Big-Deal American Art Show at the Walmart Museum to Include Susie Lee and Dan Webb: Today, Randy Kennedy of the New York Times reported about the lineup of artists for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's much-talked-about upcoming State of the Art exhibition—which opens in September and is the product of two curators visiting a thousand artists and picking 102 from across the country, to represent the station of American art. Most of the artists are not well-known outside their regions. Kennedy writes:

The artists chosen for the fall show range in age from 24 to 87; 54 are men and 48 are women. The geographic spread seems unlikely to provoke regional protests: 26 are from the West and Southwest; 27 from the Midwest; 25 from Texas and the South; and 24 from the East Coast.

It's supposed to be a non-New-York-as-usual show. We haven't gotten a full list from the museum yet, but Stranger Genius winner Susie Lee said she is in the show, as is Stranger Genius nominee Dan Webb, two very different Seattle artists (she's a technologist, he's a wood carver; both are contemporary in their own ways). Lee (and we're not sure about Webb) will also travel to the Walmart-money-backed Arkansas museum October 6-7 to present at the Crystal Bridges Summit titled "Insights from a Changing America." Who'll join her? Oh, you know: Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart, Arianna Huffington, Maya Lin, Cheech Marin, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Judge Reinhold, and other people who are the CEOs and presidents of fancy things. Will Crystal Bridges re-form American art from the heartland? If it does, will that be a good thing? Or ...wait. Martha Stewart??

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Tickets just went on sale for the annual David Sedaris reading at Benaroya Hall. Stranger books editor Paul Constant says Sedaris consistently gives the best live readings he's ever seen. This year's appearance is on November 17th. While you're in a ticket-buying mood, you can also buy tickets for Radiolab's Jad Abumrad and musician Zoe Keating, who will be performing at Benaroya on September 30th.

Live by the Libretto, Die by the Libretto: Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Broadway musical inspired by the music and lyrics of Tupac Shakur, will close this Sunday after six weeks of performances. ("The production never brought in more than $175,000 a week in gross revenues, becoming one of the worst-selling musicals of recent years," reports the NYT.)

SPL Puts Out a Call for Unedited Crap: The Seattle Public Library just announced a contest for self-published authors. Please send your self-published books to SPL, and not The Stranger.

Manuel Noriega Sues Video Game Company for His Depiction in Black Ops II: Noriega's story is one of those tragic tales with no good guys. The CIA, himself, the drug trade, his army, our army, the prison system, now video-game companies profiteering off how fucked up that whole situation was. So if you ever think your life is a mess, consider old Manuel.

Buying Their Way In: Is Amazon preparing to buy Simon & Schuster? That would change the structure of bookselling for sure; bookstores couldn't just stop carrying Simon & Schuster titles, the way some of them boycott Amazon-published titles. It would put Amazon at the table as a major publisher, which would change the entire dynamic of the publishing industry. Of course, this is all speculation at this point; if it does actually happen, we'll let you booksellers know when you should start drinking yourselves to death.