TUE
APR 15, 2014


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Fatoumata Diawara

Why: France-via-Ivory-Coast musician Fatoumata Diawara has one of those voices that envelops you in its warmth, its smoothness, its vibrancy whether you speak her language or not. Her music combines jazz, folk, and Wassoulou (think West African blues) into a sumptuous whole, as her compositions spiral through full-throated solos and surprisingly funky, bass-laden breakdowns. The disparate cultural influences informing her sound seem to actually warrant the old “world music” tag, and at the center of it all is that voice, the sun at the center of her songs. (Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Avenue, jazzalley.com, 7:30 and 9:30 pm, $24.50, all ages, April 15-16)

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WED
APR 16, 2014


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Krista Bremer, Lesley Hazleton

Why: My Accidental Jihad is about how Krista Bremer fell in love with, married, and had a child with a Muslim man. Rather than focusing on alienness, Bremer discusses how every marriage is a joining of two “others.” Most exciting of all, she’ll be joined by Stranger Genius Lesley Hazleton, whose most recent book, The First Muslim, is a smart, passionate, and agnostic biography of Muhammad. Hazleton has been researching religion for longer than Bremer’s adult life, and she’s a firecracker of an interlocutor, so get ready for a substantive conversation about Islam, tolerance, and America. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, townhallseattle.org, 7:30 pm, $5)



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Jessica Craig-Martin

Why: Jessica Craig-Martin’s high-contrast photos are the savage leavings of society parties, cropped with morning-after cruelty. This photographer does gossip-page work for Vanity Fair and Vogue, as well as atmospheric, journalistic stuff, but her museum and gallery shows are closer to satire. The titles are bitingly funny, the pictures joyfully complicit. Every lush, patterned, vivid, glossy inch of her crowded party prints is as indulgently rendered as the nails and lips and shoes and jewelry on the bodies she’s photographing. (Winston Wächter Fine Art, 203 Dexter Ave N, winstonwachter.com, 10 am–5 pm, free, through April 17)

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THU
APR 17, 2014


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‘Keefee’s House of Cards’

Why: It was a refrain that wafted about in the wake of the 2012 production of Keri Healey’s sibling-murder psychodrama Torso: “Stephen Hando is amazing.” To quote the many who’ve watched Hando light up Seattle stages since the mid ’90s: duh. A diminutive man with a towering stage presence, Hando is one of Seattle’s great character actors. InKeefee’s House of Cards, he goes solo, channeling a charming, wily, loose-tongued, and increasingly intoxicated blackjack dealer, in a semi-improvised show that involves Keefee dealing cards and dishing dirt to four self-selected audience-member card players. (Calamus Auditorium at Gay City, 517 E Pike St, strangertickets.com, 8 pm, $15, through April 26)

FRI
APR 18, 2014


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‘Purple Rain’

Why: Are you ready to purify yourself in Lake Minnetonka? Will you cry with me when Prince plays the titular song? This movie is a modern classic, and if you don’t show up to this, someone will come to your house and ride a motorcycle over everything you love. The movie is great on its own (daddy issues, nudity, and intensely catchy ’80s pop songs), but tonight there are free inflatable guitars and a Prince music video sing-along. What are you waiting for? Let’s hug, let’s dance, let’s live this moment together. (SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave N, siff.net, 9:30 pm, $13)

SAT
APR 19, 2014


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Record Store Day

Why: Record Store Day is both a financial boon for music retailers and a clusterfuck of opportunistic jagoffs who just wanna score limited releases so they can flip ’em later at inflated prices. Still, a few gems (Spacemen 3, Joy Division, Pussy Galore, William Onyeabor, July, the Moles, etc.) can be found among the glut of mediocrity the industry shoves to market, and you should scope out the possibilities at Wall of Sound, Everyday Music, Sonic Boom, Spin Cycle, Jive Time, Light in the Attic, Easy Street, and other local spots. (Find more info at recordstoreday.com)

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SUN
APR 20, 2014


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‘Fantastic Planet’

Why: This haunting and truly bizarre French animated sci-fi from 1973 displays a technical mastery and consistency of vision that makes lesser psychedelic cartoons look like the after-school projects of well-meaning high-school stoners. Cerebral and deliberately paced, the story—featuring giant blue creatures that keep humans as pets—leaves ample space for getting lost in the expansive alien landscapes, imaginatively conjured through cutout stop-motion. Think Monty Python intro, but with a way higher frame rate. Tonight’s 35 mm presentation is ornamented with live musical accompaniment by the Seattle psych-rock group Kingdom of the Holy Sun, for the complete sensory experience. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, nwfilmforum.org, 7 pm, $12)

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MON
APR 21, 2014


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Barbara Ehrenreich

Why: Barbara Ehrenreich has her critics—I thought her Nickel and Dimed was fairly condescending to working-class people—but even those critics must admit that she’s a gifted essayist and a relentless, curious thinker. Her new book, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth About Everything, is partially a memoir about finding an areligious belief system. But it’s also about our relationship to science, and why we cling, white-knuckled, to things that we consider to be truth. It’s a journey that we are all—atheist, religious, unsure—having together; everyone identifies with this story. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, townhallseattle.org, 7:30 pm, $5)

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