The End of an Era, the Loudest Band in Seattle, and the Room the Girl Was Murdered In
• Last Saturday, during Western Bridge's final minutes, grade-schoolers drew graffiti on the walls and toddlers meandered in an art installation of baseballs strewn on the floor. Seattle's Bill and Ruth True always intended for their remarkable art collection's free-and-open-to-the-public home to be a temporary experiment, but its closing day saddened many people. "You just think these things are going to go on forever," said architect David Vasquez.
At a farewell dinner Thursday night, staffers Eric Fredericksen and Anne Fenton surprise-karaoked the duet "(I've Had) the Time of My Life"—the highlight of the night until Bill True took the stage and spoke of acting in Shakespeare's Tempest in high school; the Tempest inspired several titles of Western Bridge exhibitions. Off-book and beautifully, Bill performed the Tempest speech that begins "Our revels now are ended" beneath giant helium balloons that spelled out those words.
• The world's best bartender (and just great human) Murray Stenson (formerly at the Zig Zag, now at Canon) has heart trouble and no health insurance. Fundraising is under way to help him out at www.murrayaid.org. We heart you, Murray!
• Last week brought the announcement of the nominees for the Independent Filmmaker Project's 2012 Gotham Awards, including Lynn Shelton's Your Sister's Sister (up for best ensemble) and Megan Griffiths' Eden (up for the audience award). Congratulations!
• Friday night, Seattle Symphony sold out its first late-night new-music concert in the lobby of Benaroya Hall—kicking off a new series called [untitled]. People wandered between floors at will to sample different acoustics, stretching out on pillows on the floors or lining the stairs, and perched in cushioned seats with drinks in the balconies. It was great. The crowd was suitably psyched by performances of works by Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Gabriel Prokofiev. Prokofiev, grandson of Sergei, was in attendance—his concerto for turntables and orchestra featured DJ Madhatter, whose scratching skills were projected on large video screens. Scelsi's seven-movement piece, built around a single note—he became incapable of focusing on more than one note for a period after the death of his wife—was a major highlight, featuring the truly fantastic soprano Maria Mannisto. THIS IS YOUR NEW SYMPHONY.
• At New Mystics' art/bike tour Art Dash 4 Ca$h on Saturday (part of City Arts Fest), participants got a walk-through of TUBS by Cowboy, a current resident. When tour leaders told him that they'd been around the entire interior of the building and knew it pretty well, he countered with, "But do you know which room the girl was murdered in?" "No, thanks," was their response. Later, in the TUBS parking lot, MTNS—"the loudest band in Seattle"—played. Organizers got a dozen noise complaints and an indecency complaint in the first 20 minutes of the 30-minute set. "The cops who came, to be fair, were totally nice," one said.