Daughters of the Dust Tuesday, Feb. 21 Middle Kids, Sleeping Lessons
Aussie band Middle Kids’ amiably bouncy variety of semi-folky indie rock receives an immeasurable boost by lead singer Hannah Joy's heartfelt singing. But for my money, the main reason to catch this bill is openers Sleeping Lessons, a Seattle band that stirs together Built to Spill-style epic rock, a sense of boyish earnestness, left-field tonal shifts and just a pinch of shoegazer atmospherics. —Tony Kay
If you've shopped the new Light in the Attic Record store at KEXP, you know the Seattle-based record label curates a wonderfully eclectic...
One thing I appreciate about doing comedy is that it compels you to think critically about stuff. Local comic Kermet Apio once told me that when he comes up with a new joke premise he plays a round of Twenty Questions with the idea: Why is this funny? How is it funny? Who is this about? What am I saying with this joke? It’s worthwhile to have a discipline—any discipline—that encourages you to view your preconceptions from multiple angles and tease out the underpinnings of your thinking. Comedy, when it’s done right, can do that. A joke that knows what it is and why it’s funny will always be a better joke.
If you adopt this practice of circumspection the result isn’t always...
Photos by Kelly O
No matter what corners of the Seattle performance world you frequent, you’ve almost certainly encountered the work of HATLO and Shontina Vernon. Both work often in the theatre, but they’re not limited by the stage by any means.
HATLO, one half of experimental dance-theatre performance duo PE|Mo, is also a directorial engine behind everything from Courtney Meaker’s feminist play that’swhatshesaid about the dearth of female roles in modern theatre to Markeith Wiley’s dance-theatre-comedy-hybrid It’s Not Too Late and now New Century Theatre Company’s Bright Half-Life, to name just a few.
Playwright/actress/musician/activist Shontina Vernon splits...
Photo by Chris Bennion
Class warfare has a place of honor on the long list of terrifyingly timely topics currently being explored on stages the world over, and The Seagull Project’s The Cherry Orchard is a crash course.
Not that it looks like war. With Russia on the brink of social revolution, and one aristocratic family on the brink of insolvency, everyone involved is mostly…milling about. What else does one do, when the old rules no longer apply and the new rules haven’t been written yet?
In a once-sumptuous Russian country home, pristine white cloth covers long-unused furniture; klezmer-scaled melodies fill the theatre with their uniquely joyful melancholy. As...
Photos by Kelly O
Molly Sides and No Touching Ground are no strangers to the pages of City Arts. Sides is known for her prolific work on stage, as choreographer/performer and as the frontwoman for the rock band Thunderpussy. No Touching Ground has been making street art—in the form of hand-painted, photorealistic wheat pastes that lean into political critique—for more than a decade. To see his work you’ve got to pound pavement or creep through the wilds of underpasses. They're both expert at blending high-brow and low-brow, esoteric and accessible.
When the two artists signed on to collaborate for Genre Bender 2017, they decided to travel to the Women’s March in...
Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Winter Art Walk Awards! Jazz Brown took third place for his acrylic on canvas piece Unflinching Compromise, while Crystal Morey and her porcelain sculpture Peregrine Falcon With Pacific Coast Mollusk Symbiosis earned second. Kelly Bjork’s Head Rest, gouache on paper, won the night’s top honors—keep an eye out for her piece in the March issue of City Arts! Thanks to all of our talented finalists, fantastic guest judges Humaira Abid, Andrew Whitver and Amanda Michele Dellinger, and all of you who came out to vote and support some of our city's great artists. Photos by Nate Gowdy.
Photo by Linda Hurst Photography
Chamber music series Byron Schenkman & Friends highlighted music by Russian Jewish composers Sunday night at Nordstrom Recital Hall. The program featured works from the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, bookended by an unfinished Glinka viola sonata and Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes.
At the beginning of the last century, many of these Russian Jewish composers, then students at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, decided to form a society for Jewish music. The powers that be would only allow it as the Society for Jewish Folk Music, though their compositions were intended as as classical music per se. Schenkman brought in...
Corinne Magin. Photo by Joe Iano.
Warning! I enjoyed the stuffin’ out of this show—it was fun and frolicsome with just the perfect amount of soul-crushing darkness. But it’s crucial that you BEWARE THE SONG. The song is evil.
Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine (written by Amy Escobar and directed by Eddie DeHais, now running at Annex Theatre) may sound like a Joan Jett cover band, but it is a marvelously quirky, sometimes intense adventure that pulls you into a shadowy and fantastical realm of unlikely characters and visual spectacles, trials, allies and mortal foes.
The lead character Mary (played with sincerity and heart...
The video frame depicts a roofless building, innards exposed. From a vertiginous, aerial vista above the structure, the viewer descends, penetrating the steel skeleton from top to bottom, to its foundation. A yellow crane pierces the dirt below. Then there’s a glint of something that seems not to belong: a color too bright, too vibrant to be born of this over-worked, over-harvested lot. The view shifts into a field of brilliant blue, upon which floats a rendering of a floor plan for a loft, another fresh condo. Its edges bleed but inside not a bone’s out of place. There’s a polished floor, sunlight streaming through windows, a dining table with a pristine metallic surface slick...
Chris McMullen's C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!) at Gallery4Culture
Monday, Feb. 13National African-American Parent Involvement Day
On Monday morning, I'll be out bright and early at South Shore, joining a large community of color in high-fiving students and taking part in other awesome activities for National African-American Parent Involvement Day from 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. There's plenty of activity happening for everyone, including food and drumming, workshops and guest speakers. Here's what you can expect. —Barry Johnson
South Shore School
Monday, Feb. 13 – Friday, Feb. 17C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!)
Protesters gathered in the thousands at Sea-Tac airport on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, to oppose the Trump administration's travel ban. Photo by Bruce Clayton Tom
Spectators watching Washington State subvert the Trump Administration these last few weeks should know that the nation’s 42nd state has been a petri dish of protest for the last 100 years.
On Feb. 5, 2017, The Washington Post declared that Washington was “the epicenter of resistance to Trump’s agenda,” with its elected officials, protestors and everyday citizens forming a crescendo of discontent. Yesterday, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s efforts to torpedo Trump’s unconstitutional travel ban culminated in a...
Photos by Kelly O
Genre Bender 2017 is right around the corner and after months of dreaming and creating, this year’s five pairs of artists are hard at work on their cross-disciplinary performances. Among this year's collaborators are dancer/choreographer Dani Tirrell and visual artist Mary Anne Carter. Shield your eyes: Who knew that glitter could be so seditious?
Tirrell and Carter generally work in very different modes. Tirrell is an accomplished modern choreographer and a beacon of the local underground vogue scene (check him out in Sweet T: The Physical Album, running now at Gay City). Carter is a lit-leaning visual artist known for her cheeky, political fashion...
You know things are bad when people start saying that comedy will save us. Momentarily buoyed by a series of Saturday Night Live sketches that seem to have gotten under Trump’s skin, traumatized Americans are making all sorts of wild claims about the power of satire in the face of a corrupt authoritarian regime. As a practicing comedian I’m here to fully disabuse you of those notions.
First off, I’m glad people are entertained by Melissa McCarthy’s impression of press secretary Sean Spicer and Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of the president. Currently the Twitterverse is intoxicated with the idea that because Trump was especially irked by his flunky Spicer’s lampooning at the...
Syrian composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh performs with the Seattle Symphony. Photo by Brandon Patoc Photography
Wednesday night, the Seattle Symphony took the lead among arts organizations to protest the travel ban against immigrants and visitors from seven Muslim nations: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, and to emphasize the importance of bringing communities together and celebrate freedom of expression.
“The universal power of music speaks across boundaries and borders,” said music director Ludovic Morlot.
The original impetus for the concert came from the SSO musicians themselves, about a quarter of whom are immigrants and all of whom...
The cast of 'Bring Down the House.' Photo by John Ulman.
For many of us, the current political state is an all-consuming topic, our raging anxiety stoked by a steady gasoline pour of news. Is it a comfort to know that we’ve been here before?
Bring Down the House, Rosa Joshi and Kate Wisniewski’s lean two-part adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays now running at the Center Theatre, finds eerie modern echoes in the War of the Roses, the 15th-century conflict between the houses of York and Lancaster for the crown of England.
These may be “history plays” but they’re as much fiction as fact. The adaptors have whittled down to the emotional core of the story,...
Founders of Ezell's Chicken receiving The Servant Of The People Award
Last Friday, community members and leaders came together at the Museum of Pop Culture to celebrate Black culture and discuss ways to build a strong economy for people of color. The event, called “Through the Eyes of Art,” has sold out every year since it began four years ago, so it was no surprise that 20 minutes before the program started, MoPop’s Sky Church was standing room only.
The evening opened with singer Josephine Howell receiving a standing ovation for her rendition of “Lift Every Voice.” Seattle native and CNN correspondent Angela Rye provided the keynote—a “benediction,” in her words—to...
View from Kerry Park Overlook
So, you’re ready to ask your partner to marry you, but you’re not sure where to pop the question. Whether you have a special someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with or you’re just dreaming of the day you plan to propose, here are 8 charming spots throughout our beautiful Evergreen state where you can memorably pop the question:
What better place to slip gold onto the finger of the one you love than the place where the setting sun glows gold over the water? Ballard’s Golden Gardens offers stunning views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
A ferry ride away from Seattle...
James Moore and Noelani Pantastico, photo by Angela Sterling
With no pumpkin carriage or magic mice in sight, Pacific Northwest Ballet delivers Cendrillon, a grown-up version of the classic Cinderella tale, in which materialism and foot fetishes replace magic spells and glass slippers.
Behind the newly acquired production is the same French creative team responsible for the fantastic Roméo et Juliette production PNB produces every few years: Choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot, scenic designer Ernest Pignon-Ernest and costume designer Jerome Kaplan all infuse a refreshing aesthetic modernity into the story ballet form.
Maillot’s choreography doesn’t shy away...
Photo by Ben Doyle
Last week, shortly after returning from a tour and recording session in Cuba and on their way to a performance at Carnegie Hall, the Houston-based Apollo Chamber Players came to town to conduct a residency and perform at Seattle University.
Co-founded in 2008 by violinist Matthew Detrick, Apollo is passionate about exploring cultural and folk influences in classical music and commissioning new works that echo these interests. Their current aim is 20 commissions by 2020, and they are well on their way. The program in Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium Friday night included three of these commissions, plus the String Quartet of Julia Smith (1905-...
The Migration Series, Panel 52: One of the largest race riots occurred in East St. Louis., 1940–41, casein tempera on hardboard, 12 x 18 in.
Being at the right place at the right time is often luck. Opening Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series at Seattle Art Museum amid a storm of discriminatory policies targeting immigrants is something more. Lawrence’s chronicle of the Great Migration possesses an urgency most modern art shows can only dream of, deeply enhancing the viewer’s experience by hooking history to present day.
The modest one-room exhibit consists of 60 small tempera panels, each about the size of a laptop screen, each titled by Lawrence in a sentence or two...