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)

JAN 19, 2013


Andy Stott

Why: UK techno producer Andy Stott’s Decibel Fest performance last year sounded like the intro to Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” set to a Robitussin’d 4/4 kick-drum pulse; some asses are still suffering trauma. With his newest album, Luxury Problems, Stott adds the vocals of his female former piano teacher and lightens the coal-black mood a tad for a slightly more palatable take on the chilling, narcotized techno that marks his best works. This is severe, sinisterly sexy dance music. Get (way) down. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave,, 9 pm, $15, 21+)

JAN 20, 2013


‘The Law in These Parts’

Why: Winner of the jury prize for world cinema documentary at Sundance, the fascinating The Law in These Parts tracks the development of military law in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The film consists largely of interviews with former Israeli Defense Force prosecutors and judges, and if you’re up for watching lawyers talking in subtitled Hebrew for 100 minutes, you should see it. I mean, who knew the peace-obstructing West Bank settlements were made possible via a weird reach into Ottoman law? Fascinating. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave,, 5, 7, and 9 pm, $10)

JAN 21, 2013


Inauguration Day Viewing Party

Why: A second presidential inauguration is simply never as big a deal as the first inauguration. But President Obama’s victory in the 2012 election is still a moment to savor. Town Hall’s inauguration viewing party is arguably better than being at the inauguration in person; it’s heated, for one thing, and coffee and “light breakfast” items will be available for purchase. Better still: You get to watch someone who is not Mitt Romney take the oath of office while in the company of other exultant Seattleites for the low, low price of free. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave,, 8–11 am, free)

JAN 22, 2013


Richard Rezac, Eric Elliott

Why: The “simpler the art, the more elaborate the rationale,” Peter Schjeldahl wrote about the mountains of theory that rose up around simple early European abstractions. “We need stories.” But in the stunningly pared-back works of Chicago-based sculptor Richard Rezac and Seattle-based painter Eric Elliott, the stories stay within the art objects and never need translation into words: The way one color lures out another or the specific way that two unusual shapes interlock, these things are basically unspeakable. The pleasure is quiet and clean. (James Harris Gallery, 312 Second Ave S, 903-6220, hours by appointment, free)

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