JAN 12, 2013


School of Rock Presents the Beatles

Why: Over the last 40-plus years, musicians of myriad stripes have been interpreting the Beatles’ bounteous, beautiful catalog, obviously with varying results. The Fab Four wrote some of the most sophisticated and catchy pop ever, songs you can hear hundreds of times without exhausting their pleasures. Therefore, it should be a blast to witness the precocious youths in Seattle’s School of Rock tackle these lovable tunes with adorable enthusiasm and surprisingly deft musicianship. Hope they do “Tomorrow Never Knows.” (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave,, 5 pm, $10 adv, all ages)

JAN 13, 2013


‘The Tin Drum’: Director’s Cut

Why: My mother named our pet dachshund Oskar after the main character in The Tin Drum, Günter Grass’s dark and disturbing novel about a 3-year-old boy who responds to the horrors of Nazi Germany by deciding never to grow up. I hadn’t realized how totally fucked up that was until I saw the Oscar-winning 1979 film, an equally disturbing masterpiece that still haunts me three decades later. As does the remarkable performance of 11-year-old David Bennent, who impossibly plays Oskar from in utero to stunted adulthood. (SIFF Film Center, Seattle Center Northwest Rooms,, 4:30 pm, $11)

JAN 14, 2013



Why: As Paul Constant writes, “Besides being a fun time-waster, pinball is possibly the best excuse ever produced by man for drinking alone. John John’s Game Room is a boozy arcade featuring a few video games and some sweet pinball to keep your drinking problem company.” And as Gillian Anderson writes, “The cacophonous Pinball Museum in the International District offers more than 35 machines from the 1960s onward. You pay to get in, and then all the games are on free-play!” Go forth and don’t tilt. (John John’s Game Room, 1351 E Olive Way, 696-1613, 4 pm–1 am, 21+; Pinball Museum, 508 Maynard Ave S, 623-0759, 11 am–5 pm, $10, all ages)

JAN 15, 2013


‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’

Why: Remember when Hedwig felt so new, radical, and dangerously hilarious that you could barely believe it was allowed to exist in George W. Bush’s America? That was more than a decade ago. But the talent behind this revival promises an electric production. First: director Ian Bell, whose gift for disciplined chaos has given us comedy group Bald Faced Lie, the Brown Derby screenplay reading/massacring series, and Seattle Confidential. Second: star Jerick Hoffer, aka Jinkx Monsoon, a locally beloved actor, singer, and drag queen who’s about to launch onto a national stage with RuPaul’s Drag Race. (Moore Theater, 1932 Second Ave,, 7:30 pm, $17.50–$32.50)

JAN 16, 2013


‘Love and Death’

Why: Woody Allen’s 1975 comedy is a promiscuous spoof of Russian literature set during the Napoleonic era and featuring tossed-off gags about T. S. Eliot and Ingmar Bergman. It’s also one of the funniest movies ever made, thanks in large part to an amazingly deft comic performance from Diane Keaton, who stars as a poetic amalgamation of every female character ever to appear in Tolstoy, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, et al., and who does things with her voice and face that will make you scream. (Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St,, 7 and 9 pm, $8)


David Wagoner

Why: Poetry in our city is still fairly new. David Wagoner likes to say that there wasn’t “another poet within 500 miles” when Theodore Roethke moved to Seattle in 1947. Wagoner was a student of Roethke’s, making him a living bridge from Roethke to the dozens of great poets working in town today, most of whom learned their craft from Wagoner at the University of Washington. Whether he’s reading his own luminescent work or telling a story about the drunks and freaks who immortalize Seattle in verse, an evening with Wagoner is always great fun. (Benaroya Hall, 200 University St,, 7:30 pm, $15–$50)

JAN 17, 2013


The Spits

Why: Formed in the early 1990s in Michigan/Seattle, the Spits are legendary to those who know who they are. But for those who don’t (what, you’ve never lost a front tooth at one of their shows?), their two-minute slices of scummy basement punk sound like the Ramones pummeling Devo with a Casio keyboard. They wear elaborate costumes. They have several self-titled albums. But most importantly, they don’t take themselves too seriously, which must be half the battle for staying fun for so long. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St,, 8 pm, $10, 21+)

JAN 18, 2013


‘Miami Connection’

Why: If you like B movies or know a fair amount about grindhouse, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS. What a fabulous fucking disaster! Made in 1987 by Korean director Y. K. Kim—a martial-arts guru and ninth-degree-black-belt-haver who also stars in the film—Miami Connection is extra-triple-cheesy and deliciously weird. It involves a kung-fu-practicing synth rock group, a real-life biker gang with boob-flashing hot mamas, and a terrible amount of Troma-film-style violence. It all adds up to this magical cultural document. (SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave N,, 10 pm, $11)

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