• More than a decade ago, former Almost Live! cast member Bob Nelson wrote the screenplay for Alexander Payne's new and beautiful film Nebraska. Last week, Nelson was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best first screenplay, and the coming months should bring a plethora of nominations and wins, considering the power and prestige of the whole project. We will not jinx anything with Oscar predictions.

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Outdoor Performing Arts Festival featuring over 100 artists, food trucks, a beer garden and more!
Celebrate the return of the live arts in a safe, outdoor setting. Capitol Hill, Sep. 18-19.

• On a weekend in which Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon was looking to deliver products to residential areas via "autonomous" flying robots with whirling blades, independent booksellers demonstrated how to do commerce right: Personal recommendations from interesting humans, passed hand-to-hand and not dropped from the sky like napalm. Indies First, a program thought of by Stranger Genius Sherman Alexie, involves local authors working as booksellers at bookshops on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. A line of Alexie groupies stretched down the street outside Elliott Bay Book Company in the pre-opening hours. Other participating authors included Jennie Shortridge and Jonathan Evison.

Art Basel Miami Beach opens Thursday. Once upon a time, it drew eager, hopeful artists and dealers en masse, leaving Seattle virtually art-empty for the first week of December what with everybody running around sunburning themselves in South Beach. Seems like no one's going this year. Those Facebook updates from hot tubs reporting Jeff Koons sightings are from another life entirely.

• The Short Run Small Press Festival was a smash hit last Saturday. Hundreds of people packed into Washington Hall to present, buy, and trade their comics, literary magazines, and crafts. Poet Kate Lebo and novelist Matt Briggs gave back-to-back readings about unpopular pies and unpopular penises, respectively. Comics fans scooped up new work by Jen Vaughn, David Lasky, Jim Woodring, and Eroyn Franklin. Dear organizers: Don't schedule the event on Thanksgiving weekend next year, so it can be even better attended. Everything else was perfect.

• A bright spot on Greenwood Avenue is going dark. For four years, Sheri Hauser's shop Tasty sold handmade toys and predominantly local art by a lineup including Jesse Link, the Iraq vet whose fantasy paintings of animals are currently featured, Joe Vollan, and Siolo Thompson. December 13, Hauser will serve champagne, hot chocolate, and clearance prices. Closing day is January 31.

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• Wandering Belltown last week, somebody from Cat Power's tour saw adorable artist/gallerist Paul Pauper (Form/Space Atelier) out in front of his Belltown studio itinerantly playing a song. Hours later (and for 300 bucks), Power was on Instagram in a flat-topped hat by Pauper, looking like Zorro.

• This past Sunday brought the finale of the 2013 Seattle International Comedy Competition. Winning the whole damn thing: Zoltan Kaszas, a hugely endearing California comic with a gift for class-based observational comedy. Hurrah! recommended

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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.