FEB 9, 2013


Lunar New Year Festival

Why: The festivities kick off with lion and dragon dances accompanied by resounding drumming and long strings of firecrackers (to scare off evil). The rest of the day features activities and exhibitions of taiko drumming, breakdancing by Massive Monkees, martial arts, and more. Food is an important part of the Lunar New Year celebration, and restaurants all over the International District will offer $2 tastes from Japan, China, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Good fortune and happiness for all in the Year of the Snake! (Hing Hay Park, 423 Maynard Ave S,, 11 am–4 pm, free)

FEB 10, 2013


Pike Chocofest

Why: Pike Chocofest may sound like the worst porn name ever, but it’s actually a beloved pre–Valentine’s Day tradition in which Pike Brewing Company presents a vast array of chocolate and alcohol designed to be consumed together. Never underestimate the power of the choco-booze combo: At a recent dinner party, I saw the double whammy of dark chocolate fondue and good red wine reduce the least Cathy Guisewite–like of women to a misty-eyed, orgasm-approximating mess. (Pike Brewing Company, 1415 First Ave, 622-6044, 5–8 pm, $45, 21+)

FEB 11, 2013


David Shields

Why: I love the cover of David Shields’s new book (a man about to jump off a big building in a big city), I love its title, How Literature Saved My Life, I love the way the thinking in the book meanders from subject to subject, idea to idea, insight to insight. Lastly, I love the way Shields sculpts his sentences: no waste, no mistakes, no excitement, no surprises, no extremes, and seemingly no exertion. This UW professor never lets his deepest ideas fall below the cool, steady surface of his prose. (University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free)

FEB 12, 2013


Deborah Aschheim

Why: A few years ago, Seattle artist Claire Cowie made a chandelier of two-sided paintings: Each painting portrayed two versions of someone who had died, one on each side, both different because both were painted from memory. Deborah Aschheim has done something similar with architecture, creating a whole ghost city of memory inside Suyama Space. Buildings hang on strings from the ceiling and sprout from the walls, and they look vaguely familiar in their details—angles and sweeps and thrusts and curves—but none of them quite adds up to a replica of a real building in the world. (Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave,, 9 am–5 pm, free)

FEB 13, 2013


‘We Don’t Care About Music Anyway’

Why: The 2009 documentary We Don’t Care About Music Anyway zooms in on a handful of 21st-century Japanese experimental musicians and their very peculiar approaches and philosophies. Set in Tokyo, the film intersperses live performances with vignettes of urban consumer culture’s freneticism and the refuse it generates. The chaotic music created by these artists both reflects the city’s tumultuous activity and rejects its rigid conformity. The madness of the musicians’ methods seems to be the only thing keeping them sane, even as their rigorous, noisy output conspires to drive you crazy. (Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St,, 7 pm, $8)


Daniel Bachman

Why: It’s exceedingly rare to find a 23-year-old who can play with a quicksilver, imaginative brio reminiscent of American fingerpicking icons John Fahey and Jack Rose, but Daniel Bachman is that phenom. On his beautiful, hypnotic releases for Seattle’s Debacle Records—Grey-Black-Green and Oh Be Joyful, among other luminous recordings—he possesses the soulfulness and dexterity of a player many years his senior. (Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave,, 9 pm, $7, 21+)

FEB 14, 2013


Savage Love Live!

Why: Ever since his first Valentine’s Day Bash at Re-bar in 1864, Dan Savage has been synonymous with revelatory and transcendent Valentine extravaganzas. For the bash of old, Savage welcomed embittered singles onstage to tell their tales and destroy a memento of the failed relationship. For tonight’s show—which doubles as a live taping of the Savage Lovecast—Savage revives the memento bash, alongside dishing out advice on L-U-V with the help of Mistress Matisse, the bondage pros of Twisted Monk, and special guest Simon Rich. (Neptune Theater, 1303 NE 45th St,, 8 pm, $23, 21+)

FEB 15, 2013


Greg Lundgren

Why: What is ambition in art? Is it competitive or collaborative? Greg Lundgren is a Seattle artist and entrepreneur (the Hideout, Vito’s, Lundgren Monuments) who sees Seattle as a place with everything it needs to succeed—except the success. He’s been floating big ideas like turning the Lusty Lady (or some other equally delicious and central space) into a contemporary art center that focuses on launching artists into the global art world, not just featuring them here. But what is your version of ambition for art in this city? Discuss, tonight. (Hedreen Gallery, 901 12th Ave,, 6:30–8 pm, free)

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