The scarf-friendly weather may suggest otherwise, but spring officially arrives this month (on March 19, to be exact), along with
. As we do every month, we’ve compiled the biggest events you need to know about in every genre, from
. Want more ideas? Check out our complete
Two bored suburban elf boys, voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, set out to find magic and bring back their father in this Pixar adventure.
Harcore DIY five-piece American Nightmare will rip through Seattle with a mix of “traditional hardcore” from the American canon, British punky attitude, and emotional lyrics.
Join indie-pop sibling ensemble Echosmith on their Lonely Generation Tour.
The music of Los Angeles–based bassist/composer Stephen Lee Bruner (aka Thundercat) is transcendent. And that’s a fact. His distinct blend of jazz, soul, and funk is fresh and cosmic while also throwing back to the likes of Sun Ra and Miles Davis. Having worked extensively with Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, Kendrick Lamar on To Pimp a Butterfly (for which Lamar won a Grammy for best rap/sung performance), Erykah Badu, and dozens of other contemporary musicians, Thundercat is as influential as he is technically accomplished. His most recent release, 2017’s Drunk, is astonishing in its range and intimacy—light some incense and float to “Lava Lamp.” JASMYNE KEIMIG
SPORTS & RECREATION
Starting and finishing at Seattle Center, this annual race rewards runners with all manner of chocolate delights, including hot chocolate, marshmallows with a hot fudge dipping sauce, and more.
THROUGH MARCH 1
This annual film festival, supported by SIFF, celebrates the richness of Nordic culture, featuring films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and even the Faroe Islands. This year, the festival will open with the Icelandic film The County, in which a single dairy farmer named Inga tries to break the stranglehold of a corrupt local cooperative.
Think of this festival as a vast bouquet for the senses, with a floral arrangement competition and 20 display gardens representing this year’s theme, “Spring Fever.” You’re invited to wander through mini-landscapes blooming with color to get you excited for winter’s end (if you weren’t already). Sign up for free seminars, shop the marketplace for new plant friends to take home, and escape winter blues by immersing yourself in a haven of green wholesomeness.
FOOD & DRINK
This spirited weeklong event puts a spotlight on the movers and (cocktail) shakers of the Seattle bar scene with special libations available at more than 60 participating venues, plus classes and seminars for industry pros, pop-up cocktail bars, bar takeovers, competitions, tastings, parties, and more. Saturday’s Cocktail District event at Bell Harbor Conference Center, a “carnival of cocktails,” will feature presentations and demonstrations, a retail store, and a food truck pier with Uzbek street food from Tabassum, Native American fry bread tacos from Off the Rez, Asian fusion eats from Crave by Suite J, and much more. JULIANNE BELL
SPORTS & RECREATION
Seattle’s Major League Soccer team’s 2020 home season will kick off with a match against Chicago Fire FC (Sun March 1). Later in the month, they’ll take on Columbus Crew SC (Sun March 7) and FC Dallas (Sun March 21).
Head out to Bainbridge Island for a month of dance, music, films, book talks, and more, with highlights like a reading of Legends of the North Cascades with prominent local author Jonathan Evison (Mon March 16), a concert with the brilliant musician Evan Flory-Barnes (Sat March 21), and a performance by Texas singer-songwriter Colin Gilmore (Sat March 28).
Nigerian-American triple-threat Davido is a singer, songwriter, and producer who has been rising in the charts since his debut with the music group KB International.
An alt-pop band with heavy post-punk feels and a bit of woozy synthy experimentation, Lower Dens had their come-up with 2010 debut Twin-Hand Movement and a strong sophomore follow-up, Nootropics, a few years later. It’s all driven by the creative, socially aware mind and distinctively higher-toned vocal qualities of singer-songwriter Jana Hunter. The group is on tour behind 2019 fourth LP The Competition, which, according to their Bandcamp page, deals with “modern capitalism and its psychotic effects” in 11 songs that “express an epiphany: you need radical and unquestioning compassion for yourself if you’re to reimagine what society could be.” Looking for something less political? Take a listen to their dark and slinky reading of old Hall & Oates chestnut “Maneater.” LEILANI POLK
The original lineup playing the music of Cream featured relations of that band’s original members: Kofi Baker (son of the now-late Ginger Baker) on drums and vocals, Malcolm Bruce (Jack Bruce’s son) on bass, and Will Johns (Eric Clapton’s nephew and son of Zeppelin/Stones engineer Andy Johns) on guitar and vocals. On this 2020 iteration, it’s only Baker and Johns (there was some inner-band drama that involved Bruce being booted), joined by musicians Sean McNabb and Chris Shutters. They’re still playing Cream tunes—on this go-round, 1967’s Disraeli Gears from start (“Strange Brew”) to finish (“Mother’s Lament”)—and those will be followed by some Clapton classics. LEILANI POLK
Chart-topping LA indie-poppers Saint Motel have amped up the kaleidoscopic grooviness of their crowd-pleasing jams. Join them on this stop of their Motion Picture Show tour.
This Bessie Award-winning dance company merges hip-hop, modern, and African dance with ballet and tap to delve into ancestral and political narratives.
Scott Silven will bring his well-reviewed, candle-lit participatory dinner theater act to Queen Anne’s elegant Ruins.
Hardcore lifelong Seattleites, take note: Best Coast are from Southern California and unabashedly proud of that fact! If you can manage to get past this, you’ll soon find appreciation for a decade-deep catalog of songs that includes catchy, Beach Boys–inspired surf-rock bops as well as moody, Beach Boys–inspired depressing surf-rock anthems. They’ll be joined tonight by Mannequin Pussy, a punk band from Philadelphia that earned praise for their 2019 album Patience. BLAIR STENVICK
Dominican American songwriter Prince Royce will embark on his biggest tour yet in support of his new album, Alter Ego.
READINGS & TALKS
The former mayor of Chicago and White House Chief of Staff for President Obama will read from his book The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running The World, about the new prominence of cities versus the federal government.
The Oregon-based sisters and bandmates have avoided the sophomore slump with their second album, Good Luck, Kids, a collection of songs highlighting the band’s signature storytelling and emotional complexity.
The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Report estimated the date for full gender equality throughout the world as 217 years in the future. At this celebration of International Women’s Day, speakers will hold forth on how to speed up the processes of gender justice and parity. This year, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau and Filipina American poet Louie Tan Vital are among the special guests, as well as Marilyn Jean Smith and Lore Ameloot (Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services) Nikki Gane (Dignity for Divas), Scilla Andreen (IndieFlix), Chantel Jackson (CJs Phillys), and Poppy MacDonald (USAFacts).
What more can master guitarist Bill Frisell do? Over the last 42 years, he’s finessed his way through many permutations of jazz, rock (including an album of John Lennon songs), Americana, folk, and even noise. For his new album, HARMONY (Frisell’s first for Blue Note), the revered Bainbridge Island musician explores vocal-based songwriting, with the gorgeous voice of Petra Haden (that dog., the Decemberists, etc.) augmenting his spectral ballads. Featuring several covers of chestnuts by Pete Seeger, Billy Strayhorn, Stephen Foster, and others, HARMONY may be a conservative move, but you can’t accuse Frisell of stagnating. And within the record’s parameters, he and his band (including guitarist/bassist Luke Bergman and cellist Hank Roberts) evoke an almost Twin Peaks–like vibe, a sheer reveling in hushed melodic beauty for its own sake. DAVE SEGAL
Chart-topping Korean pop sensation Eric Nam will come to Seattle on his Before We Begin World Tour with opening support from LA-based pop duo Frenship.
As a 1980s hardcore kid, I never really sussed Refused; they ascended to relevance as a ’90s stock Victory label band into a group boasting they were “the shape of punk to come.” However, by 1998, had you been listening, their “shape” had come and gone, as they owed everything to acts like Fugazi, Helmet, and Rorschach. Still, they’re a top group for late hardcore 1990s/early aughties kids. Now, two decades after The Shape of Punk to Come, they’ve evolved into a good, contemporary, heavy, hook-filled rock band just like many ’80s-era hardcore bands did by ’87, and I’m inclined to reckon 2019’s War Music LP is their October File. MIKE NIPPER
Head to Bikini Bottom as everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic dishwashing apparatus takes the stage for a little song and dance, featuring a cast of Grammy winners and eye-popping sets from a Tony Award-winning design team.
READINGS & TALKS
A Palestinian and an Israeli, both bereaved of their children by horrific violence, try to turn their personal tragedies into a force for peace in the seventh novel by National Book Award winner Colum McCann. Divided into 1,001 chapters, some of which are composed of photographs, a single line of text, or a blank page, Apeirogon (which denotes a shape with an infinite number of sides) apparently conducts literary experiments in the service of grief and humanity.
Some of us watched Mississippi Burning, Alan Parker’s masterpiece about one of the civil rights era’s most infamous racist killings, and thought, “Damn, racism sucks.” Jerry Mitchell, a journalist at the Clarion-Ledger, watched Mississippi Burning and then devoted his life and career to cracking decades-old cold cases involving Ku Klux Klan murders across the South. Over the next few years, his work would build the evidence necessary to bring several Klan members to justice and offer some sense of closure to communities ripped apart by racist violence. Using clean, clear prose shot through with rich, cinematic detail, Mitchell tells the fascinating story of his storied career in Race Against Time. RICH SMITH
Raja Feather Kelly is here to celebrate the many nuances of black queer joy in UGLY, which debuted at Brooklyn’s Bushwick Starr in 2018. In a nod to a line from an Anne Sexton poem, Kelly waltzes onto a bright-yellow stage wearing only a few articles of bright-yellow clothing. He moves to pulsing electronic music from Emily Auciello “while interpreting the words of an essay he wrote,” according to an interview with the New York Times. The show is being brought to town as part of Washington Ensemble Theatre’s GUSH series. RICH SMITH
Contributions by African Americans to the field of graphic design have often been overlooked. This exhibit acts as an “incomplete historical survey” of Black designers’ work. Taking inspiration from Alain Locke’s seminal 1925 book of critique, The New Negro, and a small multidisciplinary exhibition from the 1970s called Ritual: Baptismal in Black, As, Not For questions the ubiquity of whiteness in the designed world and what it means for Black “expressive design practice” to be excluded from the field. You can expect to see printed ephemera made by Black designers like Art Sims, Laini (Sylvia) Abernathy, and Emory Douglas, that have been scaled-up to poster size. JASMYNE KEIMIG
The work of Seattle-based artist Justin Duffus resembles something long forgotten but recently remembered. Which makes sense, as he bases his paintings off found photographs that often depict the domestic or mundane aspects of American private life: birthday parties, public pool swimming, baptisms. His subjects often bleed into abstraction or incompletion, their settings becoming a wash of color built up over layers of paint, his hand becoming ever clearer. You get a sense of connectedness through these cultural rituals we all take a part in. He will be presenting new work in this solo show at Linda Hodges Gallery. JASMYNE KEIMIG
The paintings of Los Angeles-based artist Ramiro Gomez recall the bright, pristine works of David Hockney. The blaring blue sky, the green grass, the stark white walls, the economy of figures and emotions. But Gomez takes these scenes a step further, centering the people who maintain these pristine spaces and are often left out—Latino landscapers, janitors, maids, and valets. Using his perspective as the child of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and being a former nanny of a West Hollywood family, Gomez makes visible the “invisible” labor in LA, unspooling the racial and class dynamics inherent in wealthy spaces. JASMYNE KEIMIG
MARCH 5-APRIL 11
The Northwest Designer Craftsmen association puts together a juried exhibition of some master shapers and designers of glass, textiles, mixed media, baskets, and more, who hail from Washington, Montana, Alaska, Oregon, and Idaho. They include NWDC members Pat Hickman, John Garrett, Dean Pulver, Gerhardt Knodel, Kensuke Yamada, and Robert Ebendorf, plus dozens more artists from the region, including the impressive, uncanny-valley-evoking Tip Toland.
MARCH 5-MAY 3
Three works by nontraditional filmmaker John Akomfrah play on multiple screens in the Seattle Art Museum gallery. Immerse yourself in Tropikos, set during the encounter of Europe and Africa in the 16th century; discover maritime exploration in Vertigo Sea, a combination of archival and new recordings about both peaceful waters and disasters at sea; and revisit the birth of the internet in The Last Angel of History.
MARCH 5-JUNE 28
The Seattle Art Museum celebrates the acquisition of O’Keeffe’s Music, Pink and Blue, No. 1, which it calls “the first complete expression of her personal brand of modernism,” with an exhibition that also features loaned paintings, drawings, and Alfred Stieglitz’s photographs of the artist.
The cast members of the Emmy-winning show Whose Line Is It Anyway?—including Greg Proops, Joel Murray, Jeff B. Davis, and Bellingham-born Ryan Stiles—will play their hilarious improv games onstage.
Four days before the Washington State primary, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will rally for his campaign in Seattle.
‘The Way Back’ Opening
Ben Affleck plays an alcoholic coach who returns to the town where he was a teen basketball star in this redemption drama by Gavin O’Connor.
Icelandic musician Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson crafts elegant folk music with restrained electronic elements, setting his tender, sweet, ethereal vocals against it. I’m reminded of the very first Bon Iver album, when Justin Vernon was recording all by himself in an isolated cabin in Wisconsin, and you could hear it in the songs. Ásgeir’s music has a similar feel, though it’s somehow brighter, lusher, and sexier, while still maintaining a subdued tone. His 2020 third album, Bury the Moon, is an early contender on my Best of 2020 list. LEILANI POLK
Young Norwegian electronica producer, DJ, and pianist Matoma will bring the groove-heavy bass back to Seattle on his newest tour. Win and Woo will provide opening support.
Eighties pop-rock icon Rick Springfield will punctuate Tulalip with his irreverent showmanship and lifelong soap opera star mystique on his 2020 tour.
Who says the Seattle Sound isn’t inspiring musicians from around the world anymore? Shopping are a British trio that rippled out from London’s queercore scene (they have since relocated to Glasgow) and take a strong dose of inspiration from our Northwest feminist punk riot-grrrl sound. They wrote “Initiative”—the lead single off their new album, All or Nothing—in an Emerald City basement. The angular, propulsive guitar and crisp shout-sung lyrics intentionally conjure up the ghosts of Gang of Four while tackling political subjects (like the UK’s ubiquitous CCTV cameras) more discreetly than their avowedly communist predecessors. But if the personal is political, then Shopping’s identity politics more than make up for the lack of Marxist dogma. As lead guitarist Rachel Aggs said in an interview with TIDAL, “I feel really proud to be on stage and be queer, a person of color, and a female-identifying person that doesn’t necessarily present in a conventional way.” GREG SCRUGGS
Get pumped for the primaries with the Washington Bus and peppy local alt-rock bands Dude York, Lisa Prank, and jo passed.
This year, the Henry Art Gallery is bringing ceramicist, collage artist, and fine art photographer (and queer icon) Catherine Opie to speak at its Monsen Photography Lecture. Opie is internationally renowned for her portraiture of the lesbian and gay community in Los Angeles in the 1990s, using traditional techniques with “less traditional” subjects in order to explore gender, sexuality, and family. There’s an unflinching honesty to her photos; she often turns the camera back on herself and her family, conveying an intimacy that isn’t voyeuristic, but thoughtful. Opie’s work isn’t limited to just portraiture, but also includes landscape and cityscape photography that focuses on issues of homelessness and gentrification. JASMYNE KEIMIG
MARCH 6-JUNE 10
Expect an explosion of innovation in fiber and textile arts as 35 artists—Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Maria Phillips, Ko Kirk Yamahira, and others—reveal their craft in embroidery, quilts, clothing, installations, and sculptures.
THROUGH MARCH 7
Jazz icon Charlie Parker gets the operatic treatment in this Seattle Opera production of Daniel Schnyder’s Yardbird, a journey through limbo by Parker, who struggles to complete his last masterpiece amidst a series of flashbacks that showcases the glorious heyday of iconic NYC jazz club Birdland, as well as the failures and victories of Parker’s dynamic life.
New Orleans isn’t the only place known for its Mardi Gras celebrations—Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, and other Balkan regions have their own ways of celebrating. You’ll discover many of them at this music- and dance-focused event.
Known for their mid-2000s hit “Somewhere Only We Know,” Sussex-formed rock band Keane will bring heavy rom-com vibes to this Seattle tour stop.
Alice Bag is a significant name in punk rock; she was the lead singer and cofounder of first-wave punk band the Bags, which came out of LA in the 1970s and was fronted by two women in a scene that was heavily male-dominated. She’s also a significant feminist icon who’s been a strident voice against injustice. In addition to being an educator, author (she has two books, Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage: A Chicana Punk Story and Pipe Bomb for the Soul), and activist, she’s still churning out music speaking to current issues (see last year’s “No Gifts for Nazis”). She is appropriately headlining the Queens of Noise “female, femme, nonbinary” punk festival, which will also feature sets by nine other punk-minded lady-repped Washington-area bands spread over two stages: Itchy Kitty, Klondike Kate, Madame Damnable, Nox Novacula, Having Issues, Post Rapture Party, the Heels, Mallory, and Matriarch. Proceeds benefit Peoria Home, which provides sanctuary and support for survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution. LEILANI POLK
In the show’s touring edition, one (TBA) eligible Bachelor is selected ahead of time from each city where the tour stops, and during the live show, he’s introduced to 10 local ladies from the audience for a “chance at love.” These single Seattleites will be recruited by the tour’s casting director and participate in the two-hour-and-20-minute event, during which, through a series of “games, challenges, onstage dates, and other fun ‘getting to know you’ scenarios,” the women are whittled down through multiple rose ceremonies until the Seattle Bachelor finds the woman he’s (theoretically) most compatible with. Bachelor Nation alums Becca Kufrin and Ben Higgins will serve as the hosts/matchmakers. Who will be Seattle’s Bachelor? Will the eligible ladies seem as thirsty in this unedited environment as they do on TV? I don’t know, but I’m buying tickets to this shitshow now. LEILANI POLK
Michael Ian Black once described Doug Stanhope as comedy’s Charles Bukowski, likely because Stanhope is dark, offensive, vulgar, and sometimes downright brutal. His style is a mix of volatile social criticism and anecdotal humor taken to self-hate extremes. Past subjects have included abortion, his own alcoholism and self-defeating behavior, capitalism and how the US’s idea of poverty is radically different from other parts of the world (“Our landfills are third-world bling”), football, death, and everything in between. He has four comedy albums, three stand-up specials, a few books, and, like seemingly all comics out there these days, a podcast (The Doug Stanhope Podcast), which he records on the road from whatever hotel room he’s staying in. Be forewarned: If you offend easily, this show ain’t for you. LEILANI POLK
Thanks to the nutrient-rich outflow of water from the Skagit River, beautiful Penn Cove’s famous mussels grow full-sized in record time and are harvested young, making them impossibly firm, fat, and sweet. This annual festival, which bills itself as a celebration of all things “bold, briny, and blue,” features boat tours of the Penn Cove Mussel Farm, a mussel eating contest, cooking demonstrations with local chefs, a waterfront beer garden, and the main event: a tasting competition with restaurants from all over Coupeville vying to have their mussel chowder declared the finest in town.
THROUGH MARCH 8
CCFS’s slate of international films features visual storytelling centered on narratives about childhood—the way that children view the world, deal with adult issues, and work as agents of change in their communities. Curated by Northwest Film Forum, the 2020 fest encompasses 175 animated, feature-length, and short films from 47 countries. For obvious reasons (read: short attention spans), the biggest chunk of offerings are shorts packaged in thematic and age-appropriate blocks. And there is just so much to see during the fest’s run (February 27 to March 8). Much of what you’ll find on tap at the annual fest, now in its 15th year, can be experienced and enjoyed by adults—and they don’t need to feel odd or out of place if they are unaccompanied by minors. LEILANI POLK
Book-It will adapt Henry James’s chilling and ambiguous Victorian ghost novel about a naive governess who discovers what she perceives as evil supernatural influences trying to possess her two charges. Carol Roscoe will direct an adaptation by Rachel Atkins.
In Hidden in Plain Sight, Seattle-based artist Maria Phillips dove headfirst into interrogating her own consumption habits. This two-part exhibition was made using nonrecyclable plastics and single-use items mostly generated by Phillips and her family of four over the course of nine months. One part features small-scale works of takeout box towers, nylon rope clusters, and video installation. But it’s the other part that is truly overwhelming in both its beauty and its horror. In a gallery all its own, Undercurrent: Plasticene takes up the entire space. Referencing the name that some scientists suggest would best describe our current plastic geological age, her piece measures 15 feet wide, 15 feet tall, and 100 feet long. Phillips carefully stitched together close to a thousand different pieces of nonrecyclable plastic using flat irons she bought at Goodwill. The front half of the tapestry is hung to resemble a waterfall, composed of single-use plastic bags of different colors and sizes, pooling onto the floor. JASMYNE KEIMIG
The work of Robert Williams is sick, perverse, offensive, violent, erotic, profane, and firmly without any sort of god to speak of. That is also precisely why it is incredible. A technically skilled draftsman, Williams’s works are often psychedelic, depicting an alternate, unhinged reality. He is naughty to the nth degree, hemmed in neither by “good taste” or any type of moral responsibility. In addition to being an artist and comic book illustrator, Williams was also a key figure in the California hot rod scene of the late 1960s. JASMYNE KEIMIG
FOOD & DRINK
Julia Child once called the Joy of Cooking “a fundamental resource for any American cook.” Originally self-published by St. Louis homemaker Irma Rombauer in 1931, and in print continuously since its original commercial publishing in 1936, Joy of Cooking is one of the most popular cookbooks to come out of the United States, and has been republished more times than any other, with more than 18 million copies sold. Rombauer’s great-grandson John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott, are the first of the family to be solely responsible for testing, revising, and updating the book since 1975, and their revised edition dropped in November 2019. They added 600 new recipes to the 4,000 it already included, bumping it up to an astounding 1,200 pages. They updated every section to reflect modern ingredients and techniques currently available to home cooks. Becker and Scott join Anna Brones (the local author/artist responsible for creating the paper cuts at the beginning of each chapter) in conversation at this special event held in support of Joy‘s latest revision. LEILANI POLK
The frigid water of winter months yields especially delicious oysters, and Fremont’s charming cafe and natural wine shop Vif has taken it upon themselves to showcase these crisp, briny treasures by pairing them with similarly crisp, briny white wines. Slurp slippery bivalves from guest shuckers Hama Hama Oysters, purchase other food for sale, and pour lots of natural wine down your gullet. The event will be held both indoors and outdoors, so be sure to dress appropriately. JULIANNE BELL
A quarter century on, Austrian guitarist/laptop musician Christian Fennesz is still creating ambient music of stoic grandeur and subliminal beauty. He debuted on record with 1995’s Instrument EP, four tracks of beatless industrial klang in the vein of early Cluster, and on subsequent early Mego releases, laced static and glitch into poignant melodies, peaking on 2001’s Endless Summer. Fennesz has spent the last two decades refining his sound into less abrasive realms while collaborating with esteemed artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, Jim O’Rourke, and King Midas Sound. With his latest album, last year’s Agora, Fennesz has produced his most eventful work in years—ambient music of thrilling cinematic drama. Don’t miss this rare Seattle appearance by a master. DAVE SEGAL
Fred Rogers might be gone (RIP, you lovely, lovely man), but his legacy lives on in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, an animated Daytime Emmy-winning PBS show for preschool-aged children. It’s based on the Neighborhood of Make-Believe from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and features characters of all shapes, sizes, and animal (and non-animal) persuasions. It’s sweet and charming and kind of annoying, but it’s also one of my daughter’s favorite shows, so this live theatrical production with all the Daniel Tiger characters (“filled with singing, dancing, and laughter”) seems like a no-brainer. LEILANI POLK
RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY
Since the roads were icy on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, the organizers of the Womxn’s March postponed the landmark Trump-era resistance event to fatefully align with International Women’s Day. And even though Senators have voted to acquit Donald Trump on both articles of impeachment, the rights and safety of womxn, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and anyone else who is not a wealthy white man are still at risk. For the fourth year in a row, join a procession from the Beacon Hill Playfield to City Hall Park. Concurrently, in Dr. Jose Rizal Park, South Asian- and Asian Pacific Islander-focused anti-violence organization API-Chaya will lead an additional march and rally advocating for working womxn and immigrant communities.
FOOD & DRINK
While studying abroad in Italy, actress Tembi Locke fell for a Sicilian chef named Saro, who introduced her to a new world of food. Their romance came with no shortage of challenges: Saro’s family did not approve of their son marrying a black American woman, and once they reconciled, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that led to his death in 2016, leaving Tembi to raise their adopted daughter Zoella on her own. Tembi will visit Book Larder to discuss her memoir From Scratch, which is being adapted into a Netflix series produced by Reese Witherspoon and starring Zoe Saldana.
Pup will return to Seattle and bring their Toronto bodega lifer punk to the stage, with guest sets from New Jersey indie-rock trio Screaming Females and the Canadian indie-popper Drew Thomson Foundation.
I recently learned about the “20-year rule” used by clothing sellers to determine whether or not they can label an item as “vintage.” And I think the Strokes—at least as they exist in popular imagination as young disaffected indie dudes—are rapidly approaching vintage status, thus picking up a new layer of cool. I, for one, wouldn’t mind a small resurgence of catchy-garage-meets-pop-meets-’70s-swagger. Though the band has gotten distracted with their own side projects over the past few years, they’ve announced a new album, The New Abnormal. At a Bernie Sanders rally in New Hampshire, no less. I think it’s high time for zoomers to discover “The Modern Age.” JASMYNE KEIMIG
The spring festival Holi—also known as the “festival of colors”—is a Hindu tradition that marks not only the turn of the season but also the triumph of good over evil, and a time to mend broken ties. Celebrations often involve throwing powdered colors, or “gulal,” to symbolize the renewal of spring. Find all the ways to celebrate—including events at Bellevue Downtown Park, Nectar, Crocodile, Marymoor Park, and Phinney Center—on our complete Holi calendar.
Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all Jews in the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire. The day often includes a feast. See all the ways to celebrate on our Purim calendar, including a party at Zylberschtein’s Delicatessen.
Young M.A. burst onto the scene in 2016 with her song “OOOUUU.” Full of boasts, bravado, and queer desire, the New York rapper seemingly bypassed rap’s assumed male audience to speak directly to queer/women listeners. And it worked. The song received hundreds of millions of streams, propelling her career forward as one of the few openly gay rappers in hip-hop at the moment. Her most recent record, Herstory in the Making, solidified her talents as a rapper with broad appeal in cuts like “She Like I’m Like” and “BIG.” Young M.A. is even an accomplished entrepreneur, recently releasing a strap-on starter kit—you can’t say she doesn’t care! JASMYNE KEIMIG
This Bronx-born comedian has been slaying audiences with his deadpan stand-up since the mid-’80s. In addition to lending his voice to cult favorite shows like Bob’s Burgers and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Barry continues to tour the country making headlines with his improv-heavy shows that tend to involve the crowd, with hilarious results. NICK ZURKO
The grande dame of arty punk, the sorcerer of the cover song (see: “Gloria,” “So You Want to Be [a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star],” “Gimme Shelter,” “5-4-3-2-1”), a mythologizing poet of the libido and liberation, an eloquent advocate for leftist causes, one of the most highly evolved androgynes ever to subvert gender stereotypes, creator of one of the greatest debut albums in rock history (1975’s Horses)—Patti Smith is all of these… and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. But don’t hold that against her. The first four Patti LPs are where the most inspirational action is, but she has gems scattered throughout the rest of her work and her voice has aged shockingly well. DAVE SEGAL
Led by Stephan Jenkins, ’90s pop-alt rockers Third Eye Blind (or 3EB if you’re a real fan) achieved wide success during a bizarre time in the post-grunge music scene. They performed at the 2016 Bumbershoot, and will return to Seattle again for a night of classic singles with Jersey rock band Saves the Day.
READINGS & TALKS
Hochschild (who wrote the essential histories To End All Wars and King Leopold’s Ghost) will be featured at the Spring Literary Luncheon series to talk about his new book Rebel Cinderella. This biography recounts the life of Rose Pastor Stokes, a Russian Jewish refugee who came to America after spending her childhood working in cigar shops, married a rich New Yorker, and became a pioneering labor activist and feminist.
Who better to play Bowie hits than former members of the Thin White Duke’s touring bands from across the decades? This special alumni show promises just that, with appearances from Gerry Leonard, Carmine Rojas, Charlie Sexton, Kevin Armstrong, and Alan Childs.
Geeks across fandoms save their most inventive cosplay for the biggest local comic event of the year, Emerald City Comic Con. The four-day event is filled to the brim with panels, meetups, special events, fun parties, and tons and tons of guests hanging out in the artist alley (this year’s headliners include Mark Ruffalo, Karen Gillan, Levar Burton, and Michael J. Fox). In addition to the main events at the Convention Center, this year’s newest addition is Pop Asia, a buzzy anime, manga, and K-pop event at the Sheraton Hotel.
MARCH 12-APRIL 15
Moisture Festival is devoted to the variety of performers Seattle has fostered over the years, from circus acts to comedians, burlesque dancers to musicians, and jugglers to tap dancers. Variété is the main, recurring event, with a rotating lineup, and there are also matinée and rather racier late-night versions. The bawdy Libertease Cabaret is for adults only and features burlesque dancers and scantily clothed aerial performers. There are also workshops, talks, and special opening and closing nights.
Maybe you recall her memorable appearances at the roasts of Rob Lowe, Bruce Willis, and Alec Baldwin—she’s the tall, statuesque, bubbly blonde with the potty mouth and crass observations. She was active for a rather long time before finally enjoying a come-up in the past six years, and has a pretty long resume that includes a short-lived sex-themed Comedy Central talk show, Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, a stint on Dancing with the Stars (she was eliminated the first round in 2018), and just put out her first full-length comedy special on Netflix, Bangin’, which she opens with an extended bit about the horror and devastation of discovering, for the first time, what a blow job was (“My mouth?! That’s where candy goes, I can’t believe you would put a dick there!”), accepting its inevitability, like death, and then discussing all the cultural shit that goes with it. She’s funny as fuck. RIYL: Amy Schumer. LEILANI POLK
A woman who has supernatural abilities must save a possessed girl.
More Music features young musicians collaborating and playing in a variety of styles. The program provides them with mentorship by music industry folk, production and promotional support, and a chance to connect with local musicians. Past music directors for this group have included Sheila E., Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and Michael Shrieve.
Exult in the uncanny on the 20th anniversary of the Phoenix Lights, a phenomenon observed by thousands of people in Arizona on this date. There’ll be ASMR by Dog Sister, theremin music by Samantha Wilder, performances by Power Strip, Orgone Donor, and goawaysun, and more.
If you’re in the market for some new reading material and you don’t want to spend a ton of cash, don’t miss your chance to shop for over 100,000 titles spanning multiple genres for as little as a buck at this annual sale hosted by Friends of the Seattle Public Library.
This feels like private programming. I’ve loved everything PNB has ever produced by Alejandro Cerrudo, the genius Spanish choreographer behind Silent Ghost (which was the balletic equivalent of rolling around in bed on Sunday morning) and Little mortal jump (which was the balletic equivalent of a really good indie rock show in college). So, yeah, I’m excited to see One Thousand Pieces, which sets his flat-out gorgeous choreography to “Knee 5,” the best piece of music Phillip Glass has ever written. The double bill includes David Dawson’s sharp, athletic, and aggressive Empire Noir—if you missed it in 2017, make sure you catch it this time. RICH SMITH
MARCH 13-APRIL 5
Sister Act is based on the super-popular 1992 comedy/musical film starring Whoopi Goldberg. You know the premise: a raunchy lounge singer must go undercover in a convent to save her own life, hilarity ensues. This new staging will be directed by Lisa Shriver.
Trumpeters will lead a procession of green-clad Seattleites in the Irish and US National Anthems to kick off the 49th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade up Fourth Avenue, ending in Westlake Park. From there, participants are encouraged to hop on the Monorail (for free!) and head to Seattle Center’s Irish Festival for closing ceremonies.
FOOD & DRINK
This festival revolving around the combination of savory, gut-busting breakfast foods and heady booze promises concoctions like waffle sandwiches, fried avocado bacon benedict, bacon fat biscuit breakfast sandwiches, and beer batter flapjacks. Day drinking is encouraged with more than 80 brews from 40 breweries and cideries, plus mimosas, boozy root-beer floats, Irish coffee, and a 30-foot Bloody Mary bar with dozens upon dozens of toppings (including tater tots, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, veggies, herbs, pickles, puffed Cheetos, bacon, and pork rinds). You’re probably going to want to clear your schedule for that requisite post-brunch nap.
Ride Hale’s Ales double-decker bus around Ballard, with stops at all 11 of the neighborhood’s breweries, and try specialty beers. Your $5 “bus fare” will be donated to the Seattle Firefighters Pipes and Drums.
Celebrate everyone’s favorite mathematical constant by engulfing some flaky pastry-topped desserts.
Seemingly overnight, Glass Animals became a massive pop juggernaut, with scores of fans screaming their buzzy hit-list lyrics. Their multilayered indie rock appeals to many, as they attempt to pull in more than just their own sonic history on their 2017 album, How to Be A Human Being.
Grace Potter, formerly of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, has shared the stage with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant, the Allman Brothers, and Mavis Staples. Catch her in Seattle on this solo tour stop.
Big-time LA electronic DJ Nghtmre will kick off their own epic dance night since Lucky 2020 was canceled. Enjoy sets by SVDDEN DEATH, Midnight Tyrannosaurus, Kompany, Wavedash, and Effin on this Portal tour stop.
Feed your hunger for wine-slurred scary paranormal and true crime stories with podcasters Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz.
THROUGH MARCH 15
During the Victorian era, Coventry Patmore wrote a poem describing the ideal wife as an “angel in the house” who lives to please her man, as it were. Nobody liked the poem at the time, but it became popular around the turn of the century, and its ideology was pervasive enough to spur Virginia Woolf to write a whole essay collection critiquing it. “Killing the Angel in the House was part of the occupation of a woman writer,” she wrote. Quadruple-threat Sara Porkalob, who has built her career on a biographical trilogy about her cool family, said her love of Victorian-era literature and her passionate agreement with Woolf’s takedown inspired her riff on this cursed character. Like her Dragon Cycle, The Angel in the House will serve as the first installment of a new play cycle based on “magic, the occult, revenge, blood, and sacrifice.” Unlike the Dragon Cycle, the show is a thriller that looks like a murder mystery at first but ends up being something else entirely. Major reasons to be excited include local stars Ray Tagavilla and Ayo Tushinde, plus the joy of watching a writer/director exploring completely new territory. RICH SMITH
In this Tony Award-nominated play by Lucy Kirkwood, two retired nuclear scientists on the coast of an environmentally devastated England receive a disruptive visit from an old friend.
Riis was a Danish immigrant who worked as an early “muckraking” newspaper reporter in turn-of-the-century New York City. He got his start as a police reporter in 1873, accompanying law-enforcement officials into slums in the Lower East Side filled with immigrants and poor and working-class people. The traveling exhibition shares its name with Riis’s popular 1890 book How the Other Half Lives, an extension of his photojournalistic work. While the charge of the Nordic Museum isn’t limited to the display and preservation of art—they also educate on Nordic heritage—the quantity of explanatory wall text overwhelms the photography. And then there are the issues of Riis’s work itself. As the show is quick to acknowledge, Riis’s methods and attitudes toward immigrants and poor people weren’t always ethical or nuanced. But Riis’s influence is not to be disputed, and How the Other Half Lives gives us a glimpse into his legacy. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Grammy winner Leslie Odom Jr. is an acclaimed singer and dancer who has found mainstream recognition through his star turn as Aaron Burr in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. He’ll come to Seattle for a live performance.
Back in 2006, things were only looking up for rapper Lupe Fiasco. Signed to Atlantic Records by Jay Z and hyped by Kanye West as the next Kanye West, Chicago’s Fiasco rose from regional threat to national concern off the strength of that year’s Food & Liquor and a slew of singles that included the still-banging “Kick, Push.” His actual career has been considerably bumpier than his initial rollout. Over the past decade, he’s quit music multiple times—including as recently as last December—and publicly wrestled with his inner demons and major-label contract, but he keeps coming back with fire, and his fans have stuck with him through the highs and lows. Speaking of highs, this February saw him release the career highlight Drogas Light, which has been met with praise by critics and longtime fans alike. Expect a reenergized Lupe Fiasco to step up to the Seattle stage and put on his high-energy show. NICK ZURKO
Up-and-coming Belgian-Egyptian-Lebanese singer-songwriter Tamino shows promise on his debut EP, Habibi, which features guest performances from Arabic musicians based in Brussels; the Firka Orchestra; and Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood. Join him in Seattle.
When Jamie Morton’s dad “Rocky Flintstone” (not his real name) wrote (rather inept) erotic fiction, Jamie decided to turn it into a comedy podcast. If you love vicarious embarrassment, this is the show for you (and thousands of other listeners).
SPORTS & RECREATION
For the 36th year, support community-run nonprofits by wearing green on green on green and running in the St. Patrick’s Day Dash.
MARCH 15 & 22
SPORTS & RECREATION
Seattle’s brand-new XFL team (an alternative football league to the National Football League), the Seattle Dragons, will have their home games at CenturyLink Field this month against the Los Angeles Wildcats (Sun March 15) and the New York Guardians (Sun March 22).
Kelly Reichardt, the Floridian director behind Certain Women and Night Moves, sets her latest film, an adaptation of a book by Jonathan Raymond, in 19th-century Oregon. A white cook and a Chinese immigrant go into business together, but their success depends on a rich man’s cow.
Riot Grrrl progenitors Bikini Kill will hark back to their Pacific Northwest roots with support from Olympia’s Table Sugar, who could be their musical offspring.
READINGS & TALKS
National Book Award finalist Min Jin Lee is the author of Pachinko, a family saga set in Korea and Japan during the 20th century. Only the Seoul-born, Queens-raised writer’s second novel, Pachinko was listed as one of the New York Times‘ Ten Best Books in 2017. Hear this literary luminary hold forth on writing and life.
Six years after Rebecca Solnit added a few new words to the lexicon of sexist experience in her smash hit essay collection Men Explain Things to Me, the longtime writer and activist is out with a new memoir about her formative years in San Francisco. In Recollections of My Nonexistence, Solnit gives the Beats the drubbing she felt she couldn’t give them back in the day, tells the stories of the people and places that inspired her writings, and compares the violence women faced then to violence they still face today. Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein will interview Solnit onstage, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for insider’s take on the overlap between the Riot grrrl scenes and the SF literary activists scenes in the 1990s. Regardless, this is a grand council of living feminist legends that must not be missed, especially when there’s so much that continues to trouble the realm. RICH SMITH
MARCH 17-APRIL 12
Why should you be excited for Shakespeare’s rather under-staged black comedy of love and war? Because it’s being directed by ACT Theatre AD John Langs, who’s done imaginative versions of Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, and most recently a Deaf/hearing adaptation of Romeo + Juliet.
Mad props to Drive-By Truckers for making an opera out of Southern-fried rock, and for backing up Booker T. Jones. They love their country, but they don’t like what they see—and what they see is Big Orange dissolving into the amber waves of grain like toxic waste, until we just plain take him for granted and stop talking about the poison. Or at least take it for granted. And they’re American mad about that.ANDREW HAMLIN
Brooklyn-based rapper SAINt JHN’s distinct style comes partly from his use of soca music influences in his songs, which he picked up from his time living in Guyana.
Wilco’s critical acclaim peaked with Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot—albums that elevated the Chicago group from the alt-country poster children of their early years into a zeitgeist of futurist folk music. Yes, the songwriting traditions of Hank and Woody still haunted Jeff Tweedy’s forlorn ballads, but the layered recordings, deconstructed instrumentation, and visionary production techniques stimulated your brain while Tweedy broke your heart. These days, Wilco seem less fixated on using the studio as its own instrument and more focused on being a self-contained band. So while more recent albums like The Whole Love and Star Wars might not have the headphone candy of Y2K Wilco, the no-frills recordings capture a band at the height of their abilities. Not surprisingly, the band has never been better on stage. BRIAN COOK
MARCH 18-APRIL 2
As Charles Mudede has written, “One of the richest institutional collaborations in this city is that between the ByDesign Festival and Northwest Film Forum. Here, two arts that are very similar, film and architecture (both are capital intensive), meet in the theater.” Watch films about urban design and architecture, hear from guest artists, take workshops, and more.
The survivors of the family from A Quiet Place leave their farm and find dangers both human and alien in the post-apocalyptic city.
FOOD & DRINK
If you’re bewildered by the many labels on food like “fair trade” or “biodynamic,” and if you want to eat sustainably and ethically but have trouble finding and understanding information about what’s going in your mouth, attend this talk by the author of How to Be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet. Sophie Egan, who also holds a leading role at the health initiative of the Culinary Institute of America and is a widely published journalist, will be joined by Timothy Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
The Persian New Year, which marks the first day of the month on the Iranian calendar, is celebrated in Muslim countries all over the world. See all the ways to observe the holiday in Seattle—including Bellevue Nowruz, an event at Seattle City Hall, and UW’s 11th Annual Nowruz Celebration—on our Nowruz calendar.
Brent Faiyaz created the single greatest hook of 2017 for GoldLink’s sureshot “Crew,” one of the year’s best singles. He named his solo debut Sonder Son, so called for his group Sonder, itself named for a word coined by John Koenig in his Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Its definition just deepens that hook’s mournful, transient quality: “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.” LARRY MIZELL JR.
To judge by Dan Bejar’s singing style, the equivalent of a stranger whispering in your ear to be heard over a crowd, it’s easy to picture the Vancouver musician as a cross between Joel Grey and Space Oddity-era David Bowie, except he’s neither a dapper song-and-dance man nor a starry-eyed glam rocker. It’s just that he italicizes every lyric like an alien struggling to emulate the human concept of sincerity—and failing spectacularly. Even as a member of power-pop collective the New Pornographers, Bejar’s songs stand alone, sounding as if they drifted over from one of his 10 studio albums, such as the excellent, NYC-inspired Poison Season. If you don’t get it, don’t worry. Bejar is a Brechtian device disguised as a chamber-pop troubadour. KATHY FENNESSY
La Roux (Elly Jackson) is a little like if Tilda Swinton were 32 and a pop star. A smooth operator both on the mic and on her feet, she’s androgynous, graceful, and effortlessly cool, with an otherworldly quality to her that is intoxicating and downright sexy. BROOKLYN BENJESTORF
VÉRITÉ proved herself to be the queen of indie years ago, but in 2017 she really outdid herself. The mastermind behind VÉRITÉ is California native Kelsey Byrne. After graduating from SUNY Purchase, she began releasing music under the moniker VÉRITÉ, and her debut single lit up the blogosphere due to its precise style of moody electro-pop. Over the past few years, she’s self-released numerous EPs in the same vein, but 2017 brought her long-awaited full-length, Somewhere in Between, on her own record label. In addition, she was the executive producer on the record, making her one of the most badass women in music right now. VÉRITÉ’s catchy, dark pop should appeal to fans of Tei Shi and FKA Twigs. ANNA KAPLAN
READINGS & TALKS
Tacoma-based, Philippines-born poet Rick Barot is the author of the collections The Darker Fall, Lambda Literary finalist and Grub Street Prize winner Want, and Chord, with a fourth, The Galleons, released in February 2020. He’s won all the fellowships, or at least NEA, Guggenheim Foundation, Artist Trust, Civitella Ranieri, and Stanford University grants.
An all-Strauss-all-the-time program beautifully arranged by Seattle Symphony’s music director, Thomas Dausgaard. The evening kicks off with two tone poems: the magnificently stirring “Don Juan, Op. 20″ and the gorgeously moody “Death and Transfiguration.” Dausgaard follows these wordless beauties with the second part of Salome, a rarely performed opera with an absolutely depraved storyline. Judean princess Salome loves Jokanaan (John the Baptist), but he rebuffs her advances. Her stepdad, King Herod, loves Salome, but she rebuffs his advances. In Part II, Herod promises to give Salome whatever she wants if she dances for him. She does the dance of the seven veils and ends up naked at the feet of her stepdad. In return, she asks for John the Baptist’s head on a silver platter. When the head arrives she makes out with it, and then Herod orders his guards to crush her with their shields. The symphony isn’t staging any of this, so all the incest and shield death will happen in your mind. But Soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin, a huge star who knows this story well, will be onstage to sing the weird-ass tale. RICH SMITH
FOOD & DRINK
Immerse yourself in four days of pure oenophilia with this behemoth event billing itself as “the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event,” which unites more than 235 Washington wineries, 65 local restaurants, and a number of acclaimed local and national chefs.
To all who have quietly (or quite loudly) judged an addict passed out in a doorway, I encourage you to check out Timothy White Eagle’s The Violet Symphony at On the Boards. According to press materials, White Eagle’s performance, informed by indigenous ritual, tells the story of Violet, “who died of drug overdose behind a dumpster the day after Christmas seven years ago.” Violet’s panhandling “often took on [the] feeling of durational performance art, her creative impulse pushed through addiction and scarcity, or perhaps it was powered by it.” By incorporating her movements into this piece, White Eagle resurrects that creative impulse and displays it on the most prestigious stage the city offers. RICH SMITH
MARCH 19-APRIL 5
This annual film festival explores and celebrates global Jewish and Israeli life, history, complexity, culture, and filmmaking. It showcases international, independent, and award-winning Jewish-themed and Israeli cinema, and the audience votes on their favorites. Most of the films are shown in March; in April, the fest migrates to the Eastside. The opening film with year will be A Picture of His Life, which follows the daring nature photographer Amos Nachoum as he sets out to snap a photo of a polar bar while swimming next to it. Nachoum and director Dani Menkin will attend.
Deon Cole got his start as a writer for The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and went on to win roles in Angie Tribeca, Grown-ish, and Black-ish, as well as movies like The Female Brain and Friendsgiving.
Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot, who have also dabbled in psych-rock musicals, will showcase their performance-art-meets-politics-meets-pop-and-punk-music talent at this event.
The one-act play Raisins in a Glass of Milk is a collection of scenes and monologues based on interviews with theater artists of color; it aims to work against stereotypes and instead offer nuanced storytelling centered around people of color.
MARCH 20-APRIL 12
Dominique Morisseau, a MacArthur “genius” grant-winning playwright, tackles the contradictions between family and community and between public and private education in this story of a dedicated inner-city teacher. When Nya’s son faces expulsion from his private school, Nya must reexamine her own decisions. Faith Bennett Russell will direct.
Grammy-nominated blues-rock guitarist and genre icon Joe Bonamassa will come to Seattle for a two-night gig. Joe has been hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation.
Seattle Men’s Chorus will tackle social issues with Love Beyond Borders, a performance of pop favorites and music that rejoices in the inspiring and hopeful stories of escape, strength, and long-lasting love by artists like Freddie Mercury, Ricky Martin, and k.d. lang.
MARCH 20-APRIL 12
In Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, a group of friends who work together on the factory floor are driven apart when layoffs and picket lines come into the picture. John Langs, ACT’s artistic director, will helm this production, which is a great sign (he recently did a terrific Deaf/hearing adaptation of Romeo and Juliet).
Witnessing Lewis Black unleash his explosive rage over the world’s macrocosmic injustices and microcosmic annoyances is one of the most cathartic and funny phenomena in the comedy world. We mock the trope of the old (white) man yelling at clouds, but Black raises this curmudgeon shtick to a goddamn art form. The louder Black’s voice gets, the funnier his words become—like Sam Kinison, but more intellectual. There’s a riveting clip of Black talking about the difference between Democrats and Republicans during the 2016 election cycle that you should hear: spoiler alert—he’s not a Trump supporter. It’s pretty certain Black will dispense some similarly scathing and hilarious remarks about politicians for this show. DAVE SEGAL
FOOD & DRINK
Over 100 local booths and food trucks will gather beneath the full moon, along with a craft bar serving cocktails and beer. Musicians and DJs will contribute to the ambiance.
Things will get country-fried when the Fire’t Up Tour stops off in Tacoma as part of its massive 30-plus-date tour that brings headliner Gilbert as well as Chase Rice, Dylan Scott, and Brandon Lay to the stage.
Iranian Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra will belt soulful ballads on her Ugh, A Tour Again tour with guest artist QUIN.
This show should be mandatory for the entire PacNW, ’cause Mr. Booker T. Jones is a bona-fide heavy! He was THE understated, always cool, conservative, and concise Hammond player for the Stax house band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Y’all might recognize their classic, “Green Onions”—a song that, in under three minutes, perfectly distills the moment when rock and roll and R&B met. Jones’s musical reach can’t be overstated. Anyway, I bet he’ll play “Green Onions,” along with his many well-loved Stax trax—so yeah, you should be there! MIKE NIPPER
THROUGH MARCH 22
At the turn of the 20th century, a massive class struggle in Russia was reaching a boiling point. The old saying, “God is in heaven and the Tsar is in St. Petersburg”—meaning royal rulers don’t truly touch the lives of Russian citizens—was quickly going out of fashion as the 300-year-old Romanov empire attempted to save itself by violently suppressing revolutions and carrying out horrific pogroms against Jews. Meanwhile, the empire was losing major battles and influence abroad. Any of this sounding…familiar? Witness, a NYC-based producer of immersive theater, has condensed the twilight of the Romanovs into a single performance set in the august environs of the Stimson-Green mansion on First Hill. The choose-your-own-adventure production allows you to observe this nauseatingly relevant story from the vantage of Rasputin, Anastacia, a servant tired of paying a billion rubles for eggs, or any other character you wish. Go with a group of friends, take notes, and come prepared for class the next day with suggestions on how to bring down an empire. RICH SMITH
The web comedian, embodier of Gayle Waters-Waters in his own series Gayle, has been invading real life with his solo piece Showpig. Given that Huffington Post has called his work “the best thing on the internet,” maybe you should go to his stand-up set.
The children’s TV icon invites you (or more probably, your kids) to come on a puppet-filled live trip with such characters as Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep, and Gerald Giraffe.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Do some squats in preparation for this annual climb, where thousands of participants hike up the Columbia Tower’s 69 flights of stairs (1,311 steps). Proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s blood cancer research.
Run a 5K or half marathon from the UW Center For Urban Horticulture to Red Square—you’re sure to get an eyeful of the campus’s famous cherry blossom trees along the way.
READINGS & TALKS
NatGeo Live invites photographers, naturalists, authors, and others to host an informative evening bolstered by gorgeous images and other multimedia. This time, author/conservationist/photographer Carlton Ward Jr. will lead you on a journey into the breathtaking Everglades. Learn what Florida has to offer apart from endless Florida Man news stories.
READINGS & TALKS
Twelve people, mostly black women aged 19 to 93, pursue their happiness in Britain in this Man Booker Prize-winning novel by the author of The Emperor’s Babe.
Built to Spill was the band that all my dude friends in junior high said they listened to before they started a band of their own. In that way, maybe Built to Spill are the West Coast’s answer to the Velvet Underground. Okay, I’m mostly kidding about that one, but now that I’m thinking about it, 1999’s Keep It Like a Secret seems to be the progenitor of so much of modern indie rock’s sound, that it’s almost like I’ve seen the band live before. But I haven’t. Go and luxuriate in the sounds of flannel, beanies, and earnest angst. JASMYNE KEIMIG
National treasure and legendary Grammy-nominated vocalist Joan Osborne will interpret classic folk tracks with a support set by whimsical folk-pop duo the Weepies.
READINGS & TALKS
Love her or (perhaps more likely) hate her, Katie Roiphe has been a daring, unique, and critical voice for decades. She’s argued against victimhood feminism, claiming that women actually do have agency and control over their actions, and was famously accused of planning to out the creator of the #ShittyMediaMen list. This won her few fans on the left, but Roiphe, undaunted, continues to speak her mind, whether it’s good or bad for her own reputation. If it’s ballsy, unapologetic women you like, Katie Roiphe is it. KATIE HERZOG
The boisterous, punk-kicking folk outfit from Phoenix formerly known as Andrew Jackson Jihad have shortened their moniker to a simple acronym, AJJ, and were recently on the road behind two 2017 releases—a vinyl live album, Decade of Regression: Live at SideOneDummy, and a short and sweet EP of surprisingly mellow yet intriguing new songs, Back in the Jazz Coffin. LEILANI POLK
Taiwanese rapper MC Hotdog will bring his smooth rhymes to Seattle with support from Kenzy (of rap crew MJ116), also from Taiwan.
The Voice success story Melanie Martinez will bring her creepy doll charm to Seattle for a night of skewed pop music with New Jersey electronic dance Zoomer Sub Urban.
READINGS & TALKS
The paleontologist, University of Chicago professor, and beloved author of Your Inner Fish will read from his new book Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA, which should clear up some misconceptions about evolution and the biggest shifts and accidents that determined the course of life on Earth.
Deeply divisive white boy soul singer Allen Stone has graced these pages often by fans and foes alike. He’ll play some neo-soul classics.
Intensely loved for her role as the feisty libertine feminist in the Comedy Central sitcom Broad City, which had a critically acclaimed five-year run, Ilana Glazer also slings jokes on stages. Her special The Planet Is Burning wasn’t a dour diatribe about climate change; rather, she used the current environmental crisis as a prism through which to crack wise about various subjects, including men’s razors versus women’s razors. The new Horny 4 Tha Polls tour promises to examine the political shitshow currently plaguing America—and perhaps offer some clever ideas on how to improve the situation. Glazer plans to stay an extra day in every city on this tour in order to throw a “voter empowerment dance party” via her political organization Generator Collective, with local politicians involved. That event happens March 25 at Barboza. DAVE SEGAL
The 11th annual Festival of (In)Appropriation, with curators Jaimie Baron, Greg Cohen, and Lauren Berliner in attendance, highlights artistic, innovative, and inappropriate uses of existing film or video footage. This year, they promise pieces that include everything from ” elegant exquisite corpses with dark political undertones to jocular YouTube mash-ups and music-video supercuts.”
Disney’s live-action remake of the 1998 animated favorite Mulan is, thankfully, really live action and not an uncanny Lion King situation (although no doubt there’ll be plenty of greenscreening). A young woman (the Chinese star Liu Yifei, who’s been in the news for not-great reasons) disguises herself as a man and takes the place of her father in the Imperial Army. Don’t expect the songs from the original.
Pacific Northwest startup and technology companies will be awarded for their innovation and leadership at the annual GeekWire Awards. Plus, enjoy cocktails and appetizers and enjoy exclusive access to exhibits.
Vallejo’s constantly bubbling crew SOB X RBE add a splash of exuberant Bay Area flourish to the current rap scene.
Learn about the history of the legendary Seattle record label Sub Pop in a conversation with its founders, Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, hosted by NPR’s Guy Raz, at a live taping of the entrepreneurship-focused podcast How I Built This.
Popular podcasters Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds appear in person to riff on crazy stories from American history.
Improv comedy queens and general well-rounded individuals Natasha Ransom, Jekeva Phillips, and Kinzie Shaw are reprising their festival. It’s a showcase for more than 50 performers who identify as LGBTQ+, are people of color, have disabilities, and/or possess another trait that is marginalized in the comedy world (and beyond). Phillips asks: “Seattle is a diverse city. Why are we only seeing the same faces and hearing the same voices?” Rejoice in representation and see burlesque, improv, theater, dance, and music acts, plus a party.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Seattle’s MLB team will kick off their 2020 season on their home turf (T-Mobile Park) with four back-to-back games against the Texas Rangers (March 26-29), followed by the Minnesota Twins (March 30-April 1).
MARCH 26-APRIL 11
Ms. Pak-Man is a bright yellow disaster portrayed by local comedy hero Scott Shoemaker (BenDeLaCreme’s Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor). Her previous shows have run in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, and now she’ll be back in fine voracious form for another Seattle adventure. This time, she’ll be backed up with Erin Stewart and Amalia Larson as “the Amazing Ghostettes”!
MARCH 26-MAY 3
Every year, the Photographic Center Northwest presents a juried exhibition with work chosen from submissions from around the world. This year, the show is juried by Brooklyn photographer and gallerist Kris Graves, known for his A Bleak Reality series about the locations where black men have been killed by police.
Teenager Autumn has the misfortune of getting pregnant in rural Pennsylvania; no one will help her but her cousin and best friend Skylar, who joins her on a journey to New York to get an abortion. Eliza Hittman, director of Beach Rats, returns with another tale of troubled adolescence.
In case you didn’t already know, the Seattle area has some absolutely dynamite high school jazz bands. Hear several of them tonight, thanks to a support partnership between Starbucks and STG. Edmonds-Woodway, Garfield, Mountlake Terrace, Shorewood, Bellevue, Newport, and Roosevelt high schools have all played in the past, and a few of them will return to perform and raise money for their music programs.
I hope I’m not alone in thinking that the “live show” is the worst genre of podcast. The sound quality tanks, the clapping irritates, and the sheer fact of other people in the room ruins the illusion that my favorite conversationalists are talking only to me for my exclusive benefit. Lovett or Leave It, a political game show hosted by Crooked Media’s Jon Lovett (a real straight shooter respected on both sides), is the exception to this rule because it was designed for the stage. Lovett meaningfully (and occasionally wonderfully dismissively) engages with the audience, rolls out his trademark charming rants, exercises his borscht belt humor, and generally chews through the news of the week in a fun way with a couple other hilarious comedians. It’s as if Lovett woke up one day and asked himself, “What if Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! was funny?” RICH SMITH
MARCH 27-SEPTEMBER 13
Art isn’t only hanging inside the walls of the Bellevue Arts Museum. Rather, the building itself is also a work of art. Designed by architect Steven Holl (who grew up in Bremerton), the museum is full of delicious and interesting surprises—outside balconies, intentional lighting, pools of water that reflect the sky. It’s special, then, that they are exhibiting Making Architecture, a show centered around Holl’s creative process, which is very much rooted in the handmade. Visitors will have a chance to look at watercolor drawings, small exploratory models, sculpture, and photographs made by Holl, all while walking around in one of his creations. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Join Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii for a night celebrating reproductive freedom. Civil rights activist and #MeToo pioneer Tarana Burke will be the special guest speaker.
“Seattle’s favorite underground shopping experience” will feature over 70 vendors, food trucks, and live DJs.
Lester Black calls cask ale “the most underappreciated beer style in Seattle,” noting that its “mellow carbonation, smooth flavor, and not-quite-cold serving temperature perfectly complement never-ending rainy days.” Try it for yourself at this festival featuring cask-conditioned beers from more than 30 different Washington breweries.
At this annual spring food walk, you can scoop up edible offerings from a variety of vendors in Seattle’s oldest neighborhood.
It’s been 14 years since Peter Bjorn and John released “Young Folks,” but I bet you still recall that whistle-laden, syrupy-sweet and sticky indie-pop track from 2006, because it was picked up by the mainstream and ruined in the mainstream way: ubiquity. That shit was everywhere for a hot minute. A lot of evolving and five albums’ worth of music has happened since then, including 2018’s Darker Days. PBJ have retained that quality of bright, catchy introspection, especially in tracks like the fun-swinging “One for the Team,” though they explore the title’s darker sonic territories in “Every Other Night,” which sounds like early ’80s post-punk, and the slinky grooving burn of “Sick and Tired.” Pitchfork calls it their strongest outing since Writer’s Block (which spawned “Young Folks”), and while I hate agreeing with that online rag, in this case, they might be right. LEILANI POLK
Singer-songwriter Sasha Sloan first achieved success cowriting for pop stars like Charli XCX and Camila Cabello, and lending her velvety vocals to tracks by Odesza and Kygo. Now she’s striking out on her own, dropping indie-pop singles like “Ready Yet,” “Normal,” and “Fall.”
Few things in life surpass the pleasure of witnessing an exalted tabla player, and tonight Seattle is blessed by world-class Indian musician Zakir Hussain. The son of tabla great Alla Rakha, Hussain has caressed the small Indian drums with Shakti, Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, and Diga Rhythm Band. His byzantine structures and chakra-aligning tonalities intertwine in cosmic synchronicity and proceed with quicksilver fluidity. Prepare to spend most of the night with your mouth agape as your mind reels to one of the most enchanting instruments humanity has ever conceived. DAVE SEGAL
This is the 15th edition of the fest presented by SIFF in partnership with the Museum of Pop Culture, with 20 “illuminating and unconventional” animated and live-action science fiction, fantasy, and horror-tinged short films from around the globe shown in two separate sessions (240 minutes each). That requires some dedication, but the lineup of short, theoretically to-the-point films looks strong, touching on anything from a stop-motion claymation mockumentary about a friendly people-eating siren (Kim), to a story of duty-versus-desire as told from the perspective of a service robot at a gas station (Big Boom), to a rumination on healthcare via the sacrifice a woman must make for her dying partner to be treated with a new medical procedure (The Original). A Q&A and awards ceremony follows the second session. LEILANI POLK
MARCH 28-APRIL 5
By all accounts, Shen Yun is a stunningly gorgeous dance explosion driven by classical Chinese movement and set before a giant screen that transports you to Imperial Chinese palaces, heavenly heights, and glorious color fields. But it is also the product of the Falun Gong movement, a religious group persecuted by the Chinese government. Members of the religion seek to reignite passion for traditional Chinese culture as a way to draw a comparison to current authoritarian leadership. Audiences are in for songs promoting Falun Gong’s conservative values, which include—according to SF Gate and people who have seen the show—creationism, homophobia, sobriety, and no spreadin til the weddin. I recommend this performance to you only so you can watch the look on peoples’ faces as they slowly discover they’re being indoctrinated. But if it’s too expensive, or if their ideology threatens your very existence, then obviously you should do literally anything else. RICH SMITH
THROUGH MARCH 29
It is not at all amazing to claim that August Wilson is one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century. The more amazing thing to say about Wilson is this: He was the greatest black American economist of the 20th century. Indeed, Wilson’s first play, Jitney, is not only a masterpiece of 1970s economics, but it also predicted the rideshare economy of our times. The play, which Seattle Rep is staging under the direction of the talented Ruben Santiago-Hudson, is about black cab drivers who informally serve Pittsburgh’s black community because white-owned cabs will not. The business is owned by the play’s key character, Jim Becker, a man in his 60s who retired after devoting decades of his life to a Pittsburgh steel plant. In Jitney, we see the capital-starved working conditions for black men who have pensions or served in the army. They do whatever they can to make ends meet. But no matter how much time and innovation they invest in their economy, the returns always fall short of settling real needs. CHARLES MUDEDE
If you have any children under the age of 5—hell, any children under the age of 10, really—you have probably heard “Baby Shark” (doo doo doo doo doo doo). It’s a campfire song that has taken off due to that viral K-Pop version produced by South Korean children’s educational entertainment company Pinkfong in 2015; it sounds like kiddie techno and has children in shark suits popping up to sing and dance along. (According to Wiki, all videos related to Pinkfong’s song have garnered around 5 billion views as of January 2019, making it the most-viewed educational video phenomenon of all time.) I have a 2.5-year-old and she loves—LOVES—“Baby Shark.” It’s one of the first songs she learned along with “Wheels on the Bus,” and so I’ll be taking her along to Baby Shark Live, a “state-of-the-art enchanting children’s spectacular” actually produced by Pinkfong that will include some other kiddie jams along with the titular song. LEILANI POLK
MARCH 29-APRIL 9
FOOD & DRINK
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over this twice-yearly event, which lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at more than 165 different restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. Three courses cost a mere $35, and many restaurants also offer two-course lunches for $20. It’s an excellent opportunity to feast like a high roller at an accessible price point and cross some otherwise spendy establishments off your food bucket list.
READINGS & TALKS
The National Book Award-winning author of The Good Lord Bird will read from this energetic novel set in 1960s Brooklyn. The book traces the events in a diverse community that lead to a drunken old deacon shooting a drug dealer in the projects. Kirkus Reviews calls the novel “an exuberant comic opera set to the music of life.”
MARCH 30-APRIL 11
Choreographer Donald Byrd and his troupe challenge audiences to confront urgent issues of our time. With the Race and Climate Change Festival, they tackle the racial justice issues of the changing earth. According to press materials, the festival is based on the London design firm Squint/Opera’s The Flooded London series, which visualizes a semi-submerged London in the year 2090. The festival will begin on March 30 with a symposium called Wake Up! and continue with the dance performance Pool (April 2–5 at Madrona Park), a second round of talks on April 6, and another choreographed piece called After (April 9–11 at Washington Hall).
Torres (aka New York-based singer-songwriter Mackenzie Scott), who has described her music as “Gregorian country,” will stop in Seattle in support of her new album, Silver Tongue.
MARCH 31-APRIL 1
The Bad Plus are a Minneapolis jazz trio of impeccable taste and talent that are inching toward two decades together. They have a dozen albums to their credit, their catalog heavy on avant jazzy reimaginings of indie rock, pop, and electronic music. Go find their take on Aphex Twin’s “Flim” right now. Then listen to their recent outing, It’s Hard—”I Walk the Line” (Johnny Cash), “Maps” (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), “The Robots” (Kraftwerk), and “The Beautiful Ones” (Prince) all get the Bad Plus treatment. LEILANI POLK
In 2016, Cécile McLorin Salvant won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her record For One To Love. She is celebrated for her ability to bring together the connections between jazz, vaudeville, blues, and folk music with her strong tone. Salvant will be joined by pianist Aaron Diehl and his trio.