FEB 26, 2013


‘Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows’

Why: This bit alone made me want to go: “Starting in the late 1940s, she shot an average of a roll of film a day. She moved to Chicago in the mid-1950s, and spent the next 40 years working as a nanny to support her passion for photography. Maier died at the age of 83 before her work was ever publicly recognized or exhibited.” It was discovered in 2007. It’s a world never to be spoken about by the woman who crafted it, gathering up images on her silent, anonymous glides through the city where she, and hundreds of thousands of regular, fascinating people, lived before they disappeared. (Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave, pcnw.org, 11 am–10 pm, free)

FEB 27, 2013


Patti Smith

Why: Having created some of the most powerful and poetic rock and roll ever made, Patti Smith could’ve spent the rest of her days basking in the glow of her groundbreaking genius of yore. Instead, she keeps pushing forward, regularly releasing good new music and blowing the minds of even die-hard fans with her National Book Award–winning memoir Just Kids. Tonight, Smith returns to live performance, gracing the stage of the Neptune with guitarist Lenny Kaye—Smith’s collaborator for the past 35 years—by her side. (Neptune Theater, 1303 NE 45th St, stgpresents.org, 8 pm, $36 adv/$38.50 DOS, all ages)

FEB 28, 2013


Long Walk Short Film Fest

Why: What does it mean to be “on the road” today, as opposed to in 1969? Prior to a screening of filmmaker James Benning’s 2012 remake of Dennis Hopper’s classic Easy Rider—shot in the same locations, with different music—come three short films from the annual Seattle-to-Snoqualmie art trek The Long Walk. The local shorts include pieces by Rodrigo Valenzuela (Are You Doin’ Some Stuff? A Journey into the Slow Movement Movement) and Gabriel Miller (A Kind of Experiential Geography), as well as The Long Walk (edited by Britta Johnson). A Q&A about The Long Walk follows. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, nwfilmforum.org, 8 pm, $10)

MAR 1, 2013


You Are Here

Why: The success of Hugo House’s literary series often depends on the headliner, and You Are Here has a great one: Cheryl Strayed, author of the Oprah-approved memoir Wild and the genius behind the Rumpus advice column Dear Sugar. But there’s not one bad or shaky name on the bill tonight: Poet and novelist Chris Abani, who always knocks ’em dead in Seattle, joins Strayed with local raconteur/novelist Jonathan Evison to create new work on the titular theme in conjunction with songwriter Joy Mills, who’s Seattle’s liveliest country-flavored act since Neko Case. (Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, hugohouse.org, 7:30 pm, $25)

MAR 2, 2013


‘Raiders’ Double Feature

Why: How do you improve on one of the greatest movies ever made? With a shot-for-shot remake crafted by highly determined children, obviously. Raiders of the Lost Ark is such a classic of adventure filmmaking that many have tried to duplicate its success, but all those pretenders are doomed to failure. Except! The three Mississippi boys who spent seven years and five thousand dollars to painstakingly replicate the magic of the original Raiders managed to improve on Spielberg’s childlike enthusiasm with their naturally childish enthusiasm. The magic of cinema has never been quite so adorable. Tonight, both Raiders films hit the big screen. (SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave N, siff.net, 7 pm, $15)


Joey Arias

Why: The impression a Joey Arias performance leaves on your psyche is like the impression the sun makes on your eyeballs—blink all you want, it’s never going away. He crackles with dark electricity and sings like Billie Holiday and radiates enigmatic sexuality. Basically, it’s like he and Klaus Nomi were best friends and collaborators and lived together, which they were and did. Lightning Strikes is a new collaboration with fellow ’80s East Village art scene veteran Kristian Hoffman. And it’s the name of a Klaus Nomi song. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, rebarseattle.com, 8 pm, $20 adv/$25 DOS, 21+)

MAR 3, 2013


‘Beware of Mr. Baker’

Why: Best known as the revolutionarily skilled drummer for archetypal psych-blues power trio Cream, Ginger Baker may be the most toxically nasty musician ever. A demonic tornado behind the kit who was the only Caucasian to infiltrate Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti’s ensemble, Baker inevitably alienated his bandmates, wives, and children—everyone except his polo horses. Jay Bulger’s doc captures Baker’s violent childhood, itinerant existence, financial and inter-band disasters, bitter personality, and dazzling musical gifts in a cancerous-warts-and-all manner. (Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, grandillusioncinema.org, 7 pm, $8)

MAR 4, 2013


Psychic Ills

Why: On their early recordings, Psychic Ills played third-eye-rippling psych rock derived from the 13th Floor Elevators and Spacemen 3. They later ventured into stardusted drone and dub before returning to more conventional, easygoing rock moves with Hazed Dream and One Track Mind. Psychic Ills may not frazzle neurons as strangely and thoroughly as they once did, but their blissful boogie and hushed vocals evoke a heavier, trippier J. J. Cale—which is a great thing to evoke. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, thecrocodile.com, 8 pm, $10 adv, all ages)

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