Old Number 6638 die this year to try and squeeze out more money for his cause next year.

Sen. Murray is getting worried that the bill hasn't yet been prized from Chopp's committee onto the floor. "But it's one of my two top-priority bills for this session," he said. "That and domestic partnership."

(Should you want to lean on Chopp to let the bill go the House floor, you can email his people at:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Call to Action

posted by on March 5 at 12:14 PM

The email below is just in from Annex Theatre artistic director Bret Fetzer.

The issue is pretty simple—there's a lodging tax that basically funds 4Culture, due to expire in 2012. A bill currently in the state legislature, waiting to get on the House floor for a vote, would extend the tax.

The tax is important—it is the primary source of funding for 4Culture and is listed on the donor wall of the Seattle Rep, up there with Eve Alvord and the Benaroyas, as if “hotel/motel tax” were a generous person.

And, well, take it away Bret:

SB 6638 has passed through the Senate; it's made it through a committee in the House; now it needs to get on to the floor of the House for a vote, and there's STILL resistance. The only way to overcome that resistance is by speaking up.

You don't need to say much. You don't need to be eloquent. What will matter is numbers. We need to make it clear that there are a lot of voters in King County who care about this issue. All you have to say is "Support SB 6638. Support funding for the arts." Anything you want to say about yourself is valuable, but not as valuable as that simple statement: "Support SB 6638."

If you've written e-mails or made phone calls before, please do it again. Don't come this far, then let this falter on the brink of success. Voice your support for SB 6638 and make it happen.

Write to Speaker of the House Frank Chopp:

Write to your legislators. To find out who they are and how to reach them, go to, where there will be links and information that will help you.

Thank you, Bret

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on March 4 at 1:59 PM


By Mattoly

Monday, March 3, 2008

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on March 3 at 10:35 AM

By Whatsthatbug?

Strike a Pose

posted by on March 3 at 9:52 AM


The Gay Recluse, a blogger in New York City, is hosting a contest. After posting some pics of hot gay statues in Washington Heights (including the shot above), TGR has set out to find the neighborhood in America with the hottest gay statuary. Here are the rules...

The statues must be in (at least) a quasi-public place--as opposed to a private collection--in which members of the general public can observe the statuary in question without paying an admission fee.

The statues must be in the United States (because everyone knows Europe is basically overflowing with hot gay statues); that said, we won’t discourage our European readers (or anyone else) from submitting snaps, although you obviously won’t be eligible for the top designation.

Statues of either gender are acceptable, but we expect photographs to be taken with a “gay eye” and we will judge entries accordingly. Obviously, the statues must be smokin’ hot.

Seattle was still in its infancy when the Age of Hot Gay Statuary passed into history, so I'm not sure we'll be able to compete with Chicago, Boston, New York, St. Louis, etc. And for the record... there's nothing homoerotic about this.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on March 1 at 11:52 AM


Sonnet Is 'Dangerbunny'
by Blush Photo

Friday, February 29, 2008

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on February 29 at 4:32 PM


By This Empty World

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Crazy, But That's How It Goes

posted by on February 26 at 8:54 AM

Auschglitz!, the blog devoted to "the magic of the American amateur show choir," continues to make me very happy to be alive.

This morning's treasure: Poca, West Virginia's Visual Volume, going off the rails on a crazy train.

The first five seconds of this clip almost kill me. Then it gets even better. Thank you thank you thank you, Auschglitz!

Monday, February 25, 2008

For Typography Nerds Only

posted by on February 25 at 3:40 PM

A neologism.

(Thank you, Paul.)