September marks the start of fall, bringing with it not only cooler weather, but also a robust arts season, plenty of big-name concerts, and autumnal festivals. Below, we've rounded up the 110 biggest events that you should know about, including concerts like the Gorillaz and OK Go, the Seattle Design Festival, Something Rotten! at the 5th Avenue Theatre, an opportunity to explore the Asian Art Museum before their renovation begins, comedians like Chris Rock and Jim Gaffigan, film festivals like Local Sightings and French Cinema Now, and food events like the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival and the Seattle Cider Summit. Click through the links below for complete details, and, as always, find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.
1. Bumbershoot 2017
Bumbershoot, Seattle's biggest music, comedy, and arts festival, will take over Seattle Center for Labor Day Weekend 2017 for the 47th year. This year's lineup is full and bursting with local and national stars, including headliners like Flume, Lorde, Odesza, Solange, Weezer, Big Sean, and Gucci Mane, mid-range acts like Cody Jinks, Conor Oberst, Vince Staples, and Sofi Tukker, and hometown gems like Dude York, Porter Ray, Stas THEE Boss, and Crater. See the full lineup and learn more about the artists on our complete Bumbershoot calendar.
2. PAX West 2017
PAX West is an annual convention in Seattle devoted exclusively to gaming, and, since it started in 2004, it has become one of the two largest gaming events in North America, along with its Boston spinoff, PAX East. The convention features panels, an exhibit hall, new game demonstrations, and special guests. It always sells out immediately, but you can find a list of related events on PAX weekend that don't require a PAX badge here.
3. Washington State Fair
The Washington State Fair will showcase big-name musical performers like the Beach Boys, Nickelback, Lady Antebellum, Hank WIlliams Jr., Modest Mouse, Earth, Wind and Fire, and others, but that's only a part of the festivities. There are also rides, a rodeo, Westwo—we mean, the Timber Gulch kitschy Western village, variety and music shows included in admission, and lots more.
4. Simple Plan, Set It Off, Patent Pending
A Montreal rock band is embarking on a highly-anticipated summer tour that coincides with the anniversary of a cherished album. I’m talking, of course, about Simple Plan, whose 2002 debut No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls turned 15 in March. Neon Bible it’s not, but it is a product of its time: The band’s snotty, radio-ready sound was practically de rigueur for pop-punk in the age of Blink-182, and the group’s formation story involves two members reconnecting at a Sugar Ray concert. The focus on young white suburban male angst has also aged incongruously, a charge leveled against much turn-of-the-millennium mainstream rock. But unlike your average nü-metal jabroni, these guys at least gave us some catchy tunes. ANDREW GOSPE
5. Guns N' Roses
Going in to the Guns N’ Roses “Once in a Lifetime” show last summer at CenturyLink, I had low expectations. Based off their reputation, part of me was anticipating an all-out shitshow. Boy, was I wrong. The three original members—Axl , Slash, and Duff McKagan—were completely in sync, soaring through their massive collection of hits as bombs and fireworks exploded around them. They played for damn near four hours with a handful of costume changes thrown in for maximum Axl effect. It was exactly what you would want from a Guns N’ Roses show in all its ridiculous, fun, rock-and-roll glory. KEVIN DIERS
CLOSING SEPTEMBER 4MUSEUMS
6. Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor
When the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, was buried, he wasn't entirely alone—less than a mile from his mausoleum stood a flock of life-size terracotta warriors, offering protection for the afterlife. Eventually they were slowly swallowed by the earth, and went unnoticed for thousands of years...until 1974, when they were rediscovered by local farmers. Since then, a few of the warriors have been on tour (The British Museum in London had its best attendance in 2008, when 12 of the figures and assorted artifacts were displayed there) and now, some of them are at the Pacific Science Center. It's a great chance to learn a little history while observing large, unique, and very old (210 BCE) sculptures.
7. Nathan For You
Nathan For You is a satirical documentary series starring Nathan Fielder, who puts a massive amount of time and effort into planning elaborate and hilariously ill-conceived business makeovers. His genius and improv skills carry the show, and the scale of their schemes is enormous—sometimes episodes take months to realize. (For just one stunt, Fielder spent half a year learning how to walk a tightrope.) At this event, hear from Nathan himself (a self-described "mediocre improvisor") and get a sneak peek of the upcoming season of Nathan For You.
8. Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey
Veteran chart-topper Lionel Richie will grace KeyArena with his soft-rock royalty presence, and a deeply-anticipated guest appearance from Mariah Carey.
CLOSING SEPTEMBER 6FILM
9. 70mm Film Festival
Put down your phone and surrender to the splendor of actually-epic-scale cinema in the cathedral that is the Cinerama. Not much unites the films in this 10-day festival other than a commitment to MAGNITUDE, but several are essential viewing. I know you’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: Seeing a film in a darkened theater with strangers is a secular sacrament. The fact that you can't pause, talk, text, or tweet until it's over is a feature. Please enjoy it while it's still available. (And if you must pick one, the answer is always Lawrence of Arabia—a film that couldn’t be more timely.) SEAN NELSON
10. Keyshia Cole
Since her 2005 platinum debut, The Way It Is, Keyshia Cole has fielded comparisons to greats like Mary J. Blige, and released four subsequent albums, all of which have debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard charts. Cole will be back to show off her decade of R&B hits on this tour stop.
11. My Family's Slave
Alex Tizon's posthumously published June 2017 Atlantic article, "My Family's Slave," shocked readers with an account of the woman tricked into lifelong servitude to his family. Tizon's sister, Ling Tizon Quillen, and widow, Melissa Tizon, will discuss the story, with moderation by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas.
12. The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a sweet, musical romp through the Bavarian Alps that offers wise nuns, charming children, elegant dancing, and an (almost) lovable Nazi.
SEPTEMBER 6-OCTOBER 1PERFORMANCE
13. Dragon Lady
Sara Porkalob has been completely overhauling this show about her badass Filipino gangster grandma for a couple years. It began as a solo show at the Fringe Festival, morphed into a more refined solo show at Theater Off Jackson, transformed into a dinner theater musical at Cafe Nordo, and is now a full-fledged musical with a live band and a tighter book. If you have yet to check out any of Dragon Lady's many iterations, this is the one to see. Intiman artistic director Andrew Russell, who is leaving us soon, will direct. RICH SMITH
14. Thin Skin Fundraiser ft. Charles Mudede, Ahamefule J. Oluo, and Lindy West
Ahamefule J. Oluo's one-man show Now I'm Fine was a sell-out smash hit in Seattle—Brendan Kiley called it "triumphant," praising the enthralling soundtrack played by 16 musicians, dark and deftly handled subject matter, and jokes that lifted and sustained the grim narrative. Later, the show was performed in New York, and Ben Brantley at The New York Times wrote that Oluo expanded the format of stand-up autobiography "to dizzying proportions." Now Oluo, author and journalist Lindy West, and our own film editor Charles Mudede (Police Beat and Zoo, among others) are working on a new movie loosely inspired by Now I'm Fine. They've got a list of incredible collaborators including comedian Hari Kondabolu and Stranger Genius Zia Mohajerjasbi. And at this event, Mudede, Olou, and West will share short clips from the upcoming film and lead a discussion about the project. The event is free, but consider making a donation—they're hoping to raise $100,000 this summer through grassroots fundraising efforts.
15. Thundercat with PBDY
Call it hyperbole if you must, but the LA-based Thundercat ranks among the most influential bassists of his generation. Having played with bands and acts that range from Suicidal Tendencies to Erykah Badu to, most notably, Kendrick Lamar—Thundercat won a Grammy for his work on To Pimp a Butterfly’s “These Walls”—the bassist born Stephen Bruner has come into his own as a solo artist, releasing three albums of hip-hop-infused jazz fusion via longtime collaborator Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label, including this year’s astounding Drunk. Expect a show full of musical pyrotechnics and Bruner’s inimitable energy, which has made him one of the most in-demand bassists both on stage and in the studio. NICK ZURKO
16. Daniel Handler with Sherman Alexie
Given that Sherman Alexie decided to cancel his tour and most public appearances for the year, it's unlikely he'll read tonight. But Daniel Handler will certainly be there! He's dropping the Lemony Snicket pen name and returning to his more realistic, troubling, Philip Roth-y treatment of the dark lives of juveniles with a new slim novel called All the Dirty Parts. It's about a porn-obsessed high schooler named Cole who constantly thinks about having sex. Like the young protagonists in Roth's Portnoy's Complaint or J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, Cole's newly increased testosterone levels apparently give him license to push the legal boundaries of sexual and social behavior. If you don't get enough of the president's unrestrained id throughout the week, try a romp through this dirty—and ultimately very lonely—teenager's mind. You'll probably laugh as much as you cringe with this one. RICH SMITH
17. An American Dream
Commissioned by the Seattle Opera, An American Dream is inspired by true recollections of regional history. Set during World War II, the opera focuses on the lives of two Puget Sound women: a Japanese-American forced to leave her home, and a German Jewish immigrant preoccupied by the memories of the people she left behind.
SEPTEMBER 7-OCTOBER 1PERFORMANCE
18. The Who & the What
Ayad Akhtar is best known for his celebrated and Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced (2012), which explored Muslim identity and Islamophobia through an animated conversation at a four-person dinner party. ArtsWest will open their season with Akhtar's 2014 play The Who & the What, which again investigates elements of Muslim identity while also examining gender roles and familial expectations. Akhtar's writing is full of drama and humor, and this play features dating woes, family strife, and a controversial book about the prophet Muhammad.
19. Jen Kirkman
Jen Kirkman, whose comedy specials have been praised by as exalted a publication as the Atlantic and whose books I Can Barely Take Care of Myself and I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself: (Dispatches From a Life Under Construction), will perform a set as part of her fall tour.
20. Ann Powers: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music
Influential music writer Ann Powers (currently a critic and correspondent for NPR, and former senior curator at what we used to call the Experience Music Project) will share her new book about the history of American music as well as the erotic and politically-transformative nature of pop: Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music.
21. Word Works: Kelly Link
In 2015, Paul Constant wrote: "The first sentence of the first story in Kelly Link's new collection, Get in Trouble, reads, 'Fran's daddy woke her up wielding a mister.' If you stop there, your mind goes to some strange places: a father waking up his child by menacingly waving another man around? Is he a giant? If you've read Kelly Link's stories before, you know that certainly wouldn't be uncharacteristic; her stories almost always involve at least one fantastic element. But no. The second sentence describes him 'spritzing her like a wilted houseplant,' and suddenly the giant becomes a guy armed with a plastic spray bottle, an act of miraculous transmogrification in reverse. It's just a tiny little trick with words, but it demonstrates the muscular sentence-to-sentence propulsion of a Link story." Hear Link show off her creativity and wordplay live at this Word Works talk (titled "A Vampire is a Flexible Metaphor") that will focus on the details of writing fantasy.
SEPTEMBER 8-9FOOD & DRINK
22. Seattle Cider Summit
Do you want to drink a bunch of the Northwest's most esoteric and delicious cider and raise money for good causes while doing it? Of course you do. Cider Summit Seattle, at the South Lake Union Discovery Center, brings you cider from the likes of Reverend Nat's and Sea Cider, as well as vittles from Capitol Cider. While these types of things can be a little Portlandia-ish, if you can stomach the toe shoes and doggy parents (that's right, there's onsite doggy day care), you'll get the chance to swill such delicacies as Sea Cider's Prohibition Rum Barrel cider, a personal favorite. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
23. Seattle Erotic Cinema Society Festival (SECS FEST)
The not-so-coyly named SECS FEST presents cinematic tales to titillate, including four features, 25 shorts, and two classics, all in the pricelessly-weird Grand Illusion theater. See sex in every genre, including sci fi, documentary, music, dance, experimental, and comedy. Some screenings are preceded or followed by special talks by guest academics, BDSM practitioners, film professionals, and others.
24. The Odyssey
Todd Almond's ambitious take on The Odyssey opened in New York to great reviews that praised the inspired and unrestrained adaptation and gigantic, impressive cast that featured a number of new and amateur performers. Seattle's version of the fantastical and violent story, directed by Marya Sea Kaminski, will feature over 100 Seattle residents alongside professional actors.
SEPTEMBER 8-OCTOBER 1PERFORMANCE
25. King of the Yees
Nationally-celebrated playwright Lauren Yee is just 21 years old, and already she's written more than a half-dozen plays that explore culture and history through humor and charming dialogue. She only seems to be picking up steam: another of her works, The Great Leap, will be staged at the Seattle Rep in the spring. King of the Yees promises a self-aware analysis of her own family history. F. Kathleen Foley at the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Although the play can be maddeningly random, it is a delightfully disorderly entertainment, as sprawling and silly as it is unexpectedly moving."
SEPTEMBER 9FOOD & DRINK
26. 2017 Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival
The Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival is back again, and this year promises to be just as decadent as ever. In case you don't know about it, here are the essentials: over 20 local cheesemakers, all under one roof, showcasing around 100 cheeses combined. The lineup often includes mixed milk cheeses, cave-aged cheeses, washed-rind cheeses, and raw milk cheeses, as well as other dairy products like cultured butter, ice cream, and kefir. In other words, no basic string cheese here. Get there hungry; there will also be additional products on hand to fill out your cheese selection (think pickles and spreads, as well as beer and wine pairings). The Festival is a benefit for the Washington State Cheesemakers Association (WASCA), a non-profit organization whose mission is to support Washington cheesemakers through education, promotion, and collaboration. Admission includes all cheese samples and three drink tickets for beer and wine tastes. Beer tastes are one drink ticket each; wine tastes are two drink tickets each.
27. Bacon, Eggs, and Kegs
The name of the event is self-explanatory, but the details sound pretty tempting: a 30-foot Bloody Mary bar for drinks made with Heritage Distilling Co. vodka, Irish coffee, boozy root beer floats, or mimosas, and brunch food for purchase (including $5 deals). Plus: Bacon Bingo, dueling pianos, egg games, and more.
28. Northwest Tequila Fest 2017
Imbibe a variety of premium agave-based spirits (tequila, mezcal, sotol), eat snacks, listen to live music, and feel good knowing that your enjoyment supports the Benevolent Guild of Seattle.
29. Against Me!, Bleached, Dirty Nil
Laura Jane Grace has erupted into the public consciousness as America’s first proud and truly excellent trans hard rocker. The rub is that for all the acclaim she’s received for her societal trailblazing, she might deserve as many (or more!) accolades for her songwriting as singer/guitarist in punk outfit Against Me! Her verbose, descriptive lyrics carry both the scalpel wit of Joe Strummer and the engorged heart of Bruce Springsteen, accompanied by all the firepower of Metallica’s 1986 backline. JOSEPH SCHAFER
30. The Church with the Helio Sequence
Since 1980, Australian celestial-rock icons The Church have produced shimmering songs full of instantly familiar-sounding melodies and neo-psychedelic romance. Anyone who's seen cult 2001 dark-suburban-alt classic Donnie Darko probably knows (and loves) the band's signature hit, "Under the Milky Way." Although two original members—vocalist/guitarist Steve Kilbey and bassist Peter Koppes—are still in the band, Kilbey maintains they are not “a bunch of old hacks regurgitating our golden years." The band has always been more mysterious and brooding than many of their jangle-loving contemporaries, and with a mind-wrenching output of 25 albums, they have plenty of material. With their characteristic acoustic guitar, oceanic keyboards, lush atmospherics, and twinkly mysticism, The Church's stratospheric rock continues to delight. BRITTNIE FULLER
31. Foreigner with Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience
Brit-born but American-made '70s rockers Foreigner take on White River with their 40th anniversary tour, flanked by peers Cheap Trick and familial tribute group Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience.
32. OK Go
Like the ’70s British pop group 10cc, OK Go are clever songwriters and visual conceptualists who seem to be engaging with the mainstream music industry with one eyebrow perpetually arched. They write effortlessly hummable melodies with sensibly proportioned, danceable beats that, on their Upside Out EP, show infatuations with New Order and Jackson 5 (see “Writings on the Wall” and “I Won’t Let You Down,” respectively). Showing versatility, OK Go’s 2010 track “WTF?” beats Beck circa Midnite Vultures at his own Prince-homaging, sleazy-funk game, and they also do a sweet cover of the Zombies’ timeless pop gem “This Will Be Our Year.” Am I recommending that you go see a Grammy-winning band that played President Obama’s 50th birthday party and participated in a Chevrolet TV ad that appeared during the Super Bowl? Yes. Just this once. DAVE SEGAL
33. Seattle Design Festival
In the words of Charles Mudede, writing in 2015: “By intersecting social justice, urban planning, ecology, and capital, [SDF] transforms design into a moral issue.” This year's festival will expand on the theme of "POWER" and investigate how design can shape global progress. 30,000 people attended last year's festival, and the installations, exhibits, and activities are likely to attract equally enthusiastic crowds.
CLOSING SEPTEMBER 10ART
34. Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors
I am happy to report that the show is just as spectacular as everyone's Instagram makes it out to be. I'm also happy to report that it's infinitely more thoughtful, infinitely more nuanced, and infinitely more infinite than I thought possible. Mika Yoshitake fittingly arranges Kusama's works into a narrative and aesthetic loop. When you first walk into the gallery, you see a lot of Kusama's bright, new abstract paintings and sculpture. Then you walk into the room full of all the infinity mirror installations and the chairs covered in soft sculptures that look like yams. Then you walk into The Obliteration Room, where attendants hand you some polka dot stickers to stick all over a white room. You end where Kusuma began in the 1950s: with a bunch of eery, surreal polka dotty / stripy paintings. The effect of seeing all that bright artwork, of course, is that everyone turns into a giggling, bubbly, excitable child. But there's plenty of darkness in Kusama's work, too. RICH SMITH
SEPTEMBER 10FOOD & DRINK
35. Quinn's Pub Ten on Tenth Anniversary Celebration
Beloved Capitol Hill staple Quinn's is turning 10, and that's cause for celebration. Join them for a full-blown birthday party, sponsored by High West Whiskey and Odin Brewing. There will be a pig roast, specialty cocktails from High West, small batch tapping from Odin brews, and performances from local bands.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Capitol Hill Housing.
36. Mac DeMarco with The Garden
Mellow-pop Canadian and owner of a delightful grin, Mac DeMarco wins again with Another One (released on Captured Tracks). It’s a charming eight-song collection of watery guitar, glowy keyboard, tastefully close-fitting drums, and DeMarco pondering the fickleness of love. He might have heartache, but it’s a chill heartache. Stop by his house, he’ll make you coffee (actual address included on the last song). EMILY NOKES
Get your self-care on with some smart, body-positive, feminist rap by Lizzo! There’s no way not to feel good as Lizzo throws down her witty repartee with total charisma, clever pop-culture references, and a unique flow. Her latest EP, Coconut Oil, shows off her diva-level voice with a mix of gospel, hip-hop, and even EDM. AMBER CORTES
38. John Nichols: Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse
Progressive journalist and author John Nichols (known for telling it like it is and authoring many works of political/cultural nonfiction including The Genius of Impeachment, The Death and Life of American Journalism and Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media-Election Complex is Destroying America) will share his latest book, Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America. Prepare for a passionate talk that will outline the insanity of Trump's administration and offer potential avenues for resistance.
39. Stiff Little Fingers with Death By Unga Bunga
Some of you black-leather-jacketed punk historians may disagree, but I think Stiff Little Fingers' 1979 classic Inflammable Material ranks in the top five of all punk albums. The Northern Irish group brought all the righteous fury of youths living during the Troubles and mustered the rough eloquence and brash, bashing tunesmithery to animate their predicament for the (r)ages. Vocalist Jake Burns's gruff, rabid barks were the perfect foil for SLF's napalmic anthems. Speaking of which, none is more caustic than "Alternative Ulster," which makes most other punk sound like effete loungezak by comparison. SLF cut a couple of other decent records, but nothing beats Inflammable Material. DAVE SEGAL
40. Ben Blum: Ranger Games
Based on the true story of his own cousin holding up a bank in Tacoma and thereby ending his career as a U.S. Army Ranger, Ben Blum brings us a gripping account of the crime and an insightful investigation into the toxic masculinity and family weirdness that fostered it. No less an authority than Mary Gaitskill said it is "one of those rare books that illuminates its subject beyond what you thought possible–and then transcends its subject to become something more." Blum lived and wrote in Seattle while he completed parts of this book, so this reading will be a bit of a homecoming for him. RICH SMITH
41. Monsieur Periné
Eclectic Colombian ensemble Monsieur Periné has been cranking out the French-style folk-jazz tracks for the last decade, focusing on interpreting a blend of dance and world music traditions.
SEPTEMBER 12-OCTOBER 1PERFORMANCE
42. Something Rotten!
In addition to Adam Pascal (who played Roger in the original production of Rent), the show also stars Rob McClure and Josh Grisetti as two brothers who are trying to write a hit play in the 1590s, but are stuck in Shakespeare's shadow. When a soothsayer tells them that the future of theater involves singing, dancing, and acting at the same time, they set out to write the world’s very first musical. This show was supposed to be in the 5th Avenue's 2014-2015 season but was canceled because it went straight to Broadway. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
43. Star Trek Beyond Live
The Seattle Symphony will take on the cultural phenomenon that is Star Trek with a performance of Star Trek Beyond, in a chance for the audience to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen amid its unforgettable score.
44. Mike Love: Good Vibrations
Mike Love (yes, that Mike Love, a quite controversial founder of the Beach Boys) will share his memoir, Good Vibrations. Bob Stanley at the Guardian reviewed the book: "As Wilson’s brothers Dennis and Carl are no longer around to tell their side of the story, there’s a strong case for Love being the Beach Boys’ most reliable narrator. And given that the story involves Charles Manson, Leonard Bernstein, Republican fundraisers, parental abuse, mental illness, and a cataclysmic fall from grace, as well as some of the greatest music of the 20th century, it’s a story well worth reading."
SEPTEMBER 13-OCTOBER 15PERFORMANCE
45. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Book-It Repertory Theatre is known for their excellent adaptations of classic literature, and they'll open their 2017-2018 season with a production of one of the most celebrated and necessary autobiographies ever: Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Racism, sexism, and trauma are explored intimately and poetically through Angelou's childhood and teenage years. The play was originally adapted for Book-It in 2003; Charles Mudede wrote, "The translation of the book into this new play by Myra Platt is successful not because it's faithful to its great source, whose pleasures are purely literary (the calm then intense rhythm of Angelou's sentences, paragraphs, chapters). It's successful because the dynamic wills of the characters who populate Maya Angelou's first literary world are captured and at times enhanced by this theatrical one." Platt will return in collaboration with Malika Oyetimein to present a new, 2017-ready version of the script.
46. Fleet Foxes
Former Stranger intern Robin Pecknold and company return from a six-year hiatus with an orchestral folk-rock epic that prefigures the Seattle-affiliated group's third album, Crack-Up (out June 16). There's a shaggy expansiveness here that hints at cosmic Chris Bell and John Martyn territory without quite capturing the transcendent vibe those guys summoned at their peaks. Still, it's an ambitious, nearly hymnal song (about Pecknold's "unresolved, unrequited" relationship with band mate Skyler Skjelset), and it's one of Fleet Foxes' best. DAVE SEGAL
Multi Grammy award-winning reggae/dancehall artist Shaggy will perform.
48. NPR's How I Built This with Guy Raz
On NPR's popular podcast "How I Built This," host Guy Raz interviews the founders of companies ranging from Instagram to Spanx to Rolling Stone about the origin and history of their products. This is the third live taping happening this summer (after interviews with the BuzzFeed founder in New York and the Reddit founder in San Francisco), and will feature Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schulz. They'll also have a "full digital map of the city, showcasing your ideas and innovations" at the end of the evening.
49. Throwing Shade
Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi host this weekly podcast in which they "look at all the issues important to ladies & gays and treat them with much less respect than they deserve." Their candid and humor-driven take on culture and society has earned them both praise for their "queer joy" and criticism for their take on appropriation. Come to this live show for music, prank calls to hate groups, and lots of shade thrown at Mike Pence.
50. The Goo Goo Dolls with Phillip Phillips
Relive the glory of the '90s with the orchestral alt-rock of the Goo Goo Dolls, with opening support from singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips.
51. Off the Walls
We miss the Asian Art Museum. So this event is a welcome little interlude—before the renovation starts in full, they're opening their doors to the public so we can explore the museum and enjoy special installations created just for this weekend. Activities on Friday include a lecture on 15th-century Jain manuscripts by Ayla Joncheere and a reception featuring an electric Indian fusion band and DJs. Saturday promises a community day with family-friendly art-making, and an evening event with music, dancing, art-making, and a cash bar.
52. Chris Rock
For the first time in more than nine years, acclaimed comedian and actor Chris Rock will take to the stage and share the inside of his brain with audiences around the country. Hopefully, his set will contain timely new material that skewers politics and society. Only one way to find out!
SEPTEMBER 15-OCTOBER 2PERFORMANCE
53. Teh Internet Is Serious Business
Tim Price—a young Welsh playwright who has been making a name for himself by writing plays about protest movements—is responsible for writing this one about the rise of Anonymous, the group of hackers who are single-handedly trying to maintain the cultural relevancy of Guy Fawkes masks, and who, for now, seem to wield lots of headless shadow power on the internet. In the play, two British teens start hacking for the lulz. Then they start hacking in order to rid the world of Scientology. Watching them walk the path from "hahahaha, we're having fun" to "we are the saviors of the internet world" (no offense, love you guys) might tell us something about the stories men tell themselves. RICH SMITH
54. Jim Gaffigan
If you're looking for an evening of relatively family-friendly comedy, watch Jim Gaffigan make jokes about impressive food consumption and the trials and tribulations of daily life. Gaffigan's known for his TV and film appearances, stand-up specials Mr. Universe and Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed, and his books Dad is Fat and Food: A Love Story.
55. Glass Animals
Seemingly overnight, Glass Animals became a massive pop juggernaut, with scores of fans screaming their buzzy hit-list lyrics. Their multilayered indie rock appeals to many, as they attempt to pull in more than just their own sonic history on their latest album, How to Be A Human Being.
56. Seattle Symphony Opening Night Concert & Gala
The most extravagant night of the symphony season is the first one, with renowned soprano and Grammy Award winner Renée Fleming joining Music Director Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony for a lush live performance that will lead into a gala with dinner and dancing.
SEPTEMBER 16-17SPORTS & RECREATION
57. Beat the Blerch
Seattle cartoonist Matt Inman of The Oatmeal invented the term "blerch" to describe that doughy, whiny, suffocating entity that squashes your motivation to exercise. Join Inman and other enthusiastic runners to kick that blerchy tush in a 5K, half-marathon, or full marathon. There are couches and cake stations all along the way, plus goody bags and a free shirt.
58. An Evening with Leslie Odom, Jr.
Grammy-winner Leslie Odom, Jr. is an acclaimed singer and dancer who has found mainstream recognition through his star turn as Aaron Burr in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.
59. SZA, Smino, Ravyn Lenae
Singer-songwriter Solana Rowe, aka SZA (her moniker from the “Supreme Alphabet”—a system that originated in 1964, in Harlem, New York, by a group called the Five Percenters, which is also how Wu-Tang’s RZA and GZA got their rap names), is the first woman to sign to Top Dawg Entertainment, home of big-name rappers Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q. But SZA doesn’t rap, she sings, and sings beautifully. Her solo songs are so slow-tempo, so chilly-chill, they’re almost chillwave-R&B mash-ups. KELLY O
British producer Simon Green will return to Seattle in promotion of his sixth album, Migration, filling his sets with even more smooth techno, elegant orchestral funk, and soul balladeering.
SEPTEMBER 19READINGS & TALKS
61. Words on Water: Writers in Conversation
Shashi Tharoor is an Indian politician and former UN diplomat who has written more than a dozen best-selling books (both fiction and nonfiction). Tharoor, an incredible resourcing on Indian politics and international affairs, will headline this reading that will feature regional writers alongside writers from India and its diaspora.
62. Pee Wee Ellis Assembly with Fred Wesley
Don’t know Fred Wesley? I’m sure you have heard him play the trombone without knowing it, because he is on a lot of James Brown records. But if you want to know his own music, I recommend you begin with the Southern funk classic “Breakin’ Bread,” which is by the legendary The J.B.'s. The funk on that record is so joyful, so earthy, so American. Tonight, Fred Wesley plays with Pee Wee Ellis, a composer, arranger, and saxophonist who helped build the sound we now associate with the late and great James Brown. CHARLES MUDEDE
SEPTEMBER 19-OCTOBER 7MUSIC
63. las mariposas Y los muertos and No More Sad Things
Forward Flux presents their annual double feature, where audiences can catch two new, music-filled plays in one night. They'll start off with las mariposas Y los muertos by Benjamin Benne, a rock musical directed by Pilar O'Connell with original music and lyrics by Angie Citlali Vance. After the set transforms, the second feature will take over: No More Sad Things by Hansol Jung, with original music and lyrics by Hansol Jung and Jongbin Jung, featuring live Hawaiian music. The synopsis sets up what sounds like a whirlwind vacation romance...between a 15-year-old boy and a 32-year-old woman. We don't know whether or not they'll explore the exploitative/illegal/traumatic potential of the situation.
64. Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher
Spouses Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher have had success as individual comedians, they run the podcast Put Your Hands Together, and they created the much-praised show Take My Wife. Oh yeah, and they're married to each other.
From the same people who bring you the naked painted bicyclists of Fremont Solstice every year comes a rager against the dying of the light. Luminata is a great gathering of shiny, blinky, glowing things and the people who love them. Expect to see some supercool art projects and costumes from Seattle's most defiantly weird neighborhood.
Dance music cult queen Goldfrapp is back with a seventh album, Silver Eye, full of even more spacey beats that evoke pagan rituals and celebrations of the cold wonder of the natural world.
67. Mura Masa
Growing up on the remote island of Guernsey in the English Channel, Alex Crossan (aka Mura Masa) experimented with punk, metal, and even gospel before firmly planting his feet in electronic music. Fusing future bass and R&B, trap, calypso, and hip-hop, his viral hit "Love$ick" broke Spotify back in early 2016. Mura Masa’s debut album came out in July; expect big things. AMBER CORTES
OPENING SEPTEMBER 22ART
68. Humaira Abid: Searching for Home
Born in Pakistan and based in Seattle, Humaira Abid works in wood carving and miniature painting—two very different media, related by their capacity to hold rich, meticulous detail. Her previous bodies of work have tackled socio-cultural norms, gender roles, and relationships, often expressing very intimate and personal narratives. Abid's first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Searching for Home, is a site-specific installation revolving around the stories of immigrants and refugees in the Pacific Northwest. Political yet poignant, this work renders the humanity of families affected by far-reaching forces into magnificent, stunning forms. EMILY POTHAST
69. Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Mexico's Poet of Light
See 23 photographs by renowned Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, who is known for his seven-decade career capturing—among many other themes—urban life, the nude form, folk art, and the work of muralists including Diego Rivera. Many of Bravo's images come across as anthropological photojournalism, and others focus closely on texture and shadows, zooming in to create abstract, sometimes surreal mini-scenes removed from culture and politics. This exhibit will feature images that "show the artist's ability to synthesize motifs of Mexican religious and indigenous works and plant forms (such as agave leaves) with a Modernist approach to image making."
70. Mike Kelley: Day Is Done
In his 2012 New York Times obituary, artist Mike Kelley was described as a "multi-media post-Conceptual artist with a punk rocker sensibility" who "explored the dark side of American life." His cultural investigations use mediums including video, performance, installation, drawing, photography, sound, and text. His 2005 work Day is Done is an intense and overwhelming video installation featuring 32 chapters, each of which recreates extracurricular activities as represented in high school yearbooks.
71. Luzvisminda: A Filipino Night Market
"Luzvisminda" is a portmanteau of the three main groups of Philippine Islands: Luzon, Visaya, and Mindanao. This Filipino Night Market, hosted by Tom Douglas Restaurants and presented by ILAW, will celebrate Filipino cuisine and will highlight "the growing intersections of tradition and modernity." There will be over twenty businesses from Seattle, Portland, Brooklyn, and Manila who will all represent different parts of Filipino cuisine.
Who knows why, but Apocalyptica is a band of four classically-trained cellists who play Finnish metal, and they're exceptionally good at it.
73. Explosions in the Sky
Explosions in the Sky specialize in nice-guy instrumental rock that’s blown up to monumental dimensions. Their majestic, spangly guitar tones sound absolutely clean-blooded, as if these musicians have never touched a drop of liquor or indulged in drugs. (I’m totally projecting here; these guys could be the most debauched characters this side of a Marquis de Sade tale.) Explosions in the Sky represent to me clarity, purity, and emotion writ large in Helvetica or Arial Bold. Listening to them somehow makes you a better you, even as you cry a single tear the size of a dirigible. DAVE SEGAL
74. Jason Aldean
Country artist Jason Aldean will perform with Chris Young, Kane Brown, and Dee Jay Silver in Ridgefield as he tours for his seventh album, They Don't Know.
75. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of Goddesses
Experience the cinematic power of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses — Master Quest, performed live by the Seattle Symphony, including a 66-piece orchestra and a 24-person choir, and accompanied by striking visuals of the video game. This concert is a unique chance to see this long-beloved game franchise in a new element that incorporates more recent releases like Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild.
76. TroyBoi with Slumberjack and Daktyl
Southeast London EDM and trap producer Troyboi brings the noise and the funk to a live set at the south-end Showbox.
77. Fremont Oktoberfest
At Fremont Oktoberfest (hailed as one of the top ten places in the world to celebrate Oktoberfest), you'll have the chance to try more than 80 different microbrews in their sports bar and "Buxom Beer Garden," and enjoy a festival-style celebration of beer and Lederhosen. In keeping with tradition, kids are absolutely invited on Sunday, when they'll have children's activities, games, music, and more. Find other Oktoberfest events on our Oktoberfest calendar.
78. Local Sightings
For the past 20 years, Local Sightings has boosted filmmakers "from Alaska to Oregon" and has worked dedicatedly to curate what Charles Mudede called ""best films that our region has to offer." In addition to screenings, the Northwest Film Forum will host parties, conversations, and an award ceremony.
SEPTEMBER 22-OCTOBER 1PERFORMANCE
79. George Balanchine's Jewels
Alastair Macaulay at The New York Times called George Balanchine's Jewels "a perfect introduction to ballet." Each section of this triptych is inspired by a jewel (emeralds, diamonds, and rubies) and while each ballet's music and atmosphere is unique, they're tied together by decadence and luxury. This production features new costumes and set designs by PNB favorite Jerome Kaplan.
SEPTEMBER 22-NOVEMBER 4HALLOWEEN
80. Georgetown Morgue
Want to grope through a pitch-black maze with a bloody clown screaming in your ear, but most likely emerge with all your important bits still attached? Cheesy as it looks, Georgetown Morgue has scared a lot of people. Not recommended for claustrophobes.
81. Alison Moyet
Queer disco pioneer and world-renowned electronic music icon Alison Moyet will return to the West Coast in support of her critically acclaimed new album the minutes.
82. Coldplay with Tove Lo and Alina Baraz
Omnipresent indie rockers Coldplay aim to fill CenturyLink field this fall with their posi vibes and an arena's worth of colored balloons on their A Head Full of Dreams tour, with Swedish alt-pop princess Tove Lo and Alina Baraz as their opener.
83. The Shins, Foxygen, Day Wave
So let's listen to the Shins, so we can be like the kids in Garden State! (Ha-ha, sorry, I know you were hoping I wouldn't make that reference.) I listened to Chutes Too Narrow while getting ready for a big Fourth of July shindig, and it was bright and fast and fun. It starts with clapping and a "Woo!" Then it sounds like the cute boy from high school asked you out on a date, and you're driving around in his car on a sunny day. Later, you go to a party in someone's backyard that's lit with those little round Christmas lights. (But it looks like an indie movie, not a car commercial—get the filter right.) The overall mood of Chutes is of feeling young and vital and scared and adventurous. Fast strumming and cloud-sounding drums and harmonies. ANNA MINARD
84. Andrew W.K. with Spinning Whips
These days, party god Andrew W.K.’s positivity empire is humming—you might catch him fronting Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg (what is basically an excellent Ramones cover band), tune in to his America W.K. radio show, read his advice column in the Village Voice, follow his fervent Twitter account (he is the author of one of my all-time favorite tweets: “PARTY TIP: Tenderly squeeze a cat's paw”), or get totally pumped at one of his motivational speaking gigs. It’s almost easy to forget that in real life he is one hell of a musician (who can f’real play that piano), and his over-the-top power-pop party anthems are timeless in that unadulterated fun-having never goes out of favor. Wear head-to-toe white because IT’S TIME TO PARTY! EMILY NOKES
85. Ride with Lo Tom
Anyone fortunate enough to catch Ride live in their early-’90s prime—where they sounded even better and more adrenalized than on their excellent records—should be at least slightly leery about this comeback tour. It’s foolish to hate all reunions on principle, but there’s good reason for skepticism. Sometimes, though, the sheer strength of a band’s songs carries the day against rusty chops, loss of vigor, and absent original members (the latter’s luckily not an issue for Ride). With irrefutable shoegaze monuments Nowhere (1990) and Going Blank Again (1992) to plunder—as well as the sporadically magical Carnival of Light (1994) and those pre-Nowhere EPs—Ride have no shortage of gorgeous, soaring rock to burst the hearts of their nostalgia-drunk following. I’m betting Ride don’t burn down our dreams—even if Mark Gardener’s lost his luscious locks. DAVE SEGAL
Somehow, somewhere, I recall someone applying the phrase “the Grateful Dead of punk” to Television, who rose through New York’s febrile Lower East Side scene in the mid/late ’70s along with prime movers like the Ramones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Blondie, and Richard Hell & the Voidoids. While the description’s not wholly inaccurate (guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd sure could unspool Byzantine jams), it ultimately fails. Television’s music can never be detached from its NYC origins; it sizzles with Big Apple tension that’s 180º opposed from the Bay Area jam-band pioneers’ laid-back peregrinations. That being said, Verlaine and GD lyricist Robert Hunter both have waxed poetic with more lofty verve than most in rock. Let’s be blunt, though: You’re going to this show to witness Television manifest those gleaming classics from 1977’s Marquee Moon, one of the most breath-taking debut LPs of all time. Before you die, you need to experience in the flesh the title track’s gradually ascending guitar helices and deceptively funky rhythms and the caustic, highbrow crunch of “Friction.” “Elevation, don’t go to my head,” indeed. DAVE SEGAL
SEPTEMBER 26READINGS & TALKS
87. Eli Finkel with Dan Savage: The All-or-Nothing Marriage
Eli J. Finkel, professor of social psychology at Northwest University, will share his new book The All-or-Nothing Marriage, a research-based treatise on the institution of marriage and how to improve it. He'll be joined by our own Dan Savage, who for years has been advocating against the all-eggs-in-one-basket approach to relationships. Look forward to a funny, honest, academically-informed discussion of commitment, fidelity, and communication.
88. Major Margaret Witt: The Military Trial at the Tipping Point for Gay Rights
Major Margaret Witt attracted international attention after she was discharged from the military on a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" violation (The Stranger's Eli Sanders covered the story several times). Eventually a federal judge in Tacoma ruled that she should be reinstated, and just months after that decision was made, Obama repealed DADT. Now Witt will visit Seattle to tell her own story and share her new memoir, Tell: Love, Defiance, and the Military Trial at the Tipping Point for Gay Rights.
89. Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Two-time Grammy winning salsa and Latin jazz band Spanish Harlem Orchestra was founded by Aaron Levinson and Oscar Hernandez and has continuously set the standard for how hardcore New York-style salsa should sound. They'll play a two night set in celebration of their most recently released album, which features jazz icons Chick Corea and saxophonist Joe Lovano.
90. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
Though old, established, and highly conventional, reggae is far from dead. You only need to hear Damian Marley's "Jamrock" to know that roots reggae still has a lot of life in it. CHARLES MUDEDE
91. Janet Jackson
After a postponed tour last year, queen of late night R&B Janet Jackson returns with a new set of tour dates and a fine album of good-to-great adult contemporary R&B to back it all up.
92. John Williams Conducts Williams
The Seattle Symphony will perform the work of legendary composer and Hollywood score master John Williams, including well-known pieces from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Jaws, Schindler's List, and many more, all conducted by the composer himself.
93. Franklin Foer: World Without Mind
Former New Republic editor and current Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer (who has written informative and terrifying articles like "It's Putin's World," and whose 2014 firing from the New Republic spurred resignations from two-thirds of the editorial staff) will share his latest work, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech. This new book delves into the dangers of the tech world—political, social, economic—and why we should pay attention to its alarming growth.
SEPTEMBER 28GEEK & GAMING
94. Science Night: Drunken Experiments for Adults
Create explosions, play with liquid nitrogen, make your own lightbulb, and watch performances by inventors Johnny Jetpack and Isaac Vicknair at Science Night. Wear non-flammable clothing.
95. Goldlink with Masego
Scrappy Virginian Goldlink blends his rapping and production skills for a solid mix of future bounce deep slack-note feels, with plenty of juvenile fun yet hardcore work ethic that develops the more you listen to it.
96. Insane Clown Posse with Enasnimi and Deadly Poets
Insane Clown Posse is rolling back into town on their The Great Milenko 20th Anniversary Tour, within which they'll be performing their The Great Milenko album in its entirety, which is either very good or very bad news depending on your personal brand. They'll be joined by Enasnimi and Deadly Poets on this parade of hardcore savagery and white rap.
97. Jinkx Monsoon & Ginger Minj in Peaches Christ's "Hocum Pokem"
Watch RuPaul's Drag Race stars Jinkx Monsoon and Ginger Minj in drag legend Peaches Christ’s spooky rendition of your favorite childhood Halloween flick.
98. Everyday Africa with Peter Di Campo and Charles Mudede
Everyday Africa is an incredibly popular Instagram feed created by Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill that uses a deluge of gorgeous photos to overpower negative media-driven stereotypes. At this event, DiCampo will share some of the most famous and noteworthy images shared on the feed and discuss the new collection Everyday Africa: 30 Photographers Re-Picturing a Continent. After DiCampo speaks, our own film editor Charles Mudede (who writes regularly about his time in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, where he was born) will moderate a panel of smart people from Seattle's African community, who will discuss "the power of media to empower or to disenfranchise."
SEPTEMBER 28-OCTOBER 1PERFORMANCE
99. Belarus Free Theatre: Burning Doors
The Belarus Free Theatre is expert at covert political and artistic expression—their performances in Belarus are held secretly at rotating locations to avoid governmental persecution, and according to their website, their content focuses on "social justice, taboo zones and violation of human rights across the globe." For Burning Doors, they've collaborated with Maria Alyokhina from Pussy Riot to create a show about artists working in opposition to a state that wants to imprison them for their art and opinions.
SEPTEMBER 28-OCTOBER 6FILM
100. French Cinema Now
Recent French films including Django, directed by Etienne Comar, and Superlovers, directed by Guilhem Amesland, will be screened at SIFF'S annual mini festival French Cinema Now.
101. Fashionably Undead
Celebrate the opening of Scared to Death, an exhibit showcasing more than 50 key objects from famous horror movies including Freddy Krueger's sweater, Pamela Voorhees' severed head, the camcorder from The Blair Witch Project, Buffy's "Mr. Pointy" stake, and the axe Jack Torrance/Jack Nicholson uses to bust down the bathroom door in The Shining. The launch party promises a costume contest with prizes, dance party, and tours of the exhibit.
102. Ben Folds: The Paper Airplane Request
On singer/composer/producer Ben Folds' The Paper Airplane Request solo tour, he'll be encouraging audience members to throw their song requests onto the stage via paper airplanes in the second half of the show. Cute! Think of your favorites and work on your aim.
SEPTEMBER 29-30FOOD & DRINK
103. 13th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival
There will be more than 80 pumpkin beers (including about 20 from "Elysian’s pumpkin-crazed brewers and their collaborators"), food trucks, pumpkin carving, the Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, DJs, and other seasonal festivities at this annual celebration of the fall-flavored beverage. Plus, like every year, there will be a several hundred pound pumpkin that's filled with Elysian pumpkin beer and tapped.
SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 29PERFORMANCE
104. Pride and Prejudice
Kate Hamill (known for her adaptations of Sense and Sensibility and Vanity Fair) offers another modern take on Jane Austen through this production of Pride and Prejudice. This run at the Seattle Rep will be the play's West Coast premiere, with direction by Amanda Dehnert, who has directed shows at a number of regional theaters (including the esteemed Oregon Shakespeare Festival).
You know Gorillaz, the cartoon concept band created by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and visual artist Jamie Hewlett. On paper (or video), the act is an animated foursome—Murdoc, the satanist bassist and bandleader; 2-D, his empty-headed and much-abused mouthpiece; Russel, the drummer possessed by ghosts of dead rappers; and Noodle, the mail-order Japanese guitar prodigy. In the studio, it's Albarn plus a revolving assemblage of high-profile collaborators—Dan the Automator and Del the Funkee Homosapien on 2001's Gorillaz, Dennis Hopper and MF Doom on follow-up Demon Days, Bobby Womack and Little Dragon on Plastic Beach. ERIC GRANDY
106. Shawn Colvin
Singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin will perform on her A Few Small Repairs Twentieth Anniversary Tour. The concept album was her fourth release, and it dealt largely with the subject of divorce as her marriage was ending.
107. Sturgill Simpson with Fantastic Negrito
So much negativity has come to pass since last April. Between the celebrity deaths, political climate, and new Russian nukes, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that country maverick Sturgill Simpson released his third album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which is a shame, since it’s the brightest ray of sunshine this year aside from maybe that little bird landing on Bernie’s podium. That’s fine, Simpson is going to play it for us. And while its predecessor, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, will probably go down as the more classic record, Guide is a real masterpiece. Simpson’s secret ingredient? A massive Memphis funk brass section that gives his new tunes a hot urgency to balance out his relentless optimism. JOSEPH SCHAFER
108. Vance Joy
Known best for his hit single "Riptide," Melbourne folk and pop singer-songwriter Vance Joy will return stateside on his "Lay It On Me" Tour in support of his latest single.
EDM festival-crowder Zedd has garnered platinum status thanks to his high profile collaborations with pop stars like Ariana Grande and Alessia Cara. Now he'll return to Seattle for a show with Grey and Lophiile on his "Echo" tour.
SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 1FESTIVALS
Calling all Geek Girls! GeekGirlCon is a two-day convention that was founded following a panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con called “Geek Girls Exist,” bringing attention to the underrepresentation of women in the tech and gaming world. The convention aims to provide a safe space for women to celebrate their self-proclaimed geek status and to facilitate an unapologetic pursuit of their various passions. Attendees are encouraged to geek out over organized activities ranging from panels and workshops to a market, a DIY science zone, networking, photobooths, and cosplay.